Tuesday, September 07, 2010
I don't know what it is about fall, but for me it will ALWAYS be associated with getting a new wardrobe. That feeling of fresh, new beginnings - a new pair of shoes, and a pretty little something to wear on the first day that the weather turns.
I mentioned in my last blog how woefully neglect I am on clothing right now. I've been holding off buying ANYTHING because I don't want to invest only to give everything away in a couple of months - but the straights got dire my friends, so today, I splurged. I still have a little buyer's remorse, but overall I feel really good about all my new threads!
I had a good feeling about today. Sometimes you can walk into a fitting room and absolutely nothing looks right on you and you leave depressed and angry. But I knew that that wasn't going to be today. I had lots of time today to shop, so I meandered around Lane Bryant, touching all the fabrics, going through all the sales racks, holding up one shirt against another. I was there on a mission: bras, underwear, jeans, a sweater to go over tank tops, and maybe a couple of shirts if the funds allowed. I grabbed as much stuff as my arms could hold and headed to the fitting rooms.
I tried on the bras first, and sadly, was not as small around the ribcage as I thought I was, so I had to send those back for the next size up. Still fine though - the next size up was still down a full size from the bras I'm currently wearing. Next were the tops. Now I knew from what I have at home that I'm swimming in a 22/24, and an 18/20 is comfortable, but getting big - so I took a deep breath and selected a 14/16, pulled it over my head, and...IT FIT!!!! OMG OMG OMG. OK - don't get too excited - the shirt is a baggy one, so it's supposed to fit loose and it's definitely not LOOSE. Try another one. It fit too, and so did the next and the next. I was flipping out. I've NEVER worn the 14/16 size at Lane Bryant. I was already an 18/20 before I moved to the U.S. and so I skipped right by that size and went on to the next ones. Thrilled. With a capital T. Now the jeans. I had grabbed a pair in size 22 which is what I'm currently wearing at home. But the ones I have at home are from a Canadian store and everything there tends to fit smaller than the stuff here (made for us American big-bottomed girls) and they're getting a little loose on me now, so I also crossed my fingers and picked out a size 20. Well - I've already told you that I had a feeling about today. So you know I'm going to tell you that the 20s FIT! Oh yeah! I did a dance in the fitting room. Seriously.
Mission accomplished. 2 new bras (42B), 5 new pairs of underwear (size 18/20), 1 new pair of jeans (size 20), 4 new tops (size 14/16) and 1 new sweater (also 14/16). I won't even tell you what the price tag was - but that's ok. I deserve this stuff. I've worked hard for it. And I feel pretty! I never did get my 40 pound reward, so this is it. Wahoo!
The thing that excites me the most though is that quite possibly my next shopping trip could be to a normal store! (for tops anyway). Lane Bryant has been good to me. But I'm over her and her big bottomed ways. I'm ready for Ann Taylor, and Neiman Marcus, and heck - even JC Penny is looking pretty fly these days. Sizes have changed a lot since the last time I was here - and I know my body is different too, so it's strange to me that the last time I was a size 12 I weighed 180lbs and at the rate I'm going now, I should be in a 12 when I'm still over 200. Not sure how that works exactly except that there are fat cells and heavier layers buried deep, deep down somewhere that it's still my job to seek out and blast away to see the scale move some more. But I'm happy that for the time being my closet is reaping the benefits of my loss. Vanity sizing or not - a girl sure does feel pretty when the number on the tag drops!
Saturday, September 04, 2010
Hi Everyone! I'm sorry I've been slow on the blog posting lately. I have so many great ideas for things that I want to write about and by the time I look up from what I'm doing it's too late, and I should be in bed, but I need to get some stuff out before I can sleep so here goes - this is going to be a crazy, mixed up jumble of everything going on in my life right now, so sorry for the dump!
