Sunday, May 31, 2009

Post 400: Big Times

Sorry I've been AWOL for the past few days. Jim came down this weekend which is always a Big Weekend, but this weekend was quite a bit bigger than I had expected.

He drove down with his roommate on Friday. We had dinner reservations in a nearby town - the restaurant is run by a local culinary school, so the food is muy tasty and muy inexpensive. We had some cocktails and then sat down to a delicious meal, capped by beignets to die for - big, fluffy, warm balls of fried dough covered in powdered sugar. A Fear Food, definitely, but one that I'll willingly eat.

We dropped off the car at our friends and began the walk back to my apartment. We detoured and wandered by the dorms where we used to live. "That's where we had our first kiss." "Do you remember what we did there? And there?" We were even getting nostalgiac for the dining hall, and that's pretty hard to do.

Probably none my dear readers have been to Ohio University (well, maybe some of you), but our campus is hella pretty. College Green, the center of campus, is criscrossed by brick paths and lamps; at night it's beautiful.

Jim stops in front of the oldest building on campus. "Do you remember what we did here?"

I look around. "Uh ... no. What did I forget?"

"We did this."

And then he actually GOT DOWN ON ONE KNEE and pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him.

And I said yes. I mean. Duh.

The ring (because I know at least the ladies are interested) is white gold, with a large sapphire flanked by two smaller diamonds. It is flabbergastingly gorgeous.

Of course our parents already knew. Jim is sneaky. The parents-meet-the-parents dinner went even better than I expected. The good news helped break the ice.

So yeah. I'm getting hitched, probably late summer 2010. Jim and I spent yesterday afternoon reading bridal magazines - talk about a feminist's nightmare - scouting venues online, and watching Bridezillas. Emasculation trifecta complete.

All kidding aside, I am insanely happy. I get to marry my best friend - what more could I ask for?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dear Readers,

You rock. No, really. You are fantastic.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Blob

Feeling a little better than I did yesterday, but I'm still really, really unhappy with my stomach. I am back to obsessing about it. Today I tried to wear a shirt that actually touched my body - big mistake. I just hate walking and feeling everything jiggle. I know that part of my stomach is actually composed of muscle, but it's coated in a layer of jiggly fat. Jiggle. Jiggle.

Sorry. I don't mean to be so negative. When I'm healthy I don't have the body of Giselle. When I was sick I never had the body of Giselle. I know I will never look like a model, but I would at least like to look ... slender. Fit. Athletic, in control, healthy. Good.

I need to get my head out of this place. Jim is coming down this weekend, and we have some gastronomic adventures planned. I don't want to be anxiously sucking in my gut the entire time. He doesn't want me to do that, he wants me to have fun and enjoy myself. And on Saturday my parents are finally going to meet his parents. Over dinner. So I'll have more than enough to worry about at that point.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Maybe someday going through my closet won't be the traumatic experience it is now. My body has changed drastically since last fall, and nothing, nothing at all, fits the way it used to. Things are tight. There are bulges.

My head says this is wrong wrong wrong. What happened to you? What did you LET happen to you? You're out of control. You don't have any discipline.

You'd never believe I was once so thin. Fuck, even I don't believe it sometimes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

When it rains

The gym opened at 6 PM today due to the holiday.

It started raining at 5:45. I thought, I'll go. A little rain won't hurt me, right? Plus you had all that wine and cheese last night. Plus you've been eating like a hoss anyway. Plus you just need to go, it'll make you a good person.

I go. I make it about 100 yards before my sandal falls off (I had my shoes in my bag).

Keep going. You need to work out. You need to do this.

I stood there. I turned around and came back. Tomorrow would have been my "off" day anyway, so I'll just go then.

Is it still a victory if you hate yourself a little?

Won't you be my neighbor?

Dear Neighbors,

One of the reasons our rent is so wonderfully low is that our place is rather shoddily constructed. That is, the walls are extremely thin. So when you stand on your deck at 9:30 in the morning on Memorial Day, I can hear every second of your cell-phone conversation. I'm sorry you got wasted and started picking fights in West Virginia. I'm sorry that your friends are giving you a hard time for it. I hope your father/mother/whoever you're talking to is sympathetic, because I certainly am not.

