Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

Small Steps

January 6, 2019

Almost, even, baby steps.

But steps nonetheless.

I have not been exercising for a while.

Not that I’m super out of shape, work five days a week as a nanny, picking up toys, the baby, who is now no longer a baby at two years old, the six-year-old and the almost nine-year old, up and down steps, over to the park and back, and you’ll stay in decent shape.

However.

I haven’t really exercised much since I moved into my new digs.

I’ve been here now three and a half, almost four months.

Part of it is that I’m in a PhD program and the majority of exercise there is lifting a book and turning the page or fretting about having to write a paper.

I’m sure the anxiety of walking through my first semester of the program wore off a few calories, but not really in a way that was healthful for me.

I have been thinking a lot about exercise, partially because a dear friend of mine keeps sending me messages about going to this or that yoga/dance party class.

I keep saying no.

And.

I keep saying I want to.

I don’t actually like exercise.

Until after I’ve done it and then I’m all like, why the fuck don’t I do this more often.

Of course, that feeling often fades and exercise becomes a bit of a chore, but I also know, rather well at that, that feeling better is important.

It’s not just my body that feels better.

It’s my brain.

My brain needs the break from thinking.

Sometimes I just need to get into my body and exercise is a great way to do that.

One of the things I have been telling my friend is that it’s a scheduling thing.

I just can’t see myself getting up early and heading across town to do a yoga class then hauling ass back here and getting ready for work or for seeing clients.

Nothing is convenient.

I looked at pools last night, which I have done enough times to know that it really is a haul to get anywhere that has a pool.

Then I fret about how long it will take to deal with my hair.

My hair is a serious thing.

Not that I do a lot with it, per se, just that I have a lot of it.

In fact, I think my hair is the longest its been in years.

I love my hair and it’s actually easier to deal with when it’s long, I don’t do much with it, it’s just that it takes a long time to de-tangle, wash, condition, and dry.

I have naturally curly hair and if I don’t treat it right it goes bonkers.

So swimming, though imminently appealing is not always the best option for me where I’m living and with the schedule that I keep.

Then.

This morning I had a dear friend over for coffee and he mentioned the gym down the street.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I know.

There’s a gym around the corner.

I walked past it on Christmas Eve at sunset when I went for a little stroll around the block and I noticed it.

And it’s been taking up a little corner of my brain for a while now, but until today I wasn’t really taking it seriously.

My friend happened to park next to it and talked to me about it and how it was a key pad punch in and that it didn’t look busy and that it seemed really reasonably priced and wow was it close.

My friend doesn’t have a gym that close to his place and he works out frequently.

I knew when he was talking to me about it that it was the answer and I had also gotten an e-mail at the turn of the New Year regarding the gym as it was part of the mailing list I got popped on for my old yoga studio.

Too many signs saying, ahem, you want convenient and fits in your schedule?

Here you go.

So.

I went online and found out that it really is quite reasonable and there’s a student discount and I could get a membership for $55 a month.

Which is $30 less than I was paying for my yoga studio.

But I don’t have work out shoes, my brain tells me.

Buy them, you twit.

Today after my friend left I headed to the Mission to see clients and I had nothing really to do until my 7p.m. commitment and I thought, you know, there’s that place in the Inner Sunset that has a pretty good athletic shoe selection.

I went.

They didn’t have anything that worked for me, but I had the idea in my head and I knew when I got home that I would just go online and order a pair of shoes.

I had transitioned to Saucony running shoes when I hurt my ankle about five years ago now, and I wore the hell out of them for a while and I know what size works for me.

Plus.

Oh yeah.

I have an Amazon gift card my employers gave me for Christmas.

Voila!

Free athletic shoes.

And the decision to go to the gym and get a membership as soon as the shoes arrive.

I’m thinking I could even lose a little weight, not that I need to so much, but I wouldn’t mind dropping one more pant size.

“You just keep getting skinnier and skinnier,” my friend said over coffee this morning, “what are you doing?”

Not much, honestly, obviously not working out.

But when I had all the issues with the reflux I cut a few things out of my diet.

I stopped eating a hard-boiled egg in the morning with my breakfast and I stopped having a snack at night.

I think that was really about it.

I’m just basically eating less.

I don’t think I’m still losing weight, but it was nice to hear that from my friend.

I also don’t see myself very clearly.

I will often see myself as heavier than I am or think that I am bigger than I am.

Partially because, well, I was for a very long time in my life.

Anyway.

Here’s to baby steps and ordering new work out shoes and making the decision to join a gym.

A gym!

Ahahahaha.

I am now one of those people who joins a gym in January.

This isn’t really a resolution though.

More like an intention to do just a little more self-care.

The next semester will bring much work with it and I sense that having an outlet will help me deal with the homework.

And maybe.

You know.

Look sexier in a pair of jeans.

Heh.

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A Few More Days

August 2, 2017

Of lazy.

A few more days of being able to do yoga in the morning during the week.

I have signed up for a class tomorrow morning.

I went to one this morning.

My ass has been thoroughly kicked with the yoga.

But.

I feel good too, especially afterward.

Especially when I run into friends in the neighborhood who tell me how good I look and how much weight I have lost.

“You look amazing!  I mean, really beautiful, and you’ve lost so much weight, I mean, you look great!” She exclaimed as she stopped in front of the garage where I was sweeping this morning.

I had just gotten back from yoga class and wanted to do my good deed for the day and so I pulled in the garbage cans, the recycling, the compost bins and I decided to sweep out the front of the house.

It’s not something I have ever been asked to do, but sometimes it’s just nice to do something to care for the house, it’s not mine, but I do live here and I like to pull up on my scooter to a tidy spot.

I was still in my yoga gear, had sweat like a maniac, had my hair up in a big messy bun, and was sweeping garbage into the gutter.

And I look amazing?

You are sweet.

But.

I could also tell that how I was feeling was reflected in how I look.

I am happy.

And it shows.

I think that’s what the “weight loss” is, that I am happy.

It’s a nice thing to say and maybe it is true, but it doesn’t matter, I feel about the same in my body as always, albeit a bit sore from the work out today.

I also had no problem accepting the compliment.

It’s nice to hear.

My neighbor and her dog went to the park, I kept sweeping and it just lead from one thing to the other.

