Saturday, October 20, 2012

might be time for a fanny pack

i've been pondering a question for quite a while now. it perplexes me daily and annoys me often. it makes me furrow my brow and snark into the air at the stupidity of this situation.

what are women's clothing designers thinking when they don't give women pockets?! so many of my clothes (and brooke's) have either no pockets or tiny little snips of pockets that aren't big enough to hold anything but a stick of gum and an earring.

i realize that it probably appears smoother when looking at a woman's silhouette with no pockets, but honestly, i don't give a rip about that. i want to be able to stuff my phone and keys into my pocket rather than always having to carry a purse which i have to zip and unzip constantly to get things that i use often. if i feel the need for smooth lines, i can chose to keep my pockets empty, but i'd really like to be able to make that decision for myself.

i've also discovered that all workout clothes are pocketless. wait, let me take that back and revise it slightly. ALMOST all workout clothes are pocket-free except for the few that have an itty bitty credit card sized slice of a pocket with no form of closure. i wouldn't even trust a single key to stay put in that pocket and my phone certainly won't fit.

how are we supposed to go safely out into the world to exercise when we have no keys, phone, or ID on our bodies? or is it our jobs, as female exercisers, to creatively solve this dilemma ourselves? i've been stuffing my phone and key into my bra, but when i get up any speed jogging, the phone slides around and is at risk of getting sloshy in the sweatiness that is a sports bra. i usually stuff it between two of my bras to keep it from direct skin contact, but that just makes it slide more.

a couple days ago i found a little mesh necklace bag, so i put my key and phone into that and tied the strings into the drawstring of my stretchy pocketless pants. i was rather pleased with myself for my clever solution, but i caught a glimpse of myself walking past a glass door and and it looked like i had a sparkly loin cloth dangling from my groin. not exactly the look i was going for.

i tucked the whole shebang down inside my pants and then felt like a dude with a package. when i jogged i was distracted by it and i felt like i needed a cigarette afterwards. when i slowed to a walk, i almost expected to hear a throaty chuckle coming from my pants, followed by the never-classy "wham, bam, thank you, ma'am."

as much as i resist it, i think the time has come for a fanny pack. dang it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


since we've been taking some strange pictures around here recently, i thought i'd show some fun ones i got of brooke as well. she's usually up for a photo shoot, particularly if it's a weird one and she doesn't have to smile pretty or hold still.










1. cute little toe-ies.
2. sole of food.
3. palm.
4. ankle. (just kidding)
5. side of knee with leg bent. funny how many of our parts can look like bo0ties if taken out of context.
6. shrivelly chin.
7. oh that girl and her faces.
8. nostrils.
9. the whole package.

after taking the pic of the chin, she decided we needed a video of her chin singing and dancing. this makes me laugh every time i watch it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

external shell

i posted a photo collage of pictures that brooke has taken super up close to me. details that she looks at and observes and feels the need to study. she likes small things and details and she has a strange affinity for lines. she doodles lines and even tries to draw lines on everything with her eyes so that all the world is connected. she's got a very artistic eye and observes things differently than most people do.

when she stares at my parts and then takes a picture so i can see why it's so interesting, i've learned not to be offended. not even when it's a picture of one of my least attractive bits. i've learned that brooke doesn't show interest in very many people. she doesn't look at people very much. she prefers toys and animals, so when she shows an interest in me, i'm pleased. when she sees art in life, even if it's on me, it makes me happy.

i posted those pictures on my blog here because i thought it was interesting. i know that some of them didn't paint me in a very pretty light, but they made me happy and they made me laugh and they made me cringe.

what i didn't expect was the reaction that it got when i posted a link on facebook. some of my close friends and family members commented with things along the lines of how brave i was or how i was crazy and that the images were disturbing.

it sort of caught me off guard. i went back and looked at each picture again, trying to see it through someone else's eyes. i guess i can see it. there's that one by my eye that i was told looks like a nipple or a cat butt.

however, i like that you can't tell exactly what some of them are. that some of the pics seem a little bit questionable and odd. i even like the ones that show my stretch marks. brooke says they look like roots and she traces her finger over them and smiles, knowing that's the one part of my body that she created. they're the physical reminder of when i overcame my fight with infertility.

let's be honest here. most women don't see much of other women's bare bodies as we age. once we're past college age, we're generally no longer getting changed in a room with other women or hanging out in our underwear putting our makeup on before heading out for a late night on the town. even if we are in a situation around other bare women, like a locker room at the gym, we're doing our best to go as fast as we can while averting our eyes so as to keep from making anyone uncomfortable. the only time you make eye contact in a situation like that is to give the stink eye to the little boy across from you who's paying way too much attention while you try to wrangle your wet clothes off and your bra back on.

