Saturday, February 28, 2009

Well damn

I'm up at the student center, which I hoped would distract me from my body/anxiety. Fail on both counts.

On top of that, I realized the small spot of wear by my back pocket is now a gaping tear.

I was trying to relax about food. I was trying to actually eat a little more to kick-start my metabolism. And what happens? I bust out of my pants. Super duper.

And I suppose the red-striped panties were a bad choice.

Friday, February 27, 2009

More distraction

This morning I tried to write a well-reasoned, thoughtful post on the proposed-but-unlikely mileage tax that's being bandied about in the halls of Washington. Try as I might, I couldn't make myself seem reasonable. What rankled me most is that it seems to unfairly target people who live in rural areas - not everyone lives within five or ten miles of a grocery store or a mall. Before he started riding the bus, Dad drove 60 miles a day. Sarah and I used to make 56-mile round-trips to Newport, Kentucky when we wanted a night out. Once I realized that, I started to feel guilty about driving so much. Granted, this was before the days of $4/gallon gas, but damn, my carbon legacy is ginormous. I wanted to say that the project would be too expensive, too complicated, and too intrusive, but I couldn't do that without sounding like a whiny child. Which I'm starting to realize that I am. Dammit.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Food is for thinking

Sometimes I stumble across interesting things when I do research. Here's a quotation from Marguerite Yourcenar's historical novel, Memoirs of Hadrian:

Do not do me the injustice to take me for a mere ascetic; an operation which is performed two or three times a day, and the purpose of which is to sustain life, surely merits all our care. To eat a fruit is to welcome into oneself a fair living object; which is alien to us but is nourished and protected like is by the earth; it is to consume a sacrifice wherein we sustain ourselves at the expense of things. I have never bitten into a chunk of army bread without marveling that this coarse and heavy concoction can transform itself into blood and warmth, and perhaps into courage. Alas, why does my mind, even in its best days, never possess but a particle of the assimilative powers of the body?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Distraction: A Story

So I passed at least two portions of the PRAXIS exam - the math and the writing. As those were the two I about which I was most concerned, I feel good about the test overall.

I'm working on ways to distract myself from OCD-hamster-wheel thinking. I realized that blogging about how worried I am all the time might not be the best tack to take, so I'm going to try to switch it up a little bit. Since most people like a good love story, or any love story, I have decided to write about how Jim and I met and began dating.

August 2005: I'm relatively stable at an "acceptable" weight, so the M.D. Triumvirate and my mother have decided I'm college-ready. In celebration, I open a Facebook account and cautiously start looking for friends. This was back in the day when little whippersnappers (like my sisters - eek) couldn't get an account, so I had about five friends.

A week before the quarter starts I get a friend request. It's a guy named Jim, from Ohio University, and there are two people in the picture. One is a boy in a wheelchair who clearly has some kind of disability. The other looks around 35 and has a thick beard. So, Lisa, I think. If you refuse, you're potentially dissing a wheelchair-bound boy; if you accept, you're saying "Howdy!" to a middle-aged potential stalker. Damned if you do, damned if you don't - I accepted the friend request. The next day he sends me a very pleasant message, saying he's a sophomore, works in my dorm building and likes my taste in music. He said he hoped to see me on move-in day. At this point I still have no idea which person he is.

That's right, kids. I met my boyfriend of three years on Facebook.

Jim proved to be fully ambulatory on move-in day, and without the beard he looked much younger. He met my mother, even, though I don't think either of them remembers. He remembered my earrings, he said later.

October 2005: Now, this incident I don't really remember. I am walking back to my room through the boy's hallway (I lived at the corner) when I hear a clatter and muffled cursing. I peek through a doorway - there's Jim, cleaning up a broken espresso cup and its contents (yes, he had an espresso machine. Why didn't I date him sooner?). I go in and help him mop up. I have no real memory of this, but I like to think I did it.

November 2005: Jim invites me and another girl to watch The House of Sand and Fog with him in his room. The (long) movie ends. She leaves. We stay on his futon and talk. For an hour. Next week a photocopied article appears under my door. He thought it would interest me.

