Monday, August 30, 2010

Me and My Big Mouth

Remember how a few posts ago I wrote that I didn't want to identify myself as someone with an ED anymore?
I may not WANT to, but I think I just might HAVE to.
Because, my friends, I show all the classic symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder.
Well, as classic as a symptom can be of a disorder that's only been official for a few years.
No, I don't go through 3 different drive-throughs on my way home from work, eat it all in the car and then come home and make dinner.  I don't hide in a closet while I stuff myself with box after box of cookies.  But a BIG mistake I made when I was first bulimic (and then anorexic a few years later) was telling myself I didn't have a problem because I didn't act like the girls with EDs in a "Lifetime" movie.
Last night I ate until I felt sick, then wrote in my journal "What is wrong with me?"
Because, like so many other times, I couldn't seem to stop eating.  This is happening with alarming frequency.  And my weight keeps going up. I feel sick to my stomach quite often, and have other physical symptoms, as well. 
I have been avoiding following the steps laid out by Geneen Roth.  Or maybe I could say "resisting."  I don't know why.  I DO know that no diet plan is going to help. I do know that I am scared.  I know that I'm full of anxiety and am not sleeping well.
I also know that I am changing.  In most ways, for the better.  And this is scary, and maybe I'm using food as comfort for that.  Because, as you know, food is my crutch. 
I also know that I cannot live like this anymore.  Geneen tells us that we need to choose; do I want to lose weight, or do I want to reclaim my life?
 I want my life.
MY life.
It hasn't been mine in a long, LONG time.

I have been denying my feelings for as long as I can remember.
I told myself I found complete closure with my dad before he passed away, but that's not true.  I told myself I wasn't grieving, because he's in a better place.  He is, but I am also grieving.  Sometimes, despite our differences, I miss him so much it's a physical ache.  And I don't know who to talk to about it.
The other day, at one of my job interviews, the parents of one of the employees came in.  They were staying at a hotel nearby.  I wanted my dad so much in that moment.  I wanted him to come out and visit with my mom.  I don't want her to live in that big house all by herself. I want him to email me one of his stupid jokes, the ones I laughed at but pretended I didn't.
It will be 2 years at the end of September. It's hard to believe he's been gone that long.  I dream about him sometimes, and he's always with Tundra, our Malamute who died 7 years ago and LOVED Dad because he always gave him cookies and back rubs. My mom said she recently visited a beach they (she and my dad, not the dog, lol!) used to love, and there was a second set of footprints next to hers.  And Hubby woke up in the middle of the night a few months ago and swears he saw Dad walking down the hall to go check on the kids.  Which is something he did ALL the time when my brother and I were little, and again once the grandkids came along.
G-d knows we never had an easy relationship.  We butted heads hard and often.  But we also understood each other, and shared a lot of personality traits (hence the frequent head butting), and I DEFINITELY get my sense of humor from him.
I also get my insecurity and propensity to turn to food from him.  And I know that he'd hate it if he knew that.  Maybe he DOES know.  I'm sure he hates it and blames himself. But it's not his fault.  I am an adult now, and I take responsibility for my life.  The best thing I can do is fix this, so that my kids don't learn the behavior.  G-d knows they have enough to deal with.

It seems that much of my life over the past decade has been about changing patterns.  And I'm quite proud of that! I think it's part of my reason for being here. Ending destructive patterns that have sometimes gone on for generations.
No pressure or anything, lol!
I guess you could say that I'm the Harry Potter of my clan, and these patterns are our Voldemort. It's up to me to end them, once and for all.

So, it's time for me to put aside the shame.  I'm hardly alone in my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  They don't make me weak.  Having issues doesn't make me a lesser person.  In fact, seeing as I own up to my issues kinda makes me, well...strong.
And that is something I never thought I'd say about myself.

So here I go.  Facing this food thing head-on.  With strength, love, and compassion.
And pride.
Definitely pride.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Andrew Young and Others Are Saving My Sanity

I saw an interview with Andrew Young, civil rights leader, former mayor and ambassador, on CNN today.  They were asking him his opinion on the Beck/Sharpton rallies.  He said he wishes the two rallies could get together.  He then spoke about what may be the REAL reasons for the economic recession, and the fact that we can't really blame either republicans OR democrats, and that the rallies show us that there are a lot of frustrated people looking for someone to blame, and there isn't anyone to blame. He reminded us that Dr. King asked people not to lay blame and point fingers, as that doesn't get us anywhere.

