Grandma: The Reading Lady
(Left to right: Blondie 1, Care Bear, Anakin, Feisty)
Grandma: The Reading Lady
(Left to right: Blondie 1, Care Bear, Anakin, Feisty)
And this is what I actually came home with. Except with bangs. Sorry, Mom. I know you're disappointed. Maybe when I'm 40 I'll cut my hair short again. Or when I finally get sick of my hair ending up with toothpaste spit and food all over it. That gets kinda gross.
What do you do when your four year old daughter approaches you with her latest "masterpiece" after practicing her pre-school like culinary skills? I was approached by Care Bear yesterday afternoon to try a sample of her deliciousness. What I saw in the bowl looked like something the neighbors cat might have puked up. I smiled and took a pretend bite. "Mmmmm....delicious.", I said. "No mommy. Take a real bite." "Uhhhh....What's in it Care Bear?" "Smooshed up Teddy Grahams, apple juice and string cheese." Ohhh....so that's what those chunks are. "Umm...sorry, Care Bear. I'm really not hungry right now. Maybe I'll try it later." She was disappointed, but I was grateful to her that she didn't push the issue. I'm hoping I didn't end up squashing the future Rachel Ray. Next thing you know, I'll see Care Bear's exact recipe in Good Housekeeping.
Last week, I went to Chipotle for lunch. What am I talking about? I always go to Chipotle for lunch. All the employees know me there. Except last week there was a new girl running the cash register. She didn't know me. I was sporting my ultra cool Broncos jacket with my name embroidered on it compliments of my dear MIL.
"Are you a Broncos cheerleader?!" she said.
"Why, yes, actually, I am". I said. But not really. I told her no, I'm not. She thought my jacket looked "official" therefore thought I was a cheerleader.
I love her. She got a tip. And a recommendation from me for a raise. She's my new favorite person.
Care Bear likes pillow talk. Well, truth be told, the kid likes to talk whenever about whatever at all times of the day. But after night-night prayers, she really likes to talk. Last night her talk was revolved around how much she loves me. And then she told me a secret. "Mommy, I love you so much I'm going to ess-plode!" Take note: According to Care Bear, the correct pronunciation for the word is not "explode" or "eggs-plode" but "ess-plode". See, some people say it "egg-splode", but that is wrong. It doesn't really matter how you say the first part of the word, but when you hear Care Bear say it, it will always be "ess-plode". Just so you know.
I start my new work schedule tomorrow. My boss came into my work area yesterday (you know; my third work area in three months) and told me, "OK. How about you move back over to where you were last week when you start your new schedule."
WhatEVER. I'm getting dizzy and confused from so much moving. I keep going to the wrong desk after lunch and in the morning because I can't remember from one day to the next where I'm sitting. And it's not over. OH NO. Big changes and stuff happening in the office. The head honcho wants our area when the change occurs. Us peons will be moving. That makes the tally by the time it's all over : 5 moves for Kristen in as many months. But I'm not complaining. I'm not bitter. Color me happy.
And that's all the randomness floating through my brain for now. Enjoy your Monday (tomorrow that is. Today is Sunday).
I love taking Care Bear to school. I love seeing her go in to her classroom with excitement and anticipation of what the day is going to hold for her. I love watching her turn her name over on the "Who's Here" board. I love her excited face and ginormous hug when I come to pick her up. I like seeing the other moms.
I love having the afternoon with Feisty. She thrives on alone time with mama. It's rare that it happens and she takes full advantage of it...or rather me....and Care Bear's toys.
I love just being there two days a week with them. I wish I could be a full time stay at home mom and this will make me feel more like a part time mom.
This is by no means an effort to make my mom feel bad for desiring to change the schedule and it is be no means a guilt trip. My mom watches them for me out of the goodness of her heart...for free...and for that I am indebted to her indefinitely. I understand her need for good mental health. I'm just processing my thoughts on the whole thing and trying to make peace with this newest of changes in my life before it occurs next Monday. So in light of that, here are the "pros" of the change:
So starting next Monday, I will be reporting to duty every day at 12:30 sharp. Or 12:32 or 12:35 in some anonymous desk that is yet to be determined.....and in the meantime, I will enjoy my one (1) remaining full day with them on Thursday. Feel sorry for me; feel happy for my mom.
