Sunday, January 29, 2012

Challange... First few days

This bitter earth what fruit it bears. What good is love, that no one shares
And if my life is like the dust, that hides the glow of a rose. What good am I
Heaven only knows. This bitter earth, can it be so cold? Today you're young too soon you're old. But while a voice within me cries, I'm sure someone may answer my call
and this bitter earth may not be so bitter after all.
-This Bitter Earth, Dinah Washington

The first question: Why do you want to lose weight and what do you honestly believe to be your chances of success this time?

It took me a few days to come up with an answer for this one, and for whatever reason it came to me in the middle of the night. Here is what I came up with: The Mental, The Physical and The Spiritual.

The Mental
Being fat fucks with your head. It is one great big mind fuck. I know that my weight keeps me down. It keeps me low. It depresses me. All this extra weight keeps me from reaching my potential. When people look at me they see someone who has given up and they judge me. It might not be fair but it’s true. And frankly, they might be right. Sometimes I have thought, well… this is just me. There are tall people and short people. Black and White people. Why not fat and thin? We’re all fine, we just different. Yeah that’s bullshit. That is an excuse to allow myself to do nothing. That’s the fat talking. It’s comfortable hanging around my middle, my top and my bottom. I’ve been wearing a suit made of fat and depression for years. It’s time for a new suit. I always say that being mediocre is one of my biggest fears. Mediocrity is death. Right now? I’m not even mediocre. I far am less than what and who I should be. I’d like not to use food as crutch. I’d like to NOT self medicate with food. My thinking is, that if I can get a handle on this? Then I can get a handle on anything. Only I know how being this heavy as affected me. Obviously it effects the way that I look, which effects the way people see and view me, which in turn effects the way that I see and feel about myself. See? Mental.


The Physical
Being fat fucks with your body. I know I’m getting older, and that with age comes some wear and tear. I get it. However, what I would like? What would be awesome? Is to not feel as though I’m having a heart attack going up the stairs. I’d like to wear cute fun shoes again. Right now I am living in sensible shoe purgatory. Not cute. I’d like my energy level to go up a few notches. Sweet lord in heaven am I sick and tired of shopping either at the fat girl store, or the fat girl section. I always hate the clothes there. Ugly Grandma crap. I love fashion. I read WWD. I live for Vogue and fashion week. And what can I get from that world? Nada. Bupkis. Oh wait no, I can get a nice scarf or kicky little bag. Great. I want to feel sexy, desirable and attractive. I would like to no longer have to wedge my ass into a theater chair. I will no longer be the person other people wish wouldn’t sit next to them on the plane, train or automobile. Yeah, I’m that person. I am right up there with screaming babies. You might love babies, but you don’t want to be stuck next to one on the LAX-JFK flight. I had a conversation with a friend of mine, someone who is also struggling with weight. We talked about the first seat extender experience. How just plain mortifying it was, to have to ask the flight attendant for one. I swiped mine off the plane when we landed. (Sorry, Jet Blue). At that moment, I should have dedicated myself to, well, myself! That should have been the wake up call and it wasn’t. See? Physical.


The Spiritual
Being fat messes with your spirit. Now this is hard, because I’m not religious and I hate people who are religious and like to shove it in your face. I had an aunt like that, she was not one of my faves. I am a woman who does believe in God or a Higher Power (that sounds so cheesy doesn’t it? Higher Power.) I also believe that my relationship, with my God, is personal. However, the God I believe in, put me on this earth to do well. Not to be miserable. No, I haven’t figured out why so many people who are good and kind people are suffering and are seemingly living a tortured life. But that’s not for me to figure out. I’m here to make my way, while being kind and just to others. God doesn’t want this for me. He doesn’t want me to carry all this weight and the sadness that comes with it. Why doesn’t he just fix it then? Well, while that’s a good question, (looking around hoping for the answer) I don’t have answer (Still looking around, Lord) I do think that it is up to me to figure out. And perhaps once I do, get my weight under control, other things will become clearer. I don’t know kids, I’m figuring this out as I go along. Um you know, spiritual.

What’s different this time? I’m not sure yet exactly. I just feel as thought I am on an upswing. This needs to be it. I am promising myself that I am going to make this my strongest effort yet.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Challenges!

