Archive for July, 2008

29
Jul
08

Intuitive Eating and Me

Ugh. So, I’ve been having more technical problems. *shakes fist at Internet provider* But since I’m back for now, I’m gonna post before it conks out on me again.

I’ve spoken a bit about intuitive eating in some of my past posts. And I wish I could now say “It’s SO easy to do!”

But I’d be lyin’ to y’all.

What I’ve found (and naturally, YMMV), is that it’s hardest for me to listen to my body’s cues when I’m on my cycle. Ok, I’m about to get REAL personal, so if y’all aren’t quite ready to know me like that, you may want to navigate away.

Still here? Great! Ok. My eating habits pre-cycle are pretty average. But during? I’m tellin’ y’all, if you were to meet me, and not realize my cycle was the issue, you’d think I was pregnant. I want the most RANDOM foods ever at the most RANDOM times ever.

Case in point: Sunday morning (and I’m talking midnight, Sunday morning), I had a craving for…biscuits and gravy (maybe my last post was still ringing in my head?). Now, my approach to intuitive eating is as follows: I want said food, if said food is available, I eat said food. I tend to not ponder over the whys and such of wanting the food, cause I can talk myself right out of EATING sometimes. But all I could think when the craving hit was “Who in the hell wants biscuits and gravy at 12:20 am?!” Apparently, this woman, ’cause I paused my movie and rolled right out of bed to make those biscuits and gravy.

Now, we won’t talk about how gravy is one of those condiments I cannot make to save my life. Totally moot. But it turned out ok. And I was full and satiated. (Look for a recipe post Friday, provided the damned ‘net doesn’t die before then.)

All that to say: intuitive eating isn’t gonna be easy. I’ve been in convos about intuitive eating where women have said “If I ate what my body wanted, all I would eat is ____________!” My argument is: since you keep telling your body you can’t have ________, it’s gonna want _____. And the first thing that’s gonna happen when you actually listen to your body instead of ordering it about is it’s gonna want all that __________ you wouldn’t let it have before. That stops after awhile. What’s harder to stop is the need to rationalize why you’re eating what you’re eating (which also goes to the little anecdote above). When my little bro came wandering in the kitchen, to see me sprinkling parsley on my plate of biscuits, gravy, and scrambled eggs, he says “I wanted some breakfast too!” Ordinarily, I’d be all: “But I’m hormonal!” which involves an overshare that no 17-year old boy wants to know about, but instead I said:

Me: “Oh, yeah? Why didn’t you ask me to make you something?”

Him: *stares at my plate with disdain* (he doesn’t eat scrambled eggs without pork sausage–I don’t eat pork–and he’s not so fond of gravy…or biscuits.)

Me: “Oh, yeah. Right. Well, there’s pancake mix in there. Have at it.”

Him: *as he makes his meal* “I used to always wonder why you ate breakfast in the middle of the night.”

Me: *eyebrow raise*

Him: *carrying plate to his room* “But I know now. It just tastes better.”

And you know what else tastes good? Not having to keep my body from what it wants. Mmm, happy body moments. Goes great with Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk!

Editor’s Note: Littlem, check your inbox, darling. I finally got a chance to reply to you. Sorry for the lateness!

21
Jul
08

Bad Body Day : Lightbulb!

Today was my first day at my brand new job and as a member of corporate America (part time anyway). Typically, I have terrible anxiety. For some reason, I deal with anxiety through a series of quasi-obsessive compulsive behaviors and general over-preparation.

So, amidst all of these behaviors yesterday afternoon, in preparation for work, I became fixated on finding the right thing to wear. I tried on every item of clothing in my closet that I could possibly wear to work (which isn’t as much as some people, I know, but still significant). While the purpose of this activity was, in theory, planning a weeks worth of outfits and seeing which items are okay to be paired together, it somehow became another animal.

Side note: For people who know me this is not even close to normal behavior. I have always been basically indifferent towards clothing, going for whatever makes me feel comfortable and doesn’t have to be ironed.

I began to notice how things looked on my body. I started thinking things like “Does this make me look fat?” “How does my butt look in these pants?” And what seems to be this ongoing concern over my hair. Then a light bulb went off.

Coupled with all of my other methods for dealing with my anxiety I realized that these thoughts were directly related to my brain’s poor attempt at coping with stress. I deal with the unknown by obsessing over things I can control. Being overtly body conscious is one such behavior.

My second realization was that this kind of behavior takes on a whole new meaning when you see it in yourself rather than in someone else.

So, all in all, my bad body day ended in an important realization about myself. It is so important to make connections with my behavior to continue on this journey of accepting my body and all that comes along with it.

19
Jul
08

The Weekends Top Ten

I have realized in the last week or so that my choice of literature, coupled with school and the start of a new job has made me more serious than usual. So I thought I would have a little fun. Here are the top ten wonders of my world (which usually only exists in my head) for this week.

