Saturday, October 23, 2010

Appreciated my mom?

You know those people that call their mothers on holidays? Their birthday (give or take a day)? When something really terribly awful happens?

I am not that girl.

I call my mom when I stub my toe. I called my mom when I was getting my nails done and the woman trimming my cuticles made me bleed. As I've gotten older, I've regressed a little bit when it comes to how much I need my parents, I think. Or maybe, I just realize a little more how much I need my parents.

I was blog-stalking this weekend (as per usual) and I came across "Monday Mayhem." Well, I know it's not Monday, but I'm going to procrastinate and answer some Monday Mayhem questions about my amazing mom, who if she can put up with me right now and deal with all my crazy - I'm pretty sure can do anything.

1. How old is your Mom? If she has passed away, how old would she be?
I'll just say, she doesn't look a day over 30. ;)

2. What is/was your Moms worst habit?
Well, if you ask her, I feel sure she would disagree. But mom has a tendency to tell the entire world our life story no matter where we go. If we've stopped at the gas station, the cashier needs to know where we're going, where we came from, our astrological signs, what we had for lunch, etc.

God forbid we be trapped on a crowded elevator.

3. What famous person does/did your Mom resemble (a picture of that famous person would be nice)?
I've actually never thought about this much. But she actually could pull off a slightly younger Meryl Streep (who by the way, is gorgeous and I LOVE her).

4. What would be one meal that you would love for your Mom to cook for you right now?

French toast.

5. Was your Mom a Stay at Home Mom or did she have to go to a work/job (and yes, Mayhem understands and knows that being a Stay at Home Mom is work/job) when you were growing up?
My mom was stopped working to a stay at home when I was really little, but she's worked as a part time pharmacist I think since I started pre-school.

6. If you could change one thing about your Mom what would it be?
At this point, I don't think I'd really change anything.
Even though sometimes when I'm at home, she wakes me up when she's talking to the cats in the morning (...)

7. Did you ever make your mom cry? if so, explain.
My mom recently told me that she cried while reading one of my personal statements for law school. That almost made me cry because it made me realize that she actually thinks I can do this.

If I've made her cry for a bad reason, I'd rather not think about those :(

8. Have you ever told a lie to your Mom to protect yourself or someone else? If yes, have you come clean and told your Mom the truth?
When I was younger (middle school/high school) I'm sure I told several little lies to keep myself out of trouble. But at this point, I'm really terrible at lying to my parents and I honestly just prefer blurt out the truth, no matter how bad, than keep it in and try and deal with it myself. I know that my parents are always going to be there for me and that if I've done something wrong, they'll be disappointed but they'll try and help me get through it. I think they'd be more disappointed if I opted to lie about it and try and figure it out on my own and it didn't work out/they found out at a later time.

9. What is the one thing that you most admire about your Mom?
My mom has to take care of not only herself and her husband/kids (no matter how old we are), but also her 98-year-old mother. The amount of pressure that she's under dealing with her finances and everything from 6 hours away keeps her stressed out and on the phone at all hours of the day. I couldn't deal with that kind of stress on top of having a job and a life - I don't know how she does it.

10. In 10 words or less, describe your Mom.
Ridiculous, amazing, hilarious, grounded, stable, considerate, optimistic, caring, generous, loving.

"The best part of life is when your family becomes your friends, and your friends become your family."
Danica Whitfield

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Trusted my body to adjust?

Yesterday was one of those days where everything seemed to go wrong. From cutting myself shaving to spilling my water bottle all over my bed to falling down the stairs, I was basically on the verge of tears when I got home.

Well, last night I slept SO hard. One of my best friends will take these amazingly long naps after really hard tests or really hard weeks where she's gotten very little sleep. I remember reading a C.S. Lewis quote once that said, "You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." I'm slowly starting to realize that our bodies are these amazing little machines that are completely separate from our minds. Basically, if our bodies do something - it's because it needed to.

So what if, today - I trusted my body to adjust to the changes that I'm trying to make to the way that I'm treating it? I wrote a couple of days ago that I decided to do Pilates to remind myself how strong my body can be. We'll I've kept up with this over the past couple of days. Not a ton - but I've tried to do at least one of my 10-minute workouts each morning and one or two at night. I was SO sore the next day. And the next day. And sure I was sore this morning, but a little bit less. Because my body is adjusting. My body knows how to deal with change. It will acknowledge them and adjust accordingly. My head might have a harder time. But we can work on that.

