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It’s been awhile. August 11, 2009

Posted by Jae in Me, myself, and I.
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I’m pretty sure that no one really reads this at the moment, but I decided that I wanted/needed to start blogging again.

Some quick updates:

  • I am starting grad school at the end of this month; I’m going to be studying counseling.  I am very excited.
  • I really fell off the intuitive eating bandwagon during the application process and have just been treating myself poorly.  I have started to get back on track now, but it is slow going.
  • I’ve written maybe 1/2 to 2/3’s of a novel.  That is also a slow going, but the more time I spend with it, the better I feel about some day getting it into shape.
  • My lovely dog, the one I spoke about in earlier blogs, has been diagnosed with epilepsy, but she is doing well and I am so thankful to have her in my life.  She is currently curled up sleeping under my desk chair, much to my delight.

And that’s all for now.  I’ve been reading blogs and commenting, so I’m not totally out of the FA loop, but I’m hoping to be a bit more involved now.  I look back on these enteries and I see that, few though they are, that I was being a lot better to myself when I took the time to blog.  Perhaps not-blogging was the first sign that I was about to quit taking care of myself as well as I should have.

But that is about to change!

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My Life: A Short Post. April 16, 2008

Posted by Jae in Me, myself, and I, The Cast.
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This last month has been, in a word, insane.  March began with my boss on vacation which dumped a lot on my plate at work.  After she returned, there were some staffing shake-ups that made us all wonder what was going on there.  Then, just when things seem to be settling down, my father has a heart attack.

So that’s where I have been.  And now that things are starting to wind down, perhaps there will be some time to do some posting.

Conversations with my fourteen-year-old self. February 12, 2008

Posted by Jae in Me, myself, and I.
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There’s been lots of talk around the fatosphere in the past couple of days about what you would tell your fourteen-year-old self if you had the chance.  Though I left a brief comment at Shapely Prose about it, I couldn’t resist expanding it into a post of it’s own.

Dear Fourteen-year-old Jae,

–Right now you’re pretty miserable, and I’m sorry to say you’re going to be miserable for another few years.  It has nothing to do with you; you just weren’t cut out for high school nonsense.  The important thing to keep in mind is that it isn’t going to last forever.  In college the clouds will start to break and by the time you’re in your twenties you will be a much more together woman.  Just know that you’re not crazy; you’re just different in an awesome sort of way.

–You won’t speak to D again after this year, thank God, but it’s only then that you will start to deal with what she did to you.  You know that it isn’t your fault.  She’s a sick person and though she will get away with torturing you for a big chunk of your life, she does not win.

–There’s going to be a day in a few years when your sister will disappear for a few hours and no one will be able to find her.  She’s okay, but she is up to no good.  Don’t let the subject drop.

–Speaking of letting things drop, don’t let your best friend  talk you out of telling her mother about her anorexia.  She’s never going to have a healthy relationship with food or her body, and she’s going to develop bulimia later on.  You can’t save her, you really can’t, but this is the best chance she has.

–Stop dabbling in your own eating disorders.  It won’t make you thin; it will just make you sick and depressed.  Instead go and buy a book on intuitive eating, and don’t be afraid to exercise; you’ll like it and I promise, you won’t hurt yourself.

–Guys are not the yardstick by which you should measure your self worth; it really doesn’t matter how many boys you kiss or how old you are when you first have sex.  A boyfriend is not the magical pill which cures all insecurities, so you’re really not going to be “broken” until you find one because you aren’t broken to begin with.

–Let’s repeat that: You are not broken.

–While we’re talking about boys…you’ll meet a special one at twenty, but he isn’t ready for you yet and he may never be, but you will be awesome friends.  Don’t believe the lies in your head that tell you he doesn’t love you because you aren’t good enough.  You’ll meet another one later that year…don’t run away because you’re scared.  You’ll always regret it if you do and you’ll always wish you had another chance.

–Do an internship in college.  I know it’s going to mean you’ll have to quit your job and/or work your ass off, but it will be worth it.

–Dad has bigger problems than you know.  I won’t tell you what they are, you’ll only be tempted to try and fix them and you can’t, but know that he doesn’t hate you; he just doesn’t really know how to love you.  Show him you love him and try and get mom to talk him into getting help.

–Grandma is going to die in just three years.  You’ll know it’s coming, but it won’t make you miss her any less.  Take pictures with her.  Spend all the time you can with her.  Do the same for grandpa.  You’ll have him for another six years, but it will go by in a flash.

