Tag Archives: body image

LCHF: Worth a Try…We Shall See…

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LCHF-Straight-Arrows

I have written about my weight before. Some may even think I talk about it too much. Or, at least, worry about it too much. I suppose I would agree. I certainly don’t want my daughter to be as concerned with her body image as I have been with mine. I get to the point of beating myself up mentally whenever I look in the mirror. I cry. I yell. I throw my clothes on the ground and refuse to leave the house (this isn’t a regular thing, but it has happened). I would never want Cassidy to feel this way – so why do I do it to myself? It has been ingrained in my head since childhood that how we look is the basis of our value. Cognitively, I know that is crap…but my subconscious sees my fat or cellulite or signs of aging as unworthiness. It truly is fucked up. And telling me “stop feeling that way” is about as productive as telling a depressed person to “cheer up”. Believe me, if I could – I would.

So, a little background…When I was pregnant 11 years ago, I gained 70+ pounds. Shortly before becoming pregnant, I went on a beta blocker for my heart – so that didn’t help. After having her – using a multiple of dieting methods – I was able to lose some but a big chunk wouldn’t budge. I honestly tried everything. Finally, I went off of a medication (cymbalta) and the rest fell off with sensible eating. I lost over 30 pounds in less than 3 months. And I kept it off for a number of years.

In 2014, my medical issues got worse, I had surgery and then post op complications (the whole antibiotic thing I wrote about a few months ago) – I gained about 30 in a fairly short block of time. And with my liver injury – my body has been holding onto fat for dear life. Again, it just wouldn’t budge. Over the last year, I have VERY slowly been able to lose about 13 pounds. But that stalled a few months ago and no matter what, the rest just won’t leave.

So, I have decided to try the LCHF (basically, Atkins) diet to get things progressing. I do not know if this will work. I do know that I have never really tried this before. I want to lose 15 lbs but would be happy with 10. It isn’t like I have a shit load to lose. So, I realize my results won’t be like those who lose 10 pounds in one week. And there ARE a lot of people like that.

But I want to make this clear – I will never be a militant dieter. I am of the mindset that life is so very short and I plan on enjoying as much of it as I can until I can’t. And, yes, that includes cake. I enjoy food. I am not addicted. I am not obsessed. I enjoy it. It is a great pleasure in life and I will never be one of those people who simply use it as fuel. That just isn’t me. During those years when I kept the weight off – I basically ate healthy, fairly low carb most of the week. On weekends and vacations, I allowed myself to splurge. I am happy with that way of eating.

So far on the LCHF (2.5 days) – I have lost 2 lbs. And I can even see the difference already. We shall see where this goes as it is certainly worth a try. The food is most definitely limited – but also very filling. I am trying to keep my net carbs (carbs minus fiber) under 25 grams per day. This isn’t easy, but so far has been do-able. But if I have a piece of cake at a party or some corn at a fair – I am not going to torture myself as though I am some kind of failure. Because, really, what I want more than anything is to be okay with what I am and how I look in each moment. I am 41. I will never look 20 again. And it simply is not fair to myself to expect that and punish myself because I don’t.

If anyone is interested in learning about LCHF…I will put a couple of videos below. There is also a lot of info HEREBut, again, I am not pushing this diet…not even recommending it yet. I think the science is very interesting and I have seen a shit load of success stories and I am trying it. That’s all. At this point anyway 😉

British Television: Authentic and Appreciated

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I’ve been watching a lot of British television lately. I have gotten into Call the Midwife and Doc Martin recently. And I am about to start The Thick of It. I have always appreciated the dry, quick wit of our friends from across the pond. And the dramas have a way of making you actually care about the characters. But there is one characteristic of these programs that has really caught my attention and appreciation and is very much in contrast to American television – the casting.

If you turn on TV in America, you will see perfect teeth (likely veneers), size zeros, fake boobs, hair extensions, injected lips and so much makeup you would never recognize the actor without it. And pathetically, I am one of those weak-minded people who fall into the inferiority trap. I watch these shows and it somehow gets into my brain that I am supposed to look the way they do. But since I do not have the money or the balls to have surgery nor the discipline to starve myself – it is simply not possible. Because of this, I go through life feeling…well…ugly.

