Thursday, February 28, 2008

Life In The Fast Lane

I am sitting in the hotel "business center." I am supposed to be asleep. The toilet in our room stopped flushing and the shower stopped putting out hot water. The maintenance man has been in there for half an hour. Room still has not been cleaned. I made the bed and took out the trash and hung up the towels. (Just like at home.) We finally figured out how to stop the heat. We turned on the air conditioning. It's snowing. Our room is next to the swimming pool and on a corner. The dog barks every time someone goes past the door. Everyone has to go by the door to get to the lobby and the pool. We have not had much sleep. We counted on sleeping this afternoon and then the toilet problem started. Sigh.

You can't go back home again. Things have changed a lot in a year. I am no longer from here. I now live in the mountains with the Mormons. Is okay. Whoopee, toilet problem is fixed and we have clean towels. I am going to take a nap. Goodnight.

Take care. Bea

Monday, February 25, 2008

Nurture vs. Nourish

We will be out of town for a few days so I will be absent from the blog world. At least I hope we will be out of town. Currently it is snowing like mad. If it is this bad in the a.m. we will be stuck, again.

I am a fan of "You Are What You Eat." Except for that poo business. I have seen enough poo in my life to not be interested in seeing any more. Gillian is great. Rude as all get out, but great. I love how she makes healthy food look so inviting. So nourishing. So nurturing.

Had a conversation over the weekend with friend Kim about nourishing vs. nurturing food. I have been known, from time to time, to eat less than nourishing food believing it was nurturing the heck out of me. That's why I ate it. But is cheesecake induced avenging guilt really all that nurturing? As Gillian would say, "I think not."

So, can my food be both nourishing and nurturing? I think so. But first I have to understand how the junk food I love nurtures me.

1. Gives me comfort. How? The process of eating takes my mind off my troubles. I can focus on the taste and texture of chocolate hazelnut ice cream and feel pleasure and not pain. Is sublimating my pain nurturing? No. I will just have to deal with it later. And later is usually worse.

2. Gives me a reward. A sweet treat for a job well done. Words of praise are what I really want but they are not usually available. Are peanut M&M's the same as compliments? Not so much.

3. Gives me something to do. I am easily bored. Pretzels can take up a bunch of time. Is wasting time nurturing? Does it make me feel good about myself? No. Does it accomplish anything I can be proud of? No.

4. Calms me down. Dove chocolates make me feel at peace. In fact they eventually make me pass out altogether. Is a drunken sugar stupor nurturing? Nope.

5. Gives me physical comfort. Is a distended belly and digestive upset comfortable? No.

6. Makes me feel safe. Am I going to be able to fend off an attacker with a Snickers bar? I think not.

7. Food loves me. Yes and every time something or other happens (I forget what) a fairy falls down dead. Inanimate objects can love me. Like maybe the washer or the printer or maybe the leaf blower. Food cannot love me. The love I feel when I am eating comes What a surprise. I am generating that love. Okay some of it may be chemical, go serotonin, but most of it comes from me. I feel love for myself most intensely when I am eating. And then hate myself when I am done. I feel I am loving/nurturing myself with the food. Damn. Feelings can lie. I am not nurturing myself. Nurture does not have hate as a component.

The statement "I am attempting to nurture myself with food" is not as self evident as I thought. I am going to need to ponder all of this for a while. Good thing I have a few days off.

See you in a week. Take care. Love Bea

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nurture Vs. Pamper, II

Thank you all. Why didn't and don't I ask for help straight out instead of hinting and hoping someone will assist me? Was a good lesson. Mark tells me the same thing all the time. "If you want me to help you, ask, and then give me a time frame." I tell him I feel like I am hen pecking him. He says yes but the rooster always has the option of saying no. Men are just odd. But cute, very, very cute. Markovian theory: Cute is a four letter word best not uttered in polite company.

