Favorite Quotes

  • You're not too old, and it's never too late

Monday, December 30, 2013

My New Year's Resolution for 2014.....

Is to NOT go on any diets or implement any rigorous workout routines.

Ahh....that feels so good to say out loud, or type, as the case may be. And for once, for the first time in like 20 years, I believe I will honor this resolution.

The diet commercials have already commenced, and I know millions of women, fueled by shame and guilt, will tromp slack-jawed into gyms and diet centers around the country in search of the perfect answer. They will get on treadmills and run, just like hamsters in a wheel, and feed the diet mentality that has this country in its grips. Most of these women (and men) will end up gaining more weight in the long run, thereby feeding the weight loss industry. It's a vicious cycle.

Been there, done that. I'm proud to say I've shed my hamster skin, and I will not be running aimlessly on my treadmill in the basement. Unless, of course, I feel like walking or running on the treadmill.

Personally, I feel I did well over the holidays. I honored my hunger and ate what I wanted, when I wanted with no urge to binge or purge at all...and I was surrounded by 25 of my in-laws! That's enough to make a girl eat everything in sight! I don't feel I've gained any weight this season, which is a far cry from last year at this time when I gained 7 pounds in one month. I'm in a much better place. I hope anyone with an ED who might be reading this is, too.

Please join me in resolving to not go on any diets, to just honor your hunger and engage only in those physical activities that feel good to you.

No more hamster behavior!

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Newest Heroine...

As a writer, I wish I could've written this. As a recovering disordered eater who's learning to embrace  intuitive eating, I wish I'd had this insight years ago. I'm grateful I know better now. When you know better, you do better. Thanks Jenn, who turned me on to the Huff Post article where I discovered this intelligent and talented young poet.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Quit Yer Yammerin'

"I really shouldn't eat these cookies."

"Oh my God, I've eaten way too much!"

"This is the worst time of year. All I do is sit around and eat! I should be out hiking!"

"A moment on the lips, forever on the hips."

"I'm not kidding, this January I'm going to start working out again."

These are just a few examples of things I've heard throughout the years during the holidays. And you know what? Listening to this kind of talk is a downer. Not only because I'm overweight and constantly battling my food demons, but also because this is the time of year when we're supposed to enjoy good food that we normally don't have around the house, when we're supposed to relax with family and friends, when we're supposed to be grateful for all we have in this life. 

I've come to learn that we say these things because we live in the cocoon of diet mentality (DM). We've been programmed to think of food as "bad" and restricting and working out as "good." I've been around so many women who feel the need to constantly comment on how little they "should" be eating and how much they "should" be going to the gym. Being around these people is a drag. Not that I blame them. They're just doing what we all do, and behaving the way many of us think we should behave. I count myself in this group even though I no longer say these things out loud or to other people. I used to consider myself the president of this group. 

Last December my biggest challenge was to not gain weight during the holidays (I won't keep you in suspense...I failed miserably and gained 7 pounds. You should've seen the look on my counselor's face when I weighed in at Weight Watchers in January. Not only had I disappointed myself, but also "Lynn" who had lost 20 pounds seven years ago and kept it off!). This holiday season my biggest challenge is to tune out the DM yammerers. They're everywhere, so it will be difficult; however, unlike last year, this time around my husband and girls know where I am with food and dieting. They know I'm getting help with these issues and they're on my side. I've talked to them about DM and I've pointed out when people are engaging in the behavior. Now when we're out in public somewhere, or with family, and someone jumps on the DM bandwagon, my daughters shoot me a look: Here we go again! They smile at me, and we enjoy a private "I get it" moment. 

I'm glad I'm in a different place this year. How wonderful it is NOT to be on WW and worrying about how many points are in my Christmas cookies. I'm going to enjoy the holidays and the food and my family and friends...even my in-laws! All 27 of them. (Yikes!!) This really "should" be the most wonderful time of the year, not a time when we worry constantly about what we're putting in our mouths, and how many miles we "should" be logging on the treadmill. So take it away, Andy Williams, remind us what this season "should" be about. :o)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

omg...Please Pardon the Interruption...Again??

Life. That's the only excuse  reason I have to offer as to why I haven't had time to blog these past two weeks. Ugh. It makes me feel like a slug, and like I've started something I'm not keeping up with. I don't like feeling this way. 

For what it's worth, I have been busy helping others. I've been driving for Meals on Wheels and helping with our church fair, which helps earn money for the missions and outreach work our church does and I have to say that helping others is a great way to get your mind off of your own troubles. As such, I've been less concerned with how much I weigh, how I look and what others think of me. It's incredibly liberating. 