Cognitively, I know this is irrational. I know why they look the way they do. And I know that Americans have such an obsession with this contrived idea of beauty. Our media is the chicken and the egg. They have convinced a large portion of the public that we need to look a certain way and be a certain size in order to be attractive. And Hollywood perpetuates this by casting roles with actors whom are far from average. And while this happens with male roles, it is far more prevalent with females. We don’t blink when some geeky, short guy gets the “hot” chic. But do we ever see the chunky, average looking gal get the “hot” guy? Very rarely.

I do see some out of the ordinary examples once in a while. The Mindy Project is one show that does well at breaking this barrier. And Drop Dead Diva is another. But it is very few and far between.

However, when I watch British programming, it is so refreshing to see regular looking people. All shapes and sizes. Crooked teeth, real breasts, very little makeup…they look like…well, you and me. How fucking fabulous it that? And sure, they have their super beauties too. I mean, those damn hot chics are everywhere. Even in Racine, believe it or not. So we cannot escape them completely. But while watching these shows, we get a much more authentic appearance sample of the actual public.

I don’t know many people from England. But I have to wonder if they have body image issues to the degree that we do. I’d be willing to bet they do not.

Miss Representation and Barbie Bullshit

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I just finished watching Miss Representation – a documentary which focuses on the way media impacts the futures of an entire society of girls. From cradle to grave, young girls are bombarded with images, standards and expectations which are hyper-sexual, derogatory and unachievable. Girls are taught from the time they can walk that how a woman looks is the basis of her value.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Some outrageous facts from the film:

Female cartoon characters often dress comparable to women in an R rated movie. Tinkerbell and Ariel, for examples, are half naked.

Girls 11-14 are exposed to about 500 advertisements a day.

By the time a girl is a tween, $7000 will already be spent on beauty products.

53% of 13 year old girls are dissatisfied with their bodies. By age 17, that number jumps to 78%.

About 2/3 of all women and girls have an eating disorder.

I will be writing more about this as I think I want to make it the subject of my next editorial. But I wanted to pop on and talk a bit about it because of something my step daughter said to me today.

Just as I finished watching the film, she returned home and asked if I had a blonde wig. I said no but wondered why she asked. She informed me that she is going to be Barbie for Halloween. I am sure you can imagine my instant disgust. I said to her, “Oh, I really wish you wouldn’t. I really regret letting you guys play with those in the first place.” And I went on to vaguely tell her about the movie I had just watched. She was most uninterested.

Now, if this were Cassidy – my answer would simply be, no. I would gladly participate in actively seeking an alternate costume (as I would for Kenzie as well) but I would not allow her to be Barbie, a Bratz Doll or anything else I felt was inappropriate or damaging to her perspective. But I cannot do this with Kenzie. The harder I fight, the more resistance I will get from her and her mom and dad. Fact is, Charlie doesn’t even think about these things and would likely think I am over reacting. Of course, he has no clue what it is to be a girl or a woman and especially, a mother.

This movie really opened my eyes to issues I already knew existed – but I never really thought about how it all works together to keep women down. It is a definite must see for everyone – especially parents. And even more especially – those parents who allow their young girls to wear clothing with “Juicy” on the butt, heels, thick ass eyeliner (saw a 10 year old with darker make up than I have ever worn on the bus the other day), belly shirts and thong underwear.  Those parents have always made my skin crawl, but now…even more so.

That Self Loathing Time of Year Again…

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Not much bloggin’ lately. I guess when I am not writing for Patch I am just not writing. Gesh, what do you people want from me??!! Yea right, as if anyone has noticed.

Well, let’s play a little ketchup. Oh, sorry. I am super hungry. I meant to say catch up.

Going through the whole weight and medication fiasco again. I am super frustrated and worried and quite frankly, pissed. If you are new to my blog – you can see these posts regarding past weight & body image issues (as tho they are past – NOT):

https://heatherrayne.wordpress.com/2010/07/11/when-are-you-due/ 

https://heatherrayne.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/my-fat-story/

https://heatherrayne.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/the-competition-mine-to-lose/

Anyway, long story short…

2003 – Just quit smoking and was between 140 & 145 (I am 5’6”)

2003 – Got preggo and gained 80+ pounds due to going on a beta blocker.