Hot shower.

Clean sheets on the bed.

Hot breakfast, latte, writing.

Trip to the laundry mat.

Run to the grocery store.

Cook a little.

Write a lot.

Chat on the phone.

Return e-mails for my internship.

Coordinate my schedule for the month.

I have a bunch of consults this week and a probably new client, although I haven’t set anything up yet.  I have been waiting for the assistant director to make the client official.

Although my director did say I could reach out to the client, I feel better waiting for the official look of the e-mail from the assistant director.

I did some research.

I looked over my syllabi for school and I poked around to see if the classes that weren’t posted yet had any of their syllabi in innocuous spots.

Sometimes that happens, a teacher will use a different platform than the one that the school wants everyone to use and a syllabus will get posted somewhere other than the spot I am used to checking.

Anyway.

There was nothing new with school.

I did some personal accounting, adding up my expenditures for the month of July and making a Spending Plan for the month of August.

Which is typically a month where I have an additional financial category.

Burning Man.

I decided this morning to stop being a baby about it and suck it up and be happy that I have enough resources to rent a car and.

Yes.

I applied for a credit card.

I realize I don’t want to tie up a bunch of money on my debit card.

I can and have rented cars before on my debit card, but they typically demand an enormous deposit and the reimbursement of said deposit is almost always a month.

I don’t want to tie up my finances that way.

Especially heading into the fall semester.

Plus.

Well.

I like to travel and I have been lots of places in the last few years, Paris twice, New York twice, New Orleans, Atlanta, and I should be accruing miles for that travel.

But I never have.

I have always found a cheap ticket online and just bought it with my debit card.

Which is fine.

It’s worked well, but I have been thinking it would be nice to be acquiring some miles.

Especially since my dear friend has moved back to France and we’ve discussed probable trips there, and I want to go to Barcelona and I’ll be flying back from LA next June when I do the ALC (Aids Life Cycle Ride.  Hey!  That’s right, I’m riding, you want to donate to the cause?  I need to raise $3,000 it would be great if you donated.  My rider number is: 2713 you can donate here), so I want to start getting travel rewards.

Yup.

That’s right.

I applied for a credit card today.

First credit card I have applied to in 12 years.

I haven’t had one since I got sober.

Cut those bad boys up and threw them in the trash.

I had a lot of debt.

I was very generous when I was drinking and using and I had no problem throwing my plastic around.

That plus.

My first year of sobriety I had no money, like none, I had a bad accident at my first job and was out of work for six, seven months, it took me a long time to get back on my feet and I went over a year and a half without making any payments on those cards I had.

What had been about $12,500 in debt became.

Wait for it.

$112,000.

Yes.

Part of that was back taxes owed the IRS.

But hey, they audited me and took that money right away.

That sucked so hard.

Then there was the pair of panties, the bra and the pair of jeans I had bought using a Victoria Secrets credit card that I never paid on.

It was a sale of $84 that became a debt of $1350.

I cleared it all.

All but my student loan debt.

I had many, many, many conversations with collectors and debt departments and all manner of people who wanted whatever money I had.

I got harassed a lot.

I was mortified.

It was horrendous and I was assured I would drink again if I didn’t take care of it.

So.

After some time.

I made the calls.

I used a script that someone helped me write.

I eventually went and saw a lawyer who took one look at my records, what I was doing and said, “what you are doing is commendable, and at the rate you are going you’re never getting out of it, you need to file for bankruptcy.”

Ugh.

He gave me his services for cheap.

Cheap.

Fuck, it cost me $2500 to file it and for his services.

But.

It went through.

And yes.

I still have debt, but it is just my student loans.

Just.

Bwaahahahahahhaaha.

Excuse me.

Anyway.

I’m worth the investment so I don’t care about the student loans, they will get paid off too when the time is right.

So, to circle back, for eight years I couldn’t have a credit card.

And for the rest of the time I just said, I don’t need one.

I technically don’t.

But.

I would like to not have to deal with the hassle of the car rental and I can rent the damn thing, be done with it, collect some miles on a card, and immediately pay the bill off with my debit card.

That’s what I figure I’ll do.

I’ll rent the car with the card, pay it off right away and then not have to have anything tied up.

That’s the logic anyway.

I don’t know if I can get a card, but I researched and I applied and I’ll just say, I took the action, I’ll let go of the results.

I’ll get to Burning Man one way or the other.

And in the mean time.

I have a few more days of lazy.

Not that I’ve been terribly lazy, just mellow.

Work will start back up for me on Friday.

And of course I have my clients and consults and internship to deal with.

Life is full.

Life is good.

I am happy.

And apparently I have “lost” some weight.

Heh.

 

The Perfect Dress

February 24, 2017

Almost.

But not quite

So freaking close, but I was afraid to force the zipper.

Just in that one spot.

Ah well.

I’m not returning it though.

I don’t often buy clothes off Etsy pretty much because it’s hand-made often and you can’t tell, but I fell for the dress and it’s gorgeous and it fits perfectly, except I need like a 1/2 an inch in the back for the zipper, right below my bust line, pretty much the widest place except for my shoulders.

I’ll just have it taken out a tiny bit.

I’m otherwise quite happily pleased with it and had a sudden moment of realizing I was going to wear it to Paris.

It really screams Paris in Spring.

It’s a replica of a Marilyn Monroe polka dot sundress in light blue with four tiers of layered flounce and sassiness.

It’s gorgeous.

I found it while I was looking for hair accessories.

Aforementioned blog about celebrating my getting time off to go to Burning Man from work.

While bopping about in the retro vintage pin-up rockabilly accessories I came across it.

I was like.

Oh my.

Yes.

I want that and I want that bad.

And.

It must have been fated.

Because the shop has “taken a break.”

I was hunting around trying to find the link to the Etsy shop and finally landed it and the shop has closed!

There is one other seller on Etsy making the dress.

Exact same dress.

Exact same measurements, in fact, aside from a slightly different woman modeling the dress, it could be the exact same seller.

Except.

Holy shit.

THREE times the price.

I got the dress I ordered for $89.99 plus shipping and tax.

This dress.

Total was like $104.

The other site has it listed for $325 (I found a couple off Google in the upper $200s)

Yeah.

Um.

No.

It’s a great dress but not for three hundred dollars.

