Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Reflecting on a not-so-spiffy weekend, and talking about GIRL POWER

As I mentioned earlier, my weekend was kind of hit or miss on eating.  Not mindful, not at all.  Yesterday, which is technically part of my weekend since I don't work on Mondays, was just as not-spiffy.  There was binging on cookies and candy.  GAH.  Fodder for tonight's therapy session, anyway. 

I did finally get a hold of myself, and was uber productive in the sewing arena.  I made two blankets for Project Linus, to benefit the people in Joplin, Missouri who lost everything.  Fucking tornadoes.  I also completed two bags!  They came out awesome.  In addition, I have started piecing together another, bigger blanket for Project Linus.  Hopefully it will be done soon. 

I want to talk about GIRL POWER. 

A friend of mine posted something on a forum I frequent talking about the "Pussification" of sports, bemoaning the plethora of pink jerseys in football, etc...  I totally understood her rant, yet several women on there pointed out that using words like this is demeaning to women.  One of them said it so much better than I can:

how about we go with... not using the word vagina or any slang variations of in a manner which is a thinly veiled slam against women.   The "pussification" of sports can really only mean the "lessening of" or the "downfall of", suggesting that a "pussy" and the posession of a "pussy" is something less than. 
Pink, black, green or nude... that's not the point.  The continuous use of language that suggests women are lesser than men, is.

I like to think of myself as a feminist, yet this had never occurred to me...  I toss out "Don't be a pussy" to friends, both male and female, without a second thought.  It's generally when I'm trying to goad them into doing something!  So what I'm saying, in reality, is "Don't be a girl about it" insinuating that girls are not brave, or are weak, or whatever.  I'm HORRIFIED that this the case.  I also say "Sack up" to someone when I'm telling them to just make it happen, or to get over themselves and do something.  I think that is in the same vein...  like if they had a sack (junk, nuts, balls!) they would be braver, or more able to accomplish something.

So, OMG, I'm as bad as some of the chauvinistic assholes I hate one!  Well, probably not that bad.  But I'm pledging to try and remove this language from my vocabulary.  It won't be easy, tho.  These are things I've grown up saying.  Here's a list of the stuff that I need to not only stop saying, but start calling people on:
  • Don't be a pussy
  • Sack up!
  • Does your pussy hurt? 
  • That's ballsy.
I'm kind of embarrassed that those are a part of my vocabulary, anyway.  So this can't possibly be a bad thing. 

We, as women, still get bombarded with notions that we need protection, or taken care of, that somehow we aren't as strong or brave as the menfolk around us.  I don't know if you've seen those ridiculous jewelry commercials (like this one, that makes me want to fucking puke, and boycott Kay Jewelers):
But COME ON!!  ::insertbarfysmileyhere::  Are women really enamored by this sort of thing?  And if so, how do we stop that bullshit?  This is one of many ways our media, society, whatever, are telling us how to be, how to act, what is ok, and what is not.  Fuck that noise.  I don't need some dude to protect me from a thunderstorm.  The roof over my head will do that, thankyouverymuch.  There is so much more wrong with jewelry commercials, don't get me started!

I'm going to tie this back into ME.  After all, this is a blog about me.  :D  So dumbass commercials like that, and diet/fitness magazines are all in the business of selling us something.  I get that.  It's their job.  And all they are doing is making money off people who believe the bullshit they are fed.  But diet/fitness magazines, diet books, blah blah blah are all telling us how we should look, act, and be. 

Oh, you don't look like this 6'1" model dressed in workout clothes?  Do this workout and you will. 

What, your thighs touch each other?  Well, they shouldn't.  Go on this diet.

Do you have a bit of a tummy roll?  Well clearly you need to hate yourself, so do this workout and don't eat chocolate ever again, and maybe, just maybe you'll be worthy. 

Just have some willpower, really. 

It never occurred to me that this stuff was affecting me like this until I wiped it out of my life.  I threw out every fitness magazine I had.  I can feel myself getting sucked into it when I'm standing in line at the store and Shape, Fitness, Women's Health, etc are blaring at me to "Lose weight fast!" or trying to sell me the latest and greatest (not really, everything you read in those is pretty much recycled information cloaked in pretty colors and spiffy pictures of models being thin & happy) diet/exercise tips.  But the lack of noise in my brain since getting that crap out of my life is amazing.  It's one thing to read about a workout, to be inspired, to get new ideas, etc...  it's another when all the articles around it are about diets, or even worse, ads about diets, diet books, or DIET PILLS.  I've pared down my blog reading to sites that are devoted to real information, not gimmick or hype or diets of any sort. 

Women of the world, embrace yourself, just as you are.  RIGHT THIS SECOND.  Not how you'll be in two months after you do X to "fix" whatever part you don't like.  Now how you wish you were.  But love yourself for the strong, smart, gorgeous person you are now. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops

Ok, really, it's just sunshine I want to talk about.

