Friday, February 25, 2011

like taxi cabs.

I want to talk about eating disorders.

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How it's like trying to catch a taxi when you're late for something.

And all the cabs are filled because it's raining, because everyone has someplace to be.

So you stand there for what feels like eternity, watching the light change colors.

More filled cabs pass by.

You even get one, only to have someone steal it from you. It's a very New York thing to have happen to you.

Finally you climb into a cab, already fifteen minutes late to wherever you have to be.

Maybe you restrict food, maybe you purge, maybe you binge. Maybe it's disordered eating. Maybe you're too thin, too fat, maybe you look healthy so someone would never guess you have issues with food.

Regardless, please get into the cab and let it take you to wherever you need to be. We really deserve all the healing in the world. It's never too late. Take it from me--I'm always late.


This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

-A-

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

guess what?!

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I turn 23 in exactly a month! On the 23rd! Crazy...and scary!

Any ideas on what age one finally feels like an adult? Is it with moving out? Joining with life partner? Acquiring massive debt? Having children? Buying a house? I wonder...

There is this beautiful little story called "Eleven" by Sandra Cisernos, who I'm obsessed with. It's about a little girl who turns eleven--here's an excerpt: 

What they don't understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when
you're eleven, you're also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four,
and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you
expect to feel eleven, but you don't. You open your eyes and everything's just like
yesterday, only it's today. And you don't feel eleven at all. You feel like you're still ten.
And you are—underneath the year that makes you eleven.

Like some days you might say something stupid, and that's the part of you that's still ten.
Or maybe some days you might need to sit on your mama's lap because you're scared,
and that's the part of you that's five. And maybe one day when you're all grown up maybe you will need to cry like if you're three, and that's okay. That's what I tell Mama when she's sad and needs to cry. Maybe she's feeling three.

Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk
or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one.
That's how being eleven years old is.
 

Mmmmm. It's so lovely. And so short--here's the full version! I just love the idea of each year like layers, like little vignettes in the photograph of our life. I like to send the story to friends on their birthdays.

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Oh, I won't bother with weighing in, only to say I'm down to 222.8 and happy about it. Because I've been so busy and haven't been blogging as regular as I'd love, I've been bad about sharing my weigh-ins on Wednesdays. But next Wednesday, I'll check in for sure and review how I've been doing!

Hope everyone is well :)) I can't believe it's Wednesday already!

-A-

Monday, February 21, 2011

I believe # 1: fat steals my beauty

I suppose everyone might not agree with me and that’s ok. I can only share my own experiences.

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Fat or not, I’ve mostly always felt kinda pretty.

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Maybe I have my parents to thank or maybe it’s that I was raised in Jamaica, where we weren't as saturated with images of how beauty is suppose to look like. Regardless of why, I’m grateful.

Last friday afternoon, I went to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) with Julieta. It was a beautiful day—so warm!—so we figured it'd be fun to hang out in the city after classes.

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Apparently a canvass with white paint is art.

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Huh. But who am I to say what’s art?

Still, sometimes it get so ridiculous (THIS?! This is art?!), we gotta pick the nose of an Andy Warhol.

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Sorry, Andy.

Later when I saw the photos Julieta posted unto facebook, I noticed how the weight I gained last semester did unkind things to my body.

For some reason, in my mind, I am thinner and taller.

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The neck fat, the abdominal fat (the worst place to hold fat!), the face fat, how my breasts have ballooned to take up what feels like 50% of my body…I haven’t mentioned it before, but because my breasts are heavy (they were DDD, then went down to DD due to weight-loss last spring, and seemed to have gone back up when I gained weight late last year) I have problems keeping good posture. I always want to slump and there is some discomfort and back pain.

I don't mean to say that larger women aren't beautiful. I know all shapes of women who are.

For me, beauty is glowing from health, love, gratefulness, faith. For me, beauty is feeling comfortable in my body. And with 50 plus pounds to lose, I often feel uncomfortable.

