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To NOT Know Me is to Hate Me. on April 8, 2011 4:30 pm
So, I was watching Ali McBeal, when MexiKen walks by and I offhandedly say, to him “I always thought she was so pretty; look at that hair…” (musing about Portia di Rossi.)
He quickly replies, “Who? HER? You think SHE’S PRETTY? Oh my gosh…Seriously? She has no boobs, a weird looking nose…there’s nothing pretty about her…”
NOTE: I do not spend my days trying to convince my husband thatother women are beautiful — AND, before you go racing down the road to crucify him for his comment, there is a reason I am sharing this with you, so keep reading…
In that instant — when my husband ripped Portia di Rossi to shreds – I had a moment of clarity that was so impressive, I’m pretty sure I heard angels and harps: What did that woman EVER do to HIM, or anyone else? Did she stare back at him from the television screen, touting her beauty and daring him to challenge her exquisiteness? Did she ever once utter the words, “I think I’m better than you; I’m beautiful, talented, famous, thin and have the most enviable head of hair on the planet”?
In a word: No.
She simply chose to share her gift and her passion of acting with an audience, and never once intimated that anyone was less of a person than she was. She did NOT deserve blind criticism and demeaning comments my husband had uttered. She was just doing her job and I felt bad for her.
And then Linda Rondstadt started singing to me…”You’re no good, you’re no good, you’re no good, baby you’re no good…Ouch. I felt ashamed and guilty, because I realized that I do that – maybe not to her, but to others. I mentally classify people and chip away at them. If someone says that this or that celebrity is beautiful, and I don’t agree, I say things like, “I don’t think she’s pretty; she has a horse face. But *somebody* thinks she pretty. I wonder who SHE knows…?” (Just typing it feels ugly). If someone says an artist sings well, but I think they sound like they’re gargling, I will put them down. I mentally keep score, ensuring that I always come out on top…And don’t ask me where I learned to do this; we all pick up habits along the way, and it’s the bad ones that usual stick.
The interesting thing is, I am judged by people, just as Portia di Rossi is judged (so, I should KNOW better, right?) Believe me, people say hurtful and mean things about me, without even knowing me, just as people say mean things about her, without knowing her (or any other celebrity or notable person out there).
I’m not telling you this because I need to be told I’m wonderful and should ignore anyone who says mean things about me (so, no need to post a supportive comment, but thank you anyway…), and I don’t think I have anything in common with Portia di Rossi (Gosh…I envy her hair…) because I know that blind criticism, misrepresentation, and unfair accusations come with the territory. The point is that I should not be thinking nasty things about people — especially those I don’t know – because:
- I don’t like it when people do it to ME, and
- It’s just wrong
In a nutshell: People don’t deserve much of the criticism I have reserved for them, and I know I don’t deserve much of the criticism leveled at me.
Fortunately, I criticize MYSELF enough for an entire ARMY of haters, so a few more insults isn’t gonna make a difference (LOL). But, that’s what therapy is for: Learning kind and compassionate self-talk — about yourself AND others.
Anyway, lest you click off so you can go find an unflattering picture of someone to post on your Facebook wall, what I want you to take away from this is: Ultimately, it is human nature to tear others down because we foolishly believe it will make us feel or look better, but ironically, it does NOT make us better people…it makes us worse.
What is it moms always say…? “It’s all fun and games, until somebody gets hurt!” People DO get hurt. Every day. Just pick-up a National Enquirer, and tell me the majority of articles are meant to make celebrities feel “good” about themselves…Not gonna happen. Not until unicorns can hover (to quote Pat Gray from this morning’s Glenn Beck show…)
The bottom line?
- You don’t need to add to the abundance of negativity in the world.
- You don’t need to put others down, believing you’ll build yourself up.
- You don’t need to unfairly judge people, especially if you don’t know them
- You don’t need to fill in the blanks with insults to make yourself feel better.
Next time you see a celebrity that “everyone” touts as beautiful, or you hear a singer that everyone is raving about – even if you DON’T agree – check yourself and see if you are silently “hating” them for things you can’t possibly know.
I promise: I WILL.
