If you could have ANY one thing…  

“If you could have ANY ONE thing in the ENTIRE world, what would it be?” -Boz

I was asked this question by my Professor in this semesters Intro to Mind & Body techniques class I am taking (and, yes, he told us to call him “Boz”…how cool is that?). This class is all about the connection between your mind and the reactions it causes in your physical body…I’ll get to more about this class and how it’s touched mine and her life already. But, for now, back to the question at hand.

“If you could have any one thing in the entire world, what would it be?”

Within 0.25 seconds, I came up with my answer…

No Cellulite!

Cellulite. This was the first and foremost thing I, she, thought of. I almost screamed it outloud. But, really?!? It hurts my own heart to know that when asked an infinitive question such as this, the very first thing I thought of was cellulite? Ridiculously absurd, right? Horribly selfish, right?

I can’t deny that I feel that way. Oh, wow, what I would give to not have the ridiculous amount of cellulite I have. And, I have this cellulite with about a 22 BMI, weighing 145ish, seriously working out an average of 4 days a week, if not more. Still…cellulite. A lot of cellulite.

What the heck is this cellulite anyways?

“The term cellulite refers to the dimpled appearance of the skin that some people have on their hips, thighs, and buttocks…The lumpiness of cellulite is caused by fat deposits that push and distort the connective tissues beneath skin, leading to the characteristic changes in appearance of the skin…Cellulite is not directly a function of excess weight, but a genetic difference in the way adipose tissue and connective tissue form.”*

What the heck causes this cellulite?

“The dimpled appearance of cellulite can be considered to be a normal variant— one way that many perfectly normal human beings look. Heredity, skin thickness, gender, the amount and distribution of body fat, and age can all influence the extent to which cellulite is present or visible. While cellulite is more common in women than men, men can also be affected. Cellulite occurs in people of all races living all around the globe.”*

OK, so, its 1) normal and 2) common over the entire Earth.

OK, so, then, why the heck is this cellulite considered so damn taboo?

Hmmm… let’s see…
You can check out at any grocery store line at any time and most likely see a (ridiculous) gossip magazine negatively blasting some famous figures now even more famous cellulite caught on some beach somewhere.

Do you know the only message this sends to our entire Western culture? CELLULITE IS AWFUL…IT IS DISGUSTING…IT IS REPULSIVE…YOU CANNOT HAVE CELLULITE… IF YOU DO, IT WILL BE HORRIBLY REGARDED & TERRIBLY DEGRADED.

Wait? What the heck? That’s not fair…actually, that is so incredibly WRONG! It is in my genetic makeup to be predispositioned to have this cellulite stuff…my mom has it, my sisters have it, my grandma has it… I didn’t ask for it. I never tried to have it. But, because of you, society, and your magazines, gossip world, I have been conditioned to catastrophize & awfulize the fact that my legs and butt choose to store and deposit fat in the way they genetically do. I really cannot do much about getting rid of it. And, guess what folks, treatments don’t work…not unless you spend A LOT of money and continuously get “treated” will they have a mild effect on your “cottage cheese” as society has so affectionately nicknamed this genetically based skin appearance.

Writing this blog makes me angry, honestly. It makes me mad that I have been exposed to such things and that they have undoubtedly been a causal factor to my insecurities, poor body image and resulting disordered eating habits and thought processes.

We have got to change this view. As a society, we cannot have little innocent toddler aged girls (and boys) who have not yet learned to be self-conscious about their bodies become that way because of what society deems to be okay or not, pretty or ugly, worthy or unworthy.

We are all born beautiful. We are all born worthy. We are all born without concern for what others think…we all take our first steps without a self-conscious concern that speaks in the back of our minds saying “What if I fall?” “Who might see me?” “Who will judge me?” If only we could remain without these learned and conditioned self-conscious thought processes… We would all be a lot more powerful. A lot more positive and confident. A lot LESS judging and we just might censor and criticize much less…

*(quoted information taken from:http://www.medicinenet.com/cellulite/article.htm)

The anxiety of change…  

If I could describe the last 6 months and the next 6 months of my life with one word…CHANGE.

