Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Rendered Speechless

December 27, 2018

I don’t often look at old photographs.

I just did.

Work photos from over sixteen years ago.

Longer, perhaps, though not much more than eighteen years, I’ve been in San Francisco for sixteen, so they have to be at least that old.

There’s a private Facebook page with photographs of a place I used to run for six years.

1996-2002 I was the Floor Manager at the Angelic Brewing Company in Madison, Wisconsin.

A lot of the photographs are ones that I took myself.

Although I don’t have the album that they are located in.

I used to take a lot of staff photos.

Before Facebook and camera phones.

I kept a photo album in the office and I would put it out during big staff events.

Most usually the annual holiday party that I was in charge of organizing and running.

We got silly.

I remember one year I bought a bunch of disposable cameras.

Oh the pictures on those cameras.

Many stories.

I was rendered speechless though when I saw a photograph of myself that may have been at my heaviest weight when I was working there.

I don’t actually know what I weighed.

I didn’t like to use the scale.

But I do know that the shirt I was wearing was a size 26.

I now wear a size eleven.

So much has changed.

I just sat on my couch before logging onto my computer and I had an abstinent meal.

Abstinent for me means no flour (of any kind–almond, oat, coconut, corn, wheat, etc) and no sugar.

I do eat fruit, so I get sugar that way, though I tend to not eat fruit with my dinner.

I will.

Just not always.

Fruit is a sort of desert for me.

For dinner tonight I had about a 1/2 c of sautéed broccoli with a cup of brown rice and a roasted chicken leg and thigh.

I had some bubbly water and I listened to jazz.

When I think about the way I ate when I ran the Angelic.

Oh my God.

Freaks me out a little.

Sort of like how the picture did.

I almost want to post it here but I’m not actually sure how to do that and I am also not really sure I want to post it anyway.

I am grateful though for the changes I have gone through and for the good reminder that although my body doesn’t look the exact way I want it to, it looks a hell of a lot better than it did.

I mean.

I used to have a double chin.

I haven’t had a double chin in a long ass time and I am hella grateful for that.

The amazing thing about the photo is that I’m doing the splits on the bar.

I was a lot more limber then than I am now.

I was also studying to get my black belt in Kung Fu.

That also blows my mind, that I got a black belt at the weight I was.

I wonder sometime what it would have been like if I had lost the weight sooner.

But really that doesn’t do me much good to think about that, it’s just fantasy and speculation.

I also had to have some recovery under my belt before I could get abstinent, recovery, therapy, self-care.

A lot of that.

Self-love.

I am really quite proud of myself when I see how very far I have come.

All things considered.

I shouldn’t be where I am at today.

I am very, very, very grateful.

I’m also grateful to have gotten through Christmas.

Three gay boys, two movies, and one sushi dinner.

It was an official San Francisco Christmas.

Matinee at the Kabuki, hanging out in the Castro, then the Metreon in the evening.

I am grateful too for the people I spent time with.

I am grateful for San Francisco being my home.

I am grateful for all the lovely gifts I was given.

The biggest one, always does seem to be perspective.

That’s why the photo hit me so hard.

Just how far I have come.

I’m 46 now.

I look so much better at 46 than I did at 26.

I may have been a little older in the photo, but my weight would have been about the same.

It got bad there for a bit.

But then I think, I needed to be the way I was, to feel safe.  I ate to feel safe in a body that was not a safe place to inhabit.

I ate because I had been hurt.

I did not want to hurt anymore.

I also ate because it was a compulsion.

There were times when I would find myself in the dark raiding the desert fridge at work– shoving an entire piece of Irish Cream pie into my mouth, one, two, three pieces in under five minutes.

I hated it and I couldn’t stop it.

I also didn’t realize that once I put sugar into my body it was sort of on.

Sugar is just as addictive as many narcotics.

Sugar activates the same place in the brain that cocaine does.

I loved cocaine.

And before I had cocaine.

I had sugar.

I had a lot of it.

God.

Just thinking about how much soda I drank too.

Ugh.

I mean.

I worked in the service industry for two decades.

I did not drink diet soda ever, I scoffed at it.

I drank straight up Coca Cola.

I drank vats of it.

When you work in the service industry you usually get free soda.

And because I was in management, I got free meals.

French fries dipped in sour cream.

Fried fish sandwiches with buckets of tartar sauce.

Pasta with chicken and mushrooms and cream sauce and parmesan and bread sticks.

OH bread sticks.

Idaho nachos–cottage fries instead of corn chips–with heaps of cheese and chicken and black beans and guacamole and sour cream.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Beer cheese soup.

And it was a brewery, so yes, lots of beer too, many, many, many pints.

Ex-employees used to joke about how they would lose the “Angelic 20” when they stopped working there since they weren’t always drinking the beer.

Which was not light in any sense of the word.

