Friday, June 29, 2007

Gone Fishing

Friend Kim here for next few days so no blogging. Have a bunch of fun stuff planned. I hope we get to do all of it. But first I have to finish cleaning the house. Summer has finally arrived. Have an iced tea on me.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Intuitive Eating

I have lost four pounds. Yesterday I feasted on toast and butter, flavored coffee, choc. covered macadamia nuts and cherries. Go figure.

I felt my feelings. Boy I hate that. But I am doing it. Are normal eaters awash in emotion all the time I wonder? Or do emotions if you routinely feel them get tougher? As in not every little thing bothers you? I sat with the awful feelings (anger and disappointment) until I sort of popped out on the other side of them. I was surprised and felt a ton load better. I learned I can cope with disappointment. It hurts but will not kill me. I can even reorder my thinking to accept whatever has disappointed me. This is new territory.

Hoping to want to eat better most of today. My blood sugar was zilch this morn. I was shaky and headachy. Felt awful. I usually, these days, feel good in the mornings. I made the connection. Too much sugar yesterday made me feel bad. Really bad. My body when given a choice this morning between raisin bread and a slice of turkey for breakfast wanted the turkey. I was hungry for the protein. This is new territory.

Will I ever be hungry for lettuce? Seems doubtful at this point, but who knows? What an adventure I am having.

Take care of yourselves. Have an adventure. Love Bea

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


There is a lot to me. I am heavy on more than just weight. I was given many gifts. I have overused some and neglected others. But on the whole I have at least tapped into most of what I was issued. This fact has made me hard to categorize. And there is no one who wants to pin me down more than me.

I watched the movie "The Banger Sisters" on Sunday. Depressed the heck out of me. The movie is about two middle aged women coming to terms with a shared and checkered past. One continues down the early path to become an aging hippie. The other becomes a conservative wife and mother. Neither is happy with her life. They meet up twenty years later. The conservative one reclaims her sexy past, and the other one goes blithely on. Bleck. Tooey.

My dilemma/depression was in figuring out who I identified with. I read in an article that the average middle aged American woman has slept with twelve people. Twelve? Ho ho, ha ha. Me thinks they underestimated. Okay so I have a checkered past. Does this define me? Nope. Nor does the early sexual abuse. But it is a factor. I am a conservative housewife, and, a blithe aging hippie. I have wanted the two facets to meld seamlessly. I want to stop swearing at church dinners and whistling hymns in bars. As I watched this bad message movie I realized I didn't really want the facets to blend. I like the facets. They are the sparkly sides of an integrated whole. What I want/wanted was for my conservative friends to acknowledge my checkered side and for my flamboyant friends to acknowledge my conservative side. But I don't really want that either. I do so enjoy shocking both groups. This is a self esteem and an age problem.

In the past I needed to be loved by both groups. At the expense of my total self. Or so I have always believed. But what if blending, revealing and fitting in, are first and foremost about maturity? At fifty we all have some kind of a past. Mayhap not the stereotypical sex, drugs and rock and roll, but something. As a middle aged woman I can't show show all my lived facets. There are now too many. I have to choose what I will reveal and to whom. I am more ice berg like by the day. I finally get to be exclusive. I have been self revelatory (boundaryless) in the extreme. I have always feared secrets. In myself and others. Now I am beginning to see them as treasures.

Okay back to the dumb movie. Eventually the conservative mom reveals her uninhibited sexy side to all and sundry. She dresses up like an aging sexpot for her daughter's graduation. This was presented as the ultimate liberation. I disagree. It was putting on a past identity at the expense of a current one. Why not let this sexy, liberated facet be the sole property of her delighted husband? So much more exclusive. If this facet occasionally gleams out unexplained in a more mundane setting what the heck? Everyone loves a mystery.

Take care of yourselves. Be exclusive. Love Bea

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Big Red Bat

I have been mulling over anger and change for a week or two.

A few years ago I was instructed to buy a big red plastic softball bat. I was then instructed to put pillows on the bed and bash the pillows with the bat. I was to do this until my anger evaporated. I broke the bed.