Passions--the soap opera
NBC has just announced plans to cancel the eight year soap opera after adding an extra hour to the Today Show in the morning. The soap debuted in 1999 and is infamous for its supernatural storylines (i.e. a doll that comes to life, a 300 year old witch with a 4 year old daughter) and for its pathetic damsels in distress who pine after the same man all their live-long days. I must admit, I am guilty on occasion of tuning into this show, but only because it follows the best soap evah--Days of Our Lives.
There is talk of possibly moving the show to another network (MY Network TV or Soap Net), or even making it an internet based soap opera. The kicker? The current cast must all be on board. Tell ya what I'd say 'bout that: "Take your minimum wage internet based soap opera paycheck and shove it. I'd sooner work at McDonald's." Soap opera stars are already the lowest on the totem pole of actors. Move it to the internet and what you've got there is career suicide.
Tune in next week for another edition of Kristen's Celebrity News. Until then, keep your eyes and ears open.
**There is a new poll on the sidebar related to this post.
If enough interested is generated, and I can coordinate a time that works for everyone, then, we'll, we'll get going on figuring out the details. As details emerge, I will keep those interested parties apprised as to what is goin' on.
I think it would be great fun and would thoroughly love meeting all you wonderful peeps.
Personally, I think the break-ups between Cam and J.T. and Brit and K-Fed happened a little conveniently close together. I think the new relationships are a facade....and I give it a year...maybe less...before J.T. and Brit-Brit are once again the pop prince/princess couple.
Trouble in Paradise? That's the word. The honeymoon appears to be over, or so they say. Tom is too controlling of Katie. Uh...ya think? Katie, you used to be Catholic. Now you're a Scientologist. Rather radical change wouldn't you say? Now he's controlling the projects you do, the friends you talk to and where and when you go. I know you used to have pics of Tom on your wall when you were a kid. What girl didn't? But marry the guy? That's a whole 'nother story. Should have taken a clue when Tom was jumping on couches on national TV and when he got fired from his company. Another celebrity marriage fatality? Only time will tell....my guess is a short time.
Going into Re-hab. It's about time. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, Linds. Hope it works for you.
And thus ends the first edition of Kristen's Celebrity News.
And we'll see how it goes. One step at a time. Hey, if I can beat anorexia, surely I can beat this, right? I hope.
So, Grandma took her to a more "seasoned" hairstylist. You know, one who's been through an apprenticeship and has the right to take a pair of scissors to the hair.The front view
The back view.
Please make me feel better and tell me my adorable daughter doesn't look like a boy.
Grandma must have been busy watching Dr. Phil. It's all good Grandma. Just hide the scissors better, eh?
I experienced a few difficulties at this facility and before the three months was up, I ended up going home. I hadn't relapsed; I wasn't back into my unhealthy eating habits, but it hadn't ended up being what I really needed. I could have gone home straight after the Ranch and been as in good of shape as I was when I went to Chandler. However, it did afford me a few more months of time before I had to truly get back into the "real world" and test my new found knowledge of myself and my illness. (I must qualify all of this by saying that I'm sure that with 11 years under it's belt that this Residential treatment facility is now flourishing and every bit as wonderful and helpful as the Ranch itself for assisting those just leaving the Ranch.)
By this point in time, I was a healthy 115 pounds. The plan was to head back home for a couple of weeks and then head back to Kansas to go to school again. It was only October by this time, so until the fall semester ended, I would stay with the woman who had given my mom the connection to Remuda Ranch; who I had worked with at the Orthopedic Surgeons Office. I went out there to live with them, rent free, and find a job until school started in the spring.
I got a pretty good job out there working as a customer service representative for a credit card company. I enjoyed the job and it was good to be back in Kansas where my friend and roomate lived. She was now married, and I had found three other girls to room with when school started again in the spring.
