Tag Archives: insecurity

My Fragile Psyche

13 May

So as uncomfortable as I am looking at myself in the mirror, I have never been happier or more comfortable with myself in my life.  I don’t know if it is because I am getting older (30 in 2 months), or if it’s because my hunky husband somehow still wants to have everything to do with me every night of the week, or if it’s because I’m too busy to care.  Perhaps it is a combination of all three.

Image Courtesy Google Images

As solid as I feel emotionally, I have these supremely fragile days, like I did on Wednesday.  My dear, hot husband is a complete workaholic.  I feel blessed to be a stay at home mom but I never get a break.  Even rides in the car don’t provide me with any alone time.  My job is literally 24/7 and sometimes I have a mental health day.  I’m trying to learn to allow myself those days and to not feel entirely nutty when I have one.  This is by far the most stressful job I’ve ever had and add to it a nice dose of PPD, I think I’m handling it pretty well.

Image Courtesy theidagirlsays.wordpress.com

I just need to solidify the idea in my mind, that no day is going to be perfect, the house is never going to be perfectly clean, dinner will never be perfectly on the table at 6pm, my children will not always be perfectly behaved, and I cannot always look my best.  It would be nice if I had an Au Pair who could help me achieve all of these things but the reality of the situation is that I’m a one-woman-show.

So forgive me my fragile days and lift me up.  I’ll do the same for you.

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Confession: I’m Fat.

12 May

Pre-Madilyn. Approximately 170lbs.

I’ve never been happy with the way that my body looks and I know for a fact that my friends, from Middle School to current, can attest to the fact that I put myself down way too much.  Now that I look at pictures of myself from pre-Madilyn, I am disgusted that I ever thought I was fat.  I’m not a small person.  I’m normally very muscular and athletic looking, but not fat.  There IS a difference.   I am super curvy and will never be “skinny” but I have some pretty awesome child bearing hips, so NAH!

Approximately 24 weeks pregnant with Grady

Upon being put on bed rest for 3 months with Madilyn, I gained 80lbs.  I kept my bad eating habits once she was born and then got pregnant with Grady 9 months later.  I lost 16lbs during my first trimester with Grady and then gained a total of 25 more pounds during the rest of my pregnancy, putting me at only 9lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight.  When I went for my first prenatal visit, I had lost 20lbs since having Grady but I’m still HUGE.  For me at least.

I just started watching “Biggest Loser” and I weigh as much as most of the women on the show but don’t feel as though I LOOK that big.  It’s pretty disgusting to me that I’ve gained so much weight and I promise that I’ll never complain about my curvy girl figure again if I can just get back down to a size 12.  I’ve come to realize that the number on a scale means nothing.  It’s all about how  my clothing fits and how I feel.  170lbs might look like a lot of weight on some women, but it looks GOOD on me.  249, however; does not.

I just joined forces with The Sparkle Mama on a Weight Loss Challenge where the grand prize is a stash of brand new Cloth Diapers.  I don’t know about you, but I need some accountability or else I will never, EVER be healthy again.  (I’m staying away from the “thin” moniker because “thin” is not my goal.  Healthy is.)   That said, even the challenge was not enough to scare me into eating healthy.  So I’m confessing my weight and pictures of myself in the most disgusting outfit known to man.  Because I want to be able to post on June 6, having lost at least 10 lbs and looking a little better, and a lot closer to my goal of being healthy again.

Salad with feta, almonds, Kashi Sesame crackers, and raspberry viniagrette

I am currently breastfeeding so being on a “diet” is not really in the cards for me.  My plan of attack is to stop eating processed sugar.  No more processed sugar for the next month.  I will also stay away from “whites” and eat only whole grains.  When I crave something savory to eat, I will allow myself some ranch dressing and raw broccoli.  When I crave sugar, I will allow myself fruit.  I will eat yummy lunches like this salad.  And I will exercise at least 3 times per week.  By exercise, I mean walking brusquely with my stroller.  I’d like to go to the gym but Madilyn will have NONE of that so walking it is.

So PLEASE subscribe and hold me accountable.  Cheer me along.  I’ll be posting my weight and pictures weekly and giving a synopsis about what I’ve been eating, if I’ve “cheated”, and how much exercise I’ve managed to squeeze in.  And if you feel so inclined, join me.

