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Archive for January, 2012

Benefits of Being Stalker-esque

I see you!!

For several years I have been trying to track down a woman I spoke to only briefly while working for my former employer.  She and I had a conversation by phone and over the last few years I have made several efforts to find this woman.  I have contacted her namesake on Facebook, I have searched her old employer and tried to email her (only to have the email bounce back as she no longer is with that company) and I have performed many Google searches.

This morning my relentlessness has paid off.  After another Google search I found her name with another company.  I tracked down the company and then her email address and then sent the following (*names and some parts have been omitted):

Me:  Good morning,  I am wondering if you are the same AG who worked for ZFC several years ago?  If so, I would like to pass on great thanks to you (explanation to come).  🙂

Her reply: Good morning Sandy, Yes, you are correct, this is the same AG from ZFC. Do tell me more I am intrigued.

Me:  Good morning!  I have been semi-stalking you for a number of years. 😉
 
Several years ago I was talking with you regarding your work event.  In the middle of our conversation you stopped me and asked me if everything was okay.  You took me by surprise, as we had never met nor had a personal conversation.
 
You said you could sense that I was carrying a burden and reassured me that things would be okay and to let it go.
 
Not long before that conversation I had recently separated from my live-in boyfriend and was living in a moderate depression….and to make it worse, at that time my grandfather was very sick and shortly after passed away.  I was carrying a ton of weight in my heart and you nailed it.
 
I have, for 6 years, wanted to thank you for your kindness.  It was a small gesture from a stranger but you could sense something and you went out of your way to to show me that someone cared.  It was a very lovely gesture, and in a small way, AG, it changed my life.
 
Thank you so much!

AG: That is entirely amazing. What an absolutely endearing message to receive out of the blue like this, I just love it and think we need to have a reunion : )

I really appreciate your reaching out like this – thank YOU so much, Sandy!

Me:  It is something that I have carried with me for so many years….this past weekend was the anniversary of my grandfather’s death and I’ve been determined to try and track you down.  I took your advice and DID let go of the things I could change…the breakup ended up being the best thing for me…it just took some time to realize it.  And you had such an air of concern and honesty in your voice and, perhaps, hearing “let it go” from a stranger was exactly what I needed.

NOW I don’t ever condone stalking or anything like that.  I merely wanted to point out that this woman, whom I’d never met and only spoke to a few times EVER (and about work) went out of her way to show a little kindness.  And I just wanted to share with you that even a small gesture could change someone’s world.

Be nice to each other. 🙂

Cheers!


Chocolate is My Friend

I’m sitting at my desk on what is my supposed lunch break….got a bit of a stuffy nose…well, I guess not really but it feels like the start of a cold so I’ve been indulging in my sworn-by Contact Cold and Sore Throat.  I’m hoping that it kicks in soon.  I have that weird crick-in-the-neck that just feels like sickness coming on.  Here’s hoping it’s not because I hate being sick (doesn’t everybody?) and I’m a big baby when I am.

Anyway, I just had some fruit, which was super delicious, and a small piece of chocolate.  Yummy. I sorta feel bad BUT not that bad because Chocolate is My Friend.  It was so good.  And comforting.  I feel better now.

Other things that have made this week “so far, so good”:

1) Winston cuddling his butt up next to mine the other night for warmth.  I always enjoy a little love from that cat. 

My Cuddler

2) Spending much-needed quality time with Lisa-Lou and fam.  Including Miss Lilly (“Friend”) and fat-ass Owen…who outweighs my cat by, like, 7 pounds.  I think he actually weighs more than Lilly herself (who is almost 3).  He’s a very needy animal….and I’m a very needy girl so our relationship works out well when I visit.

Miss Lilly and Me

3) Having a certain friend tell me I’m special….AND calling me a DORK.  I enjoy it.  I appreciate the humor and acceptance.  And the gift.  Thank you.  You know who you are.

