Archive for July, 2011

31 Jul 2011

Revelation Day 10

3 Comments Personal Crap

I’m at the 10-day mark of my Revelation Workshop. I’m not cured, but I can honestly say I’m different. The negative thoughts? Still there. But fewer, farther between, and more annoying. I try to think positively. When I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see… I stop looking, instead of picking on myself.

This is not easy. And doing it while I weigh more than I have in years, makes it even harder. But that’s when I need to remind myself that it has ZERO to do with my actual weight. It has to do with my brain, and what’s weighing me down up there. I like this path that I’m on. It’s loaded with little land mines of bad thoughts and numbers on a scale, but I have to keep walking on it. And every time I’m hit with some bullshit shrapnel and I don’t fall down, I get a little stronger. This is a path to self-awareness and joy, and I’m going to walk it, jog it, skip on it, and crawl if I have to. I’m kind of enjoying the journey.

There are about fifteen other things that I want to write about today, but all of them feel too raw to discuss. Maybe “raw” is the wrong word, but they’re all things I still need to ruminate on and I don’t necessarily feel like writhing in front of you as I try to figure stuff out. So I will keep them for future posts.

I will tell you that I had a fantastic date with my husband last night, and it involved insanely good Indian food and a couple of hours at our local pub. And I can tell you that G and I swam AGAIN on Friday and he has officially turned into a fish. For most of our swim date, he was pretending to be MY swim teacher, showing me moves and how to be safe in the water. That was pretty awesome.

I can also tell you that I’m getting ready to attend a blogging conference this coming weekend, where I will meet many amazing, smart, funny and beautiful bloggers from around the country. To say I’m anxious doesn’t cover it. To say I’m a nervous wreck… Kind of does. But also? I can’t wait! This is one of those times I wish I drank more.

And with that… Happy Sunday!

26 Jul 2011

Revelation, Week 2

9 Comments Health, Personal Crap

I have this stupid cold that’s been hanging on for a week. My colds usually stay around for at least three weeks, so I figure I have two to go.

I went to the doctor on Saturday just to make sure it’s just a cold, and I’m not contagious, etc.  So, of course, they weighed me. Fuckers. Fully dressed, shoes on, two cups of coffee and some cereal in my gut.

It was a bad number for me. One I’ve not seen in years. And, even though I knew it was a little off base (because of my 30 pounds of clothing. wink, wink), it made me angry. I was mad that I had been weighed at all, considering I’d done so well NOT weighing myself for the week. And, of course, because I HAD to see the REAL number… I also weighed myself naked when I got home, negating everything I had promised myself about only weighing-in on Mondays. I was 2 and a half pounds less, in case you’re wondering.

The numbers, both at the doc’s office and at home, put a bit of a damper on my mood.

BUT!!! (It’s a big but)

I beat myself up for MUCH less time than usual. I got on with my day, and my weekend and pushed as many of those negative thoughts away as I could. It’s sort of like playing tennis with one of those automatic tennis ball servers. Each ball lobbed at my brain is a negative thought, and I’m using my “positive racket” to hit each one away. Sometimes I miss, sometimes I hit it back. But at least I’m in the game.

I found myself swimming with G again yesterday. And I loved it. It’s getting easier, getting into a swim suit. But I did, unfortunately, say to my friend that I felt fat yesterday. I hated hearing it come out of my mouth and I instantly regretted it. I think that’s a good sign.

So this is my new goal: instead of thinking, “I want to weigh (insert number here) by the time I turn 40”, I’m trying to think, “I want to be happy with myself by the time I turn 40. I can keep working toward whatever it is I’d like to achieve. But I want to be truly happy with me on my birthday.” I like that goal a lot.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go look in the mirror and think of something positive to say. It might just be, “Wow! The reflection of this room is quite lovely in the sunlight.” But I’ll try to make it something like, “Wow! Nice belly-button!” I’ll try.

23 Jul 2011

Flawless Saturday Question & Revelation Blog Update

16 Comments Flawless Saturday Question, Personal Crap

In the spirit of being honest, I will tell you that the second half of yesterday got difficult. Still not as bad as it usually is.

I noticed a few things. One:  I CONSTANTLY feel my stomach when I’m sitting. It’s a habit that I knew I did occasionally but now that I’m trying to be aware of everything, I see that it’s constant. And every time I do it I think, “Oh my god. Horrible.” The good news is I’m aware of it now. Two: When I eat crappy food I feel much worse about myself. Yesterday for lunch I had a lovely salad that I made at home. It was healthy, filling, and left me feeling satisfied. For dinner I had a steak and mushroom pie at our neighborhood pub. Delicious? YUP! But when I got up from the table I felt bad about myself, and bloated. And fat. Three: I want to make some changes to my body by exercising more and being a little more careful with what I eat, BUT I need to make mental changes at the same time. I don’t want to wait for these changes to take place before adjusting my attitude. I want to do it simultaneously. I would love to be proud of myself and my body, no matter what state my figure is in.