–You and L will stop being friends in about a year and a half, but you’ll find your way back together.  It’s probably necessarry for you to do this, but she isn’t healthy for you.  You’ll love her inspite of the fucked up things she does, but until she works out her issues the friendship isn’t going to work well, and it will fall apart again. 

–The most important thing to remember: you are a worthwhile human being.  When others try to treat you as less than, don’t let them get away with it, but even more importantly don’t let yourself get away with it either.

NaNoWriMo October 31, 2007

Posted by Jae in Me, myself, and I.
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While cruising the FA blogs, I find many, many inspiring things. Usually these are things which challenge me to love myself exactly as I am, and stop worrying about the magical number on the scale. However, the other day I saw something on The Rotund’s blog that had nothing much to do with FA, her announcement that she was going to be participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month–write 50,000 novel (or more) in one month), and it inspired me just the same.

I have been writing since I was in middle school and I recently graduated from college with a degree in creative writing. It is something that I love doing more than anything else; I am rarely happier than when I am immersed in a story. However, the past couple of years have found my production to be on the decline. I gave up thinking, gave up trying. I hated what I was doing by being so lazy about my writing, but for some reason I couldn’t seem to turn it around. I’m not really that creative anyway, the line went, it’s much better if I sit and watch five uninterrupted hours of TV.

However, reading that post got me thinking. Perhaps I was just doing to my writing what I’ve always done to my body: I’ve told myself that it’s not good enough for so long that I’m starting to believe it isn’t worth my time. All I’ve ever done to my body is hate it and trap it inside the diet/binge cycle. I’m trying to break myself out of that now, and I think it’s time to set my writing free too. So starting at midnight tonight, I will be participating in my first NaNoWriMo. I don’t know if I’ll win (aka hit 50,000 words), but I’ll do something and that’s…well…that’s something.

Version 2.0 October 24, 2007

Posted by Jae in Aimless Conversation, Me, myself, and I.
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Every Sunday, one of my best friends comes over for our weekly date with the dark and dangerous <i>Dexter</i>*. It’s only been going on for a couple of weeks now, but I really look forward to it, not just because I’m addicted to this show, but because it feels like our time. We often are lost to each other, even though we are such good friends, because of the demands on our time, but now we have this one night a week where we can sit together and talk and squee over Michael C. Hall.

This week as I listened to her talk about her life and how lucky she is to have such caring friends, I realized something: amongst all my close friends, I am the caretaker. When something goes horribly, terribly, wrong I strap on my cape (metaphorically of course…I don’t actually own a cape…*looks around nervously*) and try to make things right. I never made the decision to do this; it just seems to come naturally to me. Whenever one of my friends is breaking up with their significant other or having trouble at work, I am the one they come to looking for answers or an understanding ear. And I love being there for them. Their problems become my problems, and there are no words for the joy it brings me to see them work out what troubles them.

Unfortunately, for all these bright sides though, there is a dark side and that is that sometimes it can be easy to forget that my own soul needs the occasional bit of maintenance. Sometimes this makes me angry at my friends; yesterday though, it made me a little angry at myself. Because, though I am willing to walk on broken glass to help a friend, I often tell myself that I do not require that kind of effort–not from my friends and certainly not from myself. But I do. I might hate that I do (because I have a problem needing anyone or anything), but that doesn’t change the fact that I have certain needs. I need love. I need respect. I need to be shown compassion and patience. And I can’t expect that everything in my life will go smoothly whether or not I have them.

When I decided that perhaps it was time to jump off the crazy-diet train and start working on loving and accepting myself I never really bothered to go through with the daily business of change, but I think perhaps that it’s time I start.

*If you read the books or watch the show, you know it’s all about the alliteration.

Pity Party October 21, 2007

Posted by Jae in Me, myself, and I, The Crazy.
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So…I promised a post (for anyone who cares) about my recent departure from my own blog. I wish that the reasons were dramatic and exciting, but really it all boils down to one simple fact:

I feel kinda lost.

Part of me knows that I’m still young, and that I’m not supposed to have everything all figured out. However there is another (loud, growly) part of me that wants everything to fall into place now-now-now. It’s so hard getting up every morning to go to a job that I don’t really like. I sit and daydream about getting into grad school (if I haven’t already mentioned it, I’m hoping to enter an MFA program next fall and I am in the process of applying), but I don’t feel like there’s much hope of me getting into any of the programs, let alone any of my top picks. Also, every now and then, if I let myself think about it, I start feeling the tiniest bit lonely.

And I have no idea what to do about any of it. Realistically, I know there’s not much I can do right now. I can’t control whether or not I’ll get into grad school; I just have to put my best face forward and hope, and try not to take it personally if I’m rejected. Once I’m more sure about the school situation I can decide what to do about work. And the lonely…well…it’ll pass eventually.

