Five years ago I had an “ideal” body.
I don’t mean to say that my body was free of imperfections, but rather that I had a body that most women are taught to believe is close to perfect: I was 5” 5’, weighed barely 115 pounds, and wore a size 2. I had a tiny waist, medium-sized breasts, a taut stomach, round bottom, and cellulite that was practically nonexistent. I was extremely slender, yet still somehow carried a feminine hourglass figure. I could never have been a contestant on “America’s Next Top Model,” but for a perfectly normal girl I had a perfectly enviable body.
Flash forward five years. Though I don’t own a scale, I’m probably 20 pounds heavier thanks to a slower metabolism, college drinking and a dire love of cheese. I now wear a size 6, my waist isn’t quite so minuscule, my stomach jiggles, I have cellulite swimming on my thighs, and I have ample junk in my apple-bottom trunk. My breasts have gotten ever-so-slightly bigger, but for every tiny bit that they’ve grown, my ass and thighs grew 10 times that … leaving me much more of a pear than an hourglass. Keep reading »
“The commute is killing me,” I said, tears streaming down my face.
My live-in boyfriend Jeff looked at me, puzzled. I couldn’t blame him. The way I behaved when I got home from work every day was, well, puzzling. After a 12-hour work day as a high school teacher and a two-hour commute home through bumper-to-bumper Los Angeles traffic, I arrived home every night in a rage. On the worst days, I would push through the door of our apartment like a tornado, slam it shut, scream at Jeff, run into the bedroom and cry like a five-year-old. This is embarrassing for me to admit, but it’s true. I should probably also mention that I am usually a fairly calm, only occasionally histrionic person. I was not behaving like myself. Keep reading »
This is how I used to start my day: I’d meditate for five minutes, read the daily passage in The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie, and do the daily reading and writing exercises from my Buddhism book. Then I’d log onto my computer and type my gratitude list of 30-50 items I was grateful for, followed by the 3-5 affirmations I was currently working with, written 1-10 times each. I’d email this to the approximately 40 women I exchanged gratitude lists with, and then read their lists in my inbox. Before turning off my computer, I’d scan Twitter for inspirational quotes to retweet.
On the subway to work, I’d listen to an uplifting playlist on my iPod, and/or recite affirmations in my mind. Keep reading »
“There is no justice for drunk women,” begins Andrea Peysner’s New York Post column, “It’s Open Season For Predators In Uniform,” about the acquittal of a cop accused of raping a drunk woman in her apartment. “A Manhattan jury yesterday had to decide whom it hated more: a rotten police officer who admitted he lied, cheated, cuddled, kissed and groped a drunken woman. Or the woman herself … But there never was any contest. The jury loathed her on sight.” Peysner, it should be noted, is known for her extremely conservative views. I generally consider her a wack job, so I was shocked to read that she was just as appalled as I am by the results of this case.
As a young woman who has also been drunk on many occasions, this case has resonated deeply with me. It has, in particular, reminded me of a night I had eight years ago. I am now wondering how a jury of my peers would have judged me had the night gone differently. Keep reading »
As I boarded the plane to Las Vegas, I vowed to keep the judgment to a minimum and the laughter to a maximum. I can endure anything for one weekend, I reasoned, taking comfort in the thought that there was no way my cousin’s bachelorette weekend could be as bad as the one in the film “Bridesmaids,” as long as I refrained from mixing pills and booze. I reminded myself why I was there: to celebrate the love in my cousin’s life.
I took an aisle seat next to one of the other bridesmaids, who looked remarkably like Heidi Montag, minus the size H breasts.
“So, are you dating anyone?” she asked, first thing after hello. Keep reading »