If the Shoe Fits Size Two

I had the rare pleasure of buying myself some new shoes a couple of weeks ago. I say "pleasure" rather tongue-in-cheekish because (if you know anything about me) you know I hate (read loathe) to shop. (Which explaineth the rarity of said "pleasure"). Any well, I went straight for the size that I've worn for all adulthood and found several not so high-heeled, not so pricey, not too limited color-wise and sat down to try on my selections.

And to my delight, not a single one of them fit.

I returned to the shelves and picked up smaller size, slipped it on before I got comfy and nope...still too big. Wow. Cool. My feet have really shrunk.

Now, somewhere in the area otherwise known as my brain...where the knowledge dwells and thinking is (in theory) supposed to happen...the realization has already occurred. I've lost 175 pounds so, yeah, my old shoes have become looser and I connected that to shrinkage happening all over and not just to my butt. However, the reality of it, or rather the proof of it is far sweeter. Seriously, my feet lost a size or two depending on the shoe. Like I said, sweet!

That brain to body connection gets broken down in lots of areas. It's like there's this highway from self-image to reality and this highway has detours in to necks of the wood where reality is not at all welcome. Your hurtful past and your distorted self-image are there sitting on the porch of a post-Katrina-esque shack all gussied up in tattered overalls, scratching their bloated bellies and swigging moonshine. Reality has a not-so-firm grip on your arm and is tapping you on the shoulder for all its worth, begging you to get out of there NOW because reality hears the banjos playing. All the while those inbred goons are waving a shotgun in your face and telling you white lies through 3 black teeth and a wicked smile. And for reasons known only to your heart you continue to walk right in to their disinuring web of deception.

I’ve said it before, what I see in the mirror and what I am in reality are often uncharted miles apart.
And more often how others see me and how I view myself are as different as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Yes, I am the cynical sort. Not the glass is half-empty kind. No, I see the positive in life, I just don't think I'm really the recipient of the positive. Or that the positive is what it appears to be. So, even if the glass is half-full doesn't mean I get to drink from it. And I'm going to doubt the actual fullness of said glass until the water is poured out, measured, weighed and the glass is refilled and handed back to me. Then maybe I will believe that I get to have the glass and drink the water too. But, I tarry on the wrong rabbit trail...

You would think the more time that passes in this new body of mine, the more I would grow used to the new view. But words that are now ascribed to me are as unfitting and unfamiliar to me as those size 9 1/2 shoes. Words like: skinny, tiny, little and phrases such as you are an inspiration to me, you look amazing, I hate you, I want to look like you, cause me to turn to see just who the heck they are talking to because, surely, it’s not me. This isn’t me pretending to be humble and this isn’t me fishing for compliments, this is out and out disbelief because I just don’t see it that way at all. Nor do I believe it. (Remember the half-full glass? Of course you do...)

No matter that it has been nearly 16 months since my surgery. Or that I'm now a size 4 and have been for 3 or 4 months. Size FOUR I said. Something I never, ever, ever, ever dreamed possible. No matter that I am physically capable of doing anything and everything that I want to do, whereas before even thinking of attempting any level of activity would have rendered me breathless, immobile from pain or dead of cardiac arrest. No matter. The words are foreign and I don’t speak the language.

This is due to the fact that the weight loss surgery didn't occur in my brain. That operation does not happen once and its over with, whew I'm cured. Nope, this is a medicine I have to take daily like a good girl. Sometimes I refuse the treatment and suffer the consequences.

And for those who think weight loss surgery is the easy route, you should know that there are no easy routes in life. You may start down that seemingly easy road, but the banjos will catch up to you my friend. And if you want to escape the outcome you and reality will have to paddle faster.

And frankly my dears, it’s all just a bit scary. Not the banjos. Well, yes the banjos are scary but I am going somewhere else...Scary because seriously, you want to look like ME? I inspire YOU? You HATE me because I’m skinny? Inconceivable. Oh people, if you only knew.

There is within me a fierce insecurity with regards to how I look now, more so than when I weighed 315 lbs. I was far more comfortable cloaked in my layers of fat, protected and cushioned from the world’s eyes along with its expectations and ideas. And while I’d like to believe that I do not and will not cater to the world, truth is I find that I very much do. And while I long to be free of the desire for man’s approval, that desire sits there along with my self-image and my past, both daunting and taunting me. Quite a motley crew, those three are.

So now I am learning to make peace with both the reflection and the reality. Connecting who it is I think I am with who I want to be. I think, basically, that is life daily for all on planet Earth.

Go figure.

Oh, and yes I found shoes. Not these though...

(not my foot)

Those beauties - according to my bff - are for all the anime hookers out there...

