Monday, March 6, 2017
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Washboard Abs – A True Story
When I was young, like 14 year-old, I had a room in the basement. I had a full length mirror, and a chair that I put right in front of it. I would stare at my body for hours. I would think about all the things I would change if I had a magic wand. I was 5’4, 102 pounds and I wore a 1-3 jean size. My breasts were a 36 C, and even at 14 years-old I had an hourglass figure. I hated it. It was at that point in my life that I developed an eating disorder.
I became anorexic with bulimic tendencies. What the latter means is that I would primarily starve myself; however, if I could not resist temptation I would force myself to get rid of it by vomiting. I was so sick at one time that I was keeping bottles, jars, and plastic bags of it in my closet because I could not have anyone know how sick I was.
By junior year of high school, I was 16 years-old and smaller than I was freshman year, and I also hadn’t eaten a meal in two years. In pictures I can see how pale I was, I was thin and sickly. I couldn’t feel good, and still at that point I would stare intently at all my flaws in that chair facing that mirror.
Senior year, I met the man I would marry briefly who would only perpetuate my low self-esteem but would not make me feel any worse than I was already making myself feel. He was overweight, which didn’t bother me. Until I realized his eating habits would cause me to go back to old habits. After dating him for less than a month I put on 20 pounds. I ended up pregnant, and after high school I welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world. I also welcomed about 40 more pounds. I remained at 165 pounds, and a size 12 for about three years. It wasn’t until after I delivered my second son that it got bad. My husband had taken to emotionally abusing me on a regular basis. I was ugly; I was stupid, now I realize he did it to control me. Back then I felt bad enough that it really just pushed me over the edge and into old habits. He worked third shift, I would tell him I was eating at night but was never eating. I was working out all the time. I dropped down to 118 pounds; however, after getting separated (eventually I realized I deserved better… thanks to friends) I put on 13 pounds, reaching 131 pounds.
We clearly see a pattern of me having always known what I weighed. It was an obsession. I worked, I took care of my kids but this control over my weight was the one thing I hated more than anything, and seemingly the only thing I could not control.
At this point I was 21 years-old, my anorexia was in full swing again. This was the point aforementioned, in which I was hiding evidence. I’m not sure if my friends knew. It wasn’t hard to hide, my friends and I were a motley crew of starving (no pun intended) artists. We never ate together, the only people who could have known were my parents but like I said I would hide the evidence in my room.
It wasn’t until I was 22 year-old that I met my husband. Who in his tacky confrontation had stated, “Why am I taking you to dinner if you’re just going to throw it up?” I was hurt but he was right. I stopped doing it for a while; tried to be healthy. He and I got gym memberships and did the right thing for quite a while.
I got pregnant again. It was a nice, robust, fun-filled food feast and my son loved all of it, noted by joyful mid-snack kicks. When he was born, my body looked like it had been through a war. It was terrible, and the obsession innocently started again. It started with me training for a fitness competition. I was lifting, running, doing cardio, eating right but then it happened… I spiraled out of control. I started taking diet pills to curb my appetite. I was taking too many and stopped eating; I would eat jelly beans, diet pills, and gallons of water. I was starving again but this time I was tan with washboard abs. This time nobody knew how bad it was because the evidence was in a prettier package.
This went on for years, until I got sick. Thankfully, I got Lyme disease during this destructive ritualistic behavior. I went from a rock-hard size 5 to a size 14 in 8 months. I was extremely sick, and my immune system was compromised forever more. I got better, and am a healthy size 6-8 five years later.
It is always a struggle though. I had a bad car accident this last year and the weight is tacking back on. I keep myself healthy and sane by talking to my husband and best friend honestly about the struggle. Diet pills are no longer a threat because of the abuse I did with them my body can no longer even take them for a day without me getting really sick.
I have found that the guilt will never go away. I will always have a love/hate relationship with food. I will eat it with an indulgence that most people have never experienced. If I have a small piece of chocolate I will enjoy every little nibble of it until it is gone. If I have a bag of chocolates I will treat each piece with the same consideration. I will hate myself afterward. I will have to find a distraction until I am sure I am safe from unclear thoughts.
Eating disorders are not about a size, it’s about a feeling. Everyone is motivated by something that entices them to engage in the behavior. For me, I was validated during each of the episodes. People raved about my discipline, beauty, and body. It was addicting, I loved the way it felt. Eventually, I started college some years ago because I wanted to give myself something more than my body to focus on. It was a rollercoaster ride because during thesis papers I would get so stressed I would eat. What I eventually decided is that my life is too important to kill myself for an ideal that I cannot live up to naturally.