It's been raining here in Colorado for nearly 2 weeks.  Every day it's rained, or rain/hailed, or rain/almost-snowed.  Yuck.  It's been chilly, damp, cloudy, and gray.  Apparently, those of us who have been living in the land of 300+ days of sunshine do not know what to do when it's dreary for 2 weeks!  I didn't realize how much my mood was suffering until this morning.  I grudgingly rolled out of bed to go workout with my neighbor...

We ran maybe 15 minutes, then did a 20 minute circuit workout alternating my TRX with stuff like burpees, mountain climbers, etc.  The sun was shining, there was a cheery breeze, we were looking right at the the expanse of Rocky Mountains to the west of us.  It was a pretty damn good way to start a day!  While my arms feel like they are inhabited solely by jello right now, I feel great.  The sunshiny start to this day did my mind some good.  I'm sure the workout endorphins didn't hurt.  Now I am getting ready to shower so I can go to walmart to get thread (I apparently never sew on green or orange fabric!) and then to the Sunflower Market to get some produce.  Then I'm going to come home and sew up a storm!  I may take a break at some point to go outside and plant some stuff that has been sitting in pots for 2 weeks, waiting for enough dry weather to get them in the ground.

I am energized, recharged, and feeling more positive.  It's like the sun gave my soul a big fluffy hug.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Holy Schnike, I'm old

So today, day of alleged rapture, my little brother turns 30.  THIRTY.  Holy shit!  If he's thirty, I'm OLD.  It's hard for me to wrap my head around this!  It's weirder to me that he's thirty than the fact that I'm thirty three.  Although, I have to be honest, that seems un-possible as well.  :D

For his birthday, my mom posted a whole bunch of pics of him on facebook.  Lots of old pictures, from when he was a kid.  I'm even in some of them!  One of my favorites is us on Halloween, when I was maybe 8 (?).  I was a hippie of some sorts, and he was a slice of pizza.  I vividly remember that Halloween, walking around the small town where our grandma lives.  It was cold, and he was shaped like a piece of pizza, and the wind kept blowing it around.  Isn't it funny, how even now, I can remember knowing I needed to make sure he was ok?  But he was sure a cute little sucker back in the day.  And I can really see how my niece is a little tiny version of him sometimes.

Just for shits & giggles:
The Hippie and the Pizza

And you know what?  All of this has made homesick like crazy.  Insanely homesick.  It's probably no coincidence that today was filled with comfort foods in no small quantity.  I didn't think about it when we were eating, but um, yeah.  Jeez.  I thought I had a better handle on this than I do, apparently.  I'm going to really need to find a way to stay in the moment this coming weekend when I'm home, and surrounded by food, family, and good times.  It all kind of blurs together for me, and I suspect that is one of the reasons that I find such comfort in food when I'm homesick.

Today has been the opposite of calm and mindful.  My head has been all over the place, loudly alerting me to the fact that all is not well inside.  I'm very grateful that I'm going home next weekend because I need to see my family.

Also on my mind has been the impending one year anniversary of my brother nearly dying.  It feels as fresh right now as it did then.  I feel gripped with fear at the thought of losing him, and watching his family hurt.  I want to put him in bubble wrap and make him sit still and be safe.  I'm sure he would be mortified to hear how much I worry about this, and obsess over it.  But I can't seem to knock the thoughts out of my head.  He would tell me, in his "I'm an Army drill sergeant" way that he's "fine".  Which is code for "stop worrying about me."  Ah, if only.

Last year, we were headed home for Memorial Day weekend to go to my cousin's wedding.  About an hour from home, literally in the middle of the night, my mom finally got thru to me (the cell service in western kansas BLOWS) to tell me my brother had collapsed at a concert.  No one really knew what the status was.  Alive?  Dead?  Brain damage?  That began the most horrible scary emotional stressed 48 hours of my life.  I didn't sleep or eat in that time.  I'm so fucking grateful that he's still alive, and is ok.  As we head home this Friday, I'm thankful that we are doing it at a different time of day, and that when we get to mom's house, my brother and his family will be arriving there shortly after us.  I'm hopeful that this year Memorial weekend will be a happy time.  We'll all be in one place, and quite frankly, my brother will be damn lucky if any of us let him out of our sight long enough to pee.  I'm going to make him run and workout with me, not because he needs it or anything, but because I want someone to be watching him when he does it.  I'll even humor my mom and carry my cell phone when we go for a run, just in case.

I literally feel trapped by the worry sometimes.  I know it isn't useful.  It's energy spent on something I can't control or do anything, ANYTHING, about.  It doesn't feel good.  Fear is a crazy cruel bitch, and I'd like to stab her straight thru the heart so she'll knock it the f*ck off.  I want to exorcise her from my head.

