The Little Engine That Could

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Taking Care of myself

Sometimes I feel like I never really learned how to take care of myself. Like I am playing at being an adult. Paying bills, drinking cocktails, saying no when appropriate.

From an early age, i was taking care of myself, but never got schooled in the tools to do so. And then yesterday happened.

I received a text and then a call from an old friend. Not really old, but someone I used to be side by side with for months. I adored her, she was a good friend to me. Then things changed. I don't know if it was me or her, but things shifted. We had been working on a project together, and then the project ended, and we drifted. It was at the worst time of my life, I was out of work and needed a backboard to something else. Just something to hold on to. But she was no longer there.

Then a phone call out of the blue. I said everything that there was for me to say. I told her I was hurt by the drift apart, that I was in this conversation trying to figure out ways to protect myself. That I was no longer able to be friends with her. That I was no longer her buddy, and I wasn't being mean, but I needed her and she wasn't available. I told her I was trying to figure out what she needed from me in this conversation. Because she only calls when she needs something. She agreed that she was calling me for something, but that she thought everything was cool.

We parted on the phone, patched up to a degree. She texted me saying that she was sorry it took years for me to say these things, she had no idea, and if I ever need anything, that I could call. I responded that I didn't suppose I would call, but now would feel less like I had to protect myself, and thank you for giving me the space to do that.

I felt like I completely took care of myself. That I didn't back down, and I didn't have to be aggressive or mean. That I am in a new place, and this place is pretty incredible.

I may not have learned the tools early on, but I am a quick learn.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

About a year ago

I wrote a blog regarding everything I was apologizing for. For just being me.

Now I do a lot more apologizing, and don't have to dive into a bag of cookies. I am just being me, and loving me. I think I am way less serious, way less on the attack, waiting for the comment that will put me over the edge. I think I am a little more pleasant to be around. More light hearted.

I guess instead of apologizing, I take responsibility. Sometimes it feels like a cloud has been lifted.

Yesterday I went on a date with a very nice man. And not once did I think "What if he doesn't like me, he might think I don't look like my photos, that I am too fat, that I am not pretty enough, etc." And what came through instead was a great conversation without all the stuff. I got to be me. Funny, confident, pretty, loud, athletic and strong. He liked me. I liked him.

I like this new me a lot.

A year ago I had so many questions on what the next phase of my life would be. Now, I still question it, but instead of thinking what does the world have in store for me, I am thinking everything is possible, what do I want to show the world.

I have slip ups. I have fall downs. No one talks too much about the emotional stuff that comes up, or that depression does return-- and those food tools that I have used for so many years don't work anymore. When I eat four cookies and two cocktails at a party, I will get sick and check out. I don't want to check out anymore. I don't want to check out anymore.

Working at home is not a good idea for me. It gives me ample opportunity to lie on my couch and answer emails. I want to be with people and talking and working and creating something exciting. I know when I go to the dark place of the couch that I need to get up and start moving around.

Next month I will turn 35. Wow. And with that comes a big party. To celebrate the me that is here and now, and the me yet to come. How very Body Electric of me. Without the whiny voiced singer, but the big bold, beautiful voice of me.

I am proud of me today. I never thought life could be so open. Okay, it's not all sunshine and roses, but instead it's noticing the little blooms that are popping up all over, and that probably were always there, but now I can see.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Completeing May

It's a couple days early, but let me tell you what I have been up to this month.

I haven't seen the inside of a gym.
I haven't taken a new class at all at the unseen gym.
I have smoked every day from May 10 to now.
I have eaten carbs, sugar and lots of chocolate.
I know what's at the bottom of a Jack and diet coke. And it's usually another one.
I had my tooth pulled and look a little like a lopsided Brando.
Have a half a crown and a filling taken care of.
I have been drinking with almost all of my meals.
I ate ice cream and wow did I get sick.
I lost my bank card early in my trip to Mexico.

