Food is My Friend and My Enemy

So food and I have been frenemies for many years.  I didn’t intend for that, and I don’t think anyone does, but it happened.  My earliest memory of food issues started in sixth grade.  And, in my mid-40’s, they are still there.  I’m lucky to have not been bulimic or anorexic, and sometimes I wonder how I managed not to be.  I knew quite a few people in high school who were.  Now I’m overweight, and I think that is where my issues took me.  Well, medical problems combined with the issues.

In sixth grade my Mom put me on Weight Watchers for Kids.  I was already made fun of for just being awkward me, so now let’s add the different food in.  As an adult I now realize that my plumping up was not due to my eating (which, hello, was either what I was served at home or at school, I wasn’t a major snacker) but rather to pre-pubescence.  I’ve seen it happen to many kids around that age, and by 8th or 9th grade they have thinned back out.  But, my diet obsessed Mother, who was always on a diet herself, decided I was fat and told me I was fat, and put me on a diet.  My treat was dried apple snacks.

I graduated high school standing 5’ 6½ “ and weighing 118 pounds.  I thought I was fat pretty much through high school, so I only wore Levi’s 501 button fly jeans with button down un-tucked shirts in a variety of colors.  I found out later people thought I was part of the stoners group.  But I thought it hid my fat stomach.  In college my Mom again said I was fat and paid for me to go to Jenny Craig.  I lost weight when I cheated.  I wore a size 8 at the time, but since I had gone up from a size 5 I was apparently fat.  I would look in a mirror and see a big belly, so I knew I had to dress to hide it.

When I was five months pregnant, we were out at a Mexican restaurant, and one of my brothers was visiting.  I wanted another sopaipilla, because those are my favorite, and this place gave basketfuls with plenty of butter and honey.  My Mom looked at me as I reached for one and told me I didn’t need it because I was getting fat.  Husband about burst a blood vessel, grabbed three and started slathering them with butter and honey and said I could have as many as I wanted since not only was I pregnant, but I had just started eating again after being sick for 4 months.  I lost 5 pounds during the first 4 months.  My Mom then looked at my brother and asked him if I wasn’t getting big.  Really?!  He tried to look apologetic as he said he hadn’t ever seen me that big.  He also has a thing with overweight woman.  I WAS 5 MONTHS PREGNANT.  It happened again with pizza during my second pregnancy where I lost 10 pounds during the first four months.  I didn’t need a third piece, because I was getting fat.  Husband wasn’t at this meal, but a good friend was and she gave me the pizza.

My Dad was really overweight, and he used to hide food and eat in the middle of the night.  My Mom was always screaming at him about eating.  I think I get the food hiding from him.  Yes, I really feel strong urges to hide my chocolate.  After 20 years together I finally let Husband in on that secret, and he was stunned.  He had no idea I felt I needed to hide chocolate.  He could care less that I buy it or eat it.  He also doesn’t care that I’m not even close to a size 8 anymore.  He’s more worried about my health problems, which all started when I was a size 8, and have contributed to my weight issues.  But I do eat things I shouldn’t, and more than I should, and when I’m depressed or upset I go for ice cream.  My Dad always bought me ice cream to cheer me up.

I know how to eat, and what I should eat, and that drinking water is really, really important.  And I try.  But then I break in a new way, we get busy with all of the girls activities, my emotions get the better of me…and I’m not doing what I need anymore, unless buying Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food counts for what I need.  And drinking Mt. Dew does improve my mood.

I try not to beat myself up about food, and I try to do the best I can to eat the way I should.  And, I actually like how I look.  Yes, I’d like to be thinner, but I look in the mirror and I’m happy with what I see.  Probably because I’m happy with who I am, and with my life.  I think that is the biggest hurdle, being good with looking in the mirror.  Which most days, I’m glad to say, I am.  Oddly enough my latest medical issue came about, as far as the doctors could tell, because I lost weight and started exercising.  Sometimes you just can’t win.

High School Again? No Thank You!

Husband and I watched the movie Touchback with Kurt Russell recently.  Little One actually picked it from the three Netflix we had just received, then got bored and left.  And the guy who played the main character (Kurt was not the main character) was way too old to be playing an 18 year old.  He is a good 30-something, and should stick with that.

