Thursday, March 29, 2007

Gone Traveling

We are off to Idaho Falls for a couple of days to celebrate our sixteenth anniversary. I will run around the mall and Mark will lounge around in Barnes and Noble. Works like a charm. Also hoping to see Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the museum. I am so excited I can hardly stand myself. If it snows an we can't get out of here I will eat a dog raw. I just know it.

See Y'all next week.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm So Vain

I may have gone off the deep end with this self care thing. Or not. I don't know. How do "normal" women groom themselves? I have been fat and body unconscious for so long I have lost track. Heck, who are we kidding I never knew. I was raised by durable fat religious farm women. Clean and modest were their highest goals. Fashionable and feminine they were not. I wore either long dresses for church or jeans and men's flannel shirts for school. Throughout my teen years I looked like Euell Gibbons on weekdays and Granny Moses on weekends. Then I went to nursing school. Let me just say, white does not flatter anyone but angels. Twenty some years of various shades of white. It is enough to make a body weep. Then I was drafted. No I did not actually join the military, I just looked like it. Olive drab, navy blue, gun metal gray, why did I think these colors made me look thin and cheerful? Any way I have never really applied the concepts of fashion or femininity to my self. Now seems to be the time.

Clothing, cosmetics and body work come later. I will address hair in this post. Let me begin by saying I am no longer gainfully employed. We have also just moved. Money is not just outside sticking out of the snowbanks for harvesting. Keep this vital piece of information in mind. I do.

I guess this mania all started with my first hair cut after we moved up here. I was badly in need of shearing and coloring. Short and practical with a few blond highlights had been my style since my late twenties. I am now 50. Twenty five years of the same hair style. I never noticed.

I made an appointment at a salon for my usual do. I was not real nervous because anyone can cut my hair cap and slap a few light streaks on the top. I should have worried. I knew I was in trouble when the "stylist" turned out to be twenty and cute as a bug's ear. She was also self confident and aggressive. She took one look at my long (for me) drab hair and said you need color and shape. Did I? What precisely did she mean by color? More warmth it turned out. These ashy blobs are doing nothing for you she said, fingering my blobs like they were contagious. Your base color is also the wrong tint for your skin. What color is it she asked? My own I squeaked. "Ahh" was all she said. This child then took me in hand.

After quite a while I had red/blond hair with gold highlights. I looked in the mirror and recognized the person looking back at me. She was 28. To say I was pleased was the understatement of the year. I attempted to thank my baby benefactress. I told you, she said, you just needed some color. She then got out her razor. No, wait, I said, I want a little cap of hair and I know you can't give me a little cap of hair with that. She ignored me. You need length and some height on top. She began to saw at my dry hair. I almost fainted. Relax she said it will be fine. And it was. A modern haircut. I no longer looked like I should have a little white hat perched atop my head. I looked relaxed and sporty. Sexy she said, but I am not willing to go that far.

Did I mention I am not good with my hair. I had a hair cap for twenty years because I did not want to mess with it. This new "do", I was to find out, required more care than a newborn. I will begin with product. Not products, product. Product turns out to be glue. It is called mousse, root lifter, volumizing foam and spray adhesive. I needed a recipe card to tell me how and in what order to apply all this gunk to my hair. Turns out I also needed an iron. Check, I had an iron. Not that kind of iron. A flat curling iron. (Oxymoronic) Then I needed a blow dryer. Check, had a blow dryer. I quit using it when the shag went out of style. Old blow dryer would not work. Did not have a "directed end." Well...yes. Directed end = a nozzle deal with a slit it it. I also needed a round brush. Check, had a round brush, see shag comment. Not a plastic one silly, had to have a metal base with silicone bristles. I was certainly behind the times. What ever happened to Dippity Do and orange juice cans?

I left the shop a younger and wiser women. A wiser woman with a shopping bag full of product, tools, and an instruction booklet for my new hair style. Anyone care to guess how much all of this cost? I am not telling. I am too embarrassed.

There has been some fallout from this first enlightening visit. (Not my hair.) Mark promptly used up the $13 can of hair spray gluing a bunch of cardboard together. "It said spray adhesive and was in a silver can. Why didn't the darn thing say hairspray," he wondered? Why indeed? Root lifter makes my hair look spiky. I do not want to look like Sting. Mousse weighs my hair down and makes it oily. VO5 is cheaper if I desire oily flat hair. My old hair dryer did not work. I did need the directed end. The new brush gets caught in hair less often than the old one. Luminescent spray if fabulous. Makes my hair shine. Worth the $20. Have received tons of compliments on new haircut. Have begun wearing earrings again. Also makeup. Gorgeous hair seems to need it. Is fun fixing my hair. This is the real change.