And the good news.
I traveled to NC to see family, even if for a short time.
I traveled to Mexico for a conference that went off, in my opinion, very well.
I walked the area of Polanco in Mexico City.
I did 2 3 mile walks in a span of a couple days.
Gardening-- YAY!
I had my house spit shined. By two hunky men. (Ladies, fantasies come true)
I've planned a couple dates and all looks promising.
I fit into a size 2 at LB jeans. And look fantastic.
I held my own against LatAm suitors.
I did not cry when I was left alone on the streets of Mexico.
I also wasn't kidnapped (yay me!)
Almost all bills are paid.
All my finances are in order (thank you lovely customer service goddess).
New bank card.
I had coffee over the phone in Mexico with a friend in NY. And it was awesome.
I've seen almost everyone I love and adore in NY over the last couple days and just felt loved.

What did I learn..... balance is key. Ask for what you want. Make the time. Go to bed early. Wake up early. Sometimes, last minute plans work out the best.

June brings birthday month. I love my birthday. I don't like getting gifts so much, unless they are superthoughtful, like creations. Except from my parents. I want a crock-pot. Don't try to build that one, pop.

I have been on a smoothie for breakfast kick recently. A little bit of detox goes a long way. This week, I will gym three times, or take super long walks. I will do that insane expense report. I will do my timesheets and make the travel plans for the next three trips. i will visit my folks and stock up at Costco and eat grilled meat from Pop's grill. I will love, and be loved.

And I will keep my house clean, mail sorted or shredded. Perhaps, I will get my ipod fixed so I don't have to hold the earphones that wonky way to hear in both ears.

I don't have to do anything but live. That's all.

Happy Memorial Day. Thank you to everyone who has given up their lives to make mine safe. Your memory is not forgotten. Thank you. I don't usually get political, but going off to fight for an ideology is what started this country, and I honor the tradition even if I don't always believe in it.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Response to Myspace Postings

My very dear friend in CA posting something on Myspace that was a re-post of a large kid who almost falls out of a rollercoaster and then is pleading with an adult about the pain that they are in. It's obvious from the first moment that they are having fun, and then it turns uncomfortable-- the kid is jostled around and it looks really really scary. I would show the video, but I don't believe in laughing at it, quite honestly is makes me scared and a little sick and mad at the other person in the video isn't helping but rather laughing hysterically, even through "It hurts, I'm not joking!"

Here's my response to that. I meant to just write it to her, but unfortunately, I got carried away.

I know you would never do anything to intentially hurt someone, but let me tell you a little about my own situation.

Prior to having weightloss surgery a year ago, and about 15 years before that, I wasn't able to ride the Collossis at Magic Mountain because the band wouldn't connect over my lap. I was mortified, in front of all my high shool friends, hoping that finally I was going to ride with the boy and hold his hand, I was told (but not with words) that I was too fat to ride the ride and had to walk off after waiting 2+ hours for the ride. And stand there, while all my skinny friends, my normal sized friends, and my chubby friends got to ride the ride. And watch as they pulled out of the gate saying "What happened?". And returned with big smiles on the ride of their life.

What happened was that I was too big for the ride. My stomach didn't allow the belt to clasp down properly, and although three technicians tried to put it down, it just wouldn't go. When the last tech came over and put his foot on my stomach where the bar wouldn't collapse into the lock to kick it in place, that was enough for me. He wanted to kick me in the stomach to make me fit.
Remember, I am an 18 year old girl. I am excited that maybe I might get to kiss the boy sitting next to me. That would be the best. Even better would be holding hands. Or smelling his sweat and Polo colgne mixed together on his skin. And this roadie comes and puts his dirty cotton Candy covered shoe on my belly, and I quietly say-- "No, No it's okay, it's okay, I'll get off."

I climb over the potential boyfriend with tears fiercely held back in my eyes and say-- "it's no big deal, I'll do it another time, I am really scared anyways." I wait as they lock him into place, and everyone takes off in a swoosh. I stand there and hate myself. Really hate myself because now I have proof that I am not the same, that I am different. That I am something to be laughed at, to be scorned.

I have not ridden or attempted to ride a roller coaster since then. I'm not sure I every will. But for every person that laughs at the fat kid-- know that there is fear, shame and self hatred behind those eyes, and behind those tears. That kid I am certain thought they were going to die. Because they were fat. Because they slipped. Because they were trying to be the same as everyone else and were reminded again "You are not the same. You are different."

Because no matter how many people laugh at your jokes, no matter how many people talk about your great personality and your beautiful hair and so on and so on, you will underneath it all be the kid that isn't the same as everyone else.