Vickie and Speck I continue to mull over your info. I was not surprised about pamper meaning to gratify. That is certainly what I was taught. Lest you harbor any misconceptions, to be gratified in my world was to be selfish and/or sinful. I was surprised about the archaic meaning. Wouldn't you know it would have to do with food. Nurture = to meet mostly non-physical needs. This is profound Speck. Because as is obvious, I am attempting to nurture my "self" with my pampering food. Thanks Arlene. You said the same thing.

My work oriented families confused the two. I am just beginning to realize how much. See and hear this message niece/friend o'mine. The only soul fulfilling thing I was permitted was church. I am smarter than a bread box and church, as I understood it then, was barren and boring. So I began to read. This filled half of the unurtured hole. But if you eat while you read, Nirvana. For me at least the other half of the whole/hole was complete. My soul cried out for nourishment and there wasn't any in my environment. Not so unusual in second generation blue collar immigrant families. So I read. But you can't carry a book while working. You can damn well eat though. So I ate. As did all the other soul starved women around me.

Alrighty then. Eating to nurture my soul is a deeply ingrained habit. Habits can be changed.

What nurtures me? Not in order of importance.
1. Massages.
2. Travel. Not far or exotic, just new. Further explains why I lose weight on vacation doesn't it?
3. Uncluttered time. A loaded statement worthy of ten blogs.
4. Mystery. Horatio I need to get back to my study of Christian mysticism.
5. Writing.
6. The damn dog.
7. Mark rubbing my feet.
8. Picnics.
9. A new book. This one is scary because it is so intertwined with the eating.
10. Old English movies.
11. Not gardening. I thought I loved gardening. I don't. I just love the results.
12. Not sewing. See above.
13. High tea with friends. Do I love the friends or the little cakes and sandwiches?
14. Camping. I love to go camping. I don't care if it rains. No snow. I hate to camp in the snow.
15. Walking if I know there are no scary dogs.
16. Dancing. I love to dance. Mark hates it. No place here to dance except the bars and the LDS dances. I guess dancing with a Mormon (I'm kidding) wouldn't kill me. Better than dancing with a drunk.
17. I think probably yoga. No teachers here and I about killed myself the last couple of times I tried it on my own.
18. Being early for appointments so I can sit and read year old magazines.
19. Going to the movies if the movie is not violent or embarrassing.
20. Playing Gin with Mark. I'm good at it.

Gad, that is a bunch. I challenge you to come up with your own list. Next time I will do a list of what doesn't nourish me. Thank you all again for your life saving comments.

Love Bea

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Nurture vs. Pampering

Am blogging in a desperate attempt not to eat. I now remember why I quit dieting. But I have lost five pounds. All water probably but it has been so many months since the scale went down I am thrilled. Had a chef's salad for lunch, with real blue cheese dressing. Was good.

Neighbor girl said my hair was "rad." I thought she said red and began to make explanations about it. She stopped me and said, "No, I mean it looks great." Who knew? I think it looks like a tortoise shell cat's fur. I put some goo on it and spiked it. Not bad I guess. Rad in fact.

I went and had a massage on Valentine's Day. Was deep into a big hairy revelation about not taking care of myself when my wonderful massage/therapist said something that would have stopped me in my tracks if I had been upright. "Bea" she said, "you don't want to be pampered you want to be nurtured." Holy cats. I started to cry. I was not and am not sure what she meant, but I'm certain she is right.

What is the difference? (Was told it was up to me to figure out the difference. I told her she was not very nurturing. She didn't believe me.) I am stumped. I thought they were one in the same. So now I am trying to come up with some differences. I'd like some help. Heck I need some help. Help.

Take care. Love Bea

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Eat Less

I have started a diet. Began Atkins yesterday. I am determined to get this ten pounds I gained off. Quickly if possible. It is just the change I needed.

