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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Things That Make Me Inordinately Happy in Comparison to Effort Expended, In No Particular Order (2014)

I did this kind of list once before, in time for New Year 2013. This isn't a New Year's Day list, and I don't make resolutions, exactly, but I want to bring more focus on joy and fulfillment toward the end of this year. Therefore, in no particular order, here is a list of things that make me ridiculously happy.

  •  When my little kitteh, D, snuggles up on my shoulder and snurrs (snoring/purring)


  • Also when she finds stinky shoes or workout clothes and wallows in them in complete unfettered joy

  • When a song comes on that I once loved but haven't heard in a decade or two

  • Checking things off a list; I am so bad that I will add stuff I've already done to a list just so that I can mark them off

  • Getting a zit to pop, even though I know I'm not supposed to do that

  • When the kittehs sleep on their backs and leave those fuzzy tummies exposed

  • Colorful veggies all washed and chopped and ready for snacking


  • Getting cold enough to actually enjoy wearing a sweater

  • Hearing my beloved's voice from another room

  • Bad puns

  • Making B laugh

I'm certain there's more, but you get the idea. For a change I want to look for good things instead of only looking for the bad things, because if that's all you look for, that's all you will ever see.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Backwards

I'm having conflict again. Confidence, self esteem, diet thoughts. I keep getting close to the place where I can take care of myself - eat right, get some exercise, control the blood sugar, get off the meds, whatever. But something always seems to throw me at the last moment, upsets my balance. Perhaps I'm throwing things in my own way as a delaying tactic, at least some of the time, though this time I think it was purely accidental.

I did so good through DragonCon! My confidence was high, I went out and mingled with friends at meetups, did the Disney fairy photo shoot and some other costumes, wore my sundresses and short skirts without shame, I even talked to strangers and told a bully to fuck off late one drunk night. I even came out of it with a couple of photos of me that I really love. I felt good. I felt pretty. I got con crud, but I was even ready to wait that out and get started on taking care of blood sugar as soon as I felt well again.

So one night I was looking around, Googling for costume ideas and accidentally wound up on a pretty hateful fat shaming site. I read around at some posts and comments in growing horror. I quit the internet for the night, watched the Hobbit and tried to think about happy things, spent the next morning looking at pictures of adorable animals, just in case. I have pushed it into an appropriate pit and locked the door behind me. But....

The evil, lying voice woke up. The thing inside that hates me and tortures that little girl in there. It's trying to make me feel ashamed and disgusted with myself again. It makes me want to try the dieting hamster wheel again.

I joined a Facebook group for people who are trying to lose weight for DragonCon and for costuming. Mostly I'm lurking, waiting to see if it's going to be too triggery for me. Right now, it probably is, until the liar goes back to sleep. There's a lot of talk about pounds lost and "being good" which of course implies that there's a "being bad" too. Someone posted a music video called "I'm Sorry I Gained Weight." I didn't watch it.

Now I keep coming back to the thoughts of looking gross. Spilling food. Being clean enough. Wondering if I smell bad. Being ashamed of burps and farts and acne. I'm a little afraid of getting hungry. It doesn't help that I'm still sick and coughing and snotting, so I can't breathe and I get exhausted after doing the simplest things. Like. A. Fatass.

I need comfort but I'm sick, and I feel like I'm a needy burden on top of everything else. I have spent two days trying to convince myself that B isn't mad at me for some unknown thing. But he still touches me, he kissed my neck when he came up behind me this morning, he has held me and told me that he loves me. It's okay. It's just the lying voice again.

It tells me that if I eat - and eat and eat and eat - that it will go away and I won't have to hear it lying anymore, but that's a lie too. If I eat and get sick and hurt it will just shout louder about what a pathetic loser I am, wielding the proof that I am an out of control fatty. I could hurt myself and then just listen to it laugh and laugh, just like those people on that disgusting website. Think about the curve of my belly, taut and hard and full of pain. Bulging under my too big t-shirts, the ones I think hide my body, the ones littered with old stains of old binges. Sloppy and sickening.

Fuck that.

I have no room for that kind of pain any longer. I think - no, IT thinks that I deserve this pain, but I DO NOT.

What did I say about that bully at DragonCon? "If you want to make me cry you're going to have to do better than that." Fuck you evil, lying voice, 'cause you just aren't good enough to get me anymore.

Back to the beginning - where did I start? "I am good enough, I am smart enough, and GODDAMMIT, PEOPLE LIKE ME!"

