Too Sexy for Myself

shelleys wedding

 

Nobody likes to hear that there is more to life than sex. Especially the people with whom you have had sex.  Most men will tell me that I have not had the right sex. Most women will look at me in disbelief as if this thought never entered their mind. But I am here to tell you there is much more to life than the act of inserting body parts into each other for pleasure and pain.

This revelation came to me at just at the right time. Every part of my life was devoted to being sexual: from the clothes I wore, to the music to which I listened and to every person in which I said “hello.” Some aspect of sex was always involved.  I feared being unattractive to a point that I took desperate measures to maintain my looks. I snorted stimulants to stay thin. I worked out two hours a day. I flirted and giggled and performed acts of lust in hopes to be asked again. None of it was for me. I was at the whim and call of societies’ message that I was worthless unless I cared about sex.

Now human beings are mammals. We instinctual need to procreate. That is part of our survival. But have you ever considered that being sexual is so ingrained in our culture for someone else to make money? Do the big corporations want us to be fat and happy? No. They advertise sex as a means to reach our mammalian brains. They hit us wear it counts. In our groin.

What if there was more? Dare I even say that? Well, one day I was in a gas station getting a latte grieving over a relationship that had not ended but could. I wanted this man to love me so much that I was willing to sacrifice everything I dreamed about so he would have me.

Of course, we already had sex. That is an obvious third-date occurrence! But to keep him, I needed to juice it up a bit. I had doorway sex, car sex, BJ in the car sex, outside sex, in the shower sex, rub my own nipples sex from the back, from the front sometimes sideways and always on top. But he just did not like me. He stayed with me. Maybe for the sex. But he was negative and put me down often. He sanctioned my writing skills to oblivion and told me that I was too clingy.

The truth is I did not offer anything to him but sex because I did not have anything else to offer. I had not cultivated different interests. I had no real ambitions. I did not like myself and I feared someday no one would ever want to have sex with me again. I feared I was going to be left alone with me.

But what happened in that gas station changed me. All of sudden I had an epiphany. THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN ROMANTIC LOVE AND SEX. Could it be true? If it was true I felt great relief. I took a step back and contemplated what else existed. History, music, friendship, deep talks, small talk, nature, children, kindness, gravity, space and all that exists that we cannot see but know is there.

From that day forward, I paid attention to my intentions. I made sure that I made decisions based on my passions, my best interest and for good old fashion love. I continued in that relationship for many years. In fact, the more I became free of my sexualization and willingness to be objectified, the more he liked me. More importantly, I liked me, consistently, every day.

So, I pass no judgment to those who do believe sex is the best thing in the world. Maybe they have had better sex than me? It does not matter. What is interesting to me is how many feathers are ruffled just by mentioning sex on a continuum with other important things in life rather than it being the number one part of life that counts.

I have seen death and I have seen love. I have given birth and I have returned to being a writer after a 20-year hiatus. I have traveled and I have lived in many places. I have spoken to thousands of people and I enjoyed them all. I would not give up any of those experiences. But I would give up sex if I had to choose between them. That is just me. Want to date?

The Anthem of the Wild Woman

Don’t compromise yourself, you are all you got.                                                                          Janis Joplin

This is the commencement of your daughter’s undying right to be loud and be heard. We scoff at the notion that women should be taught to be quiet; to play nice. It is time for our girls to take back their power and counterbalance societies’ messages with feminine prowess. We are the dreamers and the shakers and the beauties of the soul. We are the voices behind the music. Our power is recognized and intrinsically cultivated into the rhythm of the beat.

We are every shade of women. Using music metaphorically to encapsulate the pulse beneath our breath, our girls will cast a shadow over pervasive attempts to be silenced. There is no victory and there is no defeat. We just play our music. Together, united. We write our own rules into existence by tapping into the parts of ourselves that refuse to die.

