Wednesday, July 25, 2007

wound up tight

Do you guys have those hormonal days where you feel like your nerves are frayed and you just want to jump out of your skin?

I'm having one of those days today and I know it's bad when I can't walk by the cheese danish in the grocery store without buying one. Most days I can just walk on by, but, not today.

Funny thing was I mentioned it to Mark and as is his usual reply "yeah, that happens to me sometimes."

Really Mark????

Friday, July 13, 2007

Earth to Matilda...(or Kristen's Shape rant)

I should note that this rant comes from a frustrated place. I am four days late on my TOM, with no positive preg. test in sight. Grrrr. Confusing and frustrating.

Just finished reading through the latest copy of Shape. Well, skimming. I read the recipes (a few yummy ones) and glanced at a few exercises. This magazine was one of the worst I've ever received--definitely the wrong one for them to attach a re-subscription notice to.

I could talk about how ridiculous it is for them to put Hilary Duff on the cover (most 19 year olds don't have to worry too much about their weight). Or the silliness behind the whole "fitness/beauty at any age" theme (they generously cover the twenties, thirties, and forties--remember, we all die at 49*--while assuming that twenty-year-olds are out clubbing every night, thirty-year-olds are all bearing children, and forty-year-olds are working 60 hour weeks, climbing the corporate ladder).

I'll just mention the reader "success stories." These sections have long bothered me, and this month's was no exception. They recount what causes a woman to decide to lose weight (the "wake-up call"), how she did it, what she current eats and how she exercises.

I tend to think most people fudge a little about what they eat. Sure, they "typically have salmon and broccoli for dinner." Okay. A little spartan for my taste, but okay.

But the workouts these women put themselves through always surprise me. One success story this month said that this woman did 60 minutes of cardio six days each week and 60 minutes of weight training six days a week. That is two hours of working out nearly every day. This is what we are supposed to emulate? All to be a size 6 instead of a size 12? Is nearly 10 percent of your day, maybe 12-15 percent of your waking hours, supposed to be devoted to staying thin? (And that's just the exercise, that's not preparing food, menus, shopping, eating, etc.) Do any of her friends say, "You know, two hours is kind of a lot?"

Balance, people, balance.

*I'll concede that they probably do this because of their readership demographic. For some reason, people in their fifties don't want to see pictures of nineteen year olds doing lunges...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I had to travel to Mexico to realize I'm beautiful. It wasn't the place or the people though the men there do love American women. It was being with my beautiful sister-in-law and seeing how, despite the fact that she has a perfect (in terms of media expectations) body, she still isn't happy with herself. She questions everything about her body and is the most self conscious person I've ever met. I've always thought that if I could just be tall and skinny I would be happy and then I see up close and personal a tall and skinny beautiful woman who is so unhappy with her body that she tries on five different outfits just to go to the airport. What I noticed more than anything was how much attention and constant assurance she needed. For a long time now I've thought that the only thing more dangerous than a woman who thinks she's beautiful is a woman who doesn't and now I know it's true. The world uses that self doubt against us. It convinces women that their breast are not large enough and their waist is not small enough. It urges us to spend more money and time to reach the perfection it sells all the while laughing because it knows we'll never get there. It won't let us. A woman who is confident and happy with her body doesn't make them money. I'm not going to say that I've walked away from this experience with no self doubt, but I do think I walked away with a little more self love and a little better understanding of how our differences make us more beautiful. If I wanted to I could have surgery after surgery to make myself look just like the women on t.v. I could shrink my waist down to a less than healthy size and increase my boobs to obscene proportions, but I wouldn't be me anymore and the thing I've learned is that I really like being me.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


... a woman is harassed by the petty demands of her psyche which exhort her to comply with whatever anyone wishes.
Compliance causes a shocking realization that must be registered by all women. That is, to be ourselves causes us to exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves.
It is a tormenting tension and it must be done, but the choice is clear.

Women Who Run With Wolves
Clarissa Pinklola Estes