Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Things I Want to Do Because I am On My Period (but Will Refrain from Doing)

1. Eat a bag of marshmallows by myself. Or a bag of chocolate chips. Or pour a bag of chocolate chips into a bag of marshmallows and eat that.

2. Tell the girl at the neighboring sink that smearing blue eyeshadow over half your face is not a good look for you, unless your name happens to be Disco Slut Barbie.

3. Tell the kid in the Che t-shirt to stop smoking his pretentious cigar and go change.

4. Spend the rest of the day drinking cosmos, reading blogs and watching this video.

I know that my reproductive system is a fantastically complex and capable thing and that I only hate my period because I've learned to. But dammit, sometimes I don't want to parse my PMS, I just want to fucking PMS.

A Facetious Missive to one Mr. Bond

Dear Mr. Craig: the more pudge you accumulate, the easier it will be for you to blast through drywall. And into my waiting arms. I hope to one day enjoy your fat, old company as a fellow fat, old person. Sincerely, Lisa.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Gee, thanks, WebMD!

Once my nutritionist confronted me about where I'd picked up all my ideas about "good" and "bad" foods. At that point I was a) in denial and b) not in my sharpest mental state, so I said something along the lines of, "I dunno ... WebMD?" She was appalled that anything on WebMD could have given me that idea.

Well, Dr. Wade, sorry to disappoint you, but I got a delightful little newsletter from WebMD today. The subject line read "Fattening Fall Foods: Resist the Temptation!" Inside there was a link to a slideshow of supposedly terrifying foods. Granted, I'm pathological - the majority doesn't take these kinds of messages literally. But while a relatively small percentage of us have an eating disorder, I'd wager quite a few more people have some kinds of struggles with food. Telling us to cower before the Halloween candy doesn't help. WebMD still has a modicum of legitimacy - if they want to keep it, they need to stop telling us to be afraid of food.

**EDIT: Jim found this for me, and I think this might be the one food-type product of which one might be legitimately afraid. If only because it is a $22 caramel apple. Shit fire.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Adios, Mr. Borgman

Jim Borgman has been a political cartoonist for the Cincinnati Enquirer for as long as I can remember. He's something of a legend to Cincinnatians, much like Graeter's ice cream. I'm definitely going to miss his work.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


My roommates and friends are downstairs. One of my roomies made us dinner - shrimp alfredo and baked potatoes. I had a baked potato with salsa and a cider. In a little bit she's going to ice and serve the cake. Later, after we've digested a bit, we're going to break out some wine and cheese.

I can do this. I really can. My stomach is not as big as I think it is, I'm not as globby as I think I am. I am going to enjoy eating a meal my wonderful roommate made and I am not going to hate myself for it. Dammit.

Friday, September 26, 2008


It's going to get worse, but there isn't going to be a depression. I'll never be able to get a house, but at least I won't have to drive to California in a beat-up jalopy and wind up breastfeeding a dying man in a barn.

This has been a long time coming.

Pakistani military analysts say the ongoing US-Pakistan border skirmishes won't escalate. Sure.

Bill Gates' market-based plan for increasing African crop yields. I have the audacity to hope.

Please please please let this turn into more than rumors. Ricky Gervais is hilarious.

Wow. I'm glad I share a state with a giant corn maze likeness of Sarah Palin.

PETA: please, shut the fuck up. Really.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Office Premiere

Anyone else watching the premiere of The Office?

Did anyone else find the "love your body" scene awesome?

If Michael Scott had told me to eat when I was restricting, well ... I probably wouldn't have, but it would have been much-needed levity.

I'm also enjoying the parody of workplace "wellness programs."

And that was the best TV engagement ever.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


In about 40 minutes, there will be an Eating Disorders Anonymous Meeting on the third floor of the student center. I'm sitting in the center's (admittedly awful) coffee shop, debating a) getting a latte and b)whether I should go and check it out.

Truth be told, I'm worried about how I'd react. My anorexia has a wide, messy competitive streak (think an eighth-grader's at-home highlights). Despite my progress of late, there's a part of me that still longs to be as thin as she is, to have the willpower she must have. Even if that person is very obviously sick - sicker than I ever was - there's that tiny voice that tells me to do better, to stop being so lazy, and don't you dare get that latte. Dr. M once said that with my tendencies, all I'd learn from a group therapy program would be how to be a really, really good anorexic. So confronting a room full of skinny people might be ... itchy.