Yesterday I had a job interview for a program that teaches theater to kids with special needs.  It was a GREAT interview, an AMAZING program, and I REALLY hope I get the job!  It was heartening to speak to the young woman who runs it, and her love for the kids.  It was a reminder that not everything is going to hell, and that people still care.
Later that day I had another interview, this time for a Pilates teaching position in Palo Alto, just off University Ave., the main drag near Stanford.  It's a great area and I'd LOVE to teach there.  I'll go in  for a teaching audition at some point.  (And the fells who interviewed me reminded me SO MUCH of my brother, circa 1989. It was kinda freaky!)
If I do get the teaching position, I'll have to postpone my intensive Pilates training.  Which is fine with me.  I can do that another time.  I raellyreallyreallyreallyREALLY want this job!  Have I mentioned that? During the interview I felt myself sort of, I don't know, waking up, I guess.  Remembering how much I enjoy teaching and working with kids, and feeling like I'm helping them to discover themselves.
Afterwards I went to pick up my son from school.  His (awesome) teacher told me that he's going to be mainstreamed for 4 hours a week!  2 days in art class and 2 days in P.E., with the "typical" 4th graders! And she even insisted that he stay in the art class yesterday, when the aid brought him back for being disruptive.
I honestly don't know what we'd do without this teacher!
And my daughter's teacher managed to get the snaggletooth out!!!! She wouldn't let US touch it, but her teacher very gently got it out.  Which is great, since the permanent tooth is already coming out, lol!

It's funny; as the summer went along and I was losing clients and classes, I kept telling myself it was happening for a reason.  There were moments when that was VERY hard to believe, and made for a lot of sleepless nights.  But now, MAYBE, I'm glimpsing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Rediscovering the things that make me happy.  I still enjoy teaching my (one) class at my original gym (and I'll be working with a private client there starting next month), but there are other opportunities out there, as well.

Finally, I have been in touch with a friend from high school via Facebook.  He and I are on totally opposite ends of the political spectrum. Basically, when it comes to politics, we can't agree on the color of an orange.  But we send messages back and forth, and it puts a human face on the opposing point of view.  So instead of seeing the other side as demons, we see each other as human beings.  Human beings who have known each other since kindergarten.  Kinda hard to demonize someone when you remember them running around the schoolyard playing tag and laughing. Oh, and wearing the gawd-awful 70's clothing that our parents put us in.

So I'm making another pledge to myself to stop the hate.  To NOT get got up in the blaming, finger-pointing, I'm-right-and-you're-wrong-I'm-better-than-you-nyah-nyah stuff that seems to be so rampant these days. Because it's SO EASY for me to get caught up in it, and I REALLY have to watch myself!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Nothin' But Snark. And More Politics.

Is it just me, or have we all gotten really grumpy lately?
It seems like snark is the new plaid, which had been the new pink, which was the new black.  EVERYONE, it seems, has a snarky comment on just about EVERYTHING these days!
Charlotte at "The Great Fitness Experiment" mentions (in a very nice, anti-snark way) that some of her readers think she is "selling out" when she does a product review or free giveaway.
How is giving away stuff to readers FOR FREE selling out?!?!?!
Watch any entertainment news show and it's all nasty gossip.  Pick up "US" magazine and now they not only have the whole "who wore it better" thing,  pitting 2 (female, of course) celebs who happened to [gasp!] wear the same outfit against each other, they're now doing the same thing with celeb's KIDS! Wasn't there a time when the paparazzi at least respected the kids' privacy?  Those days are long gone! Of course, it doesn't help when a publicist calls ahead to "alert the media" that said celeb will be at a The Coffee Bean on Sunset Blvd. in Santa Monica at 11:03 AM ordering her kids a hot chocolate....
I won't get into the online bullying.  Because it breaks my heart and makes me so mad I just want to destroy something.
But now even non-humans are doing it!
Snarking, I mean.
I just clicked on which is, apparently, experiencing some technical difficulties.  No biggie, it happens.  I'll check again later.  Because Lisa, the Workout Mommy herself, is awesome! and she has NOTHING to do with what I'm about to complain (snark? Oh, hopefully not!) about  on the site.
 Because right now it says; "There's nothing here.  If there were posts in the database, you'd be seeing them. Try creating a post and see if that solves your problem."
Um...There ARE posts in the database!  Unless something happened and they were deleted!  I know this because Lisa has been posting there for quite a while!  She's been WORKING VERY HARD, writing a whole bunch of posts, for over 2 years!  So WHY is the site being all nasty-snarky and denying all of her hard work?!?!?!?!  And why can't it be polite to those of us who click on it?  Why does it have to be be all rude and sarcastic?!?!?!  Who the hell created THAT program?  Do they think they're clever? 'Cause they're not!  This is a blog, created by a woman who has 3 young boys and not a lot of time, and she doesn't need that attitude, Mister!
It's bad enough that practically every blog has its share of trolls; the people who have nothing better to do than surf the web looking for bloggers to insult.  But now the servers have attitude?!?!?!

