Saturday, July 28, 2007

Wasting food...

Thanks to my Google Alert, I found Jonathan's post on his blog, Wasted Food, entitled "Eating Disorders and Waste."

He replies to a post by Karen Koenig, author of The Rules of Normal Eating entitled, "Rational Eating Beliefs."

I had half a mind to post the following reply to Jonathan:

You don't get it.

Depending on what type of eating disorder one has, leftovers in the fridge may fuel a binge (and possibly a subsequent purge by vomiting, laxative abuse, or starvation.) Worrying about taking too much food may lead to feelings of guilt and shame and consequently, not enough food is taken and the body turns to its organs for fuel.

Many people with eating disorders feel that eating is a waste of food. We don't feel that we are worth nourishing. When in the throes of an eating disorder, I would never take seconds - even if I was still hungry. I didn't want to "waste" food that could be used to fuel someone else - someone more worthy of living.

While recovering from my eating disorder, I needed to allow myself to "waste" food. I needed to learn how to listen to my body to figure out when I was hungry and full - because I had lost that connection. I needed to learn to believe that it was okay to miscalculate and take too much. It reinforced the belief that it's okay not to be perfect.

Now that I'm recovered, I gauge better how much food I need. I'm not afraid to take seconds if I'm still hungry. I save leftovers and am not worried that it will fuel a binge.

And I teach my son to listen to his body and give him the choice of what to do with the uneaten bits on his plate. "Do you want to save it for later? Or should I throw it away?" He almost always wants me to save it. But it's his choice. He is worth more than a few bits of food.

And so am I.

I didn't post this comment.


Because my husband said it best, "He won't ever get it."

Very few people who have never suffered or supported someone who suffered through an eating disorder will ever understand the torments in our minds. The feelings of worthlessness, the feelings of shame and loathing that accompany every minute of the day and crescendo at mealtimes.

Waste food?

Yeah, I waste food and I don't even bat an eyelash. I refuse to give food the power to shame me anymore.

I'm more than what I eat.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I'm it?

I've been tagged? Carla tagged... me? 8-O
I've never been tagged before... so forgive me if I do something wrong. lol

1. What are your nicest and ugliest articles of clothing?
Let's see... my nicest would be my ball gown that I bought to attend an inaugral ball at the National Press Club. Very elegant.
My ugliest? The only piece of clothing that I didn't get rid of when I moved last year is my graduation gown when I received my Masters. Has the most hideous sleeves on earth.

2. What are your favorite and least-favorite things about the city/town you live in?
My favorite thing? Hard question because there is so much that I love about my town. My first thought was "my favorite thing is that my husband, son and dog are there," but they would be with me no matter where I lived, so that isn't specific to the current town. Uhm... I would have to say that my favorite thing is the convenience of everything - mall down the road one way, outlet mall the other, Super-Target a few minutes drive, awesome grocery store that I can walk to, major metro just a short hour's drive away (on the weekends...)
The least favorite thing - traffic.

3. What were the longest and shortest durations of your romantic relationships?
Define romantic relationship?
Assuming that this means a connection in which one fantasizes about spending the rest of one's life with the other person, I would have to say the shortest was about one month.
The longest? Twelve years and ten months***... and counting! 8-)

4. Who are the oldest and youngest people in your family?
Define family? lol
If you mean my extended non-furry family... (meaning no animals. lol)
My grandma is 94 years and 10 months old.
My niece is just over 2 years.

5. Who are your neatest and messiest friends?
Never thought about it... All my friends are like me, I suppose - both messy and neat, depending on which room of the house we're discussing.

And I'm going to add a question to this...
6. How do you feel about being tagged?
As I mentioned, I'd never been tagged before.

I've seen mentions of tags on other blogs where I would immediately be flooded with longing. "Pick me! Pick me! I know the answer. I will play my hardest. I won't disappoint. Please choose me!"

So after the initial shock and the "me? No, not me. Can't be me? But who else is named Jeanne? Really? She tagged me?" I felt wanted. I felt seen.

I'm relatively new around this corner of the blogosphere. I've read and commented, posted and responded, lurked and butted in with my pennies, but this is the first time that I've felt that I belong.

We all want to be picked for the team. We all want to identify with others and say, "Yes! I'm with someone." There is strength there, in the numbers...

It's not about the numbers?

Absolutely true - when the numbers are used for comparisons.

But when the quantity isn't what matters, when the quality is cherished, when there is no more than/less than, there is strength.

So, thank you, Carla. Thank you for tagging me. Thank you for helping me realize that I belong.

So, in no particular order,

Mr. H4H
Sarah (but carla already tagged you)
Ms. Em
Disordered girl
carla (I know, you tagged me)
eve (carla beat me to you)
Biby cletus
and anyone who has read Digging Me Up under the Cloak of Invisibility

I tag you.
Because we all belong.

