FFF 2.0 6-16, and more…

Let’s start with step count. Yesterday, I did 19,000 steps. My low was on Monday at 2,700, but with 19,000 yesterday, I have an average of 6,600. Go, me! The 19,000 happened on a family day trip that involved walking more than I anticipated and maybe more than I wanted. But today —

— I weighed myself and was at 163. Only 8 more pounds to get back to my last low level, only 28 to where I might feel satisfied with my weight.

The chakra dance lessons have been lovely. Ok, full disclosue, I’ve only actually done the first one, but I loved it. Eventually, I’ll do more. I’m working on not being irritated with myself for not doing it every day, because really, I don’t do anything every day. Except brush my teeth, I do that at least twice a day, every single day.

AND I read this article called Smash the Wellness Industry. (I know, I know, another article.) And sharing this today doesn’t fit very well with me sharing my weight loss goal, I know this, but I still love what it says. And really, I don’t have to be consistent, do I?

See what you think about this:

I had paid a lot of money to see a dietitian once before, in New York. When I told her that I loved food, that I’d always had a big appetite, she had nodded sympathetically, as if I had a tough road ahead of me. “The thing is,” she said with a grimace, “you’re a small person and you don’t need a lot of food.”

The new dietitian had a different take. “What a gift,” she said, appreciatively, “to love food. It’s one of the greatest pleasures in life. Can you think of your appetite as a gift?” It took me a moment to wrap my head around such a radical suggestion. Then I began to cry.

Two years into my work with her, I feel lighter than I ever have. Food is a part of my life — a fun part — but it no longer tastes irresistible, the way it did when I told myself I couldn’t have it. My body looks as it always has when I’m not restricting or bingeing. I’m not “good” one day so that I can be “bad” another, which I once foolishly celebrated as balance.

I know I’ve read about this approach before, but for some reason it struck me differently this time. I want to do that. And this:

I no longer define food as whole or clean or sinful or a cheat. It has no moral value. Neither should my weight, though I’m still trying to separate my worth from my appearance. They are two necklaces that have gotten tangled over the course of my 35 years, their thin metal chains tied up in thin metal knots. Eventually, I will pry them apart.

Most days, I feel good in my skin. That said, I am probably never going to love my body, and that’s O.K. I think loving our bodies is not only an unrealistic goal in our appearance-obsessed society but also a limiting one. No one is telling men that they need to love their bodies to live full and meaningful lives. We don’t need to love our bodies to respect them.

And finally, this really struck me —

Finally, wellness also contributes to the insulting cultural subtext that women cannot be trusted to make decisions when it comes to our own bodies, even when it comes to nourishing them. We must adhere to some sort of “program” or we will go off the rails.

We cannot push to eradicate the harassment, abuse and oppression of women while continuing to serve a system that demands we hurt ourselves to be more attractive and less threatening to men.

So that’s where I am today. Don’t know where that’s going to take me, but we’ll see.

FFF 2.0 6-8 & Chakras are Back

Checking-in… Steps are pathetic. I averaged 3,600. Seriously. The high was 5,100 and the low was 2,300. I didn’t go to the beach or walk anywhere all week long. I have been doing some intermittent fasting in a half-assed kind of way and my weight is hovering between 165 and 167. And my some small miracle, my glucose levels are ok.

So this one thing happened – one day, I was talking about walking to the coffee shop and MP says, “What? You’re going to walk up there?”

And I said, “Yeah, I’m thinking I might. Why?”

And he looked at me like I wasn’t very bright and said, “Well, I just remember what happened the last time you did that.”

Which brought it all back in a big rush of unpleasant memory. So I said, all cranky, “Well, that doesn’t mean I can’t ever go for a walk again!” He did his “whatever you say…” shrug, and I thought, “I can go if I want to! That’s silly! I can’t never go for a walk again!”

But I didn’t. I haven’t. I’ve been to the beach, but not walking through the neighborhood or up to the coffee shop. Now it’s become the horse I don’t want to get back on. Ugh.

However, in other news, I signed up for Chakra Dance lessons. Nooooo, not live, are you kidding? They’re on video. And super reasonably priced. And I think they’re going to be lots of fun.

The information about it said:

In an ideal world, when trauma or deep feelings affect us, we experience and assimilate those feelings, and then discharge and release the energy. However, often we don’t fully accept or deal with our inner responses at the time–sometimes we suppress and block the flow of energy and bury the memory and the feelings. The vibration of the trauma then becomes embedded into our bodies and woven into our muscles, joints, and organs. These blocked feelings of guilt, shame, pain, and fear become the tensions in our bodies, the illnesses and diseases we don’t understand.