2004 – Had baby and lost some weight.

2007 – Went on Cymbalta.

2007-2010 – Could not lose a pound to save my life. Tried everything.

2010 – Went off Cymbalta, continued with same exercise and diet, lost 32 lbs in less than 3 months.

2011 – Stayed at same weight for almost a year…not too strict with diet tho and stopped logging food. Didn’t gain, but no further loss.

October 2011 – Went on Lamictal and have since gained 6 pounds.

All the docs said that the Cymbalta couldn’t be effecting my weight. Though I knew they were wrong. Clearly. Now my doc said the same about Lamictal and I am starting to feel that sense of failure again. Last week I started a super strict diet and increased my exercise – which was already a lot. I had a calorie differential of over 700-950 each day last week. I didn’t lose a single pound. FURIOUS.

So, I am considering going of the Lamictal. I don’t know how much it really helps me anyway. If anything I think it makes me less reactionary…not so ‘fly off the handle-ish’. But the major problems are still there – obsessive thinking, horrible self image, depression, lack of interest or motivation. But the thing is, going off Cymbalta was pure hell. I don’t want to go through that again. I also don’t want to fall into a deeper depression. But I REFUSE to ride that roller coaster of hard work and constant disappointment ever again!! It was just so defeating.

I just don’t know what else to do. I have about 1 month before boat time (if that) and 2 months until Charlies reunion (same High School, one year ahead). I have to lose this weight and I just don’t know what else I could possibly do. Now, this is a bad week if you know what I mean, ladies (wink wink…gag). So, I guess we will see if that makes a difference at my Monday weigh in a week from today. It better be HUGE.

I am so sick of feeling horrible about myself. I am always the ugliest in the room. Everyone is always thinner, far more talented, funnier, smarter and all around more appealing in every way. This is how I see the landscape of my life anytime I go ANYwhere. I feel like my clothes are ugly, my hair is awful, my skin is messed up and I am just way too fat. I absolutely cannot go on feeling like this day in and day out.

Anyway, I am back on SparkPeople, logging all my food and exercise. I am trying to keep my daily calories (with one cheat day a week…without going crazy of course) under 1300. I am on the dreadmill for 45-60 minutes 5-6 days a week. I do yoga or similar exercise on the Wii about 3-4 times a week for at least 15 minutes. Last week I was trying to drink 2 veggie smoothies (will put some ‘recipes’ below) a day, have a big ass salad and a lean cuisine for dinner. When hungry I eat some chicken breast, hard boiled egg, fat free popcorn or steamed vegetables. And I am logging everything into SparkPeople. I plan on continuing that this week as well.

I am also adding Chia Seed Gel to many dishes as well. It has no taste whatsoever and is suppose to make you feel full longer, not to mention a crap load of fiber, omega 3s and a bunch of other good for you crap.

I also have refurbished my MTWTFSS pill box (because I am fucking EIGHTY) with some very helpful advice from Sunday Muniz at Nutritional Designs. I have had to greatly increase my dosage of some things I was already taking – B12, Fish Oil and D3. I am also adding a couple and subtracting a couple from the routine.

I am going to give this a couple weeks. Maybe 2-3. If I still see NOTHING, I will likely start weaning off Lamictal. God help me.

Okay…gotta accomplish something now…something exciting…like laundry. Awesome.

Here are a couple of my concoctions:

In ALL the smoothies is the following:

About a shot of some healthy low sugar/cal drink

(I have used Bolthouse Farms varieties, Diet V8 Splash or 0 Calorie Sobe LifeWater)

½ or whole scoop of Designer Vanilla Whey Powder 

3 Tbsp of Chia Seed Gel

Dash of Cayenne Pepper

Dash of Stevia

 

Then you add a handful of 2 of the following: 

Raw Baby Spinach, Kale, Parsley (great diuretic, I am peeing constantly…I should get some Depends),

Mixed Greens, Lettuce, Cucumber, Carrots, Celery 

 

And about ¼ cup of two or three of the following:

Sliced Banana, Strawberries, Pineapple, Apple, Pear, Peaches – any fruit really.