But, have I gone too far? Much more on this later. Take care of yourselves. Love Bea.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Markovian Theory #3
Martha Stewart has beautiful gardens because she periodically murders her help and then has them buried the compost pile. Works sort of like the early Native Americans burying fish at the base of cornstalks. Also makes labor negotiations much more effective.

It has been a heck of a week. I finished the taxes. They had been haunting and hounding me for two months. Took two trips to the account but they are finally done. And we are going to get money back. I will be able to get my own computer. No more using Mark's. I hate this computer and desk and chair. Trying to use someone else's computer is like using someone else's diaphragm. It doesn't fit and it is just wrong. Anyway we now have the money for a new laptop.

I did the taxes by myself. It was confusing and frustrating and scary. But I did it. I deserved a reward I thought. What reward did I want? Wanna guess? Why has food always been my reward? Where did that thought process come from? And why can't I think in terms of anything else as a reward? Some answers:

1. Food is easily available. I do not have to put forth much effort to obtain it.
2. Food is rapidly available. Instant gratification. No waiting.
3. Food can be cheap. I can always afford peanut M&Ms.
4. Food is reliable. As Mark has so sagely noted, in the dark, all Big Macs are alike. I know what I am getting.
5. Food can be solitary. I can enjoy it completely without any distractions.
6. Food is thoughtless. No more work of thinking or feeling.
7. Food is selfish. I don't have to share it with anyone.

I am sure I was given food as a reward somewhere along the line as a child. I also watched my adopted mother use food as the answer to everything. Food as a reward I think is certainly a learned behaviour. If I learned it I can unlearn it. I just need to recognize that my alternative rewards won't at first feel as rewarding as food.

I rewarded my self with fried chicken, popcorn and chocolate. Tasted wonderful. I was sick as a dog four hours later. Some reward. Did I learn anything from all of this? Oh heck, I don't know. I guess I learned my system of reward was also a habit. I am one of Pavlov's dogs. The fat one.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fear of Vegtables

Mark is full of...theories.

"Millions of unexplained world wide choking deaths" is one of the longest standing. He believes untold numbers of hapless victims are hourly choking to death on raw broccoli. Not on the stalks but on the tiny green gritty parts that make up the crowns. A "concealed epidemic" he calls it.

We are eating abstinently again. This means an increase in our vegetable consumption. As usual Mark is dragging his feet and complaining. Last night I had had it. What is it with you and vegetables I hollered. I am afraid of them he said. Is this about that choking deaths thing again? No, although that is a valid fear, it goes back much further. Alright I said what is it? THEY WILL MAKE MY WIENIE FALL OFF. That stopped me. Now think about it he said. What do all vegetables have in common? They are green. You are a nurse. If a human body turns green what does it mean? I could see where this was headed. Gangrene I said. Exactly said he slapping the table. I eat all that green stuff and my pecker will rot and fall off. Why had I not figured this out? No pecker I guess.

Apparently all young boys are instructed about the wienie vegetable connection somewhere between the ages of seven and twelve. It is one of the most valuable of lessons to be found in the "Man Manual." Man Manual = a book of knowledge from which older men instruct young boys in the art of being a "real man." (I am here to tell you the "Man Manual" is full of some seriously misguided information if Mark is any indication of its imparted wisdom.) Anyway young boys are taught from it to hate and fear all raw food. Apparently stories of innocents being tortured with carrots sticks and kohlrabi are told to young boys around manly campfires all over the known world. Manly campfire = an inferno so large as to signal satellites in space. This early indoctrination seems almost impossible to break.

Mark also believes fruits and vegetables to be unreliable. "You can never count on getting the same apple twice. A Big Mac you can rely on." Pity me sisters.

Back to the broccoli conspiracy. Mark believes broccoli choking deaths are the cause of a huge government cover up. First and foremost the tobacco industry is being demonized to protect the broccoli farmers. "If the country is focused on people dying from smoking then big tobacco is targeted and the broccoli farmers get to peddle their poison unopposed." He also maintains the medical community is in cahoots with the government subsidized broccoli farmers. "How many articles have you read about millions of people dying of emphysema who have never smoked a cigarette in their lives? It is the damn broccoli. Will the doctors ever tell them that, no. They are getting kickbacks from the broccoli farmers."