Oh.

How things have changed.

For the better.

I might have a nostalgic moment once in a great while for something.

But not ever looking like that picture again?

That will kill any craving I might have.

Fact is.

I don’t crave food, when you don’t have it in your system, the urge goes away.

Hella grateful for that too.

So here’s to not having to make New Years resolutions.

I am resolved every day.

I am happy.

Joyous.

Abstinent.

And.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 

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Hello Monday

February 28, 2017

Let’s be friends.

Today was not a bad day to start the week.

It was sunny.

Hello.

No rain.

So grateful to ride my scooter to and from work, such a gift.

I heard someone complaining, “yeah, it’s sunny, but it’s freezing.”

Shut the fuck up bitch.

It’s NOT raining.

I will take sunny and cold over rain any damn day.

Grateful the drought is finally over, but I think we are amply replenished and the weather can just give it a rest for a minute.

Plus.

I had a really nice leisurely morning with no homework.

I got it done this past weekend, the reading, so my normal go to reading time I spent on doing some extra personal writing and yes, I cleaned the house before I left for work, clean bathroom, clean kitchen, swept the floors.

It was super nice to come home to.

I came home to some nice roast chicken dinner too.

Very glad I had done the food prep this weekend, it was super easy to come home, peel a couple of carrots to nosh on and heat up my turmeric and garlic brown rice and a roast chicken breast and have a hot, homemade dinner.

I love self-care.

I’ve gotten better and better at it.

From going to the dentist and paying for it all up front.

To paying my rent and utilities early for March.

To going to yoga.

To having extra boxes of my favorite tea in the house.

To lighting up the candles when I get home.

It really helps me to be able to navigate the world with kindness and love when I have first taken care of myself.

And I needed that good self-care today.

Both my charges were home.

I had expected that they would be in school, ski week vacation is over and school is back in.

But.

It was grandma’s last day before flying back home so both of the older kids stayed home to see her off.

We had a very sweet day.

Built a Lego model, colored, watched a Cat in The Hat video, and read a lot of books.

I also cooked lunch and dinner for them.

I love cooking.

It is such a nice thing that it is part of my job.

Tonight for dinner I made sautéed ground chicken with onions and garlic in a rosemary infused bechamel sauce and served it over penne pasta.   I made a side of regular mac and cheese, albeit the fancy kind for the kids, as well as maple and soy glazed Julienne carrots and zucchini.

“Carmen!  You are the best cooker ever!” My little lady charge told me, “it is so yummy!”

She likes to sit with me when I have my lunch and nibble whatever I’m having as well as her own meals.

It’s rather endearing.

“More of the corn,” she told me today with these big saucer blue eyes full of merriment and mischievousness.

I was eating a bowl of homemade chicken soup with brown rice and vegetables.

“I’ll have a carrot now,” she said next, pointing to the one in the bowl she wanted.

I just laughed and spooned it into her mouth.

When I got home tonight after work and doing the deal over at 7th and Irving, I had a very kind text message from the dad too, saying basically how grateful he was to come home from a hard day at work to a really nice dinner.

That too makes my day.

I don’t need to be validated, but damn, it is nice to get it, especially from new employers.

I really am quite happy to be with them and so grateful to be in an environment where I feel like I’m totally being of service and also that I am really appreciated for my skills and the job I do.

Usefulness makes for happiness.

I am happy.

I am happy too that I spent some time before work crunching my numbers and saw quite clearly that despite the unexpected out go of the money for the dental stuff, I will be quite fine this upcoming month.

My costs will be covered and I shouldn’t have any problems with making ends meet.

It helps that I have some cash in savings, so I don’t feel stressed out.

I put 3/4s of my tax return straight into savings.

So even though it feels like I don’t have any money, I in fact, do.

I just don’t want to touch it.

I have one savings account that is for travel and I have one that is the meager beginnings of a prudent reserve.

Plus.

The month of March, five weeks.

So I’ll get a little extra there and although I’m not big on working extra hours past 40, I will one week in March as the dad will be on a business trip and I’m going to help out the family more that week.

I’m not quite sure what that looks like, but I said I would help and I am happy to do so.

A lot of that comes from feeling on top of my school work and my next action steps around my practicum placement and my internship.

I have a workshop that I will be attending the next weekend of school to acquire all the paperwork and take the next steps and then that following week I’ll be going to my supervisor with the paperwork and starting the next phase of the practicum.

So exciting.

There are lots of things happening.

But I don’t feel overwhelmed and I’m not trying to figure anything out.

I just keep showing up day-to-day.

Taking whatever next action is in front of me and letting go of the results.

Because the results are not mine anyway.

They never have been.

I can’t control the outcome of anything.

I can just take some simple actions and love myself for trying.

That’s it.

Pretty damn simple.

It is.

Seriously.

 


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