On the other hand, I have made progress. I don't want to toot my own horn, but what if I could help somebody? If I get over my damn self and just tell my story, it might do somebody good. Tell them that it really can get better, it really is possible to have a semblance of what you had before. It'll never be quite the same - no experience of this magnitude can leave you unchanged. But the person you've become - you can make peace with that person. You can enjoy food again. It might be the damned hardest thing you've ever done, but you can.

I think I might be too chicken to go tonight (my shit-ton of work is another excuse). But I think I will get a latte.

Sweating the small stuff

I've written before about my Epidemiology professor. He's not the best lecturer, but I wasn't too frustrated with him.

Until today, when we were discussing different types of immunity. There are two main types, natural and acquired. Natural immunity is "passive" and short-lived, usually lasting for less than six months. The antibodies in breastmilk and the placenta that are passed from mother to offspring offer natural immunity. Acquired immunity comes from the body's' response to pathogens. Chicken pox immunity is one example. Additionally, active immunity can arise from incoluation - in this case, the exposure is intentional and therapuetic. Acquired immunity is long-term.

I wasn't arguing any of this. I wanted to know whether inheriting a relatively stronger immune system was passive or acquired immunity - you get it from your parents, but it's long-term. Like genetic resistance to malaria, I said. Epi Prof is from Nigeria and talks about native African's resistance to malaria pretty frequently. He also talks about his son, who has sickle-cell anemia. Since the two are related, I thought, surely he'll know what I'm talking about.

He looked at me like I was nuts. He said that malarial resistance is entirely due to environmental factors, like developing "thick skin" so mosquito bites couldn't penetrate. I knew that wasn't the whole story, but he wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise. It was so frustrating to be completely shut down like that. But then, he's from Nigeria; how could I possibly know more about malaria?

Well, I was right, not that any of this is particularly important (just frustrating as hell). Here, here, and here are sources backing me up.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Today ...

... is my birthday. But there are still other interesting things going on, too:

Administrative support jobs are the most dangerous for women?

I question whether it's really necessary to redesign the penny.

Don't think I'll be seeing this today. Or this.

Disaster Cleanup Watch: Cincinnati

The 2008 MacArthur Grants have been announced.

Twenty-two is an odd year. Am I officially a twentysomething now?

Monday, September 22, 2008


This weekend I ate ... normally. In that because I was starving after the wedding, I had seconds of the green beans (it helped that they were delicious) and two rolls. In that I, Lisa, recovering anorexic, ate wedding cake. I worked at Kroger - I know quite well the nutritional facts on buttercreme frosting. And I ate it anyway. At Jim's house, I devoured pomegranate salsa, chunky guacamole, pretzels, cheese and crackers. I didn't have the pizza they ordered, but that was mainly because I would have exploded. I even had a couple of toasted marshmallows and two Woodchuck Ciders. I wasn't Jim's Oddly Skinny Girlfriend Who Doesn't Eat - I was just Jim's Girlfriend, Lisa, who has a healthy appetite and laughs appropriately.

Writing down everything I ate makes me anxious, as it always does. It was a lot. But it's not out of the ordinary for a (very-soon-to-be) 22-year-old college student to eat more on the weekends than she does during the week. It's not out of the ordinary for her to exercise and eat healthfully most of the time and splurge once in a while. Concave stomachs and hollow cheeks, I've learned, are NOT normal.

I'm normal, or at least approaching it. And you know what? People still like me. I don't have to prove that I'm somehow superhuman and don't need to listen to and feed my body. I can have a belly and people will. Still. Like me.

But the question remains - will I like myself?

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Thankfully my body-image issues let up before I got to Columbus on Friday (and mucho thanks for the encouragement, brave commentators). Jim is wonderful, as he tends to be. Eventually I'll put of pics of his presents, which are probably the nicest things I've ever received. Even I can be a sucker for sparkly things.

The wedding and reception were nice, but I had even more fun at the after-party. A bunch of Jim's aunts/uncles/cousins came to his parents' place Saturday evening (the wedding was in the afternoon) and we sat around and stuffed our faces and talked. I think - fingers crossed here - I think they like me. I didn't make a bad impression, at least.