Friday, November 11, 2011
The seriousness of life began to hit when the frequency of reminders for my college loans started invading my life with such brute force I had no choice but to heed its call. I started looking with fierce veracity for a position, anything that would give me a sense of security. Knowing myself though, I knew there had to be an object of tangibility at stake for me to commit long-term. So I bought a car. It worked, I can’t call into work or quit because now I have a car payment.
After months of working at a job I kind of like, I was finally offered a big girl job doing what I went to school for, decent pay and they even made copies of my transcripts. I am scared though. That’s it… I am scared.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Thomas Hobbes defined truth as subjective and for a real truth there must be objective philosophy. This is because truth as it exists individually is soiled in bias and cannot be trusted. One can arguably say that Rand was not objective in her philosophies as they all reek of her truths which are just as biased as everyone else’s.
At every turn Ayn Rand denoted the importance of housewives, turning them into sniveling, gossiping tools who have no responsibility and carelessly live off their intelligent, successful husbands. I suppose in an anachronistic attempt at understanding a philosopher who was living a man’s world, I could see how women would have been under scrutiny. Her female characters rarely fit into any respectable role of society. The Fountainhead portrayed Katie, who was faithful, devoted and good-hearted yet by the same token a mess, with no social graces and certainly no sense of style (not to be confused with the style that Toohey encapsulated which was the brainchild of Aristotle, another in the boy’s club of philosophy). Dominique Francon which I believe is yet another character who assumes the perceived persona of Rand herself (Dagny Taggart was up for the job of Rand personified as well, so much for objective truth), is cold on occasion but only when socially necessary but when she meets a man of true integrity the ice is melted.
Now one must understand that both Dominique and Katie are contemptuous women in some way. Katie, who appears to be altruistic, is devoted to a hateful, selfish, conniving, social-climber and Dominique, who appears to be empty and austere is secretly a lonely woman yearning for a man with social and career integrity. This man appears in the manner of a rugged, socially awkward man who rapes her. He eventually emotionally rapes her into loving and respecting him. His only redeeming quality… is just that, the quality and refinement he shows in his profession.
Hank Reardon and Howard Roark share similar dispositions about the industry and their contributions, small differences in personality exist but nothing notable.
Who is John Galt? Is pretty much answered with who is Howard Roark? Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead both had a fair share of cheap shots directed at people living everyday lives. Every philosopher in some respect has decided that the “sheep” deemed by Nietzsche and Hobbes (two, of which were extremely overt in the latter label) has no place in a world of integrity. The sheep do not make the difference.
There is even a place for the unkempt eccentric (Lois Cook) before there is a place for the woman who bathes and feeds her children and lives a life of quiet (at times) contentment. Lois is a “cosmic joke” (ugly is the new pretty, beauty is in the eye… et cetera), whereas, housewives don’t even get that sort of consideration… we are perceived as a joke (period).
She blatantly states in The Fountainhead, “you may see a beautiful woman is inferior to a non-beautiful woman, that the literate is inferior to the illiterate… everything else is just twaddle”. There is no middle ground; humans cannot be both subjective and objective though we certainly are without choice. There is no integrity in the world of Rand when it comes to devotedly listening to the same stories every day, each day adding our own amusing presumptions to a spouse’s redundant and all-important anecdote. There is no integrity in inventing different voices so that our children can distinguish at a young age the differences in tone and manner when we read bedtime stories… and we actually enjoy the giggles that the occasional voice inspires. We don’t have flat stomachs and when we do it is earned, our fingers are delicate at times but usually chapped from cleaning a toilet, a dish or a kid. Still there are some hollering housewives with pearls and motive to squander intellect in the name of popularity. However, there is only a lack of used information; confusion, laziness, and sometimes both.
I am not by any means trying to dissuade the millions of Rand fans from maintaining the conviction of one’s personal truth. However, I would like to bargain with a portion of his or her vanity for rationality. People who seek a truth and harbor the resources with greedy pretention are not really better at all. Rand was big on better; in all her writing I can probably count it a million times. The goal of objectivism, if one simply glanced would appear to be ones better self while remaining selfless and unaware of self; however, there is ego in all we do as ego is self and self motivates one to continue to exist. Whether or not existence is a façade, a rite of passage or a sheepish endeavor, the goal is to please the self. Not in a hedonistic of evil way but in a way that makes said existence pleasant.