I hate my healthy food plan. I feel deprived. I have had it with fresh fruit and veg and grain and low fat dairy and lean meat. I want bread and chocolate and circuses. Well gentle readers, I may have found an antidote to the boredom. On Atkins there is no fruit, dairy, grains, and only limited veg. Suddenly those oranges, berries, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, yogurt and beans look wonderful. As I slogged through my hamburger patty and sliced tomatoes for breakfast I drooled over Mark's glowing orange, and creamy oatmeal. I am going to have sardines in mustard sauce and lettuce for lunch. I'd kill for a garbanzo bean. I know the idea is never to diet again, but I tell you what, I feel energized. I am only going to do this until the ten pounds come off and then I will go back to my luscious food plan.

I think it is the idea of the never ending battle with my weight that gets me down. Maybe that's just the all or nothing thinking. Maybe someday I won't have to struggle with my appetite everyday. But at 51 I am inclined to doubt it. I wish I had thought to diet months ago when I hit the plateau. Instead I just tried to hang in there and keep doing what had been working. No dice. The scale did not move. I got very discouraged and the calorie creep began. The creep has turned into a full blown relapse. Yes the move and the dog were shocks to my system and I probably would have fallen off the wagon anyway. But...since I fell off the wagon I have been loathe to get back on because it wasn't going anywhere!!!! A limited "diet" is my answer. It has a beginning and an end. Not just the perpetual food plan and no results. I need to lose some pounds to make me want to lose some more. Nothing succeeds like success.

Another epifanny.

My food plan will be my life time eating pattern. If I want a treat I can have it and just "eat less" of it. If I go off the rails completely and gain a few pounds I have the option of a diet. Why did I never think of this? Because I am a rule follower. The rules of the game are healthy eating and to NEVER INTENTIONALLY DIET AGAIN. I was sticking to the rules. I was not losing any weight and I was bored with the idea and tastes of my food plan so I began to cheat. I kept trying to force myself back to my food plan with zero motivation for so doing. I knew dieting was not the answer because all the authorities say so. "Just stick to your plan and all will be well." Did not work for me. So I am Atkinsing. I could just as easily be South Beaching. I am motivated because I think I will begin to lose again. We will see if this new (old) strategy works.

Let me know what you think. Take care. Love Bea

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bad Day at Snow Rock

Spent the entire weekend shoveling snow off the double car metal carport. Four feet of compacted snow and two inches of ice were beginning to make it bow. Took us two days to cut up the igloo quality snow. We then shoveled/heaved it off in big square chunks. You can now climb up the six foot berms onto the garage roof. Will make it a lot easier to get up there next time.

Having a bad day. You should see my hair. In the interest of not looking like a fat man, I went to town today and had my hair cut and colored. Honey blond with light red hi-lights was what I asked for. What I received is a dirty brownish base color with alternating red and blond chunks. I look like a brindle cow. The cut was supposed to be this youthful cheeky spiky do. Gad. Maybe she cut it to match the uneven colored chunks. A sort of cut by number affair. It is awful. Mark who is usually reticent about my self betterment schemes even had something to say. "Is that the hair style you wanted," he asked? I could have howled. I am up two more pounds and now my hair is weird too.

Dog threw up after eating one too many poopsicles. Cat peed on the dog's bed. When I went in to get the mail someone had sent me a late birthday gift of an entire box of chocolates. I have already eaten one layer. And this after the taco salad Mark treated me to for lunch. I'd kill myself but someone would see me in the coffin with this awful hairdo. A fat woman with a variegated pin head. Jesus. Sorry about the swearing.

"Eat less." I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Take care. Love Bea

P.S. Arlene, do you have a blog somewhere? Yes I think "think less" would equal "eat less." Also the instant peace would be a God send. I eat when I am overwrought and want to calm down fast. If I could learn to tolerate my overwhelmedness for a little while and not require the instant fix, my eating would cut down alot. "Eat less" as a calming mantra might work. I'll try it when I am not so full....

Friday, February 8, 2008


This is what happens when you read words you have no idea how to pronounce.

