Holding nothing back…

Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Saturday night, DH and I went over to a friend’s house for a cookout. It was just us, friend, his girlfriend, his brother, and his brother’s girlfriend: three couples.

There was TONS of food: bacon wrapped, bbq-sauced, grilled mushrooms for appetizers; chicken breasts drenched in bbq sauce, grilled kielbasa, hamburgers, chips, dips, potato salad, etc. You get the idea. Three couples, but enough food for 10 couples.

After a nice visit around the grill while everything was cooking, we went inside to eat. I notice that the other two women BARELY touch their plates. I mean BARELY: maybe 1 of the mushroom appetizers (which were HELLA GOOD) 2 bites of their hamburgers, a bite or two of potato salad, and maybe three chips each. I’m not kidding! And I’m not the only one that noticed. DH noticed. Friend noticed because he asked if something was wrong with the food.

Turns out, there was nothing wrong with the food. Friend’s Girlfriend has had the lapband surgery, and Friend’s Brother’s Girlfriend has had gastric bypass. Oy vey. I was the only woman there that hadn’t had WLS.

Later in the evening, we were playing a game, and somehow or another, the subject of weight came up (why am I not surprised?); and I said something (non-depricating) about weighing 200 lbs. INSTANTLY, everyone in the room but DH (who knows better) starts in with the “compliments.”

“Well, you sure don’t LOOK like you weigh 200 lbs!”

“Wish I had looked that good at 200!”

“Yeah, but you carry it well.”

Yada.

Yada.

Fucking yada.

Then the subject turned to how much more weight these two BEAUTIFUL (just as they were) women had to lose, and then they looked at me expectantly. Like I’m supposed to chime in with how much weight I want to lose. You should have seen the looks of shock on their faces when I said that I am actually looking for a personal trainer that understands that I don’t give a flying fig if I ever lose a stinking OUNCE, much less several dozen pounds, I just want to be strong(er than I am now), flexible, and build some endurance. After staring at me in shocked, wide-eyed silence for a moment they start in with:

“But you’re so pretty! You’d be GORGEOUS if you lost a few pounds!”

Fuck you! I’m already gorgeous, thankyouverymuch.

“As good as you look now, you probably wouldn’t have to lose MUCH.”

I don’t have to lose anything to look good. You said yourself I look good right where I am.

“I wish I had your confidence.”

Honey, I didn’t always. This level of confidence and comfort with my body has been hard-won and only come RECENTLY.

WHY do conversations with other women always seem to devolve into Weight Watcher’s meetings? Discussions about current weight, pounds lost, pounds to go, calories and how to restrict them, fat grams and how to restrict them, good foods/bad foods, yada yada boringfuckingyada. I’ve worked too long and too hard to finally accept myself as I am, where I am. I have absolutely no desire to join into a bitchfest about my body and how HORRIBLE it is. Even if we restrict ourselves to discussing things that happen in our own homes (no world or national politics, no celebitchy gossip, etc.), there are so many MORE interesting things to discuss! Shit, we could discuss SOAP OPERAs and it would have been more productive and interesting!

To their credit, it didn’t take either woman too terribly long (maybe about 15 minutes) to realize that I wasn’t going to join in on the WW meeting and that it was boring me half to death and allow me to change the subject. I don’t know that I could have taken much more.

And most of my women friends wonder why the hell I prefer to hang out in the garage with the men! At least THEIR conversations aren’t impromptu Weight Watcher’s meetings.

I’ve tried and tried and tried to think of a way to put all of this delicately, and I can’t. I’m so upset about it that I’m not even sure I can put it together intelligently even. So I’m just throwing it out there and asking for you to understand that there will be a LOT of frustration talking in this post and that this is bringing up some of my own issues that I am still dealing with. Please bear with me.

TRIGGER WARNING: Talk of childhood obesity, possible emergent eating disorders, and forced calorie/food restrictions follow.  Please be sure you have your Sanity Watchers points saved up, and proceed with caution.

Ok. So. I have this friend with a 9-year-old daughter who doesn’t meet the societal standards of thin. Said child gets teased at school and at home because of her weight. And in the interest of full disclosure, the child *is* technically considered “obese” by all measures of childhood obesity. HOWEVER, I’ve seen the baby pictures, and the toddler pictures, and the preschool pictures, and so on. The child is just BUILT this way! She has been since birth. 