for most of us married ladies and mommies, the only bare bodies we see are our own and the airbrushed ones on magazine covers. if the truth be told, there are very few women over the age of thirty in the real world, who have magazine cover bodies. so as we age and our skin stretches or sags or wrinkles, we don't think about the fact that the same thing is happening to all our friends. we might make jokes about it, but we don't let even our sisters or girlfriends have a look at what the years and babies have done to certain parts of our bodies. we stop going out without makeup because we don't want anyone to see the dark circles or crows feet around our eyes. our shorts get longer to cover the veins that pop out. we stop wearing bikinis even if we're at a healthy weight because our stomachs are wrecked from pregnancies.

i guess what i'm saying is that maybe the reason people were alarmed or disgusted by my pictures was because they never see body parts in public that look like that. their own might look that way too, but they try not to look because it makes them feel unattractive.

i don't think we all need to go out showing off our ugliest parts, but i think it would be good if more women could feel less self conscious about those things.

we are more than our external shells.

Friday, October 12, 2012

photo collage of awkwardness

you know how sometimes a photographer will do a collage of photos of a baby or little kid where they focus on individual body parts rather than the whole? those are so cute. the sweet little toes. the darling round cheeks.

brooke likes to take photos like that too; but they're not of sweet, plump babies, they're of me. she likes to stare at me, or more accurately, pieces of me. her eyebrows furrow as she stares intently at some portion of my body, and when i ask her what she's looking at, she runs for the camera to photograph exactly what she's looking at so i too can see why it's so interesting.

here are some of those photos.

let's start at the bottom and work our way up, shall we?














i'm lovely, aren't i?

in case you're wondering just what parts of me were chosen for inspection and photography, in case you couldn't tell, they are as follows.

1. the top of my toes.
2. the sole of my foot.
3. the back of my calf.
4. my hip.
5. my hip while doing a side crunch. it looks sort of like bread rolls at subway.
6. obviously my stretch marks on my hip. 
7. my sewer rat peeking at her over the edge of my pants.
8. lower case "i" in the middle of my stomach. clearly there's an infatuation with my stretch marks. she keeps telling me that she wants to chew on my skin now that i've lost weight and it's looser than before. awkward.
9. my collarbone.
10. the side of my neck and chin.
11. smile line beside my nose and above my lip.
12. furrowed brows.
13. the side of my eye when squinting.
14. my forehead while making a shocked face.

here is a picture she drew of me today. it's really the icing on the cake.

i decided to return the favor a bit and take some lovely shots of her, but this post is already too long, so i think i'll save those for next time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

protecting our kids

i'm reading a book called "Protecting the Gift" by gavin debecker. i saw it recommended on some parenting page and thought i'd check it out. the main subject is how we, as parents, can keep our kids safe and teach them to keep themselves safe as they get older. i've read various versions of these sorts of books in the past, but this one was a different flavor. it was very practical and i appreciated that.

one of the big things it teaches is how to keep kids safe from sexual predators. that's a subject that makes most of us uncomfortable and some of us queasy. we don't like to think about it very much because there's so much shame and secrecy surrounding it. we think that it can't happen to our kids because we love them so much and we do everything we can to keep them safe. we are good parents, so everything should turn out fine.

i remember hearing as a young teenager that 1 in 4 girls would be molested before she reached the age of 18. i was horrified and would look around at my friends and wonder which ones it would be.

at the time i first heard that statistic, i didn't realize that it was me. even stranger, in hindsight, is that it had already happened, but i had suppressed it and wouldn't even remember for a few more years.

my family was great. my parents were protective and careful about where and how we spent our time. they were careful about who we could be around without close adult supervision. they did everything they could think of correctly.

unfortunately, what happened was something they never would have thought of.

the summer that i turned 5, my mom was babysitting for another girl who was about 10. we were often left to play by ourselves or with siblings or other neighbor kids without a whole lot of supervision. shortly after she started coming over, that girl made me perform sexual acts with the other kids. she would tell us that we were married, even going so far as to perform a "marriage ceremony" to legitimize the whole thing. then she'd give step by step instructions on what we needed to do to each other. we didn't like it, but she was way bigger than the rest of us and when we complained, she threatened to tell our parents what we were doing to each other and we knew we'd get in trouble for that.

thankfully, she didn't need my mom to watch her for very long and soon she was out of my life. looking back, i wonder what must have happened to her to cause her to be acting out in that way. she was clearly a very troubled little girl.

