Tag Archives: HGB

Dieting During a Tragedy

So Monday I epically failed my glamour-girl diet.  Not just because I failed to pack any real protein, but because as I watched the bombing aftermath unfold, I realized that life is too short, to precious, to waste feeling like crap for the arbitrary goal of beauty.

No one should have to wait for a text that says their friend is okay.  No one should ever have to try and figure out who they know who might be running so they can try to contact and make sure they’re not dead or lying bloody in the streets.  

As a reporter, I not only had to worry about my own friends, but I had to call around for local leads on what might be the worst day of somebody’s life.  We got a Facebook message hinting that one girl, who’d been at the finish line, was in the hospital, and I got charged with calling her mother at 9 at night and asking what happened when all I knew was that her kid might be dead.  She wasn’t, luckily, and while she had indeed been at the finish line, she left 20 minutes before the explosion for a doctor’s appointment at the hospital.  It was a happy ending to an otherwise grim day, but that’s not something you can do on an empty stomach.  It just makes a world that’s already scary even more terrifying.

Being a reporter means that you’re in the middle of all the tragedies but there’s nothing you can do, and that in itself can be emotionally trying.  You just have to stand there, writing down every moment of the Worst Day Of Someone’s Life.  But because it’s not your tragedy, you feel bad about feeling bad.  People tell you “others had it worse” or accuse you of being a grief thief.  And sometimes, there’s nothing to do but suffer in silence, because there’s deadlines, there’s work to do and there’s always another lead to chase.  This is the second Really Awful story I’ve had to do in the last two months (the first was a murder-murder-suicide where the woman killed her boyfriend, the dog, then herself and set the house on fire, and the cops found the husband had been stuffed into a barrel for three years). In addition to covering City Hall and Community Profiles, I’ve got the Awful Beat.

There’s a reason there is “comfort food.”  Carrots and yogurt are awesome, but they don’t bring the same emotional soothing as a real meal at the end of a long, long day.  There’s a reason we bring food to the grieving.  No one eats non-fat yogurt after a funeral. 

You Can Donate to the Victims Here.

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The Glamorous Girl’s Diet (Updated)

HGB suggests that your work day “glamour girl” lunch should be veggies, fruits and non-fat yogurt OR a wedge of cheese.  This is a very good suggestion, these are all good foods, but my usual workday lunch, which I eat at my desk, is usually a cup of delicious homemade soup, some peanut butter crackers, a banana and a two fun-sized Baby Ruths, because I deserve a treat.

Five hours into my work day and a cup of oatmeal, 6 oz of carrots and a cup of Chobani strawberry banana yogurt later, I. am. STARVING, with only a banana left to get me through the last four hours of my day.

Also, I have a headache  and blurry vision, with bizarre floaters making it nearly impossible to see what’s on my screen like my computer has been taken over by J.J. Abrams.  I don’t know if this is related to my hunger or to the fact that when I did manage to sleep last night (which wasn’t much) I dreamed that B.D. Wong was trying to seduce me into going on a crime spree with him, but whatever it is, it’s making it hard to concentrate.

UPDATE (2:25 p.m.) OH MY GOD I AM GOING TO DIE.  My head feels like someone is hitting the base of my skull with a rubber mallet while stabbing their thumbs into my eyeballs and grinding an awl through my left temple.  I’ve gone past feeling hungry to merely feeling ill.  I have not eaten my banana.  I can’t concentrate and I alternate feeling overheated and freezing.

BUT I WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW that I have NOT touched the Gummy Bears Cathy brought in, EVEN THOUGH I WANT ONE MORE THAN ANYTHING.

UPDATE: (3 p.m.) Ian just texted me to say he  is bringing home more steak, plus shrimp and peppers.  I think he’s taunting me.  Only my sheer Taurus stubbornness is keeping me going.

UPDATE (4:04).  Ate banana. Headache worse, but I think that has more to do with the awful bombing at the Boston Marathon than any mild feelings of hunger.

UPDATE: (4:49) Feck it all.  I’m getting some crackers and trying not to cry from the sheer insanity and cruelty of the world.  Today is too ugly to diet. (not a link to news stuff, I promise)

Body Issues and Other Fun Topics

“The men who insist they like girls plump are the ones who prefer cleaning rifles or exchanging jokes in the locker room to flirtation.  they aren’t sure of their masculinity and appeal, so a chic, glamorous woman challenges them.”  Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl.

I’ve never had a problem staying thin.  I come from a slender family, I didn’t drink in college (the easiest way to avoid the Freshman 15) or eat a ton of junk food (although Eeon will testify to my amazing ability to smell a fresh BG’s Pizza from half a campus away) and I’ve had exactly eight McNuggets in the last decade.  More importantly, I never uttered the phrase “OMG, I am, like, totes fat” in hopes that people would feel sorry for me.

But after I returned home from AWP, Ian commented that I had put on “noticeable” weight.  A trip to the doctor’s confirmed that in the last few months, I’ve packed 10 pounds onto my 5’3″ frame.  I almost started to cry.

Maybe this isn’t a big deal.  Maybe some of you are saying, “Get over it, Twiggie, and eat a Twinkie.”  But like all food-related issues, it goes down to something much, much deeper.  For me, it’s a reminder that I’m edging up on 30 and will not always be effortlessly lithe and that’s sort of a drag.  But more than that, it’s intricately linked with fears of failure.