Blackbird singing in the dead of night take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life you were only waiting for this moment to arise. Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these sunken eyes and learn to see all your life you were only waiting for this moment to be free.Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly into the light of the dark black night. Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly, into the light of the dark black night. Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise, you were only waiting for this moment to arise, you were only waiting for this moment to arise. – Beatles, Blackbird

It is time to do something. It is make a move or die, time.

Less of April. That was goal, for there to be less, of April. I was hoping for less weight, less baggage, less stuff weighing me down. There is not less of me. There is the same of me. Well, sometimes less, sometimes more. The point is that what I wanted to happen, to lose weight, has not happened in the way that I wanted.

Back in October (2011), I decided the traditional weight loss methods were not working for me. I was feeling so sick and so tired of looking and feeling the way that I had been feeling. Feeling how? Lousy, Tired, Unhealthy, Ugly, Undesirable, and Invisible. Enough was enough. I went (AGAIN) to a surgical weight loss surgery (WLS) seminar. The feeling was the same. Why was I in this room with all these sad, defeated and desperate people? Because I was sad, defeated and desperate. The hope was to have the surgery in January of 2012. I soon found out, after wedging my fat ass in the seat, that I would have to wait six months before I could go for it. Bummer, but ok, April of 2012 it would be. Sure, I know that WLS is not my golden ticket. There are reasons for my compulsive overeating, going under the knife can cure none of them. I know that the problem is in my head. The requirements of health insurance companies (mine at least) is that you are required to participated in a 6 month medically supervised attempt at weight loss. So that’s what I did. I started visiting my doctor every month for check ins. Also, joined Weight Watchers—again. The “again” part KILLS me. How many times I am going to do this? How many times? Really April? AGAIN? What’s wrong with you? However, I went ahead and I did it. The thing is, in the back of my mind, I was hoping that the WW would just work. That something would finally just click and I would be able to do it this time. The truth is that I don’t want to have WLS. I want to take control of my emotions, my actions and myself and just put the fork down.

I’ve been reading a lot of weight loss blogs lately. Recently I came across The Desired Life, via Jane is Weighing In. E. Jane is participating in Chris’s 100 day Weight Loss Challenge. I hopped on over to Chris’s blog and read about her journey and was inspired. She has done really really well. Chris has allowed me to participate so guess what? I’m postponing surgery and I am participating in the challenge. Participating in a challenge is one the thing I haven’t done.

I am taking a deep breath, saying my prayers, crossing my fingers and diving in.

Chris has sent me the first question. I will work on my answer and post tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The truth about Mom and Dad, 2012

Had a conversation with the group people last night and we talked about parents, mothers mostly. This got me thinking about something I had written in 2008. It doesn’t really capture how I feel about them as people. Its more about when I realized they were getting older.

I love my parents. I always will. They make me crazy though, and I don’t know what to do with my feelings about them. I struggle with having genuine love for them, yet wanting to keep them at arms length. {shrugs}

The truth about Mom and Dad... Sunday, January 13, 2008
Current mood: thoughtful

Category: Life
Remember when your parents knew everything? Remember when they were the strongest, the smartest and the most handsome or beautiful? I remember that. The long and short of it is that my parents are getting old. Thems be the facts baby.

I look at my father, my charming, and life of the party Papi. Now with white hair, white beard, old man stoop, arthritic hands and a satchel full of heart medicine. Case in point, I had to zip up my dad’s jacket the other day. Talk about full circle. He used to zip up my jacket. We were in Target during the Christmas Holiday and I saw my dad shuffling ahead me…I went over and gave me him a push. Papi…stand up straight, Papi pick up your feet. My ferocious father is slowing down. It makes me sad.

I look at my mother, my beautiful, oh so glamorous Mom. Mom who is developing fat pockets under her eyes, hopelessly; obviously dyed hair and random age spots. And just between you and me, she is become unbelievably annoying. Constantly asking me questions…April can you? April did you? April you should…April you shouldn’t… April why do you always…blah blah blah. The other day I swear I wanted to not only tell her to shut up…but I wanted to tell her to shut the fuck up. That’s never good.

I’ve taken to having to tell them how to dress. Papi- why are you wearing the house slippers with socks OUTSIDE? Ummmm Mom? You are not Paris Hilton… you can’t wear the slip dress with no bra.

My parents used to go to Studio 54 and Copacabana. Now, it’s early bird specials and the matinee. Unbelievable.

