Mom’s Birthday

This Sunday will mark the 54th anniversary of my mother’s birth. It will also be the first of her birthdays we will spend without her.

I’ve spent most of the past ten months trapped between a desire to organize and revolutionize and galvanize against the fat hatred which told her that her health was not worth tending, that her life was not worth saving, and the terrible knowledge in my heart that if she knew what I had done – that I’d written about her life and experiences as a fat woman, that I’d even said publicly that she’d been a fat woman, she would be mortified, furious, appalled.

We almost never talked about weight or body size at my house. Once my sister and I reached puberty, we were all fat, and we just didn’t talk much about it unless we absolutely had to, like during the annual clothes shopping trip before the new school year and that sort of thing.

My mom, like I think a lot of us fat folks, was always torn between wanting to be noticed, and wanting to disappear. She wanted to be noticed for being interested in fashion, for knowing how to dress (and for all that her tastes and mine were nothing alike, my mom really did know how to put herself together when she wanted to), for being funny and generous and enthusiastic. But she also feared being noticed, because if someone noticed her, they would also notice she was fat, and she’d been in the world plenty long enough to know that you couldn’t trust most people to look at a fat person and see anything but a ‘big, disgusting fatty’.

So for me to be here, talking about my mom being fat, and talking about how she’d been hurt and humiliated by that doctor, and telling the whole freakin’ world about what she went through?

She would hate that.

She would slap my disrespectful mouth, and rightfully so. Who the hell am I to go on the internet, of all places, and talk about things she never even talked about with me? How dare I sit here and say I loved my mom, and I wish like crazy we could have gotten over all our difficulties so we could have been closer than we were, and say that I miss her and can hardly listen to oldies on the radio anymore because half the songs I hear remind me of her, when at the same time, I’m doing the one thing that would have hurt and humiliated her more than anything else?

And then I read things like this comment from fatgirlonadate.

Or this comment, from None Given in the same thread.

Or I read posts at First, Do No Harm, a project inspired by my posts about Mom, but which I’ve done jack to help out on in months, so caught up am I in fears of what my mom would think of all this now.

I read all this stuff, and I see that these things are continuing. That people’s lives are at stake here.

And I think, “Mom wouldn’t have wanted that.” If Mom had known about all this, if she’d known what other people had suffered as a result of the same cruelty from (certain) health care professionals as she had, she would have joined up. She would have bought a To Hell With Tiny Pants T-shirt and worn it loud and proud (while bumming around the house on a Saturday afternoon – that whole ambivalence about being noticed thing, you see), and she would have taken part in the discussions, she would have encouraged None Given to get her necessary checkups and not take “no” for an answer from some lab-coated jerkwad too prissy to touch a fat woman’s vagina.

She would have sent an email to fatgirlonadate expressing her sincere condolences about fatgirl’s aunt, and probably would have included a link to a book that she thought might help fatgirl and her mom cope with their grief.

And it’s only now, that I’m sitting here writing this, and thinking seriously about what Mom would have done if she had been around for all this, that I’m finally feeling like perhaps, just maybe, I’ve done the right thing. That she’s not stomping around the afterlife hating me and cursing the day she gave birth to me. That if she’s out there, somewhere, maybe she’s even a little bit proud of me?

So Sunday, in honor of Mom’s birthday, I’ll be going to my yoga class in MY To Hell With Tiny Pants T-shirt, even if I’m concerned it’s a little short on me and I’ll be showing the whole class my stretch-marky belly. And if anyone asks, I’ll explain what it means and why I’m wearing it.

And I’ll listen to “Take Me Home Country Roads” by John Denver and I’ll cry a whole bunch.

And I’ll probably do something else, too. But mostly, I’m going to try to keep in mind what Mom would have done, if she’d known about all this. I’m going to stay focused on how Mom would have responded to the Fatosphere, and try to ignore the voices that tell me she would never have wanted me to say a word about her.