On the other hand...being so busy has meant less time for my writing, another fact that causes me to chastise myself at times. I want to be a writer, I want to publish more (I haven't had anything published in more than three years!) but I haven't been writing and submitting. I'm fighting the urge to take out that bat and beat myself up. I haven't used that bat in a while...now where did I leave it??

Ok. I'll leave the bat wherever it is at the moment, but I'm doing my best to write, blog, chauffeur, cook, clean, etc. You know how it goes. And anyone who may be reading this who has any words of wisdom or suggestion is invited to share them here. I need all the help I can get!!    

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Please Pardon the Interruption...

Life got in my way last week. My family lost a beloved aunt, while another family member was sick and hospitalized and I fell completely offline--literally and figuratively!

This meant no writing, at all. I read emails, but didn't respond; I didn't journal, I didn't work on my WIP and I obviously neglected my blog. Blogging takes a good deal of time and energy and I was depleted of both these past 10 days.

I learned something about my eating issues, however. It seems that when I'm hit with "crisis stress" I don't eat. It's only the little stressors or times when I'm alone that trigger my emotional eating. Hmm...

I can't explain this. I just know that last week, when things were in an uproar, I didn't eat much. I even forgot to eat at times, believe it or not. One day, I grabbed a doughnut in the morning and didn't eat again--or think about eating again--until dinner time that night. This is very unlike me. Food and thoughts of eating and counting points and calories and the timing of when I eat, etc. monopolize my thoughts. Not so when the shit hits the fan.

I really don't want to live in a constant state of crisis stress. It took a toll on me physically. My leg muscles, for some reason, ached every night. I guess from holding the stress of the day. I was more tired than I normally am. Of course it's not realistic to live in a state of crisis stress, but I have to admit, it was kind of nice having a break from my food and eating issues.

So this week I'm back to writing...and blogging...and eating, although nothing's been out of control. I hope it stays that way. I could use some normalcy.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Labels, Labels, Everywhere

Labels. I'm trying to learn not to label people because I haven't appreciated being labeled in my lifetime. Here are some labels that people have used to define me throughout my life: cold, aloof, insensitive, strong, fat, bitch, manipulative, passive-aggressive. Nowadays, friends and people I know  would not believe anyone would have ever referred to me with the aforementioned terms, but it's true,  they did. Thankfully, I feel I've worked hard to shed the majority of those titles and I've come to accept one that I used to view as weak. That word/label is sensitive. There's another word I haven't liked in the past that I'm trying to mend my relationship with and that word is vulnerability. Again, a word I used to equate with personal weakness. 

In my work with the "Dynamic Duo" (my therapist and dietician) I've learned that people who struggle with eating disorders/food issues are often the more sensitive ones in the bunch. I've also come to realize that yes, I'm strong in many ways, but I, too, am sensitive. And vulnerable.

 By equating sensitivity and vulnerability with weakness, I learned to hold in my feelings and not share my true self with others, including my family. I've become much more open with others in the last 10 years or so, but still, there are friends and family members who don't know I write. They don't know that I'm dealing with food and eating issues and seeking treatment for the same. Clearly, I have a long way to go as far as sharing myself with others goes. Blogging, writing and joining online support communities are all ways I'm learning to open myself up and accept myself for who I am. I'm also learning to accept the fact that being sensitive and vulnerable actually STRENGTHEN you in the long run. This is a crazy concept for me to embrace, but I have to admit that by opening myself up to others, I've enriched my life. I was scared to death to share any of the writing I'm doing for my memoir, but I shared it with the Dynamic Duo (DD) and the ladies in my writing group and guess what? Everyone responded positively. They only had supportive and encouraging things to say. Had I not shared this vulnerable side with others, I wouldn't know to keep writing and keep moving ahead with this project. Sharing myself with others is very scary for me, but I am seeing the benefits of doing so. 

I feel lazy doing this, but I'm going to link to Anne Lamott's recent posting where she talks about being labeled a sensitive child. I believe it's an excerpt from her latest book, Stitches. I love Anne Lamott. She's a wonderfully gifted writer who has learned some hard life lessons and come out on the other side a better, stronger, more self-actualized human being. I like these kinds of people because they prove to the rest of us that no matter how difficult things get, no matter what life hands us, if you're open and willing to learn from your mistakes, you can go on to live a happy, fulfilling life. They prove that no matter who you may have been at age 10 or 20, doesn't have to define your whole life, or into what kind of person you (hopefully) evolve. Her article really spoke to me, and for those who may be reading this and have no idea who Anne Lamott is, it's a great introduction to a sensitive and vulnerable writer. I hope to be like her someday when I grow up. ;o) Here's the link:

Friday, October 25, 2013

If You're Thin and I'm Fat, What Does that Really Mean?

