The Body Post

May 22, 2015

Body Post

I am 14-years-old, 5’8, and 185 pounds. The only pants that fit over my thighs are outdated and torn. I’ve been an awkward kid my whole life, but now I am a teenager with braces, butterfly clips and obesity. It is hard. I try my best to ignore the fact that I don’t look like everyone else, but still pray every night for a better body so that I might have a boyfriend other than “Chad,” my fictional lover “from the city.”

Then one day my wish comes true. I don’t know if it’s hormones or a bona fide miracle from Jesus, but between my Junior and Senior years of high school, I lose a whole 45 pounds. That’s like one Justin Bieber.

The first thing I do is buy a normal sized jean jacket. It is thrilling and strange. Gone are the days of “Well, at least you have a nice smile!”, and for the first time in my life–boys notice me. All of a sudden I am popular, pretty, and picked first in gym class despite being a truly terrible athlete. All the balls are literally in my court, staring at my miniskirt and making awkward conversation about my “different look.”

The rest is predictable. I get drunk on the power and obsessed with being thin. It’s all I think about day and night, resulting in some really creative diets including the “The Sleep Diet,” “The Saltine Diet,” and perhaps most repelling, “The Refried Beans Diet.”  By the end of college, I have dabbled in all the dark eating arts; bulimia, anorexia, dipping cotton balls in orange juice and calling it “lunch.” I am a jack of all trades.

Most notable is my long relationship with laxatives. For years I pop these pills into my digestive system to “cleanse” all the calories after meals. The problem is that they are A) habit forming and B) will ruin your body and cause you to shit your pants in the school cafeteria. They also do not work. My weight goes up and down like a yo-yo due to false hope over these tiny pills. When I finally quit cold turkey, I have a weakened metabolism and lasting damage to my bowels.

Enter the children. The first thing I do when I get pregnant is promise myself I’ll stop abusing my body. The months before my wedding I had been eating less than 500 calories a day, barely enough to walk up a flight of stairs without passing out. I couldn’t do that while caring for a baby. And so I look down at my stomach, say Honey, it’s just not worth it, and promptly gain 75 pounds.

I’ve been sporting a pear shape ever since.

A few weeks ago I was asked to write about body image and how it’s changed over the years. Despite spending the past three decades being too big or too small, here are some things I know for sure:

1) Eating too little will make you feel like shit.

2) Eating too much will make you feel like shit.

3) It doesn’t matter how much therapy, exercise, or humor you pour into yourself–body issues do not disappear. They are with you for life. Amy Poehler calls it “the demon.”

Hopefully as you get older, you start to learn how to live with your demon. It’s hard at first. Some people give their demon so much room that there is no space in their head or bed for love. They feed their demon and it gets really strong and then it makes them stay in abusive relationships or starve their beautiful bodies. But sometimes, you get a little older and get a little bored of the demon. Through good therapy and friends and self-love you can practice treating the demon like a hacky, annoying cousin. Maybe a day even comes when you are getting dressed for a fancy event and it whispers, “You aren’t pretty,” and you go, “I know, I know, now let me find my earrings.” Sometimes you say, “Demon, I promise you I will let you remind me of my ugliness, but right now I am having hot sex so I will check in later.

The demon is annoying but I’ve learned it doesn’t have to be everything. As it turns out, there’s a lot more to life than thigh gap. Also, spending thirty years in a woman’s body has taught me a few things. For example, how to buy appropriate sized clothing. Pro tip: squeezing into a smaller size out of vanity could result in a situation that requires scissors or your uncle’s butcher knife. Similarly, how to avoid fad diets. Take it from an expert dieter, juice cleanses and 30 day fixes do nothing more than give you temporary weight loss and diarrhea. Doctors, science, and years of research are actually telling the truth. Healthy eating and exercise are the only ways to truly lose weight. I know it’s the worst.

There is no way to go back in time and tell my 18-year-old self that binge eating colace will cause her 30-year-old self to shit her pants at the grocery store. All I can do now is laugh and maybe become a motivational speaker for teenage youths who think Angelina’s arms are normal. I can think of no better way to dissuade someone from laxative abuse than describing the particulars of throwing out your underwear in the Costco bathroom. The details are truly horrifying.

The image we have of ourselves is always shifting. May we continue to grow into our bodies, forgive our arms, and celebrate our working bones.