Empty Nexter

I'm standing in the middle of my favorite grocery store and I've been shopping for quite some time now. My basket is, for all intents and purposes, more than full. I stand, looking over my selections, watching the other shoppers. They appear enraptured with their selections, their carts, their choices...just their being there. Yawn.

Some are genuinely happy and I envy them. In my heart there is a longing to feel that happiness, that sense of contentment they seem to get from just being there. I don't understand it anymore. I used to, but now I am so very bored with it all. I've seen everything, over and over. I've snacked on the samples. I've gone home with and gorged on probably every item available to me in hopes that I will finally feel that proverbial illusive happiness only to realize I'm not content at all. I am still so very, very empty.

I walk up and down each aisle looking for what it is I feel I am missing. There is a clue here somewhere. Something they have in their cart that I don't have. Surely.

Some offer a specific item they are sure will answer my dilemma. I used to toss those into my cart with hopeful eagerness. But at this point in my journey I no longer think another item in my cart will make a difference to the balance, one way or the other. My appetite waned, my interest unmotivated.

I feel like walking away. No, scratch that. I feel like running away. Screaming. The urge to flee is so very strong. I want to leave the basket there and never return. What's the use? What purpose does this or that item serve. I no longer care about the contents or what happens to me if I don't purchase them. I no longer care to be here. I am empty. My heart screams NEXT!!??!!??

This is how it's been for some time now. It's not the store; I've been to many different stores. And it's not the contents of the basket; it's all healthy choices, no Twinkies or chips - not that an occasional Twinkie or bag of chips is bad mind you - but I don't even crave those things. I am empty. And I want next.

This is my walk in the Christian life of late. I am bored. Bored with Christianity, bored with church, bored with the reasons I am bored and bored with the answers to my boredom.

I am empty and I am screaming NEXT!?!?!?!

Yes, I work at a church. Yes, I attend this church and love this church. I love the God I worship and serve. I have no question of who He is or if He is or where He is. I've no question of my faith, the validity of my religion or the truth of Christ. All that is very solid, very real.

I know His word. I've read His word over and over. I've sat at His feet and desperately clung to His cross pleading for more of Him. He knows all of this because I talk to Him in very real terms on a daily basis.

And yet, I am empty. Next?

I'm not sure where this post is going or what my point is other than to put it out there. I know others feel the same because I've had this conversation with quite a few people. Christians bored with Christianity.

There is no answer you can give me. I am not asking for a solution or even your solution. No need to invite me to visit your grocery store. No sense in me envying or borrowing what you have in your cart. No need to figure out what snack, ingredient or even recipe I should try now. Nope. Been there. Done that. Next?

If the Shoe Fits

Buy it in 3 colors and work it girl! I know, I know...it doesn't end that way. But again, I remind you, this is my blog neglected or not.

I had other titles in mind. "That Witch We Call, Arose" Or how about, "The Lovely Miss Gnomer" and for our Spanish speaking friends "¡Eso sí que es, s.o.c.k.s.!" And these all are, indeed, a bit more apropos to the subject at hand, but oh well.

On the way to work the car radio was squawking as usual. I truly hate morning radio, just play some music and be quiet already. It is too early to think, I don't want to hear crude humor and I'm far to sleepy to care. And I'm a morning person. So, I reach over to turn it down/off when this line from a commercial got my attention.

"Come stay at the Lock n' Terror Resort"

I turned, quizzically to Speed Racer, also known as my husband and said "would you want to stay at a hotel named "Lock 'n Terror"?" He chuckled. Then realized I was serious. Then he laughed. Out loud. In my face.


"La Cantera. hon. It's La Can-ter-a."

Oh. Well, that clears that up. The gentleman from the commercial was, clearly, from the south of east Texas and was, clearly, (how shall I say this?) NOT of the Hispanic persuasion because it, clearly, was not heard as anything recognizable as, close to or resembling Spanish or a Spanish pronunciation. So there.

Of course there was not a goofy white-guy to excuse the time I asked my beloved why anyone in their right mind would name a company "Tit-least"? He responded so graciously and mercifully - laughing till he cried and then gently correcting me, at the top of his lungs, so as to protect me from the embarrassment of anyone nearby hearing "that's title-IST"...and to keep from furthering my embarrassment, he refuses to tell anyone this story. More than once or twice. While laughing.

I take it in stride. Only hitting him once or twice. While laughing.

Apparently the tree keeps its fruit really close because the youngest tends to ask the same questions. While examining a bag of cough drops during her recent brush with death she asked me "what's four-moo-lah?"

"I'm sorry, what?"

"What's four-moo-lah?" saying it slow for me, because that helps the blond lead the blind.

"In context?"

"On the cough drops bag it says: soothing four-moo-lah."