Because she never thought about herself. So long as it had just been her, she wouldn’t have worried about it. But there’s no way she would have stood for someone else being treated the same way she had been. There’s no way she would have sat back and done nothing, knowing that other people were living in pain, were sick, and some were even dying, because of health care professionals who think they’re too good to treat fat people.

Maybe she wouldn’t have been on the front lines, but she’d have been here. She’d be reading and commenting and supporting other people as much as she could.
Granted, I doubt she’d be thrilled to know I talked about her so publicly, but I think she’d have understood, and I think she’d have forgiven me. Well, eventually.

March 27, 2008 at 3:57 am 10 comments

Sock Day!

It’s snowing like WHOA! outside, I’m cooped up with the kids, and The Rotund just posted up a review of some socks from Sock Dreams, so I figure I’ll hop on the bandwagon and declare it Sock Day!

It’s excellent timing, really, because I ordered three pair from Sock Dreams a few weeks ago, thanks to TR’s favorable reviews, and just wore the third pair the other day, so now I can comment on all of them. Yay me!

First off, my deets: I’m 5’4″ tall, and am slightly long-legged, but not crazily so. I wear a size 8-8.5 shoe, and my calf at the widest part is… I wanna say just under 18 inches around. I think that’s right, but I can’t be arsed to go find a tape measure at the moment. If someone is super-curious, say the magic word and I’ll figure it out again.

Electric Striped Knee Highs – Of the pairs I got, these are my favorites. They’re super-soft (6% cashmere – yum!), warm (31% wool!), and I love the stripes. I got the Lime colorway, and for all that they’re expensive as hell, I’m fighting hard to resist the urge to order myself another pair. They’re a bit long on me – I wound up folding them a couple inches at the top, but I’m totally fine with that. They stretched all right over my calf, but it was a bit of a struggle to pull them up, so I think anyone whose calf is much larger than mine might have a tough time with them. Once up, however, they stayed up all day and were nice and cushiony – the fabric is a nice medium weight, about on pair with regular sport socks, or the socks I might knit myself.

Sock It To Me Skulls and Stripes – I really like these socks. Come on – they’ve got skulls on them! They’d have to totally suck for me to not like them!

Luckily, they don’t suck. They accommodate my calf just fine (though like with the Electric Stripe socks, I get the feeling I’m coming close to the outer limit of their elasticity) and stayed up all day no problem. That said, they’re thinner than I generally prefer – much more a trouser sock-type weight – and because I was stretching them so much width-wise, they were juuuuust long enough to reach my knee. I got the grey and black colorway, and am pretty happy with them.  (75% cotton, 20% nylon, 5% spandex)

Dreamy Knees – Overall, I like these socks and will certainly wear them again. However, I am not sure I will buy any more, despite them coming in some really great colors (I got the Sweet Pea colorway). They’re comfortable, in fact I liked the feel of the fabric on these socks much more than I liked the fabric on the skull socks. However, thanks to the much higher spandex content, by the time I wore these for a few hours, the ankles had gotten pretty baggy. The feet were also really loose on me, and so combined with the bagginess of the ankles, when I took off my shoes the feet of the socks tried to slide off with them. Which is too bad, because these stretched nicely over my calf and, perhaps in part because they were longer than my leg and so I wound up folding over the tops again, stayed up without a problem. (80% cotton, 20% spandex)

So, there you have it. Unintentionally I’ve listed these socks in order of preference, from my favorite to least favorite. But even my “least favorite” pair I like pretty darn well – certainly well enough to keep wearing them.

Also note, these reviews are all after one wearing, so I can’t comment regarding durability or how well these socks perform over time yet. I suppose that will have to be another post. 🙂

Hmm. Maybe it’s time to put in a new Sock Dreams order….