Later I would find out that Jim's friends had a pool going as to which freshman in the dorm Jim would manage to seduce. I was the dark horse behind Nice-Boobs-But-Attached and Hot-But-Batshit-Crazy. Go figure.

January 2006: By this time I have a group of girls (three of whom are now my roommates) to go to dinner with, and Jim has started to join us. I wasn't eating much, but that changed when one of my weigh-ins was lower than the agreed-upon threshold. Under penalty of going home, I grimly eat everything I can load onto a tray. Jim and the girls say nothing. I realize I love them.

February 2006: I am reading in my favorite hidey-hole on Valentine's Day. Two of my dinner-mates present me with a film canister. Inside is the first clue to a scavenger hunt that sends me around the dorm, picking up the pieces of a heart-shaped puzzle along the way. I catch on pretty quickly and I'm a little terrified: A BOY LIKES ME OMG WTF. That apparently showed on my face when I opened the door to his room. I think I said yes. I think. Jim says it was the most awkward moment of his life.

And thus, we became a couple. It's not Casablanca, but it works for me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Drained spaghetti

Dr. M today was intense. I think she was angry, or aggravated - not at my "failure to reschedule" for two months, but how I'm completely unreasonable and apparently forgot everything I ever learned in therapy. It was not a fun 40 minutes. I was reminded yet again that I'm not at all objective about my body (yesiamyesiamyesiam), that it's ridiculous to want to look like a model. She softened up after a little while, but I still felt damn stupid. And all of this is rooted in my intense fears of the next few months - which I'm not sure if I buy. Then again, this wouldn't be the first time that something I thought I was "handling" well pops up in a completely different form.

Apparently I need to add some variety to my diet, too. She said that could be the basis for my weight gain. Actually, she pooh-poohed the idea that I'd gained much at all, and I almost climbed up on the scale to show her. Almost. I'm still scared to do that.

I got my RX renewed. At least that will help with the incessant OCD buzz.

Next appy is in two weeks. Maybe I won't get such a stern talking-to then.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Note to self, part 928

Lisa: You are never going to have the body you think you want. You are never going to be naturally thin, you are never going to be the girl who grew up eating cheeseburgers and potato chips and remained a statuesque beauty her entire life. You are never going to look like someone who struts down the runway in lacy lingere and angel wings. You are never going to look like that sixteen-year-old model you ranted about.

It's not really clear why you want to look like that. You know someone who looks like Giselle isn't inherently better than you. You know that having a six-pack says nothing about your worth as a person.

Still, you do want to look like that, and you don't; you never will. That's frustrating, and it hurts. So y
ou have permission to be angry about it, you can be sad. You can feel disgusted with your thighs and your stomach.

But you can't do it forever, Lisa. It's okay to be angry, but it doesn't help you to be angry all the time.
It doesn't help you to cringe at your reflection. You don't have to have an amazing self-image all the time, but you can't have an entirely negative one, either.

Accept the way you're feeling now. Talk to Dr. M about it. Then remember that you gained weight an
d the world did not implode. The people who loved you before, during, and after you quit eating still love you. Your mother will always think you are beautiful (granted, she kind of has to). Your much-cooler younger sisters like you. You have a beautiful smile and you always have (at least since the orthodontia). Your friends enjoy your company and your boyfriend does crazy things like book giant hotel suites because he loves you.

Okay? Okay. Now keep at that thesis.

Note: That's not me. I found it on Adventures in Stock Photography, which is actually kind of funny.

When it's this late (or this early)

At this time of the night I'm vulnerable. The anxieties creep up on me. I can't relax - my arms and back actually hurt because I've been so tense. All the thoughts about my body and wanting to lose weight come surging back at me. I'm so lonely and scared and worried about everything, and somehow it's so clear that being thinner will make all my problems go away. I know it won't, but this back and forth in my head is so goddamn awful.

Friday, February 20, 2009

This might be part of the problem

Last night, my roommate asked us to fill out a survey for her psych class. After we'd completed it, she told us what it's for - she and her group are conducting research on belief in a "just world." Their hypothesis is that people who believe that everyone gets what they deserve will be more likely to hold individuals responsible for bad things that happen to them (car accidents, lung cancer), even when there's not much evidence supporting that.