 

I also will sometimes add a dash of either Coconut, Strawberry or Vanilla Extract.

 

A couple ice cubes and blend it up in the little Magic Bullet thingy.

I put a dab of Fat Free Redi Whip and drink away.

Truly are very good and SUPER healthy, low cal, low fat, high fiber.

Try it!! No. Seriously. Do it now or I will be pissed.

Indulging Comes to an End

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You have heard of Fat Tuesday, right? This week I am celebrating the innovative new holiday known (to me) as Fat Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…yea. Not YEA like hooray. I mean yea like…sigh. So, there is no fooling myself that these past months I have not in anyway been vigilant about my eating. I have kept up with the exercise, but I have been eating much worse much more often than I should. And the results of my neglect are now showing…at a theater near you. Seriously, the pants are a little snug, I look super bloated in pictures and its just not a pretty sight all around – and a do mean a ROUND.

The “plan” was to start my new, healthy weight loss lifestyle today. Nothing major or weird. Just back to what I did at this time last year when I lost 30 pounds. Healthy food 90% of the time, 1100-1400 calories a day, log every bite and continue with the exercise (and use a new Wii program in addition) – that’s the “plan”. I also want to incorporate 3 other rules which I didn’t commit to last time.

  • Better Sleep — I will make an effort to be asleep by 11pm — TV off (it often gets left on through the night, impairing my sleep)

 

  • Eat Breakfast!! I will be doing a fruit and veggie smoothie each morning and will try to eat small balanced meals throughout the day. Now, I barely eat anything during the day and then chow the fuck down every night. Not cool.

 

  • No night eating!! I must make a strong effort to eating nothing after 9pm. I don’t care if I have to take a sleeping pill. I need to stop this night eating habit.

 

So, this is the “plan”. It was supposed to start today. It didn’t.

We have all these snacks from vacation left over, easter candy galore, pina colada mix which needs to be used, tons of left over ham – food that I need OUT of the house before I start this diet. I have no self control and I simply cannot allow these triggers to be left in the home. Don’t shed tears for the kids and husband. They get plenty. I simply buy them snacks they like that I do not. That way I am not tempted.

While on our trip I discovered that Iowa should really be called “Stairway to Fucking Everywhere”. I am not kidding. Everywhere we went there were stairs to be climbed..and not a few steps, I am talking huffing and puffing. Yesterday on the way home we stopped at a few parks and did quite a bit of hiking. I am not a hiker and it wasn’t really the intention. But it was beautiful and worth it (HERE are pics) but HOLY HELL!! Even with all the exercise I do..I cannot believe how sore my legs are. I can barely walk!! My calves are so tight and crampy and burning. Now, I did also use the weight machine at the hotel and did A LOT that I usually don’t do (no access to equipment) and I wore heels Saturday night which I also do not do very often. So I am sure it all played a part in the reason there is NO WAY I could exercise today. Owwwwiiieeee!!! Regardless of the discomfort – I will be back on the dreadmill tomorrow. If I miss more than a day, I feel horrible about myself.

These are the reasons – not excuses…damnit…REASONS – I could not start the new “plan” today. But I have committed myself to doing this. I need to feel better – physically and emotionally. I will lose these last 10 lbs by July. I will look good for that damn reunion. I will feel better about wearing a swimsuit this summer.

As I said, part of getting back into the healthier lifestyle I will be incorporating smoothies. At least for the first couple weeks. The idea is to have a veggie & fruit smoothie for breakfast and one for lunch. A big salad and healthy dinner in the evening. The morning smoothie will also have protein (whey powder) and both will have chia seeds. I have ordered both the powder and seeds and they should be arriving on Friday. I have also ordered a new workout program for the Wii called My Fitness Coach.

So, by this weekend the junk food will be gone and my new products will arrive. I will take this week to start getting into the swing of things and by Monday the “plan” goes into full effect. I am nervous. It is like when you watch Intervention and the addicts refuse to go to rehab even though you are sitting there screaming at your TV because you know how much better their lives could be…but they are just so scared to give it up…to committ…to fail. Yea, its like that. I am out loud holding myself accountable. So failing would be quite a heavy burden. And very depressing. So, it is kinda scary. I mean, I LOVE my food, my sugar, my salt. I love going out to eat. But I know I will love feeling good about myself even more.