January 17, 2008 at 3:57 pm 2 comments

Lose a bunch of weight, get nominated for President

So, I’m perusing my morning blogs and made my usual stop over at Shakesville. There, I happened across this post from Mustang Bobby talking about a recent NYT column by William Kristol, talking about the prospects of Mike Huckabee being the Republican nominee for President. Now, Mustang Bobby’s got a whole bunch of other excellent points which y’all ought to go read, but the part that jumped off the page (screen) at me was this quote from Kristol’s column:

Huckabee seems to be that. He came up from modest origins. He served as governor of Arkansas for more than a decade. He fought a successful battle against being overweight. These may not be utterly compelling qualifications for the presidency. I’m certainly not ready to sign up.

Look at that, y’all.

Basically, there are three factors which William Kristol lists as reasons why Mike Huckabee would make a good candidate for the presidency, and they are:

1. Came from modest origins

2. Governor of Arkansas for more than a decade

3. LOST A BUNCH OF WEIGHT!!!

END. OF. LIST!!!

Of the whopping THREE reasons this guy cites for why Mike Huckabee makes a credible Republican candidate for the job of PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, one of them is having lost a bunch of weight.

Are you shitting me?! Seriously, am I have some kind of nachos-before-bedtime-induced nightmare or something? Because if I am, PLEASE someone wake me up!

The other day, Kate pointed our attention toward a link which painstakingly listed evidence which points toward Huckabee having lost all that weight through WLS instead of through “good old-fashioned diet and exercise.” Some folks wondered why on earth it mattered, why on earth it was important.

This is why.

Because in a culture where fat is conflated with a list of moral failings as long as my arm, a man can actually turn a 100-pound weight loss into a bid for the presidency, and is not laughed off the fucking stage!

Does anyone REALLY think that if Huckabee had just come out and said, “Oh yeah, I did lose a bunch of weight. I went and had lap-band surgery and now I live with a surgically induced eating disorder,” he’d really be poised to win the Republican nomination??

If that’s the case, then I take it the only thing keeping Al Roker and Carnie Wilson from taking their own respective spots in the Oval Office is that neither has done their time as governor of a state yet. snort!

This is why fat acceptance matters – because until our culture stops seeing fat bodies as flawed and thin bodies as morally superior, until our culture (by which I mean our media) overcomes its fascination with weight-loss “success stories”, however short-lived they may be, then we’re going to keep seeing bullshit like this. People who get ahead not based on their own merits, but instead based almost entirely on their ability to manipulate people’s prejudices against fat.

[ETA: Whups. I just realized – Carnie’s not going to be able to be President after all. Seeing as she’s Brian Wilson‘s daughter, she didn’t exactly come from “modest origins”, did she? Sorry Carnie!)

January 7, 2008 at 11:58 am 5 comments

Now it’s Thorny’s turn to cry…

Thorny’s turn to cry, Thorny’s turn to cry-eye…..

Y’all, I finally went and had a physical done yesterday.

I know. Go ahead and sit back and really appreciate that irony – I’m the one who made such a big ol’ fuss about fat people getting the health care they need, and yet it’s taken me, what, six months since my mom died to finally get in to see the doc myself?

Just goes to show how hard that can be.

Granted, I had a few roadblocks along the way – first an appointment that got canceled at the last minute, then some problems with my family’s health insurance during the last few months of 2007. But still. There was a whole whack of time in there where I could have gotten it done, and I didn’t.

I was scared.

I was going to see a new doctor in a new clinic system, and I weigh more now than I ever have in my life, and while my mom’s death emphasized to me how important it is to not let some lab-coated fat-hater convince me my health is unimportant, my mom’s death also had knocked some wind out of my sails, and the idea of going in only to have to fight for my right to decent health care made me want to crawl in a hole and weep.

The stories that people came forward with, as important as they are, also fed my anxiety-ridden mind with new ways in which I could have been discriminated against, and there were times when I was convinced that there just weren’t any fat-friendly doctors out there. Intellectually I know that’s not the truth, but sometimes Intellect takes a back seat to Fear, y’know?

So I finally went in yesterday. I was nervous as hell, for reasons even beyond the fear of coming up against a fat-hater, and then, because I am never punctual despite my best efforts, I was running late.