I realized my results were going to be a little odd. Bad things happen to people all the time and there's nothing they did to deserve it. Children are born into poverty and have deal with the effects their whole lives - not their fault. Their lives may not ever improve much, but that doesn't mean that they "deserve" what ultimately happens. People get cancer and Alzheimers and schizophrenia and diabetes, and it's not an indication that they're bad people. Planes go down. Boats sink. Cars turn left when they shouldn't. Bad things happen to people, but it's not their fault.

Me, however. I'm different. When something bad happens to me, it is my fault. If I get sick, it's because I didn't wash my hands enough or didn't get enough vitamin C. If I get cancer, it's because I didn't eat the "right" foods. If other people gain weight, it's because of metabolic or genetic issues outside of their control. If I gain weight, it's because I'm a fatass and eat too much. Did poorly on a test? Didn't study enough, even if I spent hours at the books. Anything bad that happens to me is partly, if not mostly or entirely, my own fault.

My roommate looked at me after I told her. "Goddamn, that is pessimistic," she said.

This might be something to tell Dr. M. I don't think this is normal.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

See, I'm okay

This is me with my Dad's ancient orangutan puppet. I think he's leaving it to me in his will. He'd better.

I'm hanging in there.

Snow wonderful

Just kidding. February is more than half over. We need to be getting on toward spring, weather-wise.

I made myself come up to the student center coffeehouse. I could feel myself getting sucked into some depression-anxiety, so I thought if I came up here and did some work I'd be able to distract myself. So far, I've gotten a faceful of snow and I've "body-checked" my gut about six times in the last ten minutes. I still have a headache and I'm still stupidly worried.

I know I just have to hold on until Monday, but what if that doesn't work? Here I am, trying to distract myself like you're supposed to do when you're obsessing about something, and it's not doing much good. My brain is remarkably good at ignoring all sane and important things in favor of getting all hamster-on-a-wheel about nonsense.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I did it

I called Dr. M again. I left a message at her office at 6:30, and I didn't expect to hear back from her until tomorrow. The receptionist apparently could hear that I'd been crying and called Dr. M herself right away. Instead of being angry or disappointed or "I-told-you-so" like I feared she might, Dr. M called me from her car on her way to a meeting. What can I say, she's good people. We're going to talk on Monday, and hopefully I can get this OCD/anxiety monster licked.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Painting myself into a corner

I was diagnosed with OCD my freshman year of high school. I'd been a hand-washer as a kid and always had weird little rituals, but at that point irrational fears and constant anxiety were making me miserable. I saw the great and wonderful Dr. M for about six months and did much better afterwards.

Three years later I was back in Dr. M's office, albeit for a different reason. When she started me on Citalopram for ED-related depression, it had the almost-magical effect of quieting the "buzz" in my head that was the constant undercurrent of anxiety.

Two years on from that, I've taken myself off the Citalopram ... and now the OCD and anxiety are making a roaring comeback. I'm worried about things that don't make sense. It's hard to function or concentrate because of that buzz. Thing is, I've sort of taken myself off of Dr. M, too. I canceled a few appointments over the break because I was working, and I told her I'd call to set up my next appointment. And I haven't called. I was doing so well, I felt good about food and myself. And now I don't know what to do. I could go to the student health center, but they kind of blow when it comes to counseling. I could call Dr. M back, but the thought of admitting that I was overconfident makes my skin crawl. I could try to get a refill on my Citalopram if there are any left, but I'd have to deal with the side effect of nausea (which makes some of my anxieties worse). Not good.

In other news, I'm bloaty and headache-y and my jeans feel tight. And I'm worried all the time.

Monday, February 16, 2009

And now, of course, food

So by now you are aware that I had an intensely wonderful weekend bookended by intensely shitty travel experiences. But I didn't write about food!

