Wednesday, January 31, 2007

50 Secrets

I attained half a century yesterday.

Spent morning doing housey stuff and listening to a Joyce Meyer tape. The main message on this tape was; God created me to be who I am, personality quirks and all, and, He loves this unique creation. Pretty heady stuff for someone who was raised to hate herself.

Okay, so I ruminate on how and why God created me to be me all morning. I also muse about what believing in and accepting His unconditional love might mean in my daily life. Keep in mind I have been a redeemed Christian since youth. "Why God" I prayed "has it taken me 50 years to live as though You loved me?" God answers prayer.

Okay so I go to give blood in the afternoon. This was my first time. I guess as a nurse I felt the health care system had sucked enough life blood out of me over the years and so refused to donate more. But I am no longer a nurse, so I went to donate. Whoa Nelly. They do ask some personal questions. I have herpes zoster and have had for twenty years. It is well controlled with medication but never cured. I do not tell a lot of people. Venereal diseases do not generally come up as a topic of conversation in my circles, so for the most part I get to ignore it. But, to give blood you are asked directly, "Do you have any communicable diseases?" I either had to tell a bald faced lie or fess up. I lied. The first of a multitude. Education level came next. I do not have a Master's Degree. I have an old Nursing Diploma, a Bachelors Degree, a 3.9 grade point average, a phi-beta kappa key and an unfinished thesis. Did I say any of that? Noooo. I checked off Masters Degree. The young tech doing my intake interview was by now very intimidated. I had already told him in loud ringing tones I was a nurse. Weight. How much did I weigh? 175 I said. I then regaled him with my weight loss success. He looked even more impressed. He took me in and gave me to the lab people. More questions. I asserted my nursehood and my weight loss first thing. All were very deferential. Time came for the actual venipuncture. I am not now a nurse, but I was. I said quietly to the phlebotomist, "I have herpes." She stopped of course. More questions, "Open lesions, last onset, duration, medicated, effectiveness?" She was very professional and kind and I was still humiliated. Not about having herpes. About lying.

After the hold up I passed muster and the actual blood letting was uneventful. I sat in the chair and kept my embarrassed mouth shut. I had to spend twenty minutes in the canteen after the procedure. There was a nice young mother sitting next to me with her ten month old son. I love babies and could not resist playing with him. She said I seemed to know a lot about child rearing and asked if I had children. "No" I said "I couldn't have any." What new b*llsh#t was this? I chose not to have kids. In point of fact I probably spent thousands of dollars over the years to keep from having kids. I then regaled her with stories of my sister's five little children I had helped care for. Good grief. My sister does indeed have five children, two of whom are older than I. I learned to care for all of those kids in my time in the foster homes. Why didn't I say that?

Okay so now I am done lying at the hospital so I go to the health food store to pick up my order. I really like the young woman who is starting this venture. Turns out she is also an EMT and has pulled her back out lifting a patient. Me too, in the past. We compare notes. I offer advice on how to stop the back pain. So far so good. She then tells me she is starting a latte place in the store. I worked in a latte place for four days once long ago. I begin to tell her what to do and not to do with this business. I gave her good advice (it was a long four days) but did not tell her I was just a peon and not the owner. She listened and was grateful. Grateful. Made me feel like a dog.

Okay so now I go home. Marks says, "How was your day?" I said fine. Would it never end?

Moral of this sorry tale. God loves me, just as I am. He made me, just as I am. I have not been loving me just as I am. I do not need to embellish anything for anyone. I am lovable and loved just as I am. Take care of yourself.

Love Bea

Monday, January 29, 2007

First Things

Epiphany, part one . I have gained more weight. Cried in the bathroom standing on the scale. Cat came in to comfort me. I picked her up and the scale went up to 195. Almost fell down. The cat had gained weight also. She weighed 12 pounds. Do the math, I now weigh 183. Was down to 178. Five d^*n pounds. Got off the scale and promptly attacked Mark. Poor thing. All he asked was "why are you crying?" I was a bitch all morning, and depressed. And then it was time to go to church.

Prayed for forgiveness, accepted forgiveness and asked Mark's forgiveness. Gave fat to God, again. Had major insight sitting there in the pew in my jumper. (I had quit wearing this fat person garment. This shows how low I felt. ) I am gaining weight because I am not drinking my water, not exercising and not portion controlling. I am also cheating. The return of the fat is not inevitable and is not beyond, with God's help, my control. I could start over, again. So I have.

Epiphany, part two. I hate the treadmill and the exercise bike because they are INDOORS. I want to be outside exercising. I did not know this until yesterday. No wonder I have a terrible time with gyms. Opens up a world of possibilities in this winter wonderland. I am going to figure out how to snowshoe. And why couldn't I cross country ski? But first things first. I had to figure out how to walk outdoors on a daily basis. Not as easy as it sounds. Has been way below zero here for a month.

