Monday, December 31, 2012


The scale's beginning to work it's evil magic again -- i've gained 5 pounds and it's making me grumpy. My guy friend says, "throw it out. stop weighing yourself. if you didn't know, you wouldn't be miserable".

Spoken by someone who's weighed the same thing since high school, and he's 53.

But he's right. All these years later, and those damn digits can still bum me out.

Okay, here I go. It's going in the trash. I can barely believe how difficult that feels.

How will i do? Stay tuned.

This blog will help to keep me "honest"

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fat and Fit?

My weight has fluctuated 100 or so pounds through out my life. At my top weight, i was perfectly healthy. When i was anorexic, i could barely stand without fainting, i didn't get my period for years, lost a lot of bone density, was mean and an insomniac....When i was bulimic for years and years and a very average weight, i could not have been sicker or done more damage to my body. I deal with the aftermath every day.

Someone asked on facebook - Can someone be fat and healthy? My answer - i was

Monday, November 26, 2012

Getting Over Getting Over my Eating Order

I still lean on my eating issues. When I'm having a tough day or coping with fear, i think about what i'm eating and what i'm weighing or ...whatever i can to keep my mind busy.

After all these years, do i still nurture and fan the power of my disordered eating? Do i cling to it and actually not want to let it go?

It's different these days because i don't binge, purge and starve, as I did most of life; I'm a perfectly normal weight, not emaciated or obese, as i was, up and down most of my life. I'm a moderate eater nearly all of the time - NOT something i could have said, most of my life

and yet.

There are real life issues I need to look at and deal with and still, i turn to body image, when i don't want to look or deal with the real.

I can get sooo interested in the whole body thing - journaling and contemplating and yet, that doesn't pay my bills or get my old car fixed or find me a career.

Time to start getting into the world and getting over the old standby - the Eating Disorder

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fear, Self Confidence, Disappointment

"Fear keeps me doing what I shouldn't be doing and keeps me from doing what I should."

That's what my sponsor tells me, and it's true. Fear has kept me from doing many things -- pursuing any real career, taking better care of myself and well, developing a full and fulfilling life.

Here I find myself at 48 so unsure of myself and my abilities that I stay stagnant. I haven't courageously grown the necessary skills to do much of anything in the real world.

I just took a little hostessing job at a local restaurant for a couple of reasons -- I need to get out and it seems social, it's close to home and the people seem nice. BUT as easy as it is (i had my first night last night), i am scared that i'm not capable of ably seating people in a smallish restaurant.

AND i went after this particular job, because i'm convinced i have NO other skills. Vaguely pathetic, huh? Still, i'm doing something which is better than nothing

I kept my life tiny for, well, all my life. For the first 40 years, all efforts went toward food -- bingeing, puking and starving. Then, i blotted life out through drugs and alcohol.

Those "coping" methods are gone and now i have to face the life I never developed.

I read a lot of autobiographies about people who found their passions and achieved in ways, big and small. i always thought i'd be one of those people who found what i loved and built around it

i consider myself to have a creative temperament; however, i don't have creative talent which is, evidentally, a bit of a problem.

I've always been a dreamer, but not much of a worker.

All I can do now is be brave and hardworking for as my sponsor says, "fear keeps me doing what I shouldn't be doing and keeps me from doing what i should."

Monday, November 12, 2012

More OA sponsees

There's a therapist in my AA group who keeps referring her clients to me for 12 Step sponsorship -- women who have eating issues, often in addition to other addictions.

I can not tell you how much i love working with these women -- eating issues are my heart, i find. Sure, it's great working with alcoholics and drug addicts; yet, there's something about the food stuff that just goes to my soul.

Compulsive eating, self-hatred and body loathing were my constant companions and non-stop obsessions. "Fat Pig" was my name for myself.

I don't live that way anymore -- food (alcohol, drugs, men et. al,) won't cure anything, so I don't try to use them. I'm pretty content with my body - it is what it is and it's gotten me this far, regardless of how badly i've treated it!

I love passing the freedom on to my new sponsees.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Compulsive Eaters, A Question

I have a question.

Through AA, I've sponsored many alcoholics, taking them through the process of the Twelve Steps but haven't really attended OA meetings or gotten into food abstinence.

An OA member, Jean, recently asked me to help her through the Twelve Steps, and she does practice abstinence, refraining from sugar, white flour, etc.