Neighbor just gave up with the snow blower. From my erie I can see the whole town. He went inside no doubt to weigh the dog and contemplate how much eating he could get out of it when WE ARE ALL MAROONED IN OUR HOUSES FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE WINTER. Still snowing. I am grateful we have electricity and no tornadoes.

I have had two epiphanies since Wednesday. Have already forgotten one. Don't you just love menopause? The other one has stayed with me. Are you ready? Here less. And for that you had your suit spotted and shoes shined.

I was praying about my fat. I do that a lot. I was also plotting a renewed campaign of magic food combinations. Now God, I said, please help me to eat more protein and less carbs. And direct my intake of fiber. Guide me to recipes containing some remnant of taste. Help me to not eat salt and caffeine. Please provide the gumption and finances to purchase and eat only whole living foods. Lead me into knowledge about vitamins and minerals and spices. Will chromium and cinnamon really reduce my blood sugar? Let me only eat three balanced meals a day and a protein rich bedtime snack. Make me hate chocolate. In your name, Amen.

Quick as a wink I was enveloped in love, humor and peace. A peace I am having a hard time describing. But I'll try. Have you ever been in pain, bad pain, and been given a high powered pain killer? When it first begins to work and brings that feeling of ease and freedom as you stretch tight limbs and take deep breaths. You roll your shoulders and wiggle your toes. You sort of sit up and begin to take notice of life. The sweet lassitude of all being right with the world pervades your soul. That is the sort of peace I felt. Like coming home after a horrible taxing journey. I could relax. Then this voice filled with wry loving laughter said, "Honey, why don't you just eat less." I knew I had heard the voice of God. And it all made perfect sense. I could see my way clear. For about a minute.

Then the clouds closed. What about the cravings? What about motivation? What about hunger? What about the solace of solitary snacking? What about volume? What about sugar driven binges? What about the magic combinations of carbs and proteins guaranteed to keep my fat storing blood sugar in check? What about addiction and compulsion? Dear God what about fiber?

Eat less.

Less of what? Less protein, carbs, sugar, green leafy veg, soy protein powder, salsa?

Eat less.

I am still reeling from the implications of these two words. Eat less. Of everything. No plotting or planning or plaguing my food. No weighing or measuring or time to brood? (I need to nip this Dr. Seuss phraseology in the bud.) I know about nutrition. I know about diet strategy. They are second nature. I don't need to figure out what I need to eat, or when I need to eat. I already know that. I just need less.

Take care. Your epifannied one, Bea.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Today I am on a canal boat in England. I am floating along on one of the inland water ways. It is definitely not snowing. I am not trapped in my house because the county road crew plowed the main road and blocked the driveway. Again.

I will now have to shovel out slabs of ice the size of dinner plates (funny how everything with me somehow relates to food) and snow boulders a couple of feet across to be able to get out. We need a snow plow. Is snowing as I write. Four inches predicted for today and twelve inches after midnight. Two more local people were killed this weekend in a snow related accident. Snow has stopped being a scenic sidelight in all of our lives and become a major grim factor.

Still pondering about fat and femininity. I have been stuck for years in an androgynous mind set. I have not felt feminine. I have not felt masculine. Maybe androgynous is not the word I am looking for. Asexual? Nope that isn't it either. Thinner I felt feminine. Fatter I felt...not feminine. When I hit 182 and was just fat (for my height and bone structure) as opposed to OBESE I felt feminine. In my mind I could be fatish and be feminine. Obese I was/am a freak who no longer had/has the right to be feminine. What a load of codswallop. Where do I get this stuff?

Okay, if I am obese at 183 then it is the word that got/is getting to me and not my actual size. Also why if I am "obese" haven't I the right to be/feel feminine? Is this cultural? Are fatter women so hated in our society that we are not even permitted to be women? Are we just amorphous blobs, not women and not men? Or are we so much woman that we are threatening? Or is all this stuff just in my own mind as a result of a molested childhood? Beats me.

