words fail

"I guess I wanted to believe
'Cause if I just believe then I don't have to see what's really there

No, I'd rather pretend I'm something better than these broken parts
Pretend I'm something other than this mess that I am
'Cause then I don't have to look at it
And no one gets to look at it
No, no one can really see

Cause I've learned to slam on the brake
Before I even turn the key
Before I make the mistake
Before I lead with the worst of me
I never let them see the worst of me

'Cause what if everyone saw?
What if everyone knew?
Would they like what they saw?
Or would they hate it too?
Will I just keep on running away from what's true?"

-dear even hansen, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Steven Levenson

the difference between letting go and giving up

i've been free falling.

sometime at the beginning of this year i decided i didn't want to be on the hamster wheel anymore. 

maybe there was a tiny part of my brain that wanted to get back on, wanted the structure of an eating and exercise plan, the comfort of the familiar regiment. wash. rinse. repeat.  it's easy.  it keeps me in check. it keeps me in line.

in check for what?

in line for whom?

i didn't go back on a plan though. i kept eating what i wanted and napping on the hamster wheel because i was just...done. 

"hey!  hey! if you're done with that can you get off? i need to get my cardio in!"

"hey!  hey! if you're done with that can you get off? i need to get my cardio in!"

eating felt like a buffet of my most favorite things with a double helping of shame and guilt. 

my workouts suffered.  i stopped going because i was conflicted. i felt like i was moving my body because i hated myself not because it felt good. 

   THIS. IS. A. LIE.                                                                

   THIS. IS. A. LIE.                                                                

i regretted some workouts. i felt shitty about myself afterwards because i felt slow and ridiculous. my body hurt. i was listening to the voice in my head that tells me i'm a shitty person because i eat shitty food and that's why i move so shitty in the gym. 

something that used to bring me so much joy was taken away from me. i love my gym.  it feels like home most days except earlier this year where it felt like failure and disgust. i stopped going for awhile, maybe a month?  i don't really remember.  it's like i don't want to remember january to may because it was too depressing. 

during this time i would often hold my belly in both of my hands and imagine how much better everything would be if this didn't exist.  i thought about how much better everything would be if i was just someone else altogether. 

it was too much. i was too much. i felt like i had lost myself. for most of my adult life my identity had been tied to fitness and heath.  people really like you when you're going to the gym, then spin class, then posting recipes of your keto/paleo/salad/lowcarb/sugarfree bullshit online. it feels good to be liked and respected. no one was going to like or respect me for my body but they'll like and respect me because i demonstrate the "right" behavior for someone who looks like me.  

someone "healthy".

3.5 mile run + 90 minute soulcycle class =  Me: "I'm going to fall asleep in the tub." Sadia Harper: "Please don't die."

3.5 mile run + 90 minute soulcycle class =  Me: "I'm going to fall asleep in the tub."
Sadia Harper: "Please don't die."

i hated this person that people thought i was. i felt like an imposter. i was doing all the "right" things but it was never enough and i'm pretty sure i knew it wasn't enough. that i'd never be ok with myself no matter what i looked like. 

doing all this in the name of "health" made me feel ok about this behavior though.  

i had decided i needed a new doctor as my last one couldn't remember who i was much less remember what i came in for last year when i needed a cortisone shot for my left knee.

i didn't bother finding one right away because i wasn't ready to be told to lose weight...again. i perused therapists online but didn't make any effort to book an appointment because i wasn't really ready to deal with whatever it was that was causing this free fall.  

i was hoping it would sort itself out and i'd eventually get back onto the hamster wheel.

because that's what happens right?  your problems fix themselves when you go back to that sugar-free life and you can do cardio again at the gym without feeling like death.

i wanted to crawl inside of a huge delicious sandwich to die.

i wanted to crawl inside of a huge delicious sandwich to die.

i gave up.

i sat in this mess of "give-up" for awhile.  i mediated and i felt better briefly. i went to yoga and i felt better briefly.  i threw myself into work and i could ignore it for a couple of hours. i talked to my husband about it and felt bad and stupid and embarrassed about it because i was crying about food and my inability to control it.

i cuddled with my dog because sometimes that's the only thing that feels genuine, real and good.

charlie pancakes whispers sweet everythings into my ear.

charlie pancakes whispers sweet everythings into my ear.

i feel like i had to come out of this funk to deal with life once summer hit and the busy-ness of summer was upon us.  we traveled and saw friends and family. friends and family traveled and came to stay with us.  i shoved aside a lot of these feelings into the back of my brain because i couldn't deal with them AND life stuffs at the same time.

