Foodgod

I realized something tonight that I don’t really like. I learned that food is my light and my salvation…whom shall I fear? Food is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? My joy is in food, my comfort is in food. If I have food, I don’t need anything or anyone else. Food protects me and brings me peace. Food gives me hope. Without food, I am nothing; I have nothing.

This is a truth that I have come to believe over a lifetime. It is going to take time to unlearn it. And it’s not going to be fun.

Lucky Chance

I can’t remember the circumstance that prompted it, but I recently had the classic Christianese thought: “There but by the grace of God, go I.” It means, if God hadn’t put me in such a good life, I could be where that unfortunate person is.

It was probably in my head due to thinking about ISIS and the horrors of extremist religious oppression. Knowing what a rule-follower I was as a child all the way into my early thirties, I thought if I’d been born into that extremist Islamic culture, I would be one of those women who was all about following the rules I was taught unquestioningly. I might be waving a gun around, patrolling the streets looking for rule-breakers, and cheering on horrific acts. There but by the grace of God…

Or I might’ve been thinking about Liberia and the Ebola outbreak where people don’t have access to the same excellent health care I do. Where they have to hide the fact they or their family members might be sick so that they aren’t ostracized. There but by the grace of God, go I.

But now I’m questioning that, simply because I know God loves us all perfectly and equally. Is it really loving to pick and choose which soul gets born into a safer, clean environment, and which gets born into a slum? Or is it kinder for God to allow chance to take place, to allow for blind luck?

Am I blessed? Or am I just lucky? I think the latter may be more fair from a Christian point of view. God may know when a sparrow falls, but it doesn’t say he chooses which sparrow will fall.

If I am not blessed, if I am just lucky, some of my specialness is taken away. That may be a good thing. It doesn’t change God’s love for me if I was not specially chosen to have the privileged life I do. But it can introduce more humility into my heart. These days I feel more lucky than blessed. And I don’t think God’s offended at all by that.

Because LIFE!

There’s a debate going on these days about whether or not it is okay to tell fat people or fat children that they are just fine the way they are. There’s this odd fear that if you do so, you’ll be condoning their “self-destructive” behavior…that shaming or constantly reminding them of their need to change is the only way to move them towards “health.”

Sounds a lot like the fundamentalist Christian attitude toward the LGBT community, but I digress.

Here’s the deal. No one has any right to tell another person how to live their life. No one has any right to shame another person based on their looks.

I am 5’6″ tall and weigh 213 pounds. I waver between a size 16 and 18. And I’m done trying to be something I’m not.

In the past week, I’ve begun choosing joy. I’ve begun looking for happiness in the body that I’m in, rather than hoping for happiness once I’ve changed. There’s no time for that; life is now! I have a trip to London coming up that I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid. I couldn’t care less what my body looks like for it. I’m not going there to impress anyone. I’m going there to BE. IN. LONDON.

To just be. That is the point of life. To be you. And if you’re fat, be joyous. Why? Because you’re alive, you’re living, and there’s no one else out there that can live it like you.

And let’s look at the lean community’s blatant double-standard. They are so afraid of accepting fat people as they are because being overweight could shorten that person’s lifespan. So…what’s with all these extreme sports? How many lean people die every year from their dangerous sporting choices? A lean body doesn’t do you any good when something goes wrong on your base jump. But such obviously dangerous life choices are okayed and the newly-dead are celebrated because, as their grieving friends will say, “They died doing what they love.”

If we are supposed to celebrate someone who reveled in life-threatening behavior because it gave them joy, then stop staring judgmentally at the fat person enjoying an ice cream cone. You have no idea who they have helped, how much they are loving those who need it, and what contribution they are bringing to society in ways that have nothing to do with their size.

Life is to be lived as each individual chooses to live it. It doesn’t matter when you die as long as you’ve lived your life to your satisfaction.

The Bloggess

You know, you can never tell where encouragement will come from. I’m reading a few more blogs these days and there’s one I can always count on to make me smile and laugh. That’s the Bloggess. The humor she sees in daily life has opened my eyes to my own life in that way and I’m trying to see with humor, too. However, she recently posted a thank-you blog to her readers and it was the sweetest thing. So I thought I’d share it because it reminded me that we are all connected. We never know what little thing we do will have a major impact on someone else’s life. Someone you might not even know. You know, we Christians talk about how we may be meeting “angels unaware.” The truth is, we are all those angels. :) Be encouraged in your life today. You’re an angel to someone.

Those are hair curlers, not a new take on Princess Leia. :D

Those are hair curlers, not a new take on Princess Leia. :D

Comfort

This sounds cliché but I am working hard on letting myself just be myself. I’m a plus size woman and have struggled with my weight all my life. Then I see strong, healthy people like Paul Walker get killed in a car crash and I think, “What did all that fitness do for him in the end?” All this energy and thought time we spend on fretting over our bodies…for what? A few extra years at the end of our life that we are not even guaranteed? I think what is really important (despite that darned desire to just fit in) is that we are giving love and receiving love. I mean, really, if that is happening, if love is happening in our lives then our jeans size begins to shrink in importance, if not in reality. :) It’s hard. It takes fighting decades of ingrained thought processes that make me see myself in pieces and parts instead of how I see my friends and loved ones: as whole people. Their body size is of so little importance to me; I want to see myself that way, too. It takes a huge burden off to let that go. And is a great comfort.

Battle of the Mind

It is so hard to battle my own mind when it comes to body image. I believe that changes in my body will only come when I learn to love and accept myself as I am. I know not all conventional wisdom goes that way, but for me, the more I’ve disliked my body, the more it has remained as it is. Honestly? I am healthy and beautiful, so if I don’t accept that simply because my body doesn’t conform to the cultural norm, I will probably remain where I am.