I took the bat and a photo of a man who jilted me up into the forest. I thumb tacked the photo to a tree deep in the woods. I then beat the shit out of the photo. I was still angry so I decided to scream while whacking. Very satisfying. And noisy.

I did not hear the Forest Service guy behind me until he said, "What the heck are you doing?" And there he was in his brown outfit and his light green truck. Sweat was running into my ears and snot was running into my mouth. "My Ex," I said pointing the bat at the macerated photo. He paused, and looked a long time at the shredded thing. The air was hot and piney. A breeze sauntered through the tree tops. My perspiration was drying. "Good job," he said. He got back in his truck and drove off.

I went home and threw my dented bat in the trash. I took a shower. I left the unrecognizable photo nailed to the tree. I hope the rains have finally washed it clean.

Take care of yourselves. Get a bat. Love Bea

Monday, June 25, 2007

My Duty

"I will never starve. Never." "There is more where that came from." "Good food is good to eat." "One dessert is not going to send you over the edge."

I repeated these statements to my self all weekend. Sort of worked. But the addiction mentality is grooved deep in my brain. If I eat one of anything sugary/fatty it will set up a chain reaction and I will be face down in a tub of peanut M&M's in a second. And I will not be able to stop as I can never be satisfied. That is BULLSHIT. (I know, I was going to stop swearing.) I can be satisfied. Unless I am hungry, if I have a craving, one bite is enough. If I am not hungry and a moderate amount does not satisfy the craving, then I am feeding my emotions not my body. I CAN get enough and be satisfied.

So why doesn't it feel like it? We went to a barbecue. I made a good gooey chocolate dessert. I did okay at the BBQ but then I had to bring the rest of the dessert home. Red flag time. It hollered, shouted, begged, cajoled, reminded and finally enticed me to eat it. Not all of it, but a big piece of it. I was not hungry and was relaxed. I just wanted to eat it. It was like it was my duty to eat it. I am a fat person and fat people eat left over gooey chocolate desserts. How lame is that? My thinking is as habitual as my actions. If this IE is going to work I have to change my thinking. For starters I need to undefine my self as a fat person. I am a person. I no longer have to act out my conception's of "fat person." I can choose to think and act like a normal eater. I can act like Mark. He does not hear the siren song of sugar/fat. He can let a bowl of ice cream melt at his elbow and then throw it away. Said he forgot it! I too can learn to forget. Maybe.... Eventually.... Until then I can have a small piece of gooey dessert to shut the voices up, and then get on with something else.

I learned much this weekend. Trouble is I don't just want to learn, I want to lose weight. Gad do I have a long way to go before I even totally understand the concept of IE. Let alone practise it. Oh well, the only way forward, is forward.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Friday, June 22, 2007

Getting Off The Wagon

Had my first conversation with a friend about Intuitive Eating. Was not the response I expected. "Why would you just give up," she asked? Because I needed to. I love Cindy's blog title I Surrender. Meee tooo.

I haven't lost any weight in almost a year now. I bounce between 180 and 185. No lower, no higher. I have been following Kay Sheppard's Food Plan stringently and not so stringently. No weight loss. I did lose down to 178 when we first moved up here. I was eating fast food for every meal. I am sick to death of worrying about each morsel of food I put in my mouth. I am discouraged. I am bored with non-taste food. Believe me there is only so much you can do to non-fat yogurt. So I surrender.

Got my lab results back and went to the doctor. I am normal. High normal, but still normal for my age. I feel good. I ride my bike every day. (Not well mind you. I fall down frequently.) I have taken up singing in the choir. I am divesting myself of excess stuff. I am ready to be normal. A normal fifty year old woman who has a good life and does not want to spend her remaining years obsessing about food. I am ready to move on. So I have given up dieting and major food planning.

