I got my hair cut on a week ago. It was my quarterly haircut, and I made the appointment in my usual fashion: call various salons an hour before I wanted the appointment and see if anyone had an opening. I got lucky this time; I only had to call three salons. Unfortunately, the salon that had the opening was the same salon where I got my last haircut-the haircut that led me to sob uncontrollably on the way home and reminded me again, when I got home, that a guy is not going to understand the pain of a bad haircut and will instead, do what he thinks is right, and say, in a soothing tone, I think your hair looks fine, while trying very hard to glance subtly at Ninja Warrior.
Try not to cry, my co-workers encouraged me after giving suggestions on what I should do with the frizzy mound on top of my scalp. A few minutes after assuring my co-workers that I would not cry this time, I sat in the chair at the salon telling Simouen that I hadn’t the faintest clue what I should do with my hair. I gave her my co-workers’ conflicting suggestions, rambled for about 20 minutes, admitted that I thought my face was fat, and finally smiled and said, Do what you think is best. You’re the expert.
So she did, and she spun me around in the chair and gushed about how much better my hair looked. I smiled and thanked her and agreed that yes, it is much better, thank you so much. I lied to Simouen.
I spent the evening on the couch (unrelated to the haircut) assuming the reason my husband hadn’t commented on my hair (still hasn’t, a week later), which was now much shorter than it had been when he say me 14 hours earlier, was because it was just that awful. I tried to put the haircut out of my mind, focusing instead on the cold I had that left me lying on the couch moaning I’m dying to anyone who looked at me.
The next morning I carefully washed my hair, carefully applied the mousse in a combing motion, carefully twisted strands of hair around my fingers, then looked in the mirror.
I hated what I saw. I didn’t cry, but I hated what I saw. It was crooked and framed my face oddly. Not much I could do about it, since I had to go to work. I chalked it up to another in a long string of bad haircuts and went about my morning routine. Then it hit me: the chances of all of my hairstylists in the last five years being incompetent and giving me bad cuts is a pretty small one. Maybe it’s not them. Maybe the woman with the Eurotrash mullet didn’t actually do the opposite of everything I told her. Maybe it’s me.
I mulled this over on the drive to work and concluded that if my face were less fat, then maybe I’d be happier with my hair. I thought about this in a critical way-not a criticizing way, just a critical one and tried to be as objective as possible, and I thought, yes, it is not the haircut’s fault.
I shared my epiphany with some coworkers who found it appalling. I unsuccessfully tried to explain that I wasn’t actually being self-deprecating, but they shook their heads and looked at me as though I were growing a tail. Then one of them asked, is it possible to ever be objective when it comes to our bodies?
Obviously the answer is no. We can’t. I think it’s nearly impossible to look in the mirror and see what a stranger on the street sees when looking at us, and even harder to look in the mirror and see what a loved one sees. But I think it is possible to look at ourselves and think: That part of me is fine. This part needs a little work. It’s not as bad as it could be, but I’ve got some work to do. These are aspects of myself that I can easily live with; those are some areas where I want to improve.
And that is how I made peace with five years of bad haircuts, that maybe weren’t actually bad to begin with.
I’m scanning pictures tonight. My mom pays me to do this, to sort, organize, and scan boxes of photographs from our family’s history. I’ve seen myself in all sorts of stages and looks. I’ve always thought of myself as a chubby girl, but looking back, I really wasn’t that bad. And then-I came across this photo.
me, at 21
I was struck-am still struck, by something lovely in this girl who used to be me. I don’t know if I can explain it because if I look at this picture objectively, it’s a picture of a girl in pajamas with glasses and bedhead whose left eye is doing something strange and whose arms could benefit from an introduction to handweights. But there’s something inexplicable about this girl that makes me want to cry for no reason. Not because looking at this picture from seven years ago makes me nostalgic for freedom and college and possibility. Just because.
In this picture, it’s Christmas morning, 2001. I’m in Florida, because that’s where we spend Christmas every now and then. I think at this point we all knew my grandfather was fading, but I don’t think any of us were acknowledging it yet. My cousin’s girlfriend kept dropping hints about how she really should become his fiancee soon, and I spent my days readingreadingreading. My aunt-who was one of my best friends at the time-put red highlights in my hair. On this Christmas morning, I was 21. I think I weighed around 115. My jeans were a size 4 on a normal day, a size 2 on a good day.
And I remember a good day, a good evening, really, when I walked into the bar at TGI Fridays wearing those size 2 jeans and a blue? grey? turtleneck, and my friend’s friend told me that I looked great. I remember smiling, and thanking her, and knowing that what she said was true. I did look great. I don’t think it was the size 2 that made that girl, that version of me look great. I think it was the knowing that made me look great, the knowing that I was fine just the way I was, the not stressing over my weight or even thinking about it really. I think it was the confidence to smile and accept a compliment without somehow excusing it. And I think that’s what I miss, that’s what I long for, even more than I long for the size 2 jeans.
posted by Toni
I am the poster child for couch potatoes. My favorite activities are reading, movies, napping and snacking. Is it any wonder that A. I’m overweight B. I have no life.