this felt ok most of the time. i still had no idea what i was going to do about any of it.  the plan was to keep free falling and eating whatever, whenever, in whatever quantities i wanted. i tested the waters with working out again and it started to feel good again after i decided i needed movement more than i needed to excel at everything thrown at me at circuit class. i did the bare minimum in class. i didn't push it to my limit. i often felt lame for not doing everything with gusto but i told that part of my brain to shut up because something felt better than nothing.

this summer i told that part of my brain to stfu every day so i could try and do normal life things and it worked.

i had pushed so much of this stuff to the back of my brain that it was easy to forget i had signed up for this retreat/workshop at be nourished. i had read every page of their website and listened to hilary and dana on podcasts but really had no idea what i would be stepping into when i got to the little house on n. williams across the street from the tastiest little chocolate potato doughnuts at tasty n' sons (i think about this doughnut hole more than i should).

after friday evening i knew it was going to be a tough weekend for an empathic person like me.  i cried often and quietly because i didn't want to be loud about anything while people shared.

i had forgotten so much of my childhood that it was surprising to realize how early a lot of this started. food was at the center of everything growing up.  i just got back from a family wedding and realized it still is.  we buy and surround ourselves with so much food like there's a great famine coming and this wall of burgers will protect us from everything. 

replace society with family and that also works.

replace society with family and that also works.

a lot of memories came flooding back to me, reminding me this hasn't just been this year that has been a struggle, it's been my entire life.  

it's now clear why i need as many naps as i take/want each week.

i'm fucking tired. 

bd5d9b334f67352410f20b7763b29d56--nap-friends.jpg

this year is the year it has hit me that i don't want to waste any more time on feeling bad about myself. 

i don't want to be praised for being "good" because i go to the gym or don't eat bread.  

being praised in a national magazine for losing weight fueled my exercise addiction and orthorexia.

being praised in a national magazine for losing weight fueled my exercise addiction and orthorexia.

not when i'm paying for it with knee surgery, copious amounts of physical therapy and complete distrust of my body and it's ability to feed and take care of itself.

this doesn't mean i've stopped wanting to lose weight. this doesn't mean that i'm ok with my body and how it looks and moves.  i still want these things. i still want some relief from the voice that tells me i'm a horrible human being for not working out or eating kale. i don't necessarily believe this voice will ever go away. i don't know if i'll ever stop wanting to be thin.

but i do know that what i've been doing for my entire life hasn't worked so i need to stop doing that. 

i'm letting go of all the crap i've gone through to get to this point because i know there's a better way. there is a way to exist in this body as it is right now and not -30 lbs from now that doesn't feel like hell.  there is a way to navigate food that doesn't make me lose my mind counting macros or lose my mind bingeing. there is a way to not hate my body on days when i can't love it. 

everything is a process isn't it?

everything is a process isn't it?

there is no thin person inside of me wanting to get out Oprah. there has never been a thin person living inside of me who is a better version of me.  there's only been me, in this body, in this container for my guts, trying to figure shit out in a world that is doing everything in its power to make me want to be someone else.

tumblr_mjiw2fzjAv1qd3nmgo1_500.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i don't know what happens now. ever since the retreat i've been slowing down trying to navigate food choices that feel good and not "correct" in the lens of healthism. i've been eating and feeling less guilt about what i've consumed.  i haven't flipped any particular switch in my brain and all of a sudden food is shame-free.  i think i have a deeper understanding that has come to light during the retreat that none of this is my fault and that's made it easier to let go of the guilt. 

we were all sold this idea that there is only one "correct" way to look.  belonging and love and acceptance only goes to those who fit into this ideal. everyone else take a backseat because we don't give two shits about you.  you don't deserve nice clothes or decent space in airplanes. you don't deserve time or attention unless it's to mock you or ridicule you for what you eat and especially for what you look like (ahem: dani mathers, diana andrews). 

anger was really the biggest emotion i walked away with from last weekend.  it's odd since anger really isn't in my regular vocabulary of emotions.  i steer clear of it because it's uncomfortable, scary and aggressive but it was the realest thing i felt on that last day of the retreat.  angry that i've been made to feel like a complete failure because i did all the right things and it didn't work. i didn't win. i don't get pass go and collect $200. i get to stay on the hamster wheel until i'm thin enough to be accepted by a society that doesn't care what i'm doing to be "healthy" (which isn't healthy in the slightest)  just that i stay "healthy" because it is my moral obligation to be "healthy" and anything less means i'm slovenly, lazy and bad.

i think anger is probably what i needed though since anger motivates me to change, pushes my kapha self to do something.

that something is opening myself up to a different way of living that's rooted in self-love and self-care.

the first tangible real step in this direction?

my first therapy appointment is this Friday.