The thing that is driving me absolutely batshit crazy is that the child’s mother, my friend, is constantly riding the child’s butt about her weight! The child’s clothes are all too small, emphasizing that Mom refuses to accept the child’s body as it is, where it is, and dress her accordingly and appropriately. This shouldn’t surprise me too much, considering that Mom does the same to herself.

I understand that MUCH of this is societal conditioning. That the mom is brainwashed into thinking that smaller is better, even if the smaller clothing size comes at the expense of comfort AND appearance; and in the case of this mom and child, is enough too small that it makes them both look much bigger than they are, which in turn makes them both feel worse on multiple levels.

There *is* a family history of Type 2 diabetes, so I actually DO get some of the mom’s worry about the child’s weight since there is so much hype about the correllations between obesity and type 2 diabetes (and I cannot get it through this woman’s head that correllation does NOT equal causation). It also doesn’t help that their pediatrician feeds her a bunch of mumbo jumbo about childhood obesity, AND that the child’s school gives her crap about the child’s weight. I GET these things. 

However, I absolutely, positively do NOT get the way this woman is going about trying to get her daughter’s weight “under control.” The tactics she is using are pretty much *guaranteed* to give the child a complex. I can actually SEE the eating disorders forming! I mean LITERALLY see the emergent signs of eating disorders. Sometimes I want to bop this woman on the head with a 2×4 for what she is doing to her daughter’s mental health! Seriously, it is that bad. The tactics include:

  • Drastically limiting the child’s caloric intake.
  • Severely restricting the types of food the child is allowed to eat.
  • Forcing the child to participate in exercise activities, whether the child wants to or not (including, but not limited to joining sports teams)
  • Not allowing the child to eat or drink anything after a certain time of evening, with the only exception being if they are eating dinner late for one reason or another.
  • Absolutely, positively, under-no-circumstances allowing the child to get seconds at any meal, ever.

I have actually SEEN the child sneaking food because she knew her mother would not allow her to have more, and get punished for it when she got caught. I have actually SEEN the child eat herself sick (literally eat until she vomited) when her mother wasn’t around. I have actually SEEN the child get into trouble for accepting one piece of candy that was offered to her (by my daughter) because she had “already had her candy for the day” and she “knew better.”

Since Halloween, the mother took the child’s candy and hid it in Mom’s bedroom because the child, according to Mom, “would eat it all in one sitting” if Mom didn’t.  She doles it out one piece a day, and the child doesn’t even get to pick the piece she gets!  If the child protests AT ALL (“can I have the cherry tootsie-pop instead of the miniature Hershey’s??”) she doesn’t GET her piece of candy that day.

How do I approach Mom about this? How do I tell her that she is destroying her daughter’s self-esteem, and setting her up for a lifetime of disordered eating? How do I point out to her that her daughter is ALREADY, at 9-years-old, showing the emergent signs of eating disorders? How do I gently, and lovingly, and without losing an otherwise valued friend, tell her that she needs to BACK THE F OFF about her daughter’s weight?

I do not feel that I can, with a clear conscience, tell her that I refuse to discuss her daughter’s “weight problem” with her because I feel that what she is doing to her child amounts to physical and psychological abuse. I want to HELP her help her daughter, not tear the family apart, so any comments about reporting them WILL be deleted.

A friend of mine and I went to see The Women last night.  It was the first time I have been out of the house since the surgery except to ride with dh to the bbq place up the street to pick up dinner one evening.  Since we were doing an impromptu “Girls Night” we decided to see a chick flick that the men wouldn’t have taken us to willingly.  “c)

I was pleasantly surprised, actually.  It was a charming, funny, heart-tugging story about the various relationships women have with other women:  Mother-daughter, friends, sisters, coworkers, boss-employee, etc.  You very rarely saw a man on screen as more than background, which was kind of nice.  These women didn’t need men to identify them, support them, direct them, protect them, or anything else.  They were fully actualized characters in their own rights.