I know you didn't mean to do anything but share a really funny video, it just hit me in such a way that I had to share this.

I still adore you. :) Maybe you'll repost this instead.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Two down

And a lot to go.....

Most of you who know me outside the cyber realm know I adore my job. And that I travel a lot. I mean, a lot. I get text messages, emails, phone calls "Where are you these days, when are you coming home....".

So I am home. For a little bit. Two down, six more to go. I feel like I ran a sprint at the start of a marathon, and now need to sit down.

Umm, where did May go? No really? Because it's Memorial day weekend this weekend, and I don't have plans, and I need plans. I need to be sitting at a barbecue, talking smack with friends, or headed to the beach, or doing something just as interesting and cool with people I love.

Also, be warned. It is my 35th birthday in less than a month. I am thinking I need to have one of those big parties. Perhaps even themed. My mom gave me a great idea this morning, and I think I need to make it happen. Now, it's just about finding the location and sending out the invites...... I'll keep you posted.

Mexico was great. I love my adopted family down there. I danced until all hours of the night, talked, drank, and even got in some exercise. I went swimming twice-- how lucky am I?

PS: My life is pretty awesome. My job is pretty awesome. I am so happy to be back home.

Friday, May 09, 2008


Okay, so um, wow.

After all, I am not going private. I worked through the issues, talked to some friends and advisers, and mainly stopped being a baby.

But I had NO IDEA that so many people read my blog. Really, no idea. I thought I had a couple friends plus some former sassy sisters. Maybe 2-6 people. And then the occasional person who found it through the web-ring. But it was way more than that. Some of you I don't know at all, some I have been sharing couches, vacations and spotlights with for years. So it is kind of strange.

Wow. The love, the attention, well it feels like.... unsettling and beautiful--very cool. A wise woman gave me a plaque-- the whole world is waiting to hear your story-- and apparently there is an audience for it.


So, not going private. Thank you for the love. I needed it.

Back to regularly scheduled snarkiness.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

When I say Ouch you say it Feels like Love

Issues. Beyond My Control.

So what does that mean? Because as my very wise boss said to me (well actually purchased the words on a coffee cup that I drink two to twelve cups of coffee a day from) "In my mind I can control everything". So I should be able to control this.

I cannot control others actions, nor can I control the outcome. I can only have a say in my response to actions and outcomes. How very therapy of me.

Over the weekend I went to visit family. It didn't go well. I mean it went as well as it could go, given that I am exhausted from work, a big sacrament for a little kid who would rather be running around in the backyard or playing video games and all the attention that goes with it, an earlier event of a baseball game, a massive housecleaning, a dance recital and two massive room cleanings (I never knew a 7 year old could be that disgusting), men in the family who communicate with grunts and aggressive driving, family members (this includes me) that get hurt feelings over things that are usually easier swept under rugs and stuff. Given that three out of seven adults in the last 2 years have had WLS in this part of my family and we are all very very sensitive, very very prickly and all of us are trying to figure out how to deal with emotions without completely breaking apart and eating a ham--or conversely trying to build armies against one another for perceived slights that really just come from "there's a whole lotta family in my house in my house"-- things went better than expected. No one killed anyone else. There was no kid taping to roofs of cars and no jousting with flaming fishing poles. No ham was hurt in the process. Just a lot of fried chicken and an onion dip. Poor dip.

I got on a plane a whole day before scheduled and came back to NYC and slept in my own bed and nursed a cold (which by the way, I am still nursing) and took TWO days off this week and slept. Because I got overwhelmed and cried and paid way too much money to get back a day early. Because I hate to see my family torn apart again and again and truly, I don't want to be in the middle, get put in the middle, or split my time. For too many years I have been traveling to spend time with my family and having to take two vacations, or stay at one and visit another. And It. Fucking. Sucks. I am an adult, and I ran away as fast as I could. Because I refuse to be emotionally manipulated. No. Fucking. More.

In a very adult conversation with my dad, I said "My plane leaves at 11:25." He said "I'll take you to the airport." It was the nicest thing that anyone said to me all damn day.

If you have the type of family that when you leave you say "I can't wait to see you again" then count yourself lucky. I used to. I don't exactly know where it went wrong. I still feel guilty for being selfish and not sucking it up and staying. However I refuse to let someone else's needs or wants come before my own. I have a really hard time in causing someone else's disappointment. Because I want to be the girl that smooths everything over, rounds out all the edges, sucks it up and plays nice.