Releasing blocked energy from our bodies is a vital part of cultivating good health and wellbeing. We might work with therapists or healers, or do whatever inner work we are drawn to do, to understand and process our feelings and experiences. But discharging the holding from our bodies is a vital step in the process that is very often overlooked.

Chakradance is a way of doing this. It’s a deeply healing practice for wellbeing. It uses dynamic moving meditations set to music specially created to resonate vibrationally with each of your 7 main chakras – the energy centers that regulate your whole mind-body-spirit energy system.

As you move your chakras, you’ll open your body to release the stuck energy that is no longer serving you. There is often a release of emotion that takes place; sometimes there is a memory, an image, or a knowing of some kind that arises at the time. As the old energy is discharged, your body will feel fluid and freer. Each time you release another trapped feeling from your body, you let go of an old pattern and you’re freed up to be more present in the moment. And you’ll feel more alive than ever before!

Doesn’t that sound lovely? If you’re interested, here’s the link. If you do it, and want to talk about it, we’ll compare notes.

FFF 2.0 5-31 & Consent

Checking in today with just the facts. Step count average is 5,000, Low of 3,400 and a high of almost 11,000. Weight is hovering at 167 – 168. Average sleep is just under 6 hours/night, which kind of sucks, but what’s a girl to do? When you wake up at 3 am. and can’t go back to sleep…

In other news, I feel like I’ve officially hit old age. CN: Dental stuff…

I had another crown pop off – and this time there was not enough tooth left to put it back on. So they’re recommending an implant, only of course I can’t get that done right now, and I have a ton of other dental work that has to be done first. It wasn’t actually a front tooth, but the gap was obvious if I fully smiled. Soooooo….

I have a partial. Yeah, it comes out, and I store it in a plastic box, not a glass of water next to my bed, but still. The good news is that she went ahead and had them put a couple of other teeth that I’ve been missing for a long time that didn’t show on it, so that’s kind of cool. The bad news is that it’s still pretty uncomfortable when I eat, but I hear it can be adjusted and it won’t always be like that.

The funny thing is that both my partner and my daughter claim that they never noticed the missing tooth. It was a canine, y’all. How could they not notice? Part of me is like, “Well, that’s cool,” and another part of me thinks, “Oh, so you’re actually not paying any attention to me at all? Not actually even looking at me?” I know that’s (kind of) silly, but that’s how it feels.

Anyhow. For today’s amusement, here’s an article from Teen Vogue about BDSM and consent. Of course, it debunks the idea that 50 Shades of Gray portrayed consent accurately. The article points out:

“For instance in Fifty Shades, Christian’s contract comes with some heavy baggage: “A ‘yes’ is only meaningful if it can be taken away at any time without consequences. ‘You must sign this BDSM contract or I will break up with you and fly away on my helicopter’ is not actually good consent.” Laura Schroeder, an Account Director at Fun Factory tells Teen Vogue.”

I kind of enjoyed the 50 Shades books (no, I didn’t see the movie.) But I would never point to them as an example of what BDSM is actually like.

The article goes on to say:

“What you may not know is that consent is actually the foundation of BDSM play. Before you can “play,” you need to discuss the boundaries and comforts levels of each person involved in the scene.”

This always makes me think about some of my favorite experiences, which did involve discussing what was going to happen and giving clear consent. It’s an important thing to do for fire play, right?

The article goes on to say:

“BDSM is not all about chains, whips, and ball gags, despite what you’ve seen in the movies. It is about the giving and receiving of control over anything else. Both the submissive and dominant consent to the submission and domination.

That’s actually what makes BDSM so erotic to many who enjoy it.”

I have some thoughts floating around in my head about how this type of BDSM is different from DD, but I don’t think I can articulate them right now. Certainly, there are relationships based on having given total consent up front. So there are some shades of things. For me, the ideal is more of a BDSM model, where consensual lines are more clear.

Um, not that it matters, since I don’t have anything like that. Sigh… It’s still fun to think about.

FFF 2.0 5-26 & More Mainstream BDSM

Ok, it’s Sunday Monday, not Friday. I knew that. I guess I could change the initials to match the day – SFF MFF? But then it sounds completely different, and never mind. It’s not that big a deal, I think.

My ankle is better – almost 100%. I did a long beach walk today yesterday and that was nice. It’s Suddenly Summer here so my beach excursions are going to be earlier in the morning, which I also like.

My step count was about 4,500 this week, and my scale is hitting the low side of my range at 167. I’m still a short chunky woman, but not feeling terrible about it today.

