Thursday, October 6, 2011

AAAGH, body image, self-esteem, and a big dallop of MISC, all for 50 calories or less!

This is how yesterday went:

Alarm clock goes off at 6am. Groan and wonder WHY IS THE PHONE MAKING THIS HORRIFIC NOISE SO EARLY. Realize I have work.
Roll out of bed five minutes later, wanting to cry.
Begrudgingly get dressed.
Eat (banana, toast, instant breakfast drink)
Brush teeth, pack change of clothing, leave at 6:30am.
Walk one mile to work, arrive at 7am.
Work until 11:45am. (yes, really)
Walk uphill one mile home.
Drink orange juice, yell at M to leave.
Walk two miles with M to the dentist and wait for him there.
Go get something to eat at McD's when he's done.
Walk two miles back home.
Shower. Get dressed.
Drive off to meet Prince T, who proceeds to whisk me off to Birch (place on campus) to have a small dinner.
Curl up on Prince T's bed and proceed to whine and cry and whine.
Stay at Prince T's until 12am. SOMEHOW without sleeping at all.
Arrive home at 12:30am and promptly pass out.

I slept four and a half hours, walked six miles, and stayed up horrendously late. You'd think I would have had an easier day today. While I DID get a ride to and from work, I was pretty much instantly whisked off to Providence after I got home by Prince T to walk around the gigaaantic mall after work. He bought me a Build a Bear, we bought some tea at the Teavana, managed not to go into the Godiva store, and generally had a wonderful, pleasant time. Lots of walking, little sitting today, much like yesterday, but I'm happy.

Came home and put on a pot of my wonderful new tea and made dinner. Bay scallops with low sodium bacon, green bell pepper, baby carrots, baby bella mushrooms, sesame oil, olive oil, butter with some rice pilaf (carrots, peppers, peas, corn) on the side. I ate dinner alone, on account of M being at work, but I saved him plenty of dinner for when he gets home. I know he'll be tired and I'm sure he'll appreciate it.

Prince T is waiting for some cash to come his way so I can make him some truffles. I promised him I'd make them for him if he didn't go into the Godiva store. Wonderful, delicious treats in there, but so expensive! And Prince T is a fairly trim, lean man (he works out and is 21, oh men and their metabolisms!) so he doesn't have to really worry about the idea of eating a bunch of truffles or what ever else we would have picked up. I, however, am a tiny little thing who gains weight easily...and has blood sugar issues. And Prince T, gentleman that he is, always shares his sugary treats with me. While I appreciate this, I also shouldn't be eating cookies, cakes, candies, and truffles all the time.

So I've taken to just offering to make them for him. It's cheaper, he gets more, he gets something made by his princess, and I won't put a bunch of not-food-like substances in it. He's in college, so he can always pawn off the extras on his friends, who are constantly going on sugar binges. Whereas in my house, it would sit around and M and I would attempt to polish it all off before it spoiled/went stale. I much prefer this.

I've taught him the joys of good tea as well. Now, before you go and think that I make a habit out of buying tea at Teavana (2 ounces of tea ranges from $3 all the way to $30, depending on type, origin, etc) and couple this with my lolita thing, I'm going to tell you I really am not rich or anything. Haha. I just save up for a while and buy cute clothes, or delicious tea. Prince T couldn't fathom spending that much money on tea. ( "They want $12 for TWO OUNCES OF TEA?") Until I handed him a sample cup. His eyes lit up, a lazy smile came over his face, and he practically squealed. My prince had been conquered by the delicious taste of white tea mixed with berries and flower petals and I knew it. He willingly paid $12 for those two ounces, took the tea home and proceeded to...

Improperly brew it, thus destroying his first cup of expensive tea. (Two ounces of tea will give you a good 10 or so cups of tea, by the way)

He contacted me, lamenting over this. I brought him to the nearest Stop n Shop, had him buy a tea ball, and then told him how he could go about brewing his tea. He tried it that night and instant messaged me, telling me how wonderful it was.

So here we are this afternoon, standing in the Teavana. He's wriggling and whining about how he wants tea but he can't afford any. Until a wonderful Earl Grey catches his eye, for a mere $4! He jumped on it (and on a cup of extremely expensive black tea to-go). I jumped on a white tea (Youthberry), an herbal (Wild orange blossom), and a green (Blackberry Mojito) and got a cup of Raspberry Soiree green to-go, unsweetened.