Unfortunately, knowing all this doesn’t quiet the voice inside my head. It keeps begging me to fix all this, and it just doesn’t seem to understand that I don’t have an answer right now. In the past, this kind of thing would have driven me crazy, but these days it just makes me want to curl up in bed and listen to sad songs until it’s over. I console myself with the fact that life isn’t so bad, in fact, my life is probably better than it’s ever been, but still that doesn’t seem to be enough. As guilty as that makes me feel, it’s true. I don’t want anything extraordinary out of life, I really don’t; I just want to feel like I have something to look forward to instead of stumbling around in the dark.

I’m just tired of feeling so messed up. I’m tired of being so messed up. It’s been so hard just to get here, I almost can’t bear to do any more work. Why isn’t this enough?

Nightmares October 6, 2007

Posted by Jae in Body Image, Dreams, Me, myself, and I, The Cast.
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I intended for this next entry to be about clothes, but I had the most disturbing dream this morning that I just had to share it.

It was Thanksgiving and I was moving into a new apartment that looked like my aunt’s house before it was remodeled. Because of this, I couldn’t go (to my aunt’s house) with my family for Thanksgiving dinner; my uncle called me on the phone to tell me that he missed me, but he was excited for my new apartment.

Then…I was out, shopping I think. I remember coming out of the subway. I had a choice of two different exits: one was closer street-wise to where I wanted to go, but I would have had to walk across town, and the other would have left me on the right side of town, but twenty streets away. I opted for having to walk across town.

The next thing I know I was sitting somewhere on a large, indoor, balcony. It is sort of dark, but I didn’t seem to be bothered by this. I was doing something, writing, reading…I couldn’t tell. And there are people behind me who I am talking to, but not really looking at. At first, I don’t think I knew them, but when I do finally turn one of them is my sister. She asks me to demonstrate some dance move that looks something like belly dancing; I do this (while still sitting down) and she and the others laugh; when I turn away from her, I hear a picture being snapped. I jerk my head back around just in time to see her trying to hide a tiny camera from me.

“What are you doing?” I ask. “Are you trying to take pictures of me because I’m fat?!”

“Yes.”

“Why?!”

“It’s funny…can you blame me?”

The next thing I know, I am in my parents living room with my sister and three of her friends, only one of whom I recognized; in real life, she hasn’t been really been friends with this girl for some time. I am yelling at them, screaming at them, asking them what makes them think they can do this to me. I yell right in my sister’s friend’s face, but I get no answers from anyone. I follow my sister into my parents kitchen and scream at her and she won’t even look at me; she is paying attention to something she is knitting, and though I can’t tell what it is, I can see that it’s brown.

My mother comes in, because of all the yelling, and I try to tell her that my sister has done something horrible and won’t answer me, but she brushes off my concerns.

And then, I woke up.

I have no idea what this means, or where any of this comes from. I think I’m going to need to think about it some now, even if it’s the last thing I want to do.

You can say that I’m one curly fry in a box of the regular September 26, 2007

Posted by Jae in Me, myself, and I, Yummy!.
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This morning I felt like having a muffin for breakfast so I stopped by a little coffee shop on my way to work. After tearing off a couple of pieces, I made an unsettling discovery: bits of the inside of the muffin appeared to be moldy. Whether it actually was mold or just some unknown muffin phenomenon, I do not know, but I decided it was better safe than sorry and threw it away. This left me with a breakfast comprised solely of mango slices.

I love mango slices as much as the next person–maybe even more so, but a filling breakfast they aren’t. At eleven, not quite ready for lunch, I decided to make that 100 calorie bag of popcorn I’ve had at my desk for the past few days.

While my corn was a-poppin’ I made a passing comment to my coworker about using popcorn to make up for my lack of a filling breakfast, to which she said:

“Well, you had that mango.”

And it made me kind of sad. Okay, I won’t lie: first it made me freak out to the tune of “OH NOOOES OMG SHE THINKS I’M TEH FAT.” What can I say? Old habits die hard.

Once I mentally smacked some sense into myself I realized that this was really a much more telling comment about the way we think about food. There was a point where I would have agreed with her; I would’ve said that yes, a few chunks of mango did make a tasty breakfast, and oh boy I was full up until my lunch of 90 calories worth of tuna and a big ol’ lettuce leaf. I spent a long time making food my enemy, and I did my best to convince myself and everyone else that I didn’t need it.

