Sunday, January 28, 2007

Karma's Constituion

It's time for a revolution. I have written my own Declaration of Independence (of course inspired by the book "Life without Ed") and I ask you to sign it. Read it all out loud in your strongest voice. Feel it. Become it, then pass it on. I want at least one person a day to sign this Declaration of Independence for the month of February. To sign, just add your name in the comments window. Don't forget to leave suggestions for other "Rights". Feel free to pass on this link to your friends and family. (Just make sure my name is attached somewhere as I am copyrighting it.)I want to hear from everyone. Let's lead a revolution away from guilt, self doubt and worry.
Come on girls, let's hear you roar.

At no other time in our history have we been better educated about the food we eat. Yet, at no other time in history have we been less healthy.
Appearance, in this society, is everything. Americans, especially women, define their worth not by their values or morals -- not even by the quality of their soul or existence. Instead, American women determine their self worth based on the numbers on a scale. We put our lives on hold waiting to experience joy until we lose weight. We drive ourselves toward a perfection that cannot be achieved -- all the while, sacrificing time with our family, friends and most importantly, ourselves.
We speak gently to our loved ones, but spew poisonous venom to the image in the mirror.
It’s time to stop this insanity.
Declaration of Independence

By signing below I hereby declare independence from the tyranny of the scale.

From this point forward I will not judge myself or others based on appearance.
I will not postpone joy while waiting to achieve a standard that is impossible.
I will not use a scale or the size of my clothing to determine my self worth.
Instead, I will seek joy in all that I do. I will see someone’s heart before I make assumptions about their health, wealth or moral standards.
I will eat food that nourishes and strengthens my body, but more importantly I will eat foods that I enjoy. Furthermore, I will do so with relish and pleasure and without guilt or making my self sick.
I am in control and will not let anyone tell me how I should look, what I should eat, what I should wear.
I am beautiful. Not because of how I dress, what I weigh or how anyone else sees me. I am beautiful … simply because I exist.
Bill of Rights

1)I have a right to enjoy my life without worrying about whether or not I am acceptable to anyone else.

2)I have a right to experience joy regardless of my pants size.

3)I have a right to feel comfortable in my clothing. I will no longer buy clothes based on the size, but on the cut and fit in proportion to my likes and lifestyle.

4)I have right a right to be able to find comfortable, affordable clothing without being banished to the back of the store or paying more for that “extra fabric”.

5)I have a right to sit down and enjoy my meal. I will never again skip a meal or drink a meal replacement shake in hopes of becoming more acceptable to society’s standards.

6)I have a right to seatbelts that fit comfortably and safely in any plane, train or automobile I choose to use for transportation.

7)I have a right to feel good. I take care of myself because I’m worth it.

8)I have a right to live without fear and guilt

9)I have a right to define my own sense of fashion.

10) I have a right to be loved – not for how I look, but for who I am.

11)I have a right to good customer service and not to be stalked through a store because I might break something.

12) I have a right to be me – however I chose to define me. I am powerful. I am in control and I love who I am.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Introducing ED

I remember the day I lost control.
It was the day ED moved into my head. I was adjusting to life as a mother. My daughter was less than a year old. Actually she was probably only 3 months old or so. It was a sunny day with a light breeze. (The name ED is suggested by "Life Without Ed" by Jenni Schaefer )
You know how it is when you first become a mom. You have to manage a day around the demands on an infant. As much as you might try to establish a routine, the reality is when the infant is hungry she needs fed.
A neighbor, let's just say a high-maintenance friend -- and I decided to go shopping together.
The problem was, I allowed her to control the day -- and I got home and I had to deal with the demands of my husband and the baby. I don't recall what it was that I actually wanted to do, but I know I didn't get to do it.
I realized that I wasn't in control anymore and that's when I opened the door to ED. He offered me comfort, healing. He said he could comfort me.
He offered me a big of Lays potato chips. I don't even like those chips, but I ate the better part of a bag, drowning my sorrows in salt and saturated fats.
After that, the proverbial "box" was opened.
I remember consuming bags of Halloween candy later that year. My husband, finding piles of wrappers in my car one day asked me what I was doing.
I would get up in the middle of the night and eat anything I could find.
I would plan my day, my life around meals.
As I had more children and moved further away from my unfettered life, ED offered me comfort and kindness -- his version of healing and health.
He had become the most important person in my life.
I trusted ED before I trusted anyone or anything else.
Somewhere I started believing that someone else always knew better. Someone else was always right.
I stopped listening to me.
I stopped listening to the people who truly cared for me unconditionally and only heard the conditional voices.
That's when Ed's partner Vicki was able to gain strength.
She's always been a part of my life, but at no other time did I allow her to become so strong.
It wasn't long before they were the only people I truly cared about. My own spirit, voice and conscience was lost.
Now as I try to silence their voices I'm finding it truly empowering to physically separate their voices from mine in print. My counselor, Megan ( ) says it's good that I've been getting the last word in my dialogues. I struggle everyday, but am determined to win the battle.