I've made it a mission to drink more tea. I want to replace my sodas, and to some extent, the juice I drink with tea. I drink a lot of juice, which isn't bad for me, and I don't buy any that are sweetened with artificial sweeteners or corn syrups. However, juice is made from fruit, fruit is very sweet, so I'm pretty much injecting sugar into me every time I drink juice. Now, I don't have diabetes or hypoglycemia or anything, but I do get some pretty bad blood sugar spikes and dips if I'm not careful with what I put in my mouth. This is why I'm thinking of only having juice with breakfast or dinner (not both) and not drinking it during the day in-between meals. I don't drink much soda anymore (sometimes at work I'll have one glass, or if we go out to eat somewhere suddenly). Prince T more or less has me get the fake tea drinks (Which make us both sad after many trips to Teavana) and stay away from colas. Damn that prince knowing caffeine makes me ill!

Also, I'm eating a lot more seafood and a lot less...other meats. I don't really eat poultry for...strange reasons. The smell of chicken meat (cooked or raw) makes me sick to my stomach for reasons I can't really explain. Whenever I eat chicken, I can't really allow myself to smell the meat or else I'll get fairly nauseous. Can't really explain that one at all, but it is what it is. I dislike turkey in most forms, except deli sliced very thin for sandwiches or in soups. I like rock cornish hens, but only made the way my dad makes it (Which in the tradition of a lot of Portuguese food, will likely be the cause of my impending heart attack). Beef doesn't hold the same appeal it did when I was younger. It's just...not special. It's not that great. I always cook it medium rare to medium, so it's not that I'm overcooking it and destroying the flavor and juiciness. I'm good at cooking beef. I just don't really like it. Pork is boring. Oh, it's SO boring. And I don't like game meats (rabbit, venison, etc). I am fond of veal, but it's expensive and not really work the price tag for me. Lamb is also nice, despite its gameyness, but again, not really worth the price tag for me and I really only like it in gyros.

So what does that leave me with? Scallops, shrimp, halibut, flounder, cod, periwinkles (dirt cheap!), mussels, clams... Oh my, it doesn't end there. Tilapia, salmon, whiting, pollock... All so good! Pan fry it, tempura fry it, bake it, put it in soups, steam it, poach, grill, blacken it... I make seafood all sorts of different ways and I'm in love each and every time.

I'm thinking of making Prince T a big pot of clam chowder to share with his roommates and friends. No good New England-er doesn't like clam chowder, right? Especially since he's from the Cape! I didn't even grow up on the Cape and I'm addicted to a good clam chowder. And before you get on me for this whole cream based soup thing, in reality...It's not that bad for you. Come on. It's soup. At worst, I've seen a big bowl go for about 400 calories, 8-10 grams of fat, etc.etc. It's filling, delicious, and extremely comforting. I'm sure I could make something healthier than that, and will likely try, as I worry for Prince T's heart (donuts, cookies, pizza, sandwiches, store bought pastries... Oh his heart). I taught him good tea is fantastic, cheap vodka is why he hated vodka (and why good vodka is AMAZING), and that wine can be good when paired with the right foods. I also taught him to make eggs. I can teach him real food is delicious! And he's such a willing student, too.

So, in the past week I've managed to walk eight miles. FUU. Oh god. REALLY? Where did THAT come from? And that's not counting all the running around I do at work or around the mall or around the UMASS campus (Oh no, you all probably have a pretty good idea of where I live now from this post...! Oh well!).

Tomorrow, M, Prince T and I are going to the arcade for a bit. I think I'll wear jeans and have a casual day (no lolita) for the express purpose of being able to play DDR comfortably. Or I'll wear a pencil skirt and just be way too overdressed to be playing DDR, but be incredibly sexy!

Speaking of being sexy, let's talk about body image and self-esteem. Growing up, my body image was TERRIBLE and my self-esteem non existent. I mean that. I thought I was the fattest, ugliest, most disgusting thing ever. Ever since I can remember, I thought of myself that way. All the way back in middle school, before the bi-polar diagnosis, before the medication, before I ever remember feeling emotionally off, I always had a skewed perception of myself. My mother always told me I was fat, always tried to get me on a diet. While my father never told me I was fat, never told me I was overweight or chubby, he did encourage me to take better care of myself. I never did.

Through high school, after I threw out the medication for my misdiagnosis (I was first diagnosed with general run of the mill depression), after I packed on another thirty or so pounds and managed to get myself into a size 18/20 and was steadily going towards 20/22, I remember being miserable. I dressed in an androgynous manner to hide,  so no one would see what I looked like... So I wouldn't see what I looked like. I was always angry or upset or just generally down. Not just because of my bi-polar, but because also of how I viewed myself. I recently found a diary from when I was  16 or so. The one entry I managed to read started out a bit normally but ended up dissolving into an entry about how much I hated myself. About how fat I was. About how I was ugly, how no one would ever think I was pretty.

