sickening sweet

It’s been a long time coming, but I made the decision a couple months back that it was time to really and truly treat myself better…to take care of me.

I finally made a doctor’s appointment for a physical and blood work several weeks ago and was told by said doctor what I already knew: I’m incredibly fat and need to change things. So I vowed to do just that. I started logging all foods that entered my system via My Fitness Pal (highly recommend, by the way). I was doing really well and was seeing a difference on the scale, too.

Then I got a call from the doctor’s office that I needed to go back into the office to discuss the blood test results. I suspected the outcome and was soon spot on in my thoughts:

I have diabetes.

When I was pregnant five years ago, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD). I was pissed off when I first discovered this, but once I learned more about GD and that it truly was the fault of my body’s system and not because I was old or fat, I accepted it and did all I needed to do to ensure my baby doll wasn’t born with diabetes. She wasn’t.

I was told then that because I got GD during pregnancy, chances were much greater that I’d get diabetes later in life.

I didn’t think they meant five fucking years later.

Again, upon learning of the diagnosis, I was pissed. But this time, instead of learning it’s the fault of my body’s system, I learned it was the fault of … ME.

The years I’ve spent consuming whatever the fuck I wanted caught up to me.

The thing that really upsets me about all this besides the fact that I did this to myself is that I’m not 80. I’m 41 (42 on Saturday). Forty fucking one. And I have diabetes. I have diabetes because of the shit food I’ve consumed most of my life. Because of the inactive lifestyle I’ve led most of my life. Because of ME.

***

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the diagnosis, but I’ve made significant changes that I feel I have to live with forever and always, amen.

I don’t want to die.

I don’t want to have a foot or leg cut off for not giving a shit about my blood sugar levels.

***

The good thing about being proactive about all of this is that I can change this diagnosis. I can. And I will! There’s just no other way around it. I have to eat natural foods- low in calorie, low in carbs. I cannot have anymore sweets. I just can’t do it.

Chrysanthemum

The time has finally come to be good to me and that’s exactly what’s happening from herein out. Period, end of story.

But not end of me.

Advertisements

my stint as rock star bicyclist: a true story

Papa gave me my first real bike when I was about 10—a brand new, purple and sparkly 10-speed. I rode that bike like it was my job, and I felt like a rock star while doing so despite its awful girly feel to it (if there was ever something I was not, it was purple and sparkly).

10speed

This is when 10-speeds were to bikes what the latest iPhones are to cell phones today. So as all the other kids rode their much smaller, probably hand-me-down bikes, I floated along on my brand new 10-speed (though I admit to being jealous of those with BMX bikes—why I never was gifted a BMX bike, I don’t know).

Really, I was a rock star. So much so that my 10-year-old self would ride my sweet 10-speed bike in the middle of the street!

It wasn’t a busy street, just the street we lived on: a side street where the traffic could only go in one direction and where stop signs were placed at the end of every block ensuring motorists maintained the 25 mph.

When I wasn’t riding my awesome 10-speed in the street, I was racing it through the alleys. Up and down and all around the several blocks surrounding our home in the burbs. The wind whooshing through my thick bowl-cut hair. The sun tanning my olive skin. I loved the sound the bike would make when I stopped pedaling and just coasted along, my nose turned up at the others who weren’t on 10-speeds.

Yeah me and my 10-speed bike.

We lasted all of maybe two weeks together. But that’s the good thing about being a kid. Things seem to last way longer than they actually do in GrownupLand where two weeks would be a sneeze in comparison to the eternity of two weeks when you’re 10.

We had a good run…till I was pedaling my sparkly purple 10-speed down the street like a rock star and hit a pothole in just the right way that catapulted me over the front handlebars, slamming me, face first, into the cement road.

I didn’t feel like much of a rock star walking my stupid fucking bike home with blood dripping from my nose and mouth.

I never rode that girly bike again, nor have I gotten on a 10-speed since.

Still waiting for the BMX though.

what’s the frequency, kenneth?

I ate more than half of this fresh baked blueberry cobbler yesterday.

