Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Love Letter

I forgive you.

I forgive you for hating me for being imperfect. I forgive you for always doubting me. I forgive you for the harm you have done to me over the years. I forgive you for expecting me to achieve the unattainable and then punishing me when I fail. I forgive you for hiding behind a mask, even from me. I forgive you for not understanding why so many people love me. I forgive you for expecting so much of me that you never saw my accomplishments. I forgive you for not understanding my true worth. I forgive you for telling me every day that I’m fat, and that I’m not worthy of love.

I forgive you for these things because I know that you will not do them anymore. I know this because I am not going to let you do them anymore. From now on, we will work together. We will take care of ourselves, not in order to change ourselves to fit some ideal, but because we deserve it. We deserve to have a rich, full life. We deserve to cast off the shallow; the false and temporary pleasures; the harmful vices. We deserve real joy; sustainable pleasure; enriching experiences. We deserve love.

I promise to take care of you for as long as I live. I promise to do all I can to provide you with a life you love. I promise to do all I can to keep you healthy and safe. I love you, and I now realize that you are the most important person in my life. I have never treated you like you are important, and in return you have never loved me. I see now how important you are. Without you, I am literally nothing.

Because you are me. And I forgive you. Now let’s move forward.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) said it best. Depression lies.

“It’s hopeless. It will never get better.”

“You have become a burden to everyone you love. They would be better off without you.”

“You should be able to snap out of this. Why don’t you? What is wrong with you? You are really pathetic, you should give up now.”

“If this is how life is going to be, do you really want to keep on?”

“There is no use trying. You are just going to fail again and again. It’s better to just learn to live with being miserable.”

“Nobody understands.”

All lies. But oh, they are so convincing.

I have been fighting depression for months now. It has taken its toll on me and on my loved ones. Depression is a real monster because it uses your brain’s logical and rational side to make things worse. It tells you that you should be able to be happy; that it is your fault for being weak; that it’s all just something you’ve made up and you are less of a person for not being able to overcome it.

It causes you to lash out at those who love you and only want to help. It makes you feel ashamed. You don’t want to tell people you are depressed, yet you want them to understand why you are behaving so very unlike yourself.

For me, the worst part is that those who know me know that I have a beautiful life. I mean yeah, I’m not wealthy. I have money problems. I have been dealing with the serious illness of two loved ones. But as a whole, my life is really, really full of love and beauty. And that makes the shame and guilt about depression so much worse.

“What the hell do you have to be sad about? You are completely broken and worthless if you can’t be happy with this life.”

Some of you may be confused, because you have seen me in the past few months, and I’ve seemed just fine. Laughing, smiling, making jokes, being loving and affectionate. And those things were not faked; I have felt happiness, love, affection; even joy and bliss. Being depressed doesn’t always put one in a state of constant sadness. It manifests itself in many ways, and isn’t always on the surface. You probably interact with many depressed people daily and have no idea. Depression can hide. But it’s still there, waiting to remind you that the joy you just felt is fleeting.

“Those moments aren’t real life. Real life is struggle and pain. The fleeting moments of joy are just there to remind you of what you can’t really have, ever.”

Well-meaning friends and loved ones try to help. They suggest exercise, diet changes, pharmaceuticals, therapy. They desperately and lovingly ask “What is it going to take?”

The problem is that when depression has you in its clutches, it holds your motivation hostage. And it is a powerful captor. You just don’t have the drive, energy, or even the desire to get better. You start to feel angry, because part of you wants to want to get better. But you just can’t gather the energy to give a damn. You feel like you owe it to your loved ones to try. But you just can’t. Because you don’t feel like you owe it to yourself to try.

“Because you are worthless.”

But the important thing to remember is this:


I am trying to recover. I think I must be starting to recover, because my motivation is beginning to return. I’m getting back to the gym. I’m paying attention to what foods I’m putting in my body. I’m going out and being social.

I’m blogging again.

But I’m still struggling. I’m still fighting to keep that inner voice alive that says No, that is a lie. I will not accept that. I’m still weak and prone to believe the lies. I’m still having a lot of sadness and rage and anxiety and hopelessness. But I am fighting it. I am fighting it now, and that is a step forward.