Thanks to Kay I now know what are normal portions and what foods are my triggers. I learned to space my meals and how use high fiber foods. I lost 65 pounds. I am grateful. And now I want to learn what my body has to say about what I eat. I do not want to eat stuff that does not taste good just to fill me up. I don't want to feel stuffed, or groggy from a sugar high. I want to eat when I am hungry. And not eat when I am not hungry. I want to satisfy a craving with one or two bites. I don't want to eat because I deserve a treat, but because I am hungry. And I also want some treats in my life. I want to feel my feelings and eat my food, separately. I want to accept myself as a regular every day fifty year old woman with wrinkles, sun spots and varicose veins and a tad bit of menopausal padding. I do not want to be Sharon Stone. I just want to be me completely revealed. So I surrender.

For breakfast I had a bowl of cinnamon oatmeal with a tablespoon of walnuts, some blueberries, 2% milk and molasses for sweetener. Also had a slice of low sodium ham and a teaspoon of cream in my coffee. I love walnuts and molasses and ham. I haven't had any for eons. Was wonderful. Yes I registered every extra calorie. And, this was not an outlandish meal. It was normal. I enjoyed every bite. I was satisfied. I even left a mouthful or two of oatmeal because I was full. I dreamed last night about being released from prison.

I am anxious, but glad to be out.

Treat yourselves. Love Bea

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Better Today

Thank you commenters. I am embarrassed about being depressed. Like my slip is showing. Do people even wear slips anymore? Helps to know how other people cope.

I did get a notebook and sat down to write out my depression. Mary told me years ago that depression was not a real emotion. It was fake emotion covering up the real ones. The real ones: I am mad at Mark, and worried about finances. I didn't even know I was mad. He has been attending a three day conference in Jackson. He is having a whale of a time. I am glad. He needs it. I do not begrudge him some fun. But I am coping with boring old household stuff and am not having any fun. I'm jealous. Plain and simple. So, I took yesterday and today off. No laundry, no cleaning, no dishes, no shopping, no lawn care, nothing. I also had him take me out for dinner last night. I balanced the checkbook. Not quite as bad as I feared. I felt better. Then I did a new, to me, writing exercise.

I wrote out what ever came to my mind. Beginning with, "You are a big fat slob." I filled two pages with this nonsense. It was like the floodgates opened and a tsunami of venom poured forth. A big surprise. I thought I was done with all that self hatred stuff. It must be like waxy build up. Every so often you have to pour bleach on it an clean it down to the ground. I am not sure if this was an old layer of self hatred I tapped into and cleaned out, or if it is current and self renewing. I kind of think this was an old layer. I don't hate myself anymore. The exact opposite in fact. More and more I begin to see myself as a sparky little number. I may not have all the graces, but I got enough.

This brings me to nourishment. I am undernourished. All 184 pounds of me. I am still reading, "The Rules of Normal Eating," by Karen Koenig and it is taking me apart at the seems. One of the exercises in the book prompted me to list all my favorite foods, and give reasons why. Taste came up frequently but the one word that kept repeating was nourishing. I love nourishing food. Okay.... What did I mean by nourishing? This took some digging. Foods that will take care of me? Sort of but not quite. Food that will fill me up? Closer but not yet it. Food that will help my body grow. Help it grow? It has grown quite enough thank you. I sat with the 'help it grow' phrase for quite a while. Then I knew. The skinny kid that Mom did not feed is still worried about not getting enough food to grow up. So I fed her. I visualized me at four or five sitting at a table and eating every kind of soup and bread I could imagine. (My version of nourishing food.) She was having a whale of a time. I left her there.

I feel great today. I had a slice of raisin toast and cream cheese, and fruit for breakfast, and some hamburgery bean dip for lunch with whole wheat crackers. I never eat raisin toast or bean dip or crackers. I enjoyed the heck out of all of it. I didn't weigh myself.

I had a massage today. I am apparently "connected to the universe" again. I also weigh only six more pounds than my massage therapist. She looks great. Has gobs of muscles. Wonder what I would look like with gobs of muscles?