Blog #1 - Title: GONE
So The Scientist left yesterday - which is why all the cryptic, sad status messages from me. It was an exhausting day. There were a lot of tears, and hugs, and more tears, but we made it through and now he's spending some time with his parents in California before leaving for Germany on the 15th. I miss him. And I will continue missing him for a long time. But, it was not meant to be. We will be lifelong friends, I'm looking very forward to having someone to visit in Germany (and other wonderful places around the world since he travels frequently), and I have had a wonderful two years with him, but I know in my heart that he is not my "forever man" so I have to move on. And he knows this too. Deep down we are two different souls who have shared so much over two years - good times and bad times. I think this move is the best thing that could have happened for his career and I wish him so much success and love and happiness. But I am on a road to achieving those things for myself too and I can't let this stop me now. Besides, I told him when he sees me in November that I'm going to be a skinny bitch - so I have to live up to that promise!
Blog #2 - Title: Threshold
I've officially lost 40 pounds. The next FRACTION of a pound that I lose will officially push me into a territory that I have never breached before - The Most Weight That I Have Ever Lost On A Diet territory. But this is not a diet. And that's why this is different. And not only am I not afraid of this new territory, I am running towards it with open arms like a fawn through a field of daisies. BRING IT ON!!! I am so excited to be here and to be feeling what I'm feeling right now and to NOT BE AFRAID. God it is freeing! I am brimming with anticipation for what the next 10, 20, 30 pounds looks like and I know I can do it. The 40-pound threshold doesn't scare me - it only makes me want to push harder!
Blog #3 - Title: Lucky 7s?
I hate 7s. Seriously. As a continuation of the above blog, as long as I keep seeing sevens on the scale I am not stepping over that 40-pound threshold. Grrr. I'm SO done with the 270s right now I can taste it in every fiber of my being. And again this morning - 273. Exactly 40 pounds, on the nose. Not an ounce more. However - I have been under an inordinate amount of stress this week/month, I've been doing everything right, and it's going to happen. It's GOING TO HAPPEN. 69, 69 , 69 , 69....hey now, get your heads out of the gutter! At least I'm not going up. But these darn plateaus are KILLING me. *Razzberry to that*
Blog #4 - Title: Who Is This Healthy Chick?
My non-scale victories have been off the charts this month. Thank god for that because like I said above, if I see one more 7 I might go postal. But I officially did the "are you too skinny for your pants?" test today - which I equate to being able to pull your jeans on and off without unbuttoning them. I can now do this with my old "skinny jeans" that are a size 24. These are the very pair that I couldn't even button at my heaviest. Woohoo! I can smell the 18s in my closet. Ten more pounds....just ten more pounds.
At rehearsal last week I was microwaving my dinner - homemade mini meatloafs with polenta and carrots - delish! One of my actors commented on how good it smelled every night and how smart I was for prepping my dinners in advance. Score one for me! And here I thought I'd look like a geek for bringing my tupperware all the time. Turns out, I'm the belle of the ball. Now everyone else salivates over my healthy food while they eat their greasy take-out or worse, try to tide themselves over with stale rehearsal cookies and donuts until they get home at 11pm to eat dinner. No Bueno! It gives me such an incentive to pack my lunch and dinner every day, even though it is a lot of extra work. It has made such a difference in my energy levels too. This might be the first show I've ever done where I didn't gain at least 5 pounds from all the eating out, social drinking and bad food schedules. I am so proud of myself for accomplishing this since it really has been a detriment to my health in the past.
I ran day 2 of Week 4 of C25K this morning. When I stepped outside in my standard tank top and sports bra I was shocked. It was actually COLD outside today. (And it still is - yey Fall!!!) I knew the cooler temperatures were going to make the run easier, but I had no idea that I would increase my speed as much as I did. I had to tack on an extra block just to finish the recording. I am so pumped for the cooler weather. And I'm a runner. When I came back inside I was barely sweating - talk about feeling healthy!
Even though I ran today, I miss the pool. And my body misses the pool - I have noticed that I really do not lose as much weight when I'm not swimming. Only one more week until my schedule returns to normal and I can get back in the water. I can't wait to buff up my shoulders again. I love my arms when I swim - they get so strong! And with the addition of running and Zumba, I have every confidence that I'm going to blast that 270 in the next couple of weeks and push through the 260s as well. But today I really needed someone to notice me. It's gotten to that point where I can REALLY see a difference in myself. And I don't want to be the center of attention when it comes to my body - but today, because the scale was the same yet again, I needed to hear it from someone else. Needed to feel like all of this was worth it - even with the running, and the pants, and the good feeling inside. And I got what I wanted! My co-worker approached me today, cautiously (which was nice of her). She said - "I don't know how you feel about me drawing attention to this, but I did want to say that I am really noticing your weight loss. You can totally tell that you've lost a bunch of weight and it's looking really good on you." That's all I needed to hear. It's not just me. Other people can see it. Now I can go back to my anonymity and hope that no one notices for the next 40 pounds...haha - highly unlikely.