BALI

I'm at a loss for words when I think about this upcoming trip to Bali. Miranda, Sadia and I confirmed our locations and reservations and we're splitting our time between:

Ubud:

photo from our airbnb rental #1

photo from our airbnb rental #1

and Kuta/Seminyak.

airbnb rental #2 

airbnb rental #2 

I keep thinking, in typical white girl fashion we're going to yoga and write in our journals and what not but it dawned on me that all three of us are not white.

i'm still working through some shit that came up during the Be Nourished Workshop I just finished.  It's both parts relief and a mixture of anger/sadness. i'm giving myself space and not putting pressure on myself to write about it or feel the need to talk too much about it to people outside of the other workshop participants which feels good.  

In the meantime I'm in a small town called Winters in California for my cousin's wedding. While I'm never completely prepared to handle the onslaught of family and food and all the emotions that go with it it's ok, I'm mildly prepared which is enough. For now.

 

Carbs

Today in 'Carbs are not the Enemy' we have pasta and ice cream.  

i think this was the most successful pasta dish i've made since bringing carbs back into my life after years of being deathly afraid of them.

who knew scrambled eggs and butter would make an amazing sauce?  well, the folks at Hugo's in LA knew. i had this dish a lifetime ago when I lived there and well, it stuck with me. 

those are field roast sausages.  i keep toying with the idea of going back to being a vegetarian. it's hard to know what my body wants these days while i'm learning to trust that it knows what it wants and i don't have to police it. 

i bused it this morning downtown to an OTATPDX (a portland dog rescue volunteer/foster with) training meeting. i rarely find myself downtown and par for the course i thought about places in the area that i want to eat at since i'm never there.  the pine street market which i've only been to once was about 7 blocks away and i made my way there afterwards for a slice of pizza and some soft serve from wiz bang bar.  i walked the remaining 4 blocks to the bus stop happily eating my cookies and cream blizzard and for a split second i found myself not thinking about how horrible the sugar i was consuming was for me.

the fact i can turn off that voice for a split second is progress.

i had lunch with sue on saturday in which i confessed that i knew i had a problem right after coming out of my knee surgery i woke up from anesthesia faced with a packet of graham crackers and apple juice and a nurse telling me to eat.

my first thought was, 'i'm on the whole 30 diet. i can't.'

i knew i was being dumb. i ate the crackers and drank the juice.

but i did sit there feeling like i was failing at life because i couldn't stick to a diet.

i was so mired in this idea of being 'healthy' and that meant doing things like the whole 30 or being paleo or not consuming processed anything.

i was so lost in this that i couldn't really see that 'health' was being marketed to me.

and i bought it.

to my own detriment.

navigating this shit is hard as fuck. know that you're not alone in figuring this shit out.

right now, the mantra is: carbs are not the enemy.

this. this is how i love you.

 i've stopped meditating. i've stopped writing.

i started lifting heavier at circuit training and started eating carbs again. 

friends have come and gone and come again and gone again.  houseguests are fun. they fill your time with interesting conversations and good food and books and adventures.

my parents came to visit for my birthday and portland decided to give them the most amazing weather before turning into satan's butthole. (approx 111 degrees)

i learned that i'm still at the mercy of my knee and that my footwear matters more than ever or my PT will have none of my complaining about pain.

 

this.  this is my future folks.  the future is very beige and has great arch support.

this.  this is my future folks.  the future is very beige and has great arch support.

i took time off. i got a sunburn in orange county and swam to my little heart's content. i saw old friends. i went to la.  i saw malcy.  i'm the last person he knows who still calls him that.  he's letting me keep that one thing. i saw my old neighborhood.  hollywood is weird and different. it almost feels like la never happened to me, that life feels so far away. how did i do it? i don't remember this person who used to work on sunset blvd and live in the hotel california with the broken elevator that always had dog pee in it. 

i just remember baggy raver clothing, bad attempts at bleaching my own hair and keeping shared cartons of cigarettes in the freezer.

there wasn't much social media back then and i was using a landline so the awkward raver days (not to be confused with the awkward heavy metal days) go mostly undocumented.

which is the best for everyone really.

i went back to work and lost myself in it trying to catch up. there were a couple of yoga classes, some strength circuits  and one rogue spin class that made me realize how much i am no longer a cardio person.

i used to be solely a cardio person.

who are all these weird foreign people i used to be?

maybe i'll be a cardio person again later in life.  maybe not. maybe ufo skirts and jenko jeans will come back into fashion and i'll start writing crazy essays about the spiritualness of house music again. 

