Monday, April 30, 2012

It's My Pity Party and I'll Bitch If I Want To....

“This is a tough decision here. Get my ass kicked or collect $200. Let me think... I could use a good ass-kickin', I'll be very honest with you....” -My Cousin Vinny

When I was watching this movie the other day I thought to myself, “Yeah, I could use a good ass-kickin’, too”

I let my expectations interfere with my reality too much. I build up things, people and places in my head and have the nerve to be upset when those nouns fail to meet my elevated expectations. I set these lofty ideals, instead of being realistic, and then get upset when my reality gets in the way. I can never seem to appreciate nouns for what they are. For that, I need an ass kicking.

I need my ass kicked for not appreciating how wonderful my true reality is. I seem to live in this pit of despair over my never-ending divorce that has officially become more expensive than the actual wedding. I feel like a kid in detention, not being able to go play at recess on this stupid, injured foot that I refuse to see a doctor about.  Most notable evil, I found myself HATING, absolutely SEETHING angry over this poor physically handicapped woman born without half a body and her sweet fiancé. I feel I have crossed the line from bitter to hater.

Finally, I need to have my ass kicked for self-pity. What a wasted emotion that is! Is it human nature or just my nature to INSIST on seeing all the bad in my world and not all the things I can be happy about? I have so many things to be happy about, my job, my friends and family, my health (minus this injury that I am more annoyed with than anything else). So, I wonder, what exactly would make me happy?

Maybe it’s not about achieving a goal? Maybe it’s removing the, “I’ll be happy when (I get a promotion, reach 155lbs, have a vacation, met the perfect guy for me, etc.) from my though process. What if I try saying, “I *AM* happy when (I make healthy choices, I get to laugh with and snuggle Ty and Kyle, I get to spend time with my friends and family, playing with my dog, working on a great, fun, hard project at work, being there for other people, etc) You know, it was easier to write that list. What if instead of turning these guys down, I actually give one of ‘em a chance and go out on a date? That might increase my odds of meeting that great guy, one who really wants to be with me, not just “wants to be friends” or just wants to nail me….but a combination of both!

This weekend was a great one. Yeah…I couldn’t go for a run or go to the gym or take Sunny for a hike or going out to a bar or club. Instead, I spent time with some really dear friends, just hanging’ out. I had a wonderful time just being with people who I care a lot about. That’s enough for me.

This is not about lowering my expectations, but actually being happy with everything I have.

For all those reasons, I need a good ass kickin’ to put me back on my positive course. I can’t let these challenges and disappointments continue to haunt me. Now it’s just my fault if I let obstacles stop my forward progress.

No more self-pity! It’s for the weak!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The “Whys” Have It!

I have always wondered, “Why?” I remember being very young and constantly asking “Why?”  At one point in my young life my Dad just started answering with some bullshit, made up answers. He always answered me with confidence and I always believed him. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized, he didn’t know “why” either, but he was really good at making shit up in order to shut me up. Good plan.

Now it just goes on in my own head all the time. It is like living with a three year old in my brain that never shuts up:
Why does that person not know how to drive?
Why did she choose to wear that outfit?
Why does she not have any friends to tell her not to wear that outfit?
Why it is whenever the most embarrassing music on my playlist comes on (Backstreet Boys) is the exact moment someone walks into my office? (Please note you can substitute “I fart” for “the most embarrassing music”)
Why do I have a beautiful, petite mother and a giant, hulk of a father and I get the linebacker genes?
Why do I lose weight EVERYWHERE but my ass and boobs, making me look even more disproportionate?
Why do I sometimes still miss him?

I have myself convinced that if I know the “why” behind everything that happens in my life, I’ll be satisfied. It’s not the case. There is always another “why”.

I think this constant need for an input stream is why I have never seen, “The Big Bang Theory”, “Game of Thrones”, “True Blood” or any other “You HAVE to see (fill in the blank)” shows. No, I haven’t seen it. That is because I am home watching ridiculous documentaries or the freak shows on TLC. So, I may not be able to comment on pop-culture, but I can tell you how they fixed the Indian kid with the parasitic twin and how Kenedee, the primordial dwarf is doing in kindergarten.