Blog #5 - Title: The WW Challenge
This is a blog that I will extend into a full length one just as soon as I get time. But to give you an idea of the new challenge that I set up for myself, I'll tell you this: I was going through an old folder of WW stuff the other day - my 5 pounds lost ribbons, old Points books, recipes, calculators, etc. from my 6+ times joining and quitting the WW program. Some people love it - it's not my thing (as is evidenced by my upcoming challenge). I also found 3 of my old weigh-in books that span a number of years and a number of failed attempts at losing weight. I am approaching the weight I was at the last time I joined WW. In 25 weeks I yo-yoed up and down on their program, losing almost 20 pounds at one point and then going right back up again to only 6. My challenge is going to be to get to the lowest weight in that book and then destroy it forever! No more failed attempts. No more diets that don't work for me. I have already proven here that I can do whatever I put my mind too. So I'm going to take that last failed attempt and prove to myself that I can get past it...and then keep right on going. If I continue to do these challenges back to back, one WW weigh-in book at a time, by the time I finish with my third book challenge I will be under 200 pounds, and at a weight I haven't seen since I was 13 years old. Yep - I found my book from when I was 13. I just want to hug that child and tell her it's all going to be ok. Because I'm going to make it ok and blast through that bad memory too. I'm excited. More to follow in the next blog with photos!
Blog #6 - Title: Fall Fashion
I'm running out of clothes. And fast. The stuff I bought to wear last fall/winter is all too big. I have SOME clothing left over from my "smaller" days that I'm into now. I'm desperately trying to wear all of my favorite summer clothes one more time before the season ends because I know once we hit the cold weather I'll never wear them again. It's exciting, but it's also sad (because I spent SO MUCH MONEY on all that stuff not so long ago). And I just got the new Lane Bryant catalogue - Lord Help Me. I want everything, and yet I want nothing. I don't want to buy something I'm going to wear twice and have to get rid of. I want to buy things that fit now, but I also want to buy things that are a little too small so I'll have stuff to work into. And despite how much I love some of the things in the pictures, I'm OVER Lane Bryant. I'm DONE with fat girl stores. I can't wait until I can shop in normal places - but that just isn't yet. I still need to go through one more round of big, expensive clothes before I can start shopping the sales at Nordstrom Rack. And I also need underwear and bras, which are expensive and which also will be falling off me soon enough - too soon to really justify their expense, but I suppose spending a little cash is better than boobs flopping around in a bra that's too big. Oh, If I Had A Million Dollars...
Eesh - this was supposed to be a brain dump to help me sleep. I think all I did was stimulate myself more. I'm pumped for these challenges. I feel healthy. I'm on task to have more of a new body by November for me and for The Scientist. I'm making a list of the things I absolutely need and want to buy to get me through to the next round of sizing.
But I seriously have rehearsal in about 7 hours, and sleep is important for my health as well, so I must go to bed! Thanks for reading!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I admit it. I'm wrong! About a lot of things. But I'm tired of feeling ashamed because of it!
OK - hold the phone. Let's back this up a bit so you get an idea of where I'm coming from here.
I'm a pretty opinionated person...now. I wasn't always like this. In fact, for as long as I can remember, I haven't had much of an opinion at all. Or if I did, I was lead to believe that what I thought didn't really matter. No one ever said to me "your opinion doesn't matter" (in so many words) - but that is honestly what I believed.
I believed that if I didn't like NKOTB when I was in Grade 5 that the other kids would laugh at me. Sure I had a mad crush on Joey at the time, but I basically started liking their music because everyone else did too.
As I advanced to highschool and my peers became involved and opinionated about politics, pop culture, boy and drugs, I also stayed the course and followed step with what everyone else was doing and saying for fear of standing out or, in the worst possible case scenario, being asked to defend my position on something.