I can't find it as the beauty is buried somewhere, when I'm binging or compulsive overeating or fretting about weight-loss because I'm not really caring about myself or anyone of you I claim to love. Our diseases makes us lose touch.

Last year, I remember I was at the funeral for a former friend's grandmother's funeral when his uncle complemented him on how well he looked because he'd lost enough weight to affect his looks considerably.

"It's like they think I looked like crap," he said.

No no no, I wanted to say.

You we're always beautiful.


And yet, I'm here admitting that I believe that fat steals my beauty, but it's a teetering sort of belief...

Because it's not like we're going to get to a certain weight and always feel beautiful. In fact, I've felt like the most beautiful woman in the room at my highest weight.

But what can I say? I've always been delusional.


See that first photo? That's me, summer before last, after I lost some weight when I didn't know I could because I wasn't really trying. That spring I'd been hospitalized and given blood transfusions for severe anemia due to overactive bleeding in my uterus, my doctor believing it was due to me being 236 pounds at the time. I feel beautiful in that photo, just as I feel beautiful in photos of me at my lowest body adult weight (187 pounds, last fall). It's the deliberate living that keeps me feeling beautiful.

Now, what about you?

Thank you for reading. This is the first in my series of "I believe" posts.

-A-

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My hair, like a caterpillar.


Last weekend, I really wanted to cut my hair.  Like, violently.

So I cut a few strands to help me decide…
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Huh, I thought. It’s spiral-y.

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I remembered last summer when all I had to do was quickly rub some conditioner in my hair when I showered, comb out under the shower, rinse. It took less than five minutes. Then I air dried.

Except for sometimes feeling like a man (see first photo), it worked out really well, especially because (a.) I’m low maintenance and (b.) I’m lazy.

But now! Now? My hair, whose name is Vita (latin for "life") btw, takes what seems like forever in the shower! And it seems to have recently had a growth spurt (I haven't photo proof unfortunately) AND DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO HANDLE BLACK HAIR?!

Well. For now, Pantene for women of color in the—GET THIS—brown bottle helps.

Eh, I know other black women who read natural hair blogs, research how to care for black hair, trial and error, one of my girlfriends told me about an Olive oil treatment as my hair type really needs lots of moisture, yadda yadda…I really wish I could care enough to care.

Hey! In case you’re wondering what kinda moron doesn’t know how to care for her own hair, please realize that like many brown girls my mother combed my hair till I started growing breasts, and then it was chemically straightened for ten years until last May.

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Maybe I’ll end up cutting if off again. Or maybe I’ll let it continue to grow. 

But one thing wearing my hair natural has taught me...is to laugh at myself.

Between Julieta lovingly comparing me to the Chiquita banana lady and a Chia pet, or her cute Colombian uncle, who she took to church and introduced to me, later asking why I had a pantyhose wrapped around my hair (it was a brown, silk cloth!)…it’s all really hilarious. People kill me.

Or when I wore a red bow in my hair last friday and mentioned to Julieta while we were in the restroom, “I look like Minnie Mouse.”

And later we were walking in Times Square…who do we see but life sized Minnie Mouse with her lover, Micky Mouse?!  I die!

I think it especially helps to laugh because it’s helps me forget what I’m self conscious about. Like, my big head the size of head for instance that sort of bothered me when I first cut off my hair. I supposed that short hair was better fit for daintier heads. The other thing is that being overweight with shorter hair made and still makes me somewhat self conscious.

But what big head? What back fat? I've almost forgotten. I’m so busy googling photos of the Chiquita banana lady…and marveling…

I’d forgotten to mention the marveling. It looks sort of like of caterpillar, no?

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And no split ends! When my hair was chemically straightened I always had split ends and couldn’t expect any better, not with the chemicals and heat I myself, or the person I paid, used on my hair.

It’s also sculptural, like wool, like a brillo pad sometimes, curly like telephone cords.