Quite happy I found the dress the way I did and now knowing what I know about the shop not even existing anymore I will definitely be keeping the dress and just getting it altered a tiny bit.

There would have been a time when I was devastated to not fit into the dress.

But seriously.

I have a lovely, capable, beautiful body.

So what I have a broader back, I am strong.

I was not happy the zipper didn’t get through that one sticky spot, damn it fits so well everywhere but there, but I wasn’t sad either.

That’s progress.

I ran into a fellow tonight after doing the deal with my person and having dinner at Crepevine on Church and Market, and he did a double take, “you’ve lost so much weight!”

I realized later that I hadn’t seen him since about 2009 when I was depressed, hiding in my room, binge reading Twilight, yes I said Twilight, fuck off, and binge eating bowls of popcorn, pints of ice-cream and sacks of donuts from the Jelly Donut on Van Ness and 24th Street.

It was bad, bad, bad, Bad News Bears, bad.

I was miserable.

I finally broke through the silence and reached out and got help and since that point I’ve never really looked back.

No.

My body is not all that and a loaf of sliced bread.

But then again, why would it be, I don’t eat bread.

Heh.

But it is mine.

Mine to care for, comfort, nourish, and attend to.

And that is a gift.

My body has taken a beating for me for a long time, physically and spiritually and mentally too.

It has never lived up to my high expectations, even when I was a super low weight, before I evened out and got less compulsive about my restrictions in my diet, even then, pounds lighter, I wasn’t happy, I wanted more, better, faster, thinner, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

Grateful today for the beautiful body God has given me to walk around in.

Grateful that I get to care for it and be perfect with it and not be bothered if the zipper doesn’t go all the way up.

It will.

Grateful too that although my first thought was, oh, I’ll lose some weight and it will fit in a few weeks, it was quickly supplanted by, fuck that, just get it tailored to fit you, it only needs a small adjustment, I don’t need to make myself crazy to fit into any piece of clothing.

I am not my pants size.

I cannot.

Will not.

Measure my life by my in-seam, bust size or waist line.

I am so much more than the sum of my whole.

And I am not stupid.

I am beautiful.

God please help me to see what you want me to see and to let go of what I can.

I can let go of this for sure.

Yes, yes I can.

Please and thank you.

Any one know a good tailor?

Seriously.

 

You’ve Lost Weight!

December 16, 2016

The counter woman at the postal office said to me today as I dropped off the last Christmas package that needed to go in the mail.

“Thanks, yes, I thought it was starting to show a little,” I smiled.

“You look great!”

That was a nice way to start my day.

Especially since I haven’t really lost weight.

Although, I am looking smaller, I’ve been doing so much yoga, signed up for a class tomorrow morning, because I still can before my schedule at work completely up ends and I have to figure out how I will make time with the new job, I haven’t, in fact, lost weight.

I’m just tighter, stronger, and my posture is a lot better.

I can feel it when I walk and I do feel lighter in my body, even though the scale said otherwise.

I don’t like using a scale, it’s a number that has a lot of connotations attached to it that aren’t mine and they don’t serve me.

But looking in the mirror, I do, in fact, see a slightly smaller body and I definitely feel stronger in my person.

And that’s nice.

“Have a good night kiddo,” the Uber driver said to me as he dropped me off tonight.

So much rain, I was not taking my scooter out in it today, so a ride to work, a ride to meet my person at Firewood Cafe in the Castro after work and a  ride home, good thing I’m selling back some books tomorrow!

I leaned back into the car, “thanks for saying that, I turn 44 on Sunday! Have a great night!”

My driver waited while I got into the front gate of my house, then leaned out the window, “you look amazing, you do not look 44!  You’re still a kiddo.”

Thanks man.

Hey, I’m single too.

hehe.

Anyway.

The yoga, it shows.

And I am grateful to be doing it especially as the holidays, though jolly, can at times be a little melancholic for me.

I don’t think I’m alone in that.

That being said, I am super happy to have the family and fellowship and friendships that I have and I am realizing where I need to cultivate them, those relationships, and where I need to let them go.

“You are like me,” my person said tonight, “one act of kindness and forever in the other person’s debt.”

Oh.

Damn.

So true.

Things are changing internally and some relationship changes are occurring and have been occurring and I realized that I could be grateful for the time I have had with people, with relationships, and not have to hold onto them or force them to work.

The only relationship I really need to cultivate is one with myself.

And others will follow.

Being respectful to myself, loving myself, taking care of myself, it shows and it’s nice to give it back to the world.

“We’re going to miss you around here,” the girl at the register said to me today as I picked up a few extra supplies for the dinner I made the family tonight–lobster, corn, sushi rice, and teryaki roast salmon.

Yeah.

Like that.

“Do you like lobster,” my employer asked me today when I was going down the list of things to do and cook and make.

Um.

YES.

My boss had picked up three and it was a lobster boil tonight.

I haven’t had it in a little while.

I even clarified the butter.

Damn Gina.

It was good.

I had to dash out in the rain to the corner market and get some extra ingredients and had a sweet chat with the woman who works the register and wished her happy holidays and told her about leaving my current job and moving over to the Glen Park neighborhood.

The aforementioned complement and a request that I not forget them and come in for a visit once in a while.

I loved that.

It feels so nice to be appreciated, to be seen, to be acknowledged.

Although I don’t act nice for the acknowledgment of it, or for accolades, it just feels better to be thoughtful and kind.

Heck.

I even got a hug from my yoga instructor today.

He’s become a favorite of mine during the week and I won’t be able to take his classes anymore since my job schedule is changing.

Today was my last Thursday morning class.

He commiserated with me about my schedule and school and said he was really going to miss having me in class and he hoped that I would stick with the yoga.

I am sticking.

I just don’t know what it will look like.

Story of my life.

I don’t know what anything is going to look like anymore.

Which, really, if I admit it, is rather a relief.

I like surprises.

I just know that I am going tomorrow and after that I will take a shower, make coffee, eat breakfast, and go sell back my books.

Then work.

Then the big paper on Saturday.

That is sort of all my focus at the moment.

Get through work.

Get through this paper.