10468370_10201559881152956_4317389800106749885_n

 

It was quite delicious at first, but that’s not why I continued eating the thing. No, I continued eating it for various other reasons:

  • Because Taye didn’t get out of bed till Lovie and I were out the door to go to the park at 11:30AM.
  • Because she was too tired to ride her bike home and we had to wait for Taye to come get us. And wait. And wait because “getting clothes on” takes the man half a fucking hour each and every time.
  • Because he ate a piece of my pizza I reheated instead of getting his own that rested, already reheated, near the toaster oven.
  • Because I wanted to nap and during that hour I could hear Lovie shouting: “Where are you, dad? Where’d you go?!”
  • Because I know how immersed she gets while play-dohing, which she was when I laid down, so I can only imagine how long he was in the bathroom in which he spends hours daily. HOURS.
  • Because he disappeared back into the fucking bathroom, just minutes after I got up, where he stayed until Lovie and I started banging on the goddamn door to get his attention after going on a search for him.
  • Because Lovie begged her now-snoring-on-the-couch dad to open the front door so she could go downstairs to play since she was bored (I wouldn’t open the door for her).
  • Because I finally had fucking enough of her begging and his motherfucking snoring that I got up and started vacuuming the fucking play-doh bits while telling him to DO something with Lovie if he wasn’t going to open the door for her.
  • Because he then told me I was crazy …that I was hearing what I wanted to hear …that he wasn’t snoring …that he wasn’t sleeping …that he was just sitting there sprawled out on the couch (not sleeping) …that I was pissed because of something- who knows what- and he was the victim to my insanity.
  • Because I wanted to take him and shake him so fucking hard that maybe his head would snap off and then he’d be able to finally SEE that he DOES fall asleep on the fucking couch any and every goddamn time we’re all hanging out …that he DOES go to the bathroom multiple times a day and spends a RIDICULOUS amount of time in there every fucking time …that his kid is bored because he does NOTHING (active) with her …that he’s fat because he doesn’t fucking MOVE.
  • Because if I didn’t eat half of the fresh baked blueberry cobbler yesterday, I’m certain I would’ve packed a bag, grabbed my child’s hand, and left.

And why? Because he snores. Because he takes forever in the bathroom.

WHAT’S THE FREQUENCY, KENNETH?

Now, had I not just finished bleeding last week, I would’ve chalked up my insanity to PMS, but the fact is that I ate more than half a fucking blueberry cobbler yesterday because of all that shit up there.

Not because I was hungry.
Not because I wanted the funky shits.
Not because I just couldn’t stop eating it.

But because I gave up, like I often do, and turned to food.

I know this, and I’ve known this for a long time, yet I can’t seem to fix it.

But I sure as hell can grab another spoonful of that there deliciousness. Like it’s my job.

 

 

the big day

Tomorrow is a big day for my little girl.

As much as I want this change to happen, as much as I know this will be an amazingly good change…I also know that I’m going to cry. A lot.

I sat here today for over an hour trying to decide what the cake I ordered for tomorrow should say. The cake that will feed all the kids and all the staff (and then some) at Lovie’s daycare.

Tomorrow is her last day there. The cake is to help celebrate this milestone and help us say goodbye.

It would’ve been her last day there long ago, but there wasn’t an opening in her new school until now (summer program starts Monday). While Lovie is doted on like crazy at daycare/preschool (they treat her like a pop star), it’s really much more of a daycare environment than a preschool one. I’m not saying she should be schooled the entire day, but she’s so smart and I don’t want her to get bored (and Montessori school, which she’ll be attending, seems to be an amazingly perfect fit for Lovie and her independence and love of learning).

So tomorrow’s the day we finally say goodbye to daycare.

 

We’ve had some rough moments these past four-plus years—from getting ready in the morning to leaving her friends at the end of the day—but for the most part it’s all been pretty damn great. Especially since I’ve been able to spend nearly two hours more a day with her because the daycare was close to my work.

But tomorrow will be the last time we’ll spend so much time together during the work week. Tomorrow will be the last time I get to peek at her through the rear-view mirror as I drive the 20 miles to daycare to drop her off, or the 20 miles from daycare driving home. Tomorrow will be the last time we can jam out to Pompeii or Happy or yes, even the Wiggles. Tomorrow will be the last time she can ask me to stop for an Icee or chocolate ice cream because after tomorrow, we’ll be literally two minutes from home.

So what do you have written on a cake for such an occasion?