maybe not.

this. i lived in a black version of this skirt. this was my past. my horrible reflector tape and cargo pocket past.

this. i lived in a black version of this skirt. this was my past. my horrible reflector tape and cargo pocket past.

i've been spending most of my days in some form of bathing suit since the weather has turned into something akin to the inside of a microwaved hot pocket.  we bought a kiddie pool and filled it with water for afternoon cold soaks in an attempt to feel normal.  (nothing feels normal.)

i am surprisingly ok hanging out in my bikini.

i am more disturbed by how much i dislike the word bikini and how white my belly is. 

next week the hotpocalypse continues and jeff heads to the bay area leaving me alone with the dogs to bake in this weather. i imagine the dogs and i will continue to set up camp in the cool-ish basement and i can shame watch reality television, read manga and eat poke bowls for every meal.

these weirdos don't judge. except charlie. he still rolls his eyes when i try to watch the bachelorette.

these weirdos don't judge. except charlie. he still rolls his eyes when i try to watch the bachelorette.

i wrote about my recent photo shoot with cheyenne gil and how august is the anniversary of my prevention magazine article.  I couldn't stop thinking about how much noise and praise people lavish upon you when you lose weight. They openly admire your dedication and your discipline to fitness and diet. They congratulate you for making what they consider are good decisions. All the while having no idea how badly you need to eat a sandwich and take a nap.

this person i remember more clearly.  this person is still fresh in my brain. she's not buried somewhere deep like jersey or hollywood.  she's still hanging around saying things like "you remember me because you want to be me again, right? people loved me because i was so good at going to the gym. people wanted to know me and write about me because i stopped being fat for a hot second. why wouldn't you want to be me again? it's really easy."

she's right.  it's really easy.

it's harder to really know what i need to do to take care of myself.  it's harder to cancel a workout than it is to go to the gym when i know my body hasn't recovered yet from the last one. it's harder to be soft. to be gentle with myself. 

photo credit: the oh so lovely cheyenne gil

photo credit: the oh so lovely cheyenne gil

it's really easy to look at yourself and list all the things you hate about yourself.

it's harder to say this is how i love you, this is how i love you, let me count the ways.

 

 

busy

that's no excuse but there have indeed been many distractions in the past month.

the return of OITNB.

 

like falling in love with bean, our foster dog.

 

laying around in new bathing suits waiting for a streak of hot enough weather to frolic.

Eating carbs.

i sorta want to get the diagram of the biscuit belly popping out of the can tattooed on my forearm.

i sorta want to get the diagram of the biscuit belly popping out of the can tattooed on my forearm.

 

cutting all my hair off.

i often forget i have this tattoo.

i often forget i have this tattoo.

 

there's work. new projects abound. 

there's PT. i'm back in physical therapy for my knee because i just don't want to live my life in 1 mile increments. the new ritual is doing my PT exercises on the daily while watching episodes of American Ninja Warrior.  

don't ask. i don't know why.

there's finding myself back to an almost regular workout schedule which includes no longer includes self loathing if i do not stick to the schedule.

there's no longer feeling like a failure because i've lost some gains and am not lifting as heavy as i used to.

there's no longer feeling like being the slowest, gimpiest, limpiest person is a bad thing.

it's a no thing.

because no one cares how slow i am. so i shouldn't care.

there is still this underlying fluttering feeling of anxiety when faced with a food decision. the conversations i need to have with myself on what to eat are ridiculous.  removing the weight and meaning i've given to certain foods seems to take forever to recover from. i have to stop myself from labeling things as good and bad.  it's all just food.

that's taking more work than anything else really.

i've been filling my days with life stuffs which include long bouts of nothing, napping and listening to podcasts. once in awhile i'll feel like maybe i'm missing out on something exciting that might be happening outside my front door but that one is much easier to let go of. i'm good at that part of self care. the part that includes blankets and sleeping puppies and hibernation.

in other news, i'm going to bali in november.

ubud here i come.

 

 

 

ermrgh.

vegas is weird.  it's oddly familiar and at the same time completely foreign. i've been a handful of times but never for vacation.  once i lived at the wynn for a week working on a project and it was one part awesome living in a fancy hotel room with the deepest tub i soaked in every night with room service and the rest of the part horrible having to walk through a maze of casinos and tacky shops to get outside.

and then outside is a hot burning desert of cab lines.

i managed to make it through 3 full days there with only one minor breakdown realizing my legs stop functioning after 5 miles on tradeshow walking.

thank god for another deep tub.  after day 1 of hd vegas i found myself missing drinks and soaking for an hour, alternating between ice cold water and heat.

