Ladyrebecca's Musings and Ramblings

The Increasingly Political Thoughts of Rebecca (Becky) Walker

Finals March 31, 2010

Filed under: Anecdotal,educational — Addicted to Yarn @ 4:22 pm
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Well, I’ve become a very bad blogger. I don’t know that I’ve ever blogged so little for so long. Living with my family has its upsides but it definitely has its downsides too and one of those is not being home. I’m not sitting in the chair WE bought at the computer table WE picked out, typing on OUR computer. Instead I’m sitting at someone else’s desk, in someone else’s chair, working on their computer. It’s not that any of their things are bad, per se, just not mine. Not what I would have chosen for my maximum comfort.

Then there is the distraction factor. My house has one primary distraction. The computer. If I’m bored and want to procrastinate homework or housework, I sit down at the computer to amuse myself. After checking email and facebook, reading some blogs and comics, I’ll often find myself writing a blog entry of my own. Such a progression, though, requires a certain amount of time. It’s not very often that I sit down and just blog. I need to be bored (and uninterrupted) for a fair amount of time, which just doesn’t happen that much.

But here I am. Today. Writing a blog. So what’s been going on? Let me tell you.

I am in the last week of this term. I’ve taken my math final and am done with that class. I took my writing final but still have a research paper to finish up and that’s the really crappy part. I put it off and put it off and now it’s crunch time and I still don’t want to do it. I have patiently waited for it to write itself but it has not and so the responsibility falls to me. *sigh*

The primary problem with writing this paper is that it’s about home birth. I chose home birth because its something that interests me and writing about things that don’t interest me is really freaking hard. Turns out that writing about something I feel strongly about and regularly makes me scream at stupid people is really hard to do, too. Between going off on rants and being so disgusted with the American medical establishment that I can’t read anymore, I have gotten a little bit done. Not enough, but some. Hopefully the next few days will see something accomplished.

I’ve set a goal for myself, actually. The paper is due 5pm Sunday. There is a show Saturday night that I’d like to see. If my paper is done Saturday evening, I can go. If not, I don’t get to.  If it’s done, then Sunday can be spent doing a last edit.

Speaking of finishing my paper, I should probably get to it. My daughter is heading outside to play. (Have I mentioned how much I love Iowa? No? Well, I do. It’s heavenly and I’m sorry I ever doubted that.) I had some breakfast – need coffee, though. I think I’ll go make coffee, send Jael outside, take notes while drinking coffee, and see real progress on my paper in a couple of hours.

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April Update April 24, 2008

Filed under: Anecdotal,Weight — Addicted to Yarn @ 6:50 am
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We went swimming last night, which was the third or fourth time we’ve been this spring. Last night was finally warm enough to be enjoyable. I don’t know if it was because the water felt so much warmer because the sun was down and the air was a bit cooler, because I jumped in the deep end first thing thus avoiding the tortureous inch by inch method I’ve used previously, or because the water was actually warmer. I guess I don’t really care. It was great fun. I’m hoping we can squeeze another swim in today. I wish we didn’t have to shower afterwards. I’d love to come home from storytime, jump in the pool, dry off, have some lunch and lay Jael down for a nap. If we don’t shower, we have time for that but with a shower thrown in, it ends up being 1:30 or 2 before she’s laid down for nap and that’s just too gone late.

What else has been going on? We are going to the Crawfish Festival tonight. Sounds lame, doesn’t it? But they’ve got a carnival/fair set up so that’s really why we are going. Jael has been so excited. It’s at the Coliseum (the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum and Convention Center) which is half a block from our house. Every time we pass by, which happens at least twice a day, she points and says excitedly, “There’s the fair! We are going to go to the fair on Thursday!” She’s invited every person she’s talked to in the last week to go with us. Our friend Alex is going to come with us which will be fun. She’s great.

Let’s see. Anything else of note? I broke the 230 mark. As of Monday morning (my official weigh-in day) I am 229 pounds. YAY!! So, if I am under 230 next Monday, I am scheduling a hair appointment a at a posh salon near Mobile. No, I don’t trust anyone on the Gulf Coast to touch my hair. The one place I’ve had recommended to me from a curly girl was not very friendly when I talk to them. They weren’t exactly rude but they didn’t seem super excited to be chosen by me either. So screw supporting local business. I’m going to Alabama.

 

I am fat. Fat and sexy! April 20, 2008

I’m fat. Fat and sexy. I used to just be fat, and then lately, I’ve realized that I can love my body just the way it is. I’m not a bad person because I’m fat. I’m just fat. I’m not lazy or ugly or undeserving of affection. The word “fat” carries so much negativity with it that a friend of mine will not say it in front of her sons. She doesn’t even want him to know what the word means. My daughter, on the other hand, will pat my butt and say, “I like your fat butt, Mommy.” To us, “fat” references the quantity of fat cells one has. It’s not a value judgment.