Bring it.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

NEDA Walk Orlando 2014 - My Binge Eating Disorder Speech

This morning we had the Nat'l Eating Disorder walk for awareness at Lake Eola in Orlando Florida. We almost got rained out, but it passed quickly and turned out to be a beautiful morning.

We had a lovely singer and then I got to do my little speech, about 9 minutes or so, about Binge Eating Disorder. If the video will post - I'm about to find out - here it is!

I didn't get nervous until it was time to walk out on the stage, and I spend the first 7 minutes or so shifting from side to side. Feel free to scream "Be still!" at the video-me as often as you like. Afterward I pretty much just hugged the first person that I saw so that I wouldn't start crying.

Okay, here's the YouTube link. It's too big to load to Blogger... NEDA Walk Orlando 2014 Speech

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Coping Mechanism

It's nice sometimes to remember that bingeing wasn't my ONLY coping mechanism. For instance, when I was upset enough that I couldn't hide it I would go and take a very long, very hot shower and bawl like a baby. No one could hear me, the heat hid the puffiness and red eyes, and the hot water was very soothing. It still is. I don't necessarily need to go hide in order to cry anymore, but when I'm having a sad day, sometimes a good hot shower is just the thing.

One of my sisters sometimes gets frustrated with me because I never call to "talk it out" when I'm upset. It's hard to explain, but that's not how I'm used to handling things. Sometimes I don't want to talk about IT because it will just make me cry (and I still hate to cry in front of other people) and sometimes there is no IT to talk about. Sometimes No Thing is wrong, or maybe it's just that No Thing is right.

There's a web comic that describes depression quite brilliantly. I imagine almost everyone has seen it, it went around Facebook for a while (which might tell us something about why we're on Facebook to begin with). Here's a bit of it that might explain....

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html
I can have a conversation with you and try to talk about Stuff or No Thing or, sweet jeebus - FEELY Things. But when No Thing is Wrong or No Thing is Right, I can't always tell if I'm doing IT right: talking, smiling, relating, laughing, gesturing. So I get more worried about whatever IT is than about the actual conversation and eventually I just fake being okay so that I can stop being uncomfortable.

Does that make any sense?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Catching Up To Do

It's been too long since I posted last. I have definitely had a busy end of the year, trying new hobbies and dealing with becoming truly diabetic. All things considered, I'm doing pretty well. I have definitely had some ups and downs and a couple of really bad moments, but no binges as of yet - some close calls, the *desire* to binge maybe, and some overeating.

I took up sewing early in the year and have made quite a few skirts for myself (which is new, as I never liked wearing skirts or dresses before). I also made a few costumes for DragonCon 2013 and actually wore them out on the floor (I usually chicken out). Later in the year I went to a painting class for a NEDA (Nat'l Eating Disorder Association) fundraiser and that turned out to be slightly life-altering. I really took to it and have been going back to the class quite a lot and even started painting at home on my own. I'm no great artist, but so far my work isn't too bad.

Here are a few pics of some of my recent sewing:



I didn't actually make the black & white one, I just shortened it. It had an extra layer at the bottom and I'm just too darn short for that! I wore this one to the wedding of some dear friends of ours.

And here's my little art gallery:










I'm also working on a diary project right now, which I will start posting here in a few days. I'm trying to deal with diabetes with "lifestyle changes" and right now that essentially equates to a "diet" for me. I know I shouldn't think of it as such, but it sure feels like a diet. So I'm journaling the experience as a way to survive it and possibly as a way to show people what dieting is really like when you have an eating disorder.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Why This Fatty Quit Going to Your Gym: An Open Letter to Fitness Professionals

An Open Letter to Fitness Professionals

[Please note that this is my personal experience, and I can’t really presume to speak for all overweight people. I’m not an athlete, not even a “fat athlete,” though I understand that some people are. I currently participate in Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating, but right now, today, I am Not Healthy. I am choosing to address that, but first...]

A few years back I used to go to the gym at my University, and I really liked it. Despite my weight, nearly 300 pounds, people left me alone and let me do my own thing. Within about a year there, I had lost over 50 pounds and had gone from barely being able to do 30 minutes on the treadmill to doing 30 minutes on three different machines plus a mile walk for warmup and cool down. But then I graduated and had to find a new gym.

I wasn’t worried about that. I had gotten used to the workouts and was ready for a change, a challenge. No one messed with me or picked on me, and I didn’t anticipate that a new place would be that much different. After all, we were all there to get healthy and were far too busy doing what we needed to do to worry about someone else’s workout.

