A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Friday, October 29, 2010

Actresses Who Don't Want Airbrushing


The woman they're talking about in this article (Rachael Leigh Cook) is the actress who played Josie in the 2001 movie; "Josie and the Pussycats". Which I have to admit I liked despite myself, I even have a song from that film on my MP3 player.

She's the one in the middle...
She's as tiny-skinny as any Hollywood girl, in fact she kind of reminds me of an Elf because her eyes are really big for her little face. But I really appreciate her sentiments on this topic and willingness to attend the 2010 Healthy Media for Youth Summit. Kudos also to Geena Davis for being there.

Geena stopped working as an actress awhile back now, which is a shame - I always liked her.

I think if the women who are the ones being subjected to ridiculous photo shopping stand up and speak out against the crazy practice it might make a difference. They have control over what's done to images of themselves, don't they? I just assume they're signing something somewhere the fine print of which reads "we can stretch and morph you until you look anorexic if we want to." Okay, it probably doesn't read precisely like that, but you get the idea.

There's actually a lot of actresses complaining about this in the media right now. The question is do they have the spine to actually refuse to be in these photo spreads (and consequentially not get paid for them) unless magazine publishers agree not to do crazy alien slim downs to their images?

Time will tell.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Anniversary Reflections

Today is my eighth wedding anniversary. Eight years married to Ted. I figured I would reflect on what I started out knowing and what I’ve learned along the way.

Unfortunately the first thing that comes to mind is the same advice that George Burns used to give when people asked him what the key was to a long and successful marriage, he always said: “Marry Gracie.”

For me it’s: “Marry Ted.”

I’ve said to him more than once over the years that there would be a lot more happy women in the world if they were just married to Ted, but unfortunately for them I’m not willing to share.

So instead I’ll start with my Mom and Dad. They’ve both offered me good marriage advice over the years and after nearly fifty years together I think they’ve more than earned the right to be listened to on this point. My mother’s was to remember not to fall into the trap of thinking it’s all going to be perfect hearts and flowers every day, if you want it to work you have to work at it. My Dad’s was simpler; “pick your battles” or more succinctly “know when to shut up”.

It’s true that it’s not always easy, but to be honest I don’t find it hard either. Ted is easy to live with, easy on the eyes, loving to the heart and stimulating to the mind. I looked at him last night and realized he’s even better looking now than the day I married him (the jerk).

We’ve had fights, sometimes really nasty ones, but it’s never for one moment entered into my mind to even consider quitting.

I truly believe that Ted and I make one another better people. We are stronger, smarter and more productive as a whole than either of us were apart.

In eight years we’ve been through two job losses, friend deaths, financial crisis, spiritual and emotional renewal, depression, anxiety, family meltdown and numerous disagreements about how exactly is the best way to raise our son. We’ve turned from a guy with a kid and that guy’s wife into a true blended family (and that does take a long time).

It took almost eight years to turn me into an actual mom.

I don’t know if any of this is helpful to anyone else, but here’s my point: choose wisely. Do not ever expect that the issues that get brought into a marriage will magically be fixed or go away later, most likely you’ll both have to live with them. So it’s extraordinarily important not to make the decision of a mate impulsively or blindly. Look twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years down the road and try to think about whether the quirks you find endearing now will be driving you mad then.

And, if possible, marry Ted.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Size Discrimination Comes In All Sizes

This is Bill (with and without the makeup he usually wears, and with his slightly less flamboyant brother):

As the frontman for the German band, Tokio Hotel, he might be simultaneously one of the most loved and hated people in all of Europe from what I can tell. Despite being relatively polite (he bows when shaking hands, it’s quite adorable) people find him dreadfully threatening, or they totally love him. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of in between ground. I kind of suspect the problem is that he isn’t gay; if he was it would be like “oh, okay then, wear makeup – you’re fine!” But he actually has the audacity to be straight and still mess with people’s heads like that, which seems to piss them off, and amuses me to no end.

As always, people who can’t easily be crammed into one box or another get roughed up a bit.

I enjoy his band and their music a great deal; they’re like a throwback to everything I loved about the late 80’s and early 90’s in pop rock and roll (oddly, it was totally okay for rock stars to wear makeup then, I’m not sure why it’s not now).

I also think that Bill is one of the most beautiful human beings I’ve ever personally seen.

