Friday, April 24, 2009

Fatherless Butterflys

Warning this is longish as I am combining two posts.

I just read Vickie's post about "real bodies." She said she always felt as though she were encased in a fat suit and wanted to unzip it and get out. Not me brother (sister). I feel protected by my fat. It is pound for pound who I am. It is my cocoon. I am not yet ready to be a butterfly.

I remember being thin. What a lot of hassle.

With a host of other sexually abused girls, I learned to relate to men through sex. I didn't know there was any other way to "know" a man. So I began having sex early and often. Until I got fat. Then they left me alone. I was finally at peace in my own skin. No one bugged me. I was invisible. But who wants to be an invisible fat 20 year old? I lost weight, and took up where I left off. What a lot of crap I went through in the next ten years. Then I got fat again. Safety in scale numbers.

When you are thin you are normal and are not cut any slack. You have to compete with your peers and be judged by them. I always felt like I would/could never ever measure up in any way to my normal sisters. If you are fat you are frequently given a pass in life's races. It is assumed at the outset you will be incapable of completing the task, so you are not required to try. I loved this. I had an excuse for not competing, and in all likelihood, failing. More safety in numbers.

After I lost 70 pounds I found myself constantly telling people about it. It seems like I was instructing/encouraging them to relate to me as my former 250 pound self rather than this unknown 180 pound person. While 180 pounds seems huge to many people, to me it seemed to be on the verge of normal. I was no longer obese. I was just plain ole fat. So were and are a lot of other middle aged women. I had not been normal for thirty years. I was a stranger in a strange land.

I seem to have stabilized at 198 pounds. I go up if I eat real stupid, and down if I drink a lot of tea, but in a short time return to the 198 mark. I hate to say it, but I am psychologically comfortable here. I am obese again, but without much effort I am staying below the dreaded 200 pounds. I am back to shopping in the fat ladies' section. I wear elastic waisted peg leg jeans and denim jumpers. I feel like me. I wish I didn't.

I want to feel like I am encased in a fat suit. Trapped in an alien body. I want to walk through the world and not need/want my layer of protection. But until I get the fear sorted out I think I will be at home in my fat.

Cheers, Bea.

Second Post:

We are going yurting this weekend at a hot springs. Mark is looking forward to mare's milk and a yak dung fire. Ha Ha I am not looking forward to the damn bathing suit. I dug out my new last year's suit. It is a beautiful suit. It still fits, sort of. I have to wear a bra under it because those soft cup things hold up nothing. Well, what with the too smallish suit, the bra that shows, and my white vieny blobby body, our much anticipated vacationette was turning into a nightmare. Decision time.

Since I can't change my bod before we leave, I have decided to change my mind. I am going to have a good time, and how I look is how I look. I know I will be judged, but I guess as long as they don't start throwing stuff at me, I will survive. I am not going to be made to stay at home so as not to offend anyone with my size. If they don't like the way I look, they can look else where. And I bought a really BIG towel.

Now, about my unworthiness. I have had an epifanny. (That's for you Kim) I have gone on ad nauseaum about the lousy mothering I received as a kid and young woman. Hereafter I am going to give those women a break. I think a huge part of my problem is not having had a father. Any kind of a father, anywhere. None of the women who raised me had men actively on the scene. Yes there were the perverts around the edges, but no men who routinely participated in my upbringing in a healthy way. I didn't think this mattered. "A woman (and children) without a man is like a fish without a bicycle."

In the past week through a series of very strange events I have come to believe the above statement is (excuse the language) HORSESHIT. Many of my primal fears come from existing in a world devoid of responsible men. Having no father has also made it almost impossible for me to relate to God as Father. But things are a'changin. Part of our long weekend will find me sitting in front of the yak dung fire reading several books I received out of the blue about fatherless daughters. I am so looking forward to this trip that the darn bathing suit issue has been downgraded to a minor hassle instead of the feature event.

I will be letting you know what I learn. Also how mare's milk tastes. Take care. Love Bea

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Beggars Can't Be Choosers

My family motto.

This statement beats in my blood. And has for generations. It sucks the life right out of me. It makes me give in and give up and whine. And I am strong and tough. Very tough. Like a rock. I will hunker down and "take it" and I will survive. I will eke out some little joy in life and I will survive. But I will ultimately remain one of life's "havenots."


No one talks about slave mentality anymore because it is hard to couch it in politically correct phrases. But slave I was and slave I remain. My body may be free now but I was owned for many years body and soul. My soul still remains in bondage.

Vickie and Cindy both recently talked about empowerment. I read their free soul posts, bowed my head, and cried. I may never have their sense of empowerment.

How do you break chains of unworthiness? My sense of needing to be "beholden" to everyone started in the womb. I am "just damn lucky" Mom could not abort me. I am "just damn lucky" relatives partially cared for me as an infant. I am "just damn lucky" I was smart enough to take care of both of us when I was a toddler. I am "just damn lucky" relatives and foster homes fed and clothed me as a child. I am "just damn lucky" I was adopted by someone when I was a teenager. I am "just damn lucky" I got to go to nursing school." I am "just damn lucky" I could support myself and did not cave to sex, drugs and rock and roll as a young woman. I am "just damn lucky" my suicide attempts did not work in my thirties. I am damn lucky Mark wanted to marry me. I was no prize. I am damn lucky Mentor Mary found me in my forties and helped me. I am "just damn lucky" to not have to go out every day to support myself. I am "just damn lucky" to have lost some weight. I do not feel entitled to any of my blessings.

