Archive | February 2012

Can you be too honest?

I come from a family that believes in being honest.  Brutally honest. They feel that if you are not being told the unvarnished truth then you are simply being lied to.  Never once is the concern that their opinion is not necessary nor wanted.  How could you not want to know what they perceive is the truth?  There is no way possible that you do not know how lousy your choices were? How disappointed they are in your shortcomings?  I mean YOU live with it everyday but you somehow must be unaware.

Never once did I consider myself like my well-meaning relatives.  I believed that I was always trying to be considerate of another’s feelings, right? Wrong. You see one does not really divorce themselves from their families of origin.  Oh my words were definitely nicer than my familial counterparts but hurtful nonetheless.  You see I prided myself in not being judgmental.  Well at least not overtly.  We ALL judge other people.  Sometimes harshly other times gingerly but judge none the same.

Unfortunately, my friends never said anything when I told them about THEIR lives.  They never uttered a word when I cast my infinitely wise judgment on their situations that they had courageously shared with me.  Like my roots I felt that I had to be honest with them.  I never once considered that they just needed to vent.  Not everyone is looking for solutions from me for their problems.

It did not dawn on me that I could be hurtful.  Hell, I lived with hurt so I understood it intimately.  But everything is not about me and my hurt.  Sometimes it is just about listening.  It is simply allowing the other person to get it off their chest, being their sounding board.  Allowing them the space to scream and then breathe.  Sometimes they just want the audience to validate their emotion of I matter.  It is not about giving unwanted, not necessarily advice or opinions.

Yes your best friend may be dating a loser.  Believe me she knows that already.  She is asking because she needs to hear it out loud in her head.  Your agreement may not be necessary.  She will tell you if it is. Your telling her that her boyfriend is a bum only makes her defend him.  No one wants to hear that they are not with a great mate.  You tell her it is her choice after you have denigrated him.  Now she feels like she has lost some status in your eyes. In your conversations going forward there is an awkward silence.  There is a shift in the relationship.  What happens now?

How do you treat confidences given to you by a lover?  I am not talking about spreading the story because that is TOTALLY unacceptable.  Nor am I speaking about judging it but about once again giving your opinion on the situation.  I would have done x y z.  How do you know that?  Have you been there?  Have you considered all that was going on?  Have you been blindsided like that before? More than likely the answer to those questions is no.

I had not be confronted with those situations until recently. I did not realize that I was not the all knowing, omnipotent sage.  I never said anything out of malice or anger or bitterness but the effect was still the same.  Never once did I consider the other persons feelings.  I did not cherish the trust placed in me with the revelations of their inner most thoughts, feelings and fears.

Is an apology enough? I never meant to hurt anyone. My opinions are not sacrosanct. My wisdom is not infinite. My approval is not necessary. But if anyone walks away, I understand.


Living with Hypocrisy

Everyday has been a struggle with my this weight loss thing.  See what I failed to mention is that I am a certified personal trainer.  Yup believe it or not.  I used to teach different types of dance aerobics classes.  Although I was not at my goal weight I was still flexible and energetic. My clients loved my classes and my coaching. I related to their struggles personally and they felt it. I encouraged and inspired my ladies.

However, when I thought about taking my business to the next level I felt like a hypocrite.  How can I teach behavior control, responsibility and self love when I myself  have those same issues?  I could not get over the fact that I was not picture perfect. For a time I did not believe that my input was valuable and useful even though my ladies loved me and sought me out.

Although my knowledge of health and fitness was vast I was always hesitant to share it with others believing that they would look at me as some type of poser.  How can she know so much but doesn’t practice it?  The truth of the matter is that I am very healthy. I do not have diabetes or hypertension, not even close

Then I started thinking about what made me a hypocrite.  I understood many of the reasons that women did not lose weight or stick to a program.  I know how easy it is to gather information and not apply it consistently or appropriately.  I know what it is like to fail then be afraid to get back on that horse.  I never told anyone that it was easy.  Never once did I disguise my own personal struggles.  In fact I was unfailingly honest with them.