I don’t mind the constant drive to learn. It has always been a part of me. I am so curious about everything. I’m sure people  find it annoying that I am always “interviewing” them. AND, not just regular questions like, “What do you do for a living?” but really, deeply personal questions like “WHY did you choose that career?” I have always been *too* open, so I make the poor assumption that everyone is like that. I find myself climbing out on a limb and looking back to see I am alone out there. Not everyone is always so forth coming. I think that tells me I am too "out there" for most peoples' taste. 

I had a conversation with friend a couple of weeks ago, telling me the “why” of a decision he had made. I said to him, “The reason why doesn’t matter if the outcome is the same.” That’s pretty good advice. Why can’t I live with that? (See what I did there) I want everyone to be transparent to me. Is that a control issue or is it because I am just uncomfortable with people when I feel like they are hiding something.

I think I will actively engage my “why” filter to see if it works. I pledge not to ask the *reason* for something unless it is imperative I know the answer. I’m going to try this for one week. This is going to be an interesting experiment. I will report my findings next week!

Friday, March 23, 2012

“It’s better to look good than to feel good” –Fernando (Billy Crystal)

I've been crawling on my belly
Clearing out what could've been.
I've been wallowing in my own chaotic
And insecure delusions.

I wanna feel the change consume me,
Feel the outside turning in.
I wanna feel the metamorphosis and
Cleansing I've endured within

I have reached a point in the weight loss journey that I am truly able to embrace the change. I am active in the gym daily. I feel stronger and more nimble. Yes, “nimble”. That’s the word I use to describe it. I *FEEL* better.  I have a much greater variety of clothes and lingerie to choose from.  The funny thing is: I keep waiting to look better. In the mirror I still see someone I am very ashamed of…..

I sometimes wonder if the goal of being satisfied with my physical appearance is ever achievable. If it is, I don’t have the slightest clue how to get there.  I know it seems ridiculous but in fact, it is truly debilitating. It’s embarrassing. I am not stupid, but it’s pretty fucking stupid to be afraid of your own reflection or photograph. The thought has occurred to me that all my hard work and dedication to this process is in vain (pun fully intended).

And, PLEASE, this is not some twisted plan to garner compliments from my friends, family and colleagues.  I have the most supportive friends and family though this process. I think my favorite quote came from Jenn, “Of course, you’re gorgeous! You look just like me!” She’s right. We get asked if we are sisters all the time and I think she is one of the prettiest women on the planet.  I have my work out buddies, my GBF, my Mommy (who has always been my biggest fan) and so many other who support me with encouraging words and compliments. I had my favorite Drag Queen in the WORLD call me “stunning”. Is there a better compliment?  AND Queens are some truth tellin’ bitches. Rest assured a compliment from a Queen is true! They will read you down if your look is not together. So, my issue is much, much deeper. I think it’s pretty impressive when you can identify your own crazy!

Here’s the rub…. I FEEL happier than I have ever been in my adult life. That definitely has to do with many changes beyond my weight loss. I love my gym time, my trainer (Heather the Super Bitch) and my dear, crazy friends I get to train with once a week (and they make me dinner afterwards! Thanks, Guys!). I am moving into a great, brand new apartment that I don’t have to do ANYTHING to maintain. I am enjoying life so much more and not sweating the small stuff. I love my career, my co-worker (ESPECIALLY my team S, T, D and M) and look forward to coming to work every day. I have even met a guy I really, really like *sigh*. I am genuinely happy. So, why does the specter of body image continue to haunt me?

I was always one of those fat chicks who never had any tolerance for bulimics or anorexics. I figured they just weren’t as dedicated to being fat like I was. It was like the preverbal (Black, Gay, Catholic) person who accuses others of not being Black, Gay or Catholic enough (wouldn’t it have been funny if I said “and” instead of “or”).  Me and the mutants at Table 9 were all one, big happy club. I’m still at Table 9.(Wedding Singer)

I will continue on this journey. It’s not a battle or a fight. It’s an evolution.  No one can change my mind on this but me. I will continue with my façade of confidence until it becomes my reality. It takes a lot to write these things down and put them out there for the world to see, but, it’s my therapy and it helps. I am sure I will be flamed for being superficial and image obsessed. The people that know me know this is a real struggle. For those that don’t know me and think I am superficial and image obsessed…go fuck yourself.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Single and Fabulous (Exclamation Point)

From an article on the “Five Stages of Single”

Stage 5: Acceptance
 You've been single for so long that you no longer care. Single, not single, these states of being mean nothing to you. You don’t care if you’re still single tomorrow or next year. Now you run the show. You’re not going to settle like the old you back in stage three. Meeting someone will be on your terms.