Initial step, find clothing. Looked at snowmobile suits. The suckers cost upwards of $200. Had a very strange thing happen while browsing said suits. Sales lady came over, took a look at me and said, "you aren't near that big, I think a large would fit you." I had been in the 2x's. I may still be fat but I am no longer obese, even with my five gained pounds. Okay so Skidoo suits were too expensive. Looked at Carhart overalls. Still over $100, and stiff as a board. This small town has very few clothing options and I had exhausted them all. I gave up and we went to Family Dollar to buy cat litter. The store had long underwear on sale. Bought underwear. Went home and located my old rain pants. Figured I would put them over jeans and the long underwear and would be warm enough. Rain pants were 3x's. I could not keep them on. Mark said I could wear his. I figured these would be too small. They fit, largely. Hitched and rolled them up and was set.

Next step. Walk. It was 8 below here this morning. Took me 20 minutes to get dressed. I looked like the Michelin woman. I didn't care. We set out at a good pace, and kept it up, until my glasses froze over. I used a credit card to scape them off, and continued. It was gorgeous. The mountains against the stars ahead of me and the rushing water on the left were my rewards for movement. We walked for 45 minutes. I loved it. It has "lightened" my mood and given me encouragement for the rest of this weight loss journey. All I need now are some of those snow cleat shoe things. Take care of yourself.

Love Bea

Friday, January 19, 2007


Just had a very disorienting, uncomfortable conversation with a friend. She has been reading my letters to you. She was shocked that I swore and hated social groupings. Her good opinion of me changed on a dime. My whole Christian life has been filled with these minefields. When we become Christians we are made new creatures, but not overnight. In fact for me it may take a life time. "Growing in grace" is one of my favorite terms. So...since I am still growing I will always have a lot of the old nature left in me. And... my old nature swears, gossips, is judgemental, has a nasty temper and has had more sex than a hooker. I am not proud of these sins and have, and do, ask for forgiveness. But, I am getting sick of hiding them. Do I wish they were not there, yes. Can I pretend to be "Sister Super Christian" anymore, no.

In our conversation I revealed my desire to beat the sh*t out of half the people I know. She said shocked, "Oh Bea you are not like that." Kind of a stupid thing for me to have said if I wasn't "like that." She had a notion of who I should be and did not want to see who I am. Made me mad. (Big surprise.) Mad at me.

I am the one who led her to believe I had only one facet. Why? I value her good opinion. So I became who and what she valued. A lot of her values are also mine so I guess I became what I value also. But then I was/am stuck in the small christian box. How to be in the world but not of the world is very confusing/confining for me. I get sick of an all "light" life. My personality has some very dark patches in it which I am loathe to give up. Why? Because the creative side of my life seems to flow from these patches. I think this to be blatant nonsense as I worship the "Creator." But my feelings tell me differently. I thank God for the blessings in my life and then yell the f word when I get mad. I need your prayers. I do not know how to reconcile my dark patches with the Light. "Ask for forgiveness and give them up" feels like death. Which I suppose it is in a way. Death of the old sinful nature. The "old sinful nature" dances, and drinks and flirts, is irresponsible, vain and selfish and generally looks to be having a good time in life. Sister Super Christian ( thanks Joyce) smiles and works and is responsible and looks miserable most of the time. She is sure boring.

I guess my basic question is, "How to be a creative Christian without tapping into the dark patches?" If you have answers to any of this please send it my way.

Take care of yourself. Love Bea

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Life In Lapland

I am cold. I have been cold for three months. I miss my radiators. Cannot go there. Mourning for my former home is as yet too painful. I hate being a renter. Will we ever own a home again? Can't go there. Too stupid to borrow worries. I am grateful for this house and the town. I believe God has placed us here for a purpose. I just wish my faith would stay screwed to the sticking point.

This letter is blah. I feel fairly happy and contented until I sit down to write and then something happens to me. Some other whiny, sarcastic, ungrateful, mean spirited women takes over. I am embarrassed by her, and repelled by her, and shocked by her and I just love her. She expresses all the things I can't. Is she my shadow self? Is she a buildup of years of "taking it?" Does she need to be expressed or should I squash her flat? Is she the me without the fat to hide behind? I hope not. Is she possessed by the devil or angelically directed? Do I need to own her? Probably, but I don't want to. She makes me nervous. So opinionated, so sexy, so self-confident, so mean. Is this the unredeemed me? Is this who I am without the saving power of Christ? Is the mealy mouthed boundariless chameleon the real Christian? No. That I am sure of. Who is this woman who wants to beat the sh*t out of everyone? Is she the menopausal me? Is this who I am without estrogen? Martha Stewart? I hate her. I think she is a big fake. Am I a big fake, and does it matter? My identity is melting. I am truly boundariless. A goodly number of my external supports have been removed. I am like a jellyfish. A beautiful formless, floating thing with a hell of a sting. Remember Towanda? Maybe this writer person is Towanda.