I'm kind of on the fence about the "allergy" to these foods. Yes, there were times in my life where one bagel lead to 12, a slice of pizza became a pie and there wasn't any amount of cake that would or could ever satisfy me. Yet, that's not the case now. I can eat moderate amounts of whatever I want and what I want these days is a lot healthier then i ever craved in the days of compulsive eating, anorexia and bulimia.

As I go through the Twelve Steps with Jean, I honor the path she's chosen (she commits her food/abstinence plan to a Food Sponsor), but i wonder if i truly get behind the concept.

Jean misses the foods she denies herself, and has ended up binging on them after a solid period of not indulging. In my own life, deprivation ALWAYS lead to binging.

What do you guys think?

Monday, October 15, 2012


I’m not sure what happened, but I’m feeling just so alone. And lonely.

I’m someone who exquisitely enjoys spending time by myself – reading books, browsing bookstores, readingin the bath tub, reading newspapers (see a pattern?) I CHERISH this time and never feel complete if I don’t have enough space to myself.

But lately, I find I’m spending big chunks of time on my own and feeling sad. I live in New Jersey - my best friends live in Manhattan and Queens and my family’s in Pittsburgh. Everyone seems married or paired off or busy with kids.

I signed up for a class, but it was canceled. I know I need to get out and be around people. Sometimes, I go to bars and hang-out because that’s what I used to do. But now I’m 48 and by myself, and it just seems sorta – pathetic.

I’m looking for a part-time job and therein lies another problem – money’s an issue and with too much time on my hands and by myself, I worry, worry, worry.
It’s not that I’m truly miserable or in a terrible space. Mostly, there’s confusion. I used to have friends and make them easily. I haven’t changed – I’m still friendly and love to laugh.

This all sounds gloomy, and it’s not all that bad. I see where I’m so lucky – to have a job and best friends, even if they live a bit away. I’m no longer anorexic and bulimic, nor do I drink or do drugs.

Now, I need to learn how to fly

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The New Appetite Suppressant

Just read an article called "The Skinny on the new Diet Pill" about Belviq, a new appetite-control drug.

The odd thing is that when i was eating compulsively (and would easily have been considered obese), i NEVER ate out of appetite or physical hunger.

Food meant comfort, (temporary comfort, which is why i kept eating -- i only felt soothed whilei eating. The minute i stopped swallowing, all the emotional pain came back.) That's what i did my whole life -- i ate, hoping to soothe.

And i ate so often, I never actually had any hunger to control

I did have one happy year between compulsive eating and constant starving. It was junior year of high school. My mom was living in Manhattan with her boyfriend and i was in NJ living with my dearest, best friend Frank, who was two years older and had taken a year off between high school and college.

i loved Frank more than anyone and knew he loved me unconditionally. We had a great year. I played hooky much of the time and he and i hung out in the park, he taught me to drive, we went to movies every day and we ate together.

Yet, i was so content, I ate naturally. without thinking or trying, i began to lose weigh, without thinking or trying t. i also began, for the first time, to make friends in school and to enjoy myself and to think of things other than food

For once, I felt safe and secure and lived in a happy home.

Senior year, Frank left for college and my mom came back to Jersey with the really awful boyfriend.

Out went peace, ease, tender loving care and using food for tasty fuel. Back came food as loving mother, caring lover, best friend and everything else in between.

Except for junior year, i NEVER ate from appetite or hunger. i ate for comfort.

Does the new appetite-suppressing pill come with a loving family, dear friends and a therapist?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Family's Food Writing

I do enjoy good food writing -- the authors have such warm and lovely relationships with food (and the writing is usually quite good.)

Often in good food writing, the author will call to mind gorgeous memories of meals from youth. Their own mouths water remembering their mother's pies, their father's barbecue and grandma's meatballs.

When i call to mind early meals, i think of large, fast consumption and larger fights. We stuffed down meals along with all the bad feelings between my parents and passed down to us.

Food was used to anesthetize all our emotional pain (physical pain too -- feed a cold, feed a fever, feed a broken leg.)

i don't have fond memories of anything my parents made, although they were both excellent cooks -- my mother could make a brisket like nothing anyone's ever tasted and there were no more fluffy pancakes than my dad's. i knew they tasted good, but i just remember furiously stuffing and stuffing down whatever was put in front of me. no amount was ever enough to make me feel better.

Now, i pick up a fine chef's or restaurant critic's musings on food and meals and I relax into a place where food is cherished and nourishing and beloved. it's nice

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The End of Money

By the end of next month, I will have spent every last penny my mother left me when she died six years ago. Hard to believe I could just plow through it, saving absolutely nothing.