I had an epiphany the other day. I am sick and tired of my own bitching about not finding the right guy. I have so much other shit to deal with now that I feel a little ridiculous for even looking to date. I am on a journey right now that really doesn’t include anyone else.  I figured, “The best way to get over a man is to get under one.” I don’t think I could have been more wrong.

I would say my biggest complaint about being married was we had pretty much nothing in common. I know, probably something I should have figured out prior to the “I do”, but I think I have already established I don’t make the best choices when it comes to men. He didn’t like the theater or museums or lecture series or learning or reading or the same music or movies or travel or politics or science or math or documentaries or ANYTHING about which I am passionate.

My epiphany was: I have been physically single for almost a year now (time flies). I was emotionally single years before that. There is nothing like someone calling you a “fucking idiot” (and really, genuinely mean it) to make you not feel a whole lot for them from that point on. Anyway, I was waiting for someone to go do all those things I am passionate about with me. A friend? A boyfriend? Anyone? Then it hit me: I can just go do those things (wait for it…) ALONE. Holy shit! What a revelation! I don’t have to be with ANYONE to do the things I enjoy. It’s really not complicated at all. I can go see an indy band and not have to defend my reasons for liking them.  I can “waste” money on spontaneous trips. I can go to a lecture series on medical ethics and not have to explain myself.

Saturday night I stepped out alone. I bought a new outfit (my weight loss makes this an easy excuse to buy more clothes). I did my hair and make up like I was going out on a hot date!  AND that’s exactly what it was! I dressed up for me. I did my hair and make-up, not to impress anyone, but for me. I went to a fantastic, out of the way sushi restaurant. I sat at the sushi bar with nothing but my pride. It wasn’t hard at all. In fact, I met two great ladies with whom I spent the rest of the evening. We went to Larimer Square and did a pub crawl. We even met more people to add to our little band of sisters and brothers. I was like the Pied Piper of Singles. It was like taking a leap of faith, spreading your wings and soaring. Why had I not done this before?!

This also got me to thinking about the people, particularly the wonderful, amazing men I already have in my life: I have one I can have deep, intellectual conversations with, one I totally have a crush on who gives me butterflies (I do love the butterflies), one who makes me laugh, one who takes care of other miscellaneous needs ;-), one who can fix stuff….WTF am I going to have just one when I can have six and not have to answer to a single, one of them!?

I don’t want to sound jaded. I’m not. I will always believe in love. I will always believe my Jake Ryan will be waiting for me by his Porsche when I leave my sister’s wedding where I am a bridesmaid as the Thompson Twins fade in with a cheesy, 80’s teen, love song. “If You Were Here” to be exact. Yeah, I’ve been thinking about this since I was 11.

Now, I’ll relish my time in the gym.  I’ll decorate my new place how *I* like it. I’ll enjoy doing my own things. I’ll actually live the fabulous, single life I have always coveted. And…just enjoy the butterflies and benefits J

Now, I have to go enjoy a lecture by Sam Harris at CU-Boulder.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Real Estate and Real Men

I was staring at the sky, just looking for a star
To pray on, or wish on, or something like that.
I was having a sweet fix of a daydream of a boy
Whose reality I knew, was hopeless to be had.
But then the dove of hope began its downward slope,
And I believed for a moment that my chances,
Were approaching to be grabbed.
But as it came down near, so did a weary tear.
I thought it was a bird, but it was just a paper bag

I never realized that finding a place to call home would be so difficult. I mean, I am pretty easy to please. I have a list of “Must Haves” and a list of “Nice to Haves”. My ONLY “must haves” are a clear, southern exposure, permission to have my DIRECTV dish AND must allow dogs. There are only two things I refuse to give up in my life: DIRECTV and Sunny.

The “Nice to Haves” are a much longer list. I want a nice, big bath tub and a little yard for Sunny, a garage or covered dedicated parking spot. I’d like something that has quality upgrades: granite, stainless steel appliances, and nice tile or hardwood floors. I’d like to not have anyone above or below me, something that has a very nice, “home-y” feeling.  Finding the perfect place for me is like the Supreme Court’s view on porn, “I can’t really describe it, but I know it when I see it”.

