Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Love Summer Fun Giveaway

I feel like lot of peeps are a little blue, or dealing with what life is throwing their way. I currently have a rockin' summer cold that is tempering some of my summer excitement. So the timing is just grand to have a giveaway! To enter just tell me any summer bummers, or summer excitements you have going. You could be the lucky winner of a $100 gift card to Anthropologie . Get some awesome candles you wouldn't normally buy, a bauble, maybe a fancy top. Whatever you want! I will pick a winner a week from today July 6th. So comment away, and maybe win some pretty.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What is a real woman anyway?

Real women have curves...We've heard this. I am not so sure I like it anymore or ever really did. Do real women have curves? Not all women do. Some are narrow hipped, some are full breasted, others not so much are any more or less of a women? I am guessing no, that they are all comprised of the same lady parts.

I think it's just as wrong to equate femininity with curves as it beauty to thinness. No one wins here. There is no ideal or uniform body we can ever achieve. I think proclaiming what you are as the best does not really address the problem. I happen to be curvy, whatever that actually means more on that another time. It in no ways makes me feel any more like a woman then someone who is shaped differently. This whole real women thing...I am not buying. We can not be categorized and defined so easily. I used to spend a lot of time peeping women out in the gym locker room. I swear I am not actually a total perv. Anyway what I began to notice is just how different we all are. In my own battle to accept myself and my body I am trying to notice less what the person has going on next to me and measure myself against it and embrace more that we all just bring something different to the table. We can try to label, attach a battle cry, or a cute little slogan to it all but why can't we just embrace our differences and celebrate that? Enough with the woman off, we're all awesome regardless of our cup size or cliched message we can attach to our bodies.

As my obsession with body image and women grows check out the article below featured on Huffington Post  about talking to young girls. So interesting:

Monday, June 20, 2011

One Way To Celebrate Father's Day

As I have mentioned before my father passed away when I was younger. We generally as a family do not do anything for Mother's day or Father's Day. My mom does not try to claim both or anything. This past Sunday though I found myself sharing a tradition with my mom that was lovely. My mom attends every year a function called Broadway Bares. It's essentially what it sounds like. Over 200 Broadway performers put on the most high production value burlesque show you have ever seen.

My mom's friend invited me this year and I felt sort of weird about it. I did not want to invade her territory and after years of hearing about how crazy it was I was not sure about going with my mom. It was far tamer then I expected truthfully. All the bits are always artfully covered. There were several highlights though. The theme was masterpiece, and the vignettes were based around art periods or specific pieces of art. A skit began talking about when drawing women look for curves, and something about rubenesque women. Cue the curvy ladies. They were in thongs, pasties, corsets,  you name it, pretty much like all the other girls. They were also every spectrum of the curvy girl. The audience went nutso. My Mom said to me wow they really love these ladies. My mom is definitely a sizeist so it was interesting seeing her reaction. I was also processing my own. I at first was like what are they doing? Then I relaxed and put my ish to the side. These women ranging in size, and body type were amazing. They danced, shook it and did not seem to have one iota of hesitance. The audience seriously ate it up. It was pretty amazing. It's not like I thought people were going to chuck things at them or anything, but part of this event is getting to see hot people strip, specifically men. It warmed my heart and made me think while wearing a thong in public is not for me. I can take something away from the confidence these women had in their bodies. I loved seeing the curvy women, and my mom dancing to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry and hope to spend more days like that with her. 

What greeted you when you walked in 

The whole cast. Notice the all the bums. 

Not knowing what I was getting into. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Unfortunately It's All Related

I spend a lot of time thinking about body image. Not just my own but the topic overall. I find it endlessly fascinating how it is formed. I have been consistently challenged to rethink what I know. I used to say things and probably still do on occasion to girls with what I view as good figures, " Your body is amazing you should wear a bikini every day." I saw nothing wrong with this, and did not stop to think about how its not terribly appropriate. I mean because they have a good body they should put it on display? Why? Just like I am more then my body or weight so are they. Beyond that and women hating themselves as a common theme I think about how body image relates to self esteem which relates to confidence which relates to men. 

We all have a friend or may have been that girl who dated someone they should not have. I hesitate to say should because what do I know, but lets say someone who from the very beginning was a questionable mental health decision. Why do we do it and so willingly? I feel like women get caught up in this more then men. Men have no qualms about dating up, or being straight up in yep she is crazy don't see it long term but she's hot. I find very often a woman will deny or defend the negatives and try to shape it into something it's not, or say yeah I know but do it anyway. My guy friends are really interesting about women if you take the time to get beyond looks and actually hear their thought process. The logic, and lessened emotion works so much more to their favor, it's less personal and way more cut and dry. 
I recently was out and observed a scenario of a very cute girl getting treated like total crap by the guy she is dating. The saddest part, she did nothing. She did that little oh stop it act and then retreated to sulk with a friend. It was obvious she wanted him to follow despite him dismissing her to her friends. It was gross. His behavior, but she also is complacent. He's doing it because he can, he gets away with it. I was casual observer, and I do not know everything going on with this situation but I did keep thinking about it. 

Of course because of my own issues my thinking was initially she's cute and thin why is she putting up with that because I assume being smaller you have your pick of the litter. I know it's not true but it's an old habit I am working on breaking. The thing is big, small, old, young, whatever you only have your pick if you believe you should. It only works if you value yourself and set limits and guidelines of what you will put up with. My healthy line is a lot stronger. I do not have to judge the behavior, call someone out about it, or take some sort of stand but I do have to protect myself from it. It's just interesting when you get better at not being swayed by things that really do not matter, handsomeness for example, and paying more attention to things that do. A guy I was hanging with has a mean and selfish streak. Long term this is a terrible idea for me. I am giving and sensitive. These are two opposites that long term do not attract. We're friends now and all is well in the land but I think sometimes I am glad I did not make it about him picking me, but recognized for myself this had disaster written all over it and moved on. 

It would be great if we all moved in circles that only great people came across our paths but it's just not the case. You can never really know someone else, what their intentions are, or their true feelings, but you can know yourself and value yourself as the best line of defense. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quick Rico Suave Update

I happened to run into him on Friday. I let him read the blog entry about him. I usually do not write about people without their permission or knowledge. I had felt really weird about him not knowing I had. On the other hand I did not mention him by name or talk any great amount of smack so I did not feel too evil.

Anyway his one comment, "I'm not your type?" Hilarious. I love that you can worry about something and never know how someone will react. He laughed a few times, and generally was good natured about it. I hope should he give it a read in the harsh light of day he is equally amused.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I'm a Summer Bear

I want to hibernate this summer. The heat is making me feel sluggish and not terribly motivated. I do not feel so bad out and about. It's workouts that I really feel my bear side take shape. Why move and get hotter when you could stay in your air conditioned home? Cause you got goals lazy bones!

I was in upstate NY last weekend so I did not work out with Egon on Saturday. We snuck in an extra work out last night. It was okay, not my best not my worst. My running struggled. I am a little worn out from allergies, and temps in the 90's, but I decided for a little while I am going to start training with him two days a week. It's not really in my budget but maybe instead of shopping on line, I should be focusing on the body I really want to shop for. Makes sense no? I also want to fall in love with exercise again. Right now we're drifting along. I am going through the motions but I am not excited. I feel better for it every work out I accomplish and I do not let go of that.

I love strength training because it makes me feel strong, confident and less concerned with what I look like and more positive about what I can do. Adding another session of that a week is something I need right now as I am tottering on the edge of grumpy about the state of things. Overall I have done a lot, look pretty good, and feel pretty awesome, but I have to keep pushing forward. More then anything away from moving forward or goals, I have really fallen in love with exercise and have looked to it to be my haven and I hate feeling meh about it. Maybe instead of dating myself or flirting in bars I should date exercise to rekindle the romance. For now though I will get my train on Wednesdays and Saturdays and hope to get a little pick me up that I need.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Party's Over

I would not say I have been out of control lately or doing anything wrong per se...what I have been doing is not practicing goal oriented denial. I have been saying yes when I probably meant no. I have been eating the cookie, instead of saying do I really want this? Do I want this more then my goals? I asked what I weighed today. It was not what I wanted to hear but I think it was important for me to hear it. I am 10 pounds higher then I would like to be. 10. It's not the end of the world and is just a number. During this phase I have learned a lot and seen so much of what I have learned implemented. Now is time to get back on my A game. I have not been measuring my food, journaling it without fail, and checking in when it comes to my goals. I verify if something is emotional or not, but not necessarily if it's what I really want to be doing. What do I want to be doing? I want to be losing weight. I feel better and better about myself, my choices, who I am, my body and many other things but at the end of the day I have to finish what I started. I need to make losing weight a priority again. I have had a taste of life without it being my number one focus and it was lovely but back to the program.

If I am honest about it I am not happy where I am. I am sick of being larger then I want, nit picky about my body, and self conscious. I am sick of my weight going a little bit back down, a little bit back up, and then down again but never past a certain point. If I really super duper honest about it I have to admit it's my own fault. I took a break and that's okay but right now it's crossing over into not okay. I want to move forward again. I feel confident I can handle the challenges that come at me and the unknown. More then anything I want to finish what I have started.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Leg Work Arounds

I have been poking around the web looking for some cute ways to be summer chic and not feel insecure.The turquoise skirt makes me swoon, but it's $600. If anyone spots something similar could you be a dear and give me a shout. I'll love you forever.

I have also been fighting the urge big time to wear a headdress. I blame Elizabeth Taylor. I have been reading "Furious Love". The book about her and Richard Burton's love affair. It's amazing and makes me want to be fabulous like her. I had been headdress thinking for a little while. I think it's a natural evolution of my feather obsession really. I think the turquoise skirt and a headdress would instantly make me forget my leg hate. Kidding. I don't hate them.

Cleo eyes and a headdress, swoon

want. it. real bad.

I mean seriously, how amazing. Yeah I have on a headdress what do you have to say about it?

obsessed with this image. I may need a parrot to compliment my headdress, photo from

Learning from the Past

My mom has been contemplating selling her home in Atlanta and moving up here full time. She rented a house in the country to see if this was even remotely feasible. This means my brother and I were summoned to the country. The country is lovely, my mom enjoyable, my brother however is tedious. I love him I really do, but he is trying. What I have learned though is to keep my mouth shut. There is not point in engaging. He talks incessantly about himself, what he wants to get, buy, do, how he's furthering himself. He is so smug, arrogant, and contradictory. The best part is most of this is done high.

He speaks about people who show a lack of consideration for other people, and he knows I do not smoke pot but does not think to ask would I mind being trapped in a car smelling it for 2 hours, or do I want someone who is compromised driving me? No, these things do not occur to him. He has grown and matured a lot but really in my opinion he has a lack of self awareness and willingness to even contemplate it. He is so defensive, sensitive, and just on edge. Where this comes from I do not know. He wants to blame my mom and I, and we have totally contributed but more then anything I think he just has a lack of self esteem and an undercurrent of unresolved anger. He over compensates by being a know it all, bravado, and arrogance. He can never just relax but has to pontificate on what anyone says, offer every bit of knowledge he has on it, or play a game of top that. I think he would like to engage more with people, draw them in, have more friends, and have more rewarding relationships. I think he thinks he is sharing himself. He actually drove me to drink. Wine time came earlier and earlier. Part of that was my mom was bored and would move it up. The other part is I have to draw inward. I can not be myself around my brother. It's his way or take the risk of his temper tantrums. He was initially grumpy because he was recovering from a cold so he was put out, then it was smoke up and commence the bro show, I kid you not it was about 1 hour and 50 minutes of the bro show. I don't really care because when I do share he tries to "explain" my life, friends, and issues to me which is a really good way to rile me up. I avoid it. Better to keep to neutral topics or his favorites ones centered around himself.

He is also incredibly competetive. How do you not compete? You do not play the game. I choose to not play this game. It's boring, no one really wins, and why are we competing anyway. I think he is still hung up on seeking approvals that are not for me or my mom to dole out. He needs to approve himself, like himself and live his life on his own terms. He speaks to this, but he really wants everyone to think whatever he's doing is the best thing ever. There is still an element in seeking applause for doing what commonly goes unnoticed in adult life.

I am glad I am learning. I have to pull back and just retreat and protect me. I can not fix him. He is not open to it. He is not my responsibility. I did not want to have the same fights of years past. I did not want to be reduced to teenage squabbles. I wanted to enjoy the country it was too pretty not to.

I also want to have a relationship with my brother and constantly giving him negative feedback which is what I pretty much would be doing at this moment in time is not a good idea. He just lashes out and I don't need it.

The house was built in the 1700's. Beautiful but a little musty.

Puppy of the Manor

A canopy bed! My floral tote blends in. Lady camo.

As for the country...I very much liked it. Samara, I got this bottle of vintage beads and stuff to make friendship bracelets with for $6 that I am too excited to dive into. My dog loved having a yard to play in. I enjoyed spending time with my mom and walking the country side and around the table at night we had some good laughs. What was reinforced to me is someone's elses struggles impact you as much as you let them. I could have let my brother ruin it, or could have contributed to the ruining by engaging in a way I know is not good, but I didn't. He has his own stuff to work out, and I have my own skills to use. We'll figure it out, we always do there's no need to complicate it further with more arguments to rehash even if he did taunt me with a king size reese's peanut butter egg, and try to describe me as large.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Makes Me Feel Funny

I like summer. I wouldn't say I love it. I like being outside and the general frolicking but it has always caused me a measure of panic as an adult. It used to be centered around being overweight. Summer was not your friend. I have never been one of those girls who despite being super overweight rocked a bikini. I applaud those women but I am also completely baffled by them. Anyway it was always a game of how to best work around the weight but still participate in summer, and not draw too much attention to myself. I would often wear clothes that brought me close to passing out I was so hot, and would try to play it off, but inevitably someone asked, " Aren't you hot?" and I was. I was so damn hot. Now I am not so hot. I mean I am right now in NYC because all of a sudden we were plunged into August without a warning. True story. Monday it was in the 90's. THE 90's! I knew after the gym walking around in my sweaty gym clothes was going to not be a good time so I brought a change of clothes.

I am not a real leg or upper arm bearer. Summer is real testing me. Post gym I made myself wear my usually for the beach only jean shorts. I felt naked. I realized walking around, and being happy I was cooler, both because of the temperature and my awesome wolf t-shirt I felt really exposed. I love layering clothes fashion wise, and summer takes this away from you. It literally exposes more of you. I had never really felt this way because I was clinging to covering up. I do not look to cover up anymore but it does not mean I am okay with putting it all out there it would appear. It's not like I was strutting around in a bikini, but shorts that were almost to my knees and a baggy (but awesome) t-shirt. Some of it is I am not totally happy with how I look. I hate that I am still overweight for another summer, another season change. It's a bummer. I thought I was going to be done a while back and I do not know why I am not 30 pounds lighter. I do but I don't. I know I am not doing everything I could be, but I do not know why I am not doing all of those things.

Summer makes so much of this harder to hide from. I would love to be wearing tank tops and sundresses but I just do not feel comfortable in them. Part of it I have to get over and deal with. Summer is an exposing time. We're literally out more both doing things, and more of our bodies. The other part is I have to keep looking at what's holding me back. What keeps me from giving 100% to my goals, and what are my goals now? I have a few new goals written below:

1. Finally wear the jeans I bought a while back that are a size smaller then current ones.

2. When I go to France July 28th, leave feeling more confident and comfortable about my body. No more panic oh I'm going away and I don't like how I look. Funny how being somewhere else can bring things to surface...good thing I have this whole summer meltdown thing to speed the process up.

3.  Food journal every morsel. I have been keeping a journal but I have been lazy and sloppy.

4.  Eat more meals at home. Been eating out a lot.

5. Freely indulge my current watermelon obsession.