4) Knowing my slap-bracelet has arrived from Jersey and I just need to pick up my mail from my mom and dad’s.  Thank you, Jules.  (Check out http://goguiltypleasures.com/ for Julie’s blog for a good time.  I’m working on being “out-of-country BFFs”).  A blog for her blog coming soon when I’m less lazy busy and have more time.

5) Almost done Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred and knowing my tummy has gotten a tiny bit smaller.  Yay!!

6) I bought a gift for someone yesterday and am looking forward to seeing a little excitement when I give it.

7) New Clothes.  I am a shopoholic and am proud of it.  Jaime…I know you’re gonna make me throw some stuff out now…hows about a little kick to do it?

8) Movie Night – it’s coming soon.  I am very excited.

9) Girls’ Night – this weekend….who’s in?

10) Chocolate.  Yeah, I know I already mentioned this part but *ahem* it’s quite delish.

Okay..back to work I go.  A new blog soon!

Cheers!


My Secret Obsession

This is something extremely personal.  I wrote this originally when I was 18 or 19 years old as an assignment on “Flaws” for a writers’ group I belonged to.  I had never talked about this topic before I’d written this and I never talked about it until many years later.  But, it’s part of me.  This experience (one of many) has shaped me…it’s moulded me into who I am and I wanted to share it with you.
 
MY SECRET OBSESSION (circa 1995-ish)
 
My good friend Jenny still doesn’t understand the need I had a few years back to thin, and the “secret” obsession I had with my body.  And I must admit, sometimes I even wonder why I let something so dangerous take over my life.
Although I was always a little pudgy, I was never really fat.  I had lots of friends and was quite popular.  I was smart and always had the best of everything.  Maybe that’s why I became so destructive; In the day of supermodels and waifs I had to look the best and my self image was not that.
 
I was in the tenth grade in high school and I started dieting early in the year.  Around the first month of school.  I became picky about what I ate, which usually wasn’t much, and I began to exercise more, too.  By early December I had lost a reasonable amount of weight and became quite irritable.  My Family Studies teacher noticed this and became concerned, especially one day when we were supposed to eat the assignments we had just prepared and I refused to do so.  I got very frustrated with her and began screaming at her that I was 16 years old and knew if I wanted to eat or not.  I stormed out of the classroom in a rage.  That night my parents received a phone call from the teacher.  She explained what had happened that day.  She was concerned and upset, not angry.  She told my mother that she had noticed my weight loss and from what she’d seen in a class assignment (where we were to total up the calories we’d consumed in a day and my total calories for a week didn’t total a normal day’s) she concluded that I had all the signs of developing or having an eating disorder.
 
My parents were concerned and sat me down for a long talk about the dangers of eating disorders.  I was furious at the teacher for having stuck her nose in my business.  I went to my room and cried for hours.  From that day on my entire life was focused on food and my body.  To me, nothing was important except being thin and beautiful.  For about two months I lived on practically nothing.  In the mornings before school, I’d dip my spoon in the yogurt container and that would be it.  Some days I’d have an apple for lunch, other days I’d have nothing until dinner when I’d have a few veggies.  And sometimes I’d skip the meal altogether.  I lost 10 pounds in just over a week.  Food was about the only thing in my life that I had total control over.
 
My days at school were pretty intense at first.  The hunger pains were so bad and the growling in my stomach was so loud I thought everyone in my class could hear.  I found concentrating on school work hard because I was always, constantly, thinking of what I was going to do to get skinny.  The only class I could fully concentrate in was Family Studies and this was because we were doing an entire section on eating disorders and fad diets.  This became my new obsession.  Finding new ways to lose weight.  All the videos, the articles, the pamphlets, the speeches that were supposed to scare us, all they did for me was teach me new tricks to get the body I wanted.  I would sit in the back of the class with my friends watching the ultra-skinny bony girls on tv and when everyone else was gagging and becoming nauseous at their confessions, I was secretly smiling and laughing inside.
 
I also became more obsessive about exercising.  I would come home from school and go directly to my room and exercise.  Then, after my so-called “dinner” I’d return to my room and exercise some more.  While all my friends were watching Oprah or at the mall, I was sweating to heavy dance music, hoping that I’d lose the weight I hated.  I remember once, after eating next to nothing for three days, I had exercised so much and was so tired, that I’d completely passed out.  Only to wake a while later and return to my sweaty habit.
 
