Seeing without judging

I was on the subway today and noticed a really large woman next to me.  We were wearing the same colors – black pants and cornflower blue tops – and we acknowledged each other with our eyes, not just looking past each other the way people do when they are in public places. I saw a woman who was large but well dressed, with pretty silver jewelry that brought attention up to her face which was made up well (I appreciated her ability to do eye makeup, something I'm not so good at) and her hair was attractive.  

EyeI was aware, though, that I was seeing this woman and knew that she was bigger than I was, but I wasn't judging her as being a fat person.  I was really checking out the hair, the makeup, the jewelry, the color choices for her clothes, and thinking how well she carried herself and how happy she looked with the people she was with.  Which then got me started in looking around at other people with some different eyes … to see, to observe, but not to judge.

It was rush hour at Harvard Square so it was a busy place – the people were old and young, investment bankers and hippies, mothers with babies, lovers with piercings with hands all over each other, students with backpacks, tourists with maps and quizzical expressions.  I saw with the "What Not to Wear" lens of Stacey and Clinton, looking at what people were wearing and how they were put together, liking some of the combinations and not so fond of others.  Aware that some choices made people look really good even if their features and body types were ordinary, and other people with extraordinary looks pulled themselves down several notches by outfits or styles that didn't make the most of what they had.

And it struck me that maybe, just maybe, people were looking at me the same way, seeing me there on the subway and checking out my hair, my jewelry, my clothes, my sense of style and the way I carry myself – but without judging me in the process.  I think that I am my own harshest critic when it comes to that.  What they saw, what I saw when I put the lens on myself, is generously proportioned woman with a few lumpy places but  dressed in nicely kept clothes that fit in colors that really flatter, well cut blonde hair, beautiful dangly silver earrings, a stylish bag over my arm, cute pink sandals, and a water bottle.  I looked like everyone else.

I think this is an exercise I need to try more often. 

Apples and Wine

(Found on the web – and I like it)
Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most Applemen don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.

Now Men… Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

This is about me

Weight Watcher ChickensI went to a WW meeting on Saturday. I didn't plan to go, it wasn't my regular meeting or my regular day or my regular center or anything – and I'd had things to drink not an hour before I got in the car and went. But I went to bed on Friday thinking that I could actually do the weight thing now (something I say now and then), and I was afraid not to pay attention to anything that would help.

It's still been hard for the last 3 days because I'd gotten used to eating pretty much what I wanted – the "Anne Plan" instead of Core or Flex. I know how to do the mechanics of it all, it's really a matter of just doing it. So I'm picking out a couple of strategies – writing down food, drinking water, eating more protein, NOT eliminating any food category – and starting small. I don't want to make a big huge deal about it, I want to just be doing it, so I'm glad this was a weekend when I wasn't under the watchful eye of people at work or tempted by the crap that shows up on the table outside my office door with such frequency.

My best friend was telling me today how fat she feels and I believe she does – but the thing is, she's only eating about 600 calories a day right now to try and get down to where she wants to be, and she's lost 30 lbs and weighs 60 lbs less than I do right now. If SHE's fat, then I am disgustingly horribly obese in ways that make me just cry to consider. I let myself go there for a little while and could feel myself getting pulled under. I know I should be focusing more on her and her health and not my own selfish feeling of fatness. But it's hard because this is something that hooks me hard and fast.

This year has to be about me. I have to be selfish and set some boundaries and make different choices than the ones that didn't work before. I need to not compare myself to anyone else, just do the baby steps, those little tiny things that add up to giant strides when I look back later. But all I should do is take one step, one issue, one success at a time – celebrate it, share it, relish it, and keep going.

There will be time later to think about whether I want to be dating or taking those kinds of social steps. I just don't want to right now and that's neither good nor bad, it simply is. I have plenty to deal with right now without complicating the mix with men. If dating works for other friends, dandy for them, but that's not a reason for me to feel pressured when just sticking within my points is hard enough.

Doing nothing

I haven't had a vacation in a very long time – going to see family is important and I'm glad to do it, but it's not the same. I can't even really remember when I spent time doing nothing and it was HARD, so I think I need to schedule more of it so I can be sure I get the whole thing down pat. My mind was still running hard, trying to figure out what to do with information I absorbed at the conference I just attended, and just sleeping until I woke up and piddling around the house seemed so aimless. But it was sooooo restful, even if I did spend more time on email than I should have (I still have 300+ messages in the mailbox – yikes!).

Food is harder to deal with when I'm home, especially when I get out of the routine and sleep later than usual. I can just wander into the kitchen and eat something all the time, even when I know I'm not really hungry. I try to not have the foods around that are easy for me to just overeat but sometimes those redlight foods jump out of nowhere from foods that used to be safe.

I'm watching What Not to Wear with a woman with huge boobs trying to find clothes to fit. That's not precisely my problem – I'm more pear shaped with bigger hips than up top – but one thing they said tonight stuck in my head. That what's important is not to worry about what size the garment is, but to fit the largest part of you and tailor the rest of it to make it a custom fit. That's rather a novel concept for me, who wants to just walk in and pull something off the shelf and it NEVER HAPPENS.

When I was in Denver I went to the Talbots Woman's store and bought two jackets. I can't believe I did it, because I really wasn't planning to do it. I still may take one or both of them back. But what mattered to me was the process of trying the clothes on and really putting myself in the hands of the very professional tiny woman who worked with me. She knew her stuff and didn't push me to buy anything as much as she wanted me to find things that really fit me well. Clothes that are well made and are fitted properly really do make a huge difference. I think I need to save up more to make fewer shopping trips to places with better clothes. Sigh. And sort out my size so once I buy something, I don't get bigger.

Blue bear and me

I was in Denver last week for a conference, and was enchanted by this giant blue bear that peers into the glass front of the convention center. See that little tiny person by the foot? It's me! Too bad I can't hang out near a big blue bear all the time, it was great for scale 🙂

Conferences mean eating out for every meal and that can be dangerous. Denver has wonderful restaurants and I found myself hanging out having drinks even when a glass of wine is usually a rare thing in my life. I did better with the food choices than I certainly could have done had I not been thinking about it at all, but I know there were better choices I could have made a lot of the time.

Coming home I was wedged into a seat on a nonstop flight in a window seat next to a very large guy in the middle seat who spilled over. We were touching hip to knee the whole time which was uncomfortable and awkward for us both, and I found myself thinking that my reaction to him was how other people react to sitting next to me. Sigh. If only there was a way to wave a little wand and just be in the other place without having to fly there. At least I didn't have to ask for a seatbelt extension – that's humiliating.