This is a stupid way for anyone to live. How does one get a sense of entitlement/empowerment? The assurance that "I have a right to an abundant life?" I do not want a life without problems, I want a life in which I feel empowered to overcome problems and thrive. I want to feel like I deserve a good life. I am sick of going through life on my knees grateful for every sop God and man are willing to toss my way.

Phooey. Bea

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Flu

Do not sample twelve different kinds of chili in an hour. Especially if you have also been attempting a new vegetarianish lifestyle. Also do not moan when you unfold the local paper and see yourself on the front page eating said chili. Do not notice the wide angle of the shot that shows you in heavy jeans, a sweatshirt, a parka, gloves and an apron, with a spoon in your mouth. Do not go out for Easter dinner after cooking and judging a chili cook off the day before...after eating a week of vegetarian meals. Do not eat giant bowls of hot curried fruit compote and broccoli cauliflower au gratin in an effort not to eat the ham at said Easter dinner. Do not go home after dinner and blow off (no pun intended) a whole host of obvious symptoms because you believe you are just reacting to a change in diet.

Passing out should have been my first clue that I was sick. But no, I convinced Mark I must just be hypotensive???? Okay...chills and chattering teeth were sort of an odd reaction to more beans than I could tolerate, but hey, who knows, right? Man was I hot. "This hormone patch must be defective" I thought. Fatigue. "Lazy slob, get up and get the laundry done and the living room cleaned." When I did not make it to the bathroom in time I finally recognized I might be sick. This process took four days.

I have been living on tea and toast and Imodium for the past 48 hours. I feel better today, but am not willing to venture far from the facilities. I do have a moral for this stupid story.

I am so out of touch with my body I can't even tell when I am ill. I live in and with my head, and drag my poor body around like so much inconvenient baggage. I eat with my mind. My body did not want that chili at the cook off. I had to force it down while simultaneously telling myself how much I was enjoying it. My body did not want Easter dinner but I convinced it it did. I even fought off nausea to eat pie and ice cream for dessert! I fixed three meals on Monday and ate everyone of them because I knew I loved to eat. My body had to literally lose control before my mind would do the same. Only then would I recognize that my body did not want any more food. It was sick. My mind is dumb as a post sometimes.

I had a banana for breakfast and a cup of soup for lunch. Maybe I will eat supper, maybe not. My body is not hungry. My mind would like a pint of ice cream and a donut, with a latte chaser. I am ignoring it.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Going It Alone

Thank you all for the suggestions. I printed them off so when it is 7pm and I can't think of anything to do other than watch t.v. I have a referral sheet.

Suggestion, "write more." (Thanks Cindy.) What a thought. I started this blog so I would...write more. Have I done that? Nope. I want to get a computer of my own. Husband has this one set up to his tastes and barricaded by his junk. I have to climb over stuff to get to his chair and then clear his stuff off his keyboard. I have not wanted to spend the money to get a computer for just me. This is not his work computer. He uses it to play games and listen to Rush most evenings. Mark makes the money so I figure he should get to spend the lion's share of our surplus on fun stuff for himself. I made up this rule, not him. And then I resent him for taking full advantage of the rule. Foolish me.

I went to Jackson yesterday with a new friend. She also has weight issues. We talked about fat for hours. We went to Coldwater Creek to shop. I went into the same dressing room in which I had my "freak out" two years ago. I am now twenty pounds heavier than I was then. I got a bunch of XL's and tried them on. Some fit, most did not. I then went and got the 1X's. They fit. It was seriously painful but I forced myself to look at my bod objectively. I look like a 52 year old woman who weighs 198 lbs. Could be better, could be worse. I found some nice clothes. I didn't buy any of them. Fatter or thinner, I need to figure out my style before I purchase any more clothes. Odd thing, there was a woman in the changing room next to me who had just lost 60 pounds. She had half the store stock and two clerks in that room with her. She could not figure out what looked good on the new figure. It was deja vu all over again. She did not know who she was without the pounds. I thought about trying to help her but there was no room for me in the crowd.

All this activity plus the Star Jones interview on Oprah has set me to thinking. WE need each other. Getting fatter or thinner we need each others' wisdom and support. Who else but someone with a similar experience can sympathize with the newly thin woman who is depressed because she has literally lost half of herself. And the familiar half at that. Society assumes weight loss is all gravy. ( I could not resist the pun.) We know different. Who else but someone who has been there can bring you more 1X's when you thought you were still wearing XL's and laugh, or at least grimace, with you. Who else but someone who has been there can encourage you to get a cup of the vegetable soup rather than a vat, and half of a pesto sandwich rather than a cheeseburger to go with it. You guessed it, only someone who is also considering half a cheesecake for luncheon. We need each other.