Thank you to all those who have suffered through this with me. I am sorry that I don’t always have the ability to show you how much you really mean to me. My depression lies to you, too. Thank you for staying by my side, and not believing the lies. I love you.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Quinoa With Sweet Potatoes, Chick Peas, Kale, et al. Recipe to Die For.

So, tonight I made a crazy awesome dinner that was super duper packed with all kinds of crazy nutrients and yumminess. This was something I came up with on my own, while daydreaming at work, so I'm posting the recipe and how I did it, not only for your benefit, but also so I can come back to this and recreate it.

Quinoa With Sweet Potatoes, Chick Peas, Kale, et al.

Ingredients, in no logical order:

Quinoa (I used a half cup dry tonight because it's what I had, but I would probably double that)
Vegetable broth (twice as much as your amount of quinoa)
1 sweet potato
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 can chickpeas (the original intent was to use black beans, though, and I think that would be marvelous)
A few handfuls of chopped kale
Handful of cilantro
Chipotle chile powder
Olive oil
Farm-fresh eggs (1 per serving)


Dice sweet potato into small cubes. Put into bowl and toss with olive oil , some salt, and a generous amount of chipotle chile powder. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan and sautee on medium-high until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

While the potato is cooking, sautee the onion and kale in oil with a little salt until the onion is soft and the kale is bright green. Add chopped garlic and a bit more chipotle powder. Cook until garlic is fragrant and add quinoa and vegetable broth. Cover and cook until quinoa is done (when you can see the little curly-q thingies it releases).

When potatoes are almost done, pour in a splash of broth and add chick peas (or black beans). Cook until heated through. Toss together with onion, kale, and quinoa mixture and keep warm.

Fry one egg per serving in olive oil. I like the yolks a little runny, but cook to your own preference. Salt and pepper the egg as it cooks.

Put the quinoa mixture into serving bowls and place an egg on top. Sprinkle liberally with chopped fresh cilantro and serve.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Haunted House Review! Mad House - Lebanon, TN

It's October! You know what that means. HAUNTED HOUSE REVIEWS!

The first haunted house Ted and I went to this year was Mad House in Lebanon, TN. It's located in an old warehouse in a creepy area near the hospital. Driving up to it in a creepy area was a very nice start.

For your information, they only take cash; so don't arrive with only plastic to use, because you'll have to drive a bit to get to a cash machine. Admission is reasonable; $15 per person, but you can print a $2 coupon from their website and get an easy discount.

As Ted and I approached the entrance, we heard the typical loud noises and screams of teenage girls from inside the attraction. This actually tells me nothing about how the attraction will be, because I've found that teenage girls will scream at pretty much anything. So the worthiness of the venue remained to be seen.

The greeter was a fun guy. Very amusing and kept in character. He didn't try to do any preliminary scares, or be particularly creepy; he was mainly trying to set a jovial mood for the frights to follow. He responded well to our banter, which was the first sign to me that this was going to be a fun trip.

The attraction itself was populated with the usual costumed actors hiding in the dark, jumping out to get a scare. The sets were fun. There was some nicely crafted gore and well-used strobe lighting to prevent the customers from having time to acclimate themselves to night vision.

Aside from the cheap startle effects, there were some really fun audience participation scenes. The "inmates" interact with those on the tour, talk, involve you in the scenes, and banter with you to the point that you feel like you are a part of the attraction. They are not merely reciting lines, but rather are playing a character, and they have fun exchanges and are able to respond well to unexpected quips while remaining in character. They aren't at all derailed by someone who doesn't respond with a typical scream or flight response. They take the opportunity to create a fun and funny macabre scene, and they seem to enjoy the weirdos like Ted and me who prod extreme audience interaction.

I rate Mad House with a thumbs up. I got a few good startles, it was lots of fun, and the actors are great at adapting to what their audience wants. Good value: highly recommended!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Power of a Photograph

Lately I haven't done a lot of posting. When things are going well, and I'm feeling good, I'm often not inspired to post. I know I should post about the good along with the bad, but when I'm in the good, I want to just enjoy the good; I don't want to sit and type about it.

For the past few weeks, I've been eating better. I've still been exercising. I've been feeling better in my skin and starting to actually have some self confidence again. Things have been so wonderful.