So I began to think that perhaps it was my own sense of I should look like this or that to be effective. Those who want someone who is on the road with them will appreciate what I have to offer.  Others will find someone who meets their needs.  I am good with that.



This is harder than I thought…

Thankfully I have health conscious children.  When I allow them to do the grocery shopping most of the items brought back are healthy.  They only purchase the red velvet cupcakes on my instructions.  So now in my refrigerator are strawberries, blueberries and oranges.  Yummm.  No, I really do like fruit however, I am craving some processed sugar.  I can almost taste the twinkies or cupcakes.    I have not had breakfast yet so I should go eat some oatmeal but I don’t want to eat that.

Last night at the Super Bowl Party I tried nibbling, but the flank steak quesadillas, sliders, jerk chicken wings and cheesecake were calling my name. I told myself I would only eat one plate.  I ate three.  Nope, I did not feel guilty. It was a party for chrissakes. Justification? I am proud of myself for not having an empty calorie alcoholic beverages!  I only drank loads of soda.  Perhaps I should have waited until Monday to change my life?

Nah, see now I know that I have to plan.  That taking ownership of this issue is not just about saying so but it is about doing so.  It is about really putting forth an effort to change.  It is about making change the priority with no outs on not doing so.  I am not going to write a whole bunch of feel good statements nor put out a whole bunch of excuses.  This is not easy.  I live a real life; have real friends.  I have to figure this out.

So I am going to go eat breakfast, thankfully there are no Lucky Charms so it will be Oatmeal or its equivalent.

Ciao Bella!



Afroditee Rising: The Resurrection of a Fallen Goddess

I had never received the back handed compliment of “oh she has such a pretty face” until recently.  That was a compliment reserved for fat women.  I did not consider myself fat at all.  I would describe myself as overweight but never fat.  As long as I could still purchase clothing out of regular department stores I did not believe myself to be obese.  Even when I was hospitalized last year and the doctor’s notes said “…obese, 42yrs old female” it did not truly register.  However, once my vanity was attacked it hit home.

Like Rosie O’Donnell said, fat people live in denial.  That is a truth.  Sometimes I see myself in the mirror and wonder how did it get to be this.  I am 5’4″. I weigh 210lbs.  Euphemisms like “thick”,” full figured”, and ” healthy” only mask what I know to be the truth.  This body that I live in is well on its way to diabetes and hypertension.  Thankfully in this moment I do not have any of those diseases but it is just a matter of when not if.

Being overweight has effected my self esteem, my sense of self worth, my self love.  It feels like a self  inflicted punishment.  When I think back to when I was slim and feeling good it almost brings me to tears.  I start asking myself how did I let it get this out of hand? Why didn’t I just get up from the table?  Stop eating at fast food restaurants? Continue to exercise?  I am not a fat person who does not know how I got fat.  I know exactly what I did, which I think makes it all the worse.

My family harps on me about my weight.  I look at them all of whom are overweight and say to myself, really?  Mirror anyone?  They can not stop reminding me of how I used to look.  As if that is going to magically make this weight melt away or if it is supposed to inspire me.  It does the opposite.  I begin to feel overwhelmed and worthless.  I feel like I must have peaked somewhere in my early thirties when I was still slim.

The heavier I became the more crap I accepted from the men I dated.  I no longer felt that should be respected or loved entirely. Glad that they were in life was enough.  Trust me, when you do not love you no one else does either.  I stayed with a man who told me that he did not usually date “big girls”.  So I sat wondering should I feel special that you chose me?  I found myself always trying to overcompensate for not being thin, for not being his ideal of beauty.  In reality I was showing him that my love was not worth it because it did not come in a perfect size 4, 6 or 8.  I was depleted walking out of that one.

Not being one of the more attractive women in the room has caused me to develop other traits.  I figured out that I am a good business woman, that I am funny, smart and creative.  Being overweight pushed me to develop in areas not associated with my vanity. It has given my a voice that I might not have found when I thought I was beautiful.

So now at this juncture I am ready to lose the weight.  I mean do what is necessary to get to where I feel comfortable in my skin.  This is not simply about my vanity but about my life, my health and my self love.  So, I am inviting you on this journey with me.  Come along.

Ciao Bella!