The Little Engine That Could

Saturday, January 19, 2008

We are not these people anymore

Yesterday, only three days after my mom's 1 year anniversary of her surgery, I sent this note.


While cleaning up pictures in folder at work, I came across this one.

First, happy anniversary. One year ago, on a snowy/rainy morning you took a huge step. You bravely and confidently hopped up onto a table, charmed those nurses and that doctor, and changed your life forever. And you smiled the whole way through it. Without you taking that step, I could have never taken mine. Thank you for giving me life once, and then again. By your example, I am living the life I have always wanted to live.

It’s been an interesting year, uncovering who you are. I know the last 5 months has changed my life forever.

We are not these people anymore. We are the strength that sits in our eyes in these photos. We are women who are not willing to compromise anymore. Thank you for being a teacher of confidence.

I love you. I am so proud of you. Thank you for letting me get to make you as proud.


I guess I wanted to let her know that she was the one that let me say "It's okay" to surgery. To changing my life. To becoming the woman I know I have wanted to be for so long. Many people along the way, including her, have told me how to lose weight, have tried to help me, sometimes even with a little bit of success-- and loved me fiercely-- some being harsh, some being so gentle and some being my partners in crime. I have friends and loved ones that have been my eating partners, my comfort buddies, and no amount of weight loss or gain can take away their connection or importance to me. We have stood up for each other and given comfort and solace during times that have just been too fucking difficult to breathe. During times when we ate to push it down, to lift it up, to laugh and to cry.

After a dinner with an old friend last night, he said "You've changed. It's like you are the person I always saw glimpses of". This is true. Of course, it's not always, but I am more me-- I'm not so angry anymore, I love complexly and I calm myself with soothing environments that have nothing to do with pushing away a feeling with any type of addiction. I want more of this feeling, this standing on top of the mountain feeling and saying yes I can do it.

A glimpse of Melissa Etheridge, Yes I am. Yes I can. I can. I will. I am. My moon must be in the earth mother house of superheroes because today I feel fucking invincible.

Back to before--

I was waiting for something, and in thinking about it, had just given up. Settling for an okay life. Settling. Compromising. Dating who was interested in me, not who I was interested in. Giving up a little part of me every time I thought "Oh, he likes me" rather than "I like him and am going after it". Being stuck in a crappy job, because really "that's all that I am worth". Never having the confidence, even though it looked like I did. Creating this persona of indestructibleness-- of no BS, get out of my f-n way, I will kill you if you even try to say anything to me.

I never thought I could live healthy. Or fully awake.

And John Popper takes it from there.....

And what about the times
Now I'm grabbing out at breaking glass
An attempt to find a memory
That makes it seem glorious or at least okay

But all I have is me
In a razor caught off guard as you brush by
The alarm wakes me out of bed
And the dream I was just having simply fades away

And blindly do I see
At the sunlight I am freezing
And as I start to come around
I want to fall back to the ground
Roll over and make sense again

But its too late I am awake
And its sensation I can't fake
As I try my best to pretend

But once you wake up
You just can't fall back asleep anymore
I know it isn't fair
But once you're aware
You can backtrack all you want
You can mourn for what's gone
But you're up either way
You better deal with your day

I remember I was tired
In fact I still have some sleep in my eyes
So I got all warm and safe and numb
Figured I would lie down and rest a while
Next thing came the morning
And you're shaking me and telling me to rise
And I would tell you anything
To stall and make you think or smile or cry
You see all I need is you
And then I start to understand what love does
Now there's so much that I can give
And I finally want to live
You know before I just didn't really ever care

And I'll do more than hold on

I want to celebrate the dawn

I don't ever want to go back to sleep I swear

But once you wake up
You can't just fall back to sleep anymore
I know it isn't fair
But once you're aware
You can backtrack all you want
You can mourn for what's gone
But you're up either way
You better deal with your day

and here is my mommy's reply to my letter.

What a lovely note – you make me cry. I am so proud of you – a grown woman who knows what she wants and goes after it. Yes, it’s been a very eventful year and I know the best is yet to come – for both of us.

Love always,


The best is yet to come.... for sure.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


It's a windy city. Full of airbags.

I did two things I am really proud of while I was there. I stepped up and did some exercise. I had a bunch of people from around the world with me, and I usually spend a lot of time catering to them. This time around, not so much. I saw the Art Institute and walked a lot. It was a little cold, but it worked itself out.

The second thing is that I met another sassy sister. The creator of sassy. And it was interesting to meet someone that knows me very well through writing, and I know very well from blogs, and well, I guess the best thing to say is that it's weird putting a name to face. Because they are everything you thought and more. Because they are human. It was cool, because all my struggles are struggles she's gone through as well, and she is such a champion for success for all women who have chosen this path-- and so I feel completely cheered on.

She did teach me something important. You can go to a restaurant and order cottage cheese. I would have never thought to do that. Simple but completely effective.

So thanks, D.

It was a stressful week. Lot's of planning and ego soothing and dancing around personalities. I ate peanut m&m's to calm myself. Actually to crash myself. And well, it sucked. I did that two nights in a row. It just doesn't work for me to have an honor bar, especially when I do not want to have any honor. I asked the hotel to take it out of my room. I don't need that looking at me as I watch TV before bed.