I am not limited by my body. Therefore, I will look at the world outside for opportunity, not naval gaze and despair.

This means quashing negative thoughts the minute they enter my head. All it takes is passing by a mirror for those negative thoughts to hit. It’s like a game of Missile Command in the ’80s where you have all those lines coming down on your forts and you have to shoot them out of the air as fast as possible. While Missile Command gets harder each round, I don’t think negative thoughts are as resilient. They will be for a while, but as I get better at defeating them, they’ll become less and less. Here’s hopin’! :)

Brightness

I’ve had several reminders lately to enjoy life and let go of the things that are unimportant such as my weight or broken dreams. I’m worrying less about making sure I get “my time,” instead looking for activities that fulfill me. Did you know they have roller skating at the Town Toyota Center these days? Oh, happy day. :)

This little video was just one of the things that has gotten me thinking this way. Enjoy!

Forging Beliefs

I’ve been thinking about a couple years ago, maybe not that long, when I was struggling with the concept of hell. The whole idea of eternal torture was so antithesis to the character of Jesus. I was questioning the concept because I had so many new gay friends due to my podcasting on Greetings from Nowhere. Like with my grandfather who died potentially “outside of Christ,” I was questioning not God’s compassion, but the idea of hell in the face of God’s compassion. Continue reading

A prank, a conflict and a kidnapped jigsaw puzzle

So much fun at work on Thursday! I got blamed for a prank! Yay!

Most folks who know me know how much I dislike pranks. Primarily my dislike arises from having been the butt of pranks and being made to look stupid or foolish. No one likes that feeling although some people are able to handle it better than others. Not one of them is I.

So to get blamed for a prank or even just have the responsibility for rectifying it thrown on my to-do list on Thursday SUCKED. I mean, I hate conflict as it is! Conflict upsets meh.

Someone took Dirk’s (not his real name) food and hid it. That was the prank. SO funny, right? So Dirk comes to my desk and asks me where his food is. I got nothing and he’s not pleased. But I let it drop from my mind because I have stuff to do and I didn’t take his food. He needed to solve the problem himself. Then I get an email from Dirk stating that he will return the puzzle pieces when his food shows back up. I trot into the kitchen and see that all the unplaced pieces of a jigsaw puzzle several of us work on at lunch are gone.

That’s right. He’s holding half a jigsaw puzzle hostage.

It’s still not clear to me why his missing food is my problem. According to Dirk, I know how to make things happen. Why is this, I wonder? Because I’m an admin assistant? Oh, darn…I must’ve missed “Solving Everyone’s Personal Problems 101” in admin school. Not to mention, I’m not his department’s admin. Gah! To make things worse, as I’m composing a flaming rant email back to him, good ol’ Bubba (not his real name) walks into the mail area by my desk and leaves a box there. My friend, Doc (NHRN), has been drawn into the drama and goes to check what’s in the box. Big surprise…wait for it…it’s Dirk’s food. And Bubba’s now hiding in his cubicle.

What now to do with my flame email? If I tell Dirk his food has shown up, he’ll think I was in on it and made his food reappear and, dammit, I have too much pride to let that happen. I been wronged and I ain’t going to let him off that easy. So after editing my flame email down to an eighth of the content I first barfed onto the page (turning it into more of a charcoal email), I sent it, telling him, and I paraphrase: There’s a box here. I didn’t have anything to do with it. Leave me alone or I will talk with your supervisor, you obnoxious, rude jerk.

Dirk came and got his box, saying he knew I would find it as he walked by my desk, and I burst into tears and left. I had been really upset by it, mostly because I was being blamed for something I would never do. As I stood in the ladies room trying to get my emotions under control, I realized I needed to just hash it out with him. Dirk and I had been good acquaintances before this and I really didn’t want to lose that.

So I stormed back into the kitchen where Doc was trying to make Dirk understand why what he’d done had upset me. Doc gets 4 gold stars. I laid into Dirk, telling him that he was never to treat me that way again no matter how hungry he was. After hemming and hawing, he finally apologized and the situation was defused. He was truly sorry for upsetting me…didn’t mean for that to happen. I gave him a hug and blew my nose on his shirt. Okay, I only gave him a hug. But I wanted to blow my nose on his shirt.

What I learned was, as much as I prefer to avoid conflict, it is better to hash things out. I know if I hadn’t, I’d be feeling bad about this days later and our friendship would be ruined. So I’m really glad it turned out the way it did.

Doc and I spent our afternoon break turning the ransomed jigsaw pieces back over.

No, I’m not bitter. But thanks for asking.

Sea Change

I just got back from a wonderful weekend with my mom and brother. We talked about all kinds of stuff, saw “Skyfall,” and just plain hung out, enjoying being together. One of the things we talked about was my desire to change what I’m doing with my life. As a writer and actress, I really want to pursue the artistic side of me. The problem is, a full time administrator job makes it really difficult to channel energy into the creative stuff. A full-time job takes my best time. Don’t get me wrong. I am BLESSED to have my job and I know it. I wouldn’t even be able to consider a life change like this without all the benefits my job as afforded me. I just think I’d be spending a lot of my life in a sad place if I chose to stay for the sake of financial security. I don’t want to be in a sad place any more.

So…as of July 2016, I will own the shop that is on my land. At that time, I will be able to sell my house with the shop which will give me a great nest egg and business investment money. Waiting for three-and-a-half years will also allow me to really focus on saving money, scaling down what I own, and researching locations best suited to me and my arts and my family.

Where to start? Well, there’s so much excess stuff in my house, I think I’ll start there.

Adventure on.