I took my father to the doctor the other day. That was something.
Doctor: so Joel how long have you had this problem with your hands?
Dad: Oh about 6 months?
Me: Um excuse me? No… about 2 years now… at least
Dad: Yeah?
Me: Yes.
This went on and on for the entire visit. The doctor asking him questions, him giving these fictitious answers and me jumping in. My consensus is that now, someone has to go with him every time he had a doctor’s visit. He can’t be trusted.

Forget about asking them for advice. I look at the way they have lived their lives and feel like they need just as much help as I do. They no longer have all the answers, I realized long ago that probably never did. Our parents are human, and therefore fallible. But it’s always such a let down to really realize it for the truth that it is.

I love my parents. And when the time comes I will take care of them, no doubt about it, and no questions asked. The issue is more that I don’t ever want them to need me to have to do it for them, because they can no longer do it for themselves.

I suppose it is inevitable.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You want rude? I'll give you rude...

In a New York minute, everything can change. In a New York minute things can get pretty strange. In a New York minute. Everything can change, in a New York minute… -Eagles

I think I have, spoken about how about how much I love my fair city. I’m going to do it again. I LOVE New York. All of it. Each part of it. The smells, the sounds, the people just the general energy of this city. If I could live anywhere else, I wouldn't. WTF for really? I don’t know anyone who has moved from here, who is all that happy about it. They all miss it. They may like their new job, or their new house, but they miss New York. I have a friend who moved across the country and hates it. My cousin moved up to New York State and hates it. Don’t get me started on the people who moved to New Jersey. HATE IT. New York is special and New Yorkers are awesome.

This is why Travel and Leisure’s list of 20 rudest American cities really truly and completely chaps my ass. My ass. It is chapped. New York as a city is not rude. Does New York contain some rude people? Duh yes, of course. It’s like people love to say that French people are rude. No they aren’t. They’re just French. We’re not rude, we’re New Yorkers. You want to know who is rude. I will tell you. Transplanted New Yorkers are rude as hell. They come here, from wherever they are from, and think that in order to make it here, they need to be boorish jack wagon. Wrong. What you need to do is be fast and focused. You know who else is rude? Tourists. Tourists are rude. Maybe not all of you, but a lot (many, some...ok a few) of you. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

While I understand that tourists are a huge benefit to this city, they are pain in the ass. The prime tourist season in New York City is July, August and mid to late December. It is a great topic of conversation amongst real live New Yorkers. The tourists. How in the way they are. How you can spot them a mile away. God forbid you work/live in a high tourist area. (As I do) They are just everywhere. Stopping short. Trying to walk 6 across on the sidewalk. Leaning against subway poles. Schleping (that’s New York for carrying) their bags full of counterfeit goods on the subway. Cutting the lines. (Seriously that might get you shanked---which is New York for stabbed). Standing in the doorway of the train. Are you fucking kidding me? MOVE! I get it. You’re not from here and you likely never walk anywhere. You get in to your car, and drive to the local Wal-Mart or Ralph’s or Wegmans (I love Weggies and have Weggie envy) and take care of your business. The NYC is just not that kinda town. We walk everywhere. We do it fast and with purpose. So will I be annoyed and abrupt with you when you and your brood stop in the middle of the sidewalk for some unknown reason? You betcha. And no, you can’t walk 6 across. You just can’t. Sure, you’re not from here and need to get your bearings and look at your little map. I get it. However, please move your fanny pack wearing self over to the side, the rest of us have things to do. I have a train, bus or taxi to catch and you are impeding my progress.

All of that aside, however, if you ask me for directions, I will help you. Happily. If you want to know the best place to get a hotdog, shop or what show to see, I am all yours, albeit for 30 seconds. I have, as have many New Yorkers, approached people we think are lost and offer to help them find their way. Tell me, please in what world, is that rude? It’s not. Here is what I won’t do. I don’t help with the fake bag trade---fake bags are cheap, poorly made, the people who make them work in substandard conditions. Chinatown, where people love to go and get the fake goods, is a commercial AND residential area. How would you like it if tour busses full of people rolled up in to your neighborhood to buy illegal items? It is said, that money earned from counterfeit goods, funds terrorism. I don’t know that it’s true or not, but I buy it. So you can forget it, I won’t help you. I remember once I was in Chinatown and one of the peddlers of counterfeit goods was trying to get me to follow him to get a fake Louie. After trying to say no nicely, I finally sort of yelled at him. A passerby, a woman CLEARLY a tourist noticed my reaction and asked me about it. Noticing the telltale sign of her recent purchase of fake bag (they are always in these black plastic bags) I told her all things I outlined for you all. Only I wasn’t nice about it. I was pissed. She turned beet red and got away from me as quickly as she could. When I recounted the story for my best friend and my mother, they both said I was mean. Whatevs. But now that I think of it, maybe that’s who T&L surveyed.