 

last day fatigue is apparent on my face.

last day fatigue is apparent on my face.

i got home late thursday night. despite a medical emergency on our flight i reached my house at 10PM and promptly cuddled my dog and husband, took a shower and passed out. 

friday was surreal. i know i worked.  i got reports out and then passed out. and then went to a movie.

what?

i don't feel like i caught up on sleep until 4 days later in acupuncture.

this is turning out to be the most boringest post ever.  life is boring 95% of the time.  

 

 

work

today is day 5 of managing to choose to meditate in the morning instead of jumping right into work. 

yay!

it's helped that i haven't had any early morning workouts scheduled.  i had PT this morning at 7:40AM but managed to squeeze in some puppy time and some cave meditation before heading off to get my knee manhandled.

i worked with a PT intern who is finishing up school in May and we talked shop. i was so close to starting down that path before having to leave SF.  our talks this morning really made me want to consider it again. my own injury recovery has led me down the rabbit hole of anatomy and function and i really miss being in school.

 

i am good at school.

i am good at school.

yesterday i went through the closet to see what i can get away with wearing in vegas next week.  i don't remember how to dress like a somewhat professional person so i'm going through the process of trying things on and seeing if i look almost normal in these foreign clothes. 

it's alright i guess. i'm mostly worried about my footwear choices as the tradeshow is the destroyer of feet.

i re-read a 2 page journal entry from sf where i ranted about how difficult it was to make a decision to have a bagel or not.  

jesus christ.

 

my superhero name is shortie bigs and i'm really good at getting things off of low shelves.

making it to an evening spin class is like going to the dentist.  i have all day to talk myself out of not going.  i drag my feet. i dread it.

but then i get there and i see shiny capes and masks in assorted colors and i get to choose my colors because i'm early (i'm always early even when i drag my feet) and i start to get excited.

keith has a themed spin party at least once a month.  this month was super hero themed. 

 

i love my little gym so much.

i love my little gym so much.

i took a break from spin last fall.  out of nowhere i just decided i wanted to do the least amount of cardio as possible.  i managed to get back on a bike this past weekend for Paisley's 90 minute and my knee was happier for it.  it was tough on the calves but it was good practice kicking my ego in the ass and doing what i needed to do to take care of myself and not thrash myself just to keep up with the class.  last night was no different.  i did what i could and stuff that didn't feel right i skipped.

self care = doing what you can and not what you think you should be doing.

i got home from class and shortly after little jack arrived, the puggle (we think) mix we're dog sitting while his foster family is out of town. charlie's been ok with him so far.  they ran and wrestled themselves into a frenzy.  it's the first time i've witnessed charlie being overprotective of his toys but he's getting better about it. we may be a 2 dog household sometime this year if the right dog comes along.  there's a possible staffie who may need fostering and well, i'm a sucker for a squat smooth coat.

image from wikipedia's staffordshire bull terrier page. i mean seriously, can they get any cuter?

image from wikipedia's staffordshire bull terrier page. i mean seriously, can they get any cuter?

one of the things that having a dog around has helped me with is taking work stuff less seriously.  i had no idea that would happen when we brought charlie home.  when work stuff becomes stressful i take a minute to just watch charlie take the stuffing out of a new toy or run around the yard like a nutjob and all of a sudden things don't feel so dire. he's the reminder that there are more important things than getting upset that your vendors are failing you or deadlines keep moving. 

in other news, i'm heading to vegas for work next week and while i'm mostly excited about it i'm a little wary.  i haven't been to this tradeshow in years and i just remember them being exhausting. i know i'm well equipped to handle the show by knowing places i can run and hide when it gets too much for my introverted self.  there are vendors i'm friends with where i'd go and recharge. i'm good at staking out spots outside of the show where i can sit and pretend i'm checking work email so people stay away.  

i'm somewhat concerned about navigating food in vegas. it's nonstop food-booze-party.  i'm not completely paralyzed with fear though as I'm currently not policing myself. it's a daily struggle to turn off the voice that is telling me that it's not too late to cut carbs before the show so i might shed a pound or two. 

a pound or two.

for what?

and for whom?

me? 

other people?  so i can be less offensively fat for other people?

this is where my brain goes.

my superhero name is actually 13-year-old-goth-girl and i'm really good at letting my self esteem spiral down the rabbit hole of badness.

climbing out one meditation session and puppy kiss at a time.