And it was all shot to hell by a well-meaning acquaintance who posted some photos that made me want to kill myself.

Don't worry. I'm not going to do anything stupid. I've been through this enough times to know it will pass.

The photos were from a big gathering I attended last weekend. It was a camping weekend, and I had such a wonderful time, I don't even know how to describe it. I had fun; I made friends; I enjoyed spending the weekend with someone who is very dear to me; I felt healthy and happy. It was such a nice escape.

Tonight, one of those new friends posted to Facebook some photos she took. I was devastated. I knew that I was the largest person there; but I think I had forgotten just how large I am. I'm easily twice the size of most of the people who were there. Three times some of them.

I know I'm overweight. But I just don't think of myself as being as horribly, unreasonably fat as the woman I saw in those pictures. When I'm confronted with that reality, it hurts a lot. I don't want anyone to see me. I don't want to leave the house tomorrow. Or ever again. I truly want to disappear. I can't stop crying. I just want to hide because I'm so ashamed. More than hide; I want to disappear.

I was starting to feel like I had made enough progress that I was finally beginning to look normal. I didn't feel like the fat girl everyone likes because she's funny. Then I saw those pictures and realized that I'm still her. I'm still the fat girl no one would like without the overwhelming, always-on-stage personality. I still have to be a clown in order to be invisible.

I know it will pass. But right now, I hate me so much.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Real Conversation

The following has nothing to do with fitness or weight loss. Unless you are interested in the nutrition content of dead cats. But if that is the case, you agree with my coworker and therefore you are wrong.

Real conversation between my coworker and me:

Me: So [name withheld] was in the break room talking to a vendor.

Coworker: eh?

Me: He looked at the coolers and asked if they had any bigger ones, or if the product would go in there.
Then they talked about order sizes, how many employees we have, blah blah blah
What on earth could they be ordering that would have to stay in the coolers?

Coworker: Dead cats.

Me: Yeah, but one dead cat for each employee would be enough. They were talking about recurring orders. 

Coworker: Well, once you eat one cat you eventually run out.

Me: You eat them? Gross.

Coworker: Yes. We should be thankful the company is providing us lunch.

Me: Everyone knows what you do with dead cats is turn them inside out so you have a hat that's soft and furry on the inside.

Coworker: Nope. I just eat them.

Me: Well that's wasteful.

Coworker: I eat it all, except for the bones, and I use those for voodoo rituals.

Me: The FSM doesn't recognize voodoo.

Coworker: The claws sometimes hurt when they come out the other end.

Me: I can imagine. If you use it for a hat, the claws make good backscratchers.

Coworker: hm, that's a good idea.

Me: Of course it's a good idea.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Revamping the Reward System

My reward system is not working. So I'm revamping it.

Starting now, my tattoos and piercings are no longer tied to my weight loss goals. I'm just getting them whenever I damn well please. They have nothing to do with weight loss and everything to do with expressing myself and I'm tired of repressing that just because I'm struggling with the extra pounds.

The photoshoot and wedding dress trip rewards remain in tact; they are directly related to weight loss because they will showcase my hard work. So I'm not giving up; just rethinking.

So on the topic of piercings, I recently got a new one.

So I get asked the inevitable question, "Did it hurt?"

For those of you who do not do piercings, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. They all hurt. Sometimes the actual needle stick isn't so bad; but putting the jewelry into freshly wounded skin always hurts.

"Well, sometimes when I ask that question people say no."

When they say "no," they don't really mean no. When you get a piercing, all the endorphines released by your brain cause you to forget just how much it hurt. Let me explain what the answers really mean.

When a piercing enthusiast says this:

What they really mean is this.

No, it didn’t hurt at all.

Someone stabbed me with a needle. Yes it fucking hurt. But not bad enough that I wouldn’t do it again right now, because LOOK AT THIS IT’S AWESOME.

Not as bad as I expected.

Do you see where this is? Give that area on yourself a little pinch. Sensitive, isn’t it? Now imagine sticking a needle through it. What you’re imagining? It’s like that.

This one hurt a little bit.

Yeah, this one was a motherfucker.

Yeah, it hurt pretty bad.

This one felt like they stabbed me with a splintered wedge of wood dripping with acid. And then set me on fire.