I suppose that this wouldn't have had the same effect on me at another time.  This week , OK, the past 3 MONTHS have been just WACKY! Chock full o' stress and anxiety and all sorts of drek. No vacation this year, because of schedules and lack of funds.
But I suppose I've learned a lot.  For example: WG needs A LOT of structure when she's not in school. LG needs to get to bed earlier.  (So does Mommy, come to think of it!) And something that you'd THINK would be obvious but was a bit lightbulb moment for me: if I'm gonna work more hours, I'm gonna need regular, reliable child care!!!!  The biggest struggle for working moms everywhere!
Because I've been trying to schedule my work hours around my kids' schedule.  Which would be reasonable if we lived in a reasonable society.  But we don't.  We expect ALL moms to be stay-at-home moms and all dads to be the sole breadwinners.  Basically, we expect to live in a 1950's sitcom, despite the fact that it is the 21st century and most families need AT LEAST 2 incomes just to get by.
(Oh, and if you're a mom on welfare or government assistance, you're expected to get up off your butt and work.  Not that you'll have childcare or ANY help with the kids...)
Hubby and I get respite care for our kids because of their Autism.  But we have to pay 75% of the costs (which we can't afford) AND we only get 4 hours a week. Well-intentioned, but not helpful. Yes, we have family nearby, but they can only do so much.  So we're in a bit of a bind.  Because Hubby works full time, but doesn't make enough to cover the mortgage, which just went up.  So for all the other bills, I need to work more.  But I also need to take care of the kids. I think we are, at this point in time, a typical American family.

Things need to change.  Maybe we can't do all that much for the economy right now, but attitudes can change.  When I see members of congress stand up and say they don't want to extend unemployment benefits because it will discourage people from looking for work and make the American worker lazy, I want to bang my head against the desk.
Because the American worker works longer hours and takes fewer vacations and days off than any other worker in the industrialized world!!!  Because anytime there is a job opening, there are thousands of applicants for it!  Because so many workers have been "downsized" so that their job could be sent overseas, to be taken over by someone who is paid pennies a day.  It's not the workers, American or otherwise, who are causing the problems!
I understand businesses have an obligation to the board of directors.  But don't they also have an obligation to their employees AND to the people who buy their products and use their services?  Money isn't made in a vacuum. If you make a lot of money, sorry, you owe something to those who HELPED you make it!  Especially the ones who work for you, who have made a lot less than you have.
When we lived in L.A. I always wondered why the folks in the entertainment industry who are hugely successful rarely gave back to the community.  The schools in L.A. county are in horrible shape, homeless shelters are closing, and in the shadow of the multi-million dollar Disney Hall in Downtown L.A. is an area called Tent City.  Homeless people and families live in tents in an open lot. 
Many of the "low-level" employees at the studios are products of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Yet the studios do nothing for the schools.
Don't get me wrong, I don't believe that the rich should be told how to spend all of their money, or that it should be taken away.  I'm not a big believer in the idea that what belongs to you belongs to everyone.  I think we only need to look at the French Revolution to see how THAT turns out! But I DO believe in responsibility to each other.  That the Haves need to consider the Have-Nots every once in a while.  Especially the working poor. The ones who work 40, 60, 80 hour weeks and STILL cannot get out of the circle of poverty. 
I'm not lumping myself in with them.  (I AM worried that I may become one in the future!)  I have to wonder how great a society we can be when we not only ignore our poorest citizens, but blame them for being that way.
And why we have gone from a pretty effective system of government, one emulated throughout the world, to one that is based on, yes, snark.  Politicians don't govern anymore, they take pot shots at each other. If you watch or listen to the campaign ads, everyone bashes the competition while offering up ZERO solutions!  "Vote for me because I am not THEM."  Well, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement for your abilities, is it? What, exactly, will you do once you get into office, and HOW will you do it? ( And for the businesspeople running for office; just remember that the citizens of your district are NOT your employees, and you're gonna run in to a whole lot more bureacracy in government than you did in the private sector. 
But don't worry; there are plenty of desks for you to bang your head against! )

I think I've said it before: if you look at history (which we seem loathe to do), the great societies fell when the in-fighting began.  Is this the beginning of the end for us?
I honestly don't know. 
If we keep focusing on the small battles and lose sight of the big picture, I think it will be. So, to the politicians and ESPECIALLY the pundits; stop thinking about your legacy, keep your egos out of it, and do what's best for the country.
In other words, cut the Snark, people! There's REAL work to be done!