There will always be something to work on, to do, to be, to become, so I also wish to just stop and acknowledge that it was a hard day, work had some challenges I didn’t really feel like writing about, and I’m grateful for every moment, because I keep learning about what I want and don’t want, in relationships, in employment, in school, in life.

It’s good stuff really, even the challenging stuff I can be grateful for and when I look back over the arc of the day I could complain about the difficulties, but really, when I was treated so warmly, so kind, with sweetness and compliments, and well, love, why the fuck would I bother to focus on the negative?

No thanks.

Today was a good day.

And I’ll end on that note.

Because.

Well.

lt was.

 

 

Take The Fucking Drama

June 17, 2016

Out of it.

Oh my god.

What a fucking concept.

I laughed and almost slapped my own forehead.

Instead of getting worked up about work, I just thought, fuck, all I have to do is show up and be of service, I don’t have to ask anything, I don’t have to do anything, I don’t have to be stupid and pushy, I can ask for what I need the next time it comes around.

No need to do it today.

Just having done the work around it, the internal re-arranging of my perspective was the relief.

My boss doesn’t have to change.

My boss is never going to change.

She doesn’t have to.

I do.

I change.

And today I decided that creating unnecessary drama before a three day weekend was stupid.

Idiotic really.

When I was going to get off work early today and be eating out with my boys and drinking pricey iced coffees.

Oh Stumptown how do I love thee.

Yeah, I know, it’s not San Francisco based, but fuck, they have good ass coffee.

I am all out of the coffee I bought in New York.

Frankly, I have to say I was disappointed with the Gorilla Coffee I got, the roast was far darker than I like and just a tiny bit charred to my taste.

The coffee I had at the cafe when I popped into it was great, but they were out of the beans that I wanted.

Now.

Variety, in Williamsburg, that stood up to the test.

In fact.

It was like being transported back to the cafe and the talk I had with the barista and then the getting together with my friend and doing that thing I like to do in church basements that evening.

It was a sweet reminder every time I ground up a batch of the Variety beans I brought back.

Maybe I’ll find some hipster coffee in New Orleans.

Fuck me.

Total digression.

I’m all over the place.

Like always.

But.

I’m a tiny bit at loose ends.

Having a clear three day weekend ahead of me.

I got free of jury duty for tomorrow and the family is out of town visiting aunts and uncles and grandparents in the Midwest.

I spent the day keeping the boys on the move and out of the house, hence the Stumptown, I popped into Atlas Cafe on Alabama and 20th.

I have so many fond, and not so fond, memories of the cafe.

It was my first heavily visited cafe, being a block and a half away from the first place I lived in the city, 20th and York.

The first time I go there I ran into someone from Madison who had moved to San Francisco years before me and I had had a class with at University, a TS Eliot class that was amazing and also challenging beyond comprehension, most of the class dropped, including the guy I ran into at the cafe, but I stuck it out and though it may seem odd, that was were I began to believe in God.

That coupled with the course on fairy tales I took the next summer and there, a chink in my armor.

A place where the light got in.

Not for a while though.

Just ask my dealer.

He made a few deliveries to me at Atlas Cafe as well.

I have a nodding acquaintance with the bathroom there.

And a fondness tinged with nicotine nostalgia for the back patio where once upon a time a lady could smoke a cigarette with her espresso romano–a shot of espresso with a lemon twist.

God damn.

I don’t smoke anymore.

I forget that sometimes.

I can forget many things easily.

Use to weigh over 80lbs heavier.

Forgot that.

Used to do drink every day.

Forgot that.

Used to not be able to not spend the money on the bag or pick up the phone to call my dealer to do a little delivery.

“Fuck, you’re guys faster than pizza delivery,” a friend “complained” as he had to scramble to get to the cash machine when my dealer showed up less than fifteen minutes after I had placed my “order.”

He was pretty quick.

Grateful for other things today.

Explained how grateful to be less of what I was and somehow so much more, humbled by the grace that I have been given, bowed head, loved, shined on so that I can turn it out and shine it forward.

That this body is no less and no more than a conveyance for love.

And hopefully sex once in a while.

Oh my God.

43.

STAWP with the hormones.

Oh.

I suppose I’ll rue the day when they go away, but seriously, the sexy sex chemicals in my blood stream.

I don’t have the screaming baby keening ache that I had for a few years, no, it’s been replaced by a last ditch ovarian siege where I am smoking out any guy with the testosterone to hang with me.

FUCK ME!

That’s what it feels like all the time.

ALL THE TIME.

Ok.

Maybe I exaggerate a little, but seriously, the body and the brain in collusion are trying real hard to get this lady some action.

Let’s go out and find some trouble….nothing’s sexier than regret.

Heh.

Were I to stumble upon that I might be smote.

So.

Until then.

The yoga.

The masturbation.

Thank you rechargeable Hitachi Magic Wand.

The hair geographic, which will happen Saturday.

I have a tentative date, blind date, Tinder date, not to hook up, which he made that clear, thanks, I think, but hey, you know, just trying, and I wonder if I should warn him about the impending pink hair or just spring it on him.

Fuck.

Who cares?

The drama.

There is none.

If my worst fucking problem is that I want to get laid and no one has thrown their hat in the ring, then my life is a fucking cake walk.

Rent is paid.

The phone is paid.

I got a yoga membership at the studio.

I got that thing in the church basements doing it’s deal for me.

I got happy, joyous, free.

I got friends.

I got good coffee in the cupboard.

Light in the soul.

Shine on my heart.

I ain’t got worries.

All I got.

Is three day weekend and endless fun.

Let’s see what kind of silly I can get up to.

Want to come along?

I promise.

Good times.

Seriously.

The One Thing I Don’t Like About You

October 14, 2015

Whoa.

Hey there cowboy.

It’s too early to have my inventory taken.

It got taken anyway.

I got an apology that was very sweet when I pointed out how it felt to be scolded.

My friend, I know, I heard him, did not mean it to come out that way.

The way, I think, I could be wrong, hind sight is never truly 20/20, is, “hey, there’s this thing you do and it detracts from who you are and what an awesome person you could be, why, you’re amazing, you could be even more amazing if you changed this thing about you.”

I bristled.

I always bristle at criticism.

However.

Thank you grad school work, specifically, yes, I am going to say it, thank you T-Group.

Ugh.

