Peace is better than chocolate

Archive for the month “October, 2014”

A city of not-so-secret admirers

I am in New York City for a few days. I’m here for a kind of conference. It’s a conference about eating disorders and getting your eating under control. It has been two days of community and fellowship. And I’m exhausted.

It’s good to be back. I like it here. There are things I had forgotten about living here. Things that I miss. Not all of it. I don’t miss the stress. People keep telling me I look so relaxed. And I am. There is a buzz in the city. Not always a pleasant one. Sometimes an anxious, neurotic, unfocused one. But there is something else here. Something that I used to thrive on and I don’t get it other places. New York is a city of show offs. Hence, it is a city of audience members. At any given moment, you are the player or the viewer. Looking to impress or be impressed.

Last week I was in tears over my body. Angry at God that I have not lost weight. Feeling fat and ashamed. Not wanting to come here. Worrying that I would be judged harshly for not being skinny.

But the truth is, I had been in the city for 20 minutes and I couldn’t even get the half mile to the farmers market without being admired. Without being called beautiful. Without being asked if I was having a nice day. Without being smiled at.

I had forgotten how much that was worth to my self-esteem. I had misunderstood what had changed. My beauty had not changed. My surroundings had. I had noticed that fewer men were making note of my attractiveness. I wondered if I was not aging well. If I was not a pretty as I had been. If it was because I was fat.

Now I just want to note that my boyfriend tells me I am beautiful every day. And I know he means it. And I love that. And need it. But, you know, he’s in love with me….

What coming to New York did was give me some perspective. That I live in a perfectly lovely body. That my weight is not affecting my beauty. And that, really, my weight is not a problem. All of these men kept telling me so in kind, gentlemanly ways. Not aggressive or objectifying. Just in admiration.

I will always have body image issues. Those will never go away. I know that. And they are not rational. I know that too. But I hope I get to take this with me back home. At least for a little while. This experience of being a beautiful woman among beautiful women. This knowledge that there is nothing to be ashamed of.

And, a woman at the conference said that her doctor recommended walking at night in order to jumpstart her metabolism. And she said it helped. So I am going to try that too! Not because there is anything wrong. Just because why not.


If you are looking for a warm fuzzy, this is not it.

So yeah. Really not looking forward to writing this particular post. In fact, thought about what else I could possibly write about. Anything. But nope. It’s this.

I have gained weight. My jeans still fit, but different. And my arms and belly are bigger.

I am still not weighing myself. And thank God. I don’t do well with numbers. I am bad at rational thought when it comes to my weight. I know that to some people (including myself in the not-so-distant past), knowing the number would be a chance to look reality square in the eye. This is not true for me anymore. When it comes to me and the number on the scale, I lose all sense of reality and it is all about shame. I am sick in the head about these things.

I want to be clear. I believe that knowing things is better than not knowing. I think that most people who are interested in managing their weight and their bodies should get on the scale every once in a while. Before I quit smoking, I got on once a month. And it was fine. Maybe not fun, but not an issue. But since my quit-smoking-weight-gain, getting on the scale has been a kind of torture. So I stopped.

I need to acknowledge that for over a year, I have been waiting to lose the weight I gained. I feel like I deserve it. I feel like it’s due me. I feel like it’s my right.

I am going to be honest. And the Good Girl inside me doesn’t want me to say this. But if I had known that this is what was going to happen to me, I never would have quit smoking.

Look. I quit. It’s done. I don’t have any intention of starting again. But my relationship with my body has suffered badly in the past 2 years. I feel ugly a lot of the time. I feel fat most of the time. And feel like the whole thing is completely unfair.

Perhaps if I really went back and inventoried all the benefits I personally received from quitting smoking, I would see that I would do it all again in a heartbeat. But when I think about how I was once, miraculously, for a time, at peace with my body and now I am regularly unhappy and sometimes deeply ashamed, it’s hard to be objective.

Having been a fat girl, I have always had a strained relationship with my body. It has always been an issue and it always will be. But having had that reprieve from 30 to 35, where my weight was not a constant torment, has made this past 2 years all the worse. Because I have the distinction, and I can’t seem to get back there.

The Good Girl is telling me that this is where I am supposed to tell you about how I am going to accept my body because it is the beautiful vessel for my soul. That as long as I honor myself by keeping my boundaries around my eating, I am honoring Life and the Universe, whatever my size. But the part of me that feels frustrated and cheated says that the Good Girl can go f*** herself.

Easygoing all over the place

I have no idea what to write tonight. And it’s late. I need to post soon. Because it’s what I do.

Yesterday was packing everything in the truck and driving 12 hours.

I packed my meals up the night before. I never had to worry about food. I never had to think about what to eat. I didn’t have to make any major decisions while we were on the road. I didn’t have to bow to the whims of the road. Or my travel companion. I ate when it was time to eat. Because I was prepared.

Having my food taken care of made all of the cramped sitting bearable. It made me peaceful. I don’t dislike long drives. But they come with discomfort.

I can live with discomfort. I can be gracious in the face of it.

That is not my default setting. I have a history of being difficult in the face of difficulty.

Getting my eating under control made me more conscious of my behavior. It made me want to be gracious and easy going. Because it was so hard to live with myself if I was both difficult and sober.

It’s much easier to be obnoxious when you’re high.

But now the long travel is done. Thank God. Eventually we may even unpack the truck. Eventually. But today is not that day. And I’m feeling easygoing about that too.

I’m not going to pretend it’s quiche.

A while ago I thought it was time for my boyfriend and I to pack up our stuff, get in the truck, and move on. To a different location and a different chapter. But I jumped the gun.

But now it is really time to move along. And my boyfriend and I are both really happy about it.

But on the way out, we are being met with malice. Mostly from one person. But it’s a lot of malice. And it is forcing me to look at some things about myself.

When I got my eating under control I understood that I had to trust Life. I have written about it before. And I do. I trust that all is working out the way it should. I know that all will be well. But I am very bad at dealing with mean people.

I am not a mean person. Not to say that I have never been mean. When I was eating compulsively I could be quite malicious. I was always angry about being “dealt a bad hand” and I took it out on everyone I thought got a better life than I did. But it never felt good to be mean. I never enjoyed being a jerk. Though I always thought I would when I fantasized about it before hand.

But I don’t know how to be OK with cruelty. And what I am talking about is cruelty.

And I realized something the other day. What is going on is evil. I realized that evil is not some conceptual force in comic books and movies. It’s not metaphysical or otherworldly. It is the things we as humans do to hurt and torment and abuse with our eyes wide open. And my sensitive heart has a hard time with it.

But the agreement I made to trust Life is not just to trust that it will all work out in the end. It is that I will honor what happens every day. And that includes malice and cruelty. I need to learn to honor evil. And frankly, that’s hard for me.

I don’t know how to do that. But there are things that I do know. Eating within my food boundaries means that I cannot pretend or lie. Pretending and lying make me want to eat a chocolate cake. So when faced with malice, I need to acknowledge it. I need to make it clear that I see it. And that it’s not OK with me. Even if there is nothing to do about it. I can’t make nice. I’m not going to eat shit and pretend it’s quiche.

The truth is, evil exists. And it is going to continue to exist. And I need to figure out how to live with that with peace in my heart. Because my own peace is my own responsibility.

I don’t know what that looks like. I don’t have the answer. But I am happy that by this time next week, this particular evil will be behind me.

And besides, I know that as long as I keep my eating under control and work at growing personally, the solution will come. I already know to trust that all will work out in the end. And I’m quite sure that the issue will pop up again. In some form or another.

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