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Archive for September, 2012

Body Revolution

I like Lady Gaga. So when I saw some photos allegedly depicting her huge weight gain (I think she looks fabulous) and then people nastily commenting on either how she’s a fat slob or else how the fact that she’s rich and famous means that she shouldn’t have any problems or at least shouldn’t be crying to her fans about them.

Well, I am with her.  I have fought with my body image for years, waging a constant battle as I ate all of my emotions and depression and everything, carrying on my body a tangible reminder of the struggles I’ve had.

And yeah, I had lap band surgery almost 2 years ago, but it didn’t automatically make me lose weight. I lost and gained just like always. The differences are that I can only eat so much at any given time, and certain foods make me throw up because they get stuck. I’ve struggled with osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. I have a bionic knee that doesn’t always work very well. I have frequent back pain. It’s freakin’ hard to exercise because everything hurts. Joe brought my recumbent bicycle over to the apartment, and as soon as my sparty is over on Saturday, I’m going to get the incomparable Izzybella to help me bring it in from the garage. Yeah, it’s not attractive, but it’s a way I can get some low impact exercise that won’t make my back hurt more than it already does.

I try to remember that my food choices have nothing to do with whether I’m “good” or “bad”—and I put that in quotation marks because I have so frequently said “I’m bad. I ate this.” or “I’m good–I ate this or didn’t eat that.”

So tonight I’m taking care of myself. I’m sitting in the really comfy chair Joe got from Ikea today–and assembled for me. I had a good dinner (Trader Joe’s chili with a little cheese). Now I’m going to take my medicine and try to get a good night’s sleep.

As much as I love my new job–and I do–going from a straight 40-hour week to working crazy overtime whilst simultaneously learning so much I feel like my brain is melting is making me really tired.

 

Hi, body. It’s okay to be tired. It’s okay to be stressed. It’s okay to be hungry, and it’s okay to nurture yourself. Do what you can, push yourself a little bit, but don’t beat yourself up.  You’re pretty cool, actually. You’ve taken care of me for quite a while, and I hope we have a good long while to go. Let’s take this journey and go from a place of joy and happiness.

Love you!

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Pink Pinkies

So I started my new job Monday, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!!  I am busy from the time I get there until the time I go home, and I’m learning a lot, and it’s really great. I’m even already working a wee titch of overtime, which will be nice on the paychecks.

Yesterday I dragged myself home, turned on Sherlock on Netflix, and vegged.

I was even more exhausted at 5:00 today, so I schlepped over to the nail salon near work for a pedicure. I picked out a beautiful sky-blue nail polish and went to sit down.  Oh, man, it was bliss. The lovely woman working on my footsies adjusted the chair for me so I could lean way back; she adjusted the massage thingie to gently massage my head and neck; the water was the perfect temperature; she didn’t dig into my cuticles; she gave me a sugar scrub followed by a hot oil massage followed by a lotion massage followed by hot towels. It was loverly.  And when I woke up and looked at my toes, they were, um, well, not blue.

Not one teensy tinge of blue.

They’re bright, neon pink, the colour that looks beautiful on slim suntanned young teens. Not quite what I was going for, but I was not about to complain because I felt so completely pampered.

So I thanked her profusely, tipped her well, and my pink toenails and I are home, and I’m about to watch an episode from Season 2 of Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch? Sex-ay!) and then sack out.

Hope you all are doing well!

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Dear Mr. Romney

This:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what,” Romney said.

Romney added: “My job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5-10 percent of people who are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon, in some cases, emotion, whether they like the guy or not.”

I am voting for President Obama. I used to be a die-hard Republican. Then I started thinking for myself. I can’t say that I identify with either of the two major parties, as I see defects in both. But I am also realistic enough to know that, at least at this time, I have to choose one of the other.

I’ve never been on welfare. Never had public assistance of any kind. I’ve worked my way through life, through university. I pay my taxes. I was fortunate enough to not have to take out student loans, but it’s not because I had parents who were able to pay my way nor because I got grants (which, by the way, I totally support). I got laid off one job, and one of their benefits was that they would pay for either a year of college studies or for me to work with a head-hunter. I chose to go to school, where I got good grades and joined an honour society. Later on, I finished up my bachelor’s degree while working full-time and dealing with a serious medical condition; since I worked at the university, I got a break on fees, and since I had good grades and was in honour societies, I managed to get scholarships. During the times in my adult life where I was not working a paying job, because my husband and I were able, for those brief times, to maintain a very modest living on his income, I did volunteer work for the LDS church, as I know you have all of your life.  I’m one of the fortunate people–even though I may never have the kind of money the 1% have. I’ve always had food to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over my head.

I used to work for Child Protective Services. During my too-brief tenure there, my clients were in that 47% you’re talking about. There were single parents doing their dead-level best to provide for their children while working minimum-wage jobs that did not provide enough of an income for them to not need public assistance. So tell me, really, who you expect them to vote for? Someone who understands there is a genuine need, or someone who dismisses them as feeling entitled. Trust me, Mr. Romney, they would have done anything to take care of their families. If they were making enough money to live on, they wouldn’t have taken one dime from the government or any other form of assistance. They did what they had to in order to survive.

I won’t deny that I also had some cases with families who absolutely felt entitled to whatever the government would give them. But they were by far the minority.

So please–before you dismiss that 47% as feeling entitled to whatever the government will hand out, please take some time to find out what their real concerns and issues are. Because I can guarantee you, a single mother making minimum wage is barely able to feed and shelter her child, and if supporting Obamacare will provide medical care for her small family, damn straight she’s going to vote for his reelection. If the Democrat party supports raising minimum wage, damn straight she’ll support that party.