I obviously got this image from FreeDigitalPhotos.not. Their site said the watermark on the picture would be removed when I downloaded it, but oh well. Still learning here…

Anyway, I came across this article today on Facebook and thought I would share it.


The author brings to light the often unacknowledged subject of "thin privilege," a term I'd never heard of until today.

I live a privileged life in many respects. I have a loving husband and family. I have a nice home and drive a nice car. I have my health and many friends. I do not, however, have thin privilege. I did at one time in my life, I just didn't realize it at the time. I also wouldn't have said I had it when I did. :o/

The main point I took away from this article is that we women need to be easier on one another. We need to stop feeding into the body shaming in which society engages and accept each other how we are physically. Someone once told me that in the end, the universe doesn't acknowledge body size. In other words, it doesn't matter what size you are, it's how you live your life. How you treat people, how you give back, how you honor Mother Earth, how you live spiritually is what's going to matter for us in the end, not that you were able to wear a size 2 dress or mold your body into supreme physical fitness because you work out all the time. Those are society's demands  standards, not the universe's.

I encourage anyone reading this to click on the link below and read the article. Also, go check out About-Org's web site. Great articles and images to help support those of us who are repelled by society's negative views of the feminine ideal. I'd love to hear your thoughts afterward, and I hope you have a fun, relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Snapshot of My Perfect Writing Day

Here's mine:

I'm a bit embarrassed to share this, but this is the ugly truth of it. My perfect writing day begins by getting everyone out of the house. My youngest leaves around 8:15, then I'm free to go to my office, which is beginning renovated at the moment (thus the sub flooring), sit in my pjs and write. I love these days because I get to do what I love and shut out the rest of the world. It's on days like these that I get a lot of work done, and it's often good stuff that I end up using (in whatever project I'm working on). I often look up to find both clock hands standing at attention on the 12. I completely lose myself for three or four hours. Where does the time go? Who cares? It's fabulous.

I wish every day could be like this, but I'm mom to girls ages 15 and 12. I'm in a golf league on Tuesday mornings, I do some charity work and I'm on a committee for our church fair. In other words, I have a busy life outside of writing, like I'm guessing most of us do. If only every day could look like this for me...imagine the amount of work I could accomplish!

So for the writers who may be reading this, what's your perfect day like? Does it look anything like this, or do you actually shower and dress for the day? ;o)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What's my excuse? How much time have you got?

I hate myself for giving this image more exposure and drawing more attention than I think it deserves, but as a woman--and one dealing with her food and eating issues--I have strong feelings about this picture. I'm wondering what other women might be thinking and feeling, so please comment and let me know, even if you disagree with what I say here!

And before I go any farther, let me get the legal stuff out of the way...it looks like a Mike Byerly took the picture, Ms. Kang used it on a book she wrote and posted it on her Facebook page. I got the picture from Bing images. Thank you one and all! (I hope this suffices).

In the small amount of research I've done on Ms. King I've learned that she's a former pageant winner, a fitness competitor, (whatever that means) she may or may not have had an eating disorder at one time in her life and she's mom to three cute boys. Apparently, she posted this photo on FB over a year ago. I admit I hardly know anything about the woman, but here's what I get from this picture:

  • she's very attractive
  • she's a mom!
  • she takes care of her physical health in fact, it seems to be a priority for her
Here's what else I got:
  • she's better than I am
  • she's stronger than I am
  • she has better genes than I do
  • she's more disciplined than I am
  • she places a higher priority on fitness than I do
  • she apparently doesn't share my love of ice cream
  • I'll never look like her no matter what I do or how hard I work out
Here's what I think now: I don't care. I did at first, I admit. I was angry and frustrated because I thought, "Here we go again...another woman putting herself out there, trying to make the rest of us feel bad about ourselves because after all, she has three kids under the age of 4 and look at her! She's right! What's my excuse for being so fat and lazy?" I chastised her for holding herself up for other women to measure themselves against--a measurement most of us would certainly fail. 

But then I thought, "So what?" So what if this woman works out like a fiend and looks how she does. So what? What has that got to do with anything, much less how I feel about myself and what's going on in my life? You know what? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. 