P.S. Did it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Read...for fun?

Cameron Diaz is absolutely adorable. No questions about that. You know who else is adorable? Jude Law. So without questions, this translates to The Holiday being one of the best movies OF ALL TIME (not to be dramatic).

In The Holiday, after Amanda's (um REALLY lame and not nearly as hot as Jude Law) boyfriend admits to cheating on her, she has a bit of a breakdown and realizes that her life is not going as planned and that she works much too hard. In the midst of her breakdown, she shouts, "You know what I want to do? I want to eat carbs without wanting to kill myself. I want to read a book -- not a magazine, an actual book."

Oh girl, I feel ya. I haven't read a real book in...I don't know when. At least not one that I wasn't assigned to read (and I'm not going to's rare that I actually get through one of those in it's entirety). My bookshelves are lined with copies of Marie Clare, Glamour, Self, Shape, Cosmo...etc. I do own two of the Lauren Conrad "L.A. Candy" books that I had to be led into the youth section of Barnes & Noble by a judgmental employee with a ginger beard (You know what they say...people with gross facial hair should NOT throw stones. At least that's what I say, anyway) and "Freakin' Fabulous by my life coach, Clinton Kelly. Mostly I looked at the pictures in that book. But really, we've got SO much mandatory reading - scholastic articles, etc. to do for school, and so many other things to read (blogs, online magazines, etc.) that reading a book...for fun...hasn't been at the top of my list for a while.

When we were flying to Panama last Spring, I wandered around the book store in the airport. I stood in front of the shelf displaying "Eat, Pray, Love" for a long time before deciding that it was probably over-priced (as is everything for sale once you get through airport security) and that I would probably be so busy soaking up sun in Panama that I wouldn't have time to read anyways. Well, that was probably not true. But I didn't buy it. AND THEN - the movie came out. And as much as I want to see the movie, I really want to finish the book first. So a couple of weeks ago I bought it.

And today I sat down and just read for a while.

On page 45 of the book, I came across the most beautiful quote. The author, Elizabeth Gilbert, quotes Dante's Divine Comedy, where he writes that that God is "l'amor che muove il sole el'altre stelle..."

Translation: God is "the love that moves the sun and the other stars."

And then I just kind of sat for a minute. While I'm away at school, I may not get to church often and I may not find myself praying on a daily basis. But I've never lost my faith. I've seen God work in my life, and in the lives of those around me.

God has given me the most amazing support system anyone could ever ask for. I have the most perfect family (sure, we have our moments, but I would literally never change a thing). I really have no other explanation for what provided me such a blessing than divine intervention. Fate. God has also given me the most beautiful and supportive friends. Today in my Psychology of Adulthood and Aging class, we were discussing social networks and how they change and/or remain stable over time. They say that as life goes on, the "inner circle" remains about the same size, and the other relationships tend to become more distant. But this inner circle that I have - I wouldn't change it for the world. Not everyone has what I have when it comes to family and friends and I'm so lucky.

When my friends and family say that they're proud of me - I can literally see it in their eyes and I can feel it when they look at me. And the way that makes me feel - I can't explain it. Like I can actually do what I set my mind on doing.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Found fluidity?

I love Diet Coke. I love it. I love the way it makes my nose wiggle. I love the momentary spark of energy I feel like it gives me. I love that it helps me keep my eyes open during my Computer Programming lecture. But what is it really?

I looked up the ingredients today.

Diet Coke:
- Carbonated water
- Caramel color
- Aspartame
- Phosphoric acid
- Potassium benzoate
- Natural flavors
- Citric acid
- Caffeine

Not one of those things sounds appetizing. And not one of those things sounds like it's doing good things for my insides. Potassium benzoate? Huh?

Well, I'm not saying I'm going to give up Diet Coke. No, it's one of those bad relationships that you know you should get out of, but you just love the way you feel when you're in it. Or, I guess in this case - you love the way your nose tingles and you can keep your eyes open. Same thing. It may serve me no nutritional purpose - but I like it so I'm keeping it. Kind of like Uggs. They don't serve much of a purpose in North Carolina. But I like looking like I'm going to go spear some kind of snow mammal (not that I ever would - omg love animals) so. I'm gonna keep those too.