If only I knew what to do with it, because I keep watering it and it grows and grows…and from what I hear, it’ll become even more time consuming the longer it gets. But I suppose I can laugh and laugh or start to cry when I can’t drag a comb through it, or maybe I can do that Olive oil treatment sometime.

-A-

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy love day!

First of all, I'm happy to announce that Paula, one of my favorite bloggers, is the winner of the $35 CSN gift code :) Please email me at dimplesnatcher@gmail.com and I'll forward the information to you, Paula. Happy shopping! And everyone else, thank you so much for taking part. I'm glad to know we all have our quirks.

I haven't a lover, so I considered today as a reminder to show love in being a better friend, sister, and daughter. To especially be a better lover to myself. I really am too hard on myself and that's what much of the self abuse in compulsive overeating and binging is all about.

I know there are people who say that it's silly to have a day dedicated to love, but I see it as a reminder since it's so easy to forget.

In other news, I'm off blogging for the rest of the week. Much to do/think about!

But here's me and Julieta because Toot tagged me to answer this vlog questionnaire. Please see Toot answer the questions herself because she's so adorable and funny. I loveeee Toot. Oh, and see Ro answer the questions, too. She is a riot!

So we did three videos because of recording issues and even still we didn't finish all the questions! I'm tagging Anne, Chris, Paula, Christie, Jayme, Melissa, Erin, Jenn, Lisa, Jin, Candace, Thirteenlbs, and [insert yourself here if you wanna take part!] I love getting to know about all of you! But it's okay if you'd prefer not to take part or if you'd prefer to answer the questions by typing them out instead of recording a video. It's all good (I don't really say this in real life, but cool people who apparently haven't a fret in the world say it so I'm borrowing.)




Here are the questions:

25 Question Tag:
1. Do you have any pets? 
2. Name 3 things that are physically close to you. 
3. What's the weather like right now? 
4. Do you drive? If so have you crashed? 
5. What time did you wake up this morning? 
6. When was the last time you showered? 
7. What was the last movie you saw? 
8. What does your last text message say? 
9. What's your ringtone? 
10. Have you ever been to a different country? 
11. Do you like sushi? 
12. Where do you buy your groceries? 
13. Have you ever taken medication to help you fall asleep faster? 
14. How many siblings do you have? 
15. Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop? 
16. How old will you be turning on your next birthday? 
17. Do you wear contacts or glasses? 
18. Do you color your hair? 
19. Tell me something you are planning to do today. 
20. When was the last time you cried? 
21. What is your perfect pizza topping? 
22. Which do you prefer-hamburgers or cheeseburgers? 
23. Have you ever had an all-nighter? 
24. What is your eye color? 
25. Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? 

See you on the weekend,
Alexia

PS -- So apparently the camera not only adds ten pounds, but also makes my skin appear even worse than I believed!
PPS--See that thing on my head? It's a piece of cloth I found in my house that has totally changed my life. My mother is so confused and Julieta innocently said I look like the Chiquita banana lady. Obviously, because I am tacky I took it as a compliment.
PPPS--What else can I add here? Oh yes...Chipotle I am willing to advertise for you, to even be your Jared..por favor and you only have to pay me in food? I ain't even playing...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Because I like you.

And because the people at CSN stores contacted me to host another giveaway!

CSN has over 200 online stores where you can buy all sorts of wonderful things like a Eames lounge chair or this sweet baby mobile (my uterus is starting to hurt, y'all!)

The gift is a $35 dollar gift code valid at any of CSN's online stores. Sorry, but the giveaway is only offered to US and Canada residents, and there may be some international shipping taxes that the gift code cannot cover in the case of Canadian addresses.

This may sound random for the moment: But last night I caught myself biting my toenails (right after I took a shower...hehehe..hopefully that helps you scorn me less!) 

I, Alexia aka Dimple Snatcher, bite my toe nails.
But only on rare occasions. Don't judge me. Please?