 

Our Father, Who Eats in Heaven

On mornings when I'm not going to the gym I've been managing to get my morning meditation in.  The only way I've been able to do this is not make it an absolute rule.  Absolutes are my nemesis right now.  My 'All or Nothing' personality is the root of a lot of my shit lately.

i finished the meditation and found this little guy sitting at the entrance to my closet looking at me.  jeff is in emeryville for a conference so he's been a bit more needy. i invited him in and he climbed into my lap. i picked a random journal to read a couple of passages which is part of the morning meditation ritual.  

it's amazing how small i tried to make myself.  how little space i tried to take up in the world.

i literally hid behind a potted plant of an office atrium.

i literally hid behind a potted plant of an office atrium.

i don't know how i managed to block so many of these memories from my current self.  

 

thank god for jessica.

thank god for jessica.

it's raining again after two glorious days of sunshine.  it might be enough to carry me to the next sunny day without driving me into a pizza craving insanity. 

chai tea with bobby, puppies and raiding a fundraising bakesale at Jet Black this weekend helped. running into my favorite maria g. helped too. just enough goodness. just enough to refill the emptying stores to make it to the next day.

 

therapist

i'm on the hunt for a therapist.

food issues. body dysmporphia. orthorexia. intimacy issues. lack of coping skills.

i'm really good at looking like i have my shit together.

a lot of my close friends will tell you i have my shit together.

some will tell you i have a superiority complex.

at times that is true depending on the people and the situation.

i am hyper self aware.

i watch my dog bark, boof (the noise he makes when he's trying not to bark) and get all around upset when a delivery truck drives by or someone parks next door.  his freak out and anxiety is something i understand to an extent.

who are you???!!  why are you here to destroy everything i love?!!!

sometimes i'm worried i'll go to therapy and be sorely disappointed that i can't make everything perfect and that it doesn't work that way.  

i know it doesn't work that way but i can't help but want it to work that way. i've read enough pema chodron to know that things will fall apart over and over again.  but i want.  that's the problem. i want and i continue to try to fix everything, even things that aren't broken. 

there's the work i need to do i guess.

 

i have a bad habit of getting up in the morning and immediately check my work email and eventually get sucked down the rabbit hole before i'm really even cognizant that it's a new day.  it's a hard habit to break since i've been a work from home person for the past 3.5 years.  working from home is fantastic and great in more ways than it is bad. the only real problem is for someone like me who has work boundaries.

project management is a lot of problem solving and making things happen, keeping things moving towards the end goal.  i see where a lot of my issues come from.  my life isn't a project that has a concrete end goal.  there is nothing tangible at the end of this rainbow.  when your end goal is general wellbeing you can't project manage yourself to guaranteed happiness since emotions are so fickle and based on a litany of outside forces.

what i can do is discipline myself to do the things i know that make me feel better.  

i managed to wake up and walk into my little hideaway closet/cave and meditate before doing anything.

i even took some time to read some old journals i stash in the cave.  i often like looking back at the weird shit i used to do or write.  it gives me perspective on how much i've changed and grown.

i made breakfast, not just coffee. 

then i opened my laptop.

this helps.  doing this in the morning helps and while i have a part of my brain that is telling me that checking my work email first thing helps too i need to remember that doesn't really help anyone.  

i used to post shit like this to social media.  it's really obnoxious and i'm pretty unhappy that i used to think these stupid motivational whatevers were helpful.

as someone who grew up with this mentality that no one is here to help you and you have to do everything on your own because ultimately you are the captain of your own ship, blah, blah, blah...

it's really hard to undo this kind of mindset and let people help you.  

it's really hard to trust that people are on your side and want you to succeed.

it's difficult to navigate this world thinking you have to do everything by yourself.

trust me.  i learned this lesson when i tried to carry 100 cases of wine downstairs to the lobby of my office building by myself.

i got 10 cases to the elevator before i found myself sweating, standing in the office looking at the wall of wine thinking this would take me hours and no amount of working out had trained me enough to complete this daunting task by myself.

a co-worker saw me staring at the cases in my office and asked if i was ok.

"no. i physically can't do this."

"do what?"

"get all this downstairs."

"wtf?  no one can do this!"  she laughed. "we've got a dolly and extra hands.  jesus christ girl."

this was 7 years ago.  it took 10 of us and several dollies but we got it done in 15 minutes.

operating on the impression that the world owes you no favors and that you need to work for everything is helpful while you're learning how to be independent.  you definitely appreciate everything more. 

learning how to balance that out with a healthy dose of trust and the ability to ask for help when you need it is the key.

i've gotten to the point where i realize i can ask for help and not feel so paralyzed by it.

now i just need a therapist again to help me wade through this tough spot.

in other news, i'm seeing a new physical therapist today to get a second opinion on what i can do for my knee sans surgery.

it takes a fucking village man.

meh.

i've been buying new clothes since a good chunk of my wardrobe is either in the basement or in a donation bag because it no longer fits me.

