The battle of the body…

March 29, 2010

… it’s more of a battle of the mind, really. I want to go running outside. It’s a gorgeous, sunny day. I haven’t run in over a year, though because I got quite injured last winter training for a half marathon. I’m wanting to try again but contemplating my mixed feelings around it. Exercise to me is such a mind- fuck. It really is. On the one hand, it makes me feel good and sleep better. At the same time, it elicits all sorts of self-loathing. I dunno. I’ll try to sort it out here.

In the past, a lot of my exercise has been about getting validation from other people. I’m fat but I want to be seen as someone who at least makes an effort. Yes, I realize how offensive that is to me and to others. I know that a host of factors determine body size, but I’m ashamed of my body and looking for some kind of redemption and approval.  I have thought this way since childhood and have examined it thoroughly. I don’t know that it will ever be completely resolved. 

The attitude gets reinforced by people when I’m out running and also in everyday life. I’ve had a man call me chubby and fatty from his front window each time I ran by his house. On a half marathon race course, a woman mocked my breathing. Another kid on the street did the same. I’ve heard ‘Run, Forest, run’ and been told ‘that’s not really running’ by a group of young boys. One told me I probably ran to McDonald’s and ate 10 burgers. I’ve had two women be annoyed that I beat them in a 5k — who would have thought the fat girl could beat them. An old man with a walker told me he was just as fast as me.  When I lost a bunch of weight several years back I tried to explain to a thin friend how good it felt to go into the regular sized section of our favourite clothing store. Her response was ‘Yes, but their sizes are really big.’ She also pulled a plate of nachos away from me and told me we needed a break from eating at a pub. When I completed my first half marathon, she was waiting for me at the finish line. She greeted me with ‘Good for you, you were only half an hour behind me.’  We talked about it and I know she didn’t mean to hurt me but it stayed with me. Then there is the friend who when I say I”m going for a run, feels the need to explain to me that I’m jogging not running because I’m slow.

The encouraging people are almost worse. ‘You can do it!’ Uh, thanks, I already know that and I doubt you’d say that if I were thin no matter what the state of my current fitness. ‘You are doing some really fast walking these days.’ Um, ok.

I know that most people aren’t thinking about me at all when I pass them outside. I know that I shouldn’t give a fig what the negative people do have to say. It speaks more about them than me. I also know that we live in a culture where appearance is everything, especially for women. I’m a part of that culture and it’s time that I stop kicking myself for not being able to just ignore it or disengage from it. It does hurt my feelings and make me want to stop trying. I do get all obsessive with the scale. I do give up and go on food binges. I also entertain the idea of Slim Fast but it didn’t work in the long term for Oprah and I doubt it will for me either.

  I just turned 39 and am facing the same thoughts and feelings that I faced 10 years ago. Fuck, I was drinking Slim Fast in high school for that matter. I know I have learned a lot but I can’t seem to keep the information present in my thoughts much of the time. I had a professor who described what women face regarding body image etc… as fascist. I agree which is why I don’t completely blame myself for not being able to just get over it. Of course, I have responsibility for the situation but not entirely. I don’t exist in isolation and I can’t just ignore negative attitudes no matter how hard I try to.



knitting dirty

March 22, 2010

My little nephew loves turtles. He’s been drawn to them since babyhood. He has a full collection of toy turtles, including his ninja turtles and his family turtles. The family turtles include Mommy Turtle, Daddy Turtle, Baby Turtle, and the littlest one’s name is Baby – Baby Turtle. It sounds kind of hill billy (this is my brother, Daryl and this is my other brother, Daryl) but he was quite small himself when he named them. Well, now my little man is 5 and in a couple of weeks he is having surgery to fix a hernia. Who knew that kids got those? It’s a day surgery but, of course, requires he be put under. Poor little dude. He’s already on the wait list — this is Canada after all — to have his adenoids removed to fix a sleep apnea problem.