For so long, I thought I sucked. I had been told I was a dirty rotten sinner for so long, I came to believe it in a way I don’t think the church ever intended. I came to believe that without Jesus I was worthless. I believe that deep in my heart, I knew this was false and so I had to find some reason that I sucked so. I chose my weight. It must be my weight that made me suck. It became my excuse for everything. Why didn’t I have more friends? Because I was too fat to be outgoing. Why didn’t I have a better job? Because I was too fat – revealing to potential employers my innate laziness and lack of enthusiasm. Why didn’t I get the full ride scholarship to Bible college? Because they saw that I was fat and “knew” I lacked self discipline and self-control (which is a fruit of the Spirit, revealing also the immaturity of my faith).

At some point in the last three months, I’ve realized that I am a valuable person, regardless of my weight. I don’t have more friends because I don’t go want more friends. I have a few close friends and that’s the way I like it. I don’t need a bazillion friends. I need a half dozen close friends that I can call up and hang out with when I need companionship. I didn’t get the scholarship because I didn’t apply myself in school. I didn’t do anything above the bare minimum. I didn’t get a better job because I was doing nothing to better myself. I didn’t look good in pictures because I bought crappy clothes because, after all, I didn’t deserve anything better.

Since coming to believe that I am valuable, I’ve changed some things in my life. I’ve spent some money on clothes. I went jeans shopping. The pair that fit best happened to be on sale for twelve bucks but I’d have paid the full price of forty for them. I went to a consignment shop and bought some cute shirts, spending about thirty dollars on five shirts. (Notice I didn’t go to the Goodwill…because it sucks here.) I bought a sixty dollar swim suit. I spent a hundred bucks on underwear (bras and panties). I’m scheduling a “spa” day for me. The hair cut will cost about sixty dollars and the wax another sixty. But that’s okay…I am a woman and I should not hid in crappy clothes that wear out in six months. I don’t have to have a bad hair cut (or in my case, no hair cut whatsoever). I don’t have to have a fifteen dollar Wal-Mart swimsuit that I’m embarrassed to be seen in. I don’t have to wear a shirt that I’ve had for over seven years and is full of holes. I don’t have to wear jeans that fit badly. We have the money for me to dress like I respect myself and so I’m beginning to.

I no longer stress about working out. I still try to get to the gym a couple of times a week. I need to be active for my health. I’ve no problem with that but I don’t beat myself up about it. I feel no pressure to have “perfect” attendance at Curves. I don’t pay a lot of attention to what I eat. We try to buy healthy foods so there isn’t a lot of garbage to snack on but when there is, I simply try to partake moderately. By not focusing on my weight all the time, I’m not focused on food all the time and it doesn’t control me the way it once did. It’s like Israel and porn. The more he stresses about not looking at it, the more he’s thinking about it and the more he wants to look at it. If he just relaxes and doesn’t beat himself up when he does, than it’s not that big of a deal. It’s the same way with food. If I think about eating healthy all the time, than I’m thinking about food all the time and what I can’t have and then I just want to eat all the time. (Right now, I am seriously having some cravings, even though my stomach is full of lunch and iced tea and I am absolutely not hungry.)

I don’t worry about not looking like the women on TV and in magazines. A number of months ago, we watched Dove’s Evolution video, Pro-Age, and Onslaught videos, and my personal favorite, True colors.

After watching these, I realized that I had let the “industry” tell me what was beautiful. I’d been frustrated because I knew that my body would never look like “theirs” no matter how much fat I removed from it. I knew this but felt deep inside that maybe if I just did more sit-ups or regular cardio maybe I’d bring about a miracle. It was magic thinking and I’m done with it. I realized that I am who I am. I began to love my body. It’s amazing. When’s the last time you walked into a store and instead of criticizing the way the entry doors make your hips look fat, you focused on the feeling of your leg muscles as they move your body forward? Do you know that we can’t make robots walk? They’ve been working on it and working on it and are beginning to make head way but nothing beats the human body for walking. Feel each muscle as it contracts and relaxes. Feel your biceps. Lay flat on your back and move your arms above you, feeling the beauty as they move in the way you tell them to. It’s amazing.

Oh, and the average American woman is 5’4″ tall and 154 pounds. The average model is 5’11” and 117 pounds. Most of us will never, ever, ever look like a model. They are freaks of nature. You wouldn’t judge a Chevy Aveo for not being a Lexus. Don’t judge your body for not being freakishly tall and thin. You are you. They aren’t comparing themselves to you. Don’t compare yourselves to them.

