Monthly Archives: November 2011

Skinny Thanksgiving

Two days after Thanksgiving is a strange time to write about anorexia I know, but it’s been on my mind this week probably because I spent a good portion of the holiday with a box of tissues next to me. My immune system has been down, and it’s my own fault. I haven’t been eating right lately or getting enough sleep—end result, an annoying cold.

It’s not fun having a cold at Thanksgiving. Food just doesn’t taste the same when you can’t smell it, and it’s hard to eat when you can’t breath through your nose. But as I said, I haven’t been eating right lately. Excuse number one—I’ve been busy. When my life gets crazy I compensate at times by skipping meals. When life seems to be out of control. I often lose my appetite and carefully control what I eat. While I’m not sure if I would label myself anorexic, I do have had some anorexic tendencies at times which scares me.

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 10 million females and 1 million males in America are said to struggle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. When you think about it, anorexia is an ironic illness for this land of plenty, but then again is it really? Anorexia is not as much about food as it is about an internal struggle. The struggle to be beautiful, perfect, and in control. It’s a symptom of an often unseen battle.

It is no great wonder that the lives of so many Americas are touched by this disease. There is so much pressure to always look good, to work hard, and to have life perfectly together. We don’t take time out for siestas, instead we are asked to give one hundred and ten percent all the time. With beauty pageants there is the idea that thin equals beautiful and that same idea is constantly reflected on TV and fashion runways. It’s not about what is healthy; it is about what looks hot.

Ever since jr. high I’ve had people tell me they were jealous of my weight or compliment me on my slender form. In high school I struggled with severe acne. In the back of my mind I always thought, “at least I’m not overweight.” I was determined to keep it that way. It was the one thing I could control.

But just as being overweight is not healthy for your body so is being underweight. 20% of people with anorexia die from complications related to this disease. A sobering statistic seeing as anorexia has become the third most chronic illness among adolescents. But is this really surprising when 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as being overweight? Think about that 50% for a minute, and if you know a girl who is between that ages of 11 and 13. Tell her she is beautiful just the way she is. It may save her life.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Contemplations

Rain Dance

The cold pellets pop against the windowpane,

A strangely soothing comfort to my restless psyche.

 

Rhythmic, pointed, piercing.

The crackle fades, and I am alone again with my thoughts.

 

What is there to tell?

What is left to feel?

 

The glass blocks me from the elements,

But leaves me thirsty inside.

 

Thirsty for what?

Only God knows.

 

At least the sound, the rain

Comfort my questioning soul.

 

The lights flickered then dead. Power outages are not so bad when you’re used to living with partial electricity. I managed to find a candle and some matches after checking in four different boxes. There’s something simple and soothing about watching a candle burn and listening to the rain. For some reason, rain ends up being my most frequent topic for poetry. It is so mesmerizing and can touch on so many emotions. Thanks to last night, the poem above is the latest piece to add to my unofficial rainy day collection, and for the record, the power did come back on about half an hour later.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemplations, Poetry

Sweet Satisfaction

My very good friend asked me to write a poem for a women’s event she is putting on in Northern Ireland with the theme Sweet Satisfaction. It felt nice to write poetry, hadn’t done that in awhile. Enjoy, and feel free to check out her lovely blog cooking4christ.wordpress.com

Sweet Satisfaction

When my heart is heavy,

I find relief at your feet.

Life may leave me hungry,

Yet your words are ever sweet.

I will rest in you, Jesus

-Satisfied

-Complete

Psalm 119:103

Leave a comment

Filed under Contemplations

Camping without the Stars

I’ve chipped most of the drywall mud off my fingers. Now I just have to wash off the tools and put my bedroom back together. That shouldn’t be too hard seeing as my bed consists of an air mattress, a sleeping bag, and a quilt. Living in a partially finished building is kind of like indoor camping.

I have moved past the eating off paper birthday plates stage, but my breakable dishes are still safely wrapped in newspaper and sitting in boxes stacked around the kitchen. Since I’m such a chai connoisseur, I did unpack a good portion of my mug collection. Right now they are sitting safely in my refrigerator so that they don’t break when I shuffle furniture around to mud. So far I’ve only had one causality. Sadly, it was my snowman mug.

It’s amazing how many meals can be made using a rice cooker, electric griddle, microwave, and pizza oven. I know the pizza oven is a bit of a luxury, but once you start using one it’s hard to go back. Only being able to have two appliances plugged in at once is a bit of a challenge but, like with camping, the food tastes better when you really have to work for it.

Having to slow down has been good for me. I’ve been so use to throwing dishes in the dishwasher and cooking fast meals that spending a lot of time on meal prep and clean up can be annoying. But, it’s a satisfying feeling when the pancakes are cooked and when it turns out that a Gatorade bottle works fairly well for mixing up orange juice from concentrate. I have a new respect for pioneer women and can understand why a good portion of their day was spent cooking and cleaning. For the moment it’s an enjoyable adventure cooking on what’s available, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to having a real oven again. For now, I’ll just have to adapt to living with everything, but the kitchen sink.

2 Comments

Filed under Home Improvement

Pageants, Parades, and Tractor pulls

What’s the point really? I find myself stopping so many times through out a typical week asking this question. Maybe I over analyze. In fact, I know that I do. I think it’s part of being a writer, but when I’m driving by myself and honestly stop to take a look at life, this question always comes up.

Writing for a newspaper in a town of about 800 people I often find myself writing about parades, pageants, and tractor pulls not the type of events that grab my interest. Please don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy my job. People in the community have been so supportive, and I have met so many interesting people like the lady I interviewed today who makes amazing cheese cakes.

But, at the end of the day I often feel restless. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up observing Deer Day and going on hay rides. Maybe it’s because for a long time my dream has been to work with orphans or refugees in Africa. But the truth is, I’m here not there and because of that, I often lose my sense of purpose.

Then there are those moments when it hits me. On a Wednesday night while working with a group of “Sparkies” at church. A kindergartener, whose dad is in jail, interrupts the lesson yelling, “I know something. I know something.”

“What’s that?” the leader asks. “Jesus ‘woves’ us,” he responds hugging himself.

Then there’s my little buddy Hailey who stops by the newspaper office with her bike. “Can you give me a ride home?”

“Sure, just give me a minute to finish some things up here.” She usually types on the antique typewriter in the office while she waits. Then I drive her and her bike up the hill.

“Your like my big sister,” she told me the other day. “I always wanted a big sister.”

Purpose— sometimes it’s not in the things you expect it to be in, but it’s there. Just look in a child’s eyes. That always gets me back on track.

5 Comments

Filed under Contemplations