However, once again, things on the school front were not to work out for me. I went home that Christmas to be with my family and while I was on the plane on my way home, the woman I lived with called my mom and told her that I wouldn't be able to return and continue living with them. One of her reasons? I left dishes in the sink rather than washing them and putting them away. They were rather OCD. I was devastated and once again felt like a failure. It was only two weeks until the semester was to begin; yet they weren't willing to let me come back for two weeks so I could go to school. I ended up quitting my job and dropping out of school for that semester, once again. Looking back on it now, I'm sure I could have found someone to stay with for those two weeks. Or I could have remained at home for those two weeks and gone back when school started. But I had taken a giant step backwards in my confidence level and felt the need to be back at home; in my familiar surroundings. Having had that blow to my self-esteem and being away from home, I could have easily slipped back into my behaviors. So I came back home. Again. I have never again heard from or spoken to the woman that I lived with and worked with and was so good to me for so long.
I ended up going to the community college for the next couple of semesters and remained at home until January of the following year when I took a giant leap and moved into my own apartment with a roommate in the town north of my parents. I haven't lived at home since.
That was ten years ago. The same month I moved in with my new roommate, I got my job where I currently work. I have not once slipped back into my anorexic behavior. That is not to say that life has been all roses since that time. Hardly. I've had a lot of things I've dealt with since that time; but happily, none of them have caused me to go back. I've had boyfriends; I've had plenty of heart-break. I've had more than one (count them four) bad roommate situations, several more apartments; financial difficulty; a "sowing my wild oats" period of my life where I decided I was tired of being the "good girl" that never did anything wrong. But through it all, I can honestly say that I have never again looked at a fat gram; or a calorie; or counted how many servings of carbs or protein or "optional calories" I've eaten. I can't remember the last time I worked out. My favorite foods are nothing you would consider exactly "healthy". I eat fries; I eat pizza; I eat ice cream; I eat chips; I eat cookies. I eat all the things that I used to consider my "fear foods" without a moments thought. Something changed in my metabolism after I went through this because I still get an occasional glance or look or "concerned question" from people who wonder if I still have that "eating problem". And all I have to say to this is: "Hey. I eat...and I eat what I want. That's all I can do". So to those people who still think I have an eating problem I say, "Phooey on you. I know where I am. And I know I eat fine. You don't believe me? It's your problem". Nothing ticks me off more to this day when people comment about my weight. Leave me alone already!! I'm not what a doctor might consider my "ideal weight". Probably about ten pounds under. But I'm fine. It's been 11.5 years since I left the Ranch.
So, where am I now? I'm 32 years old. I have a husband of almost five years and three beautiful children who I am extremely blessed to have. Not all women who come through an eating disorder are ever able to have children. I live in a nice home in a nice neighborhood. I have a job in which I just celebrated my 10 year anniversary on Monday. I have friends.
My life is by no means perfect. Whose is? But I feel blessed to be where I am today. Blessed to have what I have. Blessed for all the people who got me through this ordeal that now seems light years away. Blessed to have found Remuda Ranch. Blessed to have life. It's been quite a ride thus far.
To end this series, I would like to post an essay or story of sorts that I wrote shortly after returning from Arizona entitled "The Metamorphisis". I posted this almost a year ago when I first started blogging regularly, but thought it would be a good way to end My Story:
Imagine for amoment with me that you are in your backyard. As you wander through the grass, admiring the crisp fall air, the beautiful leaves turning colors of gold and ash and red, you begin to imagine.
The air smells sweet and has a touch of winter to it. You can picture yourself very soon sitting by the fire, popping popcorn and enjoying being with yourl oved ones at Christmas as you share fond memories of holidays past. As you begin to come out of your reverie, your eyes come face to face with a cocoon, balancing itself onone of the leaves of a tree. You admire it, and you revel at the amazement of the transformation that is happening within that little haven.