... now I have to pay for a week of doing basically nothing. Ah well.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oh dear

Today is not a good body-image day. It's one of those days when everything you put on accentuates every lump and jiggle; when you feel bloated and puffy, when you skip exercising and then feel guilty. The mirror is not my friend today, folks.

Tomorrow I'm going to Jim's cousin's wedding. I love my dress, but if tomorrow is like today I'm going to feel like a sausage encased in dark blue cotton. Icky.

Read this

This week in Sociology of Inequality, we read Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock. The title is the name of the Southeast Ohio town - a ghost town, really - in which the short-short stories take place. The author lived most of his life not far from there until starting at MFA program at the Ohio State University when he turned 40.

To call it "gritty" is an understatement. The second story slaps you with some brother-sister incest; drug use, domestic abuse, and sheer wracking poverty are close behind. There are events that are so bizarre that they have to be true - an alcoholic drinking from an ashtray when he forgets to bring a cup to the drive in, huffing Bactine, a woman who stashes fish sticks in her purse. Not light bedtime reading by any means, but solid, visceral writing about marginalization in Appalachia.

I felt almost ashamed at my periodic shock. The book is fiction, but the conditions exist. Knockemstiff is reality for so many people, and not just in Appalachia. There are sectors of American society that are profoundly disconnected from the relatively happy mainstream that most of us bloggers occupy. And they are much closer than you think. The book is difficult to get through, but certainly worth it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

You CAN wait, Miley

I've written (somewhat hysterically) about Miley Cyrus before, back when the infamous Vogue spread hit the airwaves. I realize that Hollywood is even more hysterical than I am and that this probably isn't true. However, if Miss Cyrus really is dating Justin Gaston, that is a problem. Even if this young man is attending church with Miley's family, there's still the matter of his being TWENTY YEARS OLD. DATING A FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD. Where I come from that will get you time in the pokey and a righteous ass-whupping. I find it odd that none of the articles mentioned this little legal hindrance.

This is a sticky issue - freedom to choose who to date/love/sleep with/tie up is important to me. However, adults are equipped mentally and emotionally to make decisions like that. If I'm any indication, fifteen-year-olds are idiots.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday random

1. Today my Epidemiology prof actually did say "copulation." Two minutes later he said "calculation." I know the difference only through context clues.

2. Saturday my roomies and I had a "pink drinks" party, and I caved and bought a Cosmo magazine when I made the ingredients run. I was reading one of the "articles" which quoted a psychology professor. The next one quoted a sociologist. I'm just wondering - if you're a professional academic, what do you do when Cosmo calls? I understand that exchange between the "academic" and real worlds is important, but what if someone Googles you and finds that? What if someone on the tenure committee sees it?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Until I Find Serenity

I accept a lot about other people. People are marvelously different, and while there are most definitely things I do not accept, on the whole I have an open mind. Or so I like to think.

For all that highfalutin talk, there are things about me that I have trouble accepting. Things about my own body, my person, my personality that are wrong, bad, simply not okay. I make efforts to change the things that make me unhappy, but at a certain point those efforts are more painful than their intended target. And then you have to accept less than perfection, less than unblemished happiness.

And so:
1. I do not have a very thin body type. Thanks to Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, etc. I can be thin, but it's not the way my genes have intended me to be. To be perfectly honest, I look better. As I've been gaining weight, I see this and I accept it. Starting now.
2. I am obsessive-compulsive. I worry and I can't stop. This isn't an admission of defeat - far from it. It's acceptance that this is a long-term problem that requires persistent effort. Fair? of course not, but that's how the cookie crumbles.
3. I have an eating disorder. It may be, as Laura says, "in remission," but it is still there and it is still a struggle. As with the OCD, I'm not giving up. But I am being easier on myself about it.
4. It sucks to be far away from someone you love. It's okay to be sad about it. It's even more okay to know that he misses you too, and to trust that you're tough enough to make it through the time apart. Additionally, being sad sometimes does not preclude being tough.

This is a short list. I'll think of other things later.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I don't have classes on Fridays. However, classes are excellent distractors.

I can't win.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A conversation

Setting: anywhere
Cast of characters: Lisa, OCD Thought

Lisa begins to worry.

Lisa: That's an OCD thought. I need to distract myself so I don't dwell on it.