So I got to the clinic and charged up the stairs to my doctor’s office, and then sat down and tried to regain some semblance of calm. Instead, I got called in almost immediately, and got weighed (and here’s where I shame-facedly admit that I was totally cheered to see the number was not as high as I had feared it would be, though um… thinking about it I may have convinced myself I had gained 40 pounds in four months, because my pants have gotten a little tight lately. Body dysmorphia much? Yeah. Anyway!), and then instead of waiting to do my blood pressure in the exam room, the nurse had me sit down and did my blood pressure right there.

Now, my heart was still kinda thud-ly from having dashed across the parking lot and hauled ass up those stairs, so when the nurse took my blood pressure? Looking back it was kind of funny, because she looked at me like she thought I was going to burst on the spot.

After making sure she’d used the right size cuff (she had), I asked if we couldn’t take it again at the end, because I was a) super-nervous and b) had been running late and rushing, so what she had taken was not exactly a “resting” blood pressure reading.

Then we went into the exam room and she took some history, and that’s when I added “Be able to go to the doctor’s office and not immediately go into my Knock ‘Em Dead Standup Comedy Routine in order to try to distract them from noticing I’m fat,” to my list of Things I Want To Be Able To Do When I Grow Up.

After taking my history and chuckling at my jokes, she said, “Go ahead and take off your clothes and put this gown on, and you can use this sheet to cover your lap if you need.” And I tell you, my heart just shriveled in my chest a bit. Seriously, y’all, all I could think was, “Oh great. I get to try to squeeze into some dinky gown here. This is going to go as badly as I’ve been fearing.”

So once the nurse left I took a deep breath, tried to stay calm and started to change. I got my clothes off and picked up the gown and decided to just try to put it on and see how it would go. And so I slid my arms into it and… holy shit. Not only did it fit, it was big! There was plenty of room there!

For the first time in probably ten years, I sat down on the exam table and the gown completely covered my back, and I was sitting on gown, not paper, and I looked at the paper sheet she’d given me to “cover my lap” and didn’t know where to put it, because the truth was, I didn’t need it.

So I sat there on the table, well covered, and took deep breaths and tried to calm down. The doctor came in and the first thing she did, despite meeting me while I was undressed, was introduce herself and shake my hand. Then we talked about my few concerns, she did all the necessary exam stuff, talked a bit more, she ordered a bunch of blood tests, and we were all set.

Not once did she say a word about my weight. Not once did she say anything negative about my body or about anything else.

Granted, I had pulled out the big guns of my Don’t Look At The Fat! Comedy Routine, but still. I can be funny, but I don’t think I’m that funny – if she’d wanted to say something hateful to me, she certainly had opportunity.

Finally, everything was done and my blood pressure had been re-taken and while it was still a little higher than is normal for me, it was well within the normal range, so the doctor wished me a good day and left, and I was free to get dressed again. But first I had to sit on the table and take a few more deep breaths and flap my hands in the air for a while to disperse the tears I could feel trying to accumulate and the lump trying to rise in my throat.

I sat there thinking about all the people who replied to that initial post about my mom, talking about having cried the first time they encountered a doctor who was kind to them. Even though I’ve never been subjected to blatant fat hatred by a doctor, I was still on the verge of tears just from the relief of having gotten through my physical without incident.

So there we go. Yesterday I saw the doctor for the first time since well before my mom died. It scared the crap out of me, but I kept reminding myself that I don’t have to be thin to merit a body that’s as healthy as it can be. I went in loaded for bear, psyching myself up to say, “You know what? Fat is not a disease. If you can’t focus on anything but my size, then this exam is over.” But I didn’t have to. Instead, yesterday was my turn to get choked up with relief because a doctor focused on my health and not the size of my ass.

Who’s next? Because I’ve got my pom-poms ready- okay, they’re invisible internet pom-poms. But I’m still ready to shake ’em like WHOA! for anyone else out there who needs a little encouragement in getting out there and helping make sure their body is as healthy as their body can be.