I’ve been seeing various stories and emails about how you’re compassionate and thrifty. With all due respect, being thrifty at your income level is completely different from being thrifty when you’re way below the poverty line, and not for lack of effort or desire. If you want to win those people over, show them that you care about their plight. Show them that you realise that they are struggling, no matter how hard they’re working. Shouldn’t they have a right to have shelter, food, clothing, medical care?

Okay. Gotta stop. I’m getting a little overheated here.

For the record: Yes, I am supporting President Obama. I will vote for him in November. Mr. Romney may be a likeable enough person, but I don’t like his politics.

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Yesterday I had to stop at the pharmacy after work to pick up a prescription. While I was waiting in line to pay, I saw a magazine proudly emblazoned with, “1000 ways to dress thinner!” I didn’t look at it, didn’t buy it. And just now in my email, I got an email about 10 ways to dress thinner.

I have decided that instead of worrying about how to dress thinner, I’m going to dress in a way that is flattering (in my own eyes), comfortable, cute, makes me happy. I don’t think it’s a crime to be heavy. I read an article last week about a woman who is a plus size model. Guess what size she wears. 16? 18? 24? Nope. This relatively sylphic beautiful woman wears a size 12. Since when is 12 a plus size?  I don’t want to know. I just want to like what I see when I look in the mirror. Like today. My hair refused to cooperate, so I’ve got cowlicks sticking out all over. I plopped on a thin black headband with a black fabric flower and a gaudy clear stone. I’m wearing a dark grey shirt with asymmetrical buttons on the upper left shoulder. I’m wearing a light grey scarf with dark grey peace signs imprinted on it. I’m wearing jeggings and black flats. I’m wearing the hyalite opal necklace I’ve been wearing nonstop for the last month or so. And when I look in the mirror, instead of focusing on my fat, I’m focusing on the whole picture. And today I look cute, and I’m happy about that.

Moving on to self growth: Today’s assignment for Mondo Beyondo was to think of a person I admired, and write down the qualities I like in that person. Then select another person and perform the same exercise. From that, pull out 5 or 6 qualities that are the most meaningful to me. And then expand on those. Afterward, I was to share them with at least one friend in my every day life and ask zir to give me examples of how they see these values in operation already, and remind me of ways I’ve been longing to see these values develop and grow.

So here’s my list, and if you feel like leaving comments, I absolutely welcome them!

TRUE TO MYSELF

  • Don’t change anything about myself solely because someone else is critical of it
  • Question why or how I do things–is it through authenticity or because I’m trying to fit in somehow?

OPEN TO LEARNING

  • Travel
  • Blogging/journaling/personal study
  • Reading whatever I find interesting
  • Discovering new blogs/authors/etc

ARTISTIC

  • Writing
  • Collages/photography/oil pastels/chalks
  • Guerilla art

HUMANITARIAN

  • Give generously to causes I believe in
  • Give locally as well as globally
  • Get involved in more ways than just making cash donations
  • Amnesty International; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; charity:water

SPIRITUALLY IN TUNE

  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Finding my personal guides
  • Chakra balancing
  • Journaling
  • Morning pages

HEALTH

  • Learn to eat from hunger, not from emotional need
  • Find ways to be active that are fun (and do-able, considering my physical limitations)
  • Massages/chiro for back pain
  • Get to a healthy weight (below 200 pounds)
  • Get cholesterol to healthy level
  • Find things to do besides the routine of going to work and going home and being lazy

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My Heart’s Desires

For Solstice last winter, Jehara gave me and Izzybella a gift certificate for Mondo Beyondo, “an online class about DREAMING BIG.”  This week is zero week. We’re getting inspiring emails, and are being encouraged to start dreaming.

I dream big, but I am really good at finding reasons why I cannot do what I dream of. I was just talking with a co-worker about it, asking her what she would do today if someone came to her and said, “Today you can do anything you want to want to. No limits.” At first she said she wanted to take an entire day to herself, spa, getting her nails and pedicure done, facial, hair, massage, etc. So I told her to make an appointment and do it.  Then she changed her mind and said she wanted to spend 3 weeks in Paris and be able to spend as much money as she wanted, no limits. I told her to write it down, put it out there, and be open to it.

Easy for me to say. It’s something I periodically struggle with. I see all the limitations, all the reasons why I can’t do something, and believe them. So in the spirit of DREAMING BIG and just putting my ideas out there, here’s my first list:

  • I want to be an artist of some type. Maybe mixed media? Not sure.  I used to try photography, but didn’t have the equipment to be able to take the photograph that was in my mind’s eye. So I will need a good camera.  But I also love doing collages and working with pastels.
  •  I want to travel to Europe, Africa, Australia. I want to go on a U.S. History tour that I create for myself and my travel companions.
  •  I want us (Izzybella and me) to finish writing and publish our books.
  •  I want us (Izzybella and me) to write “Our Bleeping Town” so Vanessa can put it on
  •  I want to be a size 10 and be able to shop at H&M.  I want to be in charge of what I put in my mouth, rather than letting food be in charge of me. I want to be able to find some forms of physical activity that I enjoy and that will help me be strong and healthy.
  •  I want to make and sell chakra baskets and zen boxes and make a profit.
  •  I want to be able to work from home doing said writing, chakra baskets, and zen boxes.
  •  I want to become a certified Reiki master.
  •  I want to be a licensed massage therapist.  I don’t want to work for a salon—I’d do it by making house calls or having people come to my home.
  •  I want to heal people, through massage, reiki, chakra balancing, etc.   I know how important the human touch is just because I get it so seldom. If I can help others through the power of touch, I want to do that.

So there are today’s dreams. I’m going to believe that I can make them happen. I’m going to ignore all the little voices in my head telling me why I cannot possibly achieve them, and I’m going to open myself to possibilities.

What are your dreams? What would you do if someone gave you a day, and said there are no limitations?

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