All the fucking work I did in that class, and have yet to do, there is a big paper due for the class, one that I won’t focus on quite yet as I have a few other papers ahead of it, but one I do have to address some reading for really soon, although perhaps not this week, all the work.

Well.

It paid off.

I don’t see myself the way that others see me.

My friend says I have all this talent for writing and creativity and such.

I quibble.

I say.

Nah, shucks, I ain’t all that good.

I don’t know the caliber of my writing or the goodness or lack there of.

Or.

Any of it.

I do know that I have gotten better and so much of that has to do with the constant, daily, showing up to write.

I write, on average, 2,500 to 3,000 words a day.

My blog is about 1,1200 to 1,500 words and then I write three pages long hand in the morning.

The days that I write a paper, like Sunday, I wrote over 5,000 words.

5,000.

Damn Gina.

That’s a lot of words.

Even if I started out with just a middling talent for writing, all the practice is going to produce better results.

I will say, I will agree, that I have an ear for words, I like them, they sing to me, I like finding different ways to look at them and arrange them.

Even.

I would argue.

How they fall on the page.

When I started breaking up my lines and sentences more often in my blogs, I liked the way they looked better.

They, the blogs, also felt better.

I don’t have a cognitive theory behind it.

I just like the way it looks.

Plus.

I feel like I am actually transmitting my thoughts and ideas as they fall out of my head.

My writing is extraordinarily stream of thought.

“It reads like you talk,” one of my dear friends told me, “I feel like I am having a conversation with you when I read it.”

So nice to know my voice comes across.

The voice of the blog, Auntie Bubba, is not always the voice of the woman, but it is always damn skippy close.

The two are very entwined.

The only difference is that I have more honesty in my morning pages and less manipulation of words, patterns, rhymes, poetic schemes, or poesie.

I love that word.

Just say it with me.

Poesie.

Of course its French.

Don’t be a silly rabbit.

So.

My friend has noted my skills at language, but also noted my lack of skills around some things which are considered basic self-care, the criticism received was that, man you’re an amazing woman, but you sure put taking care of others a head of you.

REALLY?

Wow.

How insightful.

Fuck you.

I jest.

I know I put other people first.

It’s a survival skill.

Now.

What my friend perhaps doesn’t see, and I won’t argue his assessment, he’s certainly not the first to make it, if it looks like a spade call it a spade, is that I have come so far from how bad it used to be.

Progress.

Not perfection.

I also heard concern for me, which I have heard echoed to me a lot lately as I embarked on the journey of 8 million miles, graduate school, take better care of yourself.

The thing is.

People.

I am trying.

I am trying so hard.

I bought myself flowers on Sunday.

I cooked food for myself to take to work.

I take long, hot showers.

Man, the one tonight, you could have scraped me off the bottom of the shower stall.

I take care of the physical stuff when it arises.

Hello.

You know.

The sexy stuff.

I almost didn’t tonight.

Even though I was thinking about it and the timing was good, home earlier than usual, early start at work, no housemate around, no housemates kid around, light some candles and set the mood Martines!

And I just felt, well, tired.

But.

I also knew that it was time to take time.

And.

Yeah.

Like that.

Better now.

Thanks!

And though I am not rankled by my friends words.

Specifically, what the conversation went like was something to the effect of, “the only thing I don’t like about you is that you don’t take better care of yourself.”

He meant.

I need to put myself first.

My feelings were hurt.

But.

There was also this underlying awareness.

Ok.

Well.

He’s not the first one to say it this week, so what exactly am I doing that doesn’t look like good self-care?

I go to work, I’m on time, I show up, I do a great job with the boys, I ride my bicycle to and from work (most days, got a ride in today which is when the conversation happened), I bring home-made food with me.

I drink a big glass of water as soon as I wake up.

I brush my teeth three times a day.

And.

I fucking floss once a day.

Who out there flosses?

Exactly.

I keep my house clean.

I listen to music every night when I blog.

The Orb is playing right now.

I eat organic food.

I make really nice coffee.

I have pajamas.

Although, I think it might be time for a new set.

I know that I work a lot and I work hard, but you see, there’s no one but me and I have become accustomed to a certain kind of living.

It’s simple, but it’s mine.

Shh.

Me thinks she doth protest too much.

What self-care I need is to implement more joy of living.

Which is why I love Burning Man so much, it’s play time, even when it’s hella hard work.

“I noticed something,” my friend said, “you only go to the beach when you are sad.”

Ouch.

Fuck.

He really does see me quite well.

So what did I learn from T-Group, from my friend, from my people, and my cohort, from my community?

That I could stand to have some more laughing and silliness and how I am going to manage that, I don’t know.

I suppose, start by surrendering to the idea that I am going it all alone.

Rely a little more on others.

Give myself a break.

Walk down to the ocean for no reason other than it’s there.

Go to a museum.

I have not been to one since my trip months ago to LA, way back, to that wonderful time when I had time, before school started.

Any kind of fun.

Something for myself.

I fully acknowledge that the first feeling that comes up is sadness.

Grief.

Fun is some how equated in my mind with grief.

Now.

This is something I am only now, I mean now, in this moment realizing.

I have some sort of negative correlation to having fun with loss.

There is so much to unpack here, I am not going into it after a long day at work and having already devoted an hour to reading my Human Development text.

Which in and off itself can sometimes be a challenge to read when I reflect on where I come from and how many battles I have had to soldier through growing up the way I did.

The deck was stacked.

It was so stacked against me.

But.

There is joy too.

In the memories of my childhood.

The orchard in Windsor.

Climbing trees.

Flying kites at Warner Park.

Riding my bicycle.

Ice skating.

Playing relay races at the park during the long slow twilight of summer nights.

Sitting in the back yard, the grass high, watching the clouds roll by.

Maybe that’s all I need to do.

Go lie outside somewhere and watch the clouds go by.

What were the skies like when you were young?
They went on forever and they, when I, we lived in Arizona
And the skies always had little fluffy clouds
And they moved down, they were long and clear
And there were lots of stars at night

And when it would rain it would all turn, it, they were beautiful
The most beautiful skies as a matter of fact
The sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire
And the clouds would catch the colors everywhere
That’s neat, cause I used to look at them all the time when I was little
You don’t see that

Layering different sounds on top of each other
Layering different sounds on top of each other

Little fluffy clouds and little fluffy clouds and
Little fluffy clouds and little fluffy clouds and

Wow!