An unattractive, rejected creature is going through a metamorphosis that will result in one of the most beautiful creatures God has ever created.....a butterfly. It is completely unique to itself, and unlike any other ever created. Its wings consist of almost every color in the rainbow. Its shape allows it to soar over the earth. It is gentle and humble, un-harming, yet able to take care of itself. You smile to yourself, thank God for smal lwonders, and walk back into your house where Mom has prepared a wonderful meal that your whole family will undoubtedly gorge itself on. The cocoon slips out of your mind, to be un-thought of again until you happen to run across another. You are completely unaware of what is happening within the cocoon....
Outside, the wind begins to blow, rocking the fragile leaf that houses the precious creature inside. Inside the cocoon sits the creature, in a precarious state. Will it make it? Or will the stormy weathers outside its safe shell wreak havoc on the process it is undergoing? It shivers. It can see outside, but it's very foggy. It is completely aware of its surroundings, but unable to attach emotion to it. After all, it's between worlds. It's in a shell, unable to love, live, or communicate until that shell is broken. Until it can spread it's wings and fly and show its beauty to the world. But will it get that chance? Not if the cruel world with its stormy weather and unpredictable circumstances have anything to do with it. No, this creature must rely on a greater force. One that can withstand all the trials and tribulations that it must go through to get there. But it's unable to see, and understand. It must rely on trust. It tries to see out, to understand what's going on in the outside world. It wants to relate, to commune with nature and all of God's creatures. But it's stuck. Bound by a greater force. A hard wall that is strong enough to keep it locked in, but not strong enough to keep out the knowledge that the world is out there. With great effort the creature struggles, and eventually gets enough strength up to push. But to no avail. The wall is as solid as a rock. It tries again. Still no luck. With several more efforts, the creature resigns to the fact that it is stuck there, sighs, and leans against the wall of its prison. "Will I ever get out of here?"it wonders. "Will I ever be able to see the world as everyone else sees it?" It feels alone, lost, scared and unsure. It only longs to be like everyone else, like all the other creatures out there that have already completed their METAMORPHISIS. But alas, it must wait. Hoping it lives through all the obstacles it must live through. It's tired of being on the outside looking in. It's tired of being in a body it feels uncomfortable in. It's tired of being trapped, knowing there's better things out there, but they're so far out of reach, and it has no idea how to bring them within reach. It's just tired. Out of place. Alone.
This scenario describes just as I felt while enduring an eating disorder. It may also be the way many others feel while going through many other types of issues. I was trapped. I knew what was happening, but there wasn't a thing I could do about it. I had no way out. I was an outsider looking in, but unable to be a part of the life I was observing. Like the caterpillar hovering in its cocoon, I was trapped in my own private hell. I watched the world around me, enjoying all the beauty, and everyday activities, but I was completely unable to be a participant. I became withdrawn, preventing myself from being hurt by outside forces. I distanced myself from my family and friends, and became a person that I myself didn't even recognize. What was this strange and unfamiliar creature that was living within me; this disease that had overtaken my body? I tried over and over but to no avail, to try to break that wall, free myself of the prison that I had put myself in. I was lonely, tired, out of place and alone. "What is the purpose of this?", I questioned to myself and to God every single day of my life. Why me, God? Why am I going through this hell? No answer that I got ever satisfied me. And I knew I was stuck. The knowledge of what I was doing to myself superseded the fear of getting fat, of losing control and being unable to regain it. I couldn't let that happen. So I continued to harm myself. I was in danger of not completing the METAMORPHISIS that God was trying to achieve. The outside forces of the world that rocked my safe little haven were threatening to win. Would I make it? Luckily, I did. But not without months of in-patient treatment, and the love and support of my family and friends, and most importantly my final resignation to put my faith, trust, and life in the hands of my creator.....the one who would indeed complete that transformation. It's not an easy thing to overcome, in fact, it's the hardest task I've ever had to accomplish in my whole life. But the end result is amazing......