A sheep is nothing more than a woman or a man who knows that the cost of freedom is obedience. We are not slaves and sheep to one another, we have only but been convinced that we can fight governmental power and that we must look around to find the problems if we cannot find the solution within ourselves. The problem lies in the fact that the solution is an illusion and that the power of humanity has been muted to a dull roar, silenced by background noise. The noise is not the sheep herding but the sheep being distracted by the power that is too big for all of humanity to take individually. It always has been, even in Ayn Rand’s time. The power of the people depends on a united front. Rand talks about the united front and the fight for novelty and integrity. She shows protagonists with no emotion or soul because objectivism is fiction. Fighting a united front alone would be agonizing; it would be heartbreaking and disillusioning. Rand was the enemy to humanity, pegging people against each other because of social class, education, gender, and priority. The truth of the matter is people are conditioned in behavior, interests and social stature. To assume a person who appears diminutive and insignificant because of the latter is just to rob oneself of a potential experience. A constant theme that I will never understand, even for Rand’s era is her ability to constantly note the worthlessness of other people. As for the housewife, who else is going to let her children read the bleeding literature of Rand, it certainly won’t be my husband.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
My masters degree is almost done and then it is on to my PhD, I can't believe how fast time has gone by. Soon I will be Dr. Angelique Furloni, that feels weird lol. I am pretty much sick of writing papers and hanging around the house, so I found a full-time job. Something that keeps me around people and busy, I can practice philosophy everywhere... let's hope the local universities agree when I start looking for employment as a philosophy teacher :).
The kids are amazing, Jordan is driving, Madison... is well... behaving lol, and Gabriel...not much to say except I am in love lol. Keith and I are trying hard to stay connected and intimate but we are both so busy that we just make sure to smile and kiss each other a lot. Sometimes it is just two lovers passing in the night with a peck and a wink.
My latest projects are to learn how to play the guitar and to get my yard looking like a million dollars. I have found yardwork to be extremely exhausting and therapeutic. I have never been so zen in my life. Even with the change and the prospect of working full-time I am totally at ease :).
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
The declination in my reality has really been more of a window to my friendships with people. I know without a doubt how people feel about me; I was in denial for many years thinking that people love me for who I am. However, this line of thought only applies to a few people. The rest do as they do with me as they do with their other friends, talk shit and float on clouds of bullshit. The fact is I live in an open book, one that is incapable of closing because I am not ashamed of my decisions.
Why I am slipping and growing more anxious, one might ask. CHANGE! Everything is changing around me. I am a grad student with three children, a job and I still do primarily all of the child rearing and housecleaning. My husband is aces in my book and has a large amount of the fiscal responsibility, to which I would never scoff at. I fear he is also taking a brunt of the psychological sledgehammer that I call life. My sons have recently turned into “typical teenagers”, typical to parents who have experienced but completely different compared to the two I was previously raising. It is like they are totally different people. School has never been hard for me but with life and only 24 hours in a day it becomes difficult to juggle schoolwork. Cleaning has become a monster of a pain in the ass for me because it is tedious and never-ending. When I see a dirty kitchen my head spins.
The one solace and retreat from real life that I have is my once a week visits to Zion to see my bestie. She reminds me that I am still Angie, the Angie who exists inside the Angie who once was. When I leave her house I smile in the mirror at Angie. At home when I look in the mirror I am so many other things inside the Angie who once was, I am the mother of Jordan, Madison and Gabriel… I am the wife of Keith; I am the student who has an assignment due in six hours… I am the house keeper who is five hours late for her shift because her husband will be home from work and he mustn’t see that I sat on my fat ass for five hours and watched court TV with a bottle of Pepsi and a carton of leftover Chinese… I am the therapist who is covered in bubbles, snot, kisses and smiles at the end of my shift.
I am still Angie underneath all of life but sometimes I am Angie drowning in life. I am grateful to be drowning in an inch of my life, I am blessed with wonderful people and things but sometimes a switch would not be an unwelcome guest; a switch that I could turn back on after a long and peaceful nap, of course.
If you are reading this and thinking I am just a princess that is finally forced to grow up, than you really don’t know me and should take me off your friend’s page. I have worked for everything I have and everything I am. I have made bad decisions in my life but have spent the last 10 years trying to make good decisions, ones that would better affect me and the people who surround me.