So here’s my confession:  

Front view

Side View

Yes, that says 249Lbs.

How Does Racial Sensitivity Affect Equality?

1 May

This blog post from The Stir has me REALLY stirred up.  It is entitled “Racial Sensitivity Courses Should be Mandatory for Adoptive Parents”.  Um…WHA?  The article asserts that adoptive parents should have to learn about the culture and community that corresponds with whatever race of child they choose to adopt.  The writer says that by the parents not knowing about the culture from which these adopted children come from, makes them less “who they are” and that they won’t know their “personal history”.   The author also goes on to say that no matter how badly we all want an “ethically ambiguous utopia where we are all raceless faces appreciating one another for the people we are inside”, that it’s not going to happen.

Courtesy Dreamstime.com

This makes me incredibly hot because in this country we are bombarded by people screaming for equality.  I personally don’t see color.  A person’s skin tone means less to me than the color of their hair.  Saying that White America (let’s be honest; that’s who this article was written about), will never not see race is like saying that blondes and brunettes in Germany would never live in harmony after the Holocaust, which certainly isn’t the case.

Furthermore, the children being adopted from other countries by parents of different races are being given a new “personal history”.  When a child moves here with an American family, no matter what their race is, they are now AMERICAN.  Their personal history, despite the color of their skin, involves the landing of The Mayflower, the pillaging of Indians, the purchase of slaves from Africa, the use of indentured servants from Europe, the Civil War, Prohibition, the industrial age, the segregation and then desegregation of schools, the KKK, the landing on the moon, and everything else that involves US History.  These children’s new personal histories include Baseball games, Basketball, American Football, 4th of July Celebrations, Memorial Day, Labor Day and all of the other US holidays in between.  Their personal history means that they are now American, no matter the shape of their eyes, the color of their skin, or the coarseness of their hair.  These children do not have to live in bondage to their original places of birth, their original financial situation, or their original demographic.  These children are given new beginnings to their lives and I don’t see what a racial sensitivity course would do for these children and their parents but help to divide the races even further.

Why can’t we live in a world where skin color is just as insignificant as the color of someone’s eyes or hair?  Why does the fact that my great-great grandparents owned black slaves or the fact that my great-great-great-great grandparents were indentured servants have to mold who I am today?  Why does the fact that my mom went to a segregated school have to have ANYTHING to do with me?

I’m not at all saying that we should ignore history.  Many horrible things have happened in this world that are noteworthy, but we are where we are today because of the strength of a few people including but not limited to: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Booker T. Nelson, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  These people suffered, pressed on, and stood up for their personal beliefs bringing forth the life of a new country, the death of slavery, the beginning of desegregation, the birth of racial equality, and the commencement of women’s rights.  These people endured hateful oppression and stood up to their oppressors so that we wouldn’t have to have ‘Racial Sensitivity Courses’ when we adopted children from different countries or ethnicities.  Correct me if I’m wrong but Martin Luther King Junior’s dream was that his “four children would be able to live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  And that one day “on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners would be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.”  How does requiring a white adoptive parent to take “Racial Sensitivity Courses” do anything to further this dream?  Are we supposed to teach Japanese American adoptees that their Grandparents bombed Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 and that they will be looked at differently than white or black people whose grandparents helped to initiate revenge?  Do we need to teach American Indian adoptees to hate white people because they raped their grandparents’ way of life and pillaged their land?

Courtesy of DoSomething.org

It is my experience as a white woman who was raised in southeastern Alaska that my history involves American Indians as much as it involves European settlers as much as it involves African American slaves.  The color of my skin should not dictate the way that I speak, dress, or eat.  It should not affect the way I view my place in society, my education, or the success of my career.  As a northern-raised woman who went to college in the South, I can also attest to my experiences with racism.  I’ve been called horrible names by African-American women because I was hanging out with “their men”.  I’ve heard Caucasian men kick a beautiful half African-American woman out of a party because of the pigment of her skin.  Racism is not unilateral.  Where does it end and how can it end if you, yourself, aren’t willing to part with the past? (And by you, I mean YOU reading this, whatever your heritage may be).