In this spirit my new friend and I discussed ways we could support the women we know who have compulsive eating issues. There is not much help here for hardcore eaters. There is plenty of help out there for those who can save themselves. Some of us, and you know who you are, can't. I am looking into setting up an OA group at our church. AA already meets there. I have made an appointment with the pastor and am looking online for resources. I can no longer struggle with this alone.

Yesterday for supper I et raw veggies, a bowl of vegetarian chili and a beanie brownie, Lord have mercy. By the by, my new friend was surprised to hear that I had a weight problem. She said she had never thought of me as fat!!!!

Take care of yourselves, love Bea.

P.s. Congratulations Nory Roth on 30 pounds gone!!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009


I think I need a Glade air freshener clipped to my belt.... This new way of eating is playing havoc with my digestive system. I am mainlining Beano. Mark has given up on the diet and is bringing fried chicken home from the grocery store. Maybe I need to slow the process down a little.

I found a new recipe for brownies. First you drain, rinse and puree a can of black beans, then you add it to your favorite boxed brownie recipe in place of eggs, water, etc. and then you bake as directed. Worked like a charm. I found a whole wheat dark chocolate brand and just added the beans and baked. Then I ate six of them. Do not try this at home. Go out to a park, a big park.

I am going to stop our satellite t.v., and I am scared to death. I am blogging right now so as not to watch the television. My whole life is lived to the accompaniment of the tube. I want to be a woman who eats healthy and who does not watch television. What do people do who do not watch television in the evening? I already read. I can read and do anything. I can even read and drive. I do not recommend this. So reading is not the answer. I have no desire to indulge in the housewifely arts (knitting, sewing, embroidering) and I don't scrapbook. I do not want to clean closets at 7pm even if they do need it. I guess I could take up painting. I have no hobbies. What a sad commentary on a life. I work and read and watch t.v.. Phooey. What do you all do instead of watch the television?

More on fun with food. Boca burgers are okay but full of salt. Sassafras tea is yummy hot or cold. Cheese is full of calories. And so are nuts. This way of eating is not as fool proof as I thought. But is isn't boring.

Take care. Love and burps, Bea

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Star Jones

It has been snowing for ten days off and on. I have quit watching the weather. None of the locals pay any attention to it. After two and half years I know why. There is only so much you can know about snow. Either it is snowing or it isn't. Phooey.

Did anyone else watch Star Jones on Oprah? Wow what an interview. This interview strengthened my desire to find out who I am without my fat enclosure. The thin Star who was on Oprah was an entirely different woman from the fat Star of the View. Quieter. Calmer. Less arrogant. No longer the life of the party. Nicer.

In our country fat impinges on our basic personality structures. Who can daily live with prejudice and not be changed by it. We adapt to the hatred by shutting down some parts of our personalities and overplaying other parts. It is hard to just be ourselves. Frequently the the personality adaptations are unconscious. We don't even know who we might be without our cocoon. This happened to me. I am convinced part of my regain is due to an incident in the dressing room of Coldwater Creek.

I went in to buy a skirt two years ago. I was by myself. Husband was shopping on his own and I was supposed to meet up with him in half an hour. I was rushed. I grabbed some denim skirts and some black skirts. Gathered skirts on an elastic band. Nothing special in the lot. I was jumping in and out of them and not liking anything when a sale's clerk offered to help me. This should be a scream I thought and I said yes to get her to leave me alone. She arrived with an armful of fluted knee length skirts with waist bands, and in sizes and colors I did not wear. I wear only long dark colored elastic waist skirts. I tried on the brown herringbone. I had no hips. My belly looked flatter and my short stubby legs looked longer and thinner. "What you need is a turtleneck and a vest to go with that" said the clerk and off she rushed. I put on the camel colored cashmere turtleneck and the short little tapestry vest. "All you need now are some brown knee high boots and you're set she said." I felt the ground give way beneath me. Who was this stylish matron with the ash blond bob and the bemused expression? I could not move. I did not even know how to make this creature walk. I have never felt so at a loss in my life. I took the clothes off and ran from the dressing room. When I met up with my husband we went out to lunch and I had pasta and cheesecake. I've been overeating ever since.

I know how to navigate as a fat person. I am totally lost at sea as a thinner woman. Star talked about how slow was the learning process to be a normal sized person after being fat her whole life. She said she sometimes still feels like a three hundred pound woman. She said she lost a whole 'nother person. The person she knew. She was then left with this stranger in her skin who had to function in the world as though nothing much had happened. Like living with amnesia I thought. Much food for thought in this story. I hope Oprah has her on again.

Mark calls the new diet my "rabbit food revenge." We had pumpkin soup and cream cheese, walnut and pimento sandwiches for lunch. The soup was my own creation. Pumpkin, soy milk, onions, garlic, cinnamon, curry, molasses and applesauce. Was creamy and good. I mixed walnuts, curry, and pimentos in the low fat cream cheese and served it on slices of Ezekiel bread spread with avocado and topped with cucumber slices and spinach leaves. Mark said he hates curry. sigh

I am going to solider on. Tomorrow it will be mushroom barley soup and veggy laden Swiss cheese sand. I am looking forward to it. Take care of yourselves. Love Bea