My mother thinks it gross and you probably do, too. That's okay. Just don't tell future husband.

Alrighty...to enter this giveaway, I won't ask you to help name my afro

But, do please share with me (by commenting) something weird that you do! Am nosy. Please be a blog follower to enter (see "sweethearts" to the left).

I will randomly pick the winner and share on Monday evening. The giveaway is open till Monday by 5 p.m.

For additional entries:
  • Please follow me on twitter or if you already follow me on twitter, then please tweet about the giveaway.
  • Please 'like' my blog on facebook. 
  • Please mention giveaway to friend, lover, on your blog.
For each additional entry (you can do all three if you want!), please comment on this blog post letting me know. Thanks!


LOVELOVELOVE, 
alexia
sweet dreams!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

it's easy.

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That’s my stance as of late—as in, yesterday.

Tracking my meals?
Drinking water?
Packing my lunch?
Exercising?

Yep, it’s easy.

Call it a defense mechanism of sorts.

So this “easy business” started last night while I was preparing my overnight oats.
Lemme just say…overnight oats is the best oatmeal thing that’s ever happened to me, second to this! I’ve read about overnight oats in blogworld for a while now, but like most things I don’t catch on till I catch, which usually averages to 1.3 years.

Here’s how I make my overnight oats: The night before it’s meant to be eaten, in a bowl I combine ½ oats, ½ plain nonfat yogurt, ½ non-dairy milk, and a dash or two of water. Leave in fridge till breakfast when it becomes creamy, but in need of some flavoring. This morning, I added honey, walnuts, cinnamon, and dried cranberries. So good! And I love how versatile overnight oats is—do your own thing! Oh, and I eat mine cold and love it that way. I guess you can warm it up, but warming yogurt is weird to me.

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Like I was saying before recipe sharing got in the way…preparing my overnight oats last night was easy, it took maybe five minutes—and only that long because it was also time I spent with my children. They, especially Suave Kitty, like to watch me in the kitchen. It’s almost romantic.

Wait…that’s weird.

My point is that it's less of a challenge for me to do this healthy living/weight-loss/creating better habits thing because I’m telling myself that it’s easy. In other words, less this and more this.

Greedy/lazy brain: GOTCHA SUCKAH!

HA.

Here’s today’s weigh-in: 224.5 pounds
Last week: 226.2 pounds
The week before last week: 221.4

Because of the gain these past couple weeks, I’ve re-realized that it’s not my natural tendency to eat to lose or maintain my weight. That’s far from reality actually. I need something to work towards. So this week my goals are simply:

  • Drinking water (I drank lots of water yesterday and used the bathroom lots and had lots of holy mangoes! RUN RUN…pull down pants…AHHHHH that feels good moments. Jasmine, the child I babysit, likes to hold her crotch until we get home or get to a bathroom. She says it works, but I don’t think that’s appropriate for me. People might think I’m selling something.)
  • Sticking to 1500 daily calories
  • Regular exercise
  • Attending OA meeting

Gotta run!

-A-

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

what little brother said.

from left to right: me, sister, boy + girl cousin visiting from states, little brother.

Little brother, who isn’t so little since he’s nineteen, said something interesting some weeks back. It really got me thinking. Please don’t tell him he got me thinking.

He’d gone to the grocery store and gotten a milk chocolate-almond bar for himself and one for me (see I don’t need a boyfriend! But! if you know someone please have them send resume to dimplesnatcher@gmail.com thanks!)

In maybe sixty seconds, I ate mine as I did something on my computer. And then I wanted another bar. Because I didn’t really taste the first one. I inhaled it. When I opened the fridge later to get something, I saw little brother’s bar because he likes his chocolate cold. I marveled at his self-control.

Earlier when my brother realized how quickly I’d eaten mine he said, “You don’t savor food like other people.”

It’s true. I realized how true it was.