But I know I can do this. It was only one year ago that I lost 30 pounds, many inches AND quit smoking. If I could do that…this should be a walk in Hershey Park, right?? Cross your taste buds for me…

Untitled or I Am A Flippin’ Mess – Take Your Pick…

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(YAWN)

Seriously. I don’t know WHAT is wrong with me lately. I cannot fall asleep until way too late and I feel tired constantly. I need to change up some shit. Bad habits, draining emotions, mundane routine and self bashing is significantly damaging me lately. When I am all dented, bandaged, bruised and weepy – I am not making for a very good mom, wife, daughter, writer…simply put – I suck. Some things need to change. If this is to be the Summer of Heather – which it was so declared (did you get the memo? It was pink) – I will have to get started on some required preparation. Fuzzy bat balls. Why can’t things just be easy??

Get Your Ass to SLEEP!!

I must fall asleep earlier. This watching TV until 12, 1 or 2 o’clock is just ridiculous. Charlie gets home at 8:30 and is asleep by 9:30. I am a night person. Always have been. I have often joked about my vampire status, but now that the blood suckers are so popular – I hate to be so relevant.  I don’t know what the dealio is.

Clearly I am tired long before The Daily Show airs and once I am asleep I almost always stay asleep. It is almost like my body will not allow me to voluntarily close my eyes. I always end up passing out instead of purposely laying my head down in the dark and traveling into slumber land naturally. It makes me anxious. It is as if a part of me feels I will be missing something by going to sleep. Which is weird because I have always used that explanation for the reason why Cassidy never slept as a baby. She insisted on staying awake. Always. Even when still in the hospital- they had to roll her out of my room because she WOULD NOT SLEEP. And it lasted until just recently.

It is not as if my life is to exciting, interesting and appealing that I cannot seem to pull myself away. And quite frankly, my dreams rock. For real. If you are not jealous of my dream life, you should be. It is epic and fascinating and sometimes I wish I lived there. So, what is my deal? Fucking go to sleep already!!

Late Night Munchies

Night Eating Syndrome. Really? Screw you. Just leave that in my overfilled bag of neurosis please. I am hoping to get rid of some at my next rummage sale. The issue – pretty self explanatory. I eat at night. After everyone is asleep and I am finally relaxed, in bed and watching my programs (I have to say programs, I think my grandma said that and it’s funny) I want to munch. From salt to sweet to savory. I need it. Like crack. Like a big ole chocolaty pretzel crack rock. Yum. Am I am emotional eater? Sure. Who isn’t really? (You? Guess which finger I am displaying.) But I don’t know if that is it really.

I used to think it was because I didn’t eat much at all during the day. I mean, duh, right? But I have tried to eat healthily (LOTS of filling fiber) throughout the day and it doesn’t change much for my nightly gnashing. I still manage to get up for peanuts, granola bars and raisins. And it would be worse if I left yummier choices in the house – but I try not to because I know I have little to no self control.

Mama Bear Hibernation

I basically hibernate in my bedroom. It is my sanctuary. During the fall and winter months, our living room is SO cold. Vaulted ceiling with a skylight and I hate them. It feels like a friggin’ meat locker. My room, however, is cozy, warm, darkened with a nice TV. What more do I need?? I write in here, eat, watch TV (which I think I have mentioned now numerous times) everything really. No hot plate or fridge yet, however.

We live in a ranch style home, about 1300 sq feet. From my room I can hear everything and everyone/thing is steps away. So, I am not ignoring my family or neglecting them in any way. They will tell you – I am all too aware (to their dismay I am sure) of what is going on. They come in and out of my room just as it is the living room. So, its not that I feel guilty about it in THAT way. I think I know I need to make a move (literally…move my ass from the bed to the couch)  because I get myself into these comfort zones which swallow me up and eventually I become anxious towards change. Even something as simple as where I hang out. So, just to be mentally healthy, I need to make little challenges to my mental ass routine.

Enough (Fat) is Enough!