OCD Thought: Wait, what? How do you know I'm from your OCD? C'mon, you aren't exactly the most objective person to be judging this.

Lisa: Stoppit, I'm trying to label you.

OCD Thought: You can't label something if you don't know what it is.

Lisa: But I do. I know what you are.

OCD Thought: You can't be sure. I might be a legitimate worry. I might be important.

Lisa: No, you can't be. You're completely irrational, you don't make sense, and you have no basis in reality.

OCD Thought: Who are you calling irrational?

My eating disorder definitely had obsessive and compulsive elements, but it's been a long time since I had worries that were rooted solidly in my OCD. I forgot how fucking miserable they are.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I must be getting old. Back in the day, I could handle six hours of class and homework. Today, though, I'm far more tired than I have the right to be. One of the classes was the introductory lecture, for pete's sake.

Notes from today:
1. I switched to another section of Epidemiology and now have no classes on Fridays. Hooray! That was also why I had six hours today - the other section is Monday-Wednesday; the one I had been in was Wednesday-Friday. I had to come back in the afternoon so I wouldn't be behind.
2. My Epidemiology prof is from Nigeria and doesn't strike me as the best lecturer. This morning we were treated to a long tale about the birth of his oldest daughter. The material should be interesting - provided we get through it.
3. In addition, every time he says "calculation" it sounds like "copulation."
4. Between Epidemiology and Class & Inequality, I'm going to spend a lot of this quarter feeling sad.
5. The Epidemiology prof appears to have a "stop eating junk food and start exercising" mindset about treating obesity. Also, he talked a lot about "spiritual health." On the plus side, he said "holistic" about seven times.
6. (Which has nothing to do with classes) I am hyper-aware of my stomach and I'm not comfortable with that.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dropping some eaves

Remember when I went to Forever 21 and hated it?

Well, something good came out of that.

Monday, September 8, 2008

All is not well

The Fatosphere is undergoing a rough patch. It's difficult to tell when it started, but the "infighting" has gotten too much and some bloggers are taking themselves out. There are some nasty issues bubbling away here - racism, classism, ethnocentrism. The Fatosphere is a diverse, complicated place (a recent excellent post on Babble discussed this in more detail). The lesson: conflict is bound to happen - and it can be a very good thing. It can also be bad. Personal attacks, sniping, rudeness, etc are not productive.

So here's my plea - try to keep it together, y'all. You're all different; your political leanings, colors, and various allegiances are many. However, there is one thing, at the very least, that unites you: you want people to like their bodies, just as they are; you're tired of people telling you how you "should" be*. Whatever else you might enjoy, be it protesting large gatherings of Republicans or hunting or collecting Victorian-era etiquette books, is part of what makes you you. It's part of what makes the Fatosphere, ideally, a vibrant, interactive place.

That message - it's okay to like your body, even if it doesn't comply with arbitrary social standards - is an important one. It's helped me immensely, albeit unexpectedly. I can't imagine all the other people - yes, of varying colors/political parties/sexualities/genders - who have also heard something valuable in your voices.

I'm not asking your to stop expressing your opinions; far from it. Just be respectful of others' as well.

*I'm really killing my AP English teacher.


First, a bigass happy-birthday to my younger sisters. You are now seventeen and I am more terrified than ever.

Second, this may be the quarter during which my eyes jump out of my head in protest. I have a lot of reading to do. I'm starting my thesis - it's on abstinence-based sex ed and the anthropology of the body - and, well, there are a lot of books with odd titles and small print in my room now. Which is already a mess after fewer than three days of residence.

On the other hand, I got up early and went to the gym. Kath Eats Real Food was right when she said a morning workout revs you up for the rest of the day. Also, my first impression of the Class and Inequality course (the five-book class) is a good one. Though it might be a sort of race-to-the-bottom scenario in which everyone competes for the title of "least privileged." However, the prof is not politically correct and I don't think she'll tolerate students being so. We'll be discussing the relationship/conflict of liberty and equality, which will give me plenty of things to bother Jim about.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


During the whirlwind that was May and June, I received some documents from the person whose job I'm taking over. I kept those items in a file folder on the very computer I'm using to write this post.

And the file is gone. Or something - when I clicked on it, it said the folder had been moved and was actually linked to another folder (?). Those docs are just gone. So I've managed to drop the ball before my job even officially begins. Go me.