Off to do nothing. Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I have run smack dab in the face of an insurmountable problem with Intuitive Eating. (Bless my linkers Helen and Vickie.) I am depressed. Bad. It has been coming on for a week or so and is now here. Like a nasty cold. Alright. I have had the black dog attacks since childhood. I know how to cope. I do everything in my power to fight off the depression. First I pray. The joy of the Lord is my strength. Then I get busy. In spite of bone dragging fatigue. I listen to cheerful music which I do not want to listen to. I read uplifting material which I do not want to read. I go out and about when I do not want to. In short I do not let the depression get the upper hand. I only attempted suicide once, but it was enough. Scared me. Not the idea of being dead but the relief I felt at the idea of shucking off this mortal coil. For a perfectionist nervous nellie the idea of no more responsibilities was intoxicating. I believe suicide to be a sin which would cut me off from God. So...I am very careful with my depressed self.

Okay back to IE and, "Feeling my feelings." How do I feel the depression without spiraling downward? I do not want to get worse. I am bad enough now. I have tried to figure out why this episode and why now? This would be getting to the core of the depression. I have not come up with much. My craving for salt and chocolate, and lack of sleep, tell me this might be hormonal. Then what do you do? I don't think I can link hormonal depression to any outside events. But wait...maybe I can. Must give us pause. Maybe I am just unwilling, again, to face my feelings. There have been several things in the past few days which could be the root cause of the depression, and I have gained three pounds. I hate doing this emotional work. So much easier to put it off and be depressed. I do not want to sit down and pick apart why I feel bad, and then feel it. Duckets. (That is one of my new curse words. It is the name of a grocery store in South Dakota.) Okay, Mark is gone for the day. The lawn is a foot high and the house is filthy. They can't get much worse. I will get a notebook and figure out what is bothering me.
I hope I don't eat, more.
Take care of yourselves. Love Bea
P.S. I am having computer problems today. Depressed and the computer is nuts. What a day I'm having.

Monday, June 18, 2007

New Directions

Something has shifted. I can feel it. I received my Intuitive Eating books. Am in the midst of the first one. "First one" being arbitrary as it was on top of the pile. My stars! ( I am trying to find a replacement for foul mouthed expletives.) This is another answer. I am having the same reaction as I did to Kay Shepperd's food plan..."I can do this." I reject the whole stringent addiction model of eating. One slice of cheesecake does not a craving lunatic make.

Thus far the my major learning has been about "treats." If I want the taste of a Snickers almond bar, I can purchase said bar, take a huge bite of it, and throw the rest out. I in fact did this. Okay, I didn't throw it out, Mark ate it. But I was ready to throw it out. I can also eat half a bowl of popcorn with real butter and sea salt. Why was I eating air popped corn covered in yeast flakes? I can eat three fourths of a chicken fajita, two onion rings and half a peanut butter shake. I eat and check to see when I am full. I hope to eventually recognize satisfaction before I get to full. When I am full/satisfied, I stop. I can have treats!!!!! Light bulb moment, when I "treat" myself, I am easily satisfied.

I have been living in a world of want for twenty five years. Wonderful tasty food has been off limit. If it tasted good I spit it out. But what if I could have calorie laden goodies as, goodies? Not daily. I want to be healthy and grow older. Hazelnut mocha ice cream daily will not allow me to reach eighty. And I want to be eighty. Like Mary. But I can have it as a treat. Mary permits herself food "treats" from time to time. Real cream in her daily cup of coffee is a treat. Ice cream on Sunday afternoons is a weekly treat. BLT's she has once a month. A gracious way of living.

But what about, "If I have one bite I have to eat the box too?" Intuitive eating is about satisfaction. My appetite for food can be satisfied. I believe this. I am not possessed by the black hole. If I am feeding my body and not my emotions or my lust for food, I can be satisfied. I have a life long habit of feeding both emotions and gluttony. Will take a while to form new habits. I am motivated to persevere because I can be satisfied! A gift from God.

Cravings are normal. Normal eaters get them. Pickles and ice cream did not get to be a stereotype for nothing. If I am not hungry and I want to eat, I am most likely having a craving. Cravings can be caused by anything. I have started giving in to them. I had a small chunk of smoked Gorgonzola cheese on a crunchy cracker at 9:30 this morning. One small chunk on one cracker. I knew I wasn't hungry so did not need a big amount of food. But I wanted cheese and a cracker, so I ate one. Treat city. I may become a one bite sybarite.