Let me live out loud by beckoning all that is creative within me to the forefront of my life. I am my own power. I am my own song. I do not need to cooperate, hesitate or speculate what others may think. I know they want me to be quiet. But I have something to say and something to prove to myself. And I know that I will find my truth in the hallways of my mind and in the fluttering of my heart.

Women before me have paved the way until this point. It is my turn to love and to feel and to recognize that the repressive nature of being born the “wrong” sex does indeed exist. If it is wrong so be it. I will not change who I am to please you anymore. I hear the laughter of my own soul echoing through my beautiful body. I pound sharply on my own chest to rescue the sounds of my maiden cry. I am my own hero and villain. I do not need you tell me who I am.

The darkness with me will be courted. I am not afraid. That darkness is only a mirror of the thousand times I rejected myself for someone else’s pleasure. Bear witness to the light that fulfills its own self in me. That light shines gloriously when free from conventional thought. Do not doubt its presence. It is as real as me.

Together, my sisters and I will rock to the vibrational patterns that is woman. We do not twerk. We Headbang. We dance and we sing and we laugh and we cry. That is our truth. Our power is bigger than the lies I was told. We share the beauty of the world in each of our loving hands. Attached to each other forever in the symbolism that is SHE.

When you awaken the inner warrior in your daughter there will be no mistaking all that she has become from empowering her. She will be forever yours but she is yours by choice and not by situation. She is her own context. And we believe in her. It is time for her to be introduced into the limelight and dwell deep into the glory of being an authentic version of herself.

I found every shade of me on this stage. I bathe in my own essence. I will no longer relinquish my power. The days were long but full of meaning. And I will look back on this time and thank you for giving me the chance to bask in my own glory. I will always be your daughter. But now I am my own woman.

Mastication

I have never been a big eater. But after my surgeries created an inability to move around, the pounds packed on. I could not understand it. I did not eat poorly. I did not eat in excess. But, my trim body counted on me always moving. When that was taken away…I did not know what to do.

Where did I go wrong?

I am a fast-eater who does not chew my food properly. Or in scientific terms, I do not masticate long enough. Masticate means to chew.One must chew food slowly in order to not gain weight. Plus fast eating is linked with obesity. But most people do not know why. The science behind it isn’t simple. At least not for me. But it’s all about the brain and a little receptor called ghrelin.

When ghrelin is activated, hunger pangs follow. For some people, hunger pangs can be very painful. The stomach rubs against itself, triggering a pain response that can only be satisfied with food. The trick is to eat the food that actually takes time to break down without an accompaniment of water or other beverages.

Why? The breaking down of food requires energy and or a metabolic response that assures our brain that we are getting enough. The longer the it takes for the breakdown to occur the more likely a person is to not overeat. Furthermore, chewing also takes energy and activates synapses in the brain signal being full.

In the beginning of the 20th century chewing was the fad. There were ads about masticating all over the newspapers.  But it soon was replaced by calorie cutting. Now, our aisles are covered in protein bars, shakes, bottles of water and pills to lose weight. But this will never truly work because diet food does not make a person’s body work hard. It does not signal to the brain any long-time feelings of being full.

In fact, research shows that a person who chews their food longer will eat 11.5 % less over a year’s period. If you are 200 pounds that is over 20 lbs gone. Add eating real food that makes your body work hard to break it down while increasing energy and weight loss and losing weight will become much less painful. And…deprivation may be the newest fad  to exit our news-feed.

All I know is this…I lost 24 pounds in one month because I chose to eat whole foods and chew longer. I still had a little ice cream or a dessert every day. I could not really exercise due to being in chronic pain. But I watched the pounds peel off.

Now…please note. I am over weight. The first twenty pounds is going to be easier for me to lose than someone who is trying to lose the last twenty pounds. But…it was not a painstaking process. And that for me is the key.

