Favorite Quotes

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

Monday, April 21, 2014

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Sorry I've been away for a while, but I have been away...literally. My family and I just returned from a lovely spring break getaway. It was much needed and greatly appreciated. Here are a couple of pictures of my view from our beach:

Paradise, right? Yes. We were in paradise, but for someone who struggles with weight and body image issues, this trip felt more like a trip to Nightmareville. I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong. I'm just saying that squeezing into a bathing suit and putting myself out in public is a challenge I had to face head on this past week, albeit in paradise.

I was nervous. I was filled with dread.

But guess what?

I lived! I survived! I succeeded!

What choice did I have? We'd paid a lot of money, we'd traveled a fair distance. What was I going to do, hole up in our condo? Trips like this one often force me out of my comfort zone and make me do things I would otherwise not want to do. Besides, summer is coming (at least I'm told it's coming) and I'm going to have to put on a bathing suit sooner or later. This trip just forced my hand and made me don a suit earlier than normal. Here's what I learned:

  • when push comes to shove, I can get over my poor body image and enjoy the warm weather 
  • my girls enjoyed having me on the beach and in the water with them
  • I wasn't the largest person on the beach or in a swimsuit
  • maybe I'm not as physically repulsive as I imagine
No one was looking at me in my swimsuit and sticking their finger in their mouth, making the international gagging motion. Maybe I need to get over myself and realize my poor self-image comes from deep inside the recesses of my (sick) mind and I should tell my mind to shut up. Maybe I need to stop being so self-absorbed. Maybe I need to stop looking at people larger than myself and thinking, "Wow, if she can wear that bikini, then what am I worried about?"

I tell my girls (almost every day) to love themselves, to be kind to others because everyone they meet is fighting some sort of battle and that they're perfect just the way they are. 

Maybe I need to listen to my own advice and practice what I preach. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hoppity, Hop Hop...

I'm participating in a blog hop! My first ever, so a huge thank you to writer Amy Reade! Amy is another member of Women Who Write here in New Jersey. Her first book, Secrets of Hallstead House, is coming out this July. Hooray for her! Just what all of us writers dream of...publication! She writes about her life and writing on her blog at: http://amreade.wordpress.com, and her web site at: www.amyreade.com. Please go visit her and support her by buying her book when it becomes available. I've never met Amy in person, but I feel very excited for getting published.

Ok...now on to the questions....

1. What am I working on now?

     I am currently working on a memoir detailing my food/eating issues. It's tentatively entitled,
    Disordered, as that most aptly describes how I've been dealing with food for the past 20 years...
     in a very disordered manner. I'm also working on an excerpt of the memoir for an essay contest,
     a short story about two sisters and occasionally, I pull out my novel that I've been working on          
    since 2007. :o/

2. How is my writing different from others of the same genre?

    Hmm...this is a tough one. I've flipped through several memoirs while I've been working on my
    own, and I can't really say how mine is different except that it's MY story. I'm trying to be gut-
    wrenchingly honest about how I've eaten and hidden my disorder from friends and loved ones, but
    I would bet other food memoirists would say that they, too, were gut wrenchingly honest when
    they wrote their stories. I think that food/eating/body image issues are kind of a hot topic right  
    now, so I'm hoping to tap into momentum. I don't always like to read the genre in which I'm
    currently working because I don't want to be too heavily influenced by what I read, so to be
    honest, I have tried to steer clear of memoir in the past year or so.

3. Why do I write what I do?

    How long have you got? I'm writing the memoir because I want to reach others in a way that
    makes them feel less alone in the world. I want my readers to say, "I love how she describes this"
    or, "I feel exactly the same way!" I want to connect with others who may be dealing with similar
    issues, and I want to convey what I'm feeling and experiencing in a way that tells my reader I
    empathize with her/him and I get it. I write creatively (fiction and short stories) to work through
    issues and emotional matters I find interesting. We've all experienced anger, resentment, jealousy,
    loss and yes, happiness, and I like to delve into those issues and get my characters to work through
    things maybe in ways I never have in my own personal life. Basically, I write to connect with
    people and to put things into words in ways others cannot.

4. How does your writing process work?

    When I get an idea for a story I write it down immediately. I'll then think about the characters and
    begin to form pictures of them in my mind...what they look like, what they enjoy in life, what they
    despise in life, etc. I used to write off-the-cuff and just allow things to come to me, but as I've
    progressed I've found that outlining is my friend. I'm a first born child and I still get pleasure from
    having an "assignment" that I have to complete in order to get my gold star, figurative though it
    may be. So I make a general outline of my story and go from there. With my memoir, I've just
    been writing scenes or vignettes and submitting them to my writer's group. That has been working
    well for me. For example, I have a notebook and many things written like, "the time I realized I
    was the largest woman in the room." I know exactly what I'm referring to, so I go back and write
    that scene. I've compiled these scenes and I'm up to page 100 right now.

Thanks again to Amy Reade for inviting me along on this journey! I don't have anyone to tag right now, but I'm going to reach out to some of my blog/writer friends and see if they would like to be "tagged." Please check back and see if I've tagged anyone so you can check them out. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!