Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Is it possible to be both excited and utterly terrified about going on a 4 day trip to a new city with a guy you've been dating for almost 4 months? I think it is...cause that's exactly how I'm feeling right now on the verge of leaving for Myrtle Beach, SC on Friday morning.

We need to have a couple of major discussions this weekend pertaining to our relationship. There's a certain topic that's been weighing heavily on my heart the last month or so and I need to get it out into the open. I'm nervous about how he'll react, whether he'll close up or be willing to talk about it and make the necessary changes. The discussion needs to happen for my own well-being, to quiet the neurotic voices in my head that won't shut the hell up. Until it does, though, I'm nervous.

By the way, I'm pretty sure it's impossible to find pretty things to wear to bed if you weigh more than 100 pounds. I tried looking for some new PJs that are slightly more attractive than my old tshirts and sweatpants, but everything I tried made me feel horrible about myself. Any suggestions on where to find such things? I've tried Victoria's Secret, the Gap, Macy's...


Monday, February 6, 2012

Back Again

I'm amazed at how quickly time passes. Simply amazed. The last time I wrote a blog post, I was still in the researching stages of my thesis process. Now, the thesis is done and submitted, I'm working on my recital, and in the beginning stages of looking for jobs. This is all a little crazy and surreal, though it's been an amazing ride thus far; I'm sure it will continue.

Some recent thoughts...

The thesis-writing process was tough for many reasons. First of all, I am not an academic. I don't enjoy writing papers. Writing for intellectuals is just not my strength (and I'm really fine with that). However, the writing was the easiest part of the whole process. The hardest part was, surprisingly, the emotional stuff that kept popping up as the writing happened. I knew this process would be emotionally challenging, but in reality, it forced me to deal with so much of the crap that I've danced around for the past 29 years. New issues continue to arise as the days pass by (especially because the recital is based around the emotional journey from bondage to liberation) and I keep waiting for the healing to be complete.

As part of my thesis research, I read Geneen Roth's Women Food and God, which changed me in so many ways. She claims that the best way to deal with the pain of one's past is not by eating or turning to other addictive behaviors; rather, one should sit with the pain, feel it, honor it, and let the healing come when it's ready. I've been trying to allow the pain to come when it does, and rather than salving it with food, I'm trying to feel each painful moment. It's difficult, especially in this time of impending change and the need to put my best foot forward and find a job, but it's necessary. The catharsis is amazing in its own way...everyday, I feel a little different, a little more healed, a little more like my authentic self.

In other news, there's a man in my life :) His name is Glenn, he's 36 from Jersey City and he's wonderful. It's been an interesting journey the last 3 1/2 months, but it's so nice to have someone who is proud to call me his girlfriend and who goes out of his way to show me that he cares for me. It's not a perfect relationship (we have our issues like any couple does) and I have no idea where it's going--especially when I leave NYC in June--but I'm enjoying his company and having fun being treated like a lady.

Upward and onward, my friends.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Killing Us Softly

If you care about yourselves and the world around you, you'll watch this 40-ish minute presentation immediately. It's kind of amazing how the media can influence us in such drastic and sad ways.

Part one:

Part two:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sometimes, people on dating websites IM you to say things like this:
"I know your a fatty, but I guess we can still have sex anyways...interested?"

In disgust, you respond with:
"Um, no."

And he responds with:
"Your a bitch."
(Note the terrible grammar and spelling issues that are always laughable, but especially laughable in this instance.)

And you respond by reporting him to said dating website and blocking him from contacting you ever again.

What did he think I would say to such a proposition? YES?

I was checking out this website for the first time in over a week, curious to see who'd looked at me and if anyone new had popped up. I wasn't on the site for more than 5 minutes when this happened and hadn't yet looked at a single person's profile.

I get this shit when I try too hard. And I get it when I don't try at all. It seems like everywhere I turn my friends are meeting nice, wonderful guys who treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve.

I deal with this crap over and over and over again, and wonder: What am I doing to attract these losers?

I know that someday, when I'm either laying in the arms of a wonderful man, or content with being a successful, powerful single woman, I'll laugh about this. Today, however, is not that day.

Monday, September 19, 2011

This post has been a long time coming and isn't easy to write. When it's written down for the world to read, it becomes real. When it becomes real, it becomes something I need to deal with seriously and responsibly. I'm not sure I'm ready or able to do that right now.

I'm going through a major bout of depression right now. The world as I see it is dark and heavy. It's hard to smile even when I want to. The things that I enjoy doing seem pointless. I fall asleep quickly, only to have nightmares and night sweats and body/head aches when I wake up. I don't feel like myself; I feel like someone who's been consumed with sadness and grief, yet can't possibly begin to explain the reasons why I feel this way. Nothing (besides my love life) is going wrong. I should be perfectly happy right now, and yet all I feel is tired and down all the time.

I've know that I haven't felt like myself for a few weeks now, but being at my pulpit this weekend was the straw that broke the camel's back. I literally needed to force myself to smile and be happy for 3 days straight. I tried so hard to be the Tracy they all know and love, and I realized quickly that faking joy and excitement leads to complete and utter exhaustion. From Friday night on, I longed for the comforts of home and the space to take off my smile and just feel the way I want to feel.

I've been through bouts of depression before, and I know what I need to do to pull myself out. At this point, 1 week from Rosh Hashanah, 5 months before my thesis is due, 7 months before my senior recital and 8 months from job placement, I have no other choice but to force myself out of this funk with medication and therapy.

But I don't want to do it. I don't even want to leave my apartment. Ever.
I don't want to admit I have a problem.
Because then it's real. I am the fat girl who's depressed and alone with no one to lean on. I am the cliche I've been fighting for the last 4 years.

Try writing a thesis on body image and self-love when you feel ugly and unlovable. Right now, the very idea of writing about this and presenting a recital on the topic makes me feel like a huge hypocrite.

There are no words to describe how badly I need a hug right now. A real, unselfish, all-encompassing embrace that makes me feel safe and protected and loved. And someone to tell me that everything's going to be okay and I will move past this terrible feeling and be able to feel happiness again.

Intellectually, I know I'll be fine. I've beat this before.
Emotionally, I'm not so sure.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Half a Cake

Tonight I ate half of a cake for dinner. I covered half of my half with almond butter before consuming it, alone, in front of the computer while reading old G-chat conversations with some of the guys I've dated in the past 6 months. By the time I came to my senses, I noticed half of the cake was gone. I cried (for about the 600th time today) and threw the other half of the cake away immediately. I nearly pulled a chunk out of the garbage to munch on, until I realized that was incredibly disgusting, closed the garbage bag and walked away.

It was SO Miranda Hobbes of me.

I've been in such a funk lately, and the more I try to figure out the reasons why, the funkier I feel. Truth is, it felt good to eat that cake. Comforting. Relaxing. Until the moment I realized half of it was gone. 30 minutes later, my stomach is starting to ache from all of the sugar. I'm almost positive I won't sleep tonight, even though I've been tempted to crawl into bed since 7pm.

I didn't want to eat half a cake tonight. I wanted to be held. I'm so longing for someone to put their arms around me and not let go until I tell them, only to hold on for a second longer after that. I actually tried to hug myself earlier. I wish I was kidding. It didn't have the desired effect--I must work on my self-hugging skills immediately. I have no idea what's wrong with me or how to work through whatever is going on in my head; all I know is that I want to be hugged, held so tightly I can barely breathe, more than anything in the world.

I'm trying to be gentle with myself as I work through this seemingly never-ending rough patch. But half a cake? Really?

Breathe. Tomorrow is another (sugarless) day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My, How Things Have Changed

Sometimes, when your personal life goes to shit, it really does help to think of other things. For me, I think of food--or in this case, really good, healthy, satisfying food.

It struck me this morning, as I was cutting corn of the cob for my latest salad creation (see below), just how different my eating habits are now from when I started this journey 4 (!!!) years ago. Before I left for Israel my life was all about fast food, big portions, diet soda, meat at nearly every meal, and convenience foods. I'd eat without thinking twice about what I was eating, where it came from, and how it worked to fuel my body throughout the day.

My, how things have changed.

I am living proof that once you rid yourself of the bad stuff, your body learns to crave the good stuff. I live off of fresh fruits and vegetables, full of nutrients and vitamins that help my body to work as best as it can. Nowadays, I eat quinoa, beans, tofu, chia seeds, and millet without a second thought. I didn't even know what most of these things were prior to leaving for Israel, and if I did, I'd swear up and down that I'd never even try them. It's amazing how much a person can change their opinions and their habits when they are open to new experiences and trying things more than one time. Sometimes, your palette and your mind need time to adjust to new foods, methods of preparing them, and how one goes about eating them once prepared.

I've never quite given myself the recognition I deserve for being able to achieve this when so many people can't. I do think it's worth mentioning, especially when you grow up in the Midwest, land of chain restaurants and close-minded eating. Go me!

Make this salad sometime. It has so many flavors and textures that your mouth will dance with joy. Serve over some greens with a hunk of whole wheat bread for a nutritious and truly delicious meal.

Corn, Black Bean, and Avocado Salad
(serves 8-10, though the recipe can be easily modified for a smaller group.)

5 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob
1 small bell pepper (any color), chopped
2 small or 1 large tomato, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large avocado, chopped
4 small limes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander (fresh cilantro would be even better!)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper, to taste.

Add first 5 ingredients to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, place avocado and the juice of 1 lime. Gently mix, covering the avocado with lime juice to prevent browning, and add to the larger bowl with other ingredients. Juice the remaining limes and add to the larger bowl, along with olive oil, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes and S&P. Chill and serve!
(Feel free to adapt ingredients to suit your tastes.)