Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


Life in the Slow Lane

12108756_10208073611423764_1885628941810349569_n (1)Four months ago today I arrived in Texas after a 1,658 mile drive from Connecticut. My sister-in-law flew up to share the drive and Tessie was good as gold on the trip. We stayed in pet-friendly hotels but didn’t make reservations except for the first day, since that gave us more flexibility depending on road and traffic conditions.

Our route took us through the Poconos and down through Scranton, PA and continuing down through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, just a short drive from my former home in Charlottesville. We skimmed through Tennessee and cut across Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana into Texas, completing the drive in 3.5 days. My furniture arrived within 24 hours, much to my shock and delight.

The past months have been nesting time. Figuring out where things go and what things we don’t need. My pre-move cleanout made the move cheaper than estimated and also meant fewer items to find homes for in my new house. We ended up taking quite a lot of kitchen things and books to Goodwill, including my dad’s 40-year-old stereo system that took up way too many shelves in the bookcases. I replaced it with a new Bose system with CD-player. We’re loving our Amazon Echo in the kitchen and listen to NPR and music over meals.

Dad and I joined the local community church and I’m singing in the choir, which is like breathing for me.  I’ve also been taking Mah Jongg lessons and am starting to play regularly. It’s a strange game but an important social activity here so I’m meeting lots of people.  And the parties! I’ve been to more parties in the last 3 months than in the past 10 years!

It’s been a big adjustment to go from living solo (plus Tessie) to sharing a house, meals, errands, etc. with my dad. We’re figuring things out as we go and the space is large enough that we’re not falling over each other, especially now that we have a second TV in the den. He watches Fox News in one room and I watch anything else in the other!

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Thanksgiving 2015




It’s not enough to get the food right

Stained Glass PanelWe obsess over our food plans, counting calories and points and fat grams and fiber. We virtuously steam vegetables and chomp carrots when we really want chocolate. We get on the scale and cringe when the numbers stay the same or, god forbid, go up a little bit. We work out or make endless excuses/explanations for not having done hours of intensive aerobic activity.

But you know what? It’s not enough to get the food right, to follow the food plan – whatever it is – to the letter. It’s not enough to get in the exercise and talk the talk.

What we need to do is work on our inside, that hurt, angry, afraid person inside the fat suit of excess layers and skin. This is much harder to do but if we don’t take the time, we will ultimately fail, because this is the self that we carry with us every single day, every moment of our lives.

Do you like yourself? Be honest. Most of the time I do but I’m not always sure, and when I was at my heaviest, I loathed who I was because I equated the body with the inner person. Yes, I carry around the body but I am more than my body. I am a kind, generous, thoughtful, fun person who loves to play. I’m a good friend to those I allow close enough. I remember birthdays and want mine to be remembered. I love music and theater, travel and web design and books.

I am a whole person, not just my body and the shape it takes up. While I work on following my food plan and yes, trying to move more, I also need to take care of that whole person inside. Be kind to her, pay attention to her. I need to listen to the hurt and lonely girl who wants comfort and reaches for food because it’s what I know will help in the short term. Because there are other options.

Sometimes I have to just be hurt or sad or lost or ragingly angry, to really feel the emotions and not try to comfort myself by smothering them with foods that put me in a carb coma and help me forget for a little while. It’s only by actually feeling those feelings and learning new ways to deal with them that I can be truly happy and content with myself and who I am now, at this point in my life.

If I don’t like myself, why would anyone else like me? If people do like me, what do they see that I’m not seeing? Today I can see a lot but sometimes it’s harder. It’s worth the effort and I’m a nice person to be around when I actually care about myself.  I’m worth it.