Food and travel are never easy. The summer after I was diagnosed, I went to Florida with my family. I was horror-struck that I would be sitting immobile for eighteen hours (we drive to Florida), eating gas-station food and Wendy's the whole way down. I hid food, I threw food away, I fought to have as little on my plate as possible. My routine, my preciously guarded routine, was disassembled.

You can probably guess that this weekend was immeasurably better. Jim has been a big help to me as I've dealt with my recent stomach issues, and I promised him that I wouldn't restrict or freak out about food while I was in D.C. And I didn't. Vanilla-creme Pirouette cookies? Ate 'em. Rose champagne that tasted like jelly? Drank it. Crab quesadillas, cocktails, wine, cheese? Done, done, and done (I had my first appletini, guv'na!). On Saturday we went to Skewers for lunch, where we had an appetizer sampler, entrees, and desserts. I walked out of there like a pregnant bear, but I didn't berate myself for hours afterward. That night we were going to cook something - the suite had a kitchenette - but Whole Foods was full of Dupont-Circle hipsters doing the same thing, so we wandered to this little hole-in-the-wall Ethiopian place. The lamb dish was okay, but the bread you use to scoop it up - think a big, softy, pleasantly spongy crepe. And then on Sunday we went to breakfast. I ordered a bigass omelet and ate the whole thing, plus the toast on the side.

What's gotten into me? My guts are a little grumbly today - I'm making some baked tofu at the moment, but I'll probably save most of it for dinner and have some yogurt for lunch. I'm not hideously hungry... but maybe some broccoli will do me good. But I'm magnificently proud of the adventurous eating I did.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"If man were meant to fly, he would have been born with wings."

1. Do not fly Continental.

2. Do not fly into Newark. This terminal feels like a big sweaty buttcrack.

3. Do not ask someone how they like The Shack. Because this weird gleam will appear in his eyes and he will say "it's so good. It's even better than everyone says." And then when you're stuck on the runway for AN HOUR (see #1), he will give it to you and tell you to "pass it on." You will then read the back with a sinking feeling in your stomach. Then you will start to read and discover that it is the WORST BOOK EVER. I mean, there might be a plot there, but we're talking Stephanie-Meyers-level bad. And so far no body-glitter-sporting vampires have appeared to redeem its awfulness. How, how, HOW has this book been on the bestseller list for the last six months?

4. Don't leave D.C. There. That's the solution to all my problems right now.

On this day in history

Three years ago today, I woke up thinking, was that real? Did the boy down the hall really make up a Valentine's Day scavenger hunt that led to his door? Did he really ask me to go out with him? Does that sort of thing actually happen in the real world or did I dream that?

And then, oh my god, what did I SAY? Am I ... his girlfriend now? Wasn't I in the market for a long-haired guitarist out to save the world and write songs? This kid's got the hair, but he's an economics major. Well ... I guess I'll see how this goes ...

Two years ago, I woke up in a narrow dorm bunk, thinking Holy crap. I really did this. WE really did this - we made a relationship work for a whole year. How did I ever think this guy wasn't everything I wanted? He's written me poems, given me flowers. He's the most intelligent, most gentle person I've ever met, and even though his elbow is digging into my side I don't ever want to move.

A year ago I woke up in a real bed, thinking another year. I can't believe this. I'm a little scared - what's going to happen this summer? I'm going to Delaware, and he's going to graduate. I don't know what I'll do if I have to say goodbye to this man I love so much.

Today I woke up in the biggest damn bed ever, thinking I. Do. Not. Want. To Leave. Ever. I don't want to leave this man, this short-haired libertarian economist of my dreams, this man who took me to a beautiful suite, who took me to the zoo (orangutans!!!!), who makes me think and cry and laugh. I do not want to leave.

But I did get up, I did leave. And then I was the crazy crying girl on the Metro (and now I'm the crazy crying girl at the airport), because goddamn, I miss him so much.

Six more months. We can do this.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Planes, Metrorail Trains, and a hotel?

Well my dear readers, my airport situation turned into a big ol' clusterfuck not long after I posted. Originally, I was scheduled to fly to from Columbus to Detroit, then from Detroit to BWI, then take the MARC train into DC. So first the flight to Detroit gets waaaay delayed (4.5 hours), which would cause me to miss my connecting flight. So the friendly-as-she-could be counter woman got me to LaGuardia, which would then take me to Baltimore.

