Category Archives: Sports

Happy Valentine’s Day! Love Always, Von

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Obesity and Mental Illness Make Terrible Bedfellows

Her mother would have her strip naked, then slowly unspiral cling wrap around her daughter’s prepubescent torso and thighs. When she was done, her mother sent her out into the family backyard, in the South Texas three-digit heat, and ordered her young daughter to mow the entire lawn in that tortuous ensemble.

Listening to this while holding her trembling hands, I shook my head sympathetically.

She laughed nervously, doing a bad job of pretending the memory was funny instead of spirit-crushing.

I offered, “When I was that age, my mother made me do workout videos as soon as I got home from school. My brother and sister got to whip off their backpacks, run outside and play with their friends, while I’m kicking legs with Jane Fuckin’ Fonda! By the time I got to go outside and play, my friends were already in their homes for supper.”

In our sororal moment we agreed our mothers were horribly influenced by what society deemed to be “the right look” for a woman, with no consideration for modern genetics, anatomy, or kinesiology.

When we shared our stories, this woman was in her early twenties, invested in party hopping, binge drinking and freaking down any guy who found “big guls” attractive. She essentially subverted her desire for self-empowerment into being everyone’s favorite hoebag.

She didn’t need to turn out that way, but it was the only way she felt beautiful. I despise her mother for torturing her, I despise the men who played against her emotional vulnerability, and I despise this society for encouraging that behavior on both ends. It pisses me off this psychotic, warped image of “the perfect body” is still in full practice! Making it the norm, not a circumstance, of an increasingly visible world experience. What’s most terrifying, it’s WOMEN HATING WOMEN keeping the ignorance and torture aflame.
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In my case, I was totally confused! I was one of the lead ballerinas in my ballet school, I was physically active during the day (meaning, fighting boys in the schoolyard on the regular), and I wasn’t into sweets or snacks. My mother has that thin build common for original Mesoamerican people, and, other than a pooch us three kids likely are responsible for, she was and remains a slender built woman. I inherited my father’s genes: a hardy, stout, solid body, common for direct descendants of the African Diaspora. Mom kept calling me ‘fat’ because her friends and coworkers were calling me fat. But I wasn’t fat, I didn’t even jiggle! Ignorance on her part bloomed physical insecurity on my part.
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Layer this confusion on top of my genetic predisposition to depression, and you’re looking at a Molotov cocktail of deep, psychological issues. Once I entered into puberty, mania and obesity fused, causing me to be so body conscious I enrolled in cardio classes to supplement my school physical education classes! Obsession took hold, and so did paranoia. I would fall into valleys of depression when my clothes tightened despite my feverish efforts.

The thing is – which Mom and Dad and my school mates weren’t keen on – the weight wasn’t genetic. The weight gain was due to depression. This was proven into my adult years, trying to provide for my family, study college courses, work three jobs, and be affianced to an Operation Iraqi Freedom soldier, all in one stroke.

More family drama, more weight.

More depression, more weight.

More stress. More weight.

More homicidal thoughts.

More weight.

I’m like a lot of Americans: our mental condition reflects our physical condition and vice versa and, despite our best efforts, our societally-influenced inner and outer circles shame us for not fitting “just right.”

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The title of my blog is no lie: I am a mad woman. Certifiably emotionally disturbed. But like with my weight control, I exert much energy to maintain mental balance, such as knowing I’m about to dip into depression because I’m lamenting too much about my physical appearance. Awareness of my triggers and a rational fitness routine are a couple of tools I use to keep Von happy and healthy.

Notice I said tools I use to keep Von happy? That’s because an aspect of emotional instability is projecting those insecurities onto your outer and inner circle, expecting someone else to be accountable for your happiness because you’re too weak to do it yourself. Like my friend above, many choose to keep bad habits going rather than embrace self-improvement, because the need for public adoration and affection trumps the need to be physically, mentally and spiritually in shape. Regardless if you’re trying to lose baby weight or reconcile your father’s lack of attention, the only way you’ll get better is if you love yourself better. No one can self-love you except you.

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Every day I struggle to face the world, such is my permanent disability. To keep weight insecurity-manic depression at bay, I don’t have mirrors in the home. I rarely self photograph and I opt to stay out of group photos whenever possible. Why? I don’t want my organic matter to define my sense of self-worth. So if I scowl at you for over-complimenting my body, it’s because I’d rather you find value in who I am than how I appear.

To Conquer Obesity, Embrace The Knowledge That:

It takes time.

It requires persistence.

You have to do it for you.

Your efforts will save your life.

The Only Girl In Weightlifting Class

I spent the last two years of high school with this grueling schedule:

7am – 8am: color guard practice

8am – 4pm: honors courses

4pm – 6pm: marching band practice

7pm – 2am: work at my brother’s store

3am – 6am: homework and maybe sleep

You can imagine how difficult it was for me to have a semblance of a balanced life then!

The nights I was not scheduled for work, I took myself to Red Team Gym, a fitness facility located on Fort Hood. This was my favorite place to pump out the stress of my so-called life.

Red Team was not the family-friendly gym; Red Team was for the serious body sculptors, the gals and guys who, after dismissed from duty, didn’t run straight to the barracks to their game consoles, but instead, to their sweats and back supports.