I have found a couple of places.  The first one I found was perfect! It was in my price range, had ALL of my “must haves” AND all of the “nice to haves”. It had amenities I didn’t even know I wanted like free access to all the Highlands Ranch Rec Centers. Another renter beat me to it by two hours. TWO HOURS. I was heartbroken.

The next place I found was nice, too. The location we just too far from where I wanted to be and I just didn’t feel a “click” with it. I can’t quantify why I didn’t follow through other than it didn’t feel right.

I looked at a place on Thursday that I really liked. I had some issues with the location, but over all, it had many of the things I was looking for. I walked my application into the office on Friday with my application fee. I still have not heard back from them. I don’t know what the delay is. I know it’s not my credit or income…so basically this one has just not called me back.

I think that was the final metaphor before I realized how much house hunting was paralleling my “dating” life. I put “dating” in quotes because, quite frankly, I haven’t even made it far enough with a guy to plan a date.

For someone like me who is not really “actively” looking to meet Mr. Right, but…keeping my options open…I sure have had an inordinate amount of possibilities. One guy already has a “renter”. The other guy things just didn’t feel right with. And, finally, there is one I do like, but I haven’t heard from…so…I guess he got rented, too.

I am currently living in the home Scott and I built together. I remember the first time I walked out on my big, beautiful deck off my master bedroom and looked at the breathtaking view of the mountains. I was moved to tears because I had finally found the perfect house for me. I felt the same about the guy. Not a perfect guy or a perfect house, but perfect for me and now I am having to say, “goodbye” to both.

The verse at the top of the page reflects the hope I have been feeling lately. I struggle with what can sometimes be a very annoying, overly positive personality. I really believe I will find the right place and the right guy. I will never stop believing. I don’t think I can be convinced otherwise. I don’t want to become jaded, but at some point, hope has to run out, right? I don’t know if that will be a relief or disparaging. I guess when I start collecting cats; we will know I have reached the latter.

In the mean time, I’ll continue to look for the perfect place for me. Shit…maybe while I’m waiting the one I like will call me back. I’m willing to give that one a shot. The townhouse, I mean.

One last thought about the “perfect person” from my friend, Chris. He said, “You are never going to meet anyone without baggage. We all have baggage. You do, too. Just be sure to find someone with a matching set.” That’s some wisdom right there.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just Accept It!

Acceptance of one's life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices.-Paul Tournier

I experienced my first prejudice the other day. Not “fat prejudice”, I experienced that all the time. You know, when you’re sitting on an airplane and you see that fat chick walking down the aisle towards you and you are praying to all 10,000 documented gods that she doesn’t sit by you. You see her grunt as she lifts her huge carry bag into the compartment over your seat. You can see her heavy, round belly peaking out of her shirt as she struggles. It is the Otis Spunkmeyer of muffin tops. You think she is a disgusting, smelly sloth who clearly does nothing all day but eat high fat, high sugar foods and now she is heading towards that center seat next to you. She’s probably going to smell bad, too. This is going to be a shitty flight. You wonder how close to the window you can actually press your body against to avoid even touch her layers of lard that may rub off on you. Yeah…I’ve seen that look on people’s faces.

This was an “idea prejudice”.

I was at a friend’s house (whom I love dearly and consider a very dear girlfriend). She is a Christian and a good one at that! She has a huge heart. I think she gets a little amazed that someone like me, who she loves, is an Atheist. She has never had an issue with my beliefs. In fact, she likes to talk about it. We both enjoy the fact that Theist /Atheist thing really doesn’t affect our friendship. I love her.

Anyway…this particular night…she had some friends over at the same time. One of the friends walked through the area we were talking. My friend stopped him to introduce him to me. He took one look at me and said, “I am sorry. I can’t speak to you or be around you. I heard you talking about being an Atheist. I am a Christian and I just can’t be around that.”  He walked away. Now, granted, if I had been spewing some hate-filled, bashing of Christians I could understand his position. One of the ladies had simply asked me what I thought happened to us after we die. I said, “We die. Then our bodies decay into the earth.” because that’s what happens. I am not going to go into the “soul” because that’s probably where our ideas diverge. However, I think we can all agree:  bodies decompose. We have all seen CSI: Paramus. I don’t think it was a controversial statement. BUT…his reaction really hurt my feelings. Someone just saying to me, (and I am paraphrasing here) “You are a siren, cunt who is trying to seduce me away from my God. I can’t be tempted by your magical song.” That’s what I heard. He didn’t even want to know my name. He just heard I was an Atheist, therefore, inherently an evil person.  Sad.