By this time I wasn’t eating a thing except maybe that small portion of yogurt at breakfast and a bottle of water for lunch.  I remember the compliments that I got from so many people on how good I looked and how they wished they could lose some weight.  I especially remember one boy, who I’d had a slight crush on in elementary school.  I walked into class one day and he looked at me and asked if I’d lost some weight.  When I replied “yes” he looked me over again, nodded, and said “You look good.”  It may not seem like that big of a deal, but at that time, to me, it was the world at my feet.
 
At this same time, my brother, who’s always been a skinny little runt and found it necessary to tease me about my weight since I was a child, was trying to gain weight.  He’d eat and eat and one night he weighed himself and was disappointed to find he’d lost a few pounds.  Imagine my mortification when, after all my starving and exercising, I realized I’d gained half a pound.  I screamed, ashamed, and once again, cried for hours.
 
Not long after that a friend from school loaned me a book titled Even If It Kills Me, about a girl, a lot like me, who did everything in her power to be thin, including forcing herself to vomit.  Something I vowed I would never do.  I read the entire book that night and cried for the girl and for myself.  The girl was not just a fictitious character, she was my friend.  She was me.
 
Now, something else happened right around this time that helped me, determined me, to lose weight: Kelly on my (then) favorite tv show (Beverly Hills, 90210) developed an eating disorder.  She was beautiful and thin and like me, she saw herself as overweight and disgusting.  So now I had a new diet partner.  And one night Kelly gave me a new idea to lose weight…Diet Pills.  So, the next night, off to the mall I went with my aunt Donna in search of the wondrous pill.  However, when Donna realized what I was looking for she said “No way!”  Instead, she took me to the health food store.  Yeah!  Just what I needed.  Food.  No thanks!  So I just continued with my own way of dealing, just like Kelly.
 
I tried everything: dieting, fasting, exercising, liquid diets, diuretics, it wasn’t good enough.  So now it was time to break the mould; to go to extremes.  I broke my vow and one night I leaned over my toilet and stuck two fingers down my throat.  All I did was gag.  Nothing came up.  I was disappointed and a little glad.  For months and months I’d survived without succumbing to something so disgusting.  But soon I was sticking my fingers down my throat all the time.
 
Then one day, when my cousin was visiting for dinner, I ate.  Not very much, but my stomach had shrunk so much I was in utter agony.  I waited in pain until everyone left the house and as soon as they had I rushed to the bathroom, flung up the seat cover and shoved my fingers down my throat until everything came up.  Then I did it again.  When I had finished I say there, staring at what I had done.  I began to cry.  I looked in the mirror and cried even more at what I had become.  This eating disease had left me ashamed and alone.  I no longer had control over it, it had control over me.
 
I gathered myself up and waited for an hour for my mother to return, crying the entire time.  When she finally drove in the yard I wiped my tears away and put on a cool face.  she came in the house and asked me if I wanted to go to my grandparents’ house where everyone was.  I wanted to go.  I knew it was time to tell my secret.  But I couldn’t.  Not yet.  My mother looked at me and asked me if I’d been crying.  In my mind I was screaming yes but I merely shook my head and went to the car.
 
When we arrived at my grandparents’, everyone was laughing and having a good time while I was dying inside.  After a few minutes I decided the time was right and I called my mother and Donna into the bedroom.  I knew they both loved me as much as anyone could love anybody and I hated to hurt them, but I was hurting myself and I needed help.  When they were both in the room and the door was closed I was already crying and shaking.  I confessed to them what I had done that night and what I’d been doing for the past 6 or more months.  And I finally admitted out loud that I needed help.  When I finished talking I realized they were both crying.  I knew I had hurt them so much and hated myself even more.  But I was so glad that my secret was finally out and I would get the help I needed.  They both hugged me and we talked for a while.  I honestly felt good for the first time.  I was free.  No longer confined in the prison I called my body.
 
