Saturday, February 16, 2013

Moving this blog

Hi folks,

For those of your who actually subscribe to these posts, I'm migrating over to

I'm finding that as I write on A Big lass, that I want to set up varying levels of privacy in my postings and, unfortunately, Blogger doesn't have as much flexibility as Wordpress. I'd love for you to join me over there if you're interested.


Monday, February 11, 2013

rolling boulders

...So the question is, which boulder are you going to choose to roll? The "must lose weight'" boulder or the "fuck you, I will boldly, defiantly accept the body I've got and live in it" boulder? It's backbreaking and frequently demoralizing work either way. But only one way can lead to real sexual power, to real ownership of your body, and to real strength and confidence...
from "How to Fuck a Fat Woman" by Kate Harding

Saturday, February 9, 2013

a learning curve

It's been a while since I last blogged on "A Big Lass." There are many reasons- the most tangible being transition and the most amorphous being shame. In 2012, my life was re-routed in ways I'd never dreamed of. Each transition contained positive and negative components. Each transition effected my body.

  • I tried a new medication to help my "adult acne"- and happened to be one of the >3% of patients that experienced the weight gain side effect to the tune of 20+lbs in 6 weeks. Devastating and triggering.
  • I got a new job and began drinking with donors, eating on the run, and working longer hours. But, I joined a gym and learned that I love midday workouts and spin. I began to feel confident in my capacity to grow, in my skills and capacity. My weight- although heavier- remained stable. 
  • My marriage began to fall apart. I avoided my home, ate out, and drank to sleep. I hurt my wife and hurt myself with my absence. I started crying and stopped going to the gym. My weight slowly crept up another 10lbs. Yet, I reached out and found a therapist for the first time. 
  • We separated and I moved out- and I coped the best I could. With less of the best coping mechanisms: food, drinks, and work. I learned to be by myself and where I struggle with that.
  • I began a new relationship- which then officially became a relationship. And I was reminded that body size isn't the only factor for attractiveness. I remembered how femme I am, and that I like to embody femme. I learned to communicate. I shared my fears, failures and needs. And despite expecting to, I didn't get burned. I found patience and caring. 
  • I began to burn out at work- working hours that added up and still didn't leave enough time for my one-stop shop position, wrestled with the politics of human resources, and did it with little praise. 
  • I slipped into a depression that I didn't share with anyone- simply cried and drank glasses of wine until I could sleep at night. I held my feelings in- about my marriage, the devastation of cancer in friends' lives, my own brush with cancer re-occurring, my body, my job, my decisions. And it manifested in insomnia and panic attacks. 
  • I moved again- to a new home that would allow my dog to come home to me. I moved in with a new roommate and with (at the time) the "guy I was dating" (now "boyfriend") and had tough, good conversations about setting boundaries, our needs and wants for this change. We wrestled through the holidays with the stress of moving, the stress of impending divorces, and (for me) the stress of hating my body once again.
  • I began to settle. Painted my room. Decorated. Bought a Christmas tree and new decorations- turquoise, pink and sparkly. A femme tree. I shared a new tradition of a Jewish Christmas-  watching a friends' cats in the morning while talking to my family, opening stockings then making big breakfast with my boyfriend, opening more presents, napping, movie-ing, and eating Chinese food at 10pm. I truly enjoyed the difference- and appreciated my bf's efforts to give me a holiday. I realized I'd been drinking too much for months and the implication of that in a family that's wrestled with alcoholism. I realized needed to try something new for my body. I vowed to try to be nicer to myself. 
  • I kept working and working, pushing for my hour a day at the gym, and in the fighting, realizing that I needed to leave. And, then, I was laid off eight days into the new year. To say it took me by surprise was an understatement. I panicked. Reached out to my therapist, family and friends for support and found it. 
And here I am. My body is still reeling and my psyche is still reeling from all of the transition. I am, today, 35lbs heavier than I was last April. I hate it. I question my body every day and I'm wrestling to be gentle to my body- to my self. Most days I don't have an appetite and am convincing myself to eat. Some days though I want to binge of chocolate and sweets. I'm figuring out that balance. My weight isn't changing- the pounds aren't "dropping off" or "adding up". 

I've not wanted to write about my experience of the past few months because it's felt like body-failure. I'm back to the weight I was when I began dating my ex-wife in 2007. I tried so hard to change my body, and I managed to. Through Weight Watchers, running and consciousness. And here I am again- at the beginning. I've not wanted to admit that I didn't make this weight loss, my new body, stick. That I added on the pounds like so many others who wrestle with weight do. I've wanted to be different. 

And yet, I have grown in healthier ways. I'm learning through therapy to talk about the dynamics underneath my body/weight issues. I'm learning to compliment myself. I'm learning that alcohol is not good for me. I'm learning that exercise is. I'm learning that I need to sing and move. I'm learning to slow down. This lay-off is a blessing, giving me time to reflect on who I am and what I want. Who I want to be. What I want to do with my life. Which patterns I want to give up. 

So, I'm not going to end this blog entry as I have with so many in the past with a plan or a promise. I don't know what yet to do for my self and my body. I'm figuring it out as I go. I know I need to move for my psyche and so have joined the local (cheaper) gym. I'm signing up for a few races- one a month through May- to keep me motivated and as an experience to share with my new friend Erin with whom I go walking and talking every week (we ran a 5K winter race together in December and loved it!). I'm keeping sacred space and time for reflection and prayer. I[m writing. I'm surrounding myself with lovingkindness. And, that's all I've got folks. No plan. No promises. Just a few thoughts and some steps I'm already taking- to increase my self-love and release this shame I've been carrying.