Nonetheless, I've made a resolution to start drinking more water. I lost my water bottle sometime this summer, and since then, I've rationalized buying more soft drinks and bottled juices, etc. when I'm away from the house. But today I bought a new water bottle. Not only is this resolution good for me, but it's good for the environment (and not to mention my bank account) as well. I feel more hydrated already ;)

On a different note --

I love working out. I really do. The only problem is -- I never remember that I love working out when the time comes for me to go work out. I never want to change clothes. Or put on shoes. Find socks that match. Tie my shoes (someone that is too lazy to tie their shoes rarely makes it to the gym...). This has led to an incredibly extensive collection of workout DVDs. I'm ashamed to say, however, that these are rarely used.

But today, I decided to get down to business and get my Pilates on. I forgot how much I enjoy doing Pilates. Even if you're not doing jumping jacks or kicking, there's something about the moves and the fluidity of the motions that makes your body feel so strong. While I worked out, I could feel the muscles in my body working. At one point during the workout, the instructor described the movements as "organic." We were supposed to be feeling the "organic movement" of our bodies. And even though I'm not entirely sure how I would define that, I still think that I felt it.

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary defines "fluidity" as "the physical property of a substance that enables it to flow."

What if today I found fluidity by drinking more water, eating food with purpose, and reminding myself that my body can be strong?

"Strength does not come from a physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
Mohandas Gandhi

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Remembered how to move?

The other day I allowed myself to be anonymously interviewed for an article about disordered eating and body image on college campuses. As I discussed my journey and getting back to "normal" (but really - what's normal?) I began to realize that most of my answers weren't true. They're what I want to be true. What I hope that by the time I'm past this, I can say are true.

My best friend went through the same interview. And I read her responses and I became so proud of her, and so envious of her at the same time. Not envious in a bad way, envious in that I so badly wish that I could be on the other side of this phase of my life in the same way that she is. I'm so proud of her and she keeps me believing that I will move past this and I will see a point in my life that my thoughts, feelings and behaviors aren't dictated by what I have or have not eaten during the day.

My relationship with food has become more of a pattern than anything else. Think of the 5-year-old that only likes to eat a handful of different types of foods. That's me. At age 21, I have the taste preferences of a kindergartner.

My best friend describes her recovery in a way unlike anyone else I've ever met or read about. Hers wasn't a long, daunting, frustrating process. Hers was like a light switch. One night she read an article in Glamour, decided she wasn't happy the way she was living, and the next day she woke up and made a change.

Every night when I go to sleep, I wish that I could wake up and that light switch would flip for me too. But that hasn't happened yet, and I can't keep waiting for it to, or nothing is going to change.

Maybe it's not going to be that fast for me. But last night I was thinking, "What if I do one thing every day that helps me work to get over this? What if I do one thing every day that scares me? That's good for me? That nourishes me? That keeps me going? What if today I make someone smile? What if today I let go? What if today I just am?"

This, being my first day on this mission - I decided to do two things.

What if today I stepped out of my comfort zone and bought foods that aren't on my short list of things I eat on a daily basis? I went to the store and I walked up and down each isle. I picked out new things. Things I haven't had in a year - maybe more. I bought food that doesn't come pre-packaged, with a label telling me exactly what it is. I bought real fruit. I bought soups filled with vegetables and spices. I bought whole grain pastas and rice. Sure, there's some yogurt and some cereal bars in there too. But I need to stop labeling things as "good" or "bad," as "safe" or "unsafe." Food is just food. And the sooner I can see that, the sooner I can get better.

And now, what if I remembered how to move? My parents signed me up for dance class when I was 2-years-old. I love to dance and I love to move. I used to know and trust every inch of my body, because so much of my time was devoted to exploring it and what it could do. Now, I think that one of my biggest fears about moving past this overly restrictive phase of my life is that I'll become a fat, soft blob (I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true). But what if today, I just let go? What if I channeled my inner-Shakira and remembered how to move in a way that makes me feel comfortable in my own body again? I may not have the hips and the butt that I used to have, but this is still my body. Working through struggle doesn't mean you have to sit still while you do it. Maybe I have to get to know my body again; to remember what it's capable of and everything that it can do. My body survived 15 years of dance classes. It survived tumbling classes and basketball games. It's made it through many a Zumba and kickboxing class, and it carries me everywhere I need to go every single day.

"There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good."
Edwin Denby