Something I said the other day

To me, I guess, it’s always seemed that if you put yourself down, then you are signaling to others that this is how you believe you deserve to be treated, and don’t expect any better.

I could have said better. Most people will treat me how I treat myself. If I treat my own body as if my health is more important than my weight, then I think that in hundreds of tiny ways, that comes across, and anyone who is receptive to it will realize that they, too, should treat me as if my health is more important than my weight.

Don’t get me wrong – my stomach was in knots the whole time I was at the doctor’s office. But I kept in mind something a very good shrink once told me, which was that sometimes, you gotta fake it ’til you make it.

If we ACT as if our health is important regardless of our body size, then not only will others react in line with that, but it becomes easier to believe it ourselves, so eventually we aren’t acting like we believe our health is important however much we weigh, we really do believe our health is important. And then if some hater comes along, we are SO in a position to serve them up a righteous whuppin’.

January 5, 2008 at 4:45 pm 11 comments

Common Courtesy, Starting With Numero Uno

I was reading Deniselle’s recent post about dealing with her mom, and I started to reply. Around the time when I started my fifth paragraph, I realized perhaps I ought to just turn this into a post on my own, poorly tended blog. So here goes:

Elsewhere on Teh Intarwubs, I recently was part of a conversation which was, literally, “Should we (fat women) make fun of ourselves?” I shit you not. That’s practically a direct quote.

Now, most women said that it was something they did largely in self-defense. That at least if they were the ones putting themselves down, they would know when and where and how bad it was going to be, and that it helped them, to feel that they were in control of it. Which I get, for all that I’m not sure that there’s really any sort of prophylactic effect in putting oneself down.

To me, I guess, it’s always seemed that if you put yourself down, then you are signaling to others that this is how you believe you deserve to be treated, and don’t expect any better.

And no, I’m not saying we shouldn’t admit our mistakes, or admit to our own personality quirks and foibles. But there’s a big difference between, “Sorry your present is so late, I’m really bad about getting things in the mail sometimes,” and telling everyone how worthless you are.

Personally, I prefer to take a more self-loving (and belligerent) stance, which is that if anyone wants to say something disparaging about me, then they’re gonna have to do the work. I’m sure as shit not going to do it for them. Let them figure out what to say, and how to say it, and use their own goddamn breath to do it.

But honestly, what really got to me in this discussion was the number of women who thought putting themselves down was, bafflingly, the “polite” thing to do. Like if we bash on ourselves, then we’ve spared our friends trouble, just like when we make sure to leave a spare roll of toilet paper in an easily accessible place when we have guests over. Apparently, to a lot of fat women, broadcasting self-hatred is simply common courtesy.

And while I can’t be absolutely sure, I did get a sense that this was in part a generational thing. Like somehow beating yourself up for being fat was only being nice.

I imagine it’s part of a cultural expectation that women be modest and demure. When someone compliments us, we’re supposed to tell our complimenter that no, really, we’re not worthy of such high praise.

It’s the “This old thing?” phenomenon. Except it’s not. Because as fat women we’re made to feel that we have nothing worth complimenting, and so putting the shield of self-hatred up… I dunno. Maybe for some women it feels almost like saying, “Look, don’t strain yourself. I know there’s nothing for you to compliment about me, so I’m going to call myself a Fatty McFatterson so you don’t have to fish around for some lame or backhanded compliment to make in order to abide by some social more that wasn’t really designed for this situation.”

Maybe it’s less generational and more to do with being part of social groups that rely on a more “chivalrous” set of social cues and codes…. hmm.

Anyway, in the course of this conversation, one of the things I pointed out was that, after adopting my belligerently self-loving stance of not putting myself down for the sake of others, I noticed that really, nobody else did it either. And there weren’t even weird silences from time to time, like someone wanted to pick on my weight but wasn’t sure how.

