Ladyrebecca's Musings and Ramblings

The Increasingly Political Thoughts of Rebecca (Becky) Walker

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.

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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.

 

Beaches March 31, 2008

Filed under: Anecdotal,Weight — Addicted to Yarn @ 8:09 am
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The beaches here are so much cleaner than last year. They’ve worked really hard and I appreciate it. Now, I am not saying that our beaches are nice but with what nature has given them, I think they’ve improved the beaches a lot since last year. Because of the islands off the coast, we don’t get real waves here and so the beaches don’t get cleaned naturally. When it rains, the whole sandbar which is Biloxi, drains into the Gulf, which is about two feet deep the first 1/2 mile or so out. So the beaches have a lot going against them.

Where as last year, the sand was filled with debris, supposedly from Katrina, this year, the sands are fairly free from crap. The water line is still yucky but like I said, I think that’s due to the storm run off as much as anything else.

So anyway, Jael and I went to the beach yesterday. It was a lot of fun. She played in the surf and sand while I laid out in my new swimsuit.

My new swimsuit. The first time I’ve ever spent real money on a swimsuit. I think I spent $28 on a suit in highschool. Since then I’ve probably spent about that much on the last two suits I’ve bought, both from Wal-Mart. This year, I decided I didn’t want to feel nasty in my suit. We have a pool and are a 1/4 mile from the beach. I figure I’m going to be spending a lot more time in my swim suit than I have since we lived at Knightsbridge. So I spent $60 on a two piece tank suit. You know that kind, it covers everything that a one piece covers but it’s in two pieces. I really like it. Because it’s not snug against my belly, it smooths the appearance there. It also has a skirted bottom, which, because it’s not connected to the top, hangs better and freer than others I’ve tried. It was totally worth it. I actually felt attractive in my swimsuit. I don’t know that that’s ever happened to me before. It was very exciting.

But…I got a little burned again. If I make it through life and never get skin cancer or have a skin cancer scare, it will be a miracle and of no credit to me. To be fair, I don’t think I could have gotten sun screen on my back in the places I burned so I don’t think I’m completely to blame. Of course I could have worn a t-shirt but what’s the fun in that?

 

Character Flaws and What to Do About Them March 4, 2008

Filed under: Anecdotal,parenting,Weight — Addicted to Yarn @ 12:49 pm
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I would like to write but I’m having a hard time nailing down a certain thing to write about. I’ve been researching home birth and have stumbled across a nest of rabid anti-homebirthers. You think homebirthers are crazy? Check out the opposition. They are crazy, too. I mean, they’re really out to get DEM (Direct Entry Midwives). Calling names, slandering, bickering, skewing of statistics, commenting on every article regarding homebirth on a blogsite. Yeah, they’re nuts, too. That’d make a fun blog but it would take a lot of researching and I just don’t have the time.

I talked on the phone with a friend for about an hour about discipline and spanking and general parenting. I would like to write about theory of parenting; each family must find the methods that work for them; consistency is always good; spanking vs. not spanking; how much do you let the expectations of others affect your parenting style, etc. But I only know what’s worked for us and I don’t really feel ready to back up anything. All I can do is spout about what I think. I don’t really know anything.

I’m also reading this interesting book called “Odd Girl Out.” It explores the bullying and cruelty of girls. It’s horrible scary. I’m realizing, first of all, that I really didn’t have, and still don’t have, any idea what’s going on in other females’ heads. It’s made some things I’ve gone through make more sense and has made the way I parent a little different. But I’ve not finished it and so don’t feel like blogging about it yet.

I’d like to write fiction again but I don’t have any stories fighting to get out. I’d kind of like to explore Mystique‘s mind again and maybe even continue the story I started with her. I think, if I do, I’m going to have to do Chapter 2 over again. I don’t like where I was taking the story and I don’t think it really worked.

Oh, I thought of something I might blog about. Israel helped me come to a revelation about myself. I want the end result, right now, and am unwilling to do the work to get to the result. Example: I started studying German and thought, seriously, that I would master it within about nine months. Certainly by the time we got onto a transAtlantic flight. So, when I hit a spot where learning German was no longer easy, I quit. I wasn’t going to be a German linguist in less than a year and so I gave up. That’s not cool.

Another example: I want to write. I want to be a good writer. I bought a book and started working through it. I never said this but in my heart, I thought that by the time I worked through the book, I would have a completed novel ready for publication. Naturally, that wasn’t going to happen. But I didn’t understand that so when I got to a chapter that was hard for me, I shut the book and haven’t opened it or my writing notebook since. Again, that’s not cool.