October 24, 2014

Look at you!

“You’re teeny tiny,” she said with admiration and awe as I explained that I used to be a size 26/28 and now I am a size 10/11.

I don’t think of myself as teeny or tiny, so that was a super nice complement to hear.

I don’t think of myself as much different from I have always been, until I see pictures from years ago and then I realize, holy shit, I really have changed.

I don’t do much compare and despair, it doesn’t work so much for me.

Occasionally I will see some woman rocking a hard body and I will feel a twinge of something other than admiration, I admit it, but I don’t have the jealous envy thing going on.

Mostly, it’s just that I realized I don’t have that kind of body and that’s ok too.

I lost a lot of weight.

A LOT.

Those of you who know me in person can attest to that and those of you who don’t, I lost about 100 lbs.

It was a process.

Lots of trial.

Plenty of error.

Loads of surrender and taking other people’s suggestions and bicycle riding and dancing and walking and letting go of my ideas about what I could do and what I should look like and lots of information seeking and sometimes some hiding under the bed.

But mostly I don’t think about it too much.

It is nice, however, when someone asks about my story and experience and I can relate what happened and how and pass it on and be of service around it.

I had a sweet heart to heart with someone this evening and the best I could say was, “be gentle to yourself, no matter what you go home and do right now, be kind, and the change will happen, and call me if you need some support, you’re not alone.”

I wasn’t.

I thought I was.

But I wasn’t.

I also did not know that there was a solution for me.

I still have my ups and downs with things.

I joke that I have recently lost my baby fat.

My “I sat on my ass for a month and didn’t work and had to rehab my ankle,” and then I was on MUNI riding to and from work for three more months, weight gain.

Four months with no real kind of exercise.

I actually don’t think I gained a lot of weight, but I gained some, mostly, I believe, I just loss muscle tone.

I’m sort of lazy when it comes to exercise.

I get it riding my bike.

My bike happens to be my mode of transportation, so I kill two birds with one stone.

Get to and from work and get about an hour to an hour and a half of exercise five to six days a week.

Who needs to go to the gym after that?

Granted I have a goofy body from it.

Bicycle thighs and bottom (like an apple bottom, but better), but I don’t mind.

I don’t have a six-pack, my belly is soft and my arms have sag.

Partially that’s excess skin from the weight loss and there have been times when I fantasized about getting rid of it.

If it wasn’t a cosmetic surgery that costs a lot of money and isn’t covered by my insurance, I would do it.

If I had the money, I would.

I would love to get rid of the flap.

But I am not the sum of my jeans size or the excess of my skin in spots, I am fully just me.

And I know I am beautiful and it was a pleasure to hear her say those words.

I also look at my body as a road map of my experiences and I hope that anyone who knows me and loves me or hell, even likes me isn’t going to be hyper concerned with what my body looks like.

Granted, I do want to come across as healthy and I prefer to spend time with like-minded folks, I think it a strong expression of self-love that I take care of my body the way that I do.

I hated myself, the way I looked, the size I was for too long to do anything other than love every bit of it as fierce as I can now.

Jesus.

I sound like Tyra Banks.

Smize bitches!

I do know that I look good right now though, I’m not tooting my horn, well, maybe a tiny bit, but I have been back on my bicycle now for about a month and I can see the difference and I can feel it too.

Some looseness in my jeans.

But mostly a lightness in my step and a feeling of going faster on my bicycle.

There is two points to this, one is that I am lighter, so I go a little faster, but I am also stronger for having been back in the saddle for four and a half weeks, therefore, faster on that account too.

I whipped home tonight and that was nice.

I also ate more protein today.

I suspect that might have been a factor yesterday with my fatigue, when I reviewed my food for the day, I send it to someone every night who helps me with some perspective about that and keeps me accountable, I saw that I was a little protein light.

That will wear me down almost as fast as being fatigued.

My muscles work hard.

I pedal my bicycle hard.

I haul and tote a two-year old and a four-year old, plus groceries and library books and I get a good work out.

I remember a guy I was dating about six or seven years ago and I remember when I made the decision to break up with him.

We were at the Walgreens in the Mission at 23rd and Mission street getting a few things for the night–condoms, let me be transparent–and he picked himself up a few things too.

A pack of cigarettes.

Beef jerky.

Funyuns.

And I thought, you’re going to put all that crap into your body?

Blech.

I realized that not only did this man not love himself, he really did not like himself either and I didn’t want to date someone who didn’t care for themselves.

It was rather revelatory.

I’m not a fanatic, I’m not an exerciser, I’m a little on the lazy bones side as far as that goes, but when I look around at the pile of gorgeous organic Pippin apples and persimmons I got at the farmer’s market today, I know that I love myself.

And wow.

That’s more important to me than my pants size.

Even if I rather like being a size 10.

I am more than, not less than, my weight.

I am the weight of my love for myself and that is, at least in this moment.

Fathomless.

Not bad insights for a Thursday.

Fucking fantastic insights as I prepare to begin the dating thing.

Friday night date number one on order tomorrow.

See you on the other side.

Looking fabulous.

Don’t Eat That!

October 10, 2014

I shouted at the older boy today in the park.

A playmate was offering him  a bite of something foil wrapped and studded with nuts.

He’s got a peanut allergy.

I travel with two epi pens at all times in case he has a reaction to anything that he may ingest in the course of the day.

“I wasn’t going to,” he said, just a touch petulantly.

“It doesn’t have peanuts in it,” his little companion said, “I read the ingredients.”

You did!  You are amazing at reading, thank you for checking, but I still don’t want him to eat it, we’re off to the market soon and then to dinner, so thank you, but no thank you.”

I smiled.

Yeah.

Sure kid.

You read the ingredients.

I don’t think so.

I saw you tear it open, steal it from out of a bag not yours (we were on a play date) and shove it in your mouth, plus you’re what, four?  That’s some big vocabulary in tiny print on the wrapper, I don’t know that you read it and I don’t trust half as far as I can throw you, and you’re four, I can give you a good heave.

I dont’ want to have to use the epi pens ever.