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's 2 AM and I'm All Messed Up

Sight misquote of a Brandi Carlile song, there.  ("These days we go to wast like wine/That's turned to turpentine/It's 6 AM and I'm all messed up." LOVE her!)
It's actually 2:30 AM, and I'm not all messed up, I'm just sad and worried.  Sad because my mom is leaving town today (she's been visiting for 2 weeks) and, as much as I'm looking forward to the kids going back to school, I'm going to miss spending the entire day with them.  In fact, since I'm now teaching 3 nights a week (and possibly one afternoon) and they're in school the full day, I'll be seeing A LOT less of them.  And that makes me VERY sad.
I'm worried because the next couple of years might be a bit rough.  Hubby is thinking of going to night school for his Masters, which would be GREAT.  I'm thinking of going for a psychology degree so that I can do drama therapy. Add that to work and family, and it means quite a bit of sacrifice for a while. Less time together, less sleep, more work.  And, yes, it scares me.
But it may also mean a better life, ultimately. Maybe working FEWER hours and spending MORE time together, eventually! Less worry about the bills and the mortgage.  Better sleep, lol!
Because I don't feel the need for the drama anymore.  I was reading a book today and one of the characters said he wanted "A quiet life, filled with love and family."  And that's what I want, too!  I don't need fame or intrigue or accolades. I USED to.  I loved the applause, the compliments, the great reviews (when they happened, which they didn't always, lol!), but I'm over it.
I want some peace and quiet, darn it!
And a good night's sleep!
So I'm gonna try and go salvage whatI can.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Poor Me?

I have a tendency to grouse.  A lot.  In case you hadn't noticed, lol!
I'm always tired.  There's never enough time, or money, or whatever.  I'm too fat.  I'm ugly.  I'm undisciplined.  Lazy. There's so much wrong with me!  Wah!!!!
The truth is, I am none of those things.  OK, chubby, but not the others.  OK, well, tired and short on time and cash.  But that's IT!
I'm certainly not undisciplined, and not lazy!  I take care of my family AND I work.  I have 2 degrees and am going for a very intense certification.  I'm looking at going back to school, as well.  I am interviewing left and right for even more work! 
And one thing I am DEFINITELY NOT is a victim!  I'm tired of seeing myself that way.  A victim of an eating disorder, less-than stellar genes, a society that doesn't understand me, etc. 
Gol-ly!  Could I make it more about ME?!?!?!  I don't think so!
See, I was filling out a survey about eating disorders, and I realized that I just don't want to identify myself that way anymore.  Don't get me wrong; EDs are serious and often deadly, and the more awareness we have about them the better.  It's sick and horrifying that so many women and men torture themselves, sometimes to death, this way.  But I realize that, at this stage of my life, I can no longer identify myself as a victim of an ED.  Because it keeps me in that place, in that out-of-control space where the only thing I felt I could do was either binge and purge or deny myself. 
I am powerful.  I have control over my life, my impulses, and myself. Food, or the lack of it, is not control for me, not anymore.  It won't make me powerful, or strong, or happy.  It's just food.  Nourishment.  I realize I have been asking an awful lot of food for as long as I can remember; to be my friend, my solace, my companion in my loneliness.  I have also punished it, calling it "bad" and hating it for making me fat. And, like the worst of dysfunctional relationships, I keep coming back to it, expecting it to love me unconditionally no matter how I treat it.
Well, lately food has been letting me know what's up: it will no longer be my crutch.  It does NOT love me unconditionally.  In fact, oftentimes it gives me pain.  Literally.  Food is declaring that it will no longer be my enabler. It will be there for me when I truly need it, but it is cutting the emotional baggage cord.
Food is growing up.
And so am I.
There is so much in my life to be grateful for.  I am SO blessed.  It's time to start remembering that, and to stop with the "woe is me" crap, already.
So...there. Ha!
I'm a grownup!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Chill, Man! (Er, Woman!)