*** I originally had 9 years and 2 months, however my hubby reminded me that that is just how long we've been married. We've actually been in a relationship since Sept. 30, 1994 - the day he took (what he thought was) a huge leap straight towards crash and burn and asked me out. Just goes to prove that great rewards come from great risks. ;-)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Searching for ...?

Carrie posted an interesting commentary about the similarities between women's and girls' clothing.

Amazing, isn't it? And what's really effed up is that many girls look forward to having curves... then something happens to many of those girls and they no longer want the curves. Or if they do, they want them on a thin body.

In my case, the something was that I was abused and didn't want to look feminine/sexy for fear that I would elicit more abuse. The beginnings of my negative body image and the thickest root of my eating disorder.

Fast forward to March of this year.
On a family vacation to Florida's Universal Studios, I wanted to buy myself a souvenir. I always need T-shirts since my better ones I wear to work (with skirts.) So I looked in the Marvel Land shops (we spent a lot of time in the comic book heroes shops. lol) I looked around at all the adult shirts. BORING! All of them were uni-sex, which really means that they look best on guys. I wanted something more feminine and cute; flirty. They also carried other characters - Storm (from the X-men) with the word ELECTRIFYING, the Hulk, and one other that I can't remember.

The shirts were exactly what I was looking for!


It was for girls (as opposed to women.)

I sighed and moved on, but I kept going back to the rack with those shirts. I found the XL and held it up to my chest (to see if it would stretch around my far-from-girlish curves. Which it would.)

I hemmed.
I hawed.

I bought myself two of them - the Spiderman and the Storm.

I liked the message - I'm amazing. I'm electrifying. I'm feminine. I may be 32, but I'm still cute! Damn straight and no apologies!

When I wear one of these shirts, I feel confident. [I was about to write sexy, but what is sexy really, but self-confidence in one's whole being?]

But what is sad and disturbing is that I found these clothes in the girls' section. The lines between the ages have blurred so much... Or is it my perspective that is changing? Could it be that I am (desperately) clinging to my youth? Afraid of appearing aged?

Or am I just acting my age? I'm in my early thirties - I AM young. I AM youthful.

So what if I have lots of "grown-up" responsibilities. Why does that mean that I have to give up frivolity? Why does it mean that I can't play on the playgrounds (with or without my son?) Why is Dumbledore seen as "mental" for enjoying Bertie's Every Flavor Beans from time to time? Or for saying fun words that make people smile? None of it detracted from the knowledge that he obtained; from the wisdom which connected the dots.

I may be 32, but I'm not dead. While I have lots of knowledge and have made many connections in my life, I haven't lost my sense of fun, my love of laughter. I refuse to grow-up, if growing-up means that I give up fun and laughter.

Damn straight and no apologies!

Isn't that what self-confidence is all about?

"Nitwit, blubber, oddment, tweak!" (from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Inside my head

"'Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?'" Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling, page 723

I lost track of how many times I was told, "It's all in your head" with the implication that I was making it up/dreaming/hallucinating. And not just from my mom who sent me to school with colds, rarely takes pain meds herself (and used to scoff at people who needed to), and asked me why I couldn't just "snap out of" my eating disorder relapse.

When I was in high school, I had a cavity in between my two front teeth. The dentist (my parents' choice and one who would have reminded me of Steve Martin, had he had even an ounce of humanity) gave me a shot of novocaine, gave it a few minutes, then said, "Make a fist if it hurts." He started drilling. Not a few minutes in, something didn't feel right, so I made a fist. He stopped, sighed in exasperation, gave me another shot, and continued drilling. After another few minutes, something felt wrong. I made a fist.

The dentist stopped, sighed heavily in exasperation, and said, "It's all in your head."

He continued to fill my teeth as tears streamed down my face.

My poor dad - this was the first time he had ever taken me to an appointment. I came out of the room, crying and swearing, "That son of a b---h; I'm never coming back here again."

No surprise that I fear dentists, huh?

But like Dumbledore tells Harry in the quote at the beginning of this post, just because something is in one's head does not mean it isn't real. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

It's taken me most of my life to believe that my emotions are real and valuable and natural. Just because no one can see my anger, my fear, my pain, my happiness, just because these things are inside of me, doesn't mean that they aren't real.

After I accepted these things are true, really accepted them, my recovery seemed easier. These beliefs sustain me because I am the mistress of my life. I have choices to make everyday. I choose to own all of my choices - whether anyone sees them or not.

So now, when stress rises in my life, I choose to breathe. I choose to write as a way to organize my thoughts so that I can prioritize. I choose to let go the things that can't be changed (like the actions/thoughts/beliefs of others.) I choose to ignore the voice that tells me that self-injury with food is the answer.

I am the mistress of my life. I am always in charge. Though I may delegate my authority, I refuse to relinquish my power to anyone. Inside my head or out.

This is my core belief.

What is yours?