The premise (spoiler alert!) is a guy whose life is falling apart, and who in trying to kill himself (luckily he ran out of gas) in his truck wakes up to find himself in his senior year of high school right before a critical happening that changed his life.  Of course.  Then of course he decides he doesn’t want to change what happens, so he doesn’t change the critical incident.  The few things that should have changed didn’t necessarily when he wakes up in his present.

Which all got me thinking about waking up and finding myself back in high school.  No way I want to do algebra over again.  Or the history class with the old guy(s).  Or PE.  Or have to be so awkward again.  But that wasn’t the point of the movie.  Would I want to change anything, so change what I have now?  The answer is No, a very easy and firm No.

While I was in high school I enjoyed it.  Once I hit college I realized how much I didn’t really like high school.  I had my friends at good old SHS, and they were great (not Lisa, but hey, there’s always one).  I didn’t date, but I did kind of stalk someone I was crushing on.  I wasn’t invited to any of the big dances, I wasn’t nominated for Queen of anything, and I didn’t run for student council or care enough about grades to be in National Honor Society.  I did have people to eat lunch with and hang out with, and laugh with and do silly things with.  I always wanted to be a cheerleader but I didn’t do dance or gymnastics and I was clumsy.  I’m sure that is why when the girls expressed interest in cheerleading I was pretty excited.

But there is nothing I would want to change, because I don’t want to change today.  I want to be married to Husband and living in suburbia with our two girls.  I like my house that hasn’t had a kitchen update since the 80’s (it is mauve and green).  I like my 2005 SUV, and I like my job.  Sure, I could go back and get better grades, and get scholarships, and not have student loans that won’t be paid off until just before I kick it.  I could figure out what job I actually enjoy a lot earlier (since in going back I’d know everything I do now).  I could even look up Husband and he’d probably believe the crazy girl’s story about waking up a teenager after going to bed being a 40-something me.  He’s just that kind of guy.  I could even nudge him to do things different.  We could still get married, and have the girls.  But how do I know we’d still be happy?

That right there is what I am afraid of ruining, the happy I feel about my life.  It’s not perfect, there are some hard parts and bad parts and things that I wish would work better.  But overall it’s a great life, and I don’t think going back and making changes is going to make it any happier.  A bit more money would help, but everyone says that.  And, by doing things different with the knowledge I have today I could actually make enough changes to give myself a miserable now.

I think life works out the way it should, and we make the choices we do to get to where we are supposed to be.  Just like the guy in the movie finally understood, changing it would change what made his life good.  He could deal with the bad as long as he had the people he loved right beside him.  I totally agree with that.

Baby’s Ready to Fly, But I’m Not

The Oldest One has applied to college.  I knew it was coming, after all, I’ve been the one sending her the paper applications to prepare (so we’d have an easier time with the online application, ha, ha), badgering her to give me a date and time we will fill these out online and submit, and generally nagging her about all things college related.  But then we actually filled out the application.

I’m excited for her to go to college, and have all the wonderful experiences there.  I know she will do great, and thrive.  But even though I’m on her for applications and to do the scholarship stuff, a part of me isn’t ready.  I’m not ready to not have her home each night, tucked into her “nest” with the Fat Cat and the White Fluffy Dog.  I’m not ready for the muttered one word answers to “How was your day” to have to be given via text, Face Time or Skype.  I’m not ready for my baby to toddle her way out the door.

In theory I know my job is to prepare the girls to be thriving adults who are assets to the world.  In my mind I want them to always live in my house, complain about school, and get glitter everywhere making posters for the various sports.  How will I live without red and silver glitter coating every part of the house?  And, if I leave the light on over the stove when I go to bed, I’ll just have to tromp downstairs and turn it off myself, since the Oldest One won’t be coming home after I’m asleep and turning it off so I know she is home.

I trust that she’ll make mostly good decisions, and some bad ones.  It’s the only way we learn, and I know I made some stupid moves in my college years.  I hope she has my guardian angel with her, because looking back, I had a good one.  I know she’ll keep in touch, and that she’ll miss us (Little One the most, of course).  None of that makes me ready for her to go to college.