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FABULOUS ISN'T GLAMOROUS. NECESSARILY on April 7, 2011 1:01 pm
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I was eating my midmorning cottage cheese with kalamata olives, pumpkin seeds and chipotle salsa, when this thought popped into my head: Do you have to be GLAMOROUS in order to be FABULOUS?
Most people would quickly say, "Yes." This is due in no small part to shows like "Life in the Fab Lane" (a *reality show* that follows fashion model Kimora Lee in her daily, glamorous life), or "The Real Housewives of ____" (where we see what it's like to be filthy rich – and (apparently) absolutely, fabulously glamorous.
In other words, what we watch on TV, read in fashion magazines, or see on billboards (mine notwithstanding) is telling us something that isn't true! We are supposed to believe that being FABULOUS is the same as being GLAMOROUS; but more importantly, we are told that you can't be one without the other!
Well…being the student of logic that I am, I did a little VENN DIAGRAM to show how this is not necessarily true.
Class is officially in session: (Ahem) To make this better, imagine that I am showing you a really cool PowerPoint presentation on an overhead projector, using a remote control that has a fabulous laser pointer on it. (Notice that I did NOT say the remote is glamorous.)
As you can see, some people are glamorous, some are fabulous; some are decidedly non-glamorous, some are simply not fabulous, some are neither glamorous NOR fabulous, some are fabulously glamorous, others are glamorously fabulous, and then there are those people who can't decide where they are, so they are green. None of this really determines their happiness, but that is an entirely different class that meets every other Friday night.
The point of this should be colorfully clear: You do NOT have to be GLAMOROUS to be FABULOUS. As a matter of fact, you don't even have to be FABULOUS if you don't want to be (but then you'd be yellow or green…or something like that, instead of PINK or RED, but I digress.) No one should think less of you because you decide to be something different than they are, and you should never choose to be something you aren't. At the end of the day, know who you are and be the best version of you that you can be.
It's perfectly logical to me: You are free to be whoever you want to be, and no one can tell you otherwise. If you want to be fabulously unGlamorous, that is your right. If you want to be unFabulously glamorous, I celebrate that, too. In my case, because I love shoes, big hair, lots of bling, and fabulous clothes, it's no accident that I am HOT PINK (Fabulously Glamorous). Where do you fit on this diagram? Don't worry, you don't have to tell me, but if you're spending $20 on a can of hairspray, I'll pretty much know where to find you…
PS -- Aren't you glad I didn't add "SEXY" to the diagram? Good heavens, I wouldn't even know what COLOR to use…
ARE YOU A BARIATRIC B.A.S.E. JUMPER? on March 2, 2011 3:58 pm
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People fear a lot of things. Heights. Tight spaces. Water. Elevators. Spiders. Large Crowds. Parties. Public speaking. The list of phobias is endless. But, in the world at large, not everyone shares the same fears (snakes, flying, leaving the house) — unless, of course, they are members of the weight loss community. In that case, we are pretty much all terrified of the same thing: WEIGHT REGAIN.
With all phobias, there is a basis of truth to the fear. In other words, it is reasonable to fear that you can die in a plane crash, get bitten by a poisonous snake, or get stuck in an elevator. That stuff does happen. But, does that mean you should never fly, hike a mountain trail, or ride the elevator in a tall building?
Some would say, “Yes.”
But what about the fear of weight regain? How does one insulate against that “inevitability?” It’s not like we can go through life avoiding food; we MUST eat.
Exactly how do people deal with phobias? Many believe that the only way to overcome something you fear is to face it head on. If you are afraid of heights, jump out of an airplane; if you fear spiders, touch a tarantula. If you hate public speaking, join Toastmasters. But, some people take things to the extreme. Some people actually TAUNT fate by going beyond what would be considered safe or normal. Some people believe that the only way to FEEL alive and to prove that they fear nothing, is to push everything to the extreme.
Consider B.A.S.E. jumpers (Buildings, Antennas, Spans (bridge) and Earth (cliff). When asked WHY they do it, BASE jumpers typically say they do it to feel more alive. They want to come face-to-face with death, and live to tell about it. To the average person, this sounds like craziness. Why would anyone tempt fate to feel more alive?
Well, consider weight loss surgery patients who push the limits of their pouch just to feel more “normal.” These people will try a piece of cake, or eat french fries, or munch on a hamburger, just to see how far they can go.
