Facing the Demons

Someone asked me if I am flattered now when people “flirt” with me.

It is a good question and one I have always had an answer for.

If you did not find me attractive at 420 pounds then I do not care if you find me attractive now.

Which is why my wife is special to me. – Posted by Tony “The Anti-Jared” Posnanski on his facebook page.

This innocent post made me face something I’ve kept in the back recesses of my mind for a LONG time. To answer simply, I’m not comfortable with people flirting with me. I was one of those people who craved it at one time, in another life, because I was unhappy and felt unloved and unappreciated. The attention I got counteracted those feelings but I didn’t like the person I became as a result. So, I packed on pounds to insulate myself from that woman. Whenever I managed to take off some pounds it was like stripping the peel from an onion. I felt extremely vulnerable. As a result, each time I did it I rebounded back to a weight where I felt ‘safe’. It was a crazy pattern and one I’m not proud of – and it kept my weight yo-yoing for a long time.

Even after I became involved with the man who would become my husband I couldn’t seem to put the past out of my mind. I couldn’t seem to believe him when he told me that he loved me no matter what I looked like. I hadn’t known unconditional love before and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. So, I kept fighting my demons. Battles won; wars lost. Then came the ‘aha’ moment, when I looked at a picture of myself and saw a woman who looked much older than her years…and realized something had to change. As the layers of fat peeled away this last time I found myself facing the demons once again. I’ve changed enough to accept the love I have in my life – and feel comfortable and safe at this weight regardless of what I encounter in the ‘world’. I don’t need flirting to establish my self worth. I have that knowledge and it’s priceless.

If I could give one gift to those fighting demons of self worth and body image, it would be the gift of comfort and peace that comes with self respect and love of self.

Peace. Joy. Love. May you be surrounded by it and believe in yourself.

Before:
2008-02-27 Segina Debbi

Now:
IMG_1000

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Resistance to Change

Most people do not like change. Plain and simple. They grumble and groan – they may even throw a tantrum – but, in some way, shape or form, they definitely let it be known that this ‘change’, this horrible, horrible change, cannot possibly be good for them/you/the world. (and kids’ attitudes can be even worse *snicker*!)

It’s been like this for centuries, throughout history. It’s affected virtually every facet of life, from weather to law and all things in between.

One of my favorite quotes about life is, “The only thing constant about life is change.” The quote is attributed to both French author Francoise de la Rochefoucauld and the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Whoever said it, the wording is clear, succinct and mindful: Don’t get too accustomed to things as they are, because they will likely change.

Our home…our tiny microcosm of the world…is not immune. We claim to be ‘hip’ and ‘with it’ (although, just writing those words, I notice how behind the times and resistant to change I am–stuck in the 60’s I am, Yoda).

We cling to the familiar. But, like the child peeping through the hole in the fence to see what’s on the other side, we’re curious and interested and not completely averse to trying something new if it offers hope, promise or some other brightly wrapped happy concept. Change is often welcome here!

Unless (until) you cross the threshold onto the sacred soils. You know the ones-
• religious conviction (wait, I converted to a different faith less than 10 years ago, so I would say I’m not exactly close minded there),
• politics (okay, my views have changed as I’ve matured, and they are not set in stone, either)
• healthy food/cooking (unbelievable that it’s ranked as one of the top three, isn’t it?) Yep, that’s one of the show-stoppers in our home. My husband will groan, complain, sulk, pout or just plain avoid healthy food. His mantra is, ‘Life is too short to waste time eating healthy food.’ If it tastes healthy, it may be good for you, but it isn’t good to eat. Meanwhile, I’m trying to prepare meals to help us be healthier.

It raises the art of meal preparation to the level of intrigue found in a Tom Clancy novel. I treasure small successes:
• we now have 2% milk in our ‘fridge instead of whole milk.
• I usually cook with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) instead of butter, although when my husband cooks it’s the exact opposite.
• Some of my recipes, like the Weight Watcher’s cheesy-vegetable soup, are actually requested meals. My husband told me, if healthy food tastes unhealthy, I like it. Point taken, dear heart.

So, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised yesterday when I had an epic failure cooking a relatively healthy breakfast.

I started out by cooking some ground pork with seasonings in a sauce pan, then draining off the oil and rinsing the pork. While that dripped in a colander, I sautéed red, orange and green peppers with onions and garlic in a bit of EVOO. I added sliced mushrooms and diced Roma tomatoes. From the living room I heard, “mmm, smells good, hon!” So far, so good.

It took a turn when I opened the canister of powdered egg whites, measured some into a bowl and began whisking. (Meanwhile, I began toasting whole grain white bread to complement the breakfast). I added two whole eggs to the egg white mix. It looked good to me! I’d added pork crumbles back to the pan and was just about to add the egg mixture when my husband ambled over. He loves to cook, so it’s not unusual to see him in our kitchen. “Why is it so frothy?” he asked. Probably from the egg whites, I told him. Long pause that stretched into a LONG PAUSE. “Are there any egg yellows in there?” he asked, trying for diplomacy. It was, after all, early in the day and I could tell he did not want an argument. Yes, dear, I answered with a definite tone in my voice. Yes, I repeated. There are egg yellows in there.

“I just asked,” he said as he retreated. I knew then that the meal was doomed.

I added some mild cheddar cheese to the mixture and (I thought) breakfast turned out very tasty. The eggs were meant to be just part of the meal rather than the focus and, for me, that balance worked. But then, I was the cook, wasn’t it?

At the table I watched as my husband picked at his food but inhaled four slices of toast (two whole grain white, two plain white) with apple butter. As he slathered the apple butter on the second to last piece of toast he told me he was ‘full’ and couldn’t finish the food on his plate.

I didn’t argue or cajole; he’s not a child and there’s simply no point. Then I watched him pluck the last piece of toast from the plate. I didn’t say anything. I picked up the plates and divided his leftovers amongst our dogs.

I take some solace in the fact he ate the whole grain white toast without comment. He says he hates it (“Blech”) and can taste the difference. If I had asked, he would have told me the apple butter must’ve drowned out the bad taste. I won’t ask. In my mind, it’s a small victory. Small indeed. But I’ll take it.