There have been a few things that I did master quickly. And grew bored with them just as quickly. Embroidery was easy. I made a beautiful Christmas quilt. I embroidered nine different Christmas pictures onto remnants from my wedding dress (Windsor satin) and then framed them with some Christmas material and sewed them into a quilt. I did it in about two months. The last three or so pictures I did were done so well and the stitches so small and perfect that it did not look as though it had been done by hand, by someone who had only learned the skill two months previously. And after I finished the quilt, I’ve never picked up an embroidery hoop since. I have no interest what so ever. I’ve mastered it and so I’m bored.

I can’t think of a single thing that I’ve really strived for that I’ve not given up on because I wasn’t an expert immediately. I wanted to train horses and when I got bucked off, I quit. I wanted to crochet and when I couldn’t make a mitten, I quit. I wanted to be a photographer and when I didn’t blow my teacher away with my innate talent, I never took another class.

So, what do I do? How do I change a character flaw that has plagued me for as long as I can remember?

I think the first thing for me to do, is to admit that I am not a prodigy. I must decide that something is worth the work of working. I need to put my nose to the grindstone and tough it out instead of taking the easy way out and quitting.

I’ve made a plan with weight loss. I’ve set a series of goals for myself. I’ve got about eighty pounds to lose. I’ve made a chart with fifteen pound increments marked and at each goal, I am rewarded with the noted reward. The first goal is 230 and I’ve only another five pounds to go before I meet it. When I meet it, I am going to get my lip pierced. When I hit 215, my eyebrow; 200, hair cut; 185, tattoo; 170, two piece swimsuit; 160, belly button piercing. I know that losing about a pound a week is the ideal amount for long term results so that’ where I’m aiming. This means I’ve a little over a month to save up for the first piercing and another fifteen before the next. Then I’ve got over six months before the tattoo, which will be expensive. So, by setting these goals, not only have I spelled it out for myself that I’m not going to be wearing a size 6 at Christmas, I’ve also set up goals that encourage me to keep working even when the going gets tough.

Unfortunately, learning German is not so quantifiable as weight loss. It’s not like I can say, “When I’ve learned 10% of the German language, I get a day at a spa. When I’ve learned 20% of German I will get a manicure. It just doesn’t work. It’s not measurable.

My quest right now is to figure out how to stay on task even when it’s not fun in order to have the fun of mastering a hard thing. I believe it is very important to enjoy life and live life to it’s fullest. I don’t believe it’s good to do thing you don’t want to do. It’s important that you reap happiness or joy from the things you spend time on. Time is one of those things you can never get back and it’s paramount that you love as much of your time on earth as possible. That said, it’s also important, at least for me, that I have more to show for my life than a bunch of immediate and temporary pleasures. I will really enjoy knowing another language. I will reap many, many rewards and benefits and warm fuzzies from being being able to converse with German’s in their native tongue. I will gain much pleasure from reading Wolfgang Simson’s Houses that Change the World in the original German. I think I will enjoy knowing German more than I would enjoy goofing off for four years but when I am presented with the choice of playing or studying, playing seems so much more valuable.

I don’t think I’m going to come to any conclusions today about all this. As Israel likes to say, “There’s nothing to do but to do it,” and I think he’s right. I must remind myself of the ultimate goal and acknowledge that it will be a process to get there and not an instantaneous transformation.

 

An Update on Evil Psychotic or Bad Management February 26, 2008

Shortly after posting my previous blog, I received a phone call from my apartment manager. Michele was incredibly professional, almost friendly even. She let me know that the bookkeeper (who’d been out most of last week) had got back into the office yesterday, spent yesterday playing catch up, and gave her a call first thing this morning. They were prepared to send us our refund. Michele wasn’t sure if they were going to send it out right away or if they’d send it out with the rest of the bills on the tenth of the March. If we haven’t received our money by the 13th or 14th of March, we are to give her a call and see what’s up.

I wish so much that I could have heard that phone conversation. I like to imagine she got a royal chewing out. I’m a little concerned at the maliciousness of my thoughts. I wonder if I’ll still have this attitude towards skinny obnoxious women when I’ve reached my weight loss goals? I don’t have a problem with thin people. My good friend Chris is about a size 4 (I guess. I’m terrible at guessing sizes and so, Chris, if I’ve horribly misguessed, please don’t be hurt. You look great regardless of what size I think you are.). However, she had to lose thirty pounds before she got there and she works out regularly to keep her body fit. I only have a problem with thin people who didn’t work for it and then judge those who have to work to be fit.

Anyway, the “check’s in the mail” so that’s good news. I apparently need to forgive Michelle and Amber for being rude to me as I’m harboring a grudge which I don’t like. I like to be nice. I’m fat. I want to be fat and jolly, like Santa Clause. I don’t want to be fat and grouchy, like Jabba the Hut. Next time I refer to my apartment management team, hopefully it will be without the resentment I’ve expressed here.