Reclaiming Karma

Many years ago
I was set adrift
Since then, I have followed the current
Simply going where the river took me.
There have been many times when I could barley breath as I felt the strength of the current pull me under.
I have bounced into rocks, been caught in whirlpools and been tangled in the underbrush
All the while
Just surviving in the currents control
But now I can see myself on the shoreline.
At times, the current is too strong. It pulls me back in, but I am clawing at the sore.
This is my life
My adventure
I will no longer be a victim to the currents path
But will choose my own path.
I am claiming this bit of shoreline for myself.
I am in control
This is my earth
My river
And I'll plant a flag of freedom right here.
Right now.
I am not a victim
I am your challenge
I am a force of nature.

You know, I wrote this last summer. Water, and my connection to it, has been a reoccurring theme in my recovery. You can image my shock and joy when I discovered the passage in "Eating in the Light of the Moon" that I mention in the post titled "Art Therapy".

Filling the void

I've been going through my journal and I found a couple of essays I thought might be of interest to you.

There is this emptiness
A void
I keep trying to fill it with all the wrong things
A dozen or more hobbies
A committee here, a volunteer project there. . .
Mostly food.
As if somehow the feeling of being full would be enough to keep me from falling into the void.
Nothing worked. I don't really remember what it feels like to feel whole.
One day last May, I realized instead of trying to fill the void, I was trying to get out.
You had pushed me in when I wasn't looking.
These days it feels like I'm sitting in the darkness.
Sometimes I can feel the light on my shoulders and it feeds me -- fills me.
I keep waiting for you to give me a rope -- a lifeline.
But I don't think you'll ever do that.
I have to use the harsh words and neglect to fashion myself a shovel.
I'm digging my way up and out of here and leaving the pain you've caused behind.
I can feel the dirt begin to build underneath my nails as I claw away at the anger of resentment.
Beads of sweat appear on my brow as I step over the manipulation, the abuse.
At times, it seems insurmountable.
All I have the energy to do is cry. I know in my heart, it's worth the journey. It's possible to feel warmth again.
You may have put me here, but you don't have the power to bury me.


You know those voices in your head? The ones you argue with each time you try to make a decision? For years, I thought it was the good ol' angel/devil on my shoulder, but thanks to the inspiration from Megan, my counselor ( and the book "Life without Ed" by Jenni Schaefer.( along with "Eating in the Light of the Moon" ( I've been able to separate the voices from my own inner voice. Maybe it's the voice of my soul. What I do know, is that it's my own true voice.

I have to admit Vicki is throwing a fit today. Last night, we celebrated my 40th birthday. I'm hung over. I decided to take the day off. I'm still in my pajamas. I've done very little today but eat and sleep. The way I see it, that no big deal. I drink so rarely afterall. I drank last night so I'm being a sloth today and it feels good.
Vicki is enraged. She's such a bitch. She keeps telling me about all the things I should be doing. Sometimes it's hard to tell her voice from mine, but I'm pretty sure it's her telling me I should be cleaning house or something. Right now she's fighting me because I want to write a book about this journey I've been on. Vicki keeps telling me I'll just be making a fool of myself.
Gawd, I hate that woman.
One of the things Megan( ) encourages me to do is write out the dialogues I have with Vicki and ED.
Here are several. I wrote the most recent one Jan. 3. I really want this blog and a book I'd like to write to be of inspriration to other women. Vicki says I can't do it.
You know you have nothing to offer other women. You're still too fat. Why would anyone believe you?
I have to try. I'll regret it if I don't at least try.
You're going to make a fool of yourself. You know knowing and, oh, by the way, YOU'RE STILL FAT. You'll be laughted out of the room.
If I help just one person -- if just one person finds inspriation -- than my goal is fulfilled. The rest is trivia.
You disgust me. You're an idiot for thinking you can offer anything to others -- especially when you look in the mirror sister. Who do you know that couldn't zip of their pants yesterday? You can't help anybody. At least until you've started to lose weight.
Who is more pathetic? You thrive on other people's weakness. You have no value. You are hollow. You only exist because I allow you to. Without me, you are nothing. Without you, I am everything.