I do have to say that my favorite part of yesterday was chalk-drawing with Garrett on the sidewalk outside of our house. He drew a giant swimming pool that we had to keep jumping in, and we swam as fast as we could to the other side.  He kept grabbing my hand and saying, “I’ll help you, Mommy!” Then I pretended to get on a diving board and when he joined me, we held hands and jumped off. We played like this for about an hour. And I don’t think I grabbed my stomach once.

Paying such close attention to this issue feels awkward. And it’s scary to try to let it go. It’s been such an ingrained part of my personality for so long, I wonder who I’ll be without it. I also wonder if I’ll replace it with something else. I have lost other negative behaviors in the recent past, and have only replaced them with feelings of happiness. So, maybe I can accomplish that again. We’ll see.

I’ve decided to only weigh myself on Mondays. Then maybe I’ll make it every other Monday, then maybe the first Monday of the month. But for now, I haven’t weighed myself in days. I had to stop myself yesterday. I stood and stared at the scale for a good three minutes, then walked away. I consider that a big victory.

Thanks for indulging me in this. I appreciate all the support. And I hope, in some way, I’m supporting some of you as well.

To make this a Flawless Saturday Question: Is there some kind of positive change you’d like to see yourself make? There’s no time like the present!! Care to join me?

22 Jul 2011

Revelation and Bathing Suits

14 Comments Personal Crap

Didn’t weigh myself again this morning.  Laughing at myself when I look in the mirror because I’m forcing myself to not think bad things.

Listened to the podcast just now, and it re-affirmed everything I’ve been feeling the last few days. I cringed a lot, but less than I thought I would.

Yesterday was G’s last swim class which meant the moms got in the pool. I put on my BIKINI with the skirted bottom. Why do they even make those? The second you get into the pool, the skirt flies up and you’re just wearing a regular bathing suit. Another mom was in a real bikini. She was insanely skinny. I focused on Garrett and what I needed to do to keep him safe and help him to be a good swimmer. I watched in awe as he swam from one end of the pool to the other, and back into my arms. I held him as he caught the “fish” at the bottom of the shallow end, over and over. I felt proud of my son, and the one or two negative thoughts about my stark white love handles… Vanished into the water.

When it was time to dry off, I didn’t run for my towel to cover myself up. I ran to Garrett’s towel to dry him off. THEN I got my own.

There are changes happening, people.

21 Jul 2011

Revelation

7 Comments Health, Personal Crap

A couple of days ago, I recorded with my dear friend Paul Gilmartin for his podcast, The Mental Illness Happy Hour. First let me tell you a little bit about the podcast, because I love what it does. Paul interviews people, mostly (but not exclusively) in the entertainment industry, who suffer from some sort of depression or addiction. His goal is to help others by letting his audience hear real, honest, and often funny stories and deep, personal truths from people who are going through what is very common yet often hidden.  His goal is to get those who suffer to seek help, and to know they are not alone. He describes it as the “waiting room outside of the psychologist’s office.” Listen to some of his interviews. They’re very eye-opening.

I have never been depressed, nor addicted so I am a bit different from other people he’s interviewed. But he thought I had enough insecurities and neuroses to qualify me for an interview. He was right.

I have had severe body issues my entire life. I’m incredibly fortunate that they never progressed to the point of me becoming bulimic or anorexic, but they have often paralyzed me with deep insecurity and fear. Therapy helped me with many of my other anxieties and insecurities, but this was one nut I was never able to crack. Motherhood softened the self-hatred a little, but the gnawing pain of always feeling “not good enough” never went away. I could try to ignore it, or put it on the back-burner for a minute or a day, but I always knew it was there, waiting for me to quite literally feed it again.

I have never passed a mirror without looking in it and criticizing what I saw.

I weigh myself every morning. Whether I’m up a pound or down a pound, this is unhealthy behavior.

I pinch my stomach and arms in the car, or while I’m watching TV, or eating and I think, “That’s disgusting.”

When my husband tells me I’m beautiful, I click my tongue and say, “Ugh. Whatever.”

These are just daily habits of mine. Daily, horrible habits that I have had as long as I can remember.

A year and a half ago, I was the skinniest I had been since high school, and I can honestly say I felt good about my body. (Although now I look back and think I got too thin.) This did not stop me from the weighing, the criticizing, or the pinching. It did stop some of the mean voices, and I was able to take a compliment. But these are things one should be able to do at any weight.

So, two days ago Paul and I talked, with microphones in front of us and a computer logging every word. And for most of the interview, I discussed my body issues. I had heard myself say many of these things before but knowing hundreds, possibly thousands of people would hear what I was saying… Changed everything. For the first time I really heard what I was saying. I heard myself describe this pathetic, self-involved, time-wasting behavior. I was embarrassed that others would now hear it, too.

That night I told my husband I felt like something in me had shifted. I told him I felt lighter. He was so happy to hear these words, but then we both voiced our desire to be cautious on the matter.  He wants so much for me to let this go, but he knows how long I’ve carried this burden. So we are both cautiously optimistic.

The podcast will post tonight, or early tomorrow. And, although I’m sick to my stomach about people hearing it, I’m praying it reaches someone. I’m praying it makes someone angry enough at me, that it changes something in them. And truly, I’m praying that this change in me is real, and that it sticks. I’d like to live the rest of my life without that idiotic monkey on my back. Or at least with the strength to kick it’s ass when it jumps on my shoulders.