Last year at this time I lost 30 pounds in about 3 months. It was necessary and I am so grateful to those who helped, Sparkpeople.com,  and even myself.  I have not been able to get passed that however. I will not feel comfortable with my weight until I am at least 10 pounds less than I am right now. That will put me pre-pregnancy weight. And it is not that I felt super confident then either…but I damn well should have. I never had a bangin’ bod. I was never stick thin. But I definitely would kill to have the body now that I had then (below is 2003).

 

This is about 142ish. Right now, I am about 152ish. When this was taken I was about 3 months into not smoking and about 3 months before becoming pregnant (becoming…as though it was all miraculous-like…all virgin birthy and shit). That was the beginning of the end. Saggy tits, dry skin, oddly shaped belly, the random hair on my chin, bigger feet (I swear to God), and have you heard of irritable bowel? Well, I have a pissed off bladder. I don’t know what I did to insult the bitch, but she clearly has it in for me. Screw you thimble sized pee holder!! (you SO want me right now, don’t you??!!) ANYWHO…yes, pregnancy ruins your body as you once knew it. And again, if you cannot relate…the finger…take a guess.

Hating the Hater

I hate hating myself. I really do. And I know it is annoying to listen to. So, I guess I sorta apologize. But honestly, I am trying to overcome this self loathing – which isn’t all physical by the way…but that is the most recognizable aspect of the hate.  There is a lot of weird crappola freebasing in my mind on a second to second basis. And at the rate of 2 therapy sessions a month…maybe, perhaps I will gain acceptance around the year 2054. (sigh)

The other day in a session I broke down crying talking about the STUPIDEST thing. I told her that when I wear high heels, I feel like a little girl playing dress up. Like a big fraud trying to pull something off and fool everyone. I always feel less than. Uglier, less successful, less smart, less sophisticated,  less fashionable, less financially stable, less interesting…less, less, less. And because of this, I am in constant defense mode. I think – honestly believe – that everyone else sees and thinks these things about me too. I heard a quote once…cannot remember who said it…but it went something like this (cue music) “You wouldn’t be so worried what other people thought of you if you knew how little they did.” Meaning – quit worrying about how others see you because they are not even thinking about you at all!! 

Okay, now I am going down that unfocused rambling path as one eye starts to droop and Gordon Ramsay becomes more and more distracting. The pina colada earlier probably isn’t helping.

How is it Already Tomorrow?

These kids are getting too old. What the hell?? I remember hearing Kenzie’s first sentence (“Get down Bob!”) like it was yesterday. I remember holding my little peanut headed smooshed face nugget in the hospital minutes after a horrid labor. All those birthdays and Christmases…all those days of vomiting and rashes and fevers…all those moments of fear, joy, frustration and humor. Every day is getting faster and faster like a momentum which won’t slow down without a stick in the spokes – and we all know what that causes. A broken fucking face, that’s what.

I go through moments of wanting another baby SOOOO bad. I know that can’t happen. I am just too old and tired and my husband would rather murder me and shove me into an old suitcase. Plus, I need to have that damn surgery which will make the whole contemplation moot anyway. I just miss the smell of bald baby heads. I miss that big eyed laugh at the silliest things. I miss that conversation without words. I miss being able to hold and cuddle without the constant escaping. And it is very difficult to realize I will NEVER be able to have that again. Never. It is heart aching, truly.

I am so filled with thoughts and worries and regrets and disappointments. But that is also complimented with pride, humor, love, compassion, hope and effort. The past 2-3 months have put me back into a rut of depression of which I thought I was finally crawling out. Bob’s death really catapulted me into despair and then the political shit (subsequent arguments, losing friends, strained relationships with family), Charlie’s new SHITTY ass hours and now Tricia’s death. I am just SO sad lately. I need to get out of this and I am the only one who can do it. The issues above need to be actively addressed and dealt with. And I MUST stop procrastinating. Sooo….after my vacation….

P.S. Vacation consists of 2 days in the Dubuque/Galena area. Jealous much?