I was never into fat power. I did delve deeply into feminist theory. In some circles there was a crossover. "Fat as a Feminist Issue" springs to mind. I couldn't get involved in any of that. During my rabid feminist phase I was thin and living in terror of the fat returning. Twenty five years later I can now see the validity of many of their points. And I still don't want to burn my girdle. Pardon me, "body shaper." I want to know why if I am obese I do not feel feminine?

This has been a round robin post. No answers to be found. By the by, in the sexual arena my excess weight did not seem to matter. For dates, yes. For sex, no. This brings up another whole topic. Is there a difference between being a woman and being feminine? I am now just procrastinating.

Off to shovel ice platters. Take care. Love Bea

Friday, February 1, 2008

Grooming My Fat

Four more inches of the white stuff today. The sun never shines. It is not dark, just white. Sky is white and the ground is white. Good thing the dog is black.

I am stuck with and on this grooming thing. Why can't I convince myself to make an effort if I am fat? Has to be about self love somehow. I have been learning about following my thinking lately, so here goes with this topic.

1. I associate dressing up with being thin. As in when I was younger and thinner and used to dress up to go out. When I dress up now I am reminded of how fat I have let myself get. Then I hate my weak willed self, and my fatter body.

2. Also when I get dressed up I think, "What's the point? You are not trolling for a man or dressing up to impress one so why bother. Keep in mind I have the most wonderful husband on the face of my earth. Why don't I want to dress up for him? ( A whole 'nother topic.)

3. Dress up clothes are usually more form fitting. I do not want to fit my form right now.

4. I do not feel feminine when I am fatter. Why???????????

5. I feel like it is a travesty to doll up a fat body. Like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. If you are fat enough NO ONE is going to notice if you have on eye makeup. ALL they notice is your girth. I want the girth to fade into the back ground. That's it!!!!!

I want to be invisible when I am fat. Or when I feel fat. Poor grooming says,"Ignore me, I'm unimportant." Good grooming says, "Notice me, I'm important." I think I learned early to be invisible so as to avoid being taunted about my weight. I may be way tougher in my middle age.

Wow that was easy. There may be something to this follow your thinking to the end stuff. I am a worthwhile person fat or thin. I want to be noticed, and at 190 it is darn hard to be invisible anyway. Since I am so obviously there, why not be the best "there" I can be? I will be judged about my weight. I can't control other people's thinking. So pretending to be invisible will not and can not spare me other's criticism. It just makes me feel fat and dumpy.

Poor self esteem. My self esteem comes and goes with the pounds. I hate that. I can't make a good connection with poor self esteem and poor grooming. If I am depressed it becomes too much work, but I don't directly avoid lipstick because I hate myself.

My overt femininity is threatening to me. I don't think I have ever said that aloud. I was a small blond girl child that men had sex with. If I had looked less girly maybe they would have left me alone. That's it! Fat covers up the curves. Makes me boxy shaped. If I look like a man I am safe. No wonder I don't feel feminine if I am fat. I have used fat for years to escape from being female and I associate good grooming with being feminine. If I want to escape from my female body out of fear no wonder getting"dolled up' is such a struggle.

I also don't feel I have the right to be feminine. I was raised by women who associated all things feminine with the upper classes. If you are poor and have to do hard physical labor, lipstick and and earrings and nice nails are not an option. Is hard to slaughter chickens and hoe beets and scrub and plow and have twelve children and be feminine. In my family poor farm women were valued for their ability to breed and work like hired men. Hired men don't get to be pretty.

And then there is the whole religious deal. My mother once told me I was headed straight for hell because I put on some light pink lip gloss. I still feel vaguely sinful when applying lipstick. I was taught that a nice girl was clean and neat, and that's all. Decorative was verboten.

Gad, the more I write the more I realize how blessed I am to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. No wonder I have trouble with the whole feminine thing. But, the lack of blusher stops here. I am determined to make an effort.

I am pooped. This introspection is hard work. Will write more on this later.

Locate your earrings ladies. Love Bea