University was more of the same - I became an expert in writing the papers that the professor wanted to read, and giving the answers in class that my T.A.s wanted to hear. Socially I was no better - I went to raves because they were "cool" at the time, wore baggy pants and t-shirts and hung out with the wrong kinds of people - all because I lacked the ability to assert myself.
What I didn't realize about being a lemming, however, is that it had the opposite effect of what I wanted it to. Pretending to be the same as everyone else doesn't make people like you more (as I thought it would), in fact, it makes people like you less because you are no longer an interesting person with your own thoughts and opinions.
Now, those of you reading this are probably thinking that this behaviour is fairly classic. It's just bowing to peer pressure the same way all young people do. But in my case, this "lemming-ness", this desire to jump off a cliff because everyone else was doing it, went far deeper than the standard pressure from others to conform. I was so afraid of being shamed for my opinions, for being me, that I opted not to have any to avoid being chastised for my beliefs. I opted not to have a self because it was easier not to.
I wasn't born with this fear. In fact - if I look at my personality now as my "birthright" personality, I never should have had any problems with a fear of self-expression. I am loud and outspoken by nature. I am a proud person and I love being in the spotlight. I can be brash, but I am also humble and gentle when I need to be. And now I can honestly say that I am not ashamed of any of those traits. But I am still working on honing my abilities to be those things when I need to and want to because every so often the old feelings of fear and embarrassment will creep up on me.
So where did these feelings come from? Quite honestly, they came from being teased by my own parents as a child. I never felt comfortable at home talking about anything that was near and dear to my heart because of how it might be received. I remember my very first school-girl crushes - how tender and vulnerable a young girl's heart is at that point in her life. And how my mother used that for her own amusement with her friends who would then tease me about "being in love" and "who's the boy now?"...I was mortified. I remember shopping for my first bra - almost in a full B cup by the time it happened because I was chubby, and my mother telling me that we were going bra shopping because I was flopping around all over the place when I ran to the car after school. She then bought me 3 bras, wrapped them up like a birthday present and gave them to me to open in front of my family and younger brothers...I was horrified. When I first got my period I was at my babysitter's house for the day and had already endured her telling my younger brothers and her kids why I had opted not to go swimming that day. I had lived through her handing me a diaper-like pad while my brothers and their friends ran around the swimming pool singing "Jenn got her period, Jenn got her period". But the worst came when I finally got up the nerve to tell my mom. My grandmother was in town visiting, and though my mother didn't make the announcement at the dinner table, she may as well have as she hugged me and fussed around me about how I was now "a woman" in front of dad and grandma...I wanted to die.
After puberty, it became about my choices of friends. Always one to choose the outsiders (why not? I was one myself), my mother never approved of who I was hanging out with. They were always too loud, too silly, too immature, or not from the "right side of the tracks". Of course my opinions of my friends never mattered all that much. I was told who I was and wasn't allowed to fraternize with.
There was also my precociousness. My love of language and desire to try new words and phrases. I'm sure many people have experienced the embarrassment of saying the wrong word at the wrong time, or using it where it doesn't belong. But today that is still one of my biggest fears because of being laughed at mercilessly when I made a mistake. It's a wonder I wanted to learn anything at all.
Standard stuff? Maybe. All part of growing up? Sure. But I think it could have been handled differently. Because since all of these things were happening to ME, it would have been nice if I was actually involved in any of it. If my opinions and thoughts and feelings were ever cared about or taken into consideration. If I felt like maybe, just maybe, my life and my deeply personal experiences weren't being used as entertainment for someone else.
So I conformed. I became the same as everyone else. I used the same words, watched the same tv shows and lost my opinions. And I got fat because I also lost the ability to connect with myself. I no longer knew how. I ate in the closet to feel good about myself and because it was the one thing I could control that was my little secret. The one place I didn't have to conform. I didn't have to tell anyone and if I was careful, no one would ever know...except for my expanding waistline.
The only things I was fairly adamant about were:
1. I hated exercise and always would, and
2. I couldn't ever lose weight because I was destined to be fat
So here I sit today, a lot of personal work later, re-learning how to connect with myself, discovering who I really am and caring for that little girl who has been so ashamed and embarrassed in the past - adamant about many things, highly opinionated, blog-writing and bossy (sometimes), and this is what I think:
1. I LOVE exercise - and I will not be embarrassed about admitting that I was wrong about this in the past (even though I know my mother will call me out on my complete distaste of it before - because that is what she does).