when i was about 12 years old, i got touched inappropriately by my orthodontist. it happened a few different times while my mom was sitting in the waiting room and the doctor was leaned over my chair, pretending to adjust my paper drool bib. or if he couldn't get enough privacy in the exam room, he'd find a reason why i needed more x-rays and he'd back me into a corner in that tiny room and grope me where no one could see. he never said a word to me that wasn't about teeth or my retainer. he just silently found opportunities to touch me when no one was looking.

i don't know why i didn't tell my mom about the orthodontist. i felt all skeavy and disgusting each time i went. maybe i just wanted to pretend it didn't happen because addressing it would have made me look directly at it and deal with it when i really just wanted to forget it ever happened.

when i was 18 and got to college, i got really sick with a nasty sinus infection that just wouldn't go away. i had to go to a clinic a few miles away from the school several times before i finally kicked it. the worst part of being sick was that each time i went to the clinic, i saw the same, yucky old doctor. even though i only had a sinus infection, he always directed me to strip completely and then put on a paper gown that opened in the front. i didn't realize how strange that was at the time and i was so sick that i hardly had the strength to care, let alone question a medical professional. when he came back into the room for the exam, he always opened the gown fully and took my pulse in my groin. he also handled my breasts to supposedly hear my heartbeat properly.

again, i didn't tell anyone other than some friends. none of us knew what to do about it. we turned it into a joke and made up an obnoxious nickname for him and tried really hard not to get sick enough to need to see a doctor.

my whole point in airing out my skeletons like this is to say that we need to protect our kids. we need to teach them to value themselves and what is right. we need to listen to any little warning bells in our heads, even if they don't make sense on paper. we need to teach our kids not to just obey anyone in an authority position. we need to foster a sense of self worth in them so that they won't be prey to the dirty old men, adults who take advantage of their positions of trust, or even other children. we need to enforce an open door policy, literally and figuratively with our kids. that way, we'll be checking on them often and supervising anyone who's with them. if something does happen, they'll know they can tell us. and if, by any terrible chance something out of line does happen to our kids and they tell us, we need to report it. not just try to stay away from that person, but get them prosecuted. the statistics show that anyone who does such a thing to one kid is likely doing it to lots of kids. it can go on for years and years and wound so many innocents who are too afraid to talk about it. too many of those kids will go on to hurt others in the future.

let's protect the gift of intuition and innocence by giving too much information rather than not enough. kids who are likely to be targeted aren't too young to be told about such things, even if their parents feel uncomfortable talking about it. you aren't protecting them by keeping specific info away from your kids, but you might very well be protecting them by sharing what seems to maybe be too much.

Monday, October 1, 2012

before and after

this is a big week for me.

i reached my goal of losing seventy pounds before the end of this year. i had dreams about it for about a week before the scale actually tipped, and i kept imagining my facebook status that i would write when i reached that magical number.

secondly, i finished P90X today. for those of you who are unfamiliar with what that means, P90X is a heavy duty video workout program that includes 12 different workout routines. you rotate them in a particular order for 13 weeks and hopefully you'll be in the best shape of your life when you finish.

you're encouraged to take BEFORE pictures when you first start P90X, which i did. then you can take AFTER pics to help you really see how far you've come. i wish i'd taken some before pics of me when i first started dieting, like they do on "the biggest loser" show, but i never would have wanted to be seen in a sports bra at the size i was.

i've arranged some before and after pics to show my progress.


april 2011 - weight 205

september 2011

april 2012 after losing about 35 lbs

july 2012
i've been doing some leg workouts and i think it's starting to show.

my winter coat isn't going to work if it's big enough for brooke and i to wear together.

might be time for some new pants.

september 2012. current weight 131.

sept 2012

before - june 2012 before starting P90X
after - september 30, 2012 completed P90X
i had already lost 50 lbs in the before picture. i lost 20 more during the 13 weeks of  doing P90X.
june 2012/sept 2012

this one might be my favorite because until yesterday, i never knew my back and shoulders looked like that. i've never been muscley, so this is pretty exciting for me.

people keep asking me "what's next?" now that i've reached my goals. i guess the answer is that i keep on going. i don't want to be big again and i don't want to be unhealthy again. so i'll keep on eating right and making enough healthy choices to keep my weight under control. i'll keep on working out because, dang it's nice to fit into little clothes and be able to do things i'd had to stop doing for the ten years i was fat. maybe i'll do another round of P90X or maybe i'll switch it up and do lots of different styles of workouts. i know i love yoga and weight training now, so there are possibilities for more of that. maybe one of these days i'll learn how to run for more than 20 feet without being chased by anything scary. 

i don't know. i just know that i'm feeling pretty good about things as they are right now and i want the good to keep going.