Monday, October 26, 2009

I was present

i went to a big, fancy wedding last saturday.

i didn't drink. i didn't focus on food. i was present.

it was a pretty awful event - an interfaith marriage, and the only people in the room who seemed okay with it were the clergy, and even then i can't be sure.

the groom's mother wept all night, and they clearly weren't tears of joy. the grandchildren wouldn't be jewish. his father scowled hard all evening. the cocky brother picked a fight with my fiance.

the bride's grandparents wouldn't attend. her mother roamed around aimlessly mumbling, "i've never seen anything like this before."

the bride is a lovely 23 year old woman. she's got a great career, speaks many languages, is very beautiful and she's very, naturally, easily thin. but i wouldn't trade places with her -- not with those in-laws. (the groom seems nothing like his family. let's pray that's true.)

i sat next to d.'s brother and his wife. they did not speak one word during the whole dinner. not to each other. not to me. the music was so loud that i couldn't really hear what anyone else at the table was saying.

but no matter who they were, what they were feeling and which religious/cultural background they represented, EVERYONE drank. hard. really hard.

one person at the wedding didn't drink. me. i was present.

it was the first time since i stopped drinking that i wanted to be drunk. other times, i've looked at nice wineglasses filled with merlot and thought, "doesn't that look nice."

not saturday. i wanted to be all boozed up and not painfully aware of the tension, the anger, the stress, the sadness, the pain.

but i didn't drink. i didn't use food. it was the first wedding i've been to that i didn't get wildly drunk and then go home and binge and puke.

i sat with the discomfort. the incredible discomfort for seven hours. it sucked.

but i did it. i can't tell you how proud i am.

each step is a new step. some involve great experiences; some are mediocre; some suck.

i can handle them all.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

life change Part 1

the business travel season starts with a vengeance. leaving for the west coast at 5am tomorrow. and then it's pretty consistent through X-mas. i'm really tired of it. it's time for me to dig in and make some life changes.

i've never found a fulfilling career. for years, i put mad energy into finding my soul's work -- seminars, career counselors, job changes. i'd read everything about every job possible and i applied to grad school many, many, many times in many different fields. i never went, BUT i did get into one Ivy league law school. that was my best moment careerwise.

i've been a human resources manager, a casting assistant, an executive recruiter, an events coordinator and now, i'm a sales manager. NONE of these jobs fit me or fulfilled me.

as many of you know, a few years ago a while my parents were dying, my life detoured into drugs and alcohol.

coming back from that, i was just able to put one foot in front of the other and head to my therapist and groups. as i was started to function, my brother let me come and answer his phones. in time, i started making sales calls. i've never liked it, but it's kept me employed, and i am GRATEFUL.

now, i'm feeling...almost confident. i'm telling myself that i have the strength and ability to do whatever i want. it used to scare me. now, i'm a little excited.

so, i'll be a traveling gal. don't know how much time i'll have for blogging. i'm planning to check in as much as possible. food on the road is never easy. BUT, i do feel more confident. if i don't write, i'll be thinking of you all and wishing you peace.

i hope it's warm in california

Monday, October 12, 2009

Valerie Bertinelli and me

i've been reading Valerie Bertinelli's new book, Finding It: And Satisfying My Hunger for Life without Opening the Fridge. (before i go further, the book is rather unsatisfying. blah. i wouldn't waste the same amount of money i did on it.)

but i digress.

while boring, the book does rev up my usual questions and confusions. there's that assumption that -- life, natch, is much more that weight loss, but weight loss is still great. over-eating isn't just about food, it goes a whole lot deeper, but food is practically the kama sutra, but we really shouldn't eat it, unless, of course, it's a fruit or vegetable, in which case, we should eat it in unlimited quantities to squealth our bottomless hunger, which isn't really hunger for food, anyway, but isn't food great. ditto to weight loss? drum roll and/or linda blair head spin.

i ask you -- if we are thin because we healthfully follow weight watchers (as opposed to say, some of our less than zesty anorexic plans), is it then great to be thin? is it preferred to be thin? do most of us, really, want to be thin? what is thin?

i have more questions.

