The Eating Disorder Cafe

Years ago, I wished there existed an Eating Disorders Cafe, where one could go and order all kinds of weird and restrictive choices without raising an eyebrow.

Some perfect sample meals – ketchup, mustard, balsamic vinegar. And a diet coke.

Iceberg lettuce and two saltines. Dessert – a pack of sugar-free gum

Once served, I’d be allowed to nibble two bites, then douse the rest with pepper so I couldn’t eat any more. And no waiter would ask if there were a problem.

It would be a safe place where I could exhibit all my sick habits with food and be excepted and cared for.

Really and truly – this sounded like bliss. I had no idea how sick I was.

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Upkeep

Pluck, tweeze, wax, squeeze, moisturize, exfoliate, shave, rejuvenate, hydrate, laser.

Blow dry, curl, straighten, color, highlight, lowlite, keratin, perm, extensions, cut.

Bronzer, self-tanner, blush, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, primer, contour, lip-liner, lipstick, matte, gloss.

Day cream, night cream, eye cream, hand cream, body lotion, manicure, pedicure…

It is utterly exhausting to be a woman.

Did I miss anything?

Double Standard

For years, I have had an innocent crush on a very happily married man. He’s pretty chunky, sports an odd haircut, and stands a few inches shorter than I. BUT he’s so smart, kind, and talented and has the best sense of humor. If he were single, he’d be perfect for me. And I know a bunch woman who feel the same.

However, I don’t see that happening with woman – where groups of men chase smart, funny women with subpar looks.

I hate the double standard. In my last facebook post, I referenced stunning Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi and the terrible work she had on her once gorgeous face. She looked weird and frozen. Her co-host, chef Tom Colicchio is paunchy and aging naturally. (Still, of course, I think he’s pretty cute.)

It really bothered me, for some odd reason. i have no attachment to Padma Lakshmi. But it made me so sad, she’s only 45 and just drop-dead beautiful. Why would she feel the need to mutilate herself?

I wanted to write her a letter and tell her to stop the fillers and to love herself as she is. (However, I was also tempted to tell her to call Jennifer Anniston’s or Julianne Moore’s doctor. Do I only mind ‘work’ when it’s bad work?) No, I think it’s weird that Jennifer Anniston is a ocuple of years younger than I but could easily pass for my daughter.

Why aren’t women supposed to age?

Sorry if this post is disjointed. I’m just writing out loud.

Living the Dream

With the death of my young friend, I am reminded of my own immortality. Who knows what tomorrow holds? It truly is crucial to live this minute and make the most of right now.

One dream I haven’t pursued – working in the eating disorder field and assisting everyone from the anorexic to the morbidly obese. But I’ve never taken the leap and applied myself.

For now, I am considering becoming a certified coach and developing an on-going practice. My own eating disorder took so much of my life. It will have purpose if I can help others get well.

In the second paragraph, I wrote that this was one of the dreams I hadn’t pursued. The truth is it’s THE dream.

What am I waiting for?

Sadness

Sadness seems like a hard one for many people. It’s really painful. Many people seem able to handle anger. I can get mad and resentful and self-pitying and frustrated – all very easily. And almost happily, in my case. Self-righteous could have been my middle name, back in the day.

But sad hurts. And sometimes there’s just really nothing to be done about it. It’s human and real to be blue when life brings..sadness. I can’t wish it or will it away. I have to accept it and, in my case, without trying to push it away with substance. It never worked anyway – I’d just end up grossly full or hungover and still sad.

By trying to obliterate it, it just gets pushed further and festers. I find that through accepting the pain, I can begin to heal. But I have to take the first brave step -let myself experience the pain.

Three Funerals and a Wedding

Three funerals and a wedding. All in one week.

Life can be pretty unpredictable. So can death.

I am beyond thrilled for the joy of the wedding – good friends who got engaged on Christmas and married yesterday. Loved the radiant middle-aged bride in jeans, carrying a giant bouquet and wearing a huge grin.

I am deeply saddened by the losses. But truly glad that I’ve learned to experience pain. Back in the day, pain lead straight to bingeing – food, alcohol, drugs. At my mother’s memorial, I got so drunk that even the other drunk people were worried.

Today, I can be sad. Nothing from the outside (food, drugs, booze, shopping….) is going to make it better anyway. And in the long run, only worse.

I can also be present for the daughters, parents, grandparents and friends who have suffered these three losses. I’m not drunk at the wake or bingeing during the shivva call.

One of the women who died helped me create this blog. She sat with me as I designed it and encouraged me to write. I’d call her with thoughts and questions and she’d offer much better ideas than I had. She was a true friend. I will miss her terribly. But will remember her every time I post.

Rest in peace, Abbey.

The Intrigue/Danger of Weight Loss

I recently wrote about the time in my 20s when I lost a lot of weight after dealing with mono, tonsillitis, strep throat and wisdom tooth extraction – all in succession. The weight loss earned rave reviews, from friends, relatives, strangers and especially men.

I began to believe that staying thin was everything. Quickly, it became all I cared about and valued – my primary purpose. And I absolutely went to any lengths to keep the weight off, with disastrous consequences to me and my health.

Recently, with tonsillitis and flu, eating hurt and made me nauseous. I know I’ve lost some weight – can tell in my clothes. And yes, the thought does come to mind, “ah, isn’t this nice. How can I maintain it?”

I know exactly how I could maintain it – living on tea and chicken broth and ice cubes.

Looks like I’ll be gaining the weight back!!!!! 🙂