Okay, so as this happens, Israel’s friends start to notice and it’s very flattering. When he worked at Pizza Hut, I knew the guys wanted me for my cookies (as in chocolate chip cookies, not a euphemism for something else). This is something new. I find out that I am, in the current shape I am in right now, desirable to other men. This sounds so funny to say because I should have known it but when your world view is skewed it affects everything. Subconsciously, I believed that Israel found me beautiful out of duty. He loved my body because we were married. To find out that he desires me because I am desirable is amazing. It was revolutionized my life. I feel so alive and so powerful. I have power. I chose to use it for good but I have power. I am not helpless. It’s part of what has given our sex life such power of late. I could be sleeping with any number of other guys but I’m not. I’m giving something of great value to my husband every time I choose him. And vice versa. He’s giving me something great as well. We are mutually choosing to be with each other, not out of desperation or duty, but from free will.

This has also affected how I spend my time. Since realizing that because I was fat did not automatically make me lazy and undisciplined, I find I don’t have enough time in the day to do all the things I’d like. Unlike before, where I spent too much time watching TV and movies and playing stupid games on the computer, I now don’t have enough time because I’m reading books that teach me things and reveal things about the world at large. I’m writing more (obviously). I’m researching things that are important and/or fun. I’m learning German. I’m trying to learn to belly dance-which is a ton of fun. If I can find a class here and then one in Germany, I’m going to be so psyched! My house is cleaner because I’ve realized that being fat does not mean I’m dirty and slovenly. It’s not necessarily less cluttered because I’ve also realized that there are more important things in life than having a clean house. My quality of life is improved by a clean house. It is more improved by reading lots of books and listening to lots of different music. But I can clean the house in about thirty minutes now, instead of the two or three hours it used to take me. I am comfortable throwing things into the closet to deal with another day (probably the day we move) because it doesn’t mean I’m a fat, disgusting, slob. It just means I’ve more important things to do then stress about where that pile of knick-knacks should go.

I think what I’m trying to communicate is this: it doesn’t matter what your weight is. It matters what your state of mind is. Example: if, a year ago, someone had taken me out and bought me really expensive, well fitting clothes and given me a “make-over,” I would not have been transformed. I would not have been happy with the clothes. I would have still looked “fat” in my eyes and it would simply have reaffirmed what I dreaded to be true: even with expensive, great clothes, I was still ugly. Until I felt beautiful within my own skin, I would never feel beautiful on the outside.

I just finished “The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life” by Wendy Shanker. A lot of my mental changes have come about because of this fabulous book. If you receive this book from me for Christmas, do not be offended. Everyone, fat, thin, zitty, short, tall, curly haired, big-nosed, apple bottomed, bow legged, has something to learn from her insights. If you have something you feel insecure about, you can learn from this book. If you are completely satisfied with yourself, good for you. You still need this book. It will give you insight into the heads and hearts of those of us who are working on self contentment.

 

Marriage and Sex April 19, 2008

I realized something the other day. If this is too much information for some of you, I am sorry if you are offended but not sorry for what I am about to say.

My husband and I have a wonderful sex life. We have tons of fun in bed and are completely satisfied with each other. Our sex life is holy and pure.not our bed...but beautiful none the less.

I grew up believing a sex life could only be pure and holy if it was with the confines of marriage. That it was the marriage that made sex holy and beautiful. It was the fence around the marriage bed, keeping the participants in and everyone else out that made it good and clean.

That’s not what makes it beautiful. The performance of duty is not what makes it pure. The piece of paper from the county courthouse is not what makes it holy. It is the daily choice that I and my husband make to share our bed with each other and no one else. If we were not married, we would still make that choice. If the government decided that tomorrow was the last day of marriage and that they would no longer recognize any kind of marital union, Israel and I would still come home to each other and find solace and sexual pleasure in each other’s arms and never the arms of anyone else. It is not the fence that keeps others out of our bed and us out of others but our choice.

And that is what love is. Love is not a piece of paper saying he has to provide for me and any offspring we might have. It isn’t a ring on my finger or his. It isn’t a pretty white dress and a rented tuxedo. It isn’t the approval of our family and friends. It’s our choice. It’s daily sliding into bed next to each other when there are others willing to welcome us into their bedroom.

This is revelatory to me. I thought what made my sex life special was that Israel and I are married. No, no, no. Marriage has nothing to do with it. Marriage, as we in America and the Christian church know it, is a piece of paper, a legal contract. Our sex life is special because we choose to share it with each other. Daily. There are men and women who’ve made offers, outright and not, and it is the saying no to them and yes to each other that makes our sex holy.

It’s the choice. The free will choice to say “No” to every other person in the world, and “Yes” to each other. It’s free will and it’s beautiful.