I went on FB and checked out her page. She has more pictures of herself in bikinis, etc. She also has a post on there that says our negative responses to her photo are just that--our's. She is not responsible for how the rest of the world interprets her picture and on that point I have to agree with her. She also says we need to "stop tip toeing around the (obesity) epidemic in this country and stop worrying about hurting people's feelings." On that point I disagree. It's not about disregarding people's feelings, it's about being more sensitive to them. I think someone with a history of ED would be more sensitive to this, but what do I know? Maybe she's still dealing with unresolved ED thoughts. Maybe she buys into the "diet mentality." If so, Maria Kang is no poster child I want hanging around my house. Her way works for her; it doesn't work for me, and that's fine. 

I always tell my family and friends that one of my pet peeves about us women is that we don't take care of each other like I feel we should, (sorry, Jenn, if you're reading this!). I feel as women we should be more supportive of and nurturing with each other. I don't like to hear women tearing each other down. So, in an effort to practice what I preach, I'm not going to dog Ms. Kang for her choices. Instead, I'm going to forget I ever saw this picture, get on with my life and all that's important in my little world and live the life I want to live without caring so much about what other people think. So more power to ya, Maria Kang! And more power to me, too, because tonight after dinner, I allowed myself a piece of chocolate cake and I didn't feel guilty about it. That's part of my journey. Now, if I could just come up with a cool picture to demonstrate that...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I have to begin today's posting by giving credit for the image I've used here. I've been reading up on covering my ass and staying out of legal trouble when downloading images from the Internet, so this picture is courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net. :o) Thank you, Stuart! And Free Digital Photos!

Now, why the "Top Secret" stamp? Because secrecy and all that it entails has been a major part of my life, and perhaps someone reading this may be able to identify. And for anyone who is living secretly in some way will understand what I'm saying here.

I've wanted to be a writer since I was very young. In fact, while cleaning out my parents' home recently, we discovered two pieces of writing I did when I was eight years old. One was a Haiku poem I'd written for my younger brother, and the other was a paragraph detailing the challenges of getting published. How I had any knowledge this issue when I was eight is beyond me, but that piece has become rather prophetic in my writing life. I'm getting that piece framed, and I plan to hang it above my desk here in my office once my husband finishes the built-ins he started for me last spring:

Anyway...I used to write secretly in my room. I kept many journals, which I've long since discarded. I hand-wrote a 250 page "novel" between the ages of 13 and 17. I kept this work in a green, 3-ring binder and hid it deep in the recesses of my closet. I'd pull it out and work on it every now and then. It wasn't anything great, just about my life at the time. I switched around the birth order of me and my brother and sister, and I made my parents distant and un-involved, much like the parental characters I saw in teen movies. Because I kept my writing ambitions to myself, and because I feared being "found out," I tossed that green notebook in the trash when I left for college. I cried when I did it, but the fear of being discovered while away at school was too much for me to bear. I was a journalism major for a short time in college, but I didn't want to be a journalist. I tested out of the requisite Freshman composition course and tested highly in the areas of English and composition, but that would've meant my majoring in English, and the only thing I could do with that degree (back then, I believed) was teach, and I didn't want to do that, either. Had I been more open and honest with an adviser, especially, perhaps he or she could have steered me in a better direction. Nowadays, I see many Creative Writing degrees and programs offered at different schools. I would have loved to have had that option when I entered college. Instead, I went on to become a nurse and that's a whole other chapter I won't go into here. LONG story short, here I sit, writing and submitting, no longer working as an RN. Secrecy kept me from chasing my real dreams.

The other area of my life in which secrecy has played a big role is in my eating and food issues. Now that I'm working with an eating disorders therapist, she has helped me understand why I keep these issues in particular, secret from those closest to me. It has a lot to do with shame, but it's embarrassing to admit to people why I choose the foods I do and for what reasons. I'm not going into them here because I'm still dealing with trust issues, etc but the fact that I'm writing a memoir about my ED and putting it out here on my blog is HUGE for me. I'm betting that anyone with an ED understands what I'm saying here, and I hope if you're such a person you feel comfortable commenting below and sharing your feelings/experiences here.