1. Why is it that the cover of my Sizing and Sewing for Plus Sizes book has a typical size model as opposed to a plus sized one? (More importantly, why is the photo of a plus sized woman measuring a thin model?)

2. Why are there so many body conscious, relationship obsessed women in my gender studies program? (it just seems a little ironic to me, just when I thought I would find allies. I’m sure they are there I just haven’t found them yet.)

3. Why do the aforementioend women get upset when I tell them I don’t want to go the gym and work out with them even though its a nice gym (sponsored by the university) and it’s free?

4.Why does the “welcome to the team” email from my new boss say be prepared to win, but doesn’t say what we are competing for or who with?

5. Why is it so damn hot outside???!!!

6. Why does the reading list for my fall class seem a lot longer than what I can read in one semester?  (ahhh, grad school).

7. Doesn’t anybody just drink plain water anymore?

8. How can a person rant and rave about how tasty my chilli is and then when I tell them it’s vegan they look like it has suddenly become disgusting because there is no meat in it?

9. Who came up with the idea to have a wet t shirt race?

10. And why didn’t anyone think that a private women’s college may not be the right place to have one?

There you have it folks. These are the kinds of things that come to mind when you  move to a new city where you know no one. I have to entertain myself somehow. Don’t I? Have a great week.

18
Jul
08

In Search Of Body Nirvana

Alrighty. I’ve been gone due to some technical issues on my end (yay for switching Internet providers!), but it’s just as well. I’ve been having some body issues.

Usually, my body issues last for about a day or so. Not this time. This Bad Body Day has been festering for the better part of two weeks. It’s pretty much healed now, but damn, y’all, what a doozy.

I can’t even place where this one came from. It might have been the impending bridesmaid’s gown purchase. It might have been clothes browsing with mom. I don’t know. But one morning, as I’m preparing for my daily workout, it slapped me in the forehead: ooh! If you keep this up, and reduce some of that food you’ve been eating, you can totally take 20lbs off! Just in time for that dress fitting!

*record scratch noise* What? Where in the mauve hell did THAT come from?!

I haven’t thought like that for the better part of 4 months or so, so it disturbed me enough to call a temporary suspension of working out. Now, I know, for some people it would have made more sense to continue working out, strengthening the body, and showing oneself that yes, one’s body is fine. I’m a bit odd in that aspect, however. If I were to do that, I would have subconsciously started restricting, lengthening workout times, recording what I ate and how much of it, and it all would have dissolved into FOR THE LOVE OF BISCUITS AND GRAVY, do you have ANY IDEA how many calories are in that lemon wedge you want to put in my glass of water?!

Ahem. Sorry. Yeah. See, my diet-mind is a touch hyperactive. And I wasn’t about to entertain that.

I decided, once I got my Internet back, to go through the fatosphere and catch up, filling my brain with delicious food for thought. And this morning, I rolled over and heard bones pop.

Me: Ouch!

Body: Yep. I need to move today, girl. I don’t know what you and your Diet-Mind have going on, but I need some exercise over here.

Me: But, but–

Body: ENOUGH. It’s enough now. You know and I know I have no earthly intentions of losing any weight. Now, go pick a DVD so we can MOVE already. Frankenstein’s Monster has more fluidity than I do right now!

Me: Ok, ok. So, what do you feel like doing? Oh, how about this: Pure Sweat! Let’s do that!

Body: Um, I haven’t moved in TWO WEEKS. I want to be stretched, not broken. Let’s do the Just My Size Yoga.

Me: Sounds great.

So I stretched. And breathed. And moved. And meditated. And you know what? I’m still on that quest to find body nirvana, but I feel like I might have experienced what it’ll feel like when I get there.

11
Jul
08

Battle of the Bods

When I saw the advertisements for this show my feminist light bulb was flashing red. I was disgusted. So I went to the website to see if this was really as revolting as it sounds. And yes, people, it is. Let’s go over the the shows format.

First there are the women. All skinny. Mostly blond and white. These women are rated by a group of men, again athletic and mostly white. The men rank the women on a scale of one to five based on certain body parts. For instance, the clip I watched was breasts. They are ranked in comparison to each other, by the way. This is the most disturbing part to me. Not only are we going to value them like cattle, we are also going to pit them against each other.

But wait. There’s more. While the men are busy hacking their brains to rank the women, the women are then asked to rank themselves trying to match the men. So, what you hear in the female conversation is some women say “I don’t like my breasts, so I’ll rank myself number 4”. It’s terrible.

What shows like this do, besides the usual female objectification women are measured by their bodies bullshit, is perpetuate the idea that self hatred is normal and criticizing others is normal as well. At the same time, it creates this narrow one dimensional “norm” for women.