Yesterday we took a drive, southbound, on the 1.  The PCH.  The good ol' Pacific Coast Highway, full of some of the most gorgeous scenery on the planet. We ended up at a favorite place of ours, a campsite called Costanoa.  Now, this isn't just any old campsite, it's a fancy-schmancy campsite.  We've never actually camped there, because it's actually quite pricey. AT least, I imagine it is.  They don't list prices on their website (which is never a good sign, IMHO, if you're looking for cheap digs!) There is a lodge, some cabins, some yurts, and platforms upon which you can put your tent.  Every one has an electrical outlet.  There are very nice bathrooms, with showers and SAUNAS!, a garden, some horses to ride, a little playground, a restaurant, a lounge, a general store, and a FABULOUS view of the Pacific! (There's also an awesome cat who lives there.) We go and hang out, bring a picnic, hike, play at the park, and generally just enjoy the environment. 
On the way there I was reading "Yoga Journal" and thinking, yet again, that I really NEED to do more yoga, meditate regularly, and manage my stress.   And being in the environment I was in was also helpful.  (Meditation is so much easier when your surrounded by nature, lol!)
I haven't been sleeping well.  I worry all the time about everything.  SO last night I did a guided meditation, and another, shorter one this morning.  It really does help! Being in nature helps.  I don't do enough to take care of myself.  I used to think taking care of myself meant exercising like crazy, but it doesn't.
At all.
Working out is important to me, absolutely!  But I'm starting to switch my focus from hardcore-"calorie-torching" exercises toward more mind-body.  Yes, I will still ride my bike and lift weights, but yoga is important, too.  Not so I can "melt away the fat," but to help me find the calm places, as well as my Self.I also checked my scarily-accurate horoscope last night, and it said "Survival lies in enlightened self-interest: Go the the beach. Pick flowers. Take bubble baths. Next month you'll feel like a different person."  Yeah.  It's getting kinda freaky!

OK, Confession time: Last week I joined Jenny Craig. 3 days later I canceled and got my money back.  Because the food, while pretty tasty, was making me feel sick. (There's A LOT of gluten and dairy on the menu!)
Right after I joined, on the ride home, I started to cry.  I think, actually no, I KNOW there was a BIG part of me that was already regretting my decision.  And the next day, when I was doubled over with stomach pain, I knew I had gone down the wrong road.
I need to fix my LIFE, not just my weight.  I'm FINALLY GETTING IT!
Part of that fixing is to let go of a lot of things.  Preconceived ideas, news shows, other peoples' opinions.  I know I've said this before, but I'm finally seeing how it all connects together.  I'm learning to not want things I don't need, and to pick my battles.  
I'm learning, FINALLY, to listen.

Friday, August 13, 2010

This Boat is Actually Pretty Crowded

I just watched a clip, posted on, of Stephanie Dolgoff, author of "My Formerly Hot Life."  She's 42 (I believe) and writes about being not as young or as hot as she once was. And, boy, can I relate!
Now, my own hotness lasted for a total of MAYBE 5 years, so I'm not comparing myself to her in that sense.  But she talks about her belly pooch that won't go away NO MATTER WHAT, the flabby triceps that no amount of weight training gets rid of, and goes on to say that if they made a bra for asses, she would totally buy one:  "I would wear an ass bra."
Me, too, Ms. Dolgoff.  Me too.
Which brings me back to the realization that, despite what Hollywood and legions of plastic surgeons would have us believe, we are NOT SUPPOSED to be "hot" our entire lives!!!!  If we were, we would be!  I'm not saying we should stop taking care of ourselves, but there's a big difference between taking care and starving ourselves into our teenage daughters' clothes!
Y'know what I think?  I think we need to redefine what "hot" is! Why should it be something that only 2% of the population can achieve, and for only a few years during their lives? you know what's hot?  A dad taking care of his kids, THAT'S hot! A gesture of kindness.  A woman out having fun with her kids.  A long-term couple out on a date. A person giving someone else flowers "just because."
Frankly, when I lived in Los Angeles, I knew a large number of conventionally hot, sexy people.  Most of them were NO FUN to be around, believe you me! They were overly concerned about what to eat, so you couldn't go out for a meal with them. You couldn't talk to them, because their entire conversational skills revolved around their workouts and whether or not you would sleep with them if you were single.  They tended to vacillate between insecurity and conceitedness.  So, yes, they were nice to look at, but spending more than 5 minutes with them would drive you toward homicidal tendencies.
I remember seeing an interview with a so-called "relationship expert."  This guy was in his 40's, had never been married, and was single.  How the Hades that made him a relationship expert is beyond me, and if he were female they'd be calling him a "spinster", but I digress. He was quite good-looking, but 10 seconds into the interview it became abundantly clear WHY this guy was single!  Can you say "narcissist?"  10 seconds!!!!! And THEN he was asked if he'd ever date a woman who had kids.  His response? "Well, it would depend on whether or not she's been able to keep herself in shape."  Not a single word about whether or not HE COULD GET ALONG WITH HER KID!!!!
So, WHY do we put so much emphasis on hotness?  How is it that those of us who are less-than-stellar, looks-wise, still manage to get married and have happy families? Why do we equate beauty with morality? Why am I eating food that makes me feel sick but promises to help me lose weight?  Is the suffering worth the weight loss?
And there are WAY more of us in the not-hot category than in the latter.  I realize I'm STILL caught up in this mindset of  "thinner = better life."  But does it?  DO I REALLY NEED to lose 45 pounds?  Last time I was at that weight I was anorexic, fer Pete's sake! Wouldn't 30 do just as well?  It would relieve the aches and get rid of the heartburn.  Isn't that good enough?  I've NEVER been comfortable in a bikini; why do I feel I have to strive for that NOW?!?!?!
Why are we so cowed by this ridiculous standard of beauty?  As I said, there are more of us than there are of them, and we weight more.  We could TOTALLY take them!
Or better yet, set them free from their self-made prison.
So this is me, setting MYSELF free.  Yes, I want the 30 pounds I've gained gone.  I want to be rid of the acid reflux and the back pain.  I want to be around a LOOOOOONG time, and will do everything in my power to make that happen.  But I will NOT try to re-shape myself into someone else's ridiculous ideal.  I'm too old, too tired and, frankly, too busy for that crap. 
I answer to myself. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010