 

it's going to be a summer of bralettes, jumpsuits and jean shorts. that is if summer ever comes.

               amethyst is my spirit animal

               amethyst is my spirit animal

jeff has been in the bay area this week.  when he's not here i typically work all day with a break to walk the dog and have dinner.  i don't know if this is necessarily healthy but man am i on top of things at work.

walking the dog is a reminder of how far i've come with my knee injury but it still brings on lower back pain which brings on a limp which cuts our walks pretty short. i get to 1.5 miles and my knee is toast.  i still feel at a loss on what to do outside of make an appointment with an ortho and hope the first word out of their mouth isn't surgery.

 

 

recovery

well.  my anti-inflammatory diet was a bit short lived.

i went back to acupuncture yesterday and we talked about the wheat/dairy/egg white thing and while I was doing ok i've been failing at being completely off all three.  we talked a bit more about the headspace i've been in and decided that maybe because any kind of restriction on my diet feels triggering this may not be the time to cut out these things to see if they help.

i'm ok with this. 

there is this running dialogue going on in the back of my head that is unhappy with all the decisions i've been making lately.  it's muttering under its breath.  it's constantly letting me know i should be going back to my daily workouts and back to low carb diet.  it's telling me that i'm never going to fit into anything ever again if i don't listen to it.  it's like being followed by an internet troll. 

in talks with my acupuncturist and sadia i've mentioned this voice.  sometimes it's one person. sometimes it's a gaggle of people.  i say 'they'.  this ubiquitous anonymous audience who has nothing better to do than make me feel bad about myself.

"Who are these people though?" Sadia asked.  "Do you know who they are?  Are they in your life?  Why would people like this even be in your life?"

they're not.  it's me.  i say these things to myself.

working through this is a process.

in the meantime, i push that voice to the back and ask my real self what it wants.  

it wanted to cancel 90 minute spin today so it did

it wanted a biscuit today so it had it.

it feels a bit bloated right now so now it can recognize that maybe staying away from wheat may be beneficial if it does not want to feel this way.

it takes a lot of energy to really listen to yourself and figure out your shit.

somedays it's easy and things just flow and decisions feel fluid and in line with everything you are.  other days it's a real drag, every decision feels weighted and uncertain and dooming.

now that i've taken my 'super fitness' persona off of auto pilot i'm having to really listen to my body very carefully.

it's voice has been quiet and hard to hear from years of being beaten down and told to shut up and stop whining while i do squats and deadlifts and 90 minute spin classes.

i guess this is recovery.

nurturing the bruised and battered parts of us.

in other news.

there may be another tattoo in my future.

 

this was my 'i was dumped and lost my job in 2008' tattoo. it's also the last page of my favorite book, 'Flaming Iguanas' by Erika Lopez.

this was my 'i was dumped and lost my job in 2008' tattoo. it's also the last page of my favorite book, 'Flaming Iguanas' by Erika Lopez.

we'll see.

introvert

ugh.

i ate a boatload of tortilla chips about 3 hours ago and i am still feeling it.

bloat. uncomfortable belly bloat and this feeling like i will not be hungry again...ever.

i don't think i'll ever need to eat dinner again until the year 2050.

i'm surprised i'm not lying on the bed moaning right now.  one time i drank the entire bowl of broth after finishing an amazing bowl of ramen and instantly started to feel my fingers fatten.  my wedding band felt tight. i waddled home slowly like danny devito's rendition of the penguin in batman returns.

really, jeff should have rolled me home.

 

i remember lying on the bed on my back feeling like 'THIS IS HOW IT ENDS'.  ramen broth.  death by sodium.  i had done something similar before eating a giant tub of salted peanuts. i told my friend josh about said tub of nuts and announced that my skin felt unreal and 'not like mine' to which he silently shook his head and told me to stop eating things. 

