Sunday, January 17, 2010

F-A-T is a four letter word.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine. We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I've always heard it said that people are fat because there is some sort of payoff in being fat. Most times it's attributed to some sort of protection - like somehow the extra layer of adipose tissue can protect the person from suffering emotional pain. I have no doubt this has been the case for me for many years. And although I have accepted this concept at face value (fat = protection), I never really knew what it was I was "protecting" myself from. I think I now have a better idea....

I like to be noticed. I like to feel attractive. I mean, who doesn't? And although most days I do not feel this way, I am aware that sometimes others find me to be so. And on the days that I would agree with them? Then all the better. I should be able to feel attractive without feeling like I need to apologize for it.

(maybe even fabulous.... every once in awhile.... on a good hair day and with the right pair of shoes...)

But, I also want people to like me for me. The “me” that has nothing to do with how I look. The “me” that writes this blog. The “me” that has crazy dreams (literally and figuratively). The “me” who just wants to be seen.

In my friendships, I tend to gravitate towards men. Not because of any need to have them fulfill some typically "male" role in my life, I just find that my sense of humor often times meshes better with men. I was a tomboy as a child. At heart, I guess I still am. I am just a tomboy who appreciates a cute pair of heels with my jeans.

Regardless, many of my friendships over the years have been with men. I have a few good girlfriends, but I find that many women seem to keep me at arms length until they can figure what to make of me. Am I out to steal their man? Do I think I am better than them? Am I? Women are too complicated. Men are simple.

However, there have been times in my life when these simple men make things difficult. Friends whom I may adore, start to “adore” me for the wrong reasons. And most times I am completely blind to this. Until it blindsides me and someone ends up hurt. Then the friendship falls apart. Maybe I missed the signs. Maybe their intentions were not the same as mine to begin with. But I am not callus enough to constantly question human motivation.

Being fat? Actually eliminates some of these problems. I mean, I can still pursue friendships with men. It’s just that those who choose to befriend me are more likely to be doing so for who I am. Maybe it’s because I can (and will) eat a whole cheese steak in one sitting instead of picking at a salad. Maybe it’s because not only do I like to watch football, but I yell at the TV and curse like a trucker. Or maybe it’s because I can stay up all night playing poker. Whatever it is? It’s not likely to be all about what I look like.

Being fat? Also makes my friendships with women easier. Women are FAR less put off by me the heavier I am. Suddenly I very easily fill the unassuming role of the “charming fat friend”. All of a sudden, they can see my personality. And let me tell you what - that personality? It radiates. But it radiated equally well when I was thin. They just didn’t see it.

(Maybe no one ever sees it.....)

Maybe that is why I tend to gravitate back to being fat time and again. Maybe I am protecting “me” from me. Maybe I am trying to protect myself from being hurt, misunderstood, or alienated. Maybe I am less vulnerable when I am fat.

But the irony is? I am so much more personally isolated the more I weigh. I don’t feel safe and/or loved for who I am. I feel less capable of loving myself. Because I know instead of holding myself up to the level of treatment I should expect for myself, I stuffed my fears and pain right back down with food.

I think I am powerful beyond all measure. I don’t think I should have to shrink (or, in this case, grow) so that others around me will feel more comfortable. I want to be comfortable with who I am - inside and out - without it changing how I have to interact with others.

Maybe they need to look inside and recognize their own power and light.

Or maybe they just need to go eat until they feel better about. Because I don’t want to anymore.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

You know how in the movies there's always music playing in the background?

I so deserve my own theme-music.

The other day, I was perusing facebook on my phone while on my way home (not whilst driving, thank you very much) and I clicked on a link posted by a friend of mine. A quality song from the 90's that I had completely forgotten I loved. But, as I was listening to it for the second time, I arrived home and had to get the groceries out of the car. So, instead of stopping said song, I threw my phone in my pocket and left it playing.

The effect? Theme music playing as I was sauntering up our front walk. It was a thing of beauty.

I only wish I could have been doing something cooler. The groceries sort of ruined the effect.

From now on? When I need effect? (and don't have my hands full of groceries?) Theme music.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year = New Observations

So, I went to the gym on Wednesday this week in an effort to work on one of my resolutions. It was either the one about me being fat or needing more exercise, but my being there would potentially serve both I guess, so it was clearly a twofer.

It was a terribly successful endeavor. Got out of work late, so by the time I got there and got changed, I had approximately 25 minutes or so to make the massive bodily-transformation I need. Obviously I went right for the recumbent bike. Because nothing says "bodily-transformation" like a piece of gym equipment that only requires the use of my legs - thus leaving my hands free for my iPhone.

(Priorities people. Get some.)

But before I even made it to the bike of laziness (seriously, the woman next to me was reading a trashy novel and peddling even slower than I was. My guess was her new year's resolution was simply to find some quiet time to read and to get away from her husband and kids, chose the gym. It seems logical to me.) I noticed something else that gave me pause.

What is it with the skinny chicks getting changed in the locker room like they are afraid someone might see their body? Um, hello? skinny chick? Let me tell you something. I am here so I can try to look the way you already look. If I had your body, I would be getting changed at such a leisurely "look at my perky boobs" pace that I wouldn't have had any time for the bike of laziness.

I mean, let me preface this by saying that I am far less self-conscious now than I was when I was younger - which is ironic, because back then I did look good, and had perky boobs, and would have liked to have flaunted it had I realized I had "it", but now? all post-child body that is busted up by MS meds? NOT a pretty sight. Do I care? Nope, stripping right down to get changed. Don't like it? Don't look. We all have the same parts anyway and quite frankly any woman naked is still a thing of beauty compared to a naked man.