If I am feeding my emotions or my gluttony there is no end to my hunger. Psychological problems CANNOT be relieved by physical means, i.e. food. Gluttony is a sin, and God not food, is the only answer. The hard part: feeling my emotions, and stopping at satisfaction not sated.

So far, so good. Takes a bunch of time. I imagine it will get quicker as I figure out what exactly I am emoting about and kick the habit of huge portions. I am using Kay's food plan as my base. This will be my lifelong default eating pattern. It is healthy, howbeit, a bit boring. I want to be healthy. Blueberries and oatmeal are better for my body than cheese enchiladas. But a couple of enchiladas a month are a treat and non-life threatening. I can finally stop living like a food nun. Whoopee.

Treat yourselves. Love Bea

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fear of Hunger

I am afraid of the thought of being hungry. Visceral fear. When I actually get hungry I do not experience fear. Just when I think I might have to be hungry. Weird.

Wonder where the fear came from? Wonder how long I have had it? Wonder how to get it to stop?

Feeling blah. Ignore me, save yourselves. Love Bea

Monday, June 11, 2007

Linked Cont'd.

This linking has almost killed me. It is partly my eyesight. The computer screen is blurry. I misread words and the toolbar icons are for the most part just colorful blobs. Daisy k emailed me instructions on how to link up. She said, "click on the little word symbol on the template's toolbar." What? I looked for a little word symbol until I was blue in the face. What kind of a word symbol? Aren't they all word symbols? This went on all afternoon. I finally decided to print out the instructions to see if Mark could help me when he came home. Low and behold. As I read the printed version I realized the "click on the little word symbol" said "click on the little world symbol." Okay so back I go to the toolbar. What little world symbol? I went through all the icons on the toolbar. tT for font size, b for bold, i for italics, T for text color, the little round green Help guy in black eye glasses, the page alignments, the 1.2.3. list, the . . . bulleted list, the "blockquote", the abc spellchecker, the little add image photo and the little eraser for remove formatting. No little worlds explaining links among them. I was in despair. If all else fails, ask for more directions. I went to the little round green Help guy in glasses icon and clicked. He said, "Link." Damn.

Jen tagged me for a "Thinking Blogger Award." After reading the above kind of make you wonder why, huh? The rules for this award are:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.

If I am being a responsible homemaker I spend limited amounts of time at the computer. So I only read a few blogs on a daily basis. I read them for information, advice and encouragement.
Angry Fat Girlz of course I read first. Then:

1. Daisy K at car on the hill because she started it all for me. Weight loss, blogging, the whole ball of wax.

2. Vickie at Baby Steps V because I like her cooking and exercise tips. She is practical and shares all she knows about weight loss. And she knows a lot.

3. Debra at Weighing on Debra's Mind because I think she may be a genius. I have had some silly mental help in my life. I recognize good therapy when I read it. I copy Debra's posts and then mine them for information. I have a valuable short booklet.

4. Cindy at I surrender I read for inspiration. I read her posts and relax. She reminds me to notice the beauty all around me. She also says she weighs the same amount as a full grown panda. Can you beat that?

5. Lynette at Big Assed Belle for the "what next" factor. There is never a dull moment in Lynette's life. She and Andrea have given up dieting and are attempting to eat like regular people. The freedom of this concept thrills me.

I read more blogs on a weekly basis. I will put them on my blog list.

What a thrill to finally be linked. Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

P.S. What the heck is a meme?

Later P.S.S. I know the darn links don't work. I am not sure yet what to do about it. Maybe I got the URLs wrong. Frankly, I will think about it tomorrow. Bye


Mark believes we have "old growth" dandelions. They are still lush and knee high in spite of a dosing with high powered weed killer. They live in fortified defenses. Crab grass on the ground, as it were, chick weed on the battlements and the huge old white puffy heads deep inside the castle. But yesterday we purchased a new siege weapon. An industrial strength dandelion puller. Has long metal spikes which you jam down over the trunk of the dandelion and then give a vicious twist. When you hear a snapping sound, as in boughs breaking, you give a mighty tug, and viola, dead dandelion. V-e-r-y satisfying.