After what seems forever, the creature begins to stir. It had given up the fight, admitted to the fact that it wasn't its fight in the first place, and placed its well-being in the capable hands of it's creator. It was a terribly hard thing to do, but when that stubborn wall refused to break on its own, and when that fog that clouded its vision refused to lift, it decided it had no choice but to wait....and wait....and wait....and trust that that greater force knew what it was doing. Not that the creature didn't work....Oh, no....it worked with all it's might. For, you see, once it put it's faith and trust in its creator, things began to happen. And the work became a mission to become all it could be and free itself of that horrible prison. And eventually it did....it didn't happen all at once, but day by day, the wall became softer, and the fog became thinner, and the terribly strong strings that had bound it began to unravel. And one day,without even realizing it, they were gone. It had been such a slow subtle process, that it didn't even realize that it was at this very moment soaring over the earth, the wind through its wings, with more freedom than it had ever imagined. Beautiful in its own right, because it was unique.
The butterfly never forgot those days that it spent in that cocoon. While it was a trying and difficult time, and it would never want to repeat it, the experience taught it strength, perseverance, character, and the ability to put its total trust and faith in something it couldn't see, touch, or hear. And the result....total METAMORPHISIS.
By Kristen P.
Thanks for taking time to read my story. If it has helped, inspired, or encouraged even one person, then I'm happy that I took the time to write it. It's been quite an experience re-living it all, and I thank you for reading it.
I had high hopes for the semester. I had a new roommate; one I had met and become acquainted with in the two weeks I was there before; I had a few friends I had made that were anxious to have me return.
Within about two weeks of being there, I discovered that my new roommate appeared to be using me as a "learning tool" on how to become skinny. She asked me for tips, constantly ate my "safe foods" (I had gotten to the point where I quit obsessively counted the optional calories and would allow myself once in a while to partake in a Snackwells cookie or two without counting the extra clories) and began self-induced vomiting. This obviously was not a healthy environment for me to be in while I was attempting to succeed and become healthy.
I eventually got permission from the school to move out of the dormitories and move in for the remainder of the semester with my grandparents who lived only blocks away from campus. I rarely participated in any of the activities at school and after moving away from campus, found it even more difficult to do so and the motivation to try wasn't there. Although it appeared like I was going to complete the semester, my heart wasn't in it. I began communicating with my life long best friend who was going to the Nazarene College in Olathe, Kansas. I even drove out there by myself for a weekend visit with her and became acquainted with some of her friends and even met a guy. Guys had been the last thing on my mind for quite some time needless to say, so the fact that I felt interest and he seemed to as well made me feel somewhat "alive" again. As well, being with someone who was extremely familiar to me was also a comfort. By the end of my semester, I had decided that I was going to leave my current college and go out to Kansas the following school year to room with my best friend.
I don't recall much about the summer following my freshman year of college, which must be a good thing because it means that I wasn't going through anything terribly memorable. I do know that I continued to see my nutritionist throughout the summer, although with less frequency than I had before.
When the summer was over, and I packed up to go to school in Kansas this time, I had a completely different feeling. It was one of excitement and anticipation. I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that I would be rooming with someone I knew my whole life. There was familiarity and comfort in that fact for me. She knew me better than anyone else in my life, probably, besides my parents.
We enjoyed a great first semester together. We were inseparable. We went shopping, to Tippins restaurant to eat cornbread and chicken noodle soup; to the St. Louis Bread Factory to eat their bread bowl soup. We loved to go to movies and pick up a bag of Jelly Bellies to eat during the movie. We taped Days Of Our Lives during the day and watched it together in the evening before we retired faithfully every night at 10:00 (we were rather nerdy college students....I mean, who EVER goes to bed at 10:00 pm in college....we did!) One particularly snowy weekend around Christmas, we sat in our beds all day looking at our homey little Christmas decorated room and cross-stitched. I have very great memories of that semester with her.
Over Christmas vacation, my best friend and college roommate got engaged to her long-time boyfriend. The plan was for them to get married in the summer after that school year was over. While I was happy for her, all of a sudden I felt insecure again. This would mean that I would no longer be able to have her as a roommate. While I didn't realize it at the time, my fall back into losing weight and unhealthy eating was due to my uncertainties of the following school year; not having her as my comfort.