I almost feel like its a waste of breath to complain about these things but I can’t help myself. It seems that the secret to reality television these days is to pit women against each other and devalue every redeeming quality they may have.

07
Jul
08

You sho is ugly

As some of you may have deduced by the title, I began my summer reading with The Color Purple. It is the only novel on my list of “I’ve seen the movie, but”…which, as a literary person, is something I just can’t live with. Anyway, the novel got me thinking.

Without giving away the plot, the premise behind the title is the idea that we (I’m pretty sure the novelist means we as in blacks, but I’d argue that we could be universal) have been conditioned to look at the world a certain way, and as a result we are blind to so many things. It’s probably a combination of grad school, reading, and blogs. But for whatever reason, I’ve been thinking about this more and more.

In doing so, I have had to admit some hard things to myself. Most importantly, I’ve to come to grips with the fact that although I am able to see things from every different perspective, I can’t get rid of that other set of eyes. That is a cryptic way of saying that I’m not as confident as I look on the outside. In fact, I fear that I may be putting too much effort into looking the part than actually playing it.

For instance, two years ago, after my college graduation, I decided that I wanted to “go natural” as they say. So, I cut all of my hair off, 12 inches to be exact. And what I have now that it has grown out is a huge curly afro, that I really love. Lately, I have been feeling anxious about it, though. I worry that people will be put off by it. I fear that it won’t look professional enough. And I really hate the fact that I feel that way, because deep down I love my hair. Unfortunately, I can erase those European standards of beauty that have been embedded in my brain. And I think that my biggest fear is that I will never fully appreciate those things that make me who I am.

I go through the same things with my body. In my experience, my journey to self acceptance has been a lot easier than most. But somewhere along the way I forgot that self acceptance is a journey and not an epiphany. I thought that the moment I realized that standards of beauty are terribly one dimensional, and that the female body in all its shapes and sizes and colors is a beautiful thing that I had reached the end of the road. But sometimes, I do feel self conscious about things. And this frustrates me. I just can’t understand why with all this knowledge, I am still affected by these things. I let myself believe this for a long time. But that’s not where I am now.

I started my current grad program in gender and cultural studies because I believe in the interconnectedness of life. By that I mean that women everywhere are connected in that we have been swallowed by a very euro-centric male defined culture. So, my research is a part of me trying to climb out of a lifetime of socialization and replace it with the real and more complex version of myself. I have realized, in my thinking, however, that as long as I pretend like that other set of eyes isn’t still there, I will never be able to move forward.

And so, I suppose I felt very connected to Celie, while reading the novel. It is, after all, about her own journey to self acceptance, which started by coming to terms with her past and accepting that as a part of her future. She never forgot what had happened to her, but at the same time she began to use her new way of looking at life. It’s funny how literature can speak to you that way.

06
Jul
08

Sunday Relaxation

Ok, this bit ‘o fluff was supposed to have been posted Friday. However, work called (this would be the part-time gig I have–primary job has ended) and they needed me. Now, since my body has gotten out of the habit of working every day, working three days in a row has my feet screaming at me in fifty-two languages. Seriously.

So, now that I’ve bought myself some ridiculously expensive work shoes from The Walking Company{Sidebar: Dang, y’all. My feet can’t take the combo of nice flat + Dr. Scholls Massaging Gel Insert not one more day. I keep saying it’s an investment, cause I NEVER pay that much for shoes}, I’m wondering what y’all do to unwind? Working retail is particularly grueling, I’ve learned (No clue how my mom does it every day–hell, I can barely manage part time three days a week!), and it feels really good to just come home, massage my feet with some soothing foot care products from The Body Shop, light some sandalwood incense, and put on some music.

Today’s CD comes from Amy Winehouse. I downloaded her first album, Frank, earlier this week from Rhapsody, and I have track 12, “Take The Box,” on repeat. That has to be the smoothest sounding break-up song I’ve heard in a while. {Sidebar the Second: Amy, please take care of yourself. You have AMAZING talent. Don’t throw it away on crack and booze. Seriously.} As I type this up, I’m slowly nodding my head to the music, sipping on a glass of ice water, and simultaneously browsing Epicurious. Oh, I’ve found dinner for this evening:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit goes to Romulo Yanes. That up there is Turkey Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust. Yeah, it’s kinda warm for a pot pie, but I have a taste for it today.

So spill it! What do y’all do to relax? Usually, I’d read, but after work some days all I want is something brightly colored to run across my TV screen, so I usually put on whatever cartoon looks good. Oftentimes it’s Spongebob, other nights, it’s Family Guy. Sometimes it’s a meditation session. And sometimes, I just go to bed. Sleep is awesome, y’all.

Y’all enjoy the rest of the weekend!




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