Mark and I went out on a date Friday. In truth he went to a ethics workshop. Now there is an oxymoron. An ethics workshop for lawyers. Sorry, sorry, I am perpetuating a stereotype. But, as Mark says, "Stereotypes are so much easier. You don't have to actually get to know people." I went to Albertson's and bought groceries. Afterward we decided to go out and eat. We had a wonderful time and I have been paying for it ever since. It was the darn Bloody Mary.

We don't drink much anymore. Mark's dad was an alcoholic so he abstains, and my libation of choice is cheesecake laced with peanut M&M's. We only drank when we went out in the evening. We don't go out anymore. This is not as dismal as it sounds. I don't want to hang around in any more bars thank-you-very-much. Anyway I hadn't had a real drink in over a year. I loved that Bloody Mary. I am salivating thinking about it. I additionally licked the outside of the glass when it was gone. I am craving another. I came home and have eaten, over the past two days, two cans of tomatoes and a jar of salsa. I am swollen up like a poison toad. My eyelid blebs are back. Which brings me to "The Menopause Diet."

A fellow summer moment sufferer gave me this book by Larrain Gillespie. It was published in 1999. Her other best seller was "You Don't Have To Live With Cystitis." Just up my...alley. This book is a killer. Medical doctors in my experience are not intentionally a comical lot. This woman is hilarious. Great info in an engaging style. Much of what she says is common knowledge to Kay Shepperd "food planners." But, she a had few new tidbits which intrigued me. Such as, menopausal women crave alcohol. "...women subconsciously crave alcohol as their estrogen levels are dropping. The more we drink the higher estradiol levels can go." "Metabolism of estrogen is intensely affected with blood levels tripling within one hour." Who knew? She also says menopausal delayed stomach emptying allows us to absorb more carbohydrates than our younger counterparts. Her advice? Fiber filled frequent mini meals. In the stomach fiber pushes the carbs through the system faster, and smaller meals are more rapidly digested. Hence less carb absorption. Works for me. She says to eat protein first at each meal. Then wait a couple of minutes before eating the carbs. In the interim glucagon is secreted and insulin secretion is limited. More of the food can then be burned as fuel and less stored as fat. Dandy. She then goes off on a diatribe about fats.

I have Atkinsed on and off for years. Saturated fat didn't scare me. This woman has put the fear of full fat butter in me. Not all the artery clogging rigmarole, I knew all that. What she said was, "The addition of fat to a carbohydrate gives you the same blood sugar response as if you ate the carbohydrate alone but with greater insulin response. This is not good, as the longer insulin stays around, the more hostile your tissue becomes to letting go of fat." Gad. She is not totally anti saturated fat. In fact says to stop eating non-fat dairy products and switch to low fat. Says we need a small amount of fat to metabolize the protein in the dairy. With non-fat products the lactose is quickly dumped into the bloodstream upping insulin levels before the protein in the milk can be metabolized. She made a believer out of me. If I can't get 2% I am going to mix my non-fat dairy with the whole stuff half and half. I hate that non-fat yogurt anyway.

Was a fun read. Motivated me to keep on keepin on.

I have been tagged by Jen but have not yet figured out how to make links. Am rereading Vickie's link instruction post and hope tomorrow to be "linked up" to the rest of you.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

P.S. I figured out how to link. Stay tuned.

Friday, June 8, 2007


The sun is shining. The snow is melting. All my outdoor plants are on the dining room table. Was 28 degrees this morning when I got up. The cat slept on my strawberries. She flattened them. She's kind of plump. Dryer problem turned out to be faulty wiring in the wall. Got that fixed, thank Heaven. I have no water. Town is laying new water lines. I could boil the snow I guess. Sigh.

Mark has advice for all of you looking for a mate. If the man is environmentally sensitive, politically correct, well groomed (especially brown tweed blazers), artistic, culturally attuned, verbal, and emotionally responsive, avoid him. He's...a defense attorney.