All this introspection is not good for me. Or it is good for me? Or is it just is? God direct me.

Take care of yourself. Love Bea

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Running On Empty

I bought a rice steamer and a crock pot. (Good opening line for a first novel don't you think?) Okay so to go with the steamer and pot I went to buy beans and grain. A bag of beans and a bag of rice, right? Nope. I came home with enough legumes and bird food to start my own Oxfam relief operation. As I was trying to find places for all this fiber in an already well stocked pantry I had an epiphany. I am unable to recognize a full pantry/closet/bank account/schedule/ relationship, or stomach. If it is not bulging then I think it is empty. The cupboards are full and still I buy/need/want more.

To quote a quotable quoter, "Why is enough never enough?" Fear. If I do not have an over amount then I run the risk of running out. The cupboard will be bare. And then what? Then I will die.

What the heck? Where did that come from? Do I truly feel I will die if I run out of mayonnaise or toilet paper or socks? You betcha. Something in me hates to face emptiness on any level. If it is empty who will fill it? me, i will have to rely on me. But I can't rely on me, and so I will die. Why am I unable to rely on me to fill it? Because I can't. Why? Because I am unable to meet my needs on a basic level. Why? Because I am too small. If I run out of bread/love then I will get no more because the powers will not feed me, and I will die.

Was this true? Too sad yes. Is it true now? No. With God's help I can feed myself. I can rely on myself. I will not die if I run out of beans, I will just go and buy more. If I can't afford more I will ask for more from loving ones. If loving ones can't help me I will rely on the Lover of my soul to provide me with beans and Bread. Overstocking-stuffing=Fear+Faithlessness. With God and my reliable self enough is enough.

Take care. Love Bea

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Wall

Darn hard to type in gloves, even fingerless ones. I am going to freeze in here before this winter is over.

I have hit the wall. My weight has been the same for at least five months. I am very discouraged. True, in that time we have moved cross country and I have been eating like some one who has just moved cross country. But I also sort of stuck to my food plan. Two weeks ago I decided to really buckle down and follow the plan to "start losing again." So, the past two weeks I have eaten well and... nothing. I had been telling myself I wasn't losing because I was being too loose with my eating. The evidence is now in. I am plateaued.

I am going to join Curves to see if weight resistance will make a difference. I am already using the treadmill and bike (combined) daily for 30 minutes. I swore I would never exercise like a mad dog, but arf maybe the time has come. Walked over to Curves and got price list and met owner. Price doable and owner friendly. Even her dog was cute. Maybe will meet some like minded people. Women in our church are lovely but still determined to "pink lady" me. I have fatter fish to fry right now in my life and do not want to spend my free time at the hospital.

Walked to new health food store. Ordered some gains to cook in my new rice steamer. Told girl at the counter about my food plan. During this conversation I noticed I felt like a fake talking about my weight loss. Couldn't figure it out. Finally decided that if I am losing then I feel like the weight loss is real but if I am stuck then I fell like I weigh 245lbs. again. Not. Why can't I enjoy the weight I currently am? I sure enjoyed it when it was down from 190. Weird. Had a scary thought. What if I don't lose more? Could I be happy at 180? I still look fat but not obese. Can buy normal (18-XL) clothes. Cholesterol and triglycerides are better. Lots of women weigh more than 180. What is driving me? I want to weigh 140. Just realized I have lost more that 50 lbs. When started food plan was at 235. My highest weight was 245. That is 65lbs! At 245 lbs. 180 would have seemed thin. Now it seems huge. Very tricksy this fat. What does it all mean?

It means I will stick with program and join Curves. I will attempt to be happy weighing 180-181 until I start to go down again. I will stop eating darn salt. I will not be a pink lady. Take care of yourself.

Love Bea

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Who I Am ?

I will be 50 at the end of the month.
I have lost 50 plus pounds.
My mother was dead by 50.
I am not a nurse any more.
I am turning down invitations to join church and civic groups.
I feel guilty.
I think a getting Masters Degree was fun but ultimately pointless.
I dyed my hair red/blonde.
I am restless.
My size is not an issue in this new place.
Parts of me no longer stick out into the crowd.
I am still unseen.
I look like every other plump matron in town.
I am asking for help.
I am stuck at 180-181.
I am no longer so defensive.
I have become more offensive.
And it scares me.
I have taken up cursing, again.
Forgive me God.
My Gerry fixation is over.
Is my other obsession over?
I think I will join Curves anyway.
I miss my mentor.
Who will see me?