In addition to early morning ranting, you have the bass up far too high. I don't have a massaging desk chair, but thanks to you it sometimes vibrates. By the way, Beyonce's repertoire includes more than "If I were a Boy." Thanks for ruining that song - sometimes I hear the buuum, ba-bumm, bummm, ba-bumm bass line in my sleep. Maybe because you're playing it.

And quit sunbathing in the yard. Your bathing suit, or lack thereof, is annoying.

I'm debating whether or not to confront you about this, given that we have to live next to each other for about three more weeks. If your phone conversations don't get more interesting, I think I will.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Turning my brain back on

Yikes. No concentration whatsoever. Well, I take that back - I read Q&A, the book on which Slumdog Millionaire was based, in under 12 hours. I have a book of short stories (Joyce Carol Oates' latest), but I can't seem to get started. My attention span is that of a gnat or goldfish or small child, except when it comes to bootleg online episodes of Six Feet Under. I've gone through those like a knife through butter. Hey, when you're a new-born slacker, you have to take your accomplishments where you find them.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My sister

Since I've demanded that all of you watch my sister tonight on Jeopardy!, I figure I should at least tell you a little about her.

Hmm. I've been sitting here for ten minutes and can't think of what to say. How do I describe someone who's been such a formative part of who I am? Sarah knows me better than anyone. We shared a bedroom until she went to college, and then of course I followed her to the same college, to the same honors program within that college. I followed her my whole life, I suppose - how could I not, she's less than two years older. Teachers called me "Sarah" all through elementary school. I confess that I occasionally resented her abilities, how things just came so easily to her. That was before I wised up and that she had struggles, too, just different ones than mine. She gave me innumerable rides before I got my license. She gave me a lot of who I am.

I can't count all the books we've read together, all the movies we've seen, all the inside jokes we have. I can't really express, even our shared love of words, how much she means to me.

And I am so fucking proud of her it isn't funny.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bad body day

So my neighbor is laying out in the front (communal) yard, working on her tan, and wearing one of the smallest bathing suits I've seen. Untied. Because the little string leaves such a tan line, you know.

And I feel like a sausage in a t-shirt and jeans. Not a good-body day. But I guess like a bad-hair day, I'm the only one that really notices.

However, anyone within 50 yards is noticing the horrible hip-hop she's blaring into our shared space. Thanks, hon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This is just to say

That EVERYONE should watch Jeopardy! this Thursday and see MY SISTER chat it up with Alex Trebek! She's the one with glasses and a green-and-white top.

Do it!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Get your herr did

I've been meaning to write about hair for a while now, but Sarah beat me to it with her excellent post. Losing my hair was a very difficult part of my eating disorder - it was already baby-fine, so the loss was noticeable.

Oh. I just remembered gathering it behind my head (it was about shoulder length) and being able to twist it around two fingers. Holy crap, that was a visceral memory.

Now I'm patting my head to make sure my bob is the same as it was the last time I looked in a mirror.

Why does this society put so much emphasis on women's hair?

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Tomorrow I will be picking up printed copies of my thesis from Kinko's. I'll take those copies to the three professors who are doing my mock review. And then I will, in effect, be done with college.

And I don't know what to do with myself. Thankfully my paid-work boss isn't terribly demanding, because my motivation has gone out the window. I finally don't have to worry about at least a few of the things I've been worried about (don't worry, there are still plenty). But there's a bit of a psychic void, I suppose.

I kind of feel a little ... depressed? It seems silly, but this is the same kind of blankness that I associate with depression. It's a lack of motivation to start anything.

I'm sure this is temporary. I just need to shake it off.

Friday, May 15, 2009

If wishes were horses...

... then I'd finally have my pony.

I wish I could buy one of those ridiculous iced-coffee concoctions and drink it without hating myself for it later.

I wish my healthy mindset about my exercise break would have lasted through the night.

I wish there were not bees nesting above my bedroom window. They're on the outside. But still.

I wish my skin were not freakishly sensitive.

I wish I were buying a couch instead of plugging away at my thesis.

But alas. Wishes are not horses but annoying self-indulgences.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Today's Random

1. I love love love The Office.
2. I'm starting to freak out about the lack of exercise this week.
3. I'm shopping for a couch. That is both weird and wonderful.
4. The closer I get to finishing my thesis, the harder it is to work on it.
5. Online TV is the greatest thing ever.