And that’s about when I realized that I hadn’t just been putting myself down, in all that Best Defense Is A Good Offense Self-Bashing. I’d been putting my friends down as well. Not only had I been saying, “I’m a loser and you shouldn’t like me,” I’d been telling my friends, “I think you’re so shallow and callous that you can’t possibly think of me as anything but a big blob of lard, so to take a little of the pain out of being my friend, I will spare you the trouble of putting me down and just do it myself.”

My friends like me as I am. The whole package. They don’t sit there thinking, “Geez, it’s too bad Barb won’t lose weight. I’d totally be better friends with her if she didn’t have such a giant ass.”

The good thing was that not only did that latter argument seem to make an impression on several of the women in the discussion, but this conversation also sort of spawned a secondary thread about how to build one’s self-esteem, which was awesome and really cool to read. I know I got some cool ideas from it, I hope others did too.

But all this has put me in the mind of New Year’s Resolutions. Because really, we need to do something to combat all the insane “It’s the New Year so YOU MUST DIET!” crap that’s flooding the airwaves.

So here, for anyone who doesn’t already do these things, are my two suggestions for resolutions to make a happier you in the New Year. (They co-opt our language, I co-opt theirs. Nyah!)

1. Make The Haters Do The Work – If someone wants to put you down, make them do the work. Stop doing it for them. Show the world you deserve kind, loving treatment by treating yourself in kind, loving ways.

2. Just Say Thank You – When someone compliments you, don’t deny it. Don’t tell them they’re wrong. Don’t give them a list of reasons why you don’t deserve their admiration. Just say “Thank you,” and then shut up.

When I first started all this Loving Myself junk, I gotta admit, #2 there was by far the hardest. Just saying, “Thank you,” and not tacking on some reason why I was still a loser suckbag? Omigod. The first few times I thought I was going to have to chew the inside of my mouth off from the strain of keeping it shut. But I learned. I got better at it. Now, after much practice, I can even use some of the more advanced techniques. Like when a friend complimented my (completely awesome) purple T-shirt a few weeks ago, I said “Thank you,” and then followed up with, “I can’t take full credit, though. Caz bought it for me.” And when she said, “Really? Wow. Because it looks great on you!” I replied, “Thanks! Yeah, I really like it.”

It’s not easy, but unlike dieting, it works. And you’re worth it. (Ha! More co-opting! Nyah!)

December 29, 2007 at 1:19 pm 2 comments

Quick update

I know I haven’t been doing much to keep this blog o’ mine updated lately. Sorry y’all.

For all that I haven’t been making progress on this here blog, I have been making small steps in my life toward, y’know, greater acceptance of myself as a fat person.

And before I even tell you, I just want to say that this is all happening despite my ongoing battle with the insidious Depression Voltron – the combination of grief, SAD and mild PPD which I’d been kind of “handling” myself, up until Mom died.  So, y’know, I think that should net me an extra gold star. Just sayin’.

So, a friend of mine and I were talking about how we’d both been thinking about trying yoga in the new year. So she emailed me the other day saying, “I’m thinking about taking this beginner class, want to join me?”

And I, in a SHOCKING display of maturity and body acceptance, looked it up and emailed the instructor and explained that I am a plus-size woman, and asked if he had experience modifying poses for larger people, and if he for any reason didn’t think his class would be a good fit for me, if he could suggest any other classes or instructors I could try.

I’m not even sure where that came from, I just sort of sent out the email before I could think about it (which is probably a key to the success of it right there, considering my capacity to overthink myself into paralysis).

Well, he wrote back this HUGE thing, talking about his experience, and suggesting I try one of his drop-in classes, and then also other classes and instructors who might be helpful to me as well. It was so incredible, I could only skim it at first, and then left it in my inbox a few days just to process the reality of it. I mean, he acted no differently than I expect he would have if I’d written him saying, “I am interested in your class, but my body works differently from most people’s because I have a bad knee” or something. It was really… like I say, I had to just process the reality of his kind, thoughtful, totally non-judgmental response.