In the end, diet food is a scam. If one learns the art of mastication, eating food will become a joy again and not something to of which to feel guilty all the time! J

The Glory of Being Fat

I spent the first 30 years of my life enraptured to be thin. In any food container, or drink or anything else, I memorized the calorie count along with all the nutritional value or lack thereof. At 24, my goal in life was to be a personal trainer. I was a glorious 164 lbs and I already worked out two hours a day on top of being a waitperson at a high volume casual fine dining restaurant.

But I never felt thin. I was the type of person where people always commented that it look liked I lost weight every time they saw me. For most women this would be taken as a compliment. But also for most women this might be seen as “so I looked fat before!”

I starved myself, I took up smoking not to eat, I snorted lines of meth amphetamines although I have never been one who enjoyed being awake and I drank black coffee to keep me feeling not hungry all the time. My boyfriend would make marks about pushing my skin together to see cellulite. It seemed. I only felt worthy of love if I was super skinny. I remember seeing an OB-GYN who remarked that I had gained 10 pounds from 15 years of age to 16 and that she was very concerned. But I should note I am 5’11 and I will never be petite…ever…ever.

So when I finally quit smoking after seventeen years of indulging and my father dying in my arms of lung cancer six years prior, I gained weight. First thought PANIC. But more weight came and it did not leave. Within a year, I had the first of seven major surgeries which made my weight plummet far beyond 200lbs. And there was nothing I could do. I was immobile and I had lost the will to starve myself out of sheer boredom of being in bed all the time.

Then…after I finally decided to buy clothes that fit me (after two years) I began to soften, literally and physically.  You see I truly believed I would not be loved if I was fat. After many years of special attention from men, I was horrified to give that up and be me. Plus my weight was always a topic of conversation with my father and mother. “Watch the pizza.” “Your hips are widening.” and it went on and on. Guess what? I was growing!! I am a tall woman that needed some weight. Their feedback was rarely met with enthusiasm rather I whispered “Fuck you,” under my breath.

However, one day I was at the deli counter and this guy was very kind to me. I looked behind me to see if he was looking at me. And YES…it was me he was talking to. And for a mere glimpse I saw I was worthy of kindness. I  began to notice other things too. People would open the door for me. Others would make me laugh. And my family and my friends still truly loved me!

What did that love look like to me? Initially, just smiles. But soon, my advice was sought after and then I made it even easier because I was willing to talk my weight with them. Soon “them” became everyone. I did not hide in the Plus Size section. I wandered and chatted. I was not alone in my obesity. There were others too.

Soon, I found that there were far more “real” people than just skinny ones. I stood taller. I chose what I wanted at any restaurant. I tried ice cream, roast beef sandwiches with extra cheese and even candy bars. And what I choose to ate had nothing to do with my worth.

You see the more I owned my weight, the more people found me approachable. And it can be lonely out there in “I am getting skinny again” land. And as my attitude changed, my beauty did too. I am almost positive that people still found me attractive!

Furthermore, I have a very keen insight on the friends I know who still measure their worth by the size of their jeans. In that world, weight means everything and there is no room for wonder, imagination, laughter or peace.

I weigh 273lbs today. I don’t think it is healthy. I will cut back on carbs and simple sugars. But I will do it for so many other reasons than feeling pretty for others. I will do it to live a long life. I will do it because with weight pain surmises. I will do it when I want to and I will not do it when I do not want to.

I own this life and it is a marvelous life. And I am lucky enough to have my cake and eat it too. Are you?

 

How To Spot An Alcoholic

Of course, we all know the easy way to spot an alcoholic: red face, preoccupation with alcohol, unable to stop drinking once started etc etc. But today I am going to share with you some insight on characteristics of an alcoholic you may not know. Keep in mind, that what applies to spotting an alcoholic also applies to spotting a relapse because drinking alcohol is only a symptom of a greater problem inside the heads and hearts of people inflicted with the disease.

