The Bluest Eye. The smallest waist.

I don’t know who she is but I’ve wanted to be her. I don’t know if her life is good. If she’s loved. If she’s funny. If she has a best friend who will rub her back when she cries. I don’t know if she has a gap in her front teeth or wirey hair. I don’t know if she looks up at the heavens and smiles knowingly. All I know is that she is bikini ready. That she can wear cute little outfits without exorbitant amounts of binding allegedly seamless undergarments. She can run and jump and swim and never will her thighs rub the material threadbare in her jeans.

I went to see the play The Bluest Eye today for a class. I watched as Pecola prayed to God, though she was very small, for the bluest blue eyes so she wouldn’t feel so invisible. Toni Morrison wrote of Pecola and her family, “You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction. It was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they had each accepted it without question.” Somewhere a long the way I’d accepted my own cloak.

I asked myself where it began. This obsession with looking a certain way. Why did it mean somuch? Flashes of my past…encounters with every man (without exception) and their harsh criticisms of my body. Something was always wrong. I do not blame them, or anyone. Those instances…for someone who sought approval and validation…it is worth noting that tonight I heard Rev. Rick Warren say, “If you live for the approval of others, you will die by their rejection.” That hit home. As I just wrote on permission. I thought about how many deaths there have been, waiting, praying, holding my breath and making deals with God that maybe if my hair was better, my waist was smaller and my thighs didn’t touch, then maybe I’d be worth loving. Worth sticking around for.

That’s fucked up.

And I hate that working through stuff makes me feel all…open and woe is me. I don’t want that. But sometimes you have to call a thing a thing, and outloud. Call attention to it before it can slink away into your unconscious and make itself at home.

So I figure, keeping in my theme of surrender I would also like to surrender the prayer. The prayer for the body which serves as the trophy for the perfect life. I have to give it up. I can’t chase it…

On my lips

Losing weight is not nor has it ever been about losing weight. After I finished that last post, I got dressed and went on a run/walk around my neighborhood. I listened to the Belle Brigades and went to explore. Down unexplored streets and finding new views; I was looking for the sting in my lungs.

It was an hour later when I was laying on my floor dripping sweat and meditating when the thought came to me, losing weight is not about losing weight. Then I decided it was time to take some financial advice from Suze Orman and get really honest.

When I moved home from Nashville back in 2008, I was at my heaviest and I weighed 324lbs. May I just pause and in this moment reflect on what it is like for me to admit that out loud and to the entire world? I was 324lbs and so incredibly fragile. I was at the edge and incidentally, the furthest I have ever been to feeling powerful. To write that, to know that people many people will read this and know the dirty ugly truth of my life…feels good. Nothing grows in darkness except mushrooms. So I was 324 and once I moved out on my own, started to eat better, feel better and live better…find my stride in life and in my profession…a profession, might I add, that saved my life I got down to 260. When I look at the photos I don’t see it. I don’t see 60lbs gone, it didn’t feel miraculous or monumental or anything even close to that. It felt like I was 260lbs and needed to be half that. I was still not in a place where I could celebrate or even recognize my victories. I was still numb to my self.

All of that came to me in my shower after the run and after the meditation. You know how to physically do this, you have done this before. You know it and there was still a disconnect and I had the thought again, LOSING WEIGHT IS NOT, NOR HAS IT EVER BEEN ABOUT LOSING WEIGHT. I remembered old episodes of Oprah and old thoughts and reflections about how if I kept making losing weight this huge monumental mountain, and if I approached it with the mindset that it was damn near impossible that I was setting myself up for failure. And yet, I didn’t have an alternative. I didn’t know how else to think about it. I could not, having lived the life I have lived with the experiences I have experienced, reframe my view on losing weight.

Until today.

When I made the parallel between what power felt like and the sensation of running, something click for me. This is not about losing weight, or getting fit, or any of those pseudonyms we use for looking attractive to the general public. This was about being intimately connected to my power. I need to feel that connection, I need to step into my power and when I saw how to do it, I had to try. I pushed myself to keep going because the longer I went the more I felt it. And the more I wanted to cry. I was walking up hill and sweat was seeping from the bend in my arm, such an uncomfortable place to sweat, and I saw a license plate that said “Just4Jes” and I started to cry. I started to cry because it was an external manifestation of my exact internal feeling…this was about finding myself, and if I see it in that way then it’s not impossible or even daunting, it’s invigorating and inviting and inspiring and freeing and overwhelming in the best way.