I moved out of my parents house when I was 18. Moved from Massachusetts to Illinois to live with Mik. This was, perhaps, the best thing I could have done for myself. Removing myself from my mother's presence (and I'm not trying to vilify my mother) was the best thing for me. I grew as a person. No longer was I the baby who would have everything taken care of for her. I had to pay bills, cook for myself, clean for myself, get MYSELF up for things, and make my own way through life. My father wasn't there to gently prod and guide me. My mother wasn't there to protect me.

She also wasn't there to call me fat. She wasn't there to try and make me diet. She wasn't there to see me, see how I dressed, anything.

I don't know exactly when I started seeing myself more positively or what exactly happened. I started wearing more feminine clothing, with shape to them, so you could see me and not just a bunch of fabric. I was a happier person. Yes, I was also about 30 pounds lighter than I had been since I left high school (which is about when I started this blog, after losing a good bit of weight), but I'm not sure if that had everything to do with it. I think what had to do with it was realizing my mother was wrong.

I was not FAT. Yes, I was overweight, but I was NOT what my mother had driven me to believe I was. The image she had given me was of some grotesquely large, rolls and rolls of fat everywhere, jiggling without control, too big to buy clothing in a store. That was how my mother made me feel. That's what the word 'fat' has always meant to me.

I WAS NOT FAT. Not when I was 10, 15, 18, or even now. I am not FAT.

I am a curvy, beautiful woman. I was a chubby, adorable middle schooler. I was an awkward, curvy, but beautiful young girl in high school.

I. Was. NOT. FAT.

Living with my mother again now, hearing her say things like that again, has really driven home how I was made to feel for 18 years of my life. Being away for two years was all I needed to shake reality into me. For me to really appreciate myself, see who I really was...

What I really looked like.

I am five feet two inches tall. I have small breasts, a little waist, and a good bit of extra weight in my stomach. My hips are quite wide, and my thighs are also quite fleshy. I have trimmer calves, little ankles, and small feet. My wrists are itty bitty, my hands child sized. Do I have the 'ideal' body? No.

But here's the important part.

I smile when I look in the mirror and see my body.

I like the way it looks. I would still like it if it were smaller. I would still like it if it were bigger. Because I like ME. I love ME. And that causes me to love the rest of me.

So I have the 'ideal' body? No.

But when Prince T looks at me, he smiles. He holds my hand, or hugs me tightly, tells me I'm perfect, tells me he loves me. As I am. He knows how much I used to weigh and I believe him when he tells me he would still be with me if I ever weighed that much again. But at the same time, he supports my wanting to lose weight for health reasons.

When I wear lolita and it fits and looks adorable and good, I'm happy. Even when my mother tells me it makes me look fat. ("SUCH a cute dress!...too bad it makes you look so fat...") I know it isn't true. I know it's just her way of trying to get me to be healthy. She was raised that way and I know she just doesn't know any better or any different, that it comes from a place of love, even if it sounds terrible.

So, that was my ridiculously long post.

I hope you all take some time to really love yourselves today, I mean that. I wasted so many years hating myself. Hating my body, hating my personality, hating my life. I wasted so much time doing that. And if you feel the same way, then you're just wasting time, too.

Please don't waste any more time. You deserve to be happy and you deserve your love.

Once I realized that, everything else just slipped into place. I hope it does for you, too.


Lilies in my Cereal said...

That was a long post but a good one! I find myself not liking meat like I used to so I understand about the choices of meat.

Teavana is really expensive. I bought the blooming tea for my friend and it was so expensive. The lady working told me to start looking for the sale days so I'd be much happier with the prices.

Parents can say awful things. It was my reason for losing weight the first time. I gained it all back and kind of lost it the second time for my boyfriend but I'm really just losing all for me now that I know how much of a douchebag he can be and how much I just want to do this for me now. This time when I started losing weight I was the largest I've been in my whole life. You just have to take things how they go.

I would have played ddr in the pencil skirt but that is just me!! I haven't played my ddr game in a long time!

Walking is awesome exercise!!

Astrid said...

Teavana IS very expensive, but sooo good. I buy maybe three teas at a time, maximum, and drink them over the course of a month or two. Prince T does similar.

Losing weight for yourself is the best option in my opinion. Most people stick to weight loss they've done for themselves.

Playing DDR in a pencil skirt is actually pretty fun! A little complicated, but fun!