I believe that until we, as individuals view ourselves as equal, our world will continue to be a place filled with bigotry and ignorance.  You are no different than me due to the amount of melanin in your skin, the shape of your eyes, or the language spoken by your birth parents.  We are equal in my eyes and it saddens me to think that you, whomever you may be, may feel differently.

I have a dream that my three little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin or the shape of their eyes, but by the content of character.  And it is my job as their mother, to help mold their characters to be worthy of judgement.

-Written while my eldest “little child” plays outside with two little Asian boys, one African American boy, and one Caucasian boy in complete harmony, no one aware of the fact that they all have very different skin tones.

She’s Beautiful, So Why Aren’t I?

20 Feb

Having a daughter scares me.

I grew up with a mother who struggled with body image. She was anorexic/bulimic and I had to call 911 multiple times for her passing out after not eating for weeks. I’ll never forget when she weighed 88 lbs at 5’7″ and would suck her stomach in until you could see her rib cage. It always terrified me. I was 7 and I probably weighed not much less than her. She would look in the mirror and call herself “fat” and “hideous” and “ugly”. She started complaining about wrinkles before one ever resided on her face. She still does it and I don’t know that she’ll ever know how beautiful she really is.

My father was chubby as a child but had a family who was very conscious of their health. They ate healthy, they exercised, and they urged their family to be thin. As long as I’ve known him he’s been thin. Chicken legs, flat butt, healthy physique. When my sister and I visited him for the summer, we were fed healthy food, made to exercise, and our weight was always an issue. My pants were always “too tight”. When I developed breasts and was unaware of them, I was made to feel disgusting when I accidentally brushed up against my dad with them. I’ll never forget being told that I “looked good now that I had lost weight” and that “135 had been too much weight for me”. The thing is that I weighed 135 when I was told that and had been taking laxatives to lose weight. I was a size 5, the smallest I’ve ever been, I looked sick and I felt sick.

I’m not knocking being healthy, eating right, or exercising.

I’m saying that having a daughter terrifies me.

I’m not tall and thin like either of my parents, I never have been. I’m 5’6″ and I look GOOD when I’m a size 10 or 12.

With some friends in Alaska, Size 12. 158lbs.

150 – 160 is a great weight for me. I’m athletically built and curvy no matter how I eat or exercise. I have a big, bubbly butt and a teenie, tiny waist. I have small boobs and chiseled arms. My thighs and calves are muscular and large and they rub together when I walk, even at my most “healthy”. I despise my knees; they look like elephant seals.

Yep, that's what my knees look like. Image Courtesy perlgurl.org

I’ve always said that if I could have ANY plastic surgery, that it wouldn’t be a nose job to correct my long, straight nose. It wouldn’t be a boob job because I LOVE my “B’s”. It wouldn’t be liposuction to correct my butt, hips, or thighs. It would be liposuction in my KNEES.

My curves have never been appreciated by my parents or by me. I’ve spent countless hours crying in front of mirrors, oogling myself in every window I pass, but never because I thought I looked good. Always to size myself up and complain about each curve, the bounciness of my bottom, the forward “bump” on my thigh. I never noticed the flat stomach, graceful curve of my waist, or strength of my athletic body.

I started dancing when I was 7 after years of gymnastics, but I’m not built like a dancer. I’m built like a softball player.

I always compared myself to the lithe dancers around me. I was always the most muscular and most developed, even from that young age. I grew up comparing myself to girls who had bodies that are completely different than mine, and instead of telling me that I was beautiful as I was, my family encouraged me to look like them. I was never good enough.

When I found out I was having a daughter, I freaked out internally. I didn’t share my anxiety with anyone because I didn’t want people to know how I felt about ME. But the truth is that I prayed daily for her to be tall and thin like her dad’s side of the family. I wanted her to never have to compare her body to a spoon. A pencil-thin body is what I wanted for her. I didn’t want her to ever stand in front of a mirror and size herself up, crying inside about her 24.5″ waist and 41″ hips. I didn’t want her to ever walk into the GAP to try on jeans and have an impossible time finding something that fit not only her waist, but her ample bottom and “thunder thighs”. I didn’t want her to compare herself to the thin girl next to her on the barre with thighs that don’t touch when she stands in 1st position. I never wanted her to hear me say to myself, “God I’m fat” when the truth is “God, I’m curvy”…and she shares my body.