I'm curious why i lived in the lap of luxury for six years, barely saying "no" to myself, but i did.

All I have is right now to start making changes and, of course, I don't have a choice. whether i like it or not, I must learn to live within my means. I don't even have any credit, so driving myself into debt (fortunately) isn't an option.

Anyone got any suggestions about budgeting?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Life's been rather over-scheduled for the last week -- between work, AA commitments, volunteer work, family stuff etc., i've barely had time to wash my hair, let alone run an errand or do laundry or get to the bank.

i particularly dislike the days when i leave my house at 6:30 am for work and don't get home until 11 pm or so. That's how life's looked the last week. My hair's getting kind of dirty.

The guy I date has the same commitments as I do, so we've seen each other all the time for the last week.

i've lived alone for so many years and mostly, i grew up with just my mom and me in the house. With that history, I've gotten used to lots and lots of time to myself. It kind of feels mandatory

i (blissfully) thought i'd have tonight to myself but had forgotten about an AA commitment, which i like -- working with family members of alcoholics. i co-lead this meeting with a friend who doesn't drive, so i'm picking him up right after work and driving right to the meeting, which is an hour from my house..

After driving my friend home at the end of the night, i should get home around...........11.

Throw in PMS, and i am getting pretty cranky. i feel desperate for time to myself.

How do mother's do it -- women who report not having a moment to themselves even to pee? i guess i'd make a very, very cranky mother.

the great news -- i don't have any plans for the next two nights. What a luxury to vacuum and take out my trash and sort through mail.

Clean hair here I come!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Observing Food and Weight

I do study how other women react to food and eating and their bodies.

Misery around food and weight ruled so many years of my life, i'm fascinated by what others experience/d.

From the Biggest Loser to the Food Network and everything/one in between, what do we think and feel?

Today, when I got the Post Office, I asked the woman behind the window how she was and she said, "i'm great now, i just had the best BLT". and she beamed. No guilt.

My boss talked about Taco Bell ALL morning. She couldn't wait for lunch and kept reminding me over and over what she wanted and how she wanted it ordered. "I can't even wait for lunch" rang out all morning.

Once i brought the food back, she gulped it happily until it was gone and then, "i'm so full. i can't believe i ate all that. i'm so fat".

It's "i'm so fat", that rang out all afternoon.

Our bookkeeper, Mavis, eats with love and joy -- lots and lots of fried food. She's diabetic and has high blood pressure and cholestrol, but that's her doctor's problem -- Mavis loves her food, and she couldn't care less that she's a large woman.

i have another colleague who's on The Cookie Diet -- all she eats is special cookies all day and then protein and vegetables at night.

My friend is on Weight Watchers, my cousin does Atkins.

I'm fascinated.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Excuses - Food and Weight

Dealing with a few stressors - I dropped a couple of pounds without trying.

Throughout the day today, as i start to worry about real issues, i think -- "well at least i dropped 2.5 pounds."

that's really old brain patterning -- thinking about my weight and not dealing with my problems.

Two and a half fewer pounds is NOT going to make my financial worries go away! is NOT going to make my boyfriend less angry. is not going to solve career frustrations.

Yet, some still dysfunctional voice in my head says, "but at least you lost the 2.5. without even trying"

I spent nearly all of my life avoiding facing and dealing with real life. i lived in my own fantasy world made up of a scale, laxatives and steamed vegetables. And so i never built a career, a meaningful relationship and turned to drugs and alcohol, spent myself into bankruptcy.... i'd do anything to avoid reality and, thus, had nothing to show for all my years of living.

What I do have is today to begin to act responsibly and make the necessary changes i need to support myself and develop honest relationships and find meaningful work.

What I can do today is start this process - no matter what i weigh.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Traveling on My Sister's Stomach

Last weekend, i spent a few days with my sister and niece in Philadelphia. It was a lovely weekend and I was thrilled to see them and to get out of town.

Re; Food, however, i actually felt a little off balance. i live alone and am not used to traveling on other people's stomachs. My sister and niece are ALWAYS hungry and always talking about food and their next meals.

>My sister is my polar opposite -- she never sits still, lives to exercise and clearly charges through calories at the speed of light. As a mom, she's always looking to feed her kids, athletic teenagers who are still growing.