Thing is, I HAD to be in Baltimore before 9, because the last MARC train left at 9:30. So when my flight to LaGuardia kept getting delayed, and then we were stuck on the runway FOR AN HOUR, I was getting pretty damn nervous. Once we land in New York - and let me tell you, LaGuardia looks REALLY REALLY SMALL when you're flying over - I found out my connector to Baltimore had been canceled.

The counter man was sympathetic. "You can just take the shuttle to DC."
"Shuttle????!?!? I can't take a BUS to DC!!"
"No ... the shuttle is a plane. It goes right into Reagan."

... right. So, Reagan is the best airport ever, and I wound up getting to Jim's around 8.

Yesterday, he tells me surprise! He's not going to work... and then takes me to this absolutely fabulous, swank-ass hotel downtown where we have an effing enormous suite. The bathroom is bigger than my bedroom and the bed is like an SUV. I'm wearing a bathrobe typing at an executive desk. High-rollin' indeed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Post 300!

Wowzers. When I started this blog I had no idea it would become such a ... well, I had no idea it would become the thing that it is. And the thing that it is ... well, it's been a place where I brain-puked a lot of thoughts and ideas, a place where I (hopefully) entertained some people with my comprehensive clumsiness (falls real and prat), a place where I wrote about labial surgery and a teenage model that's apparently popular with the Germans. It's also been a place where I've encountered some fantastic people. I used to make fun of my older sister for having online friends ... well we all have to eat our words sometimes. I've also written a lot about eating, as you may have noticed.

So thanks, y'all, for giving me a reason to stick with this so long. Expect another mushy post when we get to my one-year anniversary.

Speaking of anniversaries, Saturday is three years for me and Jim. I'm in the airport now waiting for a flight out to DC to visit. Long distancing is NO FUN and I'm so happy to get to see him.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Irony - it's not just a person from Tehran

One of my favorite blogs is Kath Eats Real Food. Kath is a 26-year-old studying to be a nutritionist, and her recipes focus on whole grains, vegetables, and lots (lots) of oatmeal. I admire her creativity and her seemingly boundless energy. She, like a lot of food bloggers, often gets free samples to review.

Occasionally, I leave a comment on her blog. A few days ago, I received an email from a representative of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce company - Kath had recently reviewed a couple of their products. The rep offered to send me a free bottle of sauce if I'd review it on my own blog. Ponder, for a moment, the ironic beauty that is a recovering anorexic writing a food review. I wrote back saying sure, buddy, I write about eating disorder recovery, but if you want to send me some sauce I'm game.

**NOTE** Even though I'd read Kath's review and checked out the website ("Christ is our CEO"), Jim pointed out that this isn't the safest thing to do. I tend to have magical thinking that things like this won't end badly, but it's something I should keep in mind. And you should too. **END NOTE**

I didn't think anything would come of it, but lo and behold, Friday afternoon a box appeared on my doorstep. So then I had the dilemma of actually using the sauce in something. I don't eat a lot of meat, and I don't know if straight barbecue sauce on vegetables would be that tasty. So I decided to go back to Kath and try her baked tofu recipe. I was ambivalent about tofu, but that's because I only had it plain, mixed in with veggies or a salad.

Procedure: 1 Cut a block of extra-firm tofu into bite-size pieces. 2) Press between paper towels and plates for about 20 minutes. 3) Coat pieces in Country Bob's sauce. 4) Spread in an even layer in a baking dish well-coated with cooking spray. 5) Let the tofu soak up the sauce while the oven heats to 350. 6) Bake for 15-20 minutes until the outside of the tofu is chewy.

I mixed it in with some steamed green beans. The verdict? It wasn't bad at all. However, I'm not a sauce expert by any means, so I really can't say if it was Bob's sauce that made it tasty or just that I like baked tofu. I'll probably use the rest of the sauce, but I might try using something else with which to coat the tofu.