Have a good weekend. Love Bea

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Had my monthly massage today. Was told I had no energy flow. None. Seems I am stopped up on a cosmic level.

I knew I felt awful but attributed the draggy feeling to a busy past couple of weeks. Was told my lethargy arose from not being "grounded." I have somehow unhitched my chakras from the energy filled "earth and sky." I am "floating in a void." For this piece of cheerful info I paid $60 an hour?

But...she may have something. I am free floating. A part of me was loosed at that wedding. I have let Tammi push me around with her moods and sulks for 20 some years. I have always felt responsible for her bad attitudes. I felt rewarded if I could jolly her out of them. If she felt better then I could feel better. But if she would not be cheered up then I was also doomed to the doldrums. As I was gleefully dancing at the reception I had an epiphany. I realized I didn't give a rat's ass if Tammi sat in that kitchen 'til her butt grew to the chair. I just didn't care. I was having a good time in spite of her misery. Her moods no longer controlled me. This feeling shocked, and shocks, the heck out of me. It is the real reason why I have felt drained and guilty. If you love someone aren't you supposed to suffer with and for them? If I don't own Tammi's misery maybe I no longer love my dear childhood friend? If I separate my self from her pain I feel like I am not loving her. And that is the only reason I exist. To love others. It is my job. Gad. What a lot of abuser driven pseudo-Christian mumbo-jumbo I am toting around.

I got mad. I am still mad. Why have I wasted half of my life trying to cheer people up who are determined to be miserable? And why am I always trying to placate people? And why can't I ask for what I want without feeling guilty? Why have I not assumed ownership of my life? The abuse plays half the role. My abusers manipulated me into sex and/or proscribed behaviour by threatening to withdraw love. Anger also cut me off from the people on whom I depended for love. Misguided early Christian teaching is the other half of the equation. Bearing one another's burdens and turning the other cheek were given to me as examples of perfected Christian life. And we all know how I love a perfection. I was taught Christ would not love me if I did not model his life as a "suffering servant." And boy did I want to be loved. So if you wanted me to completely comply with your wishes all you had to do was get mad at me and or just hint you didn't love me. I was your for the taking.

But no more. I am loved. By God first and me second, and then by a surprising plethora of Blessed people. Mark is at the top of the list. I do not have to give my self away anymore to be loved. I do not have to let myself be manipulated by a withdrawal of love if I know God loves me and I love me. I think finally understanding this is what is freeing me.

I love Tammi and want her to be happy, but I refuse to be miserable with her. Even in my own mind. I am not being unloving and disloyal if I have a happy life in spite of her unhappiness. If she wants help I will give it, but if not, I am going to keep dancing at the wedding.

Hey I think I just found some solid ground.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Belle Of The Ball

It has taken me several days to process the wedding trip. Conversation with Friend Kim helped alot. By the by, I found a mattress. Firm mattress, 820 coils, with thick pillow top, latex. Mattress is 22 inches deep. I got a five inch box spring. I had to ask delivery person to go back and get the five incher as he delivered the wrong one, twice. What an ordeal, but it has been worth the effort. My neck is returning to normal and my back quit hurting. Now if I could just cure the hot flashes I would sleep like a thirty year old...

I came home from Montana feeling embarrassed, guilty and sad. Friend Tammi has gained more weight. Most things are relative. My 181 is thinish compared to almost 400. I have also been exercising for a year now. I can run (well, walk real fast) up the stairs to the Eagles several dozen times to set up a reception. I can then dance at said reception all evening, and then get up early the next morning and help with the clean up. Tammi could do none of this. I did indeed dance with the father of the bride, and the groom, and the groom's father and the bride's brother and the groomsmen and finally my own dear Mark. Tammi hid in the kitchen supervising the food. I ended up doing Mother of the Bride duties. I love the Bride and was happy to fulfill the role, but it wasn't mine to fill. And everyone knew it. This was a big western reception, gobs of ranch people. The Eagles has a big dance hall, but a tiny kitchen. People were packed in the kitchen sardine like trying to talk to Tammi. She was amongst her own. They love her. Everyone knows how she looks. I am still mystified why she felt she had to hide. But hide she did. She eventually emerged after over half the guests had left to dance with her husband, son and Mark. She refused to dance with the groom or his family. I know she did not want any of those people touching her. It was heartbreaking for me, her husband and most importantly on this day, the bride.