I almost went with a silly “got cake?” message. Then I thought maybe “eat me” would be fun, too. But this isn’t fun. This saying goodbye to the people who helped mold my baby into a little person, who helped her and encouraged her to sit up and crawl and walk and run and eat with a fork and use the bathroom, isn’t a ton of fun.

So then I thought maybe a simple “Thanks” on the cake would suffice. But really? “Thanks” on a big-ass sheet cake with a smiling sun and flowers?

Eventually I opted to leave it blank. Let the smiling sun and flowers speak for itself.

 

smiling-sun

 

Tomorrow is a big day for my little girl… and me.

 

************

she’s an ex for a reason

Except for the extra mileage entrenched around her glassy, stoned-looking eyes, her face looked the same—all smiley and everything. She reeked of sweet, yet medicinal perfume. A COACH bag dangled from her wrist, and sparkly jewelry adorned her fingers, ears, and neck.

I felt nothing; not rage, not excitement, not anything. And then she went toward my dad and hugged him. Then me. Then my husband.

Confusion drizzled over me.

I think my arm went up to kind of encase her as she hugged me like a normal person hugs—arms reached around and squeezing me a bit.

She wouldn’t stop smiling. She looked happy. Really happy. And that pissed me off a bit and fueled my judging her from her perfectly painted red toenails to her matching fake fingernails.

We all played follow the leader to the dining area of the steakhouse my nephew Jordan (her son) wanted us to meet at for his birthday dinner celebration.

It may have been nearly twenty years since we sat at the same table to have a meal, but she really hadn’t changed all that much: she still thought everything was funny, she still found nothing to talk about (and talk about it a lot), she still pulled off the Dumb Blond thing really well.

Only difference was that now she sat next to her boyfriend whom she was living with—along with his two kids, a 13-year-old and 5-year-old—instead of my brother and their children.

Anger started brewing as I started reflecting.

She can leave her own kids when they weren’t even 5 and 10 (now in their 20s) for occasional weekend visits with them, but here she is living with some guy and his kids, taking on a motherly role?

Her boyfriend’s 5-year-old, a girl, leaned against her and she put her arm around the girl and brought her in closer. Both with straw-colored hair, I’m sure the wait staff thought they were mother and daughter.

I looked over at Jordan whom she left when he wasn’t even 5. Was he seeing this too? Was he steaming inside too? Was he wondering why she, his own mother, could act motherly toward this little girl when she couldn’t act that way toward him nearly 20 years ago?

“What kind of wine do you have?” she asked the waiter, batting her glossy eyes at him while he rattled off a list of wines. “Oh,” she cackled before he finished with the list, “I’ll have a white zinfandel.”

I’m certain my eyes rolled at this point, but I pretended to be looking at the light fixtures to avoid confrontation. This was about Jordan and his birthday after all. This wasn’t about me and my disdain for this fake-ass, wanna-be-someone-she-never-will-be woman who used to be my best friend. It’s never been about that. It’s always about the kids. Always.

I squeezed my daughter in closer to me and asked if I could color with her, avoiding making anymore eye contact with Jordan’s mom.

I was, after all, waiting on a steak dinner to come, and I wanted to be able to stomach it.

 

my hair is not like duct tape

Even as an adorable baby, I had dark hair and lots of it.

hair baby

As a little kid with no real say-so in much of, well, anything at all, my hair was kept super short.

hair 70s bowlcut

(I suspect it’s because of how much hair I had, and maybe because it was the 70s and short, bowl-cuts were hip? But really, folks? Stay away from putting a bowl atop your child’s head!)

When puberty hit, my hair started getting some texture to it, and it hasn’t stopped since then.

hair late 80s

hello 1988 & trying to brush out curly hair

Now in my forties, I have super curly hair with the added bouncy bonus of silver grays, and until last Monday, my hair was long.

hair looong

Monchichi & me, Halloween 2011

Really long.

I generally wore it tossed together in a ball of sorts atop my head because it just gets to be too much and I hate sweating and feeling hot and let me tell you, all that hair gets HOT.

hair top of head

hello silver circa 2012

For the most part, I’ve really grown to like my hair. A lot. Even the silver. But there are times when I’d love to do something different; I start looking into shorter cuts and dream of someone cutting my hair the way I want it cut, opposed to the way they were taught.

My hair is not like duct tape. You don’t (wet it,) pull at it, hold it, and cut. It doesn’t work like that. I mean, sure it does, but then when the hair dries, it will be inches shorter than when it was wet, and it will, inevitably, look like shit.