  1. Anger and resentment- This is nothing new to someone who is in AA. The whole book is written around this subject. Alcoholics have a pattern of being angry and resentful. Often, if I am on social media and I see someone with hostile posts I instantly become suspicious. Alcoholics are triggered by what they deem to be unfair acts against them especially when it comes to close relationships. The disease makes it very difficult for the alcoholic to not take someone’s actions personal. However, in recovery we learn that even the most atrocious acts of unkindness are not personal and we are taught to believe what other people say about us is none of our business.
  2. Comorbidity- Almost all alcoholics have secondary afflictions of the spirit, mind and body that manifest prior to the age we begin drinking. I suffer from anxiety and depression. Always have. In recovery, we are bonded by identifying in each other the same twisted personality traits. It seems like everything we feel is to the extreme. Alcoholics are extremely sensitive. In alcohol we look for relief in caring so much about anything and everything.
  3. Big Plans but No Follow Thru- The brain of an alcoholic is very different than a person who is not inflicted. The pleasure centers of our brain are not naturally full and it takes action every day to get into a pleasurable space. Alcohol replaces action in a way that we think of a big ideas, sometimes brilliant ideas, that are never completed due the fact that the intake of alcohol gives us the same reward response as if we had actually followed through on goal or a task. For example, when I want to write a book, if I drink I most likely will never write the book because alcohol makes me feel as if I had already done the work. This is why in recovery action is far more important than thought. Someone in relapse will begin slowly not to accomplish anything that is important for daily functioning and in the grander scheme of life.
  4. A Track Record- This is very hard for alcoholics to see. We feel things are happening to us. That we are just unlucky. It is very difficult for an alcoholic to link their drinking as a consequence of what they choose. An alcoholic does not have to be drunk to make bad decisions. Once again, drinking is only a symptom that masks what drives a person to be reckless, irresponsible and sometimes very foolish. And the next thing we know we have multiple situations transpiring at once but cannot figure out why. For instance, we get in fights with significant others, our bills are not paid or we lack money, our health deteriorates and we stop doing things that we usually love all at the same time.  When someone is in their disease it is almost impossible for them to be accountable because their disease wants more alcohol. I know that is hard for a normal person to understand but it true.
  5. Unhealthy Boundaries- I am not sure if our inability to have healthy boundaries starts in the family of origin who is likely full of other alcoholics or if it is just the nature of the disease. But alcoholics do not have healthy boundaries. They are often promiscuous, codependent and often expect others to do for them what they should be doing for themselves. They are abusive and they let themselves be abused. They do not know where they begin as a person and others start. This is very hard to master even in sobriety because our extreme feelings and thinking tend to create scenarios both in our heads and in our lives that cross lines of respectability and human decency.
  6. Great Senses of Humor- Recovering alcoholics know how to laugh at themselves. They are usually very funny with off color remarks and ideas. The way we view the world is quite different than a normal person and we are not afraid to embrace that side of themselves because they are usually rewarded by other people for it.
  7. Moderation in Moderation- Alcoholics are all or nothing thinkers. Balance is just not in our vocabulary. If we eat, we eat a lot, if we exercise,we exercise a lot, if we love we love far too much and we don’t see much reason to change.  We have a history of doing everything in our life to excess. Once again, we have a blind spot. We are unable to match our thinking with our behavior. We do not see the link unless we are practicing being mindful. I do not think being moderate ever becomes easy for someone even they have years of sobriety. That is why it is helpful to go to meetings, have a sponsor and be able to tell on ourselves. Otherwise, we slowly or quickly unravel into some sort of extreme.
  8. A Need to be Special- Alcoholics almost always feel that they do not fit in. Because of this, they have a desire to be more “special” than their peers. They truly believe they are superior because of it. But at the same time, being special creates distance which in turn breeds loneliness. One of the greatest things I learned was to find the similarities I have with my fellows if I want to feel fulfilled in my relationships.

This list is not extensive. But it can tip a person off to know if someone has a problem with an alcohol problem. I usually can spot someone right a way. However, it is seldom useful to tell a person that they are alcoholic. An alcoholic usually can figure this out on some level and either desperately tries to hide it or is willing to seek help.