Definition of Change:
(noun)
-the act or fact of changing; fact of being changed.
-a transformation or modification; alteration.
-a variation or deviation: a change in the daily routine.

These changes include but are not limited to:
1. moving to a new city
2. moving into my Mom’s house…for the first time since I left it when I was 17..!
3. transferring to a new job…first a new Outback Steakhouse, then Texas Roadhouse
4. starting graduate school at USF (not a new college…my alma mater! Go BULLS!)
5. NOT having my best friend, Melissa, and NOT going out drinking/dancing regularly (huge change, actually…)
6. Getting an entirely NEW job!…this involves complete changes in routine, work hours, style of attire, type of work and work environment, etc, etc…
7. Starting 2 new endeavors…this blog/Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Eating.Living) & Passion Meets Pleasure (www.facebook.com/PMPParties)
8. being blessed with a new man in my life
9. anticipating moving in with this amazing man
10. anticipating spending the rest of my life with this man
11. anticipating taking Eating to Live, Not the Alternative to a whole-nother level this Fall
12. anticipating balancing a full-time “big girl” job with a full-time graduate school schedule

…I could probably go on…

Holy. Change.

As absolutely stoked and totally proud of myself I feel about all of these changes, I am so nervous. I am so anxious.

Change makes me anxious, as it does for many. When I get that anxious emotional feeling, I seek comfort to cope. Why food is a source of comfort I seek, I do not understand and probably never will. This seeking behavior creates even more anxiety because I know she is right there waiting to take advantage… Fearing her makes me anxious about getting anxious and makes me want to hypercontrol in order to prevent her from taking control… It’s exhausting sometimes, cyclical and exhausting.

I have come such a long way in my battle to moderate this cycle…a really long way. And, I know I have to give myself credit for that. I know…I am. I declare ‘I GIVE MYSELF CREDIT’. But, as I sit here right now, I am anxious. And, she is sitting next to me. She is waiting for me to invite her closer; she is waiting for me to give in to her. As consuming as the concentration it is taking to push her away and not let her win, I know it’s worth it.

With a self-declared time out, a few deep breaths, and a brush of my teeth, I will remain in control. She is not gonna win. She is not in control. I am.

Exercise & her health…  

My ingenious Professor, Dr D., said something so un-eloquently profound today. He spoke in my Mind and Body Approaches seminar class this morning on The Psychological Benefits of Exercise.

“When people get off their asses physically, they’re much more likely to get off their asses emotionally.”

YES Dr. D.! Yes! Absoultely magnificent, real and really accurate…just simply profound!

Nothing else in the whole entire world can really grab me and pull me, or her, out my my deepest darkest funks like the thermogenic effect of EXERCISE! Thermogenic effect…fancy term for the warming of the body.

Exercise doesn’t just warm her body. Exercise reawakens and rebirths her torn spirit, her hope (or lack there of), her run-away pride, her periodically peaceless mind…confidence, power and will power, self-efficacy and strength. All of these arise. All of these take center and re-ground her. Through the struggle, it’ll be alright; it’ll be alright.

Exercise: what a beautiful struggle.

The mind and the body cannot fight against each other anymore! They must collaborate. Together, they work vigorously, in union, in one direction, towards one unified goal: they work to lift that weight with that muscle; to push and to force that leg, left, right, left, right, up that steep hill, be it on ground or on peddles. The mind and the body must recognize it’s discomfort…it’s struggle. Through recognition comes acceptance. Through acceptance comes achievement. No one can reach an end goal without accepting and grasping on to the struggle enroute.

Exercise: what a beautiful struggle.

Exercise: what a multi-productive battle.
*Less stress & anxiety + more confidence & power => better OVERALL health & wellbeing (physically, of course…but most certainly mentally and emotionally!)

Praise God, not for gyms, treadmills, dumbbells & ellipticals… Praise God for our 2 feet, our 2 legs, our 2 hands, our 2 arms, our 10 fingers & toes! Praise God for our bodies.

We have all we need.
…You have all you need.
……I have all I need.
………She has all she needs!