But it didn’t happen that way. She has my figure. She is 18 months old and she has my figure. Short, muscular legs, a bubble butt that wraps around to cute little hips. Elephant seal knees. It’s undeniable and I’m not the only one who notices it. I just hope that everyone else who notices it doesn’t say “Summer, she has your figure” with pity in their voices, but with envy. Envy because she will grow up with natural curves and super athletic abilities. Her bottom and thighs will be round, not straight; she will love them. And she is beautiful. I need to stop talking badly about her figure too. When people say something about it, I’ve said, “I know, poor girl.” NO, not “poor girl”. “Beautiful girl”. She doesn’t have to be thin and curveless to be beautiful or to love her body.

She Got it From Her Mama Courtesy: Thirteenth Moon Photography

I just have to learn that it starts with me. It starts at home with us telling her that she’s beautiful and teaching her to love her butt and muscular physique. And if you don’t like it, keep your mouth closed. The last thing she needs is someone telling her that she could lose a little here or there, or that her butt is “too big”. Because we’re doing what we can to feed her a well-balanced diet and teach her the importance of exercise and a healthy lifestyle. If she’s never long and lean despite her best efforts, I want her to rejoice in her hard-worked curves because they’re beautiful. She’s beautiful. And so am I.

TSA Invasion: Boobies Beware!

29 Nov

There has been such a hubbub about the new full body scanners in airports.  This insurgence of media coverage has caused me to spend quite some time thinking about what I would do if faced with the possibility of going through one of those vs. having a full body pat down.  I also think about how the images could possibly be used by the people running the machines, other than for the obvious reasons.  I think about it a lot while I’m driving and even more when I’m out shopping.  I often find myself wondering what the handsome man at the furniture store looks like without his clothes on, or how good the cashier at the clothing store REALLY looks in the buff.  I really should get a job with TSA so that I don’t have to wonder anymore.  These machines show EVERYTHING.

What you might as well wear next time you travel the friendly skies.

It’s really quite amazing!  I happened upon a website just this evening that shows an image of a woman in “The Machine” (insert lightening flashing and thunder clapping here).  The top image shows her face very much blurred out but the bottom image clearly shows her face.  The caption discusses the fact that the image the TSA “pervert”is  reviewing is not the same image that they show to you, and that it is not in the slightest anonymous.  Um, no.  I would imagine not.  These pictures clearly show *cough* junk and other schtuff.

Here’s my take on the whole TSA body scanner uproar:  At one time in my life, I was a hot, solid bodied thing but guess what?  I’m not anymore.  I’m a little round around the edges.  I’ve breastfed 2 kids and my boobs are not only enormous but also, well, to put this lightly, a little saggy.  I’ve got extra deposits of lard around my hips, thighs, and knees.  Hell, I think I have some extra Crisco in places I didn’t even know you could GET fat. (Ladies, you know what I’m talking about here.)  I’ve got an attractive face, but certainly nothing that could detract from the Romanesque picture that would show up on a TSA full-body scanner’s screen.  Ok so let’s just assume the guy (or gal for that matter), likes what they see on the screen?  (Hey, it’s possible, my hubby thinks I’m sumpthin’ else to look at.)  What are they really going to do with  my image?  Rub one off right there in the airport?  Let’s get real.  I am, however; under the impression from this article that the images can, in fact be saved.  Ok, so that is kinda weird but I’m not super concerned with my image being saved for a little fun after work.  You can get much better free porn on the internet.  I hardly believe these TSA workers are so underpaid that they can’t afford internet.