I don't have to anymore. It's me time. Not you time. I'm not crazy, I just don't like being scared, manipulated, threatened or having any of my family scared, manipulated or threatened.

So, there are the issues beyond my control. I was going to go private and explain it, but with some clarity I realize that I am out there, warts and all to read. My life can only be used as leverage to another if I am not open about it. So there I am, being all open about it. I think I have been judicious and fair, and if not, write your own damn blog about it.

Cause this one's mine.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Two months

I haven't lost anything in two months. At least that what the scale says. The scale tells me that over the course of two months I have fluctuated between the same 7 pounds. So let's take a look at what I am doing.....

1) Discovered alcohol. I can have 1-2 Jack and diets in the course of an evening out. Or a half a glass of wine. Or a stoli orange and tonic, or twelve. Umm, no no no.
2) Cheese. Why must I love you so much? Full-fat, gloriously creamy, eaten with apples, on top of.....
3) Crackers. Stop with the crackers. I mean it. Stop.
4) Chocolate. Okay, this is getting ridiculous. Really Chocolate. You mean I can eat it and not get violently ill? Whole bars over the course of a day and just feel like I am having flu like symptoms? And it goes away after a lie down? And it tastes like love?
5) Drinking and eating . Just a little sip. After that last bite. Just like it was when I was pushing down down down my emotions with fast food.

So there you have it. I am ashamed. In my golden period, working out a good 2-3 times a week, getting compliments all over the place, and still morbidly obese. Still doing the same things I have always been doing. And struggling with the food demons. Still at the same weight for two months.

Wait for it..... wait for it.... I've got the broken bypass.

"Fear is at the root of my inability to choose." Again with the little white book, your words of wisdom are piercing. I spend my life in "Maybe's, perhaps and We'll sees". Left dangling without direction. Waiting for the future to tell me what to do. What if I took on something extra-ordinary. If I become that extra-ordinary person. So here is my plan for one month.

1) 1 new class per week. This is going to be difficult because I am going to Mexico on Saturday, so I'll have to go a class in Spanish. Wonder how you say "downward facing dog" in Spanish?

2) 3 meals a day. Planned. No desserts. 1 snack per day. 2 Nalgenes of water per day. Again, this will be difficult in Mexico.

3) Cut the coffee to two cups.

4) Something spiritual. Reconnect with spirit-- walking meditations, church, alone time, writing in my journal. Something.

5) During the conference, no more than 2 cocktails a night. Sleep well, get 8 hours when I can.

6) Work and Life Balance: Work starts at 9:30 am, and I go home at 6:30 pm. While in NYC.

I completed April. My challenge had me learn that for as unreasonable as I try to be, there is always room for more. And that I make myself wrong for not doing it perfectly. All the time, not perfect. It's all a part of the journey, while I keep looking for the destination.

Learning to let go is easy. The letting go part is hard.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


If you are a regular reader, please send me your email address by leaving a comment (which I won't post). I am going to go private with this blog because of circumstances beyond my control, and I would like to keep you as a part of my journey.

Sorry for any confusion.

You all have until Saturday May 10.


Completing April

Tonight I am headed to a friend's house to complete April. To kiss it goodbye. More updates on that later-- I wonder what I will get out of it.

Over the weekend I had what I consider to be a cathartic experience. I have been exhausted for so long, I was in NC and then I wasn't. I disappointed my family by leaving early, but I can't live my life for them. I have to do for me. It's upsetting because I only get there every now and again, but it was the best thing for me to do. I woke up in my own bed relaxed, I made good food I can eat, I went for a really long walk and saw a stupid movie.

I am still tired, but I am not so tired I want to cry all the time. I feel like I am doing okay as I prepare for the next trip. This one will be as difficult, but also twice as fun because it includes so many of my favorite people. And then back to NYC to sit and rest for a long while.

I woke up thinking about this: I will no longer be emotionally manipulated by the agendas of others. Tis true. No more manipulation. No more agendas. This is what you get. My mom really wanted me to stay. My aunt was disappointed in my leaving. My pop understood. I just can't suck it up anymore to make someone else happy. Me first. With no apologies.