As I drove home I started thinking about “faith”. Was his faith so strong that he didn’t even want to be around me? Or was his faith that weak? I spent a week at bible camp one summer; completely immerged in religion, prayer and fellowship. I enjoyed it. But…it didn’t change my mind. It educated me. Why was I not threatened by the Church? Why was I not terrified that listening to other people’s ideas didn’t necessarily have to sway mine. My wise Uncle Danny once told me, “My opinion is the last best argument I heard on the subject.” He is absolutely correct. Nothing the Church said was a better argument to me. I think it is because I have accepted what I can observe in the physical world as my reality. Not right or wrong.  Just the last, best argument I have heard on the matter. I concluded the opposite of faith is acceptance (at least in my case).

I wished, prayed, hoped, begged to be thin, and yearned to be accepted in society. Faith that I would get thin didn’t help. I ACCEPTED the fact that I had an addiction that needed more help than I could muster. Science saved me.

I wished, prayed, hoped that my marriage would last. I finally ACCEPTED that it was irretrievably broken and started healing.

I wished, prayed, hoped that I could live in my beautiful house forever. I ACCEPTED that I don’t want to be house poor, so downsizing is the better choice.

I wished, prayed, hoped that I would find a match for me. I will be 39 in two days….and it hasn’t happened yet.  I have ACCEPTED that maybe my life isn’t going to turn out the way I have imagined it for myself. That isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just different.

Faith has not been good to me. Acceptance has. The more things I am willing to accept as true, instead of wishing, praying, hoping that things will be different, the happier I have become. When you start seeing things for what they really are…it’s a powerful feeling.

When you have your head held high, it’s easier to see the obstacles in your way, and work your way around them.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shallow, Self-Centered, Trivial Inspiration

Inspiration is a funny thing. It’s really in the eye of the beholder. Where you are in your life and your goals really determine where you find inspiration. I have been told that my journey through weight loss, divorce, dating again, etc. is inspirational to some people. I am going to assume that my public diary is “inspirational” because there are a lot of women in my same situation. I am just the only one attention whore-ish enough to publish it.

Honestly, “Inspiration” is a label I am uncomfortable with because I am not an inspiration. I am a fat girl who is PISSED off being invisible. I am sick and tired of being every guy’s “friend”.  I hate being good but just not quite good enough. I have been the “smart” one or the “funny” one. These are nice compliments but I want to be the “pretty” one. I want to look good naked. It’s pure, unadulterated, passionate vanity. That’s shallow and cold and not at all inspirational. See what I mean? Pretty trivial and self-absorbed, huh?

What is inspirational to me? My friends and family. Inspiration is not from someone who is shallow enough to have $10K worth of surgery, lifestyle changes, the gym, etc. just to get laid.

Inspiration is from my friends, Adam, Vicki and Lisa who have all lost their children and still manage to breathe every day. They find the strength to just live. That’s inspirational. The sheer determination to go on after something no one should ever have to suffer through is amazing to me. Adam actually gave me a hug the other day. *HE* gave *ME* a hug. He just lost his infant son a month ago. He is amazing.

I had reserved a huge space to lament about my perfect date that I never heard from again. I was going to carry on about how dating sucks and you can never read men and what a clear asshole he was….I seriously had some good material that included several douche references (not literal). But, how much does that matter in the grand scheme? So some douche nozzle (#1 douche reference) didn’t call my fabulous self back…his loss. At least, I get to talk my babies every day.

The bottom line is this: I am taking better care of me. I am moving from taking care of kids, husband, house, etc. to just being selfish for a while. I never got to… I was married with two kids (13 months apart) at 22 years old. I never did Spring Break. I never lived in a dorm. I never made huge mistakes with wildly inappropriate people…well…except for my most recent marriage. If selfish and shallow are inspirational, then it may be my thing.

Thank you to all those who have helped and supported me. *YOU* are my inspiration. The encouragement is my life blood. But, please, don’t say I am an inspiration. Save that for the real heroes, not just some fat chick with self esteem issues.

To the people who inspire me, “Promise me you’ll always remember: you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” -Christopher Robin

To everyone else: Hug your baby.