Saturday, September 4, 2010

Real Food, Real Mad!

I've been perusing the new Jamie Oliver cookbook ("Jamie's Food Revolution") and, as usual when I look at his books, getting inspired.  I first bought one about 6 years ago, and used it constantly.  (Who knew that the Brits could make good food, lol! And who knew that chicken baked with bananas and corn would turn out so well?!?!?!)
This was when he did his first school lunch program, in the UK (He did something similar in the U.S. last year.) It's what gave me a real appreciation for family meals and real food. He also has a regular column in Australia's "Delicious" magazine; hella expensive, but SO worth it! (That's where I first heard about Curtis Stone.  Did you know that when he first came to the U.S. an started filming "Take Home Chef" he prowled the aisles of Gelson's grocery store in Pasadena?  The very same place where I'd do my shopping while my son had his occupational therapy nearby!  I started dressing nicely and putting on makeup, just in case.  Never saw him, though. Sigh.)
But, I also have a confession to make; at Safeway today, I picked up a few boxes of Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice frozen entrees.
Because...I LIKE them!
There's a part of me that chastises myself for it.  It's frozen, it's processed, it's all the things that "real" food isn't.  Then another part of me pipes up and tells the first part to stuff it. That's the same part that tells me it's OK to have a Coke Zero now and then.
I LIKE that part!
That second part may just be the part that's holding on to whatever vestiges of sanity I have left.
Because, as we all know, I have perfectionist and "good girl" tendencies. Success is elusive, nay impossible!  I can never be thin enough, smart enough, good enough at ANYTHING, and certainly not healthy enough!
For example: I went to the dentist recently, convinced they were gonna tell me I had a mouth full of Jack Sparrow pirate teeth and would need 6 root canals. Y'know what they said?  I needed 2 fillings re-done and a cleaning.  Oh, and a mouth guard, 'cause I grind my teeth when I sleep.
Then they gave me a new toothbrush, set up an appointment, and sent me on my merry way!
No one scolded or yelled at me.  No one tsked as they looked in my mouth.  In fact, they were all very nice and helpful!
It's hard to get used to.  After so many years of being criticized an manipulated, I've come to expect it. (In fact, the last dentist I went to yelled at me and scolded me for being in pain after chipping a tooth and EXPOSING A NERVE!!!!!)
Because I've been thinking A LOT about the way I was spoken to and treated for much of my life.  And reveling in the feeling of self-righteousness that went along with it; It WASN'T just me!  I WASN'T being paranoid!  People really were overly critical, and judgmental (emphasis on the MENTAL, in some cases). I remember one day in which I was criticized for the way I walked, the way I danced (which, granted, was pretty spazzy), the fact that I chewed my lip and/or twirled my hair, and for misreading a rehearsal schedule and coming in 10 minutes late.  The ONLY time, in 5 years, I'd EVER been late, for ANYTHING!!!!!!
It made me feel like crap, but it was par for the course. By that point, it was what I expected.  I had ZERO self-esteem, and believed the people who told me I was worthless.
It's funny; the only compliments I got at that time were for my appearance.  Because I was VERY thin.  Of course, I was thin due to the double whammy of anorexia/anxiety.

Recently I ended a nearly life-long friendship because I realize that I CANNOT be this person's idea of a friend.  As I looked back on our relationship, I started to see just how much damage we'd done to each other over the years.  This person is highly judgmental, and often misinterprets words and deeds.  It then takes hours, literally, to soothe their hurt feelings.  Y'know what?  This person and I are adults now.  We are 41 years old.  I have 2 kids, and this person is NOT one of them.  This person is also missing a sensitivity chip when it comes to the feelings of others.
Sorry, I don't have the time or the inclination to deal with it. I have enough insecurities of my own.  Don't try to give me yours.

And it hit me yesterday, when I had a good Mad going, that I no longer have tolerance for BS. I won't go into the details of the Mad, but it lasted a good 9 hours, lol!  At one point I was feeling guilty because I thought maybe I was being a wee bit selfish.  Then I realized, NO! I am NOT selfish!  What does my life consist of?  Working and taking care of my kids!  That's IT!!!!! I don't go out with friends, I don't go on vacations very often, and when I do, guess who's watching the kids while everyone else goes off and does their own thing?!?!?!  I was feeling manipulated again, and I blasted that guilt away and replaced it with MAD!
And it was GOOD!!!!!!! I stood my ground, and I ROCKED!!!!!
Because I am NOT a lesser human being!  I DON'T have to agree!  I HAVE an opinion, and it is as LEGITIMATE as ANYONE ELSE'S!!!!! And I'm NOT gonna smile and nod on the outside while I seethe on the inside anymore!  I'm not gonna sit back and let anyone insult me anymore!!!!!



Mary said...

This is the first time i have ever read your blog but I'm glad you are feeling free.
I hope you stay free and remember that life is what you make it <3

Don´t be sad and take care of yourself!

Anonymous said...

I love the Jamie Oliver cook book.

Austin Personal Trainer

Charlotte said...

I love it!! You needed a good Mad, girl! And this: "We are 41 years old. I have 2 kids, and this person is NOT one of them. " made me laugh out loud. A couple of years ago I ended a childhood friendship for that very same reason!

Anonymous said...

I hear you loud and clear. The only thing people ever were complimentary to me about as a kid (and even now really) were my hair colour (which I was born with - big deal!) and how thin I was. Like you, I have struggled with ED my whole life and at my skinniest, most underweight self there was always some idiot telling me how great I looked. One tip I follow from a woman whose wisdom I value greatly is this: when you are sitting, unfold those legs and put your fit down on the planet and tell yourself this: You have a right to be here!

Geosomin said...

I think it's important to let go of people who are only harming you. It's hard not to take that voice with you away from them. I spent a lot of time in the last few years separating other people's criticism of me from my own. There is nothing wrong with looking at yourself and being critical and finding things to work on - but taking other peopls cruel comments and things to heart and making them your own is so not good for you. Learning to stand up for yourself can be hard...but I'm finding it's SO worth it in how I feel about myself and what I'm able to do now when I focus on some of the positives instead of just all the negatives...
My husband had a hard time letting go of an old dear friend a few years ago who had turned into someone who was not positive for him to be around anymore...but a few years later looking back on it was the right thing to do.
There is nothing wrong with criticism, but there are people who use it as a weapon to bring other people down. When you cross that line it's not healthy.

And (my 2 cents) I don't think Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice frozen entrees are so terrible -I admit I have a few low cal processed emergency meals like that tucked away so that when I get busy or stressed there is something fast and easy I know I like that's not horrible for me ready to eat. I figure I do far less harm to myself having one of them than if I go off kilter and try and find something to eat in a hurry and it ends up being a whole loaf of bread and cheese instead :)