And it still goes on today. I went out for dinner tonight with my best friend and I had a turkey sandwich and she had a fruit salad (not because she was trying to diet, but because she had eaten a big lunch late in the day) and I still found myself trying to pawn half my sandwich off on her. However, I still managed to eat what I wanted of it and the world managed not to end.

It’s only been a few days, but I think I might really get to like this not-torturing myself stuff.


She’s a warrior September 23, 2007

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I’m miserable at introductions.

I’m Jae. I’m twenty-three years old. I’m a writer/editor living in New York City. Aside from ones focusing on applying to grad school, I’ve not been much of a blog reader, but the other day I stumbled across a blog that grabbed me and gave me a good, hard, shake.

I sat and read all in one day about this woman, this funny, intelligent, woman who was learning to love her body and live without dieting. Having been on a diet myself for most of my life what she said touched me.

I have never been thin. When I was little, my pediatrician told me that I weighed too much for my height and put me on a diet; that’s the first time I remember thinking that I was fat and needed to be fixed. I was probably about six years old. From that point on, I lost and gained (but mostly gained). I made little diet and exercise plans and wrote them out in my diaries. I followed them, failed, failed miserably, and tried again.

Looking back on it now I can see the truth, I wasn’t thin, but I wasn’t fat. At thirteen I was the same height that I am now, and my weight was probably at its set point. But you couldn’t have made my thirteen-year-old self believe that. I still heard the voice of my old, curmudgeonly, doctor telling me that I was too fat. So when an immature boy or two hurled insults at me, I believed I deserved them. When my chubby Spanish teacher pulled me aside to ask me if I had gained weight and if my family was torturing me about, I believed she did it because she was concerned, and not because her family had tortured her (as she told me) and she didn’t think I was getting humiliated enough.

All this might have been brushed away as part of the normal torture of adolescence, if not for two things: my best friend, who I had known since I was six and who had been abusing me just as long, and suffering a major knee injury at fourteen.

Post-injury I was terrified to move-terrified of getting hurt, terrified that my operation could be undone, terrified that I would need more surgery. I was depressed, confused, and didn’t know what to do. I had escaped my bad best friend, but the effects of her actions were starting to reveal themselves. I was starting to lose my mind. I drowned myself in food to escape, and because I wasn’t moving, gained a ton of weight. This changed the occasional comments from boys who didn’t know what to make of the fact that I had hips and an ass to out-and-out abuse. I can’t say I suffered as much as some did, but I was definitely aware of what the world apparently thought of me.

So, for the first time in my life, I chased anorexia and I caught up with her quickly. In fact, I caught up with her so quickly, that I didn’t lose any weight. My body hung on to every calorie I gave it, and sent me constant reminders that what I was doing was killing me. I had dizzy spells that lasted for hours. My hair, already fine, became stringy and thin. I felt sick to my stomach pretty much all the time, and at times I think only sheer stubbornness kept me from fainting.

Somehow, I broke away from this, began a more “sensible” diet, and lost weight. It didn’t last though. I gained it back and then some. I alternated periods of dieting, periods of binging, and periods of anorexia all through high-school. I spent the night before my high-school graduation with my hand down my throat wondering why I couldn’t just throw up.

In college I didn’t have to chase anorexia; it found me. By Christmas I weighed myself every time I passed a scale and thought I was having a good day when my first bite of food came at dinner; bad days were when I ate some grapefruit or drank a glass of milk before going to class. This time I lost weight though and eventually alternated periods of regular dieting and starvation.

The weight loss stopped though, and after that I maintained a weight-range for awhile. Then, I started binging (still with alternating periods of anorexia though!) and I gained weight. I have tried to diet since then, and haven’t had a sustained period of anorexia for awhile (probably since last year).

Reading this blog though made me realize that I have to stop this. I don’t want to diet and I don’t want to starve myself, and I don’t want to overeat. I don’t want to ignore my hunger or feed myself when I’m not hungry. I don’t want to stuff myself with junk because I feel deprived or feel like killing myself because I ate a cookie. I don’t want to work out until I’m crying or lay on the couch feeling like a failure. I want a healthy relationship with food. I want love myself for once.

So that’s my story with food, weight, and my body. I felt I should share it for anyone who was interested because it is important to know where I came from to understand where I’m going-and that goes for me as well as anyone who happens to read this.

However, that’s only a part of my story. Like I said, I’m a writer and an editor. I’m also a music-lover and a TV junkie, a total bookworm, and a baseball freak who likes to pretend she’s crafty. And all of that is going to be floating around in here somewhere.

So welcome to my blog; make yourselves at home!