I’m on the other side of the country and it’s impossible to be there to give Auntie hugs to my favourite boy. In lieu of those much missed hugs I decided to knit him an Auntie Turtle. Sounds great, right? Except, so far, it looks kind of rude.

In fact, it resembles some items sold in a shop downtown

I couldn’t stop giggling as I clicked ‘Upload/Insert’ to bring you this image. Yes, I secretly am a 12-year-old boy.

The Ides of March

March 15, 2010

It is sooooooooooooooooooooooooo nice out. Nothin’ to beware of. That is all.

Lazy Sunday morning

March 11, 2010

We were lying in bed on Sunday morning, when C rolled over and pulled me in close to snuggle. She sweetly kissed me and then told me ‘I’ve decided that you can be my first wife.’  I recently downloaded all three seasons of Big Love.  ‘No, you can be my first wife.’ I replied. ‘No, you’re going to be my first wife.’ she insisted.

I smiled and said ‘Ok, does this mean you are planning to take a second wife?’ ‘Well, eventually, yes.’ she tells me.  ‘Megan would make a good second wife.’ Megan being a much younger class mate, who C thinks is cute. ‘She’d fit in. She’s a feminist and a vegetarian.’ Apparently, all feminist vegetarians naturally get along. I think C just has a thing for pinko, commie – type chicks.

I giggled and asked ‘So do we get to have lots and lots of babies?’ C visibly blanched the way she does any time I bring up the subject of children ‘No.’ she said. I told her what she wanted then was not plural marriage but a harem because the point of the plural marriage on Big Love is to bring souls in to the eternal family, thus all the babies. She clearly was in it for the fun and not some noble, higher purpose.

Have uterus, will reproduce.

March 5, 2010

Before I moved to this freezing rock in the Atlantic, I went to visit my younger brother’s family in a distant small town. Picture a quaint, mostly white town in the mountains. It’s a beautiful place but not an especially diverse one. Anyway, this was a few weeks before Christmas and to kick off the season the town holds a big celebration at night with rides, a petting zoo, carolling and at the end they light up a huge Christmas tree in the park. My brother’s kids love it. My niece was excited to sing on the stage at the park this year.    

Getting there was some fun. A bustle of trying to feed the kids, get everyone into mitts and hats and making sure we remembered the cameras. When we got there it seems that my niece had decided to try out a new fashion.    

Girl power lives on.


The somewhat dyke -ish bandana cracked me up. Not that I think any fashion is indicative of a child’s future gender or sexual identity but it was funny. My sister-in-law noticed it when we got out of the truck and made her put a toque over it.    

We got into line for the horse-drawn wagon ride. The kids were being kids, pushing and shoving so when we climed into the wagon, SIL took my nephew to the front. I sat at the back with my niece across from some grandparents with the grand kids. A much more peaceful ride for all.    

It was about a 15 minute trip meaning there was lots of time for an Auntie/niece talk about my big move away.  I told her that I hoped she would come and visit us one day. She thought it was too far and that would never happen. Trying to make her feel better, I said that I would be back for visits. I told her that I wanted to bring C to meet her and that Mommy really wanted to meet C, too. Niece said that C sounded like a nice person — they’ve talked on the phone a few times. I responded with ‘Yes, I really love her’.  Her eyes widened, ‘You mean you’re in love with her?’ and then without even taking a breath, ‘But who is going to have babies?’ ‘Wait! I know! You both will.’  Grandpa’s face across the wagon was something else.   

I have always referred to C as my girlfriend when talking to my niece but I guess it just never occurred to her that we were a couple. Not a surprise, I don’t think she knows any queers aside from me and I’m pretty assimilated, at least in appearance.  I had explicitly told her when C and I started dating but it was quite awhile before and what kid remembers boring details of grown up lives. The instantaneous question about babies wowed me. Holy power of heteronormativity, Batman! She was totally cool with the couple thing but couples exist to have babies. Apparently, two uteri just means more cousins. I’m so glad the subject of fertilization didn’t come up. Grandpa would have died.    

Note the rebellious bandana peeking out.