That brings me to the grope-downs that are now being offered in lieu of the full-body scan.  I love being touched.  It’s one of my favorite things.  I’m just not sure that what I want before walking onto my 6 hour flight to Seattle is to be felt up.  Perhaps on the flight but don’t get me all excited before I have to sit next to Mr. Stinkyman who invades 3″ of my total 12″ seat space, while munching on stale peanuts!  Have you seen a video of the pat-down they are now issuing?  It’s pretty darned invasive; nothing short of sticking a finger in various holes, I tell ya’.  While watching the video I thought, “Hm…I wonder what women with breasts like mine have to go through during this enhanced security measure?”  I really could hide a handgun underneath my boobs and they’d never find out.  Unless, of course, they physically lifted my boob up and felt up under there.  Do you think they’re doing that?  I’d love to see some bra-less old woman in a muumuu go through the new grope down.  I can just imagine her partially toothed smile as a burly TSA security-woman had to lift the traveler’s breasts with two hands and feel under that sweaty spot with her free foot.  You know, just in case there’s a nail file under there.

So what would I do?  I think I’d rather be the one having all the fun instead of someone sitting in a booth enjoying my curvaceous form in negative-image.  Yeah.  I’m in for the grope-down.  C’mon and love me down!  How about you?

Footnote:  I hope those of you reading this didn’t take it too seriously.  This was intended to be a satire, please and thank you.  I think the 4th Amendment rocks.  Ask Mr. Lenhart in Juneau-Alaska at JDHS (assuming he still teaches there).  I did a debate on a 4th Amendment illegal search and seizure in high school…and won.  So there.

I Want my Body Back! (whatever that means)

22 Nov

It all happened way too quickly.  I was not pregnant and not looking to get pregnant one minute and the next minute I was most definitely pregnant.  Two pink lines and BAM.  My body began to change.  I went from being the head chairwoman of the “Itty Bitty Titty Committee” to Pamela Anderson Lee’s chest double.  I was 19.  Then my hips began to spread (even more) and my thighs became even more thunderous.  I was thick to begin with (save the lack of anything up top), so this journey even farther into womanhood was no fun for me.  I was athletic and fit but as soon as I got pregnant I gave all of that up, at least for a little while.  I gained 59 lbs while pregnant with my son.  I weighed 206lbs the day I gave birth to him and I was DISGUSTED.  I breastfed him for 9 months before he went on nursing strike, and during that period I only lost about 20 lbs.  I couldn’t believe it.  I had gone from gross to even more disgusting.  It didn’t help that I never had high self esteem to begin with.  That’s what happens when your mom dubbs you “Bubble Butt”, your dad always comments on how much more weight you could lose, and you’re on a dance team with a bunch of skinny minnies and your own measurements are 34-25.5-41.  Yeah.  No joke.  In any event, as soon as I quit nursing, I dropped the baby weight and was back to my “normal” (albeit still not skinny) self.  I even got my little boobies AND perfectly flat stomach back, although I’m not sure my hips ever went quuuiiiiiiiite back to where they were prior to pregnancy.

My favorite tattoo, which hasn't seen the light of day in almost 2 years, situated on big hips and a flat stomach. 1 year before getting pregnant with M. (note huge stretch marks on hips acquired while pregnant with #1. I love those now too)

Life handed me its own sets of twists and turns in the years following.  A divorce and another big break up later, I found myself caring more for me, handling my body with more TLC, and wanting to look fantastical again.  I had been diagnosed with PCOS which is a syndrome largely controlled by wacky hormones.  My doctor immediately put me on a super-strict diet and I lost 30 lbs just by changing the way I ate.  I then started working out for 2 hours/day, 5 days/week and got down to a size 10 for the first time since elementary school.  (Note:  I have not grown one inch taller since sixth grade.  Puberty came early for me and I was massively tall at an early age, I’m quite average now.  And for those of you wondering, I was a 12 – 14 in high school, at my most fit.)  I kept that trim (for me), muscular body for about 2.5 years, until Kyle and I started dating.  Roll in the happy weight.  I gained about 20 lbs over the course of about 6 months when we started dating.  Once again, I had never been happy with the way that I looked, even when I was working out all the time and looked great, so once those 20 lbs came on, I felt even more undesirable.