Tomorrow is a new day, one I hope to fill with things to occupy my mind and hands.  I have multiple bags to complete, and I have a good hard workout planned with my neighbor.  All of this will, hopefully, contribute to a more mindful and peaceful day.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Grilling Season is upon us!

Mmmm.  I love grilling.  It means I get to share the cooking duties, first of all.  And second of all, it's tasty and healthy.  Win-win-win, I say.  Right now we have chicken breasts on the grill and baked taters in the toaster oven.  You'll notice a distinct lack of green things in our meal.  I don't even really have anything I could half-heartedly try to include!  So we'll have fruit for dessert.  Yum.  I just bought some cherries today!

This weekend has been fairly non-binge-y.  We haven't really done much of anything this weekend...  in fact, I'm not sure what all occupied our days.  While I'm sure there are more productive ways to spend our time, it was nice.  We did go get ice cream on saturday while we were out looking at trees at the nursery.  And it was delicious.  Mmmmm.  It's so freeing to not feel like a giant blob-o-fatass after eating ice cream.  Legalizing it apparently stuck.

One of the tools that my therapist has given me is the idea of doing something else when I'm feeling that urge to graze, or eat mindlessly, or binge.  We tossed around ideas, and one that we settled on that I was stoked about was coloring.  Like, in coloring books.  So I amazoned it up and found myself four fun adult coloring books.  Again, adult does not equal porn here.  It equals coloring books not filled with Disney fairies and and Pokemons (are those even still cool?).  Lots of geometric shapes, patterns, designs, etc.  One of them reminds me of this really awesome toy that I was always fascinated with as a kid.  I never had one, but I used to play with the one that belonged to my uncles, while at my Grandma's house.  The Spirograph.  Seriously, I loved that thing.  I may have to get one, matter of fact.  Although as I look at the one on Amazon, it sounds like a crappy new version.  Hmmm.  Anyway, sorry about the detour...

So I colored a fair amount this weekend.  Here is what I observed:

  • I need to buy a pencil sharpener!  I have the red colored pencil pretty much worn to a nub.  
  • I love color.  I like to mix up the colors and shapes and find stuff that goes together.  This felt familiar to me, much like I do with my bags and sewing.
  • When I'm coloring, I'm really focused.  Kind of in a zone.  It's nice.  I'm not thinking about much else.  I was coloring while we were watching TV, and I could pretty much follow along by listening, but I was really focused and it definitely distracted me from thinking about snacking or worrying.  
The distraction factor is pretty much da-bomb-diggity.  It was peaceful and quiet in my head.  Kind of what I always imagine swimming should be.  You know, you see someone gliding thru the water, and you know it's all silent for them, and they are moving effortlessly, all strong, lean, and graceful.  In reality, swimming, for me, is a splashy, chokey, erratic, choppy non-peaceful experience.  I always want to find that peace and quiet and grace.  So I'm not sure what it says about me that I get that from coloring with colored pencils instead of swimming...  but I'll take it.  I'm way better at coloring than swimming anyway!

What could I do, and get paid for it, that allows me to be creative all day?  Because that would something I would very much like.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A case of wine and a stress-y week

I'm on Glass #1.  Which is just the right amount.  I ordered a case of wine from Huber Winery in Indiana when I was visiting my Imaginary Friend Scooby.  This wine is something that comes from the gods of awesomeness.  Mmmmmmmmmmmm.  I drank wine, ate steak and french fries.

Now I'm watching some eye candy on NCIS LosAngeles.  You know who is hot?  LL Cool J.  Chris O'Donnell.  The guy who plays Deaks.  Me likey.  Oh, and during the commerical breaks?  Previews for The Hangover 2.  With Bradley Cooper.  Quite possibly the best looking dude ever.  He's on my laminated list.

This week was stress-y.  Today especially.  Lots of me disappointing people, me being all ball drop-y.  Oh, and there is the small detail of my co-worker trying to steal away one of my programs.  One of the ones I like.  And it appears that my boss has been aware of all of this and has shared very little with me.  So we have some tough convos coming up next week.

I'm officially going to do some job searching.  :(

Sunday, May 8, 2011


I learned this word from George on Top Shot.

Gah.  Today was rough, foodwise.  It started with Reese's Easter Eggs on sale.  Then it turned into wine.  Then a few brownies.

I got my adult coloring books, which I should have used today, instead of the food.  I was looking for something to procrastinate this project I'm unsure about.  It will probably turn out just fine, but it's still up in the air.  I need to really think thru how it's going to work, and apparently when I need to think something like that thru, or procrastinate an unknown, I eat.