Although I am glad to carry them and I am used to being around someone who will go into anaphylactic shock from an allergy reaction.  My mom is severely allergic to bees and I remember her always having a kit in her purse, although I never did see it being used.

I am über cautious and I don’t apologize for it.

Plus, I don’t want the kid eating sugar glazed crap at the park, it’s ok once in a while, but the mom and I work out a meal plan every day when I go in and I follow it to the best of my abilities.

It’s one of my favorite parts of the day actually.

I enjoy food prep and cooking and making meals, I love to cook and I am getting very used to being in their kitchen and prepping meals.

There’s something really meditative about doing it and I find myself focused on the task in front of me and not worrying about the rest of the work day.

Then I find that the day just cruises right on by.

The only drawback to doing the food prep is to not stick it in my own mouth.

I could and have reprimanded myself a few times in a similar matter, “don’t eat that!  Don’t taste that!  That’s so not yours!  Leave it.”

The boys eat like boys, they also eat really well, but some of the things that I prepare for them I just can’t eat myself and I will catch myself about to pop something into my mouth that I would never even think about being around, but there it is and it looks good.

I have been openly welcomed to eat anything they have and that is quite sweet, but I have to be vigilant, I just don’t need to let myself slip and slide down that slope.

So I made a detour on the way home and popped into see some folks I haven’t seen in a couple of weeks and got myself regrouped.  Just because I have a new job and a new schedule does not mean that  can let my life go.

I hear it again and again, that which you put in front of your program you will lose.

Not interested in that.

AT ALL.

So.

If it’s not finished, I don’t finish it, if it’s flour or sugar, I don’t eat it, and if there’s something that I could eat, but it’s not the time for me to be eating, I pass as well.

Then I feel a lot more sane and happy.

And my focus can be on my job and not on what food is hanging about for me to scavenge.

It reminds me, nannying does, often of being at the veterinary hospital I worked at for a couple of years before I was able to get some surrender and relief from doing the food thing on my own.

When someone is grateful, they give the veterinarian food–donuts, Krispy Kreme’s were a huge deal, cupcakes, cookies, occasionally a fruit basket, but more often than not See’s Candies or bread or pizza, and starting in October, the Halloween candy, that ebbs into November, then the holidays, my manager would actually take a lot of the candy and freeze it and dole it out over the course of the year when there wasn’t such a stack of holidays.

I got used to not eating it at the veterinary hospital.

Having a large dog scale was enough to help me along in those inroads.

I didn’t really have recovery around my food, I had shame about my size.

So I white knuckled it starting one October when the Halloween candy was stating to reach a breaking point with me.

And I lost a lot of weight.

But I was doing it on my own and it was pretty rough going.

Then the time came when I went back to my previous ways and gained back a lot of that weight and it was horrid and I hated myself and I started over.

And with the exception of one bad patch of three weeks, I have been maintaining an abstinence from sugar and flour for years now.

Which I shall, one day at a time, hope to maintain for the rest of my life.

And if that means bringing my own food to work, I am fine with it.

Just like that little boy who is allergic to peanuts, I have my own monsters that I have to stay away from.  A new job does not make them permissible.

Never has.

Never will.

Grateful for the support I have in my life and the check in I had this evening.

Grateful too, for the generosity of my employers, I am swept up in their love of their children and I so respect them and what they do that I have no problem happily feeding them, even when it’s food I wouldn’t feed myself.

They are super healthy.

I am super healthy.

We just have different foods that work and don’t work for us.

Thank God for perspective.

And solution.

That’s the kind of abundance that works best for me.

At all times.

Get Yer Pink Hat On

May 28, 2014

I got me a fedora.

I have been wanting one for a bit and when I saw this one, I had to stop and grab it.

Pink.

Sequined.

Jaunty.

Yes.

I said jaunty.

And it works with my hair and my eyeglasses.

Best of all.

The cost.

$4.49.

Courtesy of your local Good Will.

I nanny in Cole Valley Monday through Wednesdays and I walk by the Good Will probably once, perhaps twice a week, depending on what park I am headed to.  It is a great Good Will and it has big windows for “La Leche Vitrine”.

Literal translation from the French: “window licking”.

Now, I am not a typical window licker, I don’t often purchase what I see, I window shop a lot, I am good at it and it’s a harmless, cheap habit.  Today especially.  A girl can’t go wrong with a hat for under five dollars and it’s pink and it’s sequined.

It now also has a pink rose attached to it and a pink feather that I got last year around this time to make hats and all things haberdashery for the playa, from the arts and crafts store on Haight.

I was house sitting in Cole Valley, just off the Haight Street neighborhood, last year about this time and I had decided I wanted to make all my little hair pieces myself, instead of laying out forty, fifty bucks for the pieces that I was drawn to.

Hell I saw some cute ones at Lightening in a Bottle too, but all were quite expensive and I recalled again, with a smidgen of guilt for not having done anything with all the gear I got for this project.

Buttons, bows, ribbons, flowers, glitter, feathers, netting, little metal charms, embroidery floss, hair clips to pin everything to.

I got all the right stuff to make some fascinators and some other pieces.

And I never did it.

I remember taking it all back to Grace Land with me after the house sitting gig had ended and spreading it all over the gigantic table in the dining room, then getting out needle, thread, scissors, the fabric glue and sorting everything into piles and sighing and sitting down to go to it.

And not being able to go to it.

In hindsight, I was pretty depressed and not certain what was happening with my life, having just returned from France and it being a difficult transition from the 9th arrondisement to East Oakland, 51st and International was a bit of culture shock to me.

Granted my dear friend who was letting me stay, was a dear friend, and had all the comforts of a well stocked home, kittens to snorgle with, Netflix on the tv, internet, a big cushy bed, so much nicer than the lumpy futon I had spent the majority of my nights on in Paris, and a big huge vat of popcorn that he had gotten special for making kettle corn.

Thus began my slippery slope that led soon to my relapse on all things sugary and floury and donutty and icecreamy and basically way bad for me and my health.

I picked up all the flowers and ribbons that I had planned to bedeck myself with, shoved them in a hat box and went to the kitchen.

I got out the air popper and poured the kernels in.

I just started with butter and salt, a big glass of sparkling water, and I cued up the first season of the West Wing, which I had never seen before, and proceeded to check the fuck out.

That’s not a solution for me today.

Thank God.