I haven’t set my new goals yet, it seems like lots of my time is getting sucked into some domestic black hole, which is also not bad. But maybe not so good for me. I have a plan I’ve been trying to use for my business and the last item on it is the write myself a permission slip for something I need that I have a hard time letting myself do. My slip says olivia has permission to put her business’ needs before other people’s wants. But I keep forgetting.

I’m still dabbling with other things that I’ve talked about before. Finger tapping. Energy work. Even chakras. Meditating more. And enjoying it mostly.

I’m trying to flow instead of fight or flee myself. I remember this quote from Carl Rogers:

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

But on the lighter side – I ran across this article about one of my favorite TV characters. Morticia Addams. I have always loved Morticia – and Gomez, of course. I used to have a peacock chair like hers and felt ever so cool sitting in it.

Too cool for school…

Anyhow, this article is called From feminism to BDSM: the powerful life lessons Morticia Addams taught us and was saying:

But, if you sit and watch the films in their entirety (and you should definitely do so, because they’re both insanely good), then it quickly becomes apparent that Morticia is the fully-actualised matriarch of our dreams.

Why? Because she’s smart, confident and more than capable of rescuing herself from danger, thank you very much. Because she’s sexually liberated – incredibly so – and ½ of a healthy BDSM relationship. Because she’s non-judgemental of other women and passionate about pursuing her dreams (all while acknowledging how difficult it is for any “modern woman trying to have it all”). And because she’s 100% dedicated to her goal of empowering her daughter, Wednesday, with the tools she needs for adulthood.

In short, she’s a total queen, and we couldn’t love her more. So, to celebrate her badassery, here are just some of the life lessons that Morticia has taught us over the years…

Full disclosure, I haven’t watched the Addams Family films (I know, I know…) but it’s a fun article. And another look at how some BDSM concepts are portrayed in film.

FFF 2.0 – 5-17 & Bonding

This week, I’m still recovering from my ankle injury, so my step count is still low, but better. 4,400 average, high of 6,000, low of 2,100. I’m still hovering around 170, which is way too much and that makes me sad, but apparently not sad enough to quit eating all the food.

I’m right back in the pattern of over-eating at night while I assure myself I’ll do better tomorrow. Not helpful. I’ve been thinking about new goals, or intentions, for FFF 2.0. I definitely need some.

So I wanted to jump right into setting goals – make some shit stuff up and commit to it. But I don’t think that’s actually going to work. So I think I’ll spend some time thinking about it this weekend and try to figure out how I want to tackle it this time. (What? Finger tapping? Yeah, um, the problem is you have to actually do it. Consistently. Sigh…)

Anyhow. In more interesting news – have youall heard about the Netflix series Bonding? It’s about a Domme, supposedly. The BDSM community is fairly outraged about it. You can read some of the reactions here. (The link is also at the bottom of the article.)

My favorite complaint about it is that they have the Domme wearing a collar and a corset that doesn’t fit. That’s funny.

Not so funny is the lack of understanding about consent and the way the history of sexual assault was treated. Sigh… As one twitter commenter noted:

NicoleMoonONeal @NicoleMoonONeal

Hey @NetflixLifee @netflix how about you get actual BDSMrs to write and consult on a show about our community instead of whatever #BondingNetflix is. As a lifestyler and sex worker I’m not impressed with how badly you are portraying us. Do better #BondingNetflixisnotkink 64 21:03 – 24 Apr 2019Twitter Ads information and privacy

If you’re curious about just how bad it is, here’s the trailer for it. If you can’t see the video now, you can find it on YouTube by searching Bonding trailer (obviously…)

I am curious about whether other people have already watched the actual series and what you thought about it…

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hoping your Mother’s Day is happy and fun!

happy mother’s day card with beautiful flowers over white background. colorful design. vector illustration

I found a wonderful article that really speaks to how I feel about Mother’s Day. It’s not very long, so I’m just going to copy and paste it here:

Helping women hold both joy and sorrow on Mother’s Day.

She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
Of her life, and weaves them gratefully
Into a single cloth – 
It’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
And clears it for a different celebration. 

— Rainer Maria Rilke

The Mother’s Day we have is not big enough to hold all of a woman’s heart on Mother’s Day. Women need a different celebration. The Mother’s Day we have is a holiday of marketing and hype. It doesn’t represent women’s experience. It represents profit. In The US alone it is a 21 billion dollar industry. You can’t open your email, go in to a CVS or grocery store, or the mall without being bombarded by messages about Mother’s Day. You literally can’t get away from it for weeks. It is most telling that the founder of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis was so troubled by how the holiday became a marketing holiday rather than the sacred holiday she had intended, that she spent most of her life trying to remove the holiday from the calendar.