I didn’t go to school the next day and the day after that my mother took me to my doctor, who I now consider my friend and love.  I began to tell her why I was there by again, but all I could do was cry.  She leaned over and put her arms around me and just let me cry.  For about the next seven months I saw her at least once a week.  And saw two dietitians.  My mother, as well as the doctor, wanted me to attend an eating disorders clinic but I refused.  Still, the thought of being surrounded by thin women and girls scared me to death.  I didn’t want to be compared to their thin bodies and I certainly didn’t want to be another statistic.
 
So I got through it with my doctors’ help and my family and friends.  My best friend, Kim was very understanding.  She was always there when I needed to confess and she encouraged me when I was down.  However, my other friend Jenny did not understand at all.  She said it was stupid and pointless.  Starving yourself to look good, she scoffed.  She even sent me into a relapse.  I can’t blame her, really.  She wasn’t there forcing me to force my fingers down my throat.  I hated myself once again.  And I especially hated the fact that I let her get to me.
 
As the weeks turned into months and I learned how to deal with my problem and how to eat all over again, I noticed that all the beautiful clothes that I had gotten at the finest shoppes during my dramatic weight loss were becoming a little snug, and eventually too tight.  I was crushed.  In just about a year (more or less) I had gained back most of the weight I had once lost.  And I fell back into my obsessive patterns once again.  I stopped eating and exercised like a maniac.  I was losing control and knew I had to stop.  So I made a promise to myself that I would lose the weight and never be fat again.  I began following a smart and healthy diet, cutting out fatty and high calorie foods, and began a great exercise program.  In seven months I’ve missed only one day of physical activity, but I eat healthy so I know I’m okay if I do happen to miss an occasional day, which I hope I never do.
 
Most people don’t know every side of eating disorders.  For many, suicide is a thought that runs through your head quite often.  I never wanted to die (really), I just didn’t want to go on living the way I was.  I know my story isn’t as severe as some and I’m glad, because it could have been.  I’m proud I got out of the danger before it was too late.
 
Looking back on everything I realize it wasn’t just about being thin.  It was about being the thinnest.  The best.  There was a lot of competition going on in my mind.  Competition with myself and with others.  Thinking once about Kelly’s disorder, I watched everything about her.  I admired her.  And I remember how I cried when she fainted from malnourishment and her secret was found out, and how she admitted to being sick.  I felt for her because she was like me.  But at the same time, I was excited because I beat her.  I lasted longer than she did.  I had passed out more than once but no one ever knew.  It made no difference how beautiful or rich or popular she was, I still beat her.  And my ego fed off that like crazy.  I was at war with myself and I was my own worst enemy.  But that part is over.
 
There was a time when I’d weigh myself everyday, two and three times a day.  Now I have no idea what I weigh.  Through today’s eyes weight is just some digits in a box on the floor.  They don’t determine who I am, I determine who I am.  I now know the dangers of anorexia and bulimia, but I admit I’m not fully healed.  There’s not a single day that goes by that I don’t think about being super skinny.  About how easy it would be to just quit eating again.  But I’m wiser now and I have more will power.  These days I’m more aware, more energetic and more healthy.  And once again, I have control over my life.
 

Pfffttt!! Shake it if ya got it!

 

Being Anal AND Spectacular!!

 

A)  I have sensitive hearing and I’m completely anal and obsessive and obnoxious.

B)  A few years ago, in August, I got my first earache (growing up I had the lung issues and my brother had the ear issues.  Good times!).  After several days of stuffing cotton in my ear and running the hair dryer on it and trying (hoping) for the warm air would calm down the ache, I decided to finally go to the doctor.  Turns out I had an ear infection.  This infection was so severe that it caused nerve damage deep inside my ear and I still have issues with it on occasion.  In fact, last year I came down with another bout of earaches which lasted several days.  Along with these aches come a “muffling” of sound and a sort of roaring of waves sound (it’s all hard to explain).  Since I was getting ready to travel I wanted to get things checked out before I set foot on a plane.