So that's my big "own it" for the day: secrecy and how it has impacted my life. While it's difficult for me to be completely open and honest about certain things, I do have to admit that coming out about writing has opened many doors and put me in contact with some great people--my writing groups, to be exact, not to mention how supportive my immediate family and very close friends have been. By keeping my writing to myself I wasn't giving them enough credit or the chance to know my authentic self. If I hadn't punched through the secrecy barrier I wouldn't have allowed these people into my life. So if you happen to be living secretly with any area of your life, take it from me: start slowly by opening up to those you know you can trust, and before you know it, you may be splaying your guts out on a blog for the whole world to read.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sharing the Love

Two books have come into my life over the past few months that have changed my life for the better, and I'm going to share them with you here:

The first one, Intuitive Eating, by Evenly Tribole and Elyse Resch was suggested by my dietician. It has been a Godsend as far as my food/eating issues are concerned, and I highly recommend it to anyone who may be reading this at the moment and struggling with any kind of eating or food disorder.  As of this writing I've been the only one to check in on my blog, so I'm probably the only one reading this, but hey, you never know. 

This book has given me permission to stop thinking like a dieter and just eat, for Pete's sake! These authors have deftly and compassionately explained how and why people like myself have wound up with eating issues, which in a nutshell, is mostly due to the dieting industry and our nation's screwed up obsession with being thin. They make it ok to admit the struggle, explain why you eat the way you do and offer suggestions for kicking the diet habit and honoring one's hunger. I know, a crazy concept, right? It's a long process, and one I continue to slog through, but thanks to (my therapist, my dietician) this book I'm on my way to a healthier relationship with food and exercise. 

The second book, The War of Art, was written by Steven Pressfield over ten years ago. Yes, I'm late to the party, but better late than never. I watch Oprah's Super Soul Sunday show and Mr. Pressfield was a guest on a recent episode. If you're an artist of any kind, someone embarking on a new spiritual journey or an entrepreneur/business person you may benefit from this book. Personally, I feel Mr. Pressfield looked at my life and read my inner thoughts and came up with this idea for this book. He says the main reason we don't move forward with our life's passion, what's in our hearts that we truly want to do in life, is because of resistance. Anything new we want to do, any positive change we want to make, is always met with some type of resistance. I've resisted doing what I've always wanted to do--write--since I was a teenager. When I finally admitted to myself and others that I wanted to be a writer (about 11 years ago) I did so with great trepidation. I've slowly broken through this wall over the years, but it has taken just that--years--to do so. I'm not going to revel in regret over how much time I've wasted and lost in resistance over the years, but now that I'm aware of its presence in my life I'm going to do my best to fight it. Although yesterday I gave in to resistance because I was writing, then took a break, played Candy Crush, checked email and played around with widgets/gadgets on my blog. Yes, resistance is a provocative mistress! In fact, Mr. Pressfield would no doubt consider blogging a form of resistance, so I'm going to close for today. I hope someone stumbles upon my blog and discovers a book or two that will touch his or her life as they have mine. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Climbing Back in the Saddle

Here I am...again...in the blogosphere, something I said I'd "never" do, return to blogging. I blogged a few years ago but gave it up to devote more time to chauffeuring my kids around actual writing. I feel blogging can be such a time suck, but I've learned it's something that has to be done if you're an unknown/struggling writer who wants to garner attention. I attended a writer's conference recently, (sponsored by the organization of which I'm a member, Women Who Write, here in NJ) and one of the first questions an agent asked of me was, "Do you have a blog?" Gosh, how I wished I'd continued blogging and grown my list of followers. That would have held some water with that agent. It might have made her the least bit interested in reading more of my memoir even if she's a twenty-something size negative 2 not really my target audience. Oh well. No looking back and living with regrets. Moving on....

Anyway, thus the title of my blog. I'm still a bit reluctant to start blogging again because I'm working hard on two projects at the moment and I don't want to lose time or motivation on either one. I'm, however, trying to focus on the positive aspects of blogging: building a platform and establishing a presence on the Internet, drawing attention to my writing and most importantly, connecting with other writers worldwide. That is something I've missed these past few years. As the writers out there know, it can be a lonely existence just sitting in our offices, pounding the keyboard with no guarantee of publication. It's nice to identify with others who may be in the same boat.

In addition to writing, I hope to connect with others on social, women's, motherhood and food issues. I've been seeing an eating disorders therapist for the past few months as well as working with a registered dietician to get a handle on my food addiction and emotional eating problems. I've learned a lot and look forward to sharing this education with others who may be struggling with similar matters. 

Ok, that's enough for now. I've got to get to the "work" of blogging---trolling the Internet in an effort to get others to visit me in my little corner of the world. For anyone who's reading this, thank you for stopping by!