Slightly icky

Last Thursday I noticed a weird rash on my stomach. When I went to the (slightly less-awful this time) student health center, the nurse practitioner told me it was probably a heat rash. In all likelihood it was the result of my horse-like sweating during my workouts.

So I did something this week. I didn't work out.

Yep. Skipped my 6:40 AM workouts from Tuesday-today.

And I didn't balloon. I ate normally and I haven't noticed my pants cutting off circulation to my legs. I even had a couple of cookies yesterday and didn't reprimand myself. Also, the rash is gone.

Is my workout-stoppage permanent? No, I still like to exercise. And I'll deal with spotty skin. But I think I've learned something here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I've mentioned before that I'm in the Honors College. It's a little pretentious - okay, a lot pretentious. The night before graduation, the College hosts a sit-down dinner for all the students and their families, at which we will receive a booklet describing all our exploits and those of our classmates.

Our assistant dean emailed a questionnaire about said exploits. The questions for the most part are pretty basic: volunteer activities, extracurriculars, etc. Then they ask
1. What is your most significant academic achievement?
2. What is your most significant personal achievement?
The first is pretty easy - completing my thesis. That 75-page sucker (it's only an undergrad thesis) represents a year of blood, sweat and tears.

But the second question is rather ... personal. My significant personal achievements include:
1. Gaining 20 pounds
2. Being able to pop a handful of chocolate chips in my mouth and resisting the urge to spit them out (just now did this)
3. Managing to sustain a romantic relationship for three years
4. Learning to live on my own
None of which I really want to put in a booklet for all to see. "Gained 20 pounds" would just confuse people. I'll have to think of a BS achievement - I'll ask my mom.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


If I were to write everything I feel about my mother, y'all would be here for hours. So I will just tell a story about her.

Mom played every sport she could in high school. Back in the day before Title IX, girls' sports weren't officially recognized as such. They were a "club" called the Girls' Athletic Association (GAA), and as might be expected, they often got the short end of the stick. Mom and her teammates used to put the numbers on the backs of their "jerseys" with masking tape. Mom was always eleven - it was the easiest number to make.

When spring rolled around, the GAA put together a softball team. They practiced and played at weird times because the boys' baseball team got first pick of the only field. So right after school on weekday, Mom and her teammates changed (out of their skirts, of course) and hurried down to the field for their game.

A few minutes into their warmups, the baseball team, which included my mother's older brother, arrived and began to hover. They wanted to practice, and they wanted to practice now. The girls ignored them at first, but then the boys started badgering, teasing them. One by one, my mothers' teammates left the field.

My mother looked around, scooped up a softball, and walked to the pitcher's mound. She blew a bubble - she always, always had gum - and tossed the ball up. Caught it. Up, caught it. Up, down. Bubble. Up, down.

"C'mon, Mike," the boys said. "Get your sister off the field." My uncle shrugged - he knew she was immovable. "Get off the field!" they demanded.

Up, down. Up, down. Glare. Bubble.

Grumbling, they left. Mom's teammates rejoined her, and the game began.

Thanks, Momma. You're my hero.

Friday, May 8, 2009


My sisters went to prom tonight. Where did these beautiful, half-grown women come from, and what did they do to the little eight-year-olds I remember?

It's even more poignant because Kathy is wearing my dress, the dress I wore to my senior prom. I bought it in March - after I'd been losing weight for two months. I loved the slinky, Hollywood-starlet way I felt in it. And then when it came time to wear it, I'd been losing weight for almost five mon
ths. I was a very well-made-up head on a spiky, bony frame. My mother grimly took pictures and didn't smile when I asked how I looked. "Not good," she said. Six months before I would have been devastated to hear her say that. By then I was numb, and too chronically angry with her (well, with myself) to care.

It's been four years. I thought about trying on the dress when I arrived home today - to see if the fabric still felt like water on my skin; to see how it fit me. I didn't. It's not mine anymore. Kathy wears it in a way that I never did - tall, confident, strong. It's hers now, more than it ever belonged to me.

I'm so proud of those two.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Whoa, that was some serious self-pity I laid down in that last post.