2. I can and I will lose the weight. All of it. Because I don't need it anymore.
3. I am an interesting person BECAUSE I have opinions. Like them or lump them, my opinions are part of who I am and therefore they are VALID.
4. I am pro Obama, I like Lady-Gaga but I think she's nuts, and Real Simple is the best magazine on the shelf.
5. Raves are horrid and I never want to attend another one in my life - which is good cause I think that fad is finally over now.
6. Lemmings are cute, but dumb.
7. I will LISTEN to my children - their thoughts, their feelings, their opinions. And I will empathize with their hearts and minds before I make comments that could hurt or shame them.
8. I am still terrified about feeling like I don't know something in a crowd and my first instinct is to nod and say "oh yeah, I like that" or "oh yeah, I know what you're talking about" but I am consciously working on admitting when I don't know something or when I do have an opinion about something.
9. I will be friends with people I like and who like me - regardless of which side of the tracks they come from.
10. Joey is still the cutest New Kid
Monday, August 23, 2010
As a kid I used to HATE Sunday drives. My parents would always load us in the car after church in our Sunday best and then proceed to take the LONG way home. It was the worst. All we ever wanted to do was get out of those stuffy clothes and enjoy our last day of freedom before going back to school on Monday. Driving around, stopping off at the neighbours' place, and visiting were NOT my idea of "good times".
I never really thought that one day I would appreciate the value of a Sunday drive since now it is one of my absolute favorite things to do. It also helps when this is your ride:
1974 Black Corvette "Sting Ray" - it's beautiful. So's the guy who drives it! :) I'd like to say I'm not the least bit materialistic, but I'd be flat out lying. I like things. I really like PRETTY things. And this car is pretty. I didn't fall in love with the scientist because of his car, but when he showed it to me on our third date (after seeing Batman, funnily enough) I knew there was definitely going to be a fourth date - preferably in the car!
Two years later and this car holds a lot of great memories for me - trips to the Dunes, a drive downstate to Springfield, cruisin' along Lake Shore Drive with the top down and seeing the lights of the city. There is NOTHING like driving in a convertible. And the attention we got when we were out driving didn't hurt either. Kids on every street corner would shriek with joy at seeing "The Batmobile", guys would elbow each other and shout "Hey, nice ride man!", and the girls would point us out to their boyfriends, and I always imagined, would wish they were me - cuddled up next to my beau in the front seat. Ah, summer lovin'.
But with the pending move to Germany, the scientist knew that the days with his beloved car were numbered. We went back and forth about whether he should keep it and store it, or ship it back to California to have it live with his parents for a bit. Ultimately, he decided to sell it and posted the add a few weeks ago.
Since my rehearsal hours are picking up and he leaves in another week, he suggested that this weekend we take Saturday and just go driving. I had made other plans for the day, but was happy for the suggestion and agreed that it would be nice to just get out of the city for a bit - so off we went, heading for the Indiana Dunes, hoping to get lost somewhere fun.
It was a great day. If a road looked interesting - we took it. We ended up much further away than we normally go, so decided to keep driving towards the Michigan Dunes. I saw a sign for a store called the "I Love Toy Trains" Store. I thought it looked interesting so we made the turn. Unfortunately, that store was closed, but beside it was this little gem:
Oink's Ice Cream Shop - over 55 flavours and about 10,000 pigs! I got a cup of Mackinaw Island Fudge Frozen Yogurt and the scientist got a waffle cone with the most delicious raspberry ice cream I have ever tasted. We sat inside the air conditioning for a bit and counted the pigs:
Here's a couple of pictures of me and my windblown hair! Riding with the top down is fun, but at high speeds your hair can take a bit of a beating!:
Back in the car again after our little pit stop and headed for the beach. We took some lakefront roads and ogled the HUGE, beautiful houses. Oh to be a millionaire. Massive estates with private beachfront properties. Drool. As the sun started to set, we took off our shoes and dug our toes in the sand for a walk along the beach:
The sun was sinking fast, so we walked out on the pier to sit and enjoy it with the moon rising behind us:
Once the sun was below the horizon, we packed up and headed off the beach for dinner. Found a great local restaurant called "The Stray Dog Bar & Grill" where I got a delicious Greek Chicken Salad - so fresh and so good after our day in the sun.