Friday, December 28, 2012

In perspective

Today was a day of wins and losses.

Win: I woke up feeling sexy and smiley.

Win: I eat a healthy breakfast and had a snack midmorning

Win: I worked out for 45 minutes at the gym on the elliptical and ski machine.

Win: I still felt sexy and smiley in the early afternoon.

Loss: I didn't pack any protein for lunch, so got tired and head-achey in the late afternoon.

Win: I bought super easy to cook, healthy food at Trader Joe's.

Loss: I also bought lentil chips, which I opened in the car as I was hungry.

Loss: I had a feelings reaction that I held in, which made me want to drink a second glass of wine.

Win: I didn't open the bottle or pour the second glass.

Loss: I ate too much garlic bread instead. (It wasn't even that yummy)

Win: I came to bed and wrote in my feelings journal as much as I could stand.

Win: And then I decided to write this post to put the food/health part of my day in perspective.

Win: Now I don't feel like the day was a total loss.

That's a much better perspective.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I get the most worried when I binge without knowing why. When I binge sober. When I binge alone, in bed, and feel empty after. I worry most when my stomach is not distended and I could reach for another round. When I'm tired but fighting sleep. When I don't want to vomit. When I want to vomit. When I don't cry, can't  cry, or don't want to cry. I worry most when I don't know how I'm going to get the title "recovering bulimic" back. When it feels overwhelming to create a plan. When I give up and give in. I worry most those nights.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Focusing on the argument...

I've learned that I can dictate to myself from my new iPhone and so write these blog entries with more ease and efficiency.

I like this process of dialoguing with myself out loud. For some reason talking to myself keeps me more honest; I don't censor my words as I do when I'm typing them.

I'm trying to wrap my arms around myself these days and give myself a big hug. I'm struggling. I'm struggling both hug myself-to give myself the love and encouragement that I know is necessary- and I'm struggling to give myself this hug because I'm struggling in this journey of food and exercise and body and weight loss.

While meditating on how I could better love my body earlier this week, I was guided to focus on the argument instead of on the outcome.

For my whole life I've equated loving my body without a certain size are certain weight. In actuality, even when I've reached those numbers I have not loved my body any more. This spiritual guidance I've received this week is challenging me to think about the argument-the process and the day-to-day living in this body. Loving my body is not about focusing on what my body could be but is about focusing on what my body already is and loving that. I'm struggling with the actualization of this concept.

I'm really good at putting myself down. At cracking those snide tight pants jokes and making the flippant fat girl comments-these are all self-directed, of course. I'm really good at looking in my body and thinking about what it isn't:
  • It isn't slim.
  • It isn't toned.
  • It isn't healthy.
  • It isn't beautiful.
  • It isn't attractive.
This commentary (while I third-person other it toward my body) is really directed toward my self. And it's soul-crushing. I know this, so why not stop?

Because it's taken me years to get here. I remember participating in this commentary when I was just a little girl-perhaps 10 years old.

 The process of redefining dialogue with my body is 20 years in the undoing. That's significant.   However, despite the daunting task of focusing on the arguments and redefining my process with my body, I find myself at a juncture where it's imperative to do so. My inert recovering bulimic identity has been jostled out of hibernation with the stress of the summer. And, unfortunately she's reappeared with all of her (very active) bulimic beliefs and coping mechanisms.

I don't want to be bulimic.

So, while I have to focus on my behaviors (eating habits, exercise), At this point I must also focus on my mind and my heart. I have to work on being kind to myself- to wrap myself up in that self-appreciative hug and hold on tight because 20 years from now, I want to be consistently thinking about (and believing) all the great things my body and I embody- strength, beauty, and gentleness. Happy and healthy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An embodied love letter

My dearest body,

I never promised you that this would be easy, but I didn't realize that it would be this difficult. This time that I need to invest in you exhausts me. I sometimes want to give up on you-just forget that you need the amount of care that you do.

It's even down to the little things- like remembering to bring tennis shoes so you can work out with your trainer. I didn't do that today. Now, you have to explain to your trainer why you're missing your appointment. You already feel guilty about this. And I? All I can do is shake my head and say "I'm sorry that I forgot again." Tell you that I'm trying but that I don't know how to make this any better because I feel pulled in 101 ways every day. I know that it effects you.

See, I see you tossing and turning in your sleep. I watch you rubbing your neck and shoulders. I feel you wrestling with the desire to eat that piece of chocolate or drink that glass of wine. I accompany you when you're pacing outside-walking around the block when you cannot contain your stress at work. I witness the tension rising with the tears behind your eyes. I know that all of this effects you.

I'm still not sure what I can do differently. I am trying the best I can. On the days that I don't wake up in time I still buy you breakfast- even though the cost of doing so is eating me alive. I still feed you. I take my vitamins and drink water. I read and attempt to relax. I try to sleep for you.

I motivate myself to walk around the block, and to walk around the pond, and-like last night-to go out for a run. I like it when we run together. I feel connected to you then.

All this to say that I guess I'm apologizing for not being perfect (which is really no apology at all because none of us are perfect). But I do want you to know that I care about you and that I'm trying. I really am trying. And I'm listening. So keep telling me that you're stressed, keep telling me that you're tired, and keep telling me what you need. I will listen to you. And, I'll do the best that I can to take care of you because I love you.