Here are some other dialogues:
You're hungry.
No, I'm thirsty.
Listen to me. Your stomach growling. For something sweet.
No, I'm just overwhelmed and frustrated. If anythging, I'll have some tea.
Didn't you see that commercial? You should take a weight loss drug. It would expedite your weight loss and get you to where you should be.
I need to go to bed, but I want to watch this show. You two need to die.

I think I’ll go for a walk in the morning.
No. It will be too cold. And besides you can sleep in tomorrow. For the first time in weeks.
So – I want to take a walk.
You can’t wear you boots, with your ankle still infected. It will be too snowy. You should stay in.
If it’s too snowy, I’ll find something else to do – maybe I’ll work out with my band and ball
You’ve been wishing for time to sleep in and you’ll get it tomorrow – just sleep in.
I’ve been wishing for time to exercise. Without the pressure of getting the kids to school, I can take a morning stroll.
Look, you haven’t been feeling well, Your ankle hurts. Rest. Rest is what you need.
You know, the only reason you don’t want me to take a walk is because if I get healthy you’ll be too weak to control my life. That’s not my problem. It’s yours.


You know you’re a big failure. You didn’t get everything done for Christmas in time. You still have a ton of shipping. The house is a mess. You spent too much money. You have people arriving tomorrow and you’re no where near ready. You’ll never get it all done and if you do, it will be half assed. You should be ashamed of yourself. You once again tried to do too much. When will you ever learn?

You know, I’m ahead of where I was this time last year. I’ll get done what I can get done and the rest can wait. The point is to enjoy the holiday.

Your inlaws will be here Saturday and this house is a pit. You don’t have the craft projects ready for the kids. You’re going to disappoint everyone.

That would be someone else’s problem. What needs to get done will get done. Other moms can help with the craft stuff – and the kids can play outside or watch a movie. Maybe they won’t want to do crafts anyway. The point of the day is to spend time with family. The rest is trivia.
But it would be much better if you could make them envious. You should be able to prove to them how organized and capable you are not what a wretched slob you are. They’re pathetic people, show them how good you are.
They are pathetic in some cases, but I’m not going to lower myself to their level. I’m going to enjoy time with my family. If someone is not comfortable, they can leave.
They’re going to continue to think of you as a big ol fat slob and you’re going to deserve the title.
No I’m not. I am who I am. If they can’t handle it, it’s their problem. Not mine.
Gawd you’re fat and disgusting. Don’t you look into the mirror before you go out?
You know, I’m not here to win a fashion contest. I’m just here to help with the Girl Scout meeting.
Those other mothers and kids must think you’re pathetic.
I don’t care what those other mother’s think. I’m here to support my daughter and her friends.
You know they make clothes that flatter your body more. Maybe you shouldn’t volunteer for anything until you've lost weight.
I like to help. Anna, the leader, works very hard for little recognition and little help. I just need to support here and share my daughter’s life. Besides I love being around the kids and all the hugs.
You don’t really deserve those hugs. You’re too fat.
If you weren’t fat you wouldn’t need hugs from small children.
You know – I love these girls and I’m a good role model. I’ll be an even better role model when you’re dead and I hope that’s soon.


You absolutely cannot write that book. You shouldn’t even think about it. You’re too fat. No one is going to believe you You might be able to do something after you’ve lost some weight, but not now. Don’t even bother.
Maybe I’ll catch the eye of a publisher. Maybe I’m just what they’re looking for and will want to work through the journey with me. If you’re right, I’ll just try again later. But I don’t think it will hurt to try.
You’re going to humiliate your family and yourself. You’re going to be laughed at
I think I might just get laughed all the way to the bank. And to top it off. I might help someone else.
You’ll probably get sued for offering poor advice or quoting without attribution or something. Don’t be stupid -- write on your little blog if you want. Maybe even for the local paper, but don’ try to do a book. That’s just stupid.
No – I’ll regret it if I don’t try.