Actually, my life is very entrenched in the schedules of my children, which I have tried to get involved in lots of active activities so that they don’t become couch potatoes. But my responsibilities are driving and sitting on camp chairs while I cheer. Still somewhat of a veg state. Which is why I paid for someone to torture me and call it personal training.
I haven’t done sit ups since I started having children 21 years ago. Yesterday I did 400 crunches. That is 400 people! Oh yes, I know. I have been working up to it. Yes, I also know that 400 probably isn’t really all that many. But for me it is tremendous, and I did 400 after doing nothing for 21 years.
Today I have a stiff torso and my neck muscles hurt!!! What’s up with that? I thought I was working my abs, not my neck. Is this how newborns feel after trying to lift their heads on their floppy little necks?
Every week either my legs hurt, or my arms, or my torso. I ask my Nazi PT if my muscles will ever stop being sore. He just kind of laughs an evil laugh under his breath, feigns empathy and says “No, I’m afraid not.”
Sigh — I need a book and a bag of chocolates.
Way to go ladies! Thanks so much for getting your weigh-ins to me on time. I really appreciate that. It looks like we’re all kinda slow going. Small changes. Don’t let it get to you, though. Small changes eventually lead to bigger better things! (BTW, Melanie, I totally didn’t get back to you before the weigh in. My bad. Of COURSE you can still join!)
This week, the winner is……me! Down 2.6 pounds. Jill came in 2nd with a loss of 2 pounds. Great Job!
Weekly winners get a special prize this time. Bragging rights, if you will. Bragging rights in the form of badges that you get to display on your sidebar.
And now for the results:
|Sarah M – Badness
Great job everyone!
This week, your challenge is to UP YOUR WATER INTAKE. It’s JULY ladies. Get your water in, and then some. Dehydration makes weight loss almost impossible. So drink up!
It seems I have been losing the same eight pounds for six months. I thought I was walking my fanny off, but apparently not. However, my ankles slowly revealed themselve again. But if I ate the wrong thing, or it was the wrong time of the month, my ankles would disappear once more along with any weightloss victory I had achieved.
Two weeks ago my sweet hubby signed us up with a personal trainer. I was scared to death to start, and after the first week I understood my fear as I hobbled around with sore muscles, trying to get the nerve up even to try to sit on the toilet seat, and then I had to give myself a pep talk to get back up off it. My muscles were screaming at me for the years of neglect they had received. And to top it off, after our first visit as we were walking out the door, our trainer yelled “Oh yeah, no grains. Stay off of grains.”
This week I am not so sore, all my water weight is gone, the original eight pounds, plus four more have come off. I am moving around easier than I have in years. I am feeling more confident about myself.
I thought that I would share with you another tool I am using. It is a website called “Refuse to Regain”. It is aimed at those who have lost their weight and are now working on maintenance. But I have found it to be helpful to me as I’m working on losing the weight. It is helping me to understand that this is not just a phase until I lose my weight, but it is a lifelong process of being healthy, a life change. Click here to visit that site. You may not agree with everything, but it certainly gives you something to think about, some new ideas to help us along our journey.
For those of you participating in Fluffbusters, today is weigh in.
So weigh yourself, and then email me *firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much!
(*I had misspelled the email address in there earlier. Sorry, I’m out of my mind today. It’s fixed now, so you might want to resend your numbers to me. Thanks!)
by Badness Jones
I lost a lot of weight this past winter. It came off easily, I went four months without bingeing even once. Then the warmer weather came…and for some reason it all got a lot harder. I didn’t make the connection between the two things until this week. I joined fluffbusters, and started writing everything down again. I went back and read my food journal, and it hit me like a load of bricks.
I have 2 small kids, and by the time they’re in bed I’m usually exhausted. In the winter, it was dark when they went to bed. I got into a pattern of making myself a cup of tea, running a hot bath, and reading in the tub. Then I’d put on my cozy jammies and go to bed. As the days got longer, the kids were going to bed while it was still light. I wasn’t any less tired, but I was less inclined to go right to bed. My hot tea and hot bath routine lost it’s appeal. So I was wandering around the house (read: kitchen) and found myself snacking. Watching tv. Snacking some more. I need a warm weather wind down that doesn’t involve food. I know exercise would be good, and I’m going to try to start jogging again, but I haven’t slept through the night in a year and a half, so realistically I need an alternative for the days I’m just too wiped to drag myself out the door. Help me!