Anybody else have ideas for using up a bottle of barbecue sauce?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fight, Flight, or Freakout?

In emergencies - immediate, in-your-face crises - I tend to do okay. When a situation arises that needs action, a solution, NOW, I can usually handle it.

If, however, the issue cannot be addressed by immediate action, or when I get bad news about a situation that will require (painful) action in the future, I don't do as well. In fact, I do really poorly. If something needs to be done in the next five seconds or minutes, I'm good. Five days or five weeks, though, and I'm a mess. In those cases I have time to go over all the horrible things that could happen - the number of people who could be inconvenienced or hurt, painful consequences, long-term effects. I have a very well-developed imagination when it comes to this kind of thing - in two minutes I can be a year ahead, mired in something really shitty you haven't even considered.

This is not a particularly productive way to be, seeing as the majority of crises I face are not the five-minute time frame ones. I've got to figure out a way to transform my response to immediate events to one that I can apply to those with longer time frames.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Like the city in Alaska?

I just saw Juno for the first time. There's something in my eye. Both of my eyes. Lots of somethings and now they're getting on my face.

Shit. I miss my boyfriend. I'm such a damn girl.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Things I am currently aware of:

1. The gum in my mouth (Orbit Sweet Mint, as always)
2. My roommate and my friend talking a few feet away
3. The surprising comfort of my blue armchair
4. The brightness of my monitor against the dim room

And last, the overriding, dominating sensation: my stomach. How it folds over, how it touches my shirt, how it fills the space it's given like a gas. I know this feeling won't last forever, but it's just overwhelming.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What I Want

I know I can be thin. Been there, done that. I didn't get a ribbon or a pat on the head; I got amenorrhea. I didn't get a boyfriend or magically acquire the knowledge needed to succeed in college. Being thin didn't solve all my problems.

I know all these things. Yet these past few weeks I've been slipping back into that magical thinking: that being thin will make me happy. Nervous about the future? Scared of your thesis? Lose twenty pounds and everything will be great! Everyone will be so amazed and impressed with your self-control that they'll like you and respect you no matter how badly you fuck up everything else. Right? Right?

Not the case. Bad things can still happen to you when you're thin; in fact they happen quite frequently. You can't go out with your friends because you might eat something; you can't pay attention to a joke. You lose the hair on your head and gain it elsewhere (btw, that doesn't go away. I'll show you my shoulders sometime). Kids stare at you.

So I know I can be thin, yes. But I have to do so many unhealthy things to get there. I have to exercise at least two hours a day and eat a single serving of low-cal yogurt for lunch. Grumbly stomach? That's just all the fat and ugliness leaving your body.

My body is not naturally thin. I like to exercise, I like to work out and eat veggies, but my body will never look like a personal trainer's or a lingere model's.
Fuck what all the TV talking heads and nutritionists say. Sure, I could get a six-pack and thighs like Michael Phelps. But to do that, I'll have to push my body to the extreme; I'll have to monitor everything I eat down to the gram. And it's not worth it. It's really, really not. Every hour I spend working out is an hour I'm not working on my thesis or spending time with people I care for. Every moment I spend thinking about food is a moment I could be thinking about something that makes me happy.

I know I can be thin. And there's a voice in me saying you don't mean all this, you know that being thin really IS what you need; it's so easy, too. If I had my boots on I'd squish it. It's not magical thinking; it's hateful and harmful thinking that I do not need.

Fun times

In order to become certified as a teacher in D.C., I have to take two tests, the Praxis I and the Praxis II.

The guidebooks offer seven- and eight-week plans to prepare.

I'm taking the Praxis I in less than three weeks and the Praxis II in a month. I have never taken an education class in my life.

Why, why, why did I think I could do this?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Caring (like a bear)

God, I tried to write an insightful post but it just comes out as whining. I care too much about my body - and why? If Girl A sees me on the street and is glad she's thinner than me, so what? If cute smoker-boy from yesterday thought, eh, too porky, does that matter? No, it doesn't. The only person my body matters to is me (well Jim, too, but let's leave that for now).