I DID THIS TO MYSELF.  I HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME.

on ramen death night i eventually peed and told jeff to not call my parents, i was going to live.

i am almost a ramen death status right now.  not quite there but feeling on the brink.  i set myself up for food disaster today.

i made my way through the morning rain to the gym. i was the only one who managed to make it to 7AM strength training day so i had trainer paisley all to myself which was really nice despite my initial fear that i'd have to work extra hard because no one else was there to distract her.  i can't lie that i fall to my knees during long planks or crap out on doing the last set of something if the teacher isn't looking.

blah, blah, blah you're only cheating yourself.  this ongoing fitspo dialog i have going on in my brain during some workouts is really annoying.

i stopped by the small market on fremont to pick up almond milk and coconut creamer since we were out and i'm still making an effort at eliminating dairy (despite having 2 slices of havarti cheese the day before).   i ended up grabbing some lemons too.  at check out i realized my backpack was too full of sweaty clothes and sneakers and water bottles, travel coffee mugs and a protein shakey thing with the metal ball in it.  i was that damp and sweaty girl on the floor of the beaumont market this morning unpacking her bag like a homeless person trying to fit fake milks into her backpack.  i shoved a lemon into each shoe to keep them from getting squished.

it was still raining which worked in my favor to mask my inability to stop sweating.

i set up shop at a starbucks to get some work done before my hair appointment today and realized again I became 'that' person.  the one who emptied her entire bag again and opened up her gigantic almond milk container to pour into her protein powder and then drank it before ordering anything.  the one who also asked to see the box of coconut milk they use at starbucks (carrageenan!) and then denied it and opened up her personal coconut creamer to pour into her coffee.

it wasn't until i sat down with three beverages in front of me did i realize i had forgotten i was wheat and dairy free and ordered a sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich.

i have a thing for sub-par breakfast sandwiches.  the jankier the better.  the best is the sausage egg mcmuffin from mcdonalds that i have not had since the morning hangover after my 30th birthday. 

i guess that's when i decided i deserved better for myself.

i let go let god and ate the stupid breakfast sandwich because there was no going back and after an hour of one-on-one training. my body was screaming at me for real food.

i typically feed it the protein shake to buy myself some time before my body starts to revolt again but this morning it was not having it.

almond milk and powder. who said this was food?

i got some work done then spent some quality time in a salon chair with my girl kaleena who i am so glad i discovered.  i have not had a regular hair person in a long time that i liked.  being a lady introvert it's always harrowing to have to find a hairdresser who is the right amount of...hairdresser.  i've suffered long uncomfortable haircuts getting bombarded with questions i did not want to answer. on occasion i've had the completely silent haircut which is slightly better but still awkward. kaleena and i can talk and then not talk.  she isn't phased if i'm quiet and we both like it when i ask her questions and she tells me her stories instead of the other way around.  it's a good balance.

par for the course i forget how long it takes to get my hair did and forgot i had a banana in the overstuffed backpack to eat and well...

this is how the tortilla chip overload happened.

i got home and scarfed down 1/2 a carnitas burrito bowl from cha cha cha and most of the gigantic bag of chips.

with guac.

man. 

i hope i pee later and feel better afterwards.

i'm back to the acupuncturist tomorrow.  i'm wondering if she'll be able to tell i'm puffier than normal. i wonder if she'll know it was chips.  i don't know why i think traditional chinese medicine means magic and telepathy.

 

 

at least my hair looks good.  

this body has survived

 the awkward catholic school years.  

 the awkward catholic school years.

 

too many family vacations.

summer school and learning how to ask for help (work in progress). 

summer school and learning how to ask for help (work in progress). 

countless letters from suicidal teens (remind me to tell you the story about an angsty letter i wrote that was published in Rock Scene magazine in the late 80s).

countless letters from suicidal teens (remind me to tell you the story about an angsty letter i wrote that was published in Rock Scene magazine in the late 80s).

weird east coast shiny avocados

 6 years of veganism and 3 years of vegetarianism

pre-soulcycle_10639976664_o.jpg

losing a lot of weight. getting lots of praise.

 

like featured in a magazine kind of praise.

and gaining weight to deafening silence.

 documenting all changes and labeling these changes as good or bad. 

working myself to the bone in numerous spin/pilates/circuit/yoga classes. sometimes 2-3x in a day.

wedding dress insanity.

wedding dress insanity.

believing in this sentiment until recently.  (you know, healthy is the new healthy.  or healthy has always been the same healthy.)

too many stressful jobs that consumed my life.

too many stressful jobs that consumed my life.

 cutting my own bangs.

knee surgery

day-4---first-post-op-appointment-bandages-and-gauze-off-incision-tape-left-on-22-lbs-per-breast-removed_8694198126_o.jpg

breast reduction surgery.

logging every single workout. logging every single thing i ate every day.

rewarding myself with food.  treating depression and stress with food. celebrating with food.

being strong.

feeling weak.

two piece bathing suits in public.

too many fitness challenges.

too many early mornings

having a partner and husband who is skinnier than I am.

writing a YA novel.

 

Despite all of this...

i need to remember i'm still here and i've got lots to be happy about.

like these guys.

 

so days where all i have the energy to do is this

i know they'll be there to take care of me and love me until i'm ready to love me again.