@PistolPackinMama I would be in such favor of that reform society. I'm not even poor myself so I feel bad complaining on some level. (I live in an area with insanely high cost of living and I would move away, but this is the job market for my industry. Plus student loans and being single.) However, even from my middle class position, I'm finding it so hard to have time for anything outside of work, chores, sleep. My friends in harder economic positions than I am are in similar boats and it just sucks. I don't want to get jealous of friends with some kind of break - husband is the bread winner, parents help them, etc - but that is also a daily struggle!
@madge That is an awesome way of putting things. Compound interest for body image!
I thought I was positive when I was eating healthy, exercising, and a healthy weight, but nope. I had to gain back the weight, go through forced lifestyle changes, to truly start learning to be better to myself about my body. Sometimes you do all you can and things still aren't what you hoped - and you have to tell yourself every day that it's okay.
Thank you for these posts and basically existing, Megan.
My current battle is wanting to lose a specific amount of weight that made my doctors go from no comment at all to suddenly, "Have you thought about exercising more?" They're not bad doctors and they're not trying to shame me - they're vocalizing what I already knew. It's really hard for me not to put a number value on what I want. I was almost exactly this overweight 10 years ago, as a very lonely teenager with a host of food problems. It's also hard not to associate this weight gain with a forced change in my lifestyle that is a wound only partially healed.
When I moved out at 18 and I had the freedom to change my diet and exercise schedule with the magic of college, so I managed to work hard, lose weight and not go crazy. I had access to a gym right in my apartment complex, great friends, flexible hours with my job, and had the luxury of time to get so much sleep even after working out regularly.
I switched from summer and part-time working to a full-time job to support myself through the last year of undergrad. That is when everything changed. My parents were fighting with me, not wanting to help me get loans to finish school and live close to campus. My friends turned against me because I didn't have time to hang out anymore once I was working. My best friend and roommate turned nasty, secretive, and eventually decided she was moving out of our rent-controlled city apartment (where she was the lease holder), but refused to tell me for almost six months. I tried in vain to find someone else to live with, somewhere I could afford on my own, but no luck. I had to put my tail between my legs and go back to living with my parents in the suburbs.
Commuting two hours each way to the city to work and living in an area surrounded by freeways with no where to walk to, not to mention the loss of my friendship support groups and access to a free gym, the weight just piled back on. I was starting to feel a little more hopeful about life, patching relationships with friends, adding a new routine, when my entire work team was laid off. My mum assured me I could stay on her health insurance and continue to live rent-free but then she decided to leave her job and change her tune. I managed to thankfully find a new job, but with all the ups and downs of my life at home, could no longer stand it and saved to move out on my own.
So that's where I'm at now. I've had my own place for almost a year, but with a new razor thin budget (both of money and time) and no free gym, I'm still stuck at this weight. I'm moving back to eating better like I was in the Golden Days, but without the exercise, it's not enough. I want to be healthy, but it's really hard not associate that with weighing less, 'like I used to before all of this happened.' It's an on-going day-to-day process to be kind to myself and not associate ~30lbs with the past.
I shared my long story just to say that things are so hard with weight - so hard!! - and go on forever - your whole life!!! - so thank you again, Megan, the Hairpin, commenters, for reminding me that I'm not alone in struggling to be positive about my body.
@Nicole Cliffe Yesssss! The Riddle Master Trilogy is so much fun. Everything of her's I have loved.
"Alphabet of Thorn" is my recommendation if you want to read about female characters in fantasy.
@Lucienne Yes! I second Patricia McKillip! Her prose is so lovely and fluid and she writes so many interesting female characters. She also doesn't often do sprawling 10,000 page epics which is a plus for me. I am not really fond of those, personally.
Oh goodness, glad to hear you and the baby came out okay from the other side of this incident. You are right in driving home that pretty much everyone has a story like this.
I do not have kids, but I only have one sibling, 11 years my junior, and I have a story like this. I had to watch him alone for the first time when he was about 2 and I was about 13. I had to go to the bathroom and I frankly had no idea what to do with my toddler brother during that time period. I left him alone and for the 60 seconds I was away, he managed to eat and started choking on our fake living room plant. I had no idea how to give the baby heimlich, but knew it existed, and tried my best to fake it. He thankfully started throwing up the fake sod and silk leaves immediately and I just stood there watching him projectile vomit and sobbing. I told my parents what had happened when they got home and saw me cleaning the carpet, but I left out the he-almost-died-choking part. I don't remember if I've told them to this day. This and when he climbed out a window to hide from me in our new house two years later are like the most stressed I've ever been.
@frigwiggin Well done! I have that dress and loveeee it! You're going to want to live in it for summer now that you've made it fit (at least I know I did).
You're also inspiring me to seriously get my Anthropologie dresses hemmed already. I'm 5'4" but have a long torso so I need a lower waist and higher hem - impossible! I buy so many cute dresses knowing they need a hem and just get lazy. To the sewing machine!
I have a honest question about those thinking of packing it up and leaving it all behind. I have known a few people who have done this in my life, but their relationship to their job fell into one of two categories - either they had nothing/something that wasn't building them a career so leaving it was no big loss, or they have like, a MBA, that allowed them to come back and immediately find a new job with great money and no penalty on lost experience. Is everyone interested in doing this in one of those two camps? That part seems necessary to the decision to me.
I just need to say I love this post and I love all of you for the suggestions. I am not that lazy a vegetarian, but lately I am becoming a time-starved one and I have not been very nutritious with my lunches or breakfasts.
My favourite dinner to last days and days is lentil soup. I based it off this recipe from Budget Bytes which is a fantastic blog, though not 100% veg.
I removed the sausage, and my ingredients breakdown is the following;
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 cups dry lentils
8 cups water
1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
This does take a while to cook but once it is done, you're done for a week of dinners.
Her other seriously filling recipe is this one for chorizo and sweet potato enchiladas.
I made them with soyrizo - if you're from an area with Trader Joes, Whole Foods, other foofy markets, this and other soy ground meat substitutes are easy to find. These are SO FILLING with just one giant sweet potato, one pepper, and one packet of soyrizo, this was like 10 meals. I splurged on all organic ingredients and worried about how much it cost - it still ended up at like $3 a meal including the two side dishes. I also did whole wheat torillas so this was an instantly brilliant meal. My sides are black beans (and fresh green beans for more green things) so when I make this, it's a protein extravaganza!
@FromTheFuture I've always wanted to go to Hokkaidou! I've been to Japan three different times and the trips never ended up near the two places I desperately want to visit (Kyoto and Hokkaidou).
Hokkaidou in the summer and fall seems amazing! There are fields upon fields of lavender, sunflowers, fantastic lilies that my Japanese calligraphy teacher told me legends about that I just need to see so badly. They are also well known for yubari melons, which are a Japanese staple of summertime, and I just need to go eat this and sit in a field of flowers.
If you can stand cold weather, you can supposedly also go watch one of the rarest and most beautiful cranes in Kushiro, Hokkaidou. HOKKAIDOU YOU GUYS! I have so many feelings about Japan.