Carbs are for comfort…  

Recently, I realized…I eat a TON of carbs! Sure, most of them are healthy…wheat bread, organic “protein” bars, granola bars, oatmeal (and more oatmeal), fruit (and lots more fruit), high fiber english muffins, etc. Ya know what all of these carbs have in common? They are all SWEET and/or CHEWY.

Sweet, chewy & smooth…That is my & her definition for COMFORT. When I am nervous, sad, celebrating, lonely, bored…carbs are for comfort. This comfort source is not as reliable as she and I would hope… I need a healthier supply of comfort.

I have decided to do a sort of carbohydrate-detox. Most would know it as a South Beach diet or Atkins diet. No carbs, 2 weeks. I’m on day 4. I have always been a primarily night-time binger. The last couple nights, I have thought about wanting to eat when I was not hungry at all just for comfort and to diminish the start ofher obsessive thought process. What did she want?…carbs. But, I am not eating carbs. So, no binge. Cheese or a hard boiled egg didn’t sound great or comforting to her like a chewy “protein” bar or a toasted english muffin with natural peanut butter…so, I didn’t eat. I brushed my teeth and I went to bed happy that I didn’t eat just to eat, just to chew, just to taste, just to “comfort”.

Some people will not agree with this no-carb thing… as purely a diet, I do not agree either. But, I am trying to make a point to myself, to her. Eating to live, not the alternative…the alternativeo of chewing just to chew, tasting just to taste, eating just to eat, thinking about what to eat & what not to eat, what I should eat or should’t eat…

Eating to live, not THAT alternative… That’s all I want to do…I don’t want to live to eat for comfort. I just want to live…eat to live.

My history of messing up…  

I just found out this past Monday that I was officially hired as a Clinical Case Manager at a not-for-profit agency in Tampa, FL. I have been searching and applying for this type of position for over 2 years…finally, score!!!

I am so thrilled. I am even more so scared…

I have a history of messing up, as we all probably do to some extent. But, most of my mess-ups have occured as a result of this NOT Eating to Live… My eating disorder has gotten the best of me in the past. That is an understatement. I have missed work at various jobs due to “bad days/nights”, I have previously dropped out of graduate school because of the unrelenting feeling of hypocrisy my disordered eating made me feel, I have pushed friends and sorority sisters away, I pushed away my long-time ex-boyfriend that I will call BBW from now on… I have pushed away and messed up and failed and lost and spent way too much money (binge/purge eating disorders are seriously expensive sometimes…!).

A full-time “big-girl” job… scary…

I have worked in the restaurant business for almost 7 years. I could serve tables and tend bar with my eyes closed… I can put on a facade for my customers with little to no effort. I could have a bad day or week for that matter, and no one would ever need or could ever be close enough to know. This makes me think of the movie, Waiting; I think of the part of the movie where the semi-psycho girl waitress curses her customers, job & basically her whole life as she walks into the kitchen and a few seconds later comes out smiling and cheery to her customers (cannot even recall her name, but if you’ve seen it, you’ll know…!). This is a tad-bit exaggerated, but, yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. I can hate the world around me and inside me, but I can put on a smile for the few seconds it takes to take an order, make a lame joke or act a sweetheart to “connect” to my table. I’d say I am usually liked & I almost always give excellent service. Sometimes I make a good tip. The customers ALWAYS get up and leave & 98% of the time, I will never see them and they will never see me again. The work is nothing serious…it’s just food, coke products and cocktails. Nothing I do while serving tables will change lives (well, maybe once in a while…my next blog “Serving a table, changing a life” will explain my contradiction to that statement).

This job is so different. I am working extensively directly with people who need my assistance. I will be responsible for improving the lives in my case load. I no longer will be wearing the same pants and uniform t- on a daily basis. I will have to get up early and always look professionally acceptable by 7am. I will now have a weekend (praise, God). I will actually be able to say, yay, TGIF! I will be getting paid bi-weekly instead of in inconsistently ranging 5-15-20-50-100% cash tips. I will have benefits (once again, Praise God!…health insurance, yessss!!!) All-in-all, a complete 180degree turn from the life of a server.

I am SO excited I could cry, and I have. I am so scared I could cry, and I have…

I really hope I don’t mess up…no, I really hope she doesn’t… I really hope I don’t let her get the best of me…