I am terrified of being perceived as lazy.  My generation is looked down upon by Gen-Xers as being spoiled little marshmallows, and the Baby Boomers that raised us think we’re a bunch of moochers who selfishly want them to give us jobs after college.  And worse, we’ve got a squishly little (redacted) like Lena Dunham prancing around pretending to be the “voice” of our generation when really she’s just a rich girl writing in her diary about how hard life is for a girl to make it when her parents gave her everything, like a TV show.  Life is TOTES UNFAIR, LENA.

Point is, if you’re not working three jobs eight days a week 24 hours a day, politicians in ugly suits will tell you that you are WORTHLESS SCUMBAGS and FOOD-STAMP GRUBBING WELFARE QUEENS who take the HARD EARNED MONEY (left over from their parent’s fortune) and have A HUNDRED ABORTIONS each.  So I work.  And I work and I work and I work and at 30 I’m homeless, unmarried and underwater on my student loans.

But with laziness also comes not being beautiful.  I know wives who resent their husbands for desiring them and who believe it’s their right to wear nothing but sweatpants and eat bags of chips and watch TV, because that’s what being a woman has become to them.  And I always laughed at them, thinking how selfish they were being, because honestly, if you want your husband to not be a fat lazy toad, you can’t be one yourself.  I have always tried to dress for every occasion, even if it’s searching around a junkyard, because I hate looking slovenly.  Looking nice was a way of telling the world, “I take this seriously.”

But for the first time in my life, I felt a little of that kind of resentment.  I was angry, because I too wanted a little space to breathe, to eat, to relax without feeling guilty.  I was mad at him for saying something because I wanted to believe that I had earned the right to go a little soft after everything that’s happened in the last few months.  I worry that there’s a divide between wanting to be fed and wanting to be loved.  

I also have major food issues that I’ve never told anyone about.  I do love food, but when I get depressed (usually because I haven’t eaten), it becomes about “deserving” food.  I’ve gone hungry more than once. I’ve eaten lunches made up of free samples, but when your choices are pay rent or eat, well, sometimes you have to take the risk that someone else will feed you because no one’s going to pay your rent but you.  Or there are days when I get so caught up in work that there isn’t time to eat.  I used to work a lot of terrible retail jobs that gave you 15 minutes break for six hours work.  I know what it’s like to go hungry, and it’s a raw, brutal fear that burrows into your gut until you feel so sick you can’t eat, even though you know you have to, until the actual act of eating becomes either a forced chore or all-out gluttony as I try and eat as much as I can for fear that there won’t be any tomorrow.

But Ian’s making me lunch now.  And I’ll start working out again (Arlene Style!), trying to take time for meals.  And maybe somewhere in this mixed-up crazy stunt, I might actually find a way to love myself.

Doubtful, but hey, HGB has a diet where you drink wine and eat steaks, so there’s that to look forward to.

 

The List of Men

“You probably have quite a collection (of men) yourself, if you just count them” Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl.

Technically, I’m not married, so I guess I fit into HGB’s definition of a single girl, which means I’d better make my list of men I could, in theory, marry (just in case).  She divides them up into several categories, and I’ll address one each day for the weekend.

The Eligibles: (Men I could marry, maybe)

Ian:  My boyfriend of 8 years.  The first thing I noticed about him when my friend Anthony introduced us was that he looked like Ewan McGregor.  Ian is funny, tender and generous.  He likes adventures, works hard and celebrates all the wonderful beauty of life.  He also loves me, which isn’t always easy to do, spoils me (he built me a fully-functioning Tom Servo puppet!) and is an amazing artist who designs our award-winning Halloween costumes every year.

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That’s The Man I’m Going to Marry

Mike:  Mike and I have been friends since senior year of college, almost a decade now.  Mike has good hair, a well-curved New Jersey mouth and really great eyes.   He’s funny, a straight-shooter and knows me probably better than anyone, even the parts of me that I can’t stand.  Mike is the ultimate example of “knows everything about me and loves me in spite of it.”  Also, he puts up with me talking about Walton Goggins.

Sterling:  Sterling is one if Ian’s closest friends, smart, well-spoken, nice looking.  We keep each other company and can talk for hours. The only downside is that he lives in Austin, and Austin is filled with dudes in cut-off jean shorts.

Geza: I dated Geza in high school and we’ve remained friends ever since.  He has silver eyes and jet black hair and has agreed to marry me if no one else will.

Chris: Chris was my stage manager on The Odd Couple.  He’s adorable, plays guitar and bought me Ryan Adams Heartbreaker on vinyl because he saw it in Nashville and knew I “had to have it.”  He could be, quite possibly, the sweetest person on earth.

Pete: Pete can reduce me to tears of laughter.  I knew Pete briefly in college and remembered him as being somewhere around 8′ tall.  He graduated well before I did, but we got better acquainted after my friend Eeon’s wedding.  An epic storyteller, Pete can tell the same story ten times and every time, it will have some new element to make it even more hysterical.  Pete has also signed to direct James Cameron’s Titanic 2: Dolphin Quest.

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