Okay. I can look at this one of two ways. In the first, I'm a horrible irresponsible degenerate who doesn't even deserve her $7/hour job. I'll have to spend the rest of the quarter bowing and scraping or kissing ass to make up for the loss of the files.

Alternatively, I'm someone who doesn't entirely understand what happened to her computer while it was sitting idle over the summer. I did what I thought was necessary to securely save the files, and somehow it didn't work. This is something that happens to everyone. With any luck, those were not the only copies of the files and we won't be sunk. I'll apologize and move on.

I'm going to try to go with scenario #2. Because, dammit, I'm going to have an okay senior year.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More omnivore

For those of you who read my Omnivore's 100 post a while back, here's an illustrated version from FoodProof. Do you see now why I was horrified by headcheese?

Friday, September 5, 2008

At the objectification Olympics

Axe Detailer Commercial

I'm not sure where to begin with this one. Men are mindless hunks of metal without the capacity to bathe? Women are equally mindless bots whose purpose is to do the bathing of which men are incapable?* And WTF to the "Blow Dry" bit? I know if I were a member of Axe's target demographic, I'd be a little insulted. As a woman, I'm offended, but I can also laugh at how ridiculous it is.

*Somewhere, my AP English teacher feels a sudden chill.

Note to self

Yep, you ate a lot last weekend. And you figured the worrying would hit you right about now. Stop pinching your stomach and remember how GOOD it all was. You tried Thai food and had a mango daiquiri with it. Jim cooked his amazing flatiron steak. His roommate and his roommate's girlfriend grilled chicken and onions and veggies for you, and they bought mochi for you to try. Oh, and then there was the brunch with UNLIMITED MIMOSAS. And stir-fry and oatmeal, your comfort foods. You enjoyed it while you were in D.C. It did not suddenly become poisonous when you returned to Ohio.

What's more important is the company you had while you ate. You got to eat with people who you genuinely like and care for, and who genuinely like and care for you, too. Your boyfriend cooked for you. So stop neurosing (it's annoying) and remember how wonderful it is to combine good food and friends.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Very cool thing

Another dicking-around-the-interwebs discovery: Roundshape links to this amazing slideshow on Shapely Prose that matches pictures to BMI numbers. Interesting and thought-provoking.

EDIT: My sister Kathy watched the slideshow and informed me that she is "overweight." You can see a picture of her a few posts down. She's an amazing volleyball player and happens to kick ass. One of her spikes sent an opponent to the hospital.


One of my fall quarter classes requires 5 textbooks.

Had I bought them all at list price, they would have cost me $153.56. Buying them used on Amazon Marketplace set me back $106.45.

The class, Sociology 331, is called Class and Inequality.

Object lesson learned.

Thursday News

Time just put out an article about why disasters seem to be getting so much worse. It's not climate change, it's our increased vulnerability - we're living in areas that are inherently more dangerous. I've met Kathleen Tierney, who's quoted in the article. She's ... well, she's crazy. But smart.

The Drexel theater in Columbus is closing.

Sometimes, people do things that are just stupid. Like attempt to skydive over Mt. Everest.

Sometimes I agree with Walter Williams, sometimes I don't. I agree with him here.

Apparently Cincinnatians don't agree with me on the Bodies exhibit - over 300,000 of them have attended.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I don't shop at Victoria's Secret

During a recent foray into my younger sisters' room, I discovered that they have cuter bras than I do.

So I did this.

I'm such a good example.

However, you can see in these pictures that my own bra is neon green and also pretty cute.

Best picture ever, even with cursed eyeglasses glare. From left, Kathy, Sarah, moi, Christie.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Five days

My visit to D.C. has become more of an actual vacation than a long weekend. I got here Thursday evening and I'm heading back to Ohio tomorrow morning. Seeing Jim has been so good. Call us boring, but there's nothing better than sleeping til noon, eating a pot of oatmeal, then goofing off for the rest of the day - YouTube videos, The Office on DVD, Scrabble battles - followed by a night out with friends (I'm broke, but I figure I won't be doing this again for a while). I'm a long way from being a buxom Irish lass, but I think Woodchuck cider and Thai eggplant are going to get me there.

Classes start entirely too soon.