So just as my back is FINALLY starting to get better, I throw my, um, neck out. I suppose I just slept in an awkward position, but I woke up in pain yesterday, just in time to sub my first class at Crunch.  So SOMETHING is going on with me!  It's most likely part of this whole feel-your-emotions, let-go-of-crap stuff. I'm trying to remember if the right side of the body is connected to the left side of the brain or whatever.  'Cause I am DEFINITELY a right-brained kinda gal, lol!
Yesterday I kept thinking "I'm tired of being in PAIN!!!!!"  I've been in some kind of pain for about 4 months.  Something is DEFINITELY going on in my subconscious, manifesting itself as aches and pains.  'Cause I'm not as young as I used to be, but I'm not a senior citizen yet, lol!  I also think it's related to my weight.  I never had these aches and pains when I was lighter.  Or had acid reflux. Yeah, fun.
So then I wondered if I should go back to the dreaded Jenny Craig.  That idea was immediately nixed because I can't afford it, I REALLY don't want to eat that food, and it doesn't last.  Yes, the weight comes off quickly, but it comes back on once you go off the program.  And I am NOT eating that crud for the rest of my life!
In the Geneen Roth online retreat she told us we need to prioritize.  I need to figure out what is most important.  Is it more immediate that I lose weight, or that I get my life back together?  At the time I thought "Well, obviously, I want my life back!  I want my SELF back.  I don't want to live my life obsessed with food, calories, and weight."  And that is still true. 
I also don't want my weight to hold me back. As I've said before, I'm tired of being the fat fitness instructor.  I'm tired of having people walk out of my classes (like someone did yesterday, 40 minutes into it.  I mean, really?  Ya can't stick it out for the last 20 minutes?  And it's not like she had an appointment, 'cause I saw her at the end of the class, and she wouldn't look me in the eye.  Yeah, that's right honey; just keep walkin'! [Can you tell what time of the month it is?]), and having my classes canceled. I hate the way people do the not-so-indiscreet scan of my body when I tell them what I do for a living, followed by the look of disbelief.  I KNOW I "shouldn't" let it get to me, but it does.  A lifetime of body hatred isn't going to go away in a matter of months, and definitely not without a lot of hard work on my part.
This time, when the weight comes off, I don't want it to be something that just sorta happens without my knowing how and why.  And I REALLY don't want that dysmorphia I've had in the past where I'm thin but still think I'm heavier. When the weight comes off, I want the neuroses to go with it. And no amount of Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers is gonna do THAT.
So I guess I have my answer.
And I suppose this pain, physical and psychological, is part of the process, too.  Like when a smoker quits, and they have to get rid of all that stuff that's built up in their lungs.  Or any recovery process.  I have to remind myself that it gets worse before it gets better.  And that it WILL get better as long as I stick with the process.  Going back to dieitng will only prolong the recovery.
And I REALLY DON'T want THAT!!!!!!!
So, every time someone walks out, or gives me that Look, or a class is canceled, I have to remember that it is ALL happening for a reason.

Kinda like what WG is going through.  We've started her on time-outs, and it's a difficult process for all of us.  Just like it was with LG a couple years ago.  We need to keep reminding ourselves that even though she is nearly 7, for all intents and purposes she is basically an 18 month-old.
And the fact that her 2 front teeth are in the process of going out and coming in doesn't help her, poor thing!