Finally, I almost backed out but my friend was all, “Sign up sign up sign up!” So, again, before I could think about it too much, I did

I figure once I get through the holidays I will start trolling around asking for ideas on how other people modify poses, because I decided to just give it a try last night and uh… yeah. Child’s pose is a no-go for me. My belly gets in the way.

But that’s fine. I figure I will talk to a few people and keep in touch with this instructor guy and we’ll figure out how to make this work for me.

Also, I’m seeing someone in a couple weeks so I should be able to get some help in defeating Depression Voltron, and won’t THAT be a kick in the ass! (In a good way, I mean.)

December 21, 2007 at 2:03 pm 1 comment

Grocery Store Revelations

I’d been planning to write this soon anyway, but then I saw Kate’s latest post, which fits quite nicely with what I have to say, so now I have to write it.

I was at the grocery store the other night. It was the first time in, well, ages that I was at the store alone, and not under some kind of time constraint, such as “Hubby and the kids are waiting in the car,” or “Buy the one thing Hubby needs to finish dinner and be home in 15 minutes, otherwise dinner will be ruined without it.”

I had a list, but not a big one. Just a little over a handful of items we needed, along with a few basics like “more fruit for the kids.” (My kids, despite their father and I being omnivores with extremely varied palates, basically live on a United Nations of bread products, dairy products, and fruit – we’ve been offering all kinds of foods for over 2 years now, and still, that’s pretty much all they’ll eat.)

So I didn’t have to think too much, and the kids were in bed already so I could take as long as I wanted, and I was even at a 24-hour grocery store, so I didn’t even have to worry about when they were going to close.

So I got to take my time, and really just sort of enjoy going grocery shopping, which has always been one of my favorite household chores. I suppose it’s my Italian heritage – that whole “food is love” thing means that a full grocery cart is a whole lotta love, y’know?

It was wonderful. I took forever in the produce department, wandering around, choosing the best fruits and vegetables I could find. I’ve been on a mad chef’s salad jag, I don’t know what it’s about, but I have been /all/ about it. So I got all kinds of great salad fixings. And I got, of course, fruit for the kids but for a change I made sure to grab enough fruit for me as well, and I even bought some kinds of fruit that I know they can’t eat, like three gorgeous grapefruits.

Once I finally had gotten everything I wanted out of the produce department, I moved on through the rest of the store. It was nice, having time for a change. And I had more mental capacity as well. So even though it wasn’t on the list, I remembered using the last of the Dijon mustard recently, so I bought some more. Actually being present while doing the shopping was pretty damn cool. Surprisingly cool, to be honest.

I actually thought about what I felt like buying, I actually thought about what kinds of foods I might like to eat. And when I caught myself thinking, “I really want to get a fancy chocolate bar, but do I really want to be the fat chick loitering in the candy aisle at midnight?” I squashed that, and reminded myself that I had a cart full of fruits and vegetables, for crying out loud, and anyone who thinks that my being fat means I’m not allowed a bar of fancy chocolate can go fuck themselves.

Then, while in the dairy section, I realized I had the oddest craving: I really wanted to get some soymilk. About 18 months ago I’d gone through a several-month bout of lactose intolerance, during which I’d tried a bunch of soymilks and eventually found a brand I preferred.

So, at this point almost chanting to myself, “Listen to your body, listen to your body, listen to your body,” I bought a half-gallon.

It wasn’t until this morning, though, that I decided to crack it open. And while I was very happily drinking some I realized that, without getting into TMI, for almost a week now I’ve been having digestive issues which I could not figure out the cause of. This morning, while drinking my soymilk and thinking, “God, I didn’t even remember this stuff tasting quite like this, but damn it’s hitting the spot,” it occurred to me: my recent digestive issues are awfully similar to the lactose intolerance I’d experienced last year.

Already I’m feeling a bit better, and am planning to go back to the lactose-free life again for a bit, and see if that deals with the problem. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s not the lactose intolerance again. But if it is?

Well DONE, body. Well done.

November 9, 2007 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

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