The wine was with dinner (which was healthy, delicious, and on the grill!) and did not do good things for me.  I like to eat when I'm drinking to offset how loopy I get so quickly.  I'm not sure if I need to hide all food from my view or work up my alcohol tolerance!  :D  It's a good thing I don't really do it often.

My tummy hurts and I'm sleepy now.  Some sort of food & wine coma is coming on.  My tummy has hurt a lot lately after eating.  I need to pay better attention to what I eat and how I feel afterwards, because I suspect something I'm eating isn't agreeing with me.

This scattered post brought to you be Catawba Rose wine from Huber Winery.  Mmmmmm.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

fake it till you make it

That's what this post is attempting to do.  I'm going to try to focus on the positive stuff so that I don't get stuck in the big negative (work-related fuck up, that I've been crying about since my boss talked to me) void that is my head right now.

I had a simply fabulous weekend in Cinci with my imaginary running friends.  I slept (next to, really) with three hot women.  I drank some wine.  We ate good food.  And it rained.  A lot.  I did a good job of not beating myself up about my lack of training, and therefore lack of running in this race.  I have started to be more ok with not needing to run 13.1+ miles in order to be a real runner.  It's still a work in progress, fo shizzle, but I enjoyed not running in the rain, I can tell ya that.

I had an opportunity to hang out with my friend Gingerbread (that's her imaginary running friend name, not her parent-given name :D) and I love being in her presence.  She is the most comfortable-in-her-own-skin person I have ever met.  Being around her more would be very very good for me.  I shacked up with her the night before the race, so that our racers could get good sleep, and so that she and I could spectate together the next day.  Her hotel room was rad.  I kind of wanted to move in there.  My other imaginary running friends were fun, funny, and awesome, and I'm so damn grateful they are in my life.

Therapy last night was good.  I love the feeling I have when I leave there.  I feel a bit freer (is that even a word?) as I jauntily walk to my car.  The lack of judgement by my therapist is fabulous.  And while I realize that if she were judgy, she'd be a shitty therapist, it's still nice!  I'm working on a number of things right now:

  • Trying not to be as black and white (I screwed up at work, but this does not mean I should be fired or that I suck at everything, allegedly) about a lot of things.
  • Riding the anxiety/worry/sadness wave, knowing that it will go back down, and that I don't have to binge or overeat to make the feelings go away.  They will get there on their own.  Promise.  I should have a sign made to hang on my computer, my fridge, and my bathroom mirror.  
  • Mindful eating.  This is one of those subjects that I've always thought was pretty much a load of utter shit, but I'm coming around.  Yesterday, as I was working, and shoveling trail mix into my mouth in a started-out-hungry-ended-up-distracting-myself-from-a-dreaded-upcoming-meeting feeding frenzy, I looked down and realized how much trail mix I'd eaten without any real recollection of it, other than it was something to DO, both in general and with my hands.  So maybe there is something to this mindful, stopping to enjoy your food thing.  Maybe.  
  • I need to go buy toys to occupy my hands.  While talking to my therapist, without realizing it, I described three incidents where I actually verbalized that I needed something to do with my hands because of nerves or whatever.  So we are going shopping this weekend for something fun to play with at work.  For home, I'm going to buy coloring books.  My friend Katrina will love this... I shared with my therapist that when we were in college and needed a distraction we would color.  In kids' coloring books.  So I'm going to buy some more adult ones (they have super fun ones now) to color in at home.  And when I say "adult ones" please know I'm not going to wear out my peach colored crayon coloring in wenises and boobies.  I mean stuff like this:

  • there may or may not be actual paisley in there
  • A Chip Challenge.  Specifically, a Cheeto challenge.  I love those neon orange bits of crunchy goodness.  So.Much.  But I never, ever have them.  I don't buy them, I don't think about them, I don't even entertain the notion of being able to control myself around them.  I know it just doesn't happen.  But...  as we have discovered thru this therapy process, legalizing food and eating it when it sounds good goes a long ways towards preventing a binge and making it not seem like the binge is the last time I ever ever ever get to have this food.  It's definitely working with ice cream.  I actually turned down an ice cream run the other night because I genuinely didn't want any.  That is a first, folks.  So anyhoo, we are going to attempt this with cheetos.  Since I lost weight, I cut out chips & their evil cousin cheetos, under the assumption that I can't hack it.  When I am at a party with chips, I gorge myself on them, like a dying woman who will never see the bright orangey cheesy light again.  So I'm purposefully getting some portion controlled cheetos at lunch when we go to subway.  Baby steps.  
I feel like I am missing something here, but it will come to me.  

So right now I'm blogging instead of scrounging for something to eat, while I ride the anxiety wave back down.  I'm hungry, since it's 9:13 pm and I have not eaten dinner, but I'm almost afraid to make something for fear of opening a giant Pandora's box of binge eating.  I'm going to have to eat something soon, however.  I'm hoping the wave will have subsided by then.