But my body matters to me, that's the problem. Others' bodies don't mean a thing. My body, on the other hand, reflects my worth. I might be smart, I might be friendly and kind, but I'm just not good enough. Being thin makes me just a little bit better - and why should you ever stop trying to improve?

This recent weight gain has been profoundly mindfucking. I had just started to really loosen up - and by really loosen up, I mean have a teeny brownie when my roommates made them, or have ciders and fruity drinks when I went out with my friends. My meals still hadn't changed much - lots of veggies, nothing fried or buttery, no pasta and hardly any bread. And yet I still gained. I had a general sense of how many calories I was taking in, and it was less than those online calculators said I needed. And I still gained. Does that mean that the calculators are wrong, the nutritionists are wrong, everybody is wrong?

And why, why, why do I care so much? There's nothing inherently wrong with gaining weight. There's nothing wrong with having a brownie or cider. I could change the way I feel about this. I could pull myself up by my bootstraps and just say, stoppit, get over it, no one gives a damn but you. If only it were that easy. I feel shitty for gaining weight and I feel shitty for feeling shitty about it. I can't win. Shit.

Monday, February 2, 2009


The other day I was putting dishes away when I was struck by the thought that in six months, I'll be putting dishes away my own apartment. It seems like it's more "mine" if I'm only sharing it with Jim. I'll come in and close the door and say hello to Jim, if he made it home before me (home!). I'll ask him about his day and tell him about mine, which will have been spent teaching/chasing after small children because yes, I am doing Teach For America.

The process isn't going to be easy. There are three scary tests I need to take this month and another in March. I still have to finish this thesis. Then there will be five sweaty weeks in Philadelphia, where I'll actually teach, make lesson plans, and try to figure out small people's minds. I'll be moving around - I hate packing and moving. But then after all of this I'll have a job, a life and an apartment with Jim. Even knowing that it won't all be skittles and rainbows only dampens my excitement a little bit.


I love people, so I tend to look at everyone around me when I'm walking in town. Occasionally I make eye contact; when I do, I usually smile. I realize I will have to change this when I move to DC or risk being seen as insane or threatening.

Today I glanced at one of the requisite smokers outside my class building. He smiled. I looked away, and back - he was still smiling. He wasn't an unattractive guy, either (sorry, Jim, I notice these things).

Oh crap, I've got something on my face, I think. Once I get inside I immediately head for the bathroom and check. Right cheek, left cheek - nothing. Teeth - clear. No mascara smudges. Was he just looking ... at me?

I have always done this. I either don't even notice that someone is flirting with me, or I think I've got mustard on my shirt or something in my teeth. If you're going to flirt with me, you have to be really, really obvious - or really really bad. I remember one occasion involving a young man who looked like he'd just stepped out of a Boy Meets World episode, one with really bad sweaters. I mean, this guy was a worse flirt than I am, and finally I leaned over to Jim - this was before we were even dating - and whispered "help me, please."

For someone so observant, I'm awfully oblivious when it comes to people paying attention to me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Being the wizard with icing that I am, I made some of these little guys for an early groundhog's day party:

Instead of sticking the almond joy down in the cupcake, i cut it in half and set it on an icing-topped cookie. Then I surrounded it with green-tinted coconut "grass." Adorable - and effing time-consuming. I made 16 of them in all.

My roommate was nice enough to drive me to the apartment. However, I didn't make it three steps before I hit a patch of ice and fell, really really fucking hard, on my knees. My cookies - my adorable, wonderful, took-me-forever cookies - were mostly on the ground, a few still on the platter. I don't know what I cried more for - the pain in my knees or the cookie loss.

So now my knees are swollen and hurt immensely when I sit, stand, or navigate stairs. It's finally warming up and going to the gym would be a very bad idea. But oh, I really really fucking want to. I ate a lot and drank a decent amount of fruity things last night, and I"m catching myself thinking, oh, the elliptical wouldn't hurt, it's so low-impact ... but I know that I shouldn't go.

How do you guys deal with the I-can't-exercise anxiety? When I was first starting recovery I dealt with it by hating my mother, but that's neither healthy nor rational.