***

I’ve always loved Posh Spice’s cut—long in front, short in back—but never dreamed it would be possible to do on my super curly hair.

hair posh

Then during one of my wanting-to-do-something-different moods, I stumbled across pictures of short curly hair in an inverted bob (Posh cut). Regardless, I was terrified of going for it because I still hadn’t found anyone who would cut my hair dry– or they would cut it dry but then they’d still do the whole treating it like duct tape thing (pull, hold, cut).

Finally, after a miscarriage in 2008 and feeling like I needed a drastic change, I went for it. Of course the end result was ridiculously short and so awful I begged that my husband never let me cut my hair short again. (He keeps a picture on his cell for when I get in the mood to do something different.)

hair 2009

2009 after months of growth from awful cut; hell no am I showing pic hub has

Since that horrid cut, I’ve gotten my hair cut a total of two times excluding last Monday’s cut, because last Monday, I got my hair cut at a joint in the city (Chicago) that specializes in the DevaCurl cut.

hair today

rawr

I kinda love it, and for the first time (in for)ever, I felt like I finally found a place that really understood me and my hair… until I went and picked up my favorite person in the whole world—my 4 year-old daughter—and, once in our seats in the car, asked her what she thought of my cut. I mean, if you want an honest opinion you ask a kid, right?

She wasn’t too happy.*

The moral of the story? If you have naturally curly hair and can never seem to be happy with a cut, look into the DevaCurl way. Oh, and don’t get a drastic cut and ask your kid how it looks if you’re looking for positive reinforcement.

***

 

*This week she’s used to my hair again and doesn’t cringe or cry when she sees me.

on food and eating and obsessions and, of course, NUTELLA

I overeat.

I eat when I’m not hungry.

I eat when I’m bored, tired, excited, nervous, sad, happy, giddy, infuriated… you name the feeling and I’m eating whilst that feeling is being felt.

I remember sleeping over at my cousin’s house when we were like 10. Kenya is only 6 months older than me so we pretty much were BFF’s. I was in the bathroom peeing and Kenya was in the kitchen toasting bread for breakfast that would soon be lathered with Nutella (we were way ahead of the Nutella craze). As I sat on the pot getting excited about how my teeth would soon sink into crunchy toast with smooth, warm Nutella (that would get stuck to the roof of my mouth because I’d accidentally put too much on), I heard Kenya’s voice travel down the hallway: “How many pieces do you want?”

“Two,” I shouted, thinking that I shouldn’t have the three pieces I really wanted. But at the same time that I spat out my response, Kenya completed her question by adding, “One or two?”

I immediately felt like an idiot. Like I had been caught. Like Kenya, who was into ballet and boys, would know why I wasn’t: because I loved eating food and lots of it.

Did you catch that I was around 10 when this happened? Isn’t that kind of an odd thing to remember? How many fucking pieces of toast with Nutella you wanted when you were 10?

I’m that person that generally remembers very little from back then… partly because there isn’t a lot to remember (boring) and partly because I blocked a lot out (parental split), or partly, perhaps, because of the daily usage of marijuana in the first couple years of my 20s.

Regardless, I don’t remember shit, yet I remember this one time, 30+ ago, when I wanted at least two pieces of toast to my skinny BFF’s one.

Sick. I’m sick. There’s got to be some kind of switch or something in my brain that’s not flipped in the right direction.

Right now, my stomach hurts from today’s food consumption of McDonald’s Egg White Delight (no bacon) Meal (with hashbrown) and large coffee (five cream); an amount of mini Reece’s peanut butter cups that I lost track of after like five; half a blueberry muffin; potato chips; a Smart Ones pasta meal; more chips. It’s 3PM. I still need to eat dinner, too. And it’s Taye’s late night so that means Lovie and I are on our own so that means I’ll probably eat shit.

Not literally of course. (Well to some I’m sure it is literal shit but … you know what I mean!)

I’m not sure what my point is to this, really. I’m fat. I own my fatness. I’m “okay” with being fat, but I’m not. I think it’s the food and my obsession with it that really bothers me. I feel like I can’t NOT think of food. Yes, I need it to survive and all that jazz, but it’s truly an obsession for me.

Maybe I should start smoking again.