The Competition: Mine to Lose

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Since having my daughter over 6 years ago, I have felt immensely uncomfortable wearing a swim suit. Shopping for one is the absolute worst. I would honestly rather have a pap smear. And these suits!! GAWD. They are either made for size zero 20 year olds or an Italian grandmother. Finding one, trying it on and subsequently wearing it all summer…the swim suit is my nemesis. The Newman to my Seinfeld. I hate it with a passion. But it is one of those things that just must be done; especially since we have a boat for which we went into debt.

You may know that I lost some 30 pounds last Spring. The weight loss has pretty much stopped even though I have another 10 to lose. But, I could be trying harder too. Even with the weight loss, it appears I feel no more comfortable with my body and especially in a swim suit. I thought I would. I thought that comparatively I would look so much better. But I still see this fat chic who looks older and older by the minute. This epiphany (is that even what it is?) came to me this past weekend while at the water park.

I was wearing my old lady swimsuit that looks like a dress. I brought 3 with me, but that was the least offending. Standing in front of that mirror started to push me into quite the bad mood. When I see that reflection, I see all of these rolls, scars, veins, sagginess…and it just starts this negative conversation that will remain yackin’ for the rest of the trip. We get down to the water parks and I start the competition. There is no prize, trophy or award at the end of this competition. The competitors don’t even know they are participating. And the only place is last.

I start eyeballing my opponents from their hair down to their ankles. The first thing I notice is the moms with new babies. Embarrassingly, I almost get into a stare. And its not at the cutie bundle she is holding. It is due to my confusion and envy. How are these new moms so thin already? Their babies are like 2, 4, 6 months and their tummies are flat as can be. How is this possible and shouldn’t there be a law against it?? I sit and wonder what they do or don’t do to look that way. Do they starve themselves? Are they just blessed with genetic lucky charms? Cocaine? Please say it’s cocaine.

Once in a while I would let Charlie into my world of self destructive put downs. He would always tell me I looked fine, that I wasn’t fat, or that I just gain in my belly while others have big butts. None of these responses helped me whatsoever. Worthless!! I will go back to my head now.

So, not that I was listening to Charlie or anything…but I started thinking about that issue of body fat placement. Why do I get cursed with the bad area? I have no ass at all and this big beer belly. Like a potato on toothpicks. An apple with a face. I would love to have hips and an ass. NO one wants a big fat gut. I declare this completely unfair and I should receive some sort of reparations from the body fat fairy. Fuck that. NO FAIR.

As I got deeper into my self criticism in between water sliding and stair climbing, I began to notice how good some of the women who were clearly older than me looked. I mean, women with like 10 kids there, about 45 and still way younger looking and thinner than me. How do THEY do it?

Yea, once in a while I would notice the typical Wisconsin sized woman. But I wouldn’t pay nearly as much attention. And honestly, I was even jealous of them. Maybe not because their swim suits were clearly 4 sizes too small or because their ass crack swallowed their bikini bottom…but because they were having fun and looking happy regardless of how they may have looked. To be such a larger size and be confident enough to wear a skimpy two piece, seriously, I actually think I am more envious of them than the skinny bitches. They get to eat AND be just fine with lettin’ it all go.

What makes them so at peace with their bodies while I obsess about every flaw and aging change? They don’t even entertain the idea of sucking in their gut before landing at the end of the slide. They don’t try to cover up with a granny skirted suit. They are just fine with who they are. Again. NO FAIR!!I suppose I should take that one up with the psychiatric fairy.

I did, however, notice that I am not the only one. There were also women there whose bodies looked good, very normal, no noticeable rolls, boobs weren’t down to their knees…yet they were still wearing cover up-ish swim styles. If I looked like them, I say to myself, I would SO be in a two piece. So, while others are probably not as analytical or obsessive about this whole topic as I am…there are clearly others who have body issues. So, at least I have company in that camp.

Now, what to do about it. I could be more strict with my diet. I could increase my already high fitness times. I could invent invisible waterproof Spanx. But what I would really prefer is gaining an acceptance and perhaps even some respect for myself and how I look. I would really love to think about doing fun things without worrying about how gross I will look. I want to be able to see a hot chic without thinking I am garbage in comparison. I want to relieve myself of the envy, the obsessing, the comparing, the self loathing. But how does one accomplish that? If you figure it out, will you let me know?