It clicked for me today. And in my moment of honesty with myself and with the world, I felt so beautifully connected. It means very little to reveal numbers or even thoughts because I am not those things. I am. And nothing comes after that, nothing that follows that very compete sentence can hold me captive in shame in judgement in persecution in solitude in bondage in loneliness in silence.

I feel nothing but grace and gratitude right now, for daring to chase it, to try. I am emotional and happy and at peace.

…and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. –Anaïs Nin

Watching weight and irrational fears

I have a very irrational fear. I realize it is not completely sound or founded on anything rather than its near absolute reality. Consider the following statement by Elizabeth Gilbert from her book Committed:

“The desire to feel chosen. A wedding; a public event that will unequivocally prove to everyone, especially to myself, that I am precious enough to have been selected by somebody forever…What better confirmation of her preciousness could she summon than a ceremony in a beautiful church where she could be regarded by all in attendance as a princess, a virgin, an angel, a treasure beyond rubies? Who could fault her for wanting to know-just once-what that feels like?”

And on this day, my day, the day I marry my life partner, my husband, my love, I have a terrible fear of being a fat bride. Now, I know there are plenty of voluptuous women who make absolutely stunning brides. I just have no desire to be one of them. I suppose it makes sense, I can’t say that I have ever really looked at a thick curvy body and had it resonate. On the flip side, I have not looked at a super svelte body and longed for that either, I love the toned body of an athlete.

But in a wedding dress…its different. Its soft and romantic and sexy! I want to be all that and comfortable. Not that I am getting married anytime soon, but when I see photos of brides…


Like this one? I see dark chocolate skin and a woman who is comfortable in in. Yeah, its about the comfort. Its recent for me that I have been supremely uncomfortable in my own skin. I decided to do something about it; I joined weight watchers. I can already tell you that within two days of journaling my food and points it has me thinking.

I was walking today and craving junk and I made myself think of what it would cost me. Not only points wise, but in the long run–I thought of the ugliest white gown I could imagine and saw myself waddling down the aisle. Ridiculous though it may seem, it quelled my craving for french fries immediately.

My person rolls her eyes whenever I mention my FBF (fat bride fear) but I can’t help it. And I don’t think I want to. I want to count my points and go on walks and eventually runs, and I’ll do that until my outside matches my inside.

Destroying worlds

“Whoever wants to be born, must destroy a world”~ Herman Hesse Demian

Words from a book I never wanted to read. Yet somehow it fell into my life. Dr. Kim’s doing…but the question that lead him to assign me the novel escapes me. And thank god for it, as I draw upon the words in an attempt to tell a story.

Bill Isaacs says we prefer the pattern of familiar failure. Why? Because we know it? Eh…more like, the anxiety of being outside of our comfort zones is so incredibly high that we would rather fail in comfort. That is the world we live in, a world of destructive patterns and habits that hold us captive in warm and tender arms.


I was in the grocery store tonight getting a bunch of junk to get me through the next week of class and work, cue lean cuisines and granola bars. As I walked to check-out I saw a shape magazine with Jordin Sparks on the cover looking amazingly hot. I bought the magazine and once home I read the story I’ve read 1000000 times about how some small event happened that caused this cosmic click and began the path to weight loss. (Silently I resolved to never say those words once I can tell my own story of weight loss). But what occurred to me was that she destroyed her world.

As I am nose deep in this adult development class, I can’t help but relate it to this thought…Demian was based on the work of Carl Jung, of course. Anyway, the destruction of worlds reminded me of Erikson because of his idea that crisis pushes us into our next stage, and Sharmer whose theory u work speaks frequently about letting go and letting come, assassinating what we think we know and remaining open to new generative ideas.  Hell, its Schön and his paradigm shifts, Wheatley and her order in chaos…its a lot of things.

Practically I think of what it is like for me to workout. Its uncomfortable, its sweaty, its clumsy, its slow, and its misguided. And why? I know how to workout. I know how to lift, to train…but it feels so foreign and so overwhelming when I’m doing what I know to do and my body can’t keep up with my spirit.

I feel as though I need to destroy this world of…two separate mes. Me that can and me that can’t. Me that wants to and me that will. One whole me. That is the theory of Jung–that the self fully realized is the ultimate achievement. Maybe the world I need to destroy is the one that feels like anything other than flying…the one home to can’t, don’t, shouldn’t, and maybe.

You know how I know I’m a writer? Because I just spent hours working on a paper, typing notes, and writing for class. And here I am now writing about writing. The thing is, I love this. I love to express, and feel free. If I am in the clouds over words, I am happiest.