My friend, Chris, who has lost over a hundred pounds (and who may or may not be a catlady? Huh) left an awesome comment on my blog a couple days ago:

"hugs,
We are only one month into this year. I started in 2009 in may. In under two years I look and feel like an entirely different person. Alexia, today is your day. And so is tomorrow. Every moment for the rest of your life is an opportunity to make a new direction, to create exactly what you want. To be who you want to be.
you make that decision
now
and
now
now
now
now.
...I was 35 when I figured it out, and to watch you get it at your YOUNG age would be a blessing.
I know you can do it." 

The thing is I see many of the correlations between how I treat food and how I treat other aspects of my life. I’m always learning to prioritize, to do and demand from myself and others what’s best for me, to manage my time, and especially not to wait for tomorrow. Because I really only have this very moment to savor everything.

How are y’all doing? I really need to catch up on your blogs. As always, thank you for stopping by here. Love, me.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Re: The gym situation.

To catch up, here is the original post if you’re interested. Especially read the wonderful comments!

I’ve pretty much long ago decided how I’m willing to spend the little money I make.

Designer clothes and bags?

Nah, only nosy people care to tell the difference anyway. I like here, here, here, and here for reasonable prices and sales. Style and durability are important to me.  I know that if I buy clothes at certain places, like Forever 21 for example, it’s pretty, but not well made. Like this dress for example...

... that is not to be worn too often because it can’t tolerate lots of washes and wears.

I also can’t imagine ever paying anyone to do my hair on a regular basis.


I use to up until l stopped relaxing my hair last May.

Even my eyebrows, I’ve recently stopped paying the $5 around where I live in Brooklyn. Because my girlfriend, Julieta, does them now! For free! It was always painful for me to pay the woman who did them as much as I loved that she always remembered that I like her to keep some thickness to them. It’s $5 for two minutes and adds up to around $120 per year. It's something I can simply do at home, if it wasn’t for the many mistakes I’ve done to my brows in the past. Finally, I started paying someone to do it right. Sometimes we need a professional…or a free friend.

I mention this all because most of you voiced that you think that $85 is too much for my gym membership, which is what I'm paying at Crunch. My response? Yes and No. And maybe.

$85 averages to $21.25 a week. When I consider all the ways I can waste that kind of money per week…the ways I've wasted money on food during my lowest points of binge eating and compulsive overeating...

Taking awesome fitness classes with great instructors, challenging my body, losing weight, feeling stronger...It's much more than the $85 dollars. I'd never put a price on my health.

"It’s really the only thing we have," as someone said to me once.

I only started losing weight after I joined Crunch. Before that, I tried the DVD thing and absolutely hated it. And even before that, I had a membership at Lucille Roberts for really cheap, but eventually I stopped going because the gym's horrible resources are really worth the little they charge.

Your comments about the free lotion I mentioned I love at Crunch are hilarious. I didn't necessarily mean the lotion though, that was only representative of the gym's wonderful resources and how comfortable it makes my workout experience. Not to say I love everything about the gym as I find lots of the women to be superficial.

As I said I would, I signed up my mother and me for the new gym in our neighborhood. Only $1 to join and $10 every month. I plan to go tomorrow morning and I will see how it goes.

Next month I might cancel my Crunch membership. Probably. We will see.

If I pay for Crunch for all for this year that's $850.
If I pay for Fitness Planet for a year it's $100.
If I keep both memberships, which I have considered and am still lightly considering that's almost $1,000. That's certainly me living above my means.

Paula mentioned that I won't be able to take spin classes if I cancel my Crunch membership. She knows how much I love them and it's makes me a little sad. Change always makes me a little sad. But last year when I joined Crunch I said I'd only pay that much for a year and maybe now it's time to move on to something else. Maybe only to remind me that I don't need a hip, fun gym to lose weight. Maybe I don't need fitness classes either. Maybe all I need is a clean cheap gym close to home with me and the machines and I'll have to push myself like I've never pushed myself before. Maybe that's it.