I had a great time. I love to dance. And no one can dance like a bunch of ranchers. I jitterbugged and two-stepped and waltzed until I about dropped. I wore flattering comfortable clothing and looked good. I haven't danced like this in 25 years. In fact, twenty five years ago when Tammi and I, dates in tow, danced up a storm every weekend. Now no dancing for Tammi. When she was not watching the bride, she watched me. And I danced. When the duty dances were done I should have gone into the kitchen and sat with her. But I didn't. I danced. And I feel guilty.

I hate fat. It is evil. It steals our lives. It forces us to live in humiliated isolation. It stops movement. It is a curse.

Tammi's husband had a gastric bypass. He has lost 185 pounds. He also danced up a storm. He also felt guilty. He loves Tammi. He has his life back and wants his wife to reclaim hers. He asked me to pray she would have the surgery. I am praying my knees off.

I reclaimed some of my own past at this dance. I was thin during my twenties. I did normal thin cutish girl things. I felt free. I have not felt free since imprisoning myself in one hundred and some pounds of fat. In the midst of a pretzel (jitterbug move) I recognized myself. God damn I was happy to see me. Sorry about the swearing. I am not twenty three and I was in severe pain a couple of days after the dance, but I rediscovered a part of myself I thought never to see again. My body can still lead me into adventure. I can move. This was the worst part of being fat, I couldn't move. I was stuck. AND I HATE BEING STUCK.

Okay, so I am wiser, sadder, and I think after writing all of this, a little less guilty. I want to move, and I want Tammi to be able to move again too. She is part of my life and I don't want any part of it to be stuck. Pray for both of us. Amen.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Per Chance to Dream

I am stove up. In the last two weeks we have had four mattresses. Today I can't turn my neck to the left. (Mark says not being able to turn to the left is a good thing....) The latest mattress was akin to sleeping on the ground, with a pillow top. The first was too soft, the second was too hard, the third was weird (memory foam) and this last one is not the one I chose in the showroom. These mattresses all came from different places. All cost about $1400. I am having to fight to get a comfortable mattress. I am no good at fighting.

Each time I have wanted to give in and keep the uncomfortable expensive mistake. I hate having to call and say come and take it back. I feel am inconveniencing people and "cheating" them out of the money they would have made on the sale. I am overly apologetic when they come to pick up the reject. Some of the moving men have been rude. But I am not giving in or up on this. I am learning how to build my "take care of me" muscles.

The wedding was emotionally hard and the journey long. Came home tired to then sleep on my various beds of pain. Mark's job went nuts. I still don't have all the laundry done. The lawn is dry and full of weeds. The neighbor keeps leaving sprinklers on the porch. I know the damn lawn needs looking after. I'm getting to it. And, if she leaves another Rain Bird on the step I am going to clock her with it. The threat of having to move again has also reared its ugly head. I am drained.

I needed to sit for a day and regroup. Then tackle life. I now have the leisure to do this. Could I do it? Nope. That darn work ethic is bred in my bones. Only weaklings sit and rest when they are emotionally tired. Twelve hours of good, hard manual labor earns the reward of rest. Otherwise I am being self indulgent. And weak. And in my immigrant agricultural heritage only the strong survived. But, I go bonkers without time to rest and regroup. I get sick and scared. To stop those feelings I eat.

I am weak. There I said it. I am nervous and self indulgent. I am not a stoic farm woman who can pull a plow and raise twelve children. I am emotionally high maintenance. I have to feel and process everything. This takes time and energy. Energy and time I should be using for manual labor. I would like to live in a small house with a small yard with no commitments and few friends and relations. Then I could take proper care of it all and still have time left to feel and process.

So today, days late, I am trying to take it easy. I am fighting the mattress war and I will water the f-ing lawn. Otherwise, nada.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea