Monthly Archives: September 2009

On those pesky body issues once again

So, last week’s post was all sweetness and light and “I’m going to accept my body, yay!” and then?

Then I saw pictures of myself at The Blathering.

My first response was tears.  Partially, yes, because I was tired and I was overwhelmed with all of the emotions I felt at meeting such awesome ladies and bonding and then getting emails and Tweets and realizing that this weekend was just the beginning of some friendships I hope will last.  But the other part was totally moments of, “Holy shit, you’re FATTER THAN YOU’VE EVER BEEN.”

It’s hard to look at yourself and see yourself that way.  I’m sorry.  It just sucks.

It made me realize that yes, I can be nice to myself about it, but I need to do something.  This weekend (here comes the cheese!) was such a great reminder of a few things.  First, that there are amazing people in the world—people I like and who (I think!) liked me.  Secondly, I was reminded—multiple times—that I am more than a number on a scale or my outfits or what I look like because people took me in just the same.  But I was also reminded that for me, I need to look good AND feel good in order to be happy.

The awesome (and seriously, y’all–she is even more amazing-er in real life) Moose sent an email out to a little Get Healthy group she’s been running and it contained a reminder that her boss shared with her: that really, we all hold ourselves back.  I am a big fan of The Blame, and so it hit me right where it needed to—I am holding myself back in this area.  I can make the choice to do things differently.

I’ve been wrestling with this: asking why, asking what I need to do to make this situation better, and how.  Still, another friend challenged me in a different way regarding my attitude, asking that if I can show myself forgiveness for other situations in my life, why is it so impossible for me to be nice to myself while on this journey?!  It’s true—I operate either in totally militant, “I’m fat, ugly and disgusting and who would like me and I’m such a mess” mode OR blatant lazy, procrastinating, self-sabatoge mode.  I need to find a happy medium.

And that, my friends, is the catch.  I’ll let you know if/when/how I figure it out.  I want to exist in a happy medium, where sure, I get myself out of bed in the morning to workout, but sans the self-hate and self-deprecation that seems to accompany it.

For those of you who are doing it…HOW?  How do you manage this?

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The one where I decimate a kid’s self esteem unintentionally

Yesterday, I was headed to the teacher restroom during a passing period when I saw two students engaged in a shoving match.  I did my typical, “HEY!” gutteral yell, when one of the students smacked the other’s backpack really hard.

I marched up to the offender, who was dressed in a purple shirt, had long, black, curly hair and was rather rotund and demanded that they follow me to the office.  I did my whole “teacher speech” about how our campus has a hands off policy and that it isn’t nice to hit students, and that especially as a girl, such behavior was not appropriate to do to boys and a whole lot of other discipline-esque speech.

The student was silent the whole time, which only served to make me even angrier, because HELLO, I AM TALKING TO YOU!  I continued on with my speech, saying that she could get really hurt if the boy hit her, and that if she was trying to flirt with him, there were other things she could do, and basically prattled on incessantly.

When we arrived in the office, I began rattling off the incident to the principal’s secretary so that she could explain the situation when the student had to see the principal or VP.

Finally, I snapped at the kid, “And what is your name?”

And in the deepest, scariest voice ever, the kid spit out HIS NAME.  This was no girl, it was a dude, who looked like a girl.

I was mortified.  And then I apologized over and over again for thinking that “he” was a “she.”  The poor kid looked so defeated, and I felt really awful.

Until about 2 minutes later, when another student ran by me, tugged on a girls backpack and said, “HEY!  HE LIKES YOU!” while pointing at a friend.  The girl giggled and the kid yelled, “HE WANTS TO GET FREAKY!”

Then the kid saw me, said, “Awww, hell nah!” and ran into the science building.

I laughed the whole way to my classroom.

Sometimes, I love, love, love my job.

*It should be noted that I saw the “girl” this morning and guess what?  HE GOT A HAIRCUT.  What have I done?!

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The Blathering

All day last Friday, I sat around and said to myself, “WHY DID YOU SEND THAT EMAIL INVITING YOURSELF TO A PARTY?”

I can’t tell you how stinking scared I was.  My stomach hurt all day long, and when I got ready to go, I told Andrew that I think I was more nervous than I’d ever been, EVER.  He decided to go play poker at a cardroom near where the Blathering was held, and on our way out, I needed to get gas.  Andrew only had a hundred dollar bill, and I went in to the gas station and asked very nicely for $20 of gas.  The guy REFUSED to break the hundred, and was a real jerk about it.

So, I did what any normal person would do.  I walked out to my car, started crying and shaking and told Andrew—in all seriousness—that this was a sign I SHOULDN’T ATTEND THE BLATHERING.  I just shouldn’t go.  And then I started crying and shaking and saying, “They won’t like me!” and “Who is so stupid that they invite themselves somewhere they’re not welcome?!”

And then Andrew told me to shut up, pulled out his ATM card, put gas in my car and told me to shut up and drive. 

When I re-told this story over the weekend, I was called on the carpet for telling a totally “first-world sob story” because I was all hysterical that my $100 bill was rejected and I almost didn’t go to my blog meet-up, and waaaaahhhh!

Still, I don’t think that I have ever been more thrilled that I sent a stupid email and despite being a little watery-eyed, went to a gathering of some of the most lovely, wonderful, HILARIOUS people ever.

This weekend was amazing.  Seriously.  From the minute I walked in and saw Elizabeth’s amazingly adorable cottage, with delicious snacks, and had my first glass of wine and sat in a circle and watched people connect and ask good questions, and most of all LAUGH, I knew I’d made the right choice.

There were a million AMAZING moments including bonging wine, hammocks breaking, cupcakes, this noodle salad that I’m still obsessing over, shopping downtown and getting to show off my little corner of California, hearing stories about what I can only assume must be the world’s most awesome kids because they all sound so adorable and fun, plucking my eyebrows IN A FANCY BAR in order to elicit a sneeze, eagerly watching a cougar and her 24-year-old “prey” at a nearby table, to lassoing people with my necklace as we danced at a gay bar, watching my new friends attract trannys, crazy dudes and have somethings stuck where they don’t belong on the dance floor, observing some people’s amazing “cat hands” as we sat and talked Sunday morning.  And so many other things that I don’t even feel comfortable blogging due to their ummmm, not so appropriate nature. 

I love the fact that I was welcomed with open arms, the fact that these people were absolutely the FUNNIEST people ever in the world EVER, and that the Internet proved to be home to the best people, hands down.

I miss you Blather-ers already, but I am totally hopeful and sure that this is just the beginning.  Thanks for one of the best weekends ever, ever, ever.

*I just want to give mad props to Elizabeth, who not only HOSTED us all weekend, but also managed to elicit tears from me when reading her wrap-up of the Blathering.

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A brief update, family style…

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared what’s going on with my family situation, and there’s been quite a bit of news.

First, and best, Grandma Carol is doing much better!  She is out of the hospital and into a rehab center, which we are so happy about.  Doctors and nurses have literally referred to her as a miracle—we were so close to losing her, and not only is she alive and well, she doesn’t even have to have daily dialysis as they’d once feared.  It is a huge miracle, and we are so blessed.  I am so happy and grateful.

As for my dad, he will begin chemo and radiation next week.  It has been a rollercoaster as they’ve tried to figure out what treatment option is best for him, but it’s been decided that this is the best one.  Obviously, we are nervous and scared, but we’ve also been assured that this is very treatable and curable.  Please, please, please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers as we start the next phase of this journey.

On a more cheerful note, it’s the weekend!  After a long, long, long week, I could not be more excited to not work, and this weekend is extra exciting thanks to the Blathering!  I am looking forward to wine, shopping and lots of laughing!

I doubt I’ll be around here much this weekend, so happy trails and I’ll catch you on Monday!

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How my weekend just got infinitely cooler…

Yesterday, I was at work, long after the kiddos had left my classroom,  I was taking a bit of a break prior to attending a parent conference in which I was going to have to share that this particular student has a penchant for making fart jokes in front of my entire class, sort of derailing any productive review of similes and metaphors.  Anyways, this parent did not show up, so I had a few extra minutes, when I clicked on to Moose’s blog, where I noticed that she was heading off to meet some bloggers.  And then I clicked on it, and it was all, “ESCAPE TO SACRAMENTO!” and I was all, “HEY, I LIVE THERE!”

So, I sent a few emails to Maggie and basically invited myself to crash the party.  Rude?  Probably.  But they assured me that it was the more the merrier, and I should totally come, and if I didn’t get to, I’d totally stalk them anyways cry.  So, that, my friends is how I found myself signed up for at least some weekend activities with some really amazing bloggers.

Everyone else posted a list of 13 things you should know before you meet them.  Here are mine for things you should know before I crash your party like a lame-ass you meet me.

  1. Upon first meeting me, most people think I’m sort of weird because I am quiet and clam up.  Here’s the deal: I am shy.  Okay?  There is nothing to it, other than the fact that I’m CONVINCED that I am going to say something stupid, or that in the 5 minutes for which we’ve been acquainted, you’ve decided you despise me.  But I’m a nice girl, I swear.  I just need to warm up.  A glass of wine and a big smile usually make me feel great!
  2. When I am nervous, I say “soooo” at the end of every sentence.  Example: “I teach middle school, and I’ve been doing that for 3 years, soooo…” It’s awkward.  Sorry about that.
  3. Things I think are funny: everything that Tina Fey says, The Office, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Arrested Development, people falling, my own ridiculousness, most things.  I laugh a lot, I’m sarcastic and have been told I’m witty.  There are few things that offend me, and mostly, I just love laughing and not taking things seriously.
  4. I am a loud sneezer.  I’m sorry if my sneezing causes you to drive off the road, weep openly, or pee your pants.  I try really hard to rein it in, but…there it is.
  5. How do you know I’ve had too much to drink?  I put my face in one hand and lean.  Oh, and I think I have a lot of wise things to say.  I don’t.  Tell me to SHUT UP.
  6. I really, really love hugs and hugging and all that, but I’m super awkward about initiating them.  What if I am rejected?!  THEN WHAT?  So, I’ll happily hug you, and if you see me sticking my arms out in some sort of a huggish way, just give me one, mkay?
  7. Um, it’s really easy to make me cry.  This isn’t a warning to “be careful about what you say” but more a notice that if you see me tearing up, I’m fine, really.  I cry a lot.  It’s not you.  Oh, and it’s likely that I’ll be laughing in just a second.
  8. I have never sang karaoke; however, I really enjoy watching others sing.  Singing karaoke is on my life list…so, you never know.  Why not humiliate myself in front of a bunch of people I don’t know?!  Might be the time.
  9. I am sick in love with Sacramento, and while I know it’s kind of lame-ish, I LOVE IT.  I am so excited to show some of you my favorite little city-town in the world.
  10. I love to talk everything from books to movies to music to pop culture…I really love everything from the smart, nerdy stuff to Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami.
  11. I am a coffee addict.  I will probably drink a billion cups before I even show up, because I am terribly grumpy without it.
  12. If you find I’m being shy, awkward, or quiet, ask me about teaching.  I really, really love it and it’s an easy way to draw me out of my shell and get me talking.  Plus, middle school kids are freaking hilarious, so I’ve always got something to say.
  13. All of this is basically to say: I’m SO EXCITED, but also so scared.  From reading your posts, I don’t think I’m alone in that feeling, so yay!  But still.

I really can’t wait!

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The skinny

You may have noticed—or not—that I’ve shied away from writing my typical “Fat Tuesday” posts the past week or two.  It was all spurned by a comment that the sweet, lovely, supportive Jaka left me, asking why on earth I continued to call myself “fat” in posts.

This touched a nerve, not in a bad way, but it did get me thinking.  I thought about it in yoga class that weekend, as I tried to bend and contort my body into the proper pose and found myself looking at my body in the mirror and thinking, “You’re disgusting! Fat, gross, lazy, ick, you shouldn’t be here…”

I began thinking so much about my body’s journey from a chubby kid in high school, to scary-thin in college to where I exist currently: heavy and unhappy.  It completely ruined my yoga class, because every time I found myself in the mirror to check my form, I’d find my eyes welling up with tears.   I hated my body—and myself—so intensely at that moment that I thought I might burst.

The past few weeks of my weight loss journey had been hard.  I found myself weighing in obsessively—upon waking, after peeing, before work, right after work, after dinner, after the gym, before bed, in the middle of the night.   I counted calories, found myself tempted to skip meals, craving foods I wanted and deying myself even the smallest of treats until I’d want to gorge so much.  I was pissed off about food, dreaded the gym, and was so, so, so sick of counting points and logging in and tracking every single morsel I put in my mouth.  I would cry if I gained even half a pound, and get pissed off at myself.  I had a constant stream of negative thoughts in my mind about how lame I was for not being able to do this.

And then I decided I had to stop the insanity.

The facts are these: I love food.  I love baking, sharing in treats and enjoying delicious things.  I will never be the girl who can, or wants to, turn down a cookie that looks delicious and is chock full of chocolate chips.  I love baking so much, and get pleasure out of the entire cooking process.  I also love salad, fruit, vegetables, sushi, fruit, chicken (when it’s not dry and gross), steak, pizza, pasta, smoothies and just about every other food.  I don’t like being told I can only eat fruit after 5 pm, or nothing after 7 when I don’t get home until then sometimes.  The other fact?  I’m not ever going to love working out.  I don’t enjoy running, or step class or anything else.  I do, however, like spin, swimming, hot yoga and a bit of cardio before a lot of weight lifting.  I like taking walks with Andrew.  I like working up a sweat.  And more importantly, I know I have to in order to feel fully alive and happy. 