Maybe these people could be considered Bariatric BASE jumpers. Where the acronym stands for: Bingers, Anorexics, Snackers and Eaters.
Let me explain…
The Bingers will mindlessly eat when they aren’t hungry. They’ll eat the wrong things and they’ll eat far too much of it. For most, the net result is a dumping session, followed by guilt, regret, remorse and recommitment to “never do it again.” Could it be argued that Bingers do this to prove that their pouch still works? To conquer weight regain by doing the very thing that will cause it?
The Anorexics severely restrict themselves from food, because they believe it’s better to put NOTHING in their pouch, than to eat the WRONG THING. Unlike true anorexics, they eat — but they don’t get enough protein and they don’t take their supplements. So, they come face-to-face with malnutrition, just to prove that they can survive.
The Snackers spend their day grazing. Their poison will vary, depending upon the day. On special occasions (birthdays, holidays, Tuesdays), they might eat “just one chocolate chip cookie,” or “a little piece of SEES candy.” They might consume an entire bag of potato chips — slowly, or they’ll pick at a slice of pizza. They rationalize their behavior by saying that they don’t eat too much at one time, so it’s okay. They flirt with disastrous regain, but it doesn’t happen all at once, so the dangerous behavior continues.
Finally, there are the Eaters. Now, I’m not talking about NORMAL eaters; I’m talking about those who make the wrong food choices, but do it in very small amounts, to give the illusion of being healthy. As long as they eat a small bowl of ice cream, or a junior size hamburger, it’s “okay,” — but the behavior makes the eater feel dangerously close to being normal.
I think it’s fair to say that we all find ourselves in these positions occasionally — some of us, more than we’d like to admit. So, how do we face our fears of weight regain without tempting fate by “flying without a net?”
Sadly, most will not recognize their risky behaviors and find themselves on the wrong end of the scale again. They’ll be the ones who poke a stick in the snake hole, drive too fast without a seatbelt, swim with the sharks….But others — and I hope to be counted among them — will find a way to conquer their phobia, while retaining a healthy respect for what it represents.
Weight regain is real and the likelihood of it happening is considerably greater than getting struck by lightning. But, just as you wouldn’t hold a metal rod up in a rainstorm, you must respect the rules of living a healthy lifestyle.
Flirting with disaster will only lead to disaster; it’s just a matter of when, not if. I don’t plan to live my Bariatric After Life in fear, but I do believe I must be willing to respect SOME limits, in order to live a life with FEWER ones.
Are you a Bariatric BASE Jumper? Do you push the limits just to see how far you can go? I know that I am guilty of all of these things — some, more than others — but I believe that recognizing my problem and formulating an escape plan will be my saving grace.
Through the help of my therapist, Jim, I am working on my “binge” triggers, and trying to diffuse the “need for speed.” Most of the time, I feel pretty good about my progress, and when I don’t, I just pick myself up and start over. And the next time? I’m using a ‘chute
Originally Appeared on: GastricBypassBarbie.com – Copyright 2/4/10 - All Rights Reserved
My Whiskers Are Too Long on March 1, 2011 3:56 pm
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My Whiskers Are Too Long
Leave it to MexiKen to put this into perspective for me. This past weekend was weird for me. It happens from time-to-time, despite my very strongest and bravest “self-talk” to the contrary. I begin to wrestle with MY SIZE. In my defense, I’ve only been *small* for about 3 of my 44 years, so it’s possible to venture back to familiar (comfortable?) territory sometimes. I’m not really sure what caused it this time, other than pure exhaustion and overwhelm, but I found myself wandering around the house in a funk – even after spending some quality time with Enrique. Usually, physical activity clears my mind and sets me on a good footing, but on this particular day (might have been the rain or the wind), I just couldn’t shake it, and I curled up in a ball on the couch with the supreme goal of catching up on all of my DVR’d Ally McBeal episodes.