Over the course of the 2nd semseter, I began to rapidly lose weight again. I would come home in the evenings from classes and after work and eat half a can of chicken noodle soup. I would save the rest for the next night. I would have a couple of pretzels or animal crackers throughout the day and that was all. I began to rapidly lose weight again. My roommate was unaware of my eating habits because she worked in the evenings at a car dealership. She was, however, noticing the rapid loss of weight. She began asking me what I had for dinner that evening. Sometimes I would tell her I went to the cafeteria, sometimes I would tell her I went out to get something. Other times I would tell the truth. I didn't want to be harassed about how and what I was eating.
Eventually, my employers at the orthopedic surgeons office I worked for began to notice the weight loss as well. Word got back to my parents and they began to research what should be done for me. I don't remember how they found Remuda Ranch , but through their research, they decided this was where I was going to go. I had to go through a lengthy interview process with the admissions staff there; I had to be evaluated by a nutritionist, a doctor and a psychiatrist to determine if Remuda was the right fit for me. And it was. I was set to be a bridesmaid in my roommates wedding on June 10 of that year, and the following Monday, I would be leaving for Arizona and entering into the best thing that ever happened to me....
Part 4: At Remuda Tomorrow
Visit my mom if you are interested in reading this story from a mother's point of view.
anorexia nervosa [(an-uh-rek-see-uh nur-voh-suh)]*********************************************************
A psychosomatic disorder in which the sufferer refuses to eat
undertakes activities (such as self-induced vomiting) to bring about
extreme weight loss. Anorexia, which is also characterized by a distorted
self-image, occurs most often in young women aged twelve to twenty-one and may
result in death if medical treatment is not obtained. Treatment for anorexia
often includes extensive counseling to reveal underlying emotional problems.
Medicine and Health
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural
Literacy, Third EditionCopyright © 2005 by
Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Second semester of my senior year was in full swing. Rehearsals for the spring musical, "The Music Man" were beginning. Chamber Singers (the choir I was in) were performing up to two times a day at various locations. I was working part time after school at KFC. Needless to say, I was a busy senior. And I was enjoying it. I was also dating someone who I worked with at KFC (much to the chagrin of my parents who were less than pleased about it....ironically, I ended up marrying this guys best friend 10 years later....).
As the semester wore on, and summer was fast approaching, I noticed that my Chamber Singers dress was fitting a little more snugly than it had before. The aforementioned boyfriend also once made a comment about me being "squishy" when he was hugging me. This could be attributed to the fact that I worked at KFC and constantly snacked on the less than healthy, albeit very tasty, food that we made there. Regardless of the reason, I wanted to go to college healthy and aware of my food choices so that I would not fall victim to the dreaded "freshman fifteen".
My mom, being a "chronic weight watcher" had all the stuff necessary for me to learn how to eat; not necessarily lose weight, but just learn how to make smart choices where food is concerned. So, I pulled out all of her old Weight Watchers materials and began to use the program. I learned how many carbs were "OK" per day, how many proteins, veggies, fruits and fats....a word I had truly learned to fear and hate. Also allotted were optional calories which came in the form of salad dressing, candy, gum, etc. Yes....optional calories could be used on gum. No longer would I stick a piece of gum without calculating how many of my precious optional calories I was using.
Within the first week, I had lost seven pounds. It wasn't necessarily my intention, but since it had happened, I wasn't disappointed. My chamber singers dress fit well again, and my snug fitting jeans weren't quite so snug.
Week after week, I continued to lose weight. I could no longer go to restaurants without carrying my precious cheat book that showed me how many carbs, proteins, etc....each potential food item contained. If what I wanted to order was not listed, or I couldn't figure it out with certainty, I wouldn't order it. Eating out became a chore rather than a pleasure. Something to fear, rather than enjoy.
Once I hit a certain weight, my mom told me I needed to start using the tools to maintain my weight, not continue losing. But this meant increasing my daily allotment to which I had become so used to, and also (in my mind) meant gaining weight back, rather than maintaining it. It was a risk I was unwilling to take. In fact, the more pressure I got to increase to maintain, the lower I went in my daily portions. It became something I could control that no one else could....what I didn't realize, was that I was losing control...
Part 2 Tomorrow