This is only one of his theories. He has many more. When I have the heart I will write about the Bobites. Bobite = a religious fanatic deer who does not believe in cars. Now I think I will go and make lunch. It will be green and unreliable.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dumb and Fake

Okay Ethels we are going to dive into some dark and murky water. Sexual abuse. I would like to avoid this but it looks like it is not going to be possible. The massages, pedicures and manicures are doing their work. I am becoming aware of my body, and realize I hate the poor dumb (as in quiet) thing.

"Thank my fat." Damn Sonia (massage therapist). Or bless Sonia. Anyway when I could not massage lotion on my person to even get started with the fat thanking I recognized something was wrong. I hate being sensual. Feels dumb and fake. Feels feminine. YAAAAAAA. That was me yelling. What is going on? Why do I not want to be a woman? Why do I not want to be sensual? Possibilities here roll over me in an almost endless litany. I was after all "liberated" and internalized all the jargon. Tooey. I was also sexually abused and retreated from my body. Double tooey.

I feel asexual. Weird huh, my boobs and ass are huge and I feel asexual? Is this because I am seen as asexual? Is it because fat I can not leap around like a libidinous bunny? What is the deal with fat women being asexual in our culture? But I digress. For obvious reasons I wanted to be asexual. And...I have had a lot of partners. A lot. In my ignorance I lived out the effects of sexual abuse for years. Yet with all this sex I was never sensual. All touch led to sex. Touch for the sake of touch seemed/seems...dumb and fake, and pointless. If it is not going to lead to sex why bother. See what I mean, I got problems.

I am guessing some of this comes from not being touched as an infant and toddler. Mom in her illness did not want to touch me. If she did touch me it was inappropriate. Schizophrenia is a soul numbing disease. Then came the abusers. Years of them. Little blond unprotected girls are easy prey. Triple tooey. I see where my problems originate, how to overcome them is my dilemma.

My current life is blessed. God loves me. Husband and friends love me. I have even learned to accept Husband's loving touch. I thought I was cured of my touch problems. Apparently not. I hate to touch my own skin. (No I do not need masturbation classes. I am adept.) I also hate the feel of the fat. I can put cream on my face but any skin below my chin is on its own. Why after all the therapy and love and work do I still have a fit if I have to put oil on my shins? What is my deal?

Is/was there any body else out there like me? And how did you handle (no pun) it? Sorry this was so intense.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Don't Stone Me, Part Two

Spring has come to Star Valley. I saw my first robin yesterday. It was frozen in the middle of the road. Ah well.... The locals say the Valley has two seasons, winter and mud. We are into frozen mud. They also say a year in the Valley is composed of nine months of winter, and three months of company. I believe it. I am already being besieged by relations for reservations. The month of July is almost completely booked. Being eighty miles from Yellowstone may not be the advantage I imagined.

Epiphanette = a quiet revelation received when you are too tired and discouraged to resist it.

I reject the addiction model (as I understand it) for my overeating. I am not forced by some chemical chain reaction to eat cheesecake and burritos. I am choosing to eat them. I am not abstinent, because I don't feel like being abstinent. I am not motivated. The secondary gain (no pun intended) I was getting from the weight loss is gone and now it is just every day life and puree old hard work. I hate that. I want to be carried along on the tide of "can do" without having to exercise my will. No es possible. I have to re-form my abstinent habits. I hate that. It is boring and painful to re-plow the same old rows. But, farmers do it every year to get a new harvest, so I guess I can too. I have to say no to my body. Swept up in the euphoria of active weight loss very little willpower was necessary. I now have to form the habit of saying no to my flesh.

I think it is all about habit. I learned early on to use sugar to relieve pain. It worked like a charm. Why would I want to use anything else? Because the side, and front, and rear effects of my pain killer were/are awful. I have heard many people say that the pleasure of being thin is a much better feeling than the pleasure of eating. I don't believe it. I will always in the moment choose baked New York cheesecake over slim thighs. That is where self control comes in. I am deficient in this area. That is where God comes in. "Lead us not into temptation." In my own strength of Will I will not make the healthiest choice. I have determined to ask for help. "Please God give me the strength to make healthy choices for my body and soul." Amen.

I am going to have to white knuckle it for a month, thirty days. With God's help I can do it. After thirty abstinent days the habit will have kicked in and the choices will get easier. I thank God for the phenomena of habit. Pray for me as I will for thee that we may merrily meet in good habit Heaven.