what is a foodie and is this an interesting thing or is it someone with a weird obsession? how much interest in food is healthy?

what's with the whole restaurant craze? who eats at these restaurants? are they thin? do they say, "i really shouldn't have", after tucking into creme brulee chocolat?

i love the show, top chef, (not sooo much since i stopped drinking. they drink an awful lot of fine vino out of gorgeous glasses, once one of my top three ways to spend my day. okay, top fave. i used to pop open some nice grape and pull up a chair.)

yet, i don't eat any of that stuff. here's y i watch. how does padma lakshmi stay so ridiculously thin? how do the other judges stay the normal, average weights they are? apparently, they eat all the time. sometimes, padma eats more in five minutes than i spread over a few day. what about the nights when they taste test TWO restaurants? even with little bites, that's a lot o' food. and wine is fattenting too.

i sound weight obsessed. maybe. i do wish i could figure out how to eat to maintain some nice medium weight without using 95% of my time and then... TO STOP THINKING ABOUT IT!!!

i was at a big anniversary dinner last saturday. i'll say i did great. no alcohol and that was fine. that's really the big coup. i ate healthfully and tasted small-ish amounts of anything i really wanted and had a little cake. then, d. and i hit the floor and danced the night away, which we both love. how great is that -- ate moderately AND thru in some exercise.

but geez, isn't that an awful lot of over-thinking for one little evening? how much work is it to settle on one little meal? and then what about joyfully dancing with your new fiance -- the whole time considering it...exercise? "calorie burning" kind of takes the romance out of it, no? (see also "sex".)

overall, the more i know, somehow the more confused i get. once, i KNEW for sure that it was best to be thin at all costs. arguing was futile. once, i KNEW i knew best for me and my savaged body.

now, i know a lot better. but often feel i know nothing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Heart Tied with String

i love this blog, A Heart Tied with String is a Pretty Thing,, I hope you all will check it out.

The author is an amazing artist. her pictures of women, struggling with body image, self-esteem and life in general, tell many stories -- some sad, some disturbing, and always evocative. i often feel she tells my story.

i love her last post, "uh, do these bones make my hips look wide?". hope you'll go see it.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

wuz up with my eating?

i've slowly been losing a little weight. i know this because i've been weighing myself every day.

my inner ED is leaping around. wheee. "good girl, there ya go. keep it up and we can get back to a nice little weight. just remember, give in, one little bit, and all is lost. weight loss is hard, but it's very, very important. above all -- stay vigilant and eat as little as possible."

scarey, isn't it, that the voice is just right there. for all the work, it's just right there.

i stare at my flat stomach, enjoying the lack of lumps. my jeans are tight nowhere.

i have to get past this. way too much attention's going into what i'm eating and weighing.

in pittsburgh with my family and fiance, i ate heartily and went on with activities. my niece and i fairly raced through dinner, so we could get back to her room to chat.

in a week or so, big events take over. we've got a big blow-out 50th anniversary party and a big wedding, back to back weekends. at both events, i'll be the only one who only speaks english and most likely, the only one who doesn't drink. AND OF COURSE, i anticipate loads of food. even if i eat nicely, it's still a lot of work.

then work's travel season starts galore. i'll be on the road with the my brother and sister-in-law for the best of five weeks. they both have pretty bad tempers. if you've read my blog for a while, you'll know that he's all about major food, and she's all about wine. if you've read my blog for a while, you know i'm two weeks shy of five months sober, and wine is my drink of choice.

the upside:

for now, i'll be okay. i ate a solid, real lunch today, we're going out for dinner tonight, and i'll eat more than i've been eating at home. besides, i'm losing patience with all this food and weight shit.

at the events, my fiance, D., will drink minimally as he is driving. he will speak english to me. he loves me.

this month's travel covers California and North Carolina. it will be warm. i'll have tons of time to read on the plane. i'm traveling back alone from california, which i usually enjoy. (i can't figure out an upside for their tempers. they fight with each other constantly and everyone else too -- barrista's at starbucks, hotel clerks, airport agents. very, very unpleasant.)

i'm going to the bookstore soon. the work day is almost over. my laundry's done.

anyone else wish it were a little easier just getting thru the moments?