I was reminded of that today and I am grateful to have the way of life I have now.

And also a degree of humility about it, I could have checked out with some booze, there was a fully stocked bar.

I could have checked out with some crack cocaine.

There was East Oakland right outside my doors.

And I did not.

And for that I am ok with the fact that I checked out with the popcorn, then the ice cream, then the donuts and macaroons, and Arizimendi pizza, the hamburger and french fries from Burger Joint, the boxes of cereal and more Netflix, and then lots of self-loathing and hatred.

I got through it with a lot of help from some dear friends who reminded me that this too shall pass and I went to work to get out of the clutches of my historical reliance on food as a means of self-soothing.

It didn’t work for me then, it never had, and it was the place that I went to.

I pray I don’t have to have the experience again.

I lost the weight I put on with that binge that ended up being about three weekends of self-destruction.

And for the first time, for me, it was not about losing the weight (in fact, I have only weighed myself twice in the past year so I don’t even know what it is), it was not about checking out to solace myself.

Buying that pink fedora at the Good Will store when I was window shopping on the way to the park was like waiving a flag of victory.

I wore it all day long.

I even rode my bicycle home with it perched on my head.

Which was a great test for Burning Man.

The brim shielded my eyes and did not get in the way of my glasses and best yet, though it was windy, it stayed put.

That is important.

And when I got home I was happy to deck it out with the feather and the pink fabric rose that I had bought this time last year.

In fact, I am so pleased with the results that I am thinking I may host a little playa prep party at my place and see if anyone wants to sit out in the back yard with me and enjoy the sunshine, drink tea, and make some fascinators and hats and clips.

It would be fun, I have the gear, and so many of my girlfriends are going this year, it might be just the thing to do.

Celebrate my 8th year returning to Burning Man by putting another feather in my cap.

Literally.

It’s Almost Friday

March 21, 2014

It’s almost time to dance.

Oh Jesus.

I am ready.

I am ready.

I need to shake it out and shake it hard and let my hair down, and probably put it back up because I will get hot, then let it all go.

I am going to tear it up.

At least that’s what it feels like right now.  Tomorrow, well tomorrow, I could be punked out and my energy may be low and maybe, it’s been known to happen, I won’t be feeling it.

But I will go anyway.

Because I bought tickets.

I was ruminating earlier that sometimes I have to purchase something to go and the guilt of having paid for it will be the motivation.

What?

I paid $18.05 to go dancing (tax, etc.) online.

I better go.

I want to go and that should be enough impetus, but sometimes it is not.

I was talking about not riding my bicycle as much when I get my licence and how that has played out in my head as an anxiety producing thing about not getting enough exercise and the person I was checking in with asked what kind of exercising I like and  I said swimming.

Then she told me about a friend of hers who pays to be in a league and shows up for swim practise.

Swim practise!

Can you imagine at the age of 41?

Maybe.

I am a good swimmer and I do enjoy it and that’s an option, especially with having a vehicle to get me there and back.

Sometimes I am loath to go do something physical because I know afterward I am going to be on my bicycle and I am not up for the commute.

Though, truth be told, I have noticed that I am faster, quicker, and more agile on my bike of late.

I have dropped a pound or two and I can feel the lightness in my body and I can see more muscle tone in my legs and in my upper waist, my lower waist is never going to be what I want it to be, unless I get surgery, which should the money ever happen I might.

I will always, as long as I do what I am doing today, just for today, have loose skin on my body.

And instead of wishing it away I can be profoundly grateful for the visual evidence of what I used to weigh and how hard it was to get through the day.

How stressful it was to hike up Bascom Hill in Madison.

I hike up a great deal of hills in San Francisco, once a week a really steep one, pushing my bicycle up ahead of me–why I will get to climb it tomorrow–up Noe to 19th, and I don’t need to pause for breath three or four times.

I had an old friend tag me in some photographs from days gone by when I used to work at the Angelic Brewing Company, where I hit my top weight, maybe 282 lbs, maybe more.  I didn’t get on a scale for a long time after that and I believe I could have been heavier, but I wasn’t about to find out.

I know that a few years later I had dropped down to 250 lbs.

I know that because I weighed myself at my black belt test.

I was a 250 lb 29-year-old woman getting her black belt in Shaolin.

No wonder I wasn’t fucked with.

Well not much, I remember one of the bartenders, Kurt, joking about how we should turn off all the lights and jump out at me to see how I responded in the dark brewery.

Ah, no thanks, friend, no one needs to die.

Then I managed to get down to 214/215 lbs when I moved here to San Francisco.

Courtesy of a little dietary aid.

Er, I mean, a little bag, or two, of cocaine.

I remember a dear, dear friend asking me if I was using coke to lose weight.

Well, sort of, I admitted, I loved that I wasn’t hungry, but I couldn’t, at that time, admit that I was just plain old addicted to the shit.

Then I stopped.

And wow did the weight come back.

I ate to stuff all those feelings and stuff myself I did.

I bounced back up to 275 lbs, maybe more.

After that I did a lot of restricting and white knuckling, then one day someone suggested I try something else and after a couple of false starts I found a solution that works for me.

And I got right sized.

Which is not to say that I got to the size that I want to be at.

Nope.

Not at all.

What I got was a certain kind of freedom from obsessing about what that certain size should be.  I got a perspective that allowed me to see that every day, no matter how heavy or light, I was exactly how I should be and that change was going to happen and I might get bigger or smaller depending.

But I would always be right sized.

I believe that’s called humility.

So, when the brain beats me up and says my body is not as attractive as it could be, I get grateful for all the evidence to the contrary, I worked really hard to be the woman I am today and I am gorgeous.

I am not photoshopped, I have wrinkles, I have laugh lines, I have saggy upper arm skin and loose skin on my tummy, but I also have that as evidence I can look at every day and see what an amazing woman I am, how much effort I have put in, in small little steps, to be where I am at.

And where I am at is wearing a sleeveless size medium dress to go dancing in tomorrow night with a pair of leggings and some Converse.

Because although you might not think that my upper arms are sexy.

I do.

And flaunt them I shall while I get my groove on the dance floor.

Because being content in my body is the sexiest statement I can make.

And I am hella sexy.

Just watch me break it off tomorrow.

Because, it’s on.


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