About the " fat thanking." Is not going well. Opened up a new layer of sexual abuse stuff. May also have been that darn light therapy. Who knows? Is not easy to learn to be sensual as an adult when you have been taught as a child that only "sexual" counts. Feels dumb and fake. Ah well...the only way out is thru.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Monday, March 12, 2007

Thank My Fat

That is my next assignment. Touch the icky stuff all over my body and thank it for the wisdom and help it has given me over the years. WHEN PIGS FLY. I am in sullen rebellion. I am instructed to do this idiot thing naked while applying lotion. AAARRRGGG. No way. No how. I have a month to accomplish the assignment. I will start small. I will put cream on my heels. ( Think about it. How much fat do we actually have on our heels?) I hate this.

Disclaimer: I am a traditional Christian and worship the Creator and not His creations. I was/am a nurse and am grounded in the western medical model of health care. That being said, I wouldn't be at all surprised if our cells radiated energy. I'm just not sure we are smart enough to regulate said energy.

I went in Friday for my haircut. A very different atmosphere in the shop. Sonia's (my massage therapist) sister was there. Sister is also a beautician and was helping out as Sonia is swamped. Sonia is getting ready to go to Israel and Egypt and everyone in the valley is attempting to see her before she leaves. I knew something was different when I attempted to tell Sonia about results of first assignment. Sister overheard and said, "Oh God, another one. My sister is inflicting that hokum on everyone." I was stunned and Sonia looked defeated. I felt very protective of her and attempted to quickly change the subject. I asked her if she had always wanted to travel. Sister said, "She is looking for enlightenment. Going to go to Egypt and climb one of those pyramids so she can sit on the top with a crystal taped to her forehead. She'll be lucky if some Muslim doesn't shoot her." Sonia stood up and leaned over backwards a little holding onto her lower back. "Back still hurt Sis" the sister asked? I now understood why Sonia was so effective in teaching me about body emotion. Another customer came in and the talk turned to children and the sister's recent divorce.

After a very cute hair cut and dye job Sonia took me back to her massage room. "I have something I want to try on you she said. I am learning about Colour Puncture and don't have anyone to practise on." After my observation of the wicked sister I'd have been willing to let her attempt to pierce my navel. Okay I said.

She brings out this case filled with what looks like a small otoscope base and five or six pencil shaped pieces of glass. Each glass rod had a different color on the tip. She puts a glass rod in the base, turns it on and presto, a tiny light saber. The colored light saber, she explains, vibrates energy. Every color has a different vibration frequency. The appropriate colored saber is touched to various acupressure sites on the body. The vibrations from the saber interact and effect the vibration of the body's energy meridians thereby releasing or strengthening energy where needed to promote health. I am skeptical, but Horatio I am game. She lightly touches points on my face with the red, gray and yellow rods. Doesn't hurt and only takes a few minutes. "What is it supposed to do I ask." "Well I'm not exactly sure she says." Now she tells me she's not sure. Crap. "Let me know if anything unusual happens she says." Okay I say weakly.

We move on to other stuff. I tell her about my body emotion. She is delighted and tells me to continue to look for more. I tell her I am writing about her to friends. She says to be sure and tell them she is still learning. I assure her I will pass the info along. I ask her about any books she is using. She recommends, "Feelings Buried Alive Never Die..." by Karol K. Truman. Suddenly the sister pops in. "What are you doing in here? You've got customers backed up three deep. Hurry up." We get up to leave. I wish Sonia happy travels and we part. "Oh Beula," she calls out as I am departing, "Your assignment while I am gone is to THANK YOUR FAT."

I am now home. I went out and bought the book. Sonia is LDS. She believes in Chakras, Meridians and the power of crystals. She believes in affirmations and the power of the subconscious to change behavior. I do not really in my faith heart believe in any of these things. That being said, it is quite a book. Very thought provoking.

Take care of yourselves Love Bea

P.S. Husband believes the whole world is in menopause. He then amended the statement, "Actually no, I guess it just feels like it." sigh

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Body of Evidence, Part Three

Had my third massage yesterday. Ho boy.

My massage therapist was stove up. Had hurt her back overdoing the grand kid thing. (Is always very startling to me when people younger than I have grand children.) Anyway, she was in obvious pain. I immediately went on guilt overload. "I'll go home I said. You are in no shape to be taking care of anyone. I am fine and do not really need a massage." This was blatant nonsense. My neck and shoulder were killing me and I had been looking forward to the massage for days. "I am fine standing up, she said, it will be alright." I remembered taking care of patients while in splints and casts and/or stoked to the gills on antihistamines or anti-diarrheal agents. Why could I not accept the same ministry? Notice a theme starting here? Meee too.