Our drive home was quiet - we talked for a bit, but it's actually hard to have a good conversation over the hum of the motor and the whipping of the wind in your ears. I think we were both a little lost in thought - him of the upcoming move to a new country I'm sure, me of the last days of summer and the pending end to this really wonderful period in my life. It has been bittersweet in the best of ways and while I am ready to move on, I will miss so many things.
Two years ago, the seat belt in the car was too small to fit around my oversized hips - girls who rode in cars like that in the 1970s weren't a size 26. We never got a seat belt extender for the car since they were hard to find, so I usually just slid down in the bucket seat and hoped we wouldn't get pulled over (I know - so dangerous!). But I vowed that by the time I had to say goodbye to that car, that the seat belt would fit. And this weekend it finally did. I wore the belt the whole time - still a little snug, but on and snapped, nonetheless. I was so proud.
The car sold this morning. Neither one of us could even bear to watch it drive away. We hugged and cried a little in the kitchen while we listened to the sound of the motor drone out down the street. It was his very first car - and at 9 years of ownership, it's the longest relationship he's ever had :) So today is a sad day. And I know if I'm having this much trouble saying goodbye to the car, next Thursday when he leaves is going to be very rough indeed.
Thanks 'Vette. It's been a swell ride.
Damn, I'm going to miss that car...and that man.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I'm going to say something here that might be a little controversial, but I know I'm right, so I'm going to say it anyway:
I am not 100% responsible for my obesity.
Yes, I am the one who snuck cookies into my room as a child, and I am the one who ate two dinners some nights in university because no one was watching, and I am the one who swore from here to Sunday that I would NEVER enjoy exercise because it just wasn't my thing.
But there are MANY other people who have contributed to my weight problems, self-image issues, and food addiction throughout my life - and so I'm taking a stand right here and now to say that THIS IS NOT ALL MY FAULT!
So many of us have heard so many negative comments about us - whether it be the mean-spirited kids on the playground, or the teenage kids at the mall, or even the comment that you weren't meant to overhear from a colleague at work. But the most painful comments are the ones that come from the people we love. The comments that are made "for your own good" or "because we love you". The comments that make you feel guilty for being angry about them because maybe, just maybe they're right. Or maybe they're not. Maybe things are said, actions happen, or the people that you love behave the way they do because they too are hurting and acting out their hurt on us is the only way to make themselves feel better. I've had a lot of that in my life - being the scapegoat at the bottom of the totem pole. But the buck stops here. And here's where I start pointing fingers.
I will preface all of this by saying that I have a wonderful family. My parents are still together after 39 years of marriage. They have loved me endlessly and wholly for each and every one of my 29 years. My living grandparents are still together and have been so supportive of me growing up. My brothers are awesome individuals. I am envious of their awesomeness on a regular basis. My aunts and uncles and cousins are all very close and loving and I miss them so much being a long way away. But my decision to move away was for me. And it's a decision I had to make because living at home (or close to it) was making me very, very sick. I am an incredibly lucky person to have all the love that I have in my life. But until I started making changes for myself, I could not love me - and all of the love in the world from other people will not make up that missing piece.
So here we go: I blame my mother, in part, for my obesity.
I had a very tough phone call with mom last week. When I called I was expecting to talk to my father, so when she picked up the phone I was surprised and unguarded (as I normally have to be to have a conversation with her since she has subtle but powerful ways of getting to me if I'm unprepared). The conversation got into a territory that I am uncomfortable with - she was asking me a lot of personal questions, making vast assumptions about my life in Chicago, and threatening an uninvited and unexpected visit. I was rendered speechless - which doesn't often happen with me. Then the topic of conversation switched, very suddenly, to my upbringing and how well I have managed to do for myself and how amazed she is with me and how well I turned out. She went on to say that I have continuously overcome obstacles and that the majority of those obstacles were from her, since she has opposed most of my bigger decisions in life - my choice of school, my choice of career, my choice of men, and my decision to move to Chicago - she was absolutely, steadfast and firmly against all of them, and voiced her opinions about all of them on a number of occasions throughout my youth. Odd - maybe, but I know at this point that she was fishing for a compliment - wanting me to thank her for my good, solid upbringing - to tell her that all those years of tough love must have paid off. But at this point in the phone call I was, quite frankly, pissed off. So instead of giving her the one thing that she truly desired at that point, I turned the tables back on her and asked if this was her giving me an apology. Now it was her turn to be speechless. She changed the conversation and we finally ended the phone call.