I could live in Chicago. I really like the men there. They are kind, and even the ones that aren't so kind aren't like NY-er's. I didn't get one catcall or ohh, baby or anything. I spend most of my day tensing up to that, so it was relieving to just walk around and not have to deal with any of that.

Another lesson learned. Just because it fits doesn't mean you have to buy it. I found a great brown corduroy blazer in an 18. So cute, so pretty, perfect for jeans and whatnot. And it fit great. But I didn't get it. I don't need it now, maybe by next fall I'll want another one, but this time around it's okay not to have to have it.

I feel pretty balanced today. Some friends coming over in a bit, and then later, exercise and grocery shopping. And early to bed! Man I was so tired last night, I fell out on the couch and woke up with my cellphone alarm!

I'm glad to be home.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Why am I still above 300? Why? I've done everything save from gym going to make this drop?

Okay, maybe I haven't. But this is my golden period, right? this is my time I should be dropping like 40 pounds a day, or at least in a month. Nope. I am the same as back from Tokyo. And it's a friggin month later.

I'm going to the fucking gym. Godammit.

I have this fear that at 6months my body will realign and then the weight loss will be over. And I'm not discounting what I have (yay collarbones) or what I don't (collarbones accentuate the saddlebags). But, ummm, why? Move, fucker.

Clothes are falling off me. Is the scale going to magically readjust and tell me the same thing?
I went shopping while in LA and picked up clothes in ridiculously small sizes. Like 9th grade sizes. Holy crap.

It's all odd and creepy in the good tell your girlfriend secrets with flashlights and under the sleeping bag kind of ways. Like 4th grade camp ways. And to be honest, if I never dropped another pound, I'd be freaking devastated but I'd muster through. I was going to say I'd be okay with it, but that's one big fat fucking lie.

Alright. Really, shoes on and gym bound. I'm busting this dam.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Back to Class

I shared a little bit in class last night. I did have a miracle show up at the holidays. For the first time in forever, I was able to see W's husband as the scared little boy that he is, and just accept him. No fixing or changing, but just acceptance. And we laughed and joked and had a good time.

And I stayed an extra day to hang out, and W's shoulders dipped below her ear level, and we took great photos.

We walked the entire campus of our alma mater. And reminisced about bullets dodged. Mostly hers. And my unrequited loves. I realize I have spent years hiding my loves-- those men that I find relatively attractive and kind and would be interested in dating. I've been hiding those guys for years, or actually hiding from them.

I am a new person. I look at her every day and wonder when she will feel like me.

So, class. I love Landmark Education and hate it at the same time. I have found some of my best friends in this education, had the most amazing training ever-- of just being able to be with people. And reverse, I don't feel the need to invite people to guest events. I just leave the room when the conversation comes up, because truly I am tired of having that conversation over and over again.

But last night we talked about being not deserving. Not deserving is when you feel like you aren't good enough to have something, or this shouldn't happen to you because it's too great. And feeling like a fraud for having a great life. Conversely, deserving is when you walk around like you are owed something. But imagine if you just were, without the conversations of "I am owed that" or "I am not worthy of this" and just were. And then you were open to everything.

Everything would seem like a gift.

That's sometimes how I feel. Sometimes I get tinges of "I shouldn't have had this" or "It's not fair for me to have so much" or "I should share what's mine". But I work hard at a perfectly perfect job in a perfectly perfect career, in a just enough apartment. I create my world and get what it is that I get, and it's all a gift. And I don't have to share if I don't want.

I no longer want to feel bad for having successes or having failures. I don't have to look on the bright side, or become snarky and mean. I can just be.

And this being's got to take her butt to work. Then later, the gym.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I could lie.... it would be easier

I am trying to make myself dump. Because after a dumping cycle, I lose weight. I've been hovering around 300 pounds (between 7 pounds or so, up or down the scale) for weeks now. Languishing in that nether-region. Alas, no dumping.

So I could lie and say that I am losing weight, but I am not right now and I am frustrated. And I also know it's just a phase right now. However, I want to go back to the "broken bypass" story. It's not broken, I am just eating and drinking at the same time, and snacking way more than necessary.

Oh, my hair is falling out in clumps. I have a nice bald spot in the front of my head. I can see my scalp, and for those of you that know me real time, you know that the thick hair has never let me see my scalp. Now I can. I still have more hair than most, but clumps people. Clumps.

I now know why Britney shaved it off.

I could lie and say it's all going well, but I am starting another year with too much to do and not enough support doing it. I am already behind, and want a day off. Like yesterday where I napped all freaking day.

Okay, what's so.

Return to class tonight.
Gym in the AM. It's a must.
Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner. None of that other stuff.
Plan a full year of activities in two days next week.
Travel a lot.
Figure out how to wear jaunty headbands to conceal bald-spots.
Consider shaving head. Shave legs instead.
NO. MORE. MEALS. AFTER. 8PM. (trust me, I don't need a snack that late.)
Drink 64oz of water. Not anywhere near meals.

I think that's it.