So please, come to New York. We love visitors. We love visitors who follow the rules and do their best to not get in the way of us living our day to day. So promise me you’ll try.

*** Hey Kids- Blogger is messing with me and I couldn't put in any links for the article, or walmart or Ralphs or Weggies. Just google them. Sorry!-A ***

Monday, January 9, 2012

Defying Gravity

“Something has changed within me. Something is not the same. I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game. Too late for second-guessing. Too late to go back to sleep. It's time to trust my instincts. Close my eyes: and leap! It's time to try defying gravity. I think I'll try defying gravity kiss me goodbye. I am defying gravity and you won’t bring me down! I'm through accepting limits 'cause someone says they're so some things I cannot change. But till I try, I'll never know! Too long I've been afraid of losing love I guess I've lost. Well, if that's love. It comes at much too high a cost!”- Defying Gravity (Wicked)

A writer? A musician? A fashion designer? A pilot? A police officer? A doctor? A lawyer? An astronaut? What did you want to be when you grew up? None of those things? All of those things? I remember wanting to be an interior designer. I loved (and still do) putting things together. I liked the idea of making the place where people lived look nice. As if it was yesterday, I can remember being in the car with my Dad and telling him so. I can’t remember where we were going. But I remember we were on the service road of a local highway near our home. I remember he said, that’s not very practical and you have be very lucky and special to make it. Now whether this man meant to make me feel like I was unlucky or unspecial he let me know that he didn’t think it was in my best interest to go down the route to interior design. Ok. Well so much for that then. I was 10.

When I got older I thought I would be a good psychiatrist. My grandmother said to me, a psychiatrist? No honey, that’s a doctor for crazy people. You’ll end up like one of those people. You don’t want that. I didn’t want that. To be crazy. So much for that also. I was 15.

When I was older still, I decided that law school was for me. I wanted to be a poverty lawyer and help people. My father was appalled. WHAT? Poverty? Pauvret√©? Poor people? Poor people can’t pay! How will you make ANY money? I had never even thought of that. How WOULD I get paid? I was at a loss. I was a freshman in college and really thought that law school was something I would be good at and enjoy. My father’s advice was for me to learn how to do “something” and get a job where the money was good and steady and I wouldn’t have to worry. Let me tell you, I found this really scary. It all became too much to even think about and I dropped out of school all together. I was 21.

Not finishing school has been, by far, the biggest regret of my life. I am so embarrassed about my lack of education. It feels like a scar. I missed out on some great learning experiences. Living in dorms, making friends, having the opportunity to be silly and run amuck the way people do when they are in their 20’s. I’ve always known that I want to finish college. A few years ago I decided that I should stop just being embarrassed and do something about it. Whether or not I did something about it, the time would pass me by. It’s better to have the time work for you, with you than just be tossed out like nothing. Yes, better to have something to show for how you have spent your time than not. I have way too much of that in my life, time wasted. Now, I know me, I know who I am and what I am like. When something seems too big, I just let it go. (Yes, I’m working that.) I knew that I needed a definitive midway point, so I opted to get my Associates degree first. Over the past few years, I’ve been chipping (albeit slowly) away at my degree. I have to admit not always being into it, trying that hard or even doing that well. But for better or for worse I kept at it. Last month my advisor let me know that I would be getting my AA in Liberal Arts this May. I’ll be 40.

It look a lot longer than I would have liked, but I’m close enough to the end of the first part of my journey that I’m feeling sort of… proud of myself. I haven’t done it, but I am doing it. Obviously, I’m not done, and I want to keep going. What’s more, I’ve finally decided what I would like to be when I grow up. I’ve decided to go on and become a Social Worker. Why? I think that some people don’t have a voice. Either they are too young, poor, elderly, sick, or scared. They need someone who wants to make sure they have what they need in order to live the best possible life they can. The thought of making someone’s life better appeals to me greatly. My overall snarkiness and pessimism aside, I do care about what happens to people and would like the opportunity to be a part of a solution. It took me a long time to get here and it will take me a long time to get…there. (Where ever “there” is.) I know that I owe it to myself to be, do and feel better about myself. I'll be...doesn't really matter, does it?