>Between my sister and my niece last weekend, someone constantly needed a snack. And kudos to them, they don't eat like "girls" -- it's bagels and croissants and pasta and dessert

Next we come to me, a gal who's idea of exercise involves rolling over in bed. i'm excessively sedentary and have always leaned toward chubby when left to my own devices. as anyone who's read this blog knows, i held great disdain for my "chubby" and spent my life dieting, starving, binging, purging, eating compulsively -- it's been a long cycle of severely dysfunctional eating.

i'm pretty comfortable with how i eat these days and maintain a healthy weight by working to eat when i'm hungry and stop when i'm full. what i've learned over the years, kind of disappointingly, is that with my zero exercise level, sedentary metabolism and pudgy genes, i just don't get very hungry at all, and i'm rather quickly full.

As i'm comfortable at my current weight, 135 pounds at 5'6, which i've maintained for several years without bingeing, purging or starving, i listen to my quiet little metabolism and kind of graze.

i was surprised to find that i wasnt completely comfortable with the big food-oriented weekend - i hadnt thought it would get to me particularly. But as we ate breakfast with my cousins, my sister planned where we'd have lunch and dinner and breakfast the next morning and lunch and snacks (she is a planner extraordinaire)... i REALLY wanted to think about something else. i spent most of my life thinking about food and eating and not eating........and binging and starving and purging, of course.

Confession -- i found myself jealous that my family could spend soo much time seeped in food and food talk without feeling kind of uncomfortable. i try to make the whole food thing a small part of my life -- tasty nourishment, but that's as far as i want it to go really.

it was a grand relief to go back to my own apartment, knowing i'll eat meals on my own stomach.

i wonder/worry if maybe i'm unhealthily bothered but on the other hand, there were a few other things that also got to me.

i guess i'm just a confirmed bachelorette, all set in her ways. i've lived alone for the last 25 years and gotten used to doing everything my own way. Sharing a hotel room with sister and (messy) niece felt cramped. my sister snores and my niece kept the air conditioning cranked to frigid, so she wouldn't get a migraine. my sister wakes at the crack of dawn and likes to get rocking and rolling. And mom and teenaged daughter test

Yes, of course, i had the best time and came back relaxed and rejuvenated, knowing i'm loved by my two favorite gals. i miss them both and wish they lived right down the street.

just not with me!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What do normal people eat?

How do normal people eat?

I'm an alcoholic too, and I can easily recognize a normal drinker -- someone with a perfectly healthy attitude toward alcohol. With alcohol, the normal drinker can take it or leave it.

Of course, with food we can't take it or leave it -- we have to eat.

And i have to say that after all these years, i'm not really sure how a normal eater eats and how she thinks about food and weight,etc. Maybe because it's still hard for me to believe that someone could be completely comfortable with her relationship to food and body.

I suppose the range for normal is pretty big...?

What do you guys think?


My writing teacher from long ago sent me a note, hoping that i'm having a very creative year. I realized, i don't have a single creative moment in my life these days. no wonder i've felt kinda empty.

Fear and laziness have kept me doing the "easy" stuff. i begin to think i can take some risks.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Money, things and life choice

If you've ever looked at Enneagram personality types, I'm a type 4. Below are the careers that are supposed to be good for type 4s. I've considered most of them, but haven't really pursued any. How many times have i contemplated and even applied for MSW programs. (i think it's part of the Type 4 profile to be dreamy and wishy-washy and unstructured!)

Instead of pursuing and achieving, i've floated around in unfulfilling careers that don't fit me at all and i've wasted a lot of time and spent way too much money on needless THINGS.

My pursuit of materialistic comfort has kept me from taking a risk and doing something meaningful and BIG. My dear friend says fear keeps us doing what we shouldn't be doing and keeps us from doing what we should.

i want the courage to pursue the following: (!)

Holistic Health Practitioner
Yoga/Dance Instructor
Relationship/Couples Counselor
Life Coach
Crisis-line operator
Web/Graphic Designer

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thin picture/Fat picture

I've only kept pictures of myself from thin years. If you saw my photo albums, you'd think i was always slim. Not true, as i fluctuated between 90 and 190 pounds throughout my life.

I didn't keep "fat" pictures, because they just reminded me how miserable and lonely i was and how much i hated myself for being so overweight. all i'd see was pain when i'd look at those photos. So, I never had any pictures of me in my teens or late 20s or even my early 40s, when my mother died, i quit smoking crack, ended 30 years of bulimia and gained a lot of weight.

Now, at 5'6 and 48, I'm a healthy 130 - 135, but when the scale starts to inch up, I think of those pictures i never kept and remind myself how very "ugly" i was during those years.