Of course, because I am still learning how to relax without guilt, this time on the couch was fitful, and not at all stress-free. Perhaps it is because the “time off” wasn’t PLANNED, but was, instead, FORCED. As in, “my brain couldn’t formulate a single original thought” so I had to collapse in a heap. This happens sometimes (darnit), but fortunately, far less than it did in my “Before” life. In those days, EVERY weekend was spent in a blob on the sofa. So, I need to recognize progress when I see it
Anyway, as I wandered up and down the hall, tickling the laundry and doing as little as possible, I found myself reaching back to familiar (comfortable?) thoughts of, “Look at yourself; you are a fat, lazy blob.”Hmmm…*that’s* productive. The difference was, I KNEW it wasn’t true. I am not FAT OR LAZY. But, the recording played on…over and over….
Here’s how it sounded:
Sick Self: You’re fat and your butt sags.
Healthy Self: That’s ridiculous. You are not fat. You have shrinkles not fat. Deal with it.
SS: Yeah, but they LOOK like fat.
HS: Shrinkles are the polar-opposite of fat. They are the ABSENCE of fat. That is why they exist.
SS: Think what you want, but your body does NOT look like other people your size, so you must be fat.
HS: Wrong. Unlike cellulite, by definition, shrinkles happen because you have LOOSE SKIN WITH NO FAT TO FLUFF IT UP.
SS: Still. People who wear your size are smaller than you.
HS: What? That doesn’t even make sense. How can I be bigger than my size? I have a closet FULL of size SMALL clothing.
SS: Ha. Those run big. C’mon. You *know* you are not a size small. You are 5’8″ tall. By definition, that makes you AT LEAST a Large.
HS: Whose rule is THAT? I have clothes from lots of different stores — not just one. I even have an X-Small top that I wear. Thee things are NOT TIGHT on me. i am not fat.
SS: I dunno, You *used* to be a size 2-4…Now you’re a 6-8. You know what that means: You’re tottering on a size Medium (at least.)
HS: Who cares what the number or letter on the clothing says? I look and feel great.
SS: Yup. That’s why you’re wandering around the house feeling *fat*..but, if you’re fine with the shrinkles, dangly skin and lying clothes, then I am, too…
See what I mean? Destructive and unfounded.
Eventually, I thought I was going explode, and decided to bring my self-conversation to MexiKen.
“Honey, I know you’re going to think this sounds crazy, but I just need to bounce this off you. I KNOW that I am not fat — that’s silly — but I just keep telling myself I am. I don’t know why, but I can’t wrap my head around my size. Like…how *big* am I? I’m little, right…?”
You should have seen the confounded look on his face. I could see the thoughts frantically ping-ponging around in his brain. I know he was thinking, “Why is she saying that? She’s not fat..nuts, maybe, but fat? What does she want me to say here?”
He opted for the third sentiment: “I think you’re nuts. Don’t you know your own size?”
Okay, that wasn’t exactly what I needed to hear. Let me approach this differently.
“Babe, you know how you are constantly running into doorjambs and furniture because you always miscalculate your size? You know how you always think your shoulders are not as broad as they are and how you always marvel at your actual size, because you don’t think you’re as big as you are?”
He thought on that for a minute. At 6’2″, he is a big boy, and his shoulders are super-broad (one of the many things I love about him…*swoon*).
Without missing a beat, he laughed and said, “Oh. That’s because my whiskers are too short.”
I knew what he meant. Cats know their size by the length of their whiskers. This is what tells them if they can safely clear a passage. If their whiskers touch, it’s gonna be a tight squeeze. Here’s an interesting little thing I found on the subject:
Cats use their whiskers for a wide variety of reasons. They provide some of the most important feedback for cats to gather data about their environment. They also use them to communicate their emotions. As an essential addition to their “navigational” equipment, it is crucial to never trim them or cut them off. Without their whiskers cat become confused and often lost. Similar to radar, Cats use whiskers to “feel” their boundaries and to gauge distances to ascertain the size and shape of objects, and to discover if their bodies will fit into tight spaces. Whiskers help guide them in the dark to avoid running into objects.
I got the message loud and clear. My whiskers are too LONG. Despite my ability to clear seemingly tiny openings, I STILL view myself as the fat girl who can’t fit in an arm chair, a small car, or airline seat.
Apparently, my whiskers think I weigh 316 pounds. Or…do they?