Women need a different celebration because the current celebration is one-sided. The current celebration is entirely too small to hold the experience that women have with the word mother, with the role of mother, with the relationship as a mother, and a relationship to a mother. I don’t want to take any of the joy out of the holiday for the women who feel joy. Joy belongs there. Celebration belongs there. Satisfaction and appreciation belong there. But our current cultural stranglehold on Mother’s Day keeps out the other very real parts of women’s lives. It forces women to put on only a happy face when they are often holding so much more. Yes, there is joy on Mother’s Day, but there is also much sorrow and loss—often invisible losses. And because of the mandate on happiness and flowers and all things wrapped in bows—women are asked to smile and hold their losses alone.  On a day when they are being ‘celebrated’ women are often left entirely isolated in their own experience—especially with regards to loss.

And the losses are many. Remember that women count all of their children on Mother’s Day—the born, the unborn, the living, the dead. It is a day of mourning for women who lost children to miscarriage or to death, as much as it is a celebration of the children they love and cherish. It can be a day of mourning for the women who gave their babies up for adoption and for some women who chose to have abortions—for the difficult decisions that they had to make. It can be a day of mourning or loss for the women who weren’t able to have children or who chose not to. A reminder of what was not and what will never be. There are also the children who are lost to addiction, to jail, to mental illness, to estrangement. Women count all of their babies—the ones who are here and not here, the ones they can hold, and the ones they can’t.

And on this day women are asked to hold the relationship to their own mothers in whatever form that holds. So many women who loved their mothers dearly and whose mothers have died are acutely aware of the woman they can no longer celebrate in the way they want, can no longer hold, and talk to on this day. Or maybe their mothers are sick, or have Alzheimers—still living, but no longer the person they were.  For these women, no matter how joyous the relationship with their own children, families, relationships—Mother’s Day can make them feel raw, and sore, with a deep, deep sense of sorrow or longing.  The absence of mother is felt as a gaping hole.

And sometimes this gaping hole isn’t from the loss of something wonderful, it is from the loss of what never was: for the women who were unmothered—hurt, abused, neglected by the very person who was supposed to fill their lives with safety and care. For the women who have spent many years learning to mother themselves. Mother’s Day, and the Hallmark cards that mark the occasion, is a reminder of the childhood that never was and never can be—of things they could never say about their mother because we live in a world that believes that all mothers are good. It is a reminder of what they didn’t get and all the hard work of healing that they had to do to become who they are now.

So let’s work to create a different celebration that would support a woman to hold her joy and her sorrows. Her joys as a mother and her losses as a mother. Her joys of her mother and her losses of a mother. Let’s work to support a woman to hold the love she has of her children with the sorrows of the children that couldn’t be. Let’s create a different celebration that doesn’t ask a woman to hold only one side of her story about mothers and motherhood on Mother’s Day. Let’s create a different celebration that allows her to hold all of her experience so that she may weave them gratefully into a single cloth. Let’s make the celebrations and conversations as big as the hearts of the women we are celebrating.

© 2016 Gretchen L. Schmelzer, PhD

FFF 2.0 5-10

My ankle is still bothering me, so I’m taking it slow – getting 2 or 3 thousand steps a day is about as good as it gets, and I’m pretty ok with that. Not great, but ok.

This whole thing will be quick and to the point. I need to re-do my goals or intentions. I really do just frigging need to start over. Sigh. Yes, it’s exhausting. This is why people don’t want to live forever. There. That’s my FFF check-in.

I had some weird dreams last night and at one point this young man, who I didn’t know, but he was supposedly a doctor, asked me if I was about 28 weeks pregnant. In the dream, I was righteously indignant for a second, and then I started laughing at the idea that a doctor would think that a woman in her sixties was pregnant, and then I thought, “Oh wait a minute, maybe that means I look young enough that I could be pregnant!”

Obviously, it was one of those long dreams with lots of nuance that switches from one thing to another. At one point, I was about to find out how much money someone had sent me or given me. There was a check for forty dollars, and then there was a drawing I’d done as a child and then there was certificate for stocks, but I never got to see how much it was, the scene shifted and that story fell away to be replaced by something about meetings in hotels – conferences, not romantic trysts. Lots of wandering the halls and going into the wrong meeting room.

Anyhow, I’m awake now, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, I’m taking the grands out adventuring today and that will be fun. It’s Mother’s Day here in the U.S. on Sunday, and for the first time in years, my daughter is in the same country – same city – um, same house. How cool is that? She’s really thriving here, and that’s such a gift.