So.  Patience, kindness, and trust. 
And the occasional freakout.
It'll be fine.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I WILL Grow Up.

DO you know that song "I Won't Grow Up" from the stage musical of "Peter Pan?" I LOVED that song as a kid, and got to sing it onstage with my fellow 9 and 10 year-olds in our youth production of the show.  It was my favorite part, lol!
Well, things change.  I realized recently that I have been afraid to grow up.  Because then there would be no one to blame if things didn't go as planned. It has led to a lot of procrastination on my part, in so many areas; a house full of clutter, bills not paid on time, paperwork undone, etc. Plus, I think my food issues are definitely related to my fear of responsibility.
But things have changed; yesterday I went to the dentist (woo-hoo!) and was able to pay my entire bill, myself, and it was a GREAT feeling.  NOT putting on my credit card, NOT having to pay in installments, NOT having to worry about how and when the bill would be paid.
(I also found out that my teeth are in nowhere NEAR as bad a state as I had assumed, which is nice.  It's also great to not feel guilty when those 1-800-DENTIST ads come on, lol!)
So as I lay awake at 4 AM (thank you AGAIN, PMS!), I started thinking about what I really want.  Over the past few years I've learned a lot about what I DON'T want, but couldn't figure out what I DO want.  Oh, I had PLENTY of ideas and dreams, never a problem for me, lol!
Because I'm a bit of a spaz, I have lots of great ideas but little knowledge of how to follow through sometimes. (I've often wondered if I'm a bit ADD.)
But there are some things I definitely know that I want: to be able to take care of my family without worrying, every month, if we'll have enough money to pay the bills, without robbing Peter to pay Paul. To have a steady, reliable income that pays for more than just the mortgage.  To have, in a word, STABILITY.
I realize that these are tough times.  Many people are out of work, a lot of folks can't pay their bills or feed their kids, but my instability is not just the fault of the economy.  I have been too unstable for too long, and it is time to knuckle down.
A few years ago I had a dream to teach at a university.  Not necessarily full-time, but one or two classes each semester.  I let that dream go because there was so much competition for each job, and I felt (as usual) that I wasn't worthy.  But a funny thing happened as I was sending out my resume to various theaters around town last week; I realized I have quite an extensive, and impressive, teaching resume! And now that I'm a bit older, I believe I'll be taken a bit more seriously. Unlike the time when I was subbing at Cal State Pomona for a semester, and the lady at the parking office gave me an undergraduate parking pass.  I had to call the department and have them vouch for me, to let her know that yes, indeed, I was a faculty member. Good for my vanity, but not so much for my faculty street cred.
Granted, there aren't that many teaching jobs available at the university level right now, but if the economy ever recovers, there will be in the future.
I'm also pondering, again, drama therapy.  I already have a Masters in drama, so it would mean going back to school for a counseling degree.  One of my favorite people in the world, a man who'd been my mentor when I was young, works with people in a mental facility.  He gives classes and directs plays, and  at the end of every rehearsal he tells them "Do me a favor, don't kill yourself tonight.  I don't want to have to re-cast your role." And they LOVE him for that!  Because they know he actually cares deeply about them, and they need a little injection of humor now and again.
If I can combine my passions I think I'd be a very happy camper.( I still love teaching Pilates, and want to continue.)  After all, don't we all want a career we enjoy AND can make a decent living at?  If I can do that and maybe help some folks along the way, life will be even more satisfying.
It is finally, FINALLY, about what I want, and not about pleasing someone else, or trying to prove anything to anyone. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Welcome to Crunch!

Yesterday I was hired as a sub (for the time being) at Crunch Gym!!!!! The Gold's Gym franchises where I used to sub have been bought out by Crunch, and I'm VERY excited!  I may POSSIBLY have a class of my own at some point (fingers crossed), but in the meantime I am happy to be hired as a sub. 
I'm also applying for jobs as a youth acting teacher.  It's been a while, but I have a lot of experience, and I really miss it!  There are a bunch of community, youth, and professional theaters here that are hiring teachers, and I'm gonna go for it. Who knows?  Maybe someday I'll even get to direct!

In other news, yesterday was the official first day of the 3-week vacation for both kids.  I took them to the pool, where we stayed for 2 hours.  Then they played on our front deck.  And now WG is crying, so I must go see what is up.
OK.  She's in a time out, which is pretty new for her.  But she seems to get it.  The great thing about a time out is that it's not just a punishment, it actually gives kids a few moments to decompress.  Heck, I've been known to give MYSELF a time out now and again, when I'm about to blow my top, lol!