I’ve been overprotective at times, and liberal at others.  I sent both kids off when they were 11 and 8 for a month to my brother and sister-in-law in a different state, and they had to take a plane to get there.  I sent her to Florida with her cheer team for a major competition without me or the Husband.  She has taken college classes at the community college.  She has her own car and drives herself and her sister to all of their activities.  She had a summer job, she works concessions at our NFL stadium with our all-star cheer group, and I’ve been told the school loves her doing work study with them.  So why am I not ready, when all signs point to she is?

Because she is and always will be my baby.  Yes, she is the oldest.  What does that matter?  I can still see her as an infant and then a toddler, with a broken arm after trying to fly like the Sugar Plum Fairies in Barbie Nutcracker, at her very first cheer competition…I can still see her as little, and it doesn’t take much effort.  She’ll be a mom sending her own kids off to college (with all the nagging she inherited from me) and I’ll still see her in her Pebbles hair-do with a big smile on her face bravely ready to take on kindergarten.  I am so proud of all she has accomplished, and that she is a pretty great person.  I know she will do wonderful at college, and beyond.  But I still remember giving her the last bottle, and her first night without a pacifier, and when she learned to ride a bike, and do a back handspring.  And I wouldn’t mind an afternoon experiencing those things again, but yet I am so excited about watching her walk into her future.

No one ever said being a Mom meant you made sense.

Whose the Broad?

Broad with a Blog.  I like the image it evokes in my mind, that of Mae West maybe, a strong, secure and sexy woman who says what she wants, acts like she wants, and who men want and women say they dislike but really want to be good friends with.  A woman who is always in the middle of fun and adventure and a hot commodity on the party scene.  So not who I am.

I thought I should check on the definition of Broad, the one besides referring to the size of something.  I went to Urban Dictionary, and wow, it really opened up what it means.  Most of it was new information to me, such as being really high after smoking weed, it can refer to a piece of meat with a hole in it (umm, okay), it can designate hired girls at private parties (and some not paid to be at a private party), and it also refers to something to do with my girly parts I’m not going into.  The original term referring to women came about in the 1930’s, and can’t you just see all the women with cigarettes and glasses of alcohol vamping it up in the clubs.

I’m not a broad in the Mae West sense of the word, although I wouldn’t mind it.  I’m just not comfortable enough in my skin.  I am 40-something, weigh more than I used to (I call it being cuddly), with long, curly blonde hair.  I love my hair.  I’m just snarky and outspoken enough, with a really loud laugh to fall into being a Broad.  Really loud laugh.  But I’m often uber-aware of how I am acting, what I am saying, and how everything I do might be perceived.  You might not know this about me; I’ve been told I am seen as self-confident.  But I’m not.  I want to be in the middle of fun and adventure and the life of the party.  But I’m not.

I tried blogging before, but my family and friends knew I was doing it, and I really had a hard time saying anything because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Something I don’t think Broads worry about, and which I don’t want to worry about, but I do.  Which is why I am starting out this one by being anonymous.  I realize if enough people read this (and really, I’m not expecting this to become the next big thing) eventually it will be known who I am, and at that time if someone wants to take any of this personally and get hurt feelings, well, sorry about that, it is what it is.  And, who would expect a Broad to be politically correct anyway?  That’s part of the fun when I do get snarky.  Of course I’ll be discussing what I see and hear in my life.  Where else would I find this stuff?

I have a Husband, two daughters, and assorted animals.  I love my life, and I’m very happy.  But I sometimes get negative and cranky about things, and I’m sure you’ll see it here.  Along with the good stuff.  I have no idea where this blog will go.  Husband mentioned starting one about our male dog called Places Fido Pees, but I don’t think I’ll be that creative.  That dog does pee everywhere, and in or on some strange places and things.  He’s a dog, I won’t try to understand, I’ll just love the furry little guy.  My main goal is just to write, because I like to, but writing a book wasn’t something I enjoyed when I tried.  I love reading, I have great ideas in my mind, but getting them on paper was not enjoyable.  And if I don’t really get many readers, that’s okay.  This is for me, and to entertain myself, and since I am easily entertained all will be good.  I figure I get to be snarky, funny, emotional, cranky, on my high-horse…whatever I feel without worrying about what someone else will think.