I am not alone in this opinion; there are a LOT of people who agree with me. This kid gets away with turning his hair into a giant palm tree, dressing like a disco ball, dancing like a scarecrow and wearing more makeup than Tammy Faye Baker and girls still throw themselves (and their underwear) at him on a regular basis.

Despite all that I strongly suspect that his self esteem actually isn’t all that great.

The world frowns deeply on two things: women who are too big, and men who are too small. And Bill Kaulitz, despite being over six feet tall, is a small guy. He’s a VERY thin guy. Observe:

I don’t think he’s unhealthy, I’m pretty sure that’s just the way he naturally looks. He’s been famous since he was about thirteen and he’s always had the same body type so if he had an eating disorder I doubt he’d still be alive. Also he lives with his identical twin brother (yeah, there’s two of them that look like this) who would undoubtedly have done something by now if he was starving himself.

My point is this; when you’re overweight people are at least a little delicate about your issues. For the most part, they still try to be discreet when telling you that you could stand to loose a few pounds. When you’re thin, especially if you’re a thin guy, especially if you’re a thin famous guy it’s pretty much a free for all. According to European press Bill has been in imminent danger of death from “Manorexia” for… well… I guess most of his life. They analyze they criticize, they demean.

You never, ever see this kid with his shirt off, from what I can tell he never wears shorts either – and gee, I wonder why? The flurry of obnoxious feedback would probably be more than even he could deal with. And despite one entertainingly John Lennon-esque moment I saw where he got fed up and simultaneously smiled pretty, accepted an award and cleverly verbally body-slammed the media into submission he seems to take it all with pretty good humor.

I often champion the cause of the overweight and healthy but in this instance I have to give some attention to the other side of the coin. Skinny girls get bad feedback too, but heck help you if you’re a slim guy. Especially here in America that is just a no-go.

When will it be possible to simply accept people the way they are? When will it ever be enough?

Solve All Problems

Sometimes I have to remind myself that thin people still have problems, even medical ones.

I was born with a bad hip joint; it didn’t form correctly in the womb. And my doctors failed to diagnose it until I eventually tried standing up and my upper thigh bone started jutting alarmingly out of the side of my body under the skin. My mom knew something was wrong, I was a quick baby otherwise – she said I started talking early, but I didn’t seem to want to walk and she knew there had to be a reason why. They finally diagnosed the problem (obviously) and fixed it with a lower body cast that I fortunately don’t remember wearing, though I’ve seen relatively horrifying pictures of it.

As a result; yay, I can walk… but the joint isn’t great. It’s not as good as a joint that formed while I was still on the inside so to speak. Sometimes it hurts… a lot, like this time of year when the cold damp of October and November are settling into my bones. On the upside, I can predict when it’s going to rain. As my Stepson is fond of saying “the hip never lies!”

I always tend to fall into the trap of thinking; it would all all all go away if only I were thin. The joint would magically not hurt anymore, ever again. But honestly that’s kind of stupid… the stress on the joint would be less for obvious reasons but I will always have hip displasia from an improperly formed ball and socket. A lack of body fat cannot fix that fact.

I used to do this when I was a kid too. I thought the only reason I was unpopular was because I was fat. Forget the fact that I was shy, awkward, frumpy and sort of strange – no if I was thin it would all be totally perfect, always. I’d have a boyfriend, countless friends and perfect skin too.

Getting skinny will make me healthier, especially long term – but I have to keep in mind that there’s no magical single fix for all my problems. Even beautiful people can be dreadfully unhappy; just look at Brittany Spears.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Huge Cancellation

Well, the ABC Family TV show “Huge” has officially been cancelled, it will not be returning for a second season and we’ll never find out if its lovable cast of rounded teens achieve their goals.

It was a sweet, cute, funny show – I admit I’m going to miss it.

I also can’t help but notice that another new ABC Family show that premiered at the same time “Pretty Little Liars” was renewed for another season.

Gee… wonder why it was renewed instead of Huge? Couldn’t have had anything to do with the words ‘pretty’ and ‘little’… could it..? Naaah…

I guess people still aren’t interested in watching TV about people who look a bit like the rest of us look. And if the viewing public isn’t ready for shows about heavier folk that entirely focus on the fact that they’re heavy, then they’re certainly not ready to see them simply living out normal lives, are they?