Meg Ryan plays Mary Haines, a wealthy socialite with a job in her father’s design firm, a position on the board of several charitable organizations, a daughter, a huge (BEAUTIFUL) house, four very close female friends, and a cheating husband.  And, yes, at the beginning of the film that seems to be pretty much the order she places their importance into.

Annette Benning plays Sylvia Fowler, a New York fashion magazine editor trying to turn the magazine around and stop “dumbing it down.”  Her mission at the magazine is to “talk UP” the the readers, and her (male) boss doesn’t believe in her vision.

Debra Messing plays Edie Cohen, wife and mother to four girls and still trying for a boy.

Jada Pinkett-Smith plays Alex Fisher, the funny, irreverant, hard-partying lesbian friend (who’s lesbianism is, thankfully, played as just a fact of her life).  Alex was actually my favorite character in the movie.  She had some of the best lines and the way Jada played her made me wish I had a friend like Alex.

Eva Mendes plays Crystal Allen, the mistress.  Something about Ms. Mendes’ performance was just lacking for me.  In past movies she has come across as incredibly sexy without appearing to TRY, but in this movie she just feel short.  There was something about her walk, the toss of her head, the pout, that just came across as more comical and stupid than sexy.  Maybe it was done on purpose because we were *supposed* to dislike Crystal, I don’t know.  I just know that Mendes came out looking less like the Sexy, Evil, Other Woman than like a ditz that was trying too hard.

Mendes, however was the only disappointing performance in the movie.  The four main characters shined, and their portrayal of friendship left me saying “I’m so glad I have that!” and very proud to be a woman.

Body Acceptance Moment:  Sylvia is talking to Mary’s daughter, Molly.  Molly admits to smoking so that she won’t eat because she doesn’t want to be fat.  “I want to look like the models in your magazine.”  Sylvia replies “Those women are staged, airbrushed, and photoshopped!  NOBODY looks like those women!  THEY don’t even look like that!”

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Our BUSY but fun-filled weekend started Friday evening with friends coming over and a fire in the backyard (we’re burning some brush on top of a tree stump burn it out).  We ended up visiting until well after one in the morning and just had an awesome time!

Saturday, we got up and spent the morning and afternoon with the kids, playing in the pool and just enjoying each others company.  That evening, we went out with friends to a local club that we all enjoy.  It’s just a laid-back, friendly place that is a TON of fun.  None of us were ready for the party to end, so we all went over to J&P’s house to hang out in their hot tub.  DH and I ended up not getting to bed until after the sun had started coming over the horizon!  (Thank all that is even REMOTELY holy that our kids are all old enough to get their own breakfast and entertain themselves without direct supervision for a while!)

Yesterday, we went out to a friends house so that DH could fix their air conditioner (yep, we’re already using AC in Texas), and she decided that she wanted to take their boat out on the lake for the first time this season.  So while the guys worked on the AC, she and I went and cleaned the boat up after it’s having been stored all winter.  Both “work crews” got finished at about the same time, so off we went!  We ended up anchoring at this little sand bar with a bunch of other boats, including one that I swear the owner had WAY too much money for his own good because he had a sound system on that boat that a dance club would have KILLED for!  I won’t even try to estimate how many boats were there, and they said it was a LIGHT day!  Someone had brought a volleyball net and set it up in the water, and everyone was just hanging out and having a good time.  And despite the fact that a boat full of skinny bitches (all in the 20-25 age range), out there flashing the guys, dancing like strippers, and just generally being obnoxious, seemed determined to make fun of the two “fat chicks” in the boat next to them, us, we had a good time.  We heard a couple of comments about our weight, but after being called “a couple of water buffalo” I couldn’t just ignore it anymore.  I looked at my friend, who looked ready to cry, and said (loudly enough for the skinny bitches to hear) “Yep, I’m a fat chick, and I REFUSE to be ashamed.”  They didn’t quite know how to react, but the ugly comments stopped even if the ugly looks didn’t.  :::shrug::::  Baby steps Pet, baby steps…

After the lake, we went back to our friends house for dinner (at their insistence), and as I was walking down the steps from the kitchen to the living room, one of my sandals flipped when it should have flopped and I fell down the last two steps on my knees.  My only injury is a minor rugburn on both knees.

So today, I am exhausted, windburned, sunburned, and rugburned.  And it’s a GOOD thing.  “c)