-A-

Sunday, February 6, 2011

On age.

My friend's son turned seven today.


Not six like I was thinking.
Which means I’ve known him since he was three.
Four years. That’s a hell of a long time.



Nothing makes me feel aware of my age like a child who sprouts limbs and leaves in front of my very eyes.


Do you know what I told myself last year? That I wouldn’t reach my 23rd birthday, which is coming up in March, at a weight I’m unsatisfied with. When I picture hopes for my future: going to grad school, traveling, meeting a boy kind enough to me, having children…I’m thin in all of those photographs.

When I left the party, I walked by a store I know and saw that it’s been turned into a Duane Reade. In it’s past life it was a snooty designer store.


It made me sad. Something about change always makes me a little sad.

Maybe because all the pounds I have to lose are so tied to my personal narrative. Maybe that’s why. I have no idea.

But it makes me sadder to recreate the same stories. To not change, to not grow, to not learn. I hope I can share those photographs with you.

--Alexia.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

happy weekending!

FOR THE NEW WEEK: I want to eat better, continue to challenge my body with exercise, catch up on my school reading, blog on a daily basis, drink more water, share photos (Juli's request as I haven't been taking photos recently and sharing here), go back to weekly OA meetings (I've missed these two last weeks), eat more avocados, lose weight, be grateful more.

I want to share my recipe for cornmeal porridge like I said I would.


And I want to respond to this. 

Thank you for stopping by, friends. I wish I could have been more present this week. I hope you're having a beautiful weekend!

lovelovelove,
Alexia

P.S. new color scheme...love/like/hate?

Friday, February 4, 2011

recently!


Oh, it's been since Monday huh? There goes the daily blogging thing!

Thank you for your comments on my gym situation. I really appreciate your thoughts and I’m writing a post in response for next Monday. Be on the look out if you’re interested.

So listen, I am so tired and overwhelmed and it's only the first full week of classes.

Yesterday I sat on the train and for quite a few seconds couldn’t figure out what day of the week it was. But what’s been wonderful is that now I know the date each day since I write it at the head of the page for my class notes, except I still write 2010. It will probably take me till August to remember.

 It's my last semester hence I have senioritis, so now I especially don't want to read a gazillion pages per week.

I'm done taking Creative Writing and Journalism classes, so all that's left is four required classes to graduate: heavy writing, heavy reading, but pretty interesting stuff actually! I’m excited about my ‘Structure of English’ class and ‘Classics of Feminist Theory.’

My goal is to keep everything uber organized so that I can have time to blog daily, kittay kiss, sleep, etc. I’ve decided to name my planner ‘Sasha,’ and she is so helpful when I remember to use her. A couple days ago I was in class and took a quick peek at my friend, Jessica’s planner. She has things filled in, highlighted, etc! I was embarrassed at the flimsy little scribbles I have in my planner, so I took out my highlighter from my pencil case and highlighted exactly one random word. Then I got bored, so I put the highlighter away and marveled at the productivity of that one highlighted word….yeah, I wish I was joking, too.

I love that Julieta transferred from NYU to Hunter, which she says is a better fit for her. We have lunch together: lots of sighing, swooning, and missing each other’s points.


Now that I've lost most all ambition, Juli keeps talking about studying, even does it at wee hours of the morning and the semester just began! How strange. But she says that she will help me with my swimming (Hunter has a pool :) since she's swam competitively and works as a lifeguard so it's all good.

One of my biggest ambitions nowadays is how to fit as many avocados in my diet as possible. That is what I pondered one train ride this week. Serious business…I’ve even googled, “eating one avocado a day,” “calories in one avocado,” etc.  I’ve also been craving yogurt, eggs, tofu, cheese…as in, GIMME!! NOM NOM NOM. Huh. Immaculate conception? Greediness?

Have a great weekend, everyone! I’ve missed you all!

-A-