What I hadn’t counted on were the trainers. Yes, my university had trainers too, but they were students in the fitness courses and I guess there just wasn’t a ton of money to worry about with amateur trainers, or maybe they were doing it for class credit. Either way, I just didn’t see much of them, and they never bothered me.

But out in the real world, things were different. Out in the real world, I met You.

I was ready to increase my workout. I was still doing my own workout three days a week and then I joined Zumba for a fourth, just for fun. I thought that starting to learn weight training would be a good idea. Even better, I got three free sessions with a trainer for signing up and to learn the equipment. Good enough, that sounded like a great idea.

It could have been the best thing that ever happened to my workouts, enriched my gym experience, and set me on a new path for achieving health. Except for You.

You don't get it both ways, you know.

You took one look at me and apparently You knew my whole story. Surely I was a lazy and stupid fatty, joining the gym in January like all of the other fatties (I graduated in December), and had never ever set foot in a gym before. In fact, You knew me so well that You didn’t even need to bother to hear me when I tried to tell You about what I already did, what I was already capable of. What You did do was hand me a print-out of Your special, guaranteed to burn the fat right off workout plan. It didn’t matter that I had existing health problems - that’s why I was trying to get fit and lose weight in the first place - and that despite losing 50 pounds that I still have chronic bronchitis and have trouble breathing well during a workout.

You didn’t care about what I needed from a workout or from a trainer. What You cared about was shoving Your special, soon-to-be-famous program down my throat, whether it was good or safe for me. At any time when I tried to mention my own capabilities and limits, You let me know in no uncertain terms that what I had being doing was completely useless. If I wasn’t working out Your way, at Your suggested intensity, then I was wasting my time (and perhaps, by extension, Your time).

And I tried it. You were the expert, after all. So what if the past year of “wasting my time” had netted me a 50 pound loss? So what if it had worked and had kept me coming back? You had the training, the education, and the experience.

But I was miserable. I hated every workout, and every time You would pass by in the gym I would shrink, worried that I wasn’t doing it right. An entire year of healthy living and 50 pounds gone and suddenly it just wasn’t good enough anymore. *I* wasn’t good enough anymore. Within a couple of weeks I started skipping gym days because I hated it. I felt uncomfortable and self-conscious and worried the entire time during my workouts. Not long after that I just quit going altogether. Exercise was no longer fun, it was just hard and humiliating.

You convinced me that I wasn’t good enough. In truth, that part is my fault, because I let You do it. You reminded me that no matter what I did, no matter how hard I worked, no matter how much weight I lost, that I was still just a lazy, stupid fatty to people like You. I was still an object to be ridiculed and hated. And why should I bother to take care of something worthless?

A person will only stick with something they hate for so long, even if they are doing it for a good reason.

So after all this time, after I gave up on myself and haven’t been back to Your gym, to any gym, for years now, here’s the question I have for You and all the other Trainers and Fitness Experts and Gym Rats and Life Coaches... what’s actually better: The exercise that’s done perfectly or the exercise that I will actually do?

Dear Fitness Professionals, please please just listen and pay attention to me, the “disgusting” fatty (don’t think that I don’t know what you think of me). I can tell you what I am capable of today - it might be even more than You expect. I have a history. I got this way for a reason. It could be that I really *am* lazy and uninformed and spend all day stuffing my face with cake and cheese puffs. But it’s actually more complicated than that. Maybe I’m sick, maybe I got hurt, maybe I’m just broken. Or maybe, it’s just the way my body was made, maybe I’ve been fat since the day I was born, and trying to diet has just made me fatter and fatter.

I am unhealthy today, but I didn’t really plan it that way; I didn’t mean it. But at least now I’m here, in front of You at YOUR gym. Find out why. Find out what went wrong and what I need to fix it. And keep in mind that not every body needs the same thing fixed, nor do they need it fixed in the same way. Maybe I don’t need fixed at all, and I just came to you for advice or for a new challenge. But, for the love of crunches and cheese puffs, don’t assume that You know all about me by looking at the outside - find out what I NEED, and help me get that.


Image from http://www.stumptuous.com/no-fat-chicks

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Brain Freeze

I had a strange moment yesterday.

Not to provide TMI (though really, what else do I do here?), but I noticed that many of my panties are just getting too large on me - the ones I've bought most recently and in a larger size. A couple of pair of pants are too large as well, but that's what belts are for. And I found myself wondering if I should take them in a bit (they are in quite good shape) or just put them away for "when I get big again."

For just a second, my brain froze as something astounding occurred to me...



I am not on a diet.

Image via fitblogger.ca