I’ve lost weight before.  I didn’t do it with any special method.  I ate a healthy breakfast.  I didn’t really eat a huge lunch, preferring instead to graze on popcorn, carrots, sliced turkey, yogurts, etc.  Then, I’d eat a sensible dinner.  If I went out to dinner and wanted something “bad” I would have it occasionally.  I went to the gym most days and did 30 minutes of cardio and some weights, and if I didn’t go?  I let it go.  And over the course of a year, I lost 50 pounds.  Later, my eating grew more obsessive and disordered, but for the first year, I was happy, healthy and content with what I was doing to be healthier.  The gym wasn’t an obligation, but something I looked forward to doing, because I wasn’t on a strict schedule.  I weighed myself, but I also measured myself, and mostly based my judgments on how clothing fit.

I want to, need to, get back to this style of thinking.  I’m working on it.  While the gym is still a non-negotiable and something I don’t love, it’s easier to go when I do it in the morning, and I get it out of the way.  I’ve got a mini-fridge filled with healthy stuff at work, and have been finding my old “grazing” pattern of eating a little bit while hungry to make me feel so much better.  And yes, I dropped Weight Watchers.  I am not going to ever really love tracking food. 

I think that after struggling with this for so long, what I’m realizing, over and over again, is that what I want/need most is a healthy relationship with food, working out and my body.  I want that little voice in my head that tells me that I’m fat, ugly and not okay to go away.  I want to feel pretty in pictures, but I also want to feel strong and healthy.  I want to come to enjoy what I do to work out, and to put good things in my body.  I don’t need to follow a plan or a schedule or anyone else’s rules.  I need to listen to myself. 

So, I am.  And the best part?  I’ve already seen a difference in my body: my waist is slimmer, by legs are becoming more defined, and I’m sleeping better.  I feel happier.  And I’ve been eating healthfully for the most part.  I didn’t want to work out this morning, but then I thought about how happy I’d be if it was done, so I went and swam for 30 minutes. 

This feels like a good change for me.  Here’s hoping that it is successful for my body, too.

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A decidedly more lady-like post…

OK, so sorry to discuss my sinus issues earlier.  It should be noted that 1) I have a cold-allergy deal that’s making me a bit stuffy.  2)  No children were hit/harmed by the grossness. 

That being said, Hannah posted a lovely fall meme that had such original questions, I thought I might do it here.  Too bad here in California, it’s hot as blazes for the first day of fall—supposedly going to reach 100 degress today.

BOO.

It’s not fall until the trees in Downtown Sacramento are red-orange and lovely, I can wear tights with dresses and I bake something pumpkin-spicy. 

Kelly Preston’s character in the movie For Love of the Game expresses her need to escape NYC because “Summer’s almost over, and I feel like I missed it.” What do you need to do in the waning days of summer for it to feel complete?   Spend those last summer nights outside, wandering and drinking wine or coffee on the patio of a restaurant. 

The person I know is wrong for me but about whom I frequently think after a break-up is engaged to someone else. 

The US Tennis Open, one of four Grand Slam events in that sport, is currently in the quarterfinal round. If you could only attend one major sporting event what would it be? A World Series involving the Giants.

Assuming that you write an anonymous or partially anonymous blog, by what non-physically identifying characteristics might you be identified in a bar?   I have ridiculously curly hair, that I’ve discussed before.  I am barely 5″1.  I am the loudest sneezer you’ll ever hear, and I’ve been told that I have a definitive laugh.

Most blogs cover some sort of niche – personal, political, dating, culinary, etc. What topic, if any, would you like to address on your blog but doesn’t fit into your niche? I would wax on about education policy and classroom matters.  Alas, very few people find reading strategies and discipline techniques helpful.

If you could manipulate the time space continuum and give as many as three pieces of advice to a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give and to what age of you?  17 year old Amy: The opinion of these people matters so little, and you will be so much BIGGER than this.  Just walk away now, and stop wasting your time.  21 year old Amy: It’s going to be okay.  Promise.  24 year old Amy:  You’ve come so far—don’t waste it.

How high are your walls?  Who was the last person to scale them? What tools should would-be climbers have on their belt? I’m working on knocking them down lower and lower—you miss the view if you don’t learn to let go and let others in.  For climbers, I suggest a listening ear, an empathetic heart and big arms for hugging.  And above all: patience and the ability to know when you’ve climbed too far too fast.

The sexiest thing a man can say to you (or has said to you) is not necessarily words, but actions: laugh at my jokes, read my writing, make me feel like a woman, listen to my worries, hold me close and show me that I take a place in your heart and your world that no one else can.  Telling me I’m pretty doesn’t hurt either.

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