Okay I am naked on the table and in she comes, blowing her nose. Sinus problems. Damn, more guilt. I begin to sympathize and offer solutions. She then tells me in no uncertain terms, "Beula I can take care of myself. It is not your job. I am taking care of myself right now and do not need or want your help." Did not want my help? The hallelujah chorus plays here. THANK GOD. I relaxed completely. If she keeled over I would lie still and call for a nurse. This woman is a treasure.

Now come the big guns. She is rubbing my feet. They hurt. "I am worried about your heart she says. Be sure and pay attention to your heart." Gor Blimey. Okay I'll try I say. She then attempts to poke her finger clean through my right buttock. I yowl. "Have you been sexually abused she says." Uh, yes I say, why do you ask? "Left over pain from sexual abuse is usually stored in the sciatic/sacral area and sinuses she volunteers. You still have a lot of unexpressed pain here." She again jabs me. I'm a believer. I turn over. She is rubbing my neck, finally. "Do you have issues with your mother she asks." Well...darn... how to answer that? I slowly settle on, "yes." "You are stuck right here." She points to the top of my sternum. "Your neck hurts because your emotions about your mother are stalled in your head and neck. YOU ARE NOT FEELING MUCH OF ANYTHING FROM THE NECK DOWN." Crap, shit, damn, fuck. What does that mean I ask cheerfully. "It means most of your emotions can not be incorporated into your body. You probably cannot identify feelings in your body, only in your head." I am not even sure she is still speaking English. Feel emotions in my body? "Like a nervous stomach she says." I am still in the dark. "I have some homework for you she says. I want you to try and identify one body emotion before next session. Oh, and also work on your mother issues." Yes, I'll get right on that I say. Farts.

I am now back home. I want to do my assignment. I also do not have the vaguest notion of how to go about it. What the hell is a "body emotion?" I do not recognize when I am emoting I now recognize. Okay I do know what I don't know. That is a start.

Help Ethels. What is a body emotion and how do you recognize it? What are the physical manifestations? Do most people feel their emotions in their bodies? Like if you have pain in your big toe you know you are happy? I'm in a void here.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Friday, March 2, 2007

Don't Stone Me, Part One

I am not quite buying the whole food addiction thing.

I can't believe I just wrote that. I have lost 65 pounds as a result of the addiction mindset.

Ding, bing, bong, ker-pow, zowey, light bulb comes on, epiphany. It is a mindset. Mindset, a mind which has been set. "Mind" means in my thinking, not in my body. And if my mind has been set it can be unset. If it can be unset it is not locked in one spot. Change is possible. I am not just at the whim of my physiology. I have a choice. I do not have to live one unguarded mouthful away from relapse and 245 pounds. Imagine me jigging around my computer chair. Woo, woo. woo.

Okay down to cases. A yearish ago desperate and despised (by me) I bought books by Kay Sheppard and Frances Kuffel. Both were a fluke and sort of fell off the shelf at me. I read Kay's "From The First Bite" first. Made perfect sense to my mind. Then I read "Passing For Thin." Touched my heart, and reinforced what Kay had said. I believe God sent both books to me. I began doing Kay's plan and found Frances and support at the "angry fat girlz" blog. The weight began rolling off.

Then we had to move. (This statement should be accompanied by a dull thudding sound.) I was at 179 when we moved. I went eating nuts for the first while we were here and did not gain a pound. I was unpacking boxes from dawn until dusk and eating three huge non-abstinent meals a day. I did not binge. I didn't have the time. I lost weight, 178. Bells should be ringing again here. Eventually all the boxes were unpacked. I quit eating like a demented mowing machine and went back to Kay's regimented plan. And I gained weight, 180-183. What the hey? I have kept on with the Kay's plan (sort of) but was/am very, very discouraged.

In the midst of this frustration I recently stumbled into the "Baby Steps V" blog. Vickie (author) is also following Kay's food plan. With a twist. She does not view her food plan as abstinent but as "healthy." She also occasionally has pizza or chinese with her family and does not seem to get bent out of shape about it or go on month long binges after. Very odd. In spite of my own experience with my Whopper and Hershey Pie unpacking diet I still believe/believed if one bite of sugar or flour passed my lips I was/am doomed to relapse. But something is niggling at my brain. Is there a difference between healthy eating and abstinence?

Next time... bad habits, cravings vs. stimuli, psychological dependence vs. physiological dependence, moral failure vs. disease, the Wendie Plan and much, much more. Stay tuned.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea