Friday, 25 March 2011

Live well / Love your tree

I could, I suppose, for dramatic effect, begin this post with an assertion that my life currently consists in the 11 tiny nylon stitches stretched across the bright red stripes in the veins in my wrists. True, without them, without the firm pressure of my husband's hand that pressed the gaps shut until we got home, without the towel he tied so tight the nurse struggled to remove it, it's possible that I wouldn't be here at all.

Or perhaps it consists in the big white bandage that both hides and draws attention to those stitches, prompting curious looks and concerned questions. In the end I pull on a tubular bandage over the whole thing. "I sprained it", I say, "moving furniture".

But really, life consists in neither of those things. I've quoted Marya Hornbacher so often that she'd probably file a restraining order if she ever came across this blog! But I think her experiences gave her a certain, very wise, perspective on some things. She writes in 'Wasted':
"I have a responsibility to stay here, on earth, in the kitchen, in the bed, and not seep slowly back...", and in 'Madness':
"The world is an orderly system of cause and effect. This is a wonder and an enormous relief. The real things matter. They are the bones on which one hangs a life. Dishes... meals... bills... There are many things to do. There are books to write and naps to take. There are movies to see and scrambled eggs to eat. Life is essentially trivial."

And I start to realise that life isn't in these big epic dramas we create, it's not in 3 a.m. trips to the hospital, or in dishes flung across the kitchen, or in breaking open your skin to let yourself escape. It's portioned out, some of it into big life-changing opportunities and tragedies and celebrations, but most into little humdrum details. It's in the promises we make to the people that we love, that we'll stay here, that we'll try again. It's in taking responsibility for the things we've done and the things we need to do. It's in every instance that we make a decision to do a right thing.

Spring is here. That time of year when people start shaking off their heavy coats and argyle knits and 30 denier tights, in favour of cotton and floaty dresses and the fresh air on their skin. I'm reluctant to uncover the body that's hiding underneath these layers of clothing. It feels like an old cushion - lumpy and ill-fitting and a little threadbare in places. But I'm tired of running from it. I want to live well.

Someone posted this youtube clip on their blog a little while ago, and I can't remember who it was in order to give them credit. If it was you, I'm sorry! Let me know and I'll acknowledge it. You may have seen it before...:

"Love your tree" - Eve Ensler

Y'know, I don't have any idea what the lady in this anecdote looked like; she could have weighed 90lbs or 190lbs. But if you don't feel even a little bit inspired by her, I would be very intrigued to hear your point of view...

Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Thinspo Music

I'm going to hold off from posting anything real personal here at the moment, but have been meaning for a while to post some songs that I think people who read this blog might be able to identify with. I've left Fiona Apple and Superchick off the list, as well as anything with ED-references in the title, just because I think those are fairly obvious. I've also tried to resist the temptation only to list those songs that make me want to wallow in despair, and have included some more upbeat ones too. Enjoy :)

Joydrop - American Dreamgirl
Maria Mena - Eyesore
Maria Mena - Just a Little Bit
Maria Mena - Cause and Effect
KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See
The Bird and The Bee - Man
Counting Crows - Anna Begins
Jill Sobule - Supermodel
Elliott Smith - Pretty (Ugly Before)
Kelly Clarkson - Addicted
Filter - Skinny
Lisa Loeb - She's Falling Apart
Michael Jackson - Man in the Mirror
Eleanor McEvoy - Sophie
Elby - Travelling Light (may or may not make sense...)
Korn - Make me Bad
King Adora - Big Isn't Beautiful (ok, so this is probably in Fiona Apple territory)
Jimmy Robbins - Breathe Again
Juelz Santana - Drop a Couple Pounds
Mariana's Trench - Feeling Small
Foo Fighters - Skin and Bones

And here's one that's nothing to do with eating or not eating, and is a little gratuitously depresssing, also a little bit country :/ but beautiful nonetheless...
The Band Perry - If I Die Young

Of course there are many others that don't spring to mind just at the moment; feel free to suggest anything you think should have made the list!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Oh everything's just gone to shit at the moment. Things with A are getting worse and worse and I feel like nothing's solid anymore. Seven or eight months ago I was preparing for my wedding, too excited to sleep - I was marrying the love of my life! We spent every minute that we could together, looking forward to building our life together. We talked about how nowhere else felt like home, apart from the other person's company. And we were convinced that this was where we belonged. Now we spend our days looking elsewhere for the things we used to provide for each other, and the evenings sitting across the table from each other watching TV because we have nothing left to talk about, and then competing to hurt the other the most, before we fall into bed exhausted and lonely, to lie in silence with our backs to each other. I'm so confused; how did everything fall apart so fast?

My mom said to me yesterday, "I just don't know if dad and I did the right thing by going to Canada (they went back to my dad's hometown for 6 months in 2009) when we did. We came back and your brother seemed to have left the family, and you had turned into a skeleton; you looked like the walking dead. Where were the kids we'd left behind? And neither of you has been the same ever since." And I thought, "How did I miss that? I worked really hard to become that skeleton, and I never saw it once! i just saw this whale." But maybe if I could just get back there...

A tells me it wouldn't solve the problems in our marriage, and sometimes I believe him, but sometimes it just doesn't make sense. Maybe if I was so beautiful that he didn't need any other women. He says it's not that I'm unattractive, I've just become too familiar to him over time. So I guess I'm just not exciting enough for him anymore. Which I expected, we'd been warned about this. But I thought it would come later... after a couple years maybe. But if that's the case - that I've become boring in my familiarity - then maybe changing into something less familiar would help..?

Current BMI 19.1. It's my birthday in 23 days and I'd like to be around 18 by then. Should be entirely feasible.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Pieces of Imperfect

Today is a beautiful day. My second-favourite kind of day (second to those blinding summer days drenched in light and heat and salty skin and cold glasses of water). Today is sunny, but cool enough to stay the hands of any gardeners waiting on the last frost to put their seedlings out.
Normally, a day like this would be enough to turn my mind to happy schemes and bright memories. But today I just feel at odds with everything around me. A and I had a big argument this morning, the worst it's been yet. I'm pretty sure the details aren't very interesting to anyone else, so I'll leave them out, but it ended with him wrestling a kitchen knife out of my hands to try and stop me cutting myself, both of us crying and shouting obscenities at each other, and him driving me to work because he didn't trust me not to do anything dangerous in the car.
Now I'm at work, listening to Man by The Bird and The Bee, staring at my computer screen and trying to remember what it is I'm supposed to do here again. I have two red stripes on my forearm, one on my neck and one that runs from my throat to between my breasts. Seems we weren't too worried about aiming this time.
A has gone home and back to bed. He's worn out by this, and I don't blame him. I'm worried that it's all getting to be too much for him... he didn't get married expecting it to be like this; neither of us did.
I've seen so many marriages where one partner has just trampled the other into obliteration, and I'm terrified that I'm becoming that person. I just don't know how to fix anything anymore. I don't understand how everything goes so wrong sometimes, and how we're suddenly so alone.
I didn't eat breakfast, and don't have food or the car with me at work, so I get to fast, but even that doesn't feel very redemptive today. Part of me wants to get some satisfaction from the little pangs in my stomach, and part of me thinks I don't deserve that satisfaction when I've already done so much damage today.
Sorry for the downer. More upbeat thoughts next time!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Sheepish on Shrove Tuesday

So, I know this is a huge, fat cop-out, and I do feel embarrassingly weak, but contrary to what I wrote so enthsiastically yesterday, I'll actually not be joining Cinnamon Brown on her new portion-plan adventure until tomorrow. This is for the incredibly worthy and noble reason that it's pancake day (aka Shrove Tuesday) here in the UK, we're having a guest coming to eat pancakes with us this evening, and I'm just not willing to sit in front of him and A eating mine out of a ramekin! Pretty lame, huh? :/ But pancake day comes but once a year... and clothes maketh not the man! (That part's not really relevant, it just sprung to mind so I thought I'd put it out there.)

In other news, the sun has finally come out here... it turns out we're not in Narnia after all :)

I hope you all are healthy and happy, and getting closer to that elusive perfect size.

Monday, 7 March 2011

More best-laid plans, and a youtube man

Well, following that last post, it appears that there's a certain weight below which I don't feel like the most hideous living being on the planet, and above which... well it doesn't bear thinking about it. I must have been just on the cusp on Saturday when I last wrote, because currently I feel pretty gross. I feel like my whole body is just one soft, thick, stumpy log... *snigger* Did that make anyone else think of a turd? I'm so sorry, did *not* mean to give you that mental image! :/

But wait! What's this? Here comes Cinnamon Brown to save the day :) She's come up with a fabulous plan, using mainly... ramekins. It looks set to be a popular method, so head on over to her page and check it out.

Today I also joined the gym at my office (I say 'gym'; it's just a little room with some machines in it, but hey, the work, and that's good enough for me!) because my best intentions to get out in the cold and do some running haven't yet come to fruition... Seriously, I don't know why I'm in the least bit surprised at my weight...

In non-weight-related news, I came across a couple youtube channels recently that I've been hooked on. One is a guy called Tyler Ward, who's a kind of indie-style musician. I just really like his style, and he tends to collaborate with women with really beautiful voices. The other is a girl called JLovesMac1 who does predominantly hair/makeup tutorials. Her viewers seem to be divided into two camps; those who think she's irritating and obnoxious, and those who think she's witty and entertaining. I definitely fall into the latter category.

So, if you're bored in the next week and looking to kill some time on the net, check out Cinnamon Brown' master plan and also those guys on youtube, and hopefully you'll find something entertaining :)

Saturday, 5 March 2011


This morning I weighed myself for the first time in about 10 days..! It's the longest that I've voluntarily gone without weighing in, oh, I don't know, probably 3 or 4 years. I was kind of putting it off; I carb- and sugar-loaded so much while I had the flu that I knew the result would be kind of depressing. In the end it wasn't as bad as I'd feared, though I have crept back up into the 120s, to a 19.5 BMI. I thought it would feel like the end of the world, but it was more of a 'meh' moment. Not dramatic at all. And I thought, "this must be how millions of people feel when they weigh themselves." All over the world there must be people weighing themselves, seeing something less than perfect, shrugging it off and getting on with their day. I sat and wondered at that for a moment, and then I got on with my day :)

I really feel like I'm getting some perspective on this. Yes, I would love to be little and delicate and have straight up-and-down legs with thighs the same diameter as my calves. Yes, I would love knobbly knees and shoulder blades that protrude proudly from my back and ribs that show through a tight t-shirt. Yes, I would love hollow cheeks and big, wide eyes set into a tiny, sharpened face. But I also feel like, maybe those things aren't the be all and end all. There are a lot of happy people in the world who are a lot bigger than you or I or any of us. And they're not only happy, but they're confident, and gifted, and people love them even though they don't look like a Victoria's Secret model.

I don't know, this might be a passing phase. But I feel like these types of phases are coming around more and more often, and lasting for longer and longer. And I wonder if maybe one day I'll be flawed and happy and confident and gifted and loved, too. I wonder what it feels like just not to care that you're imperfect. Sometimes I have glimpses of that, and it's kind of exhilerating. Moreso, I almost wonder, than being really, really thin..?

Well, in other news, for those that read my last post, A was kind of excited about our coffee table made from books! On the condition that it has a wooden top. So today I'm off to IKEA (yay!) with my best friend (yay!) to see if they have any wooden table-tops going in their reject pile. Y'know, that bit of the store where they sell random parts of furniture that have separated themselves from the rest of their flat-pack, or slightly damaged items etc. A was less keen on the burlap curtains, which is fine. I've bought some heavy, kind of rough-woven white cotton instead and plan to do a similar thing with that. Actually I think he was right on that one, this fabric is much more aesthetically pleasing than burlap :)

In the meantime, I've been thinking about new cushions... I've made two little cloud-shaped ones out of this Thai silk we had left over from the wedding waistcoats. They're silvery-grey on one side and ivory on the other. I haven't done any sewing for a while, so they're not perfect (there's that word again!) but they're kind of cute. I'll also be looking for some more fabric at IKEA today - they have such cute prints and for ridiculously cheap prices. Don't we love a bargain ;)

Well, apologies for the long, rambling post. Thanks for reading, and congratulations if you put up with me all the way to here...! I hope life is treating you all well and that you have wonderful, fun and relaxing weekends ahead of you.