I think it’s time to trust the facts. I am walking around in a very comfortable and healthy body. Granted, there is ample room for improved fitness and tone, and those are goals — attainable, achievable, reasonable goals. They are NOT an indictment or testament of FAILURE.
Thank God for my beloved MexiKen. His logic is undeniably simple: Trust your whiskers.
My cat does it all the time (and he’s a fatty!)
Jabberwocky (and the Frumious Binger-Snatch) on February 14, 2011 3:49 pm
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“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”
I don’t know why, but Jabberwocky (that verse, at least) came to mind when I got on the scale and saw that I had gained about 3 pounds since choosing recovery for binge eating addiction. It’s funny, I’ve watched it happen a dozen times (to others); they quit smoking and pack on 20 or 30 pounds. But, never dreamt it could happen to ME. How could I GAIN weight by NOT BINGEING?
I guess you could say that I was snatched by the claws of the FRUMIOUS BINGER-SNATCH. I listened to my head and not my stomach and now my pants are paying the price. I didn’t fool myself, or anything. I was completely aware of my behavior. I was, basically grazing on healthy foods — pseudo-healthy carbs. – that were really just simplex carbs, wrapped up in a package of healthy protein. In my defense, I was freaking HUNGRY! I did manage to drink more fluids than perhaps ever since my surgery, and I DID limit my caffeine intake to two cups per day – and have not deviated from that – not even once – but in lieu of those things, I added a bag of Revival Soy Chips (usually the decadent Oh My! Apple Pie flavor for “dessert”), and I had BOTH quiche AND beans in the same SITTING. Oh, and I had my Body Tech Pro pudding in the evening, even though I didn’t need it.
The Bariatric After Life™ can be a minefield sometimes, and we all misstep. Fortunately, I didn’t do any permanent damage (to myself or my psyche), but I did learn (or rather, relearn) a valuable lesson: Too much of a good thing is not good.
So, what am I going to do about it? I could say really negative things and call myself a failure (or worse) but 3 pounds and a snug waistband aren’t worthy of that sort of talk. Actually, NOTHING is worthy of that kinda talk. I know what needs fixing, and I’m fixing it. For me, that looks like three days on a liquid/puree program. This is not punishment; I have found that doing this resets the carbo-clock and helps me to feel more balanced.
On an upbeat note: I am still sober after 19 days. I don’t remember ever going this long without giving in to a cookie (or five) – and believe me, I WANTED a cookie…or cake…or something gooey. I battled that demon and won, so I sure as heck can beat the simple carb monster. It’s all about homeostasis; finding balance and harmony; listening for the answers and making the changes.
Hey, this sounds a lot like what’s happened to my eyes since turning 40: Just like I have to hold everything farther away so I can see it more clearly, I had to take a step back to get a better focus on the future.
• • •
By the way, Jabberwocky is found in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There.
My Story MY JOURNEY
I began my weight loss journey in June of 2007 after my doctor prescribed Meridia. I joined Weight Watchers and, by the time of my Laparoscopic RNY, had shed 50 lbs. My starting weight was 316 lbs (probably higher, but that was the weight I was wiling to accept when I finally set foot on a scale). My goal was 170 lbs., which I hit by June of 2008 - 1 year later.
Today, thanks to a healthy diet , great exercise regimen , and a positive outlook , I weigh 152-156 lbs. and wear a size 4-6-8 and a S/M top.
More importantly, my life is filled with activity and my husband and I relish every weekend together, because we KNOW we'll be doing something enjoyable, like riding our bicycles 30 miles up and down the coast, cruising on our motorcycle, hiking in the local mountains, or just plain working out.
I feel amazing, my confidence is through the roof, and I don't let anything stop me from achieving my goals.
When people ask me how I did it, I tell them this: It was simple, really. I just changed absolutely everything about my life.
It's 100% true.
To maintain my new lifestyle, I must remain steadfastly committed to healthy eating, exercise, AND weekly support group meetings. It's a mantra: EATING, EXERCISE & FRIENDS.
I make it my mission to be the poster child for this tool, because it keeps me honest and accountable, but moreso because it helps other people make their journeys an enjoyable success.
Did I mention? I don't even REMEMBER the old me, but the NEW me can stand in ONE LEG of her old jeans ;-)
I've become the person I always was: Twice the woman in half the body.