Note small waist and thunder thighs (6 months before getting pregnant with M)

I got pregnant in December 2008 with our daughter.  I had that extra 20lbs hanging on and was determined to not gain much weight while pregnant this time.  I was on a roll until I got put on bed rest for nearly 3 months and like BAM, I gained 80lbs.  Count them.  Eighty.  I won’t tell you what I weighed the day I had her because to be honest, I don’t even know myself.  I could tell that I was gaining weight rapidly while on bed rest and I didn’t allow my doctor to tell me my weight.  My best friend had always been exercise (so that I could eat whatever I wanted to), and because I wasn’t allowed off of my back, I couldn’t very well get that extra cardio in every day.  Change the way I eat, you say?  Yeah.  Screw YOU!  You’d eat cookies all day long if you were on bed rest too.  By the time Madilyn was born, I was HA-UGE (for me), and my boobies had grown to enormous proportions.  40E’s.  FOURTY E’S!  Just hearing that makes me want to run screaming in a different direction, leaving my boobs behind me.  I hated the pups but loved nursing so I kept on keeping on.  Gone were the days of low-cut sundresses.  When you have cleavage, you can’t wear nice things like that because you look like a floozy.  Crap, I couldn’t find ANYTHING to go over my new “girls”.  I know that, that probably sounds insane to some of you.  I know plenty of girls who have big boobs (real and fake), and that’s great for them.  My mom has implants for goodness sake!  But I’ve never, EVER felt the need to have a big chest to prove myself.  As a matter of fact, I can honestly say (because I’ve been huge and super-small), that I feel my most sexy when I have a small chest.  Perhaps that’s because my booty more than makes up for what I’m lacking up top.  Boobs just make me look fat, even when I’m not.

Me (left) and my crazy curviness (B's enhanced by superior bra). 6 months before getting pregnant with M.

I had planned on losing weight while nursing this time but it didn’t happen, yet again.  I held onto every pound that I had gained.  I have very few clothes that fit and can’t even bring myself to wear skirts and dresses (once a wardrobe staple) because my THIGHS TOUCH.  You ladies know how irritating that is, right?  I knew that I wanted to nurse Madilyn for at least 2 years but I wasn’t planning on staying fat forever so I decided that around her first birthday we would reevaluate things so that I could lose some serious weight.  The really funny thing is that when Madilyn was 9 months old, I got pregnant again.  My first thought?  “I’m going to be fat for at least 2 more years.  Shit.”  My second thought?  “I want my B’s back.”

(un)Luckily, I was super sick during my first trimester this pregnancy.  I lost 16lbs which sounds tragic to most mothers but it was

I like big butts

You can thank my husband for his obsession with my butt & this picture.

quite an accomplishment for me.  Granted I spent my days lying by the toilet waiting to heave up every last drop of saliva that I swallowed.  But hey, I lost 16 lbs so there’s a bright side to everything, right?  I was miraculously able to nurse Madilyn through the first trimester of my pregnancy.  I’m still not sure how because I wasn’t eating or drinking anything.  Right around her 13th month, I dried up.  I blame it on 3 months of involuntarily starving myself.  In any event, in a week I went from a 40E to a 38D.  I haven’t been this happy in my LIFE.  I still hate these puppies, they’re way too big for my taste but I’m much happier with them.  Now my stomach is growing again and I’m still at a 9lb deficit.  As big as I feel when I look in the mirror, I have never been more comfortable with my body.  I’m not happy being chunky but I’m comfortable with who I am.  My husband adores me and reminds me several times daily how happy I make him, how attracted to me he is, and how sexy I am.  Seriously?  I don’t get it but I relish the compliments.

I still long every day for the moment I can have my 34B’s back but more than anything I’m looking forward to having my curves back.  I think for the first time in my life, I love my non-proportioned body and I MISS it.  My “bubble butt” and my flat chest are what make me, ME.  I can’t wait for the day I can slip back into my size 10 jeans and size small T-shirt or my low-cut sundresses that don’t show cleavage (because it doesn’t exist).  But for now I am going to enjoy being pregnant, savor every nursing moment, and do whatever it takes for my body to build babies and produce milk.  I am going to do my best to not loathe my lumpy thighs and hips, despite walking by the stick-thin mommies with perfect pregnant bodies or the rail-thin chicks with 3 day old infants.  And I will love my big ole’ booty (when I get my skinny, small waist back).  Take THAT, Cosmo!

What I'm workin' with NOW (24 weeks pregnant)

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