The next day I received an email from her. I only got through the first 2 lines of it before I realized the tone of it and deleted it before it could hurt me any deeper. I should have known better. I knew her reaction to my request for an apology would not go unmentioned again. Of the 2 lines that I did read, she criticized me openly for my audacity to ask her for anything and questioned why her love for 30 years of my life wasn't enough. I never responded. I didn't feel that an email of that tone warranted a response from me. I didn't get the answer from her that I wanted/needed, but in hindsight, I got the one that I expected.
Now without knowing the full context of the relationship between me and my mother, it might be hard for anyone reading this blog to fully understand what the problem is. But ultimately, the point of this blog is not to help anyone understand our relationship. The point of this blog is to understand that I share the blame for being fat. My mother's inability to see me as a complete and separate, individual and whole person from herself has lead me to literally become larger than life just to feel like I exist. She cannot give me an apology for things that have happened in our past because she honestly believes that she has done nothing wrong. But were I a complete and separate, individual and whole being - were I a person that existed outside of her sphere, she would never have done the things to that person that were done to me. She never would have said the things that she has said. And had she done or said those things to that complete and separate, individual and whole person - she would most certainly apologize. My mother is a loving and giving and gracious person. If she knew that she hurt a person the way she has hurt me, she WOULD apologize. But right now, she can not apologize to me, because I am not done becoming a complete and separate, individual and whole person - without her.
That's why I am here. That's why I am working every single day to love and understand and accept myself. That's why I am learning as much as I can and laughing, and crying, and feeling - MY feelings, MY emotions - NOT my mother's. For so many years I have lived FOR her. And I can't do it anymore.
For all the mothers who will read this - PLEASE KNOW - we (your children) love you so hard. We love you enough to sacrifice ourselves when we see that you are unhappy. We love you so much that we will refuse our own natural tendencies if it's something we think you want. We will thrive for you, achieve for you, and flounder with you if you let us. But at some point the child HAS to leave. It is human nature. And it is your job to let us go - as hard as that might be. It doesn't mean we don't love you. It doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt us just as much to sever the ties as it hurts you (though we'll pretend it doesn't). But we need to become our own people, and we desperately need your support to do that. Otherwise, we start to deteriorate. We shrivel up inside and expand outside to make up the difference. We become lonely and timid and start to believe that the only person in the world who loves us and understands us is you - because that is the way you made us.
Though she will likely never read this, I am hoping that some day I will have the courage to have this conversation with my mother. I know that I will not be able to complete my transformation until it happens and that terrifies me. But at the same time, I'm ready. I want her to know how much I love her - even though I already make a point of telling her all the time. I want her to know how bad I feel for her that her own life is so small that she needed to have mine too to feel full. I want her to know how hard it has been for me to systematically pull myself away from her to make myself whole. I want her to know my pain, though I have a feeling she already does and that is why she does the things and says the things she does sometimes. But most of all I want her to know that it's NEVER too late to have what she wants for herself. I wouldn't be who I am today had I not learned from an incredibly talented, beautiful, caring and loving individual like her. I just wish she didn't need me to know that about herself.
I'm done blaming people for today. I'm ready to accept my own responsibility again. After all - my mother never tied me to the dinner table and forced me to eat - I did that all on my own. But she shares in this weight. And knowing that this isn't ALL my fault, makes me feel just that much lighter. It's ok to be angry. We have to get angry sometimes to heal. It's all part of the process. I might blame someone else tomorrow (stay tuned, because I probably will) - but my own tears just from having written this today have cleansed the hurt I was feeling. She's too far away to hug in person - but right now I'm hugging my mother in spirit. And that makes it all better.
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