The gym was my happy place. Women weren’t segregated from men and everyone shared the equipment respectfully. Amongst my kindred I pressed, pushed, and howled through reps until I felt deflated, which meant, I felt good. The entire gymnasium was alive with random shouts and applause of positive affirmations. Gym rats, the lot of us, but we all felt worlds better after a challenging workout.

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A year into university, on the first day of Weightlifting class, I simmered in quiet dismay as I absorbed my new free weight comrades: scrawny, nerdish, physically unwell, insecure. All males. No ladies. Not at all what I was used to! Guess SWTSU didn’t have any other warrior women on campus that semester?

Every class day I experienced disappointment. Since the boys wanted to keep it insular, the instructor had to force students to pair with me. The only guy who would throw just a minimal amount of shade my way had a heavy foreign accent and spoke completely indiscernible English. He also suffered from constant workout boners, and his strict adherence to tight pants certainly did not improve our partnering situation!

The scary part was pairing with someone who was so dedicated to his insecurity, he’d overload the bars. I knew deep down in my heart the weight was crippling him, but, as I’d slide my hands under the bar ready to catch, they’d scoff or tell me to back off, while their arms or legs wiggled for mercy!

Most the time, I spent Weightlifting class arms folded, waiting for my turn at the bar or bench, while the fellas chummed it up, curling Gatorade into their faces like dumb bells, using the benches as recliners, the bars as towel holders. I would’ve been completely content to work out on my own, but class rules required pairing. I left every session feeling less accomplished and more frustrated.

I signed up for Weightlifting class naively assuming the camaraderie and support I experienced at Red Team was universal, only to find extremely unmotivated, apprehensive people. That experience brought to light a fitness surety: no matter what weight, no matter what experience level, self-discipline is what begets success in body sculpting. Support comes from equally self-disciplined people.

After making an A in the course, I invested in the campus recreational facility, abandoning the nostalgia of Red Team Gym and focusing on my health, which was and still is the priority.

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Image from primalfitbody.com

All About That BMI

Do not concentrate on pounds, concentrate on your Body Mass Index. 25-27% is ideal for adult women in their child-bearing years. This weigh-in last year shows I was underweight, although traditional charts would say I am overweight! Think lean, not thin!

The First Step Is: STAND UP

The Gist of Turkey Weekend in 4 Pictures

A dog got a bone.

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A turkey gets cooked without me touching it.

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A college football game end zone seat with my butt in it.

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A visit to the Fort during another stunning Florida sunset.

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It’s My Anniversary!

One year ago, I moved from Patch.com to WordPress and never looked back!!

Love my blog. Love all of you who read my blog. Keep reading, I’ll keep writing! :*

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Writing Horror: A Feel Good Activity

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Bela Lugosi as Dracula

The moderator of my new writing group was kind enough to edit my latest horror story’s opening gore scene two weeks ago. Finally, after a week of not-so-great moments, I pulled myself together to address her notes, as I’ve given myself a personal deadline of completing a first draft by Sunday, 5 October.

But how to go about it? On Saturday, Texas A&M played against Mississippi State (you can never get tired of typing Mississippi…Mississippi…Missississp..oops!),Ole Miss against Alabama, LSU played Auburn, and Michigan State played Nebraska. I usually hunker down when intense writing – telly vision and phone off, mood music, tea kettle on perpetual boil – but there’s a deadline AND football! What to do, what to dooooo…?

I decided to give distracted writing a chance. I left the ArtHouse, arrived at the poolhouse, set the telly to Game 1 and began to review edits. By the time Mississippi State posted 24 points over the Aggies, I finished her notes, and expanded in ever so gruesome detail the horrors of that particular scene, channeling my frustration with Kenny Hill and the entire Aggie offense, and yes, even you Seals-Jones!, into Scrivener.

While Game 2 was on, a gaggle of tween girls entered the house to use the computer terminals. No biggie; as long as they didn’t interrupt my football watching or my train of thought. They loudly looped a very popular song, much to my chagrin, then started to sing boisterously along with it! I tell ya, nothing will get your skin crawling, nay, UNDULATING, like 11 year old girls singing, “I’m gonna love youuu/until you hate meee…” at the top of their just-started-menstruating lungs. Which inspired another gore scene. Thanks creepy girls!

Between Game 2 and Game 3 I got into a heated text-fight with the BF. To comfort myself, I sought either a bowl of cheese or a burger, to which a visit to Local Family-Friendly Sports Bar was in order. I got the manager to kindly put Auburn-LSU on the top screen, Michigan State-Nebraska on the lower screen, ordered a medium rare Angus beef burger, and continued drafting hate-fueled sequences in my writing journal.

All at once, I was eating, watching plays, writing scenes, fact checking data, web searching points of reference, maintaining all at a constant flow:

As Auburn was metaphorically stomping LSU’s nuts, I took to physically macerating a character’s genitals. Nebraska and Michigan State were putting up such a frenzy, I used the excitable energy around me to describe a shoot out. Not trying to be an entire asshole, I text-apologized the BF between burger bites. By Nebraska-Michigan State’s half, I had finished my first draft!

Man, do I feel accomplished! And happier with the SEC. Big 10, well, you know I’ll always love you, heck, my protagonist’s family hails from East Lansing, Michigan! Kenny, get it together for next week, or at least, fail so miserably I’ll have no choice but to kill a character in my next story.

Ya never know what’ll work until you try it!

Wordless Wednesday: Trust

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