Recently, my sister found old photos of me in her basement and many of them were from the "big" years. it took me a while to want to look at them, but then i did look.

most of my life, i believed with all my heart that the most important piece of information about me was, simply, my weight. EVERYTHING relied on that number on the scale and when it was up, there simply could not be happiness.

So i looked at pictures of me at my sweet sixteen where was one of my heaviest weights AND i was having a really bad hair day.

My mother looked wonderful in all the pictures, she was slim and happily dating and feeling particularly good about herself.

I felt badly for my mother that she had such a fat, unpopular and depressed daughter. My sister was always pretty and popular, with lots of friends and boyfriends. i had neither.

I didn't smile much in my teens, but i did find one happy summer at an acting camp, where i made my first friends and enjoyed myself. yes, i was pretty heavy BUT on closer inspection through today's kinder eyes, i looked....fine. AND i was smiling. i looked happier and freer.

My mom was in those pictures too, on visiting day, and she looked thin (so important to me back then) and happy and beautiful. when i see those pictures now, i see how very much i looked like her.

there is a series of photos with my sister that stay with me. (since i was little, i was a round little thing and my sister was always naturally skinny. there are photos of us through the years, skinny sis and chunky me.)

in these particular photos i'm a baby , my petite little sister is holding me tight in her arms. i've always cringed at these photos, seeing myself as a fat and ugly baby and comparing myself to my tiny little sis. i always felt guilty that i must be so heavy for her to hold and wish she has a prettier baby girl to play with.

(i also used to get pretty mad at my mom for over-feeding me so, but that's passed. i know she did her best with raising all of us and, besides, and this was 48 years ago.)

what i always missed when i looked at these pictures was my sister's expression -- she's glowing with pride and joy at her little sister. she is clearly so in love with me and so delighted to show me off to the world.

i never noticed look on her face before, because i was so ashamed of being a fat baby and because i assumed i couldn't be loveable and i was too busy worrying about myself to see my sister.

but i do see that look now.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Doing Fine

i'm surprised to find that i am fine. things in my life are definitely not perfect, but somehow or other, i'm doing okay AND i know that things will be okay. that's not my style. usually, i worry and obsess and 100% assume the worst, but these days, i figure everything will work out. last week, i wrote about the issues i'm having with this guy i'm seeing. yes, it's NOT a healthy relationship, and that's something i must address and take care of, and that's what i'm doing. my car keeps breaking down, and i'm really having trouble paying for all the repairs. but somehow or other, i know i'll get by. my mechanic's letting me do a payment plan, a friend offered to lend me money if needed and worst case scenario, i'll get an advance on salary at work. money issues are really pressing right now, all around. i'm kind of stuck in my job, because i can't afford to do what i really want and that's frustrating. yet, that's life; it's reality. always in the past, i would have used these tough issues as reasons to binge or starve or drink or drug. now, i'm learning how to face what life throws me and manage. it feels good.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wrong Man

I need support. Sometimes, we tuck away our secrets, because we don't want to hear the response. Yes, I have secrets... One i never talk about anymore is how the man i date treats me. In the beginning, i shared his behavior with friends and my sister, yet when they all told me to run, to move, to fly -- i stopped talking. Now i live in silence. He berates me, criticizes the way i walk, talk, think -- always sort of making fun. And when he's angry, anything goes -- verbally. I've never been spoken to like this. I begin, finally, to see how it creeps into the rest of my life. my self-esteem feels slim these days. I hear myself berating myself. When pondering why i stay, there are reasons. Perhaps i begin to want to move, to fly

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Kelly Clarkson Defends her Curves

I just saw a headline with that title -- Kelly Clarkson defends her curves. Why does any person -- man, woman or child -- have to defend his or her body, particularly as it's hurting no one?

I look at recent photos of Clarkson, she of the terrific voice and very popular music, and I see a woman who looks pretty much like most of the women i work with -- womanly. I like some of her songs, not all, but i'd like them just the same if she looked like Twiggy or John Goodman.

From what I've read, Kelly Clarkson struggled with her weight and always got kudos when she'd slim down. I don't know what she went thru, but i know i was anorexic and bulimic and 100% obsessed in order to keep myself thin. i, too, got lots of compliments, although i was miserable and damaging my body irreparably. once i stopped purging and starving and binging, i gained a fair amount of weight and ended up a healthy size 12. but the compliments stopped.

Kelly Clarkson is a musician, not a skeleton. This is a real question -- why does anyone care what she weighs? Do any of you have any guesses?