So, back to the ear specialist I went, where I got lots of tests done before seeing the doctor.  When he came in and reviewed the tests he was astounded.  He said I had phenomenal, super-acute hearing and I could hear at decibels that most people can’t fathom.  He said I should apply with NASA as they’d benefit from it.

C)  Super-Acute Hearing + Anal-ness = ME.  🙂

Little, tiny, itty, bitty sounds ANNOY me!!  OMG!  I hate the sound of other people typing.  I hate the sound of people cracking their knuckles (however, I am guilty of this).  And little sounds, like the sound of my beloved rubbing his feet together drives me almost insane!

Blair has a habit, harmless to other people, I’m sure, of rubbing his ankles together, simulating a cricket.  It’s probably really cute.  He does it, he says, because it relaxes him.  He’ll do it when he’s watching a hockey game on  tv , he does it if he’s relaxing on the couch and has his head in my lap, he does it when he’s laying in bed trying to sleep.  And…it makes me want to punch him in the face!  Blair Baby, I love you so much.  BUT OHEMGEEE!!!!  I hate it when you do that!  And yes, I’ve told him this several times.

Blair:  *rub rub*

Sandy: “Can you please stop doing that?”

Blair:  *rub rub*

Sandy: “Blair, can you please stop doing that?”

Blair:  *rub rub*

Sandy: “BLAIR!!!!!”

Blair: (chuckling) “What is wrong with you?”

Sandy: (in Monica-from-friends-shrill-voice) “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU????”

SSSSsssshhhh!!!!

I know, I know…I come off as a total crazy bitch.  I’m not, I PROMISE.  I’m just, uh, well, I’m anal.  I told you.  I don’t like the tv being loud.  There are volume controls for a reason.  I like to play couch commando so that I can be in charge of the volume.  (Side note…my mom is deaf in one ear.  Growing up, my bedroom was directly below the tv room….as I’m sure you can imagine, the sound of the ‘blaring’ tv just about drove me nuts…especially late at night when I had an early morning.  Good grief!)

Anyway, if I start punching people at random for no apparent reason, more than likely the reason will be b/c certain people were making God-awful rackets by doing some mundane thing that hearing-impaired normal people wouldn’t be bothered by.  If you’re gritting your teeth, tapping on something, flicking your nails (so disgusting and irritating), or clicking your mouse when you phone me (ELIZABETH!!!!), please expect to get reamed out or punched.  🙂

Cheers!

 

 

 


Something Happened on the Way…..

Here’s a funny little story to start your weekend off….it shows (sorta) the extent of my clumsiness.  🙂  Hope you get a chuckle.

SOMETHING HAPPENED on the WAY….

Back in November (before the snow hit) I was out for a run.  Although it was early evening it was still quite dark so I had a keyring flashlight with me and was wearing a white tshirt, as I wanted to make sure I would not be a surprise to oncoming vehicles.

I had just started my run and could hear in the not-so-distant air the wail of police sirens.  Now, for those just reading or getting to know me I MUST make you aware that I am awaiting eye surgery for a “malfunction” in my left eye.  Because of this malfunction my vision in lefty is distorted and blurry and I have no depth perception.  So, as I continued my jog down the street the sirens got louder and eventually the police car was in sight – making its way around the bend and up the street toward me.

I turned on my mini flashlight and waved it around on the ground so that I could be seen and, as always with any approaching vehicle, I got off the pavement and onto the side of the road.  The police car did not slow down, although I’m sure he/she saw me, so I continued to move further and further away from the pavement, not aware just how close I was to the edge I was…until, just as the police car was about to pass me, I slipped…RIGHT INTO THE DITCH!  Down I went.  Totally humiliated (‘tho, no one was around and it was dark…still.). 

The worst/best part of my story is that the damn police officer didn’t even slow down or stop to see if I was okay (I’m sure there was an emergency somewhere).  So, here I am in the dark, scrambling to crawl my way out of the damn ditch before anyone else could see me.  The whole time cursing that cop and his stupid car. 

Chuckle? 

Happy Friday!