Anyway, I generally don't believe in signs and omens. If there is a God or higher power of some sort, I really think - and kind of hope - s/he's working on big problems and simply doesn't have time to toss things in my path. But desperate times evoke strange reactions to commonplace events, and so I am probably reading too much into these things:

1. It's not raining. That's a plus any time.

2. I went to get fingerprinted today for Teach For America. "That'll be $58, cash or check," says the police officer behind the desk. I choke a little, collect myself and my things, and trekk to an ATM. The previous person had left $5 in the tray. Now, I know most people aren't going to come back for $5, but I turn it in anyway.

I return to the police station and fork over the money. "Wait," she says. "Do you just need a fingerprint card? Oh, in that case it's just $6." Yessssss.

3. I saw baby triplets. Asian baby triplets. Jim and I are convinced that Asian babies are the cutest of all and it's become an inside joke with us.

These things probably mean nothing. Or maybe they do.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Giving up

Do you worry that people will give up on you? Not doctors or acquaintances, but important people.


Thanks to everybody who commented on my last post. I'm ruminating and hopefully things will be clearer soon. Like the sky, for one thing. I have spectacular sunglasses and no reason to wear them.

In other news, I'm approaching the finish line on my thesis. It feels odd. It's been this big, amorphous thing for so long and now suddenly (almost) all the pieces are in place and it looks like something a real adult person would write. It makes sense.

Once that's done, I'll be able to breathe a bit easier.

Monday, May 4, 2009


My session with Dr. M did not go well today. I kept telling her I feel like I'm stuck, and she kept telling me that I just have to be patient, and I am tired of being patient. I am tired of disliking myself so much. I am tired of regarding my scale with a mix of terror and longing. I am tired of avoiding the mirror when I get out of the shower. I am tired of not believing the people I love when they tell me I look better. I am tired of thinking about my body so much.

And then Dr. M made this weird quasi-suggestion, not that I lose weight, but that I get to a weight that I'm "more comfortable with." Huh? DOES SHE THINK I'M FAT????? Whoa, okay, she hasn't actually seen you in six months. I just really don't know how I could eat differently" as she said without it crossing into restriction. I'm exercising six days a week. I'm so rigid about foods that are "safe" and foods that aren't. I don't want to stay here but I'm so afraid to change.

Deeeeep breath. I know this is exacerbated by all the other stuff that I can't control, all the things that are up in the air and make my recently-consumed dinner burble uncomfortably.

I don't know, I don't know, I kept telling her. I don't know.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

However far

I often joked with my psychiatrist (as much as anyone can joke with a pdoc) that I had "anorexia lite." Oh hahaha, get it? My weight never dipped into scary five-year-olds-weigh-this-much territory. I passed out once. My electrolytes never got out of whack. I mean, really, I just got a little carried away with a diet. There wasn't much to worry about - everyone was all worked up over nothing.

But just now I looked through my Facebook photos. Not pictures I've taken, but pictures that have been taken of me. From freshman year through now.

God almighty. I was so, so thin.

No wonder people gave me funny looks. Remember that girl I talked about, the one who could take out an eye with her sharp knees and elbows? The one I said I never looked like? I lied. My collarbones looked like razorblades. My face was half its current diameter; same with my arms. Where did I go?

I can see my reflection now. The only way you'd know I was ever once so thin are my wrists - they're still a little bony. This body I'm in now is radically different from the body I was in - the body I was - four years ago. So many things are radically different.

The battle with my body is mostly won - my weight is "normal," and I have a decent (I think too decent, of course) padding on me. My arms don't disappear above the elbow, and my thighs allllllllmost touch, right at the top. It's a battle in my head now. And that's the hardest to win.


Probably not going to the gym today - there's just not enough time. I might not have time tomorrow, either.

This does not make me a bad person. This does not mean I'm a slug/Jabba the Hutt. BELIEVE THIS, DAMMIT.

Friday, May 1, 2009

TGIF ...

So far today I have
1) Worked out
2) Printed some forms
3) Watched four episodes of The Office (I'm caught up)
4) Finished my thesis bibliography (four pages)

So far today I want to
1) Go back to bed
2) Have a vanilla rum and diet coke. Or four.