I've started doing "Slim in 6" and "Slim Series" again.  I forget how much I enjoy those workouts when I don't do them for a while.  And Debbie Siebers has a very nice personality, even as she's killing you, lol!

I'm losing pilates reformer clients at an alarming rate. I'm down to one reformer class a week, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep it or not. I'll know more tomorrow.  Part of me thinks I should just let it go.  It'd be easier, schedule-wise if not wallet-wise. I'm also wondering if it's a sign; maybe I should focus more on my upcoming training, teach my mat classes, and try to get hired as an acting teacher.  If I can combine personal pilates training with teaching acting, with a smattering of group pilates classes that I really enjoy, I'll be happy and we'll have a bit more cash when the bills show up.
Que sera sera. Worrying about it doesn't help the situation, right?

OK. Gotta go take the kids somewhere before they completely destroy the house. 
And it's only Day Two!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Now That I'm Older...

As of yesterday at 12:20 PM PST I am officially 41 years old.  On my 40th birthday, most of my family was out of town, so the celebration was pretty low-key.  I went to work in the morning, picked my mom up at the airport, then we all took the kids to the city to play at Crissy Field (and ended up in the Bay), then picked up some sushi on the way home. 
So this year I wanted to do something REALLY special.  Hubby, LG, WG, S-I-L, and Dog all got in the car and we drove to Yosemite. I hadn't been there in 7 years, and WG had NEVER been. (Unless you count the trip 7 years ago, when she was in utero.  But she didn't really get to see the sights.)
We made really good time (3 1/2 hours from San Mateo the the West Entrance) and found a PERFECT spot near the river, in the shadow of El Capitan.  We had the place almost entirely to ourselves, and we stayed for nearly 4 hours.  LG cuddled with me in the hammock for a good amount of the time, while WG played in the cold but clean water.  She even tried to get herself caught in the current, lol!
Dog, meanwhile, behaved like a puppy; she stalked the ducks who kept coming by for crumbs from our picnic, and managed to get HERself caught in the current (and needing to be rescued) quite a few times.  She LOVES to swim, and it's freakin' ADORABLE to watch! She has these short little legs that have to work so hard...
(Of course, she's NOT a puppy, she's 12 years old.  And has pretty much been asleep since 5:00 yesterday afternoon, with brief periods of lucidity in order to go out and take care of her business.)
We then drove to El Capitan Meadows, where we watched the climbers for a bit.  If you haven't been to Yosemite, you MUST go!  Pictures don't do it justice.  Standing in the meadow, looking up at the largest piece of granite IN THE WORLD (3,000 feet!) really gives you a sense of perspective, lol! Add to that the fact that there are literally thousands of people milling around, from all parts of the world, and, I hate to sound goofy, but you get a feeling that is not attainable anywhere else.  Yosemite is my husband's favorite place in the world, and I completely understand why.
We ended up buying an annual pass; the day pass was $20, and the annual is $40, so we figured what the heck, why not?  We can go all year, as much as we want! 
Yesterday's trip was just for the day.  We got home at 9:30 at night.  It was a perfect day all-around, and THE BEST birthday EVER (so far)!
It also made me realize that I need to do that more; get away from everything, even if it's only for one day.  I tend to take myself a little too seriously sometimes (I know, SHOCKING! lol) and can easily get caught up in the day-to-day drek.  Next 4th of July, when Hubby goes to Yosemite, we're all going with him!  We'll take as many trips there as we can throughout the year, because it's important for us to get away, and it's important for the kids to see the natural world.  As beautiful as San Francisco is, there is nothing to compare to Yosemite.
Hopefully, when the kids are older, we can get to other national parks; we've never been to Yellowstone or Glacier, for example.  Or even Redwood, which is nearby!
We've also decided to go to Muir Woods in the next few weeks, which we've also never been to, despite the fact that it's so close.
Last week, as you may have guesses from my previous post, was a bit rough.  Friday was the worst; I was in SUCH a mood, and everything seemed to be falling apart.  But one day in Yosemite changed my perspective COMPLETELY.  Just being able to relax, to breathe in that gorgeously clean air and wade in that clear water, to take in the majesty of half-dome and 3 brothers, and to see all the other folks, from all over the world, enjoying this beautiful piece of land, made me SO HAPPY!  And then to see my family so excited and content, well, that was worth its weight in gold.
I've written before about how sometimes feeling my feelings absolutely sucks.  Well, not this time, baby!  This was AMAZING!!!!!!!!
Happy birthday to me? Oh, you betcha!!!!!!