 


Shout Out of the Week!

SHOUT OUT to KIMB!

Hey y’all!  Yes, I have been a little slacky with the Shout Out thing.  What can I say: Christmas was busy.  After Christmas was busy.  Plus, I’ve been a little depressed lately and selfishly wasn’t quite in the mood to celebrate other people much.  Sorry….I’m an ahole!

But…here it is today:  The Shout Out of the Week!  And it goes to my friend Kimb.

She and I went out for a drink last night.  We met thru friends about 7 years ago and became great friends.  And then just a few years ago we ended up working together.  She is a great person and seriously, a wonderful friend.  But more than that, she is so full of wisdom.  She’s very insightful and she never judges but she is amazing with her intuitiveness.

She is one of those people that I know if I’m struggling with something or carrying a huge weight on my shoulders I can talk to her and she will help me see all sides of things.  I always feel better after I talk to her. 

Her advice is always unmatched (it certainly comes close to the advice of others but, as I said, she can open my eyes and help me see things from other perspectives…something I do not always do).

So for that, I thank you Kimmy.  Your wisdom is always appreciated. 

SHOUT OUT!

Cheers.


Junior High Gym Class

Another old school post, people:  How Did Your Junior High Gym Class Treat You?

*YIKES*

These are memories I’d rather forget, but I can’t.  So I’m going to share humiliating moments with the world (well, not really, but with you all).

Oh Junior High…those lovely awkward years for many of us.  I was chubby-ish back then and had little athletic ability (although I DID play ball every summer!!  And, when challenged, I could hold my own (ie. I won a swim race at camp and excelled at track & field {I just wanted it to end!}).  But more than anything I was (still am!) uncomfortable with my body.  I had, thanks to my mother and her family, HUGE BOOBS.  Seriously, at 14 years old I was already a 42 DD.

I hated my boobs.  They got in the way.  They hurt when I did sports or ran.  I hated them so much that in (same-sex) gym class I wore TWO bras AND TWO sweatshirts.  I still felt awkward and uncomfortable.  I remember one specific day in 8th grade we were supposed to run the outdoor track and follow the path behind the school.  I was so mortified about having to do all this running that I grabbed my friend, Becky and hid in the locker room and claimed that we lost the class and continued our laps in the indoor track.  Thankfully the teacher “believed” me and let us off the hook.

Me and Becky goofing around in 8th grade

Everything about gym class sucked back then.  I wish I had embraced it but I was a wiener and hated it.  The thought, first of all, of having to change clothes in a room with girls you barely knew or couldn’t stand, then having to wear really bad shorts (it was the 90’s – before yoga pants and J.Lo track suits), which, by the way, is just as mortifying.  I don’t wear shorts.  Ever.  I hate them.  I think they’re a form of self-torture, a tshirt or sweatshirt and then, have to participate in really lame forms of physical activity (I should have embraced Dodgeball and knocked some of those bitches out!) while getting semi-sweaty and then have to re-dress, still sweaty, and head back to class.  How lovely.  Brilliant idea, whoever came up with that one.  For future: gym class should be reserved for the last class of the day.  Get sweaty then head the hell home.  Sounds good to me.

Once I hit 10th grade and phys ed wasn’t mandatory I was not participating.  No way!  Clearly, my boobs and I had issue with it and I CERTAINLY wasn’t going to head out to do jumping jacks with a bunch of high school boys.  HELLS-TO-THE-NO!!

You may be pleased to know, however, that senior year I did sign back up for gym.  I was into fitness back then and wanted to prove a point (I had a whirl wind of eating disorders in high school and thought gym class might help me out in some way).  I actually enjoyed it, for the most part.  And I LOVED Dodgeball with the guys….one of them (Darrell) even called me a brute.  Proudest Day Ever!  🙂

Anyway, my boobs have gotten smaller over the years, thankfully (they still hurts sometimes when I run or do jacks) but I have to say that I absolutely love my “gym classes” now.   Fitness is cool.  *thumbs up*

Canoeing isn't as much if ya don't fall out!

Cheers.