(Honestly, admit it ladies: there is nothing inherently attractive about your average naked guy. Weird hair and things all hanging.... ew. A woman's body? Still inherently beautiful in that "every woman is a goddess" kind of way. You know I'm right.)

And there were two things that gave me pause at this juncture. 1. the gym was crazy crowded - it was the first week of the new year, I get it. And 2. most of these newly enthusiastic clients were skinny chicks. What are you doing here skinny chicks? And why, oh why, are you so self-conscious that you feel the need to put your sports bra on over your regular bra before you take off the other bra from underneath all escape artist style?

I don't know whether to go hug these girls and tell them that are beautiful just the way they are or slap them silly for not realizing it. (ah, the ever raging conflict between my inner mom and inner bitch.) But either way? I wish someone would have done that for me when I was their age. Because I missed out on some prime "look at my perky boobs" flaunting time.

I want a do-over.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why can't I sleep like a normal person?

So I have to get in to see my chiropractor. I have this pain in my back. Mid-way up my back on the right hand side. Started as a dull ache. Then came twinges of pain. I finally have a nice steady hurt going on. Think it's about time I get checked out.

I figure it's likely a strained muscle. Maybe all the sitting on the couch I have been doing finally got the better of me. Clearly I should be stretching before I don't exert energy all day.

Then it occurred to me: what if it's my kidney? I have no idea why it would be my kidney, but why not? I had no idea I had holes in my brain when I went in for a completely unassuming brain MRI two tears ago. Lo and behold: brain holes. So I tell my husband to prepare himself for the worst - my kidney may be next.

To which, my ever loving and supportive husband says to me, "honey, if anything, I am sure you're killing your liver, not your kidneys."

To which I then replied, "No way. If my father hasn't killed his liver by now, mine has a few good decades left on it."

But then it occurred to me: the man has some sort of super metabolism. He's got a 30 inch waist, zero body fat, and can eat ice cream after any major meal without batting an eye. Me? Not so much. I've got the opposite of a super metabolism. I am a famine survivor. Evolution loves my fat ass.

What if he has a super liver as well? And what if I didn't get that either? And where the fuck is my liver? And what does it feel like when that hurts? Shouldn't I be yellow or something?? Do I look yellow???

But it's too late. My ever loving and supportive husband is already snoring away. Blissfully unaware that his wife now has holes in her brain AND a failing liver.



Or at least a defunct kidney.

Okay, or maybe just a muscle strain.

But doesn't it seem more likely that I killed a major organ through some combination of medication and alcohol than straining a muscle through excessive disuse?? I mean seriously people, it's like I barely move. Unless I need to refill my drink.

Fuck. I need to get an appointment. Now.

And maybe a new kidney and/or liver - just in case anyone has extra ones laying around.

(and seriously, there's got to be something I can do about this snoring...)

((clearly I am not getting any sleep tonight... again.))

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I spent the new year living 15 years in the past.

I spent the evening of New Year's eve doing something I had meant to do for some time - sorting through old photos to post on Facebook to embarrass/delight my friends and family. Doing so came with a side order of nostalgia that was a bit unexpected. But apparently I enjoy the bittersweet taste.

While I had found a treasure trove of old photos of my family in random boxes in one of my mom's long neglected cabinets, I had to go searching for old photos of my friends. And seeing as I 1. hate to have my picture taken and 2. never had a camera of my own before the digital age, I wasn't expecting to find much. But I knew where to look.

When I had cleaned out my room in my parents' home - many many years ago - I had thrown all the old photos/notes/mementos from high school that I came across in to a Rubbermaid container. None of it was stuff that I had saved with a purpose, but rather the items which never got thrown away - so it was a collection of randomness at it's best. There were more photos than I expected, but they were almost all from dances and such. (ie. occasions on which I would have purchased a disposable camera to use.)

However, among all the photos, were oodles of folded up pieces of paper. Some written on in pencil and faded almost to the point of being unreadable. Some hastily folded, others folded into complicated shapes. Some which had once been crumbled up, and at least one which had been ripped in thirds.

That's right people. I had uncovered what must now surely be a long lost art form: the hand written note. Written in class, all the while hopeful that the teacher didn't catch you, and passed in the hall between classes, shoved into the little slotted opening in a locker, or, for the terribly brazen, simply handed off to a classmate while the teacher was writing on the blackboard.

(the blank area in the middle was where I was sitting on the floor amid the mess memories.)

If I read one, I read a hundred. Well, it may not have been that many, but felt like it. And while the handwriting was familiar, it was also now all but impossible to read. Like hieroglyphics that I once read with ease, but now was out of practice, and the deciphering took far more effort. But with each note opened, I knew right away whom it was from based on how it was addressed.


Some brought back memories of people, events, and conversations so clear it was as if we had just spoken on the topic days ago instead of years. Others mentioned people for whom I could no longer put a face to the name. Or answered questions that I don't remember posing. Poetry. Gossip. Songs. Pledges of love everlasting. Each a thing of beauty in it's own right - no matter how profound or banal. And each a reminder of who I was - which is a wonderful thing when you start to lose sight of who you are.

And while I spent those hours immersed in a time some 15 years+ in the past, it also made me think of the future. What would I have of this time to remember these moments? Yes, photos, to some extent. All on my computer, or phone, or flashdrive - almost none printed out. But what of correspondence? Emails long since deleted and text messages that are purged even sooner. What of these beautiful "notes"? Will there be anything for me to sort through 15 years from now to remember today's friendships? Or will I simply have to rely on my ever more unreliable memory?

If that is the case, I will have to apologize to you now. Some of you might leave no trace.