I texted Paul last night to tell him he may have changed my life. He called immediately to see what was going on, and encouraged me to keep a journal of how I feel daily, over the next few weeks or months. So, I’m going to try to do that here for everyone to see. I imagine many other women feel this way, and I think it’s time we all figure out how to let it go… Maybe even stop future generations from feeling these things. I told Paul that in therapy I learned that I could change my behavior to make other people treat me differently. Why can’t I change my behavior to treat myself differently?

This morning I forced myself to NOT weigh myself. That is a start.

16 Jul 2011

Catching You Up

17 Comments Personal Crap

Okay, so it’s been thirteen days since my last post, and it was 15 days before THAT one. So, I’ve only written twice in an entire month. I’m going to do my best to catch you up on what’s been going on without boring you into an early grave.

In June, we took a road trip to Oregon to see our niece get married. I absolutely love going to Oregon to be with my husband’s family, but the joy has tripled since having Garrett. When we go, it’s like walking into a whole other world. My in-laws live on a lovely farm and G-Man gets to see animals, feed cows, pick berries, walk long distances without ever leaving the property, play on bales of hay… All the things he could never do in the San Fernando Valley.

We took two days to drive up and two days to drive home, stopping both times in Sacramento.  We had a fantastic time driving. We stopped at fun and delicious places to eat, we took our time, and we really had a blast. The wedding, in which G was the ring-bearer, was lovely. Our niece married a wonderful man, and I’m so happy for them. I’ll try to detail some of the places we ate in another post.

The day after we got home, Russ started a job. It’s his first job outside of the house since G was an infant. Yes, for over three years, we’ve been fortunate enough for Russ to make his living from home, which has afforded me the luxury of working, auditioning, and doing whatever else needed to be done, without worrying about anything. Russ was always there to pick G up, if needed, and to handle anything else. So all of a sudden, I’ve found myself having to juggle in a way I haven’t had to do… Ever. I have to say it’s been thoroughly exhausting. But it’s a satisfying exhaustion. I’m enjoying it.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I kind of love this whole “being a mom” thing. And there’s a certain joy that comes with having to work your ass off to make sure you get everything done, and still get back in time to take care of your kid. I’m not saying it’s not hard. But I do feel very lucky.

I also think it’s probably good for my man and I to have this separation. We’ve kind of been in each other’s faces every day for almost four years. And, we’ve both loved it. But his going out into the world has added a new dimension to our relationship. I’m cooking more again. We talk about our day when G goes to bed. We get to miss each other a little. I think it’s a good thing. For now, at least.  The only BIG problem is he takes my laptop to work!! This is one of the reasons I haven’t been able to blog. By the time he gets home with it and we eat dinner and get G to bed… I’m toast.

In other news, there’s been some headway with the super-secret-project I’m working on. I look forward to getting to tell you what it is. It looks promising, but I never count on anything.

In other, other news, I keep thinking about the fact that I’m turning 40 in November. I’m trying to remember my whole, “Road to Contentment” thing. I’m looking for a gym or something similar so I can start focusing on my health again. (I say “health”, but I kind of mean “ass”.) I’m also trying to figure out how to celebrate this birthday. Giant party? Trip to NY? Lock myself in a room and cry for a week? Kidding. I’ll only cry for two days.

Okay, how’s that? Did I successfully catch you up? Did I bore you? I swear I’m going to try to get back into the daily routine sometime soon. I might have to do lascivious things to earn the money to buy another laptop. Oops! I just accidentally took nude photos on my cell phone! I hope no one gets a hold of them (for about $2300.00).

02 Jul 2011

Flawless Saturday Question

22 Comments Flawless Saturday Question

Hello, folks. I’ve missed you. I was in Oregon for a week and this week Garrett is home from school and my husband has had (and will continue to have) our lap top at work. So, my ability to communicate has been grossly stunted.  It will be less stunted in the coming weeks, but still slightly stunted. Stunted. Just wanted to say it again.

Summer’s here. Did you know that? It is! And with summer comes heat. And with heat comes barbecues and parties and… Swimming pools. Ergo, bathing suits. I will be donning a bathing suit in two days to celebrate the 4th of July by swimming with my son and eating copious amounts of tortilla chips. I will most likely hate every ounce of my body in said bathing suit, but I will act like I don’t. I will act like I LOVE being in a bathing suit so that my son senses good times instead of horrible insecurity. And maybe, just maybe, I can pretend SO well… I might forget to hate myself.

I would skinny dip if it meant my son having a good time. Which it wouldn’t. It would just be really weird and embarrassing. For everyone involved. But you get my point. Right?

Are you swim suit ready? If not, will you still swim? Why or why not?

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UPDATE

Dreamed all night that I looked fantastic in a bikini. I kept looking down at my stomach in disbelief. It was a good dream except for the fact that I didn’t at all ENJOY the fact that I looked so good. I just kept acting stunned and bewildered.

The suit I’ll wear tomorrow is one of those halter tops with a sort of blousey thing going on and a skirted bottom. So hilarious.


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