We are always a work in progress.

***

13 Tips On Love And Relationships From Smart Women

May 21, 2015

When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier.
Sheryl Sandberg

amyIt’s never overreacting to ask for what you want and need.
Amy Poehler

chelsea_peretti_mirror_RJEpkoF.sizedIf you text “I love you” and the person writes back an emoji, no matter what the emoji is – they don’t love you back.
Chelsea Peretti

mindy-kaling1As my mom has said, when one person is unhappy, it usually means two people are unhappy but that one has not come to terms with it yet.
Mindy Kalingstrayed

You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.
Cheryl Strayed

rosanneA guy is a lump like a doughnut. So, first you gotta get rid of all the stuff his mom did to him. And then you gotta get rid of all that macho crap that they pick up from beer commercials. And then there’s my personal favorite, the male ego.
Roseanne Barr

lenaIt’s somebody who gives you the space and time you need to do your work. Somebody who says, “You couldn’t do anything that would embarrass me. Just be yourself in a way that has integrity, and I’ll be proud of you.” I think women are conditioned to stand by their man and watch them make it to the top, but most men never believe the person they get into a relationship with is going to rise any higher than she was when they met. It takes a very special, evolved person to be able to deal with change within a relationship.
Lena Dunham

cherylDon’t be strategic or coy. Strategic and coy are for jackasses. Be brave. Be authentic. Practice saying the word ‘love’ to the people you love so when it matters the most to say it, you will.
Cheryl Strayed

sarahBeing single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.
Sarah Jessica Parker

meganSpend a few minutes a day really listening to your spouse. No matter how stupid his problems sound to you. 
Megan Mullally

lizPeople always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to be pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.
Elizabeth Gilbert

ellenSo many people prefer to live in drama because it’s comfortable. It’s like someone staying in a bad marriage or relationship – it’s actually easier to stay because they know what to expect every day, versus leaving and not knowing what to expect.
Ellen Degeneres

cheryl sandbergEveryone knows that marriage is the biggest personal decision you make, but it’s the biggest career decision you can make. Partner with the right person, because you cannot have a full career and a full life at home with the children if you are also doing all the housework and childcare.
Sheryl Sandberg

***

|Click Image For Source|

The End Of Preschool

May 20, 2015

IMG_5566

When Waylon started preschool last year, I pretended to be confident in our decision when really I was just another sociopath mom suppressing nervous gas and ugly crying in the school parking lot. It was so hard to send my first baby off into the world. It didn’t help that the first few weeks we had to go through the Orphan Annie routine at drop off. You know, the PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME sobs followed by murder screams and sad, Disney eyes. It was a whole thing.

Then one day, a miracle happened. He stopped crying! They tell you it will happen, but like so many “it gets better” promises in parenthood, it’s hard to believe until you see it with your own eyes. A year later, and I saw the whole thing. I watched him want to get dressed in the morning and ask to stay for lunch. I watched him get braver, grow taller, and be a friend to everyone. A few months in and he even stopped looking over his shoulder to say goodbye. It broke my heart in all the best ways.

We know teachers are sent from baby Jesus, but there is a special VIP spot in heaven for preschool teachers who send you texts saying “He is having fun” and “Thank you for trusting us with him.” I will cry about it until the day I die. Women helping women.

I know I’m not the first overly sentimental mom to send my first, precious, newborn spawn to preschool, but I will never forget this first year of school. The feelings in my gut and the tears on my face. It was the start of something. The beginning of the very long process of letting go.

It’s a funny thing, to be in charge of a life. We hold it like a robin’s egg even though it’s more like the bird itself; wild, independent, slowly slipping away.

IMG_8783

***

Waylon is saying goodbye to his best friend Ginger next week. A look back on their four years together. There’s just something about that first best friend.

ginger and wt

To Dr. Baer

May 17, 2015

IMG_8659

Today Austin graduates from medical school. It has been a long journey, but an important one. Despite long rotations, solo parenting, and difficult exams– these have been some of the best years of our life. We’ve made dear friends, had our babies, and found a village. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

When Austin first told me he wanted to leave his graphic design job to go to med school, I was worried we would lose each other in the process. I was also worried that I’d have to take a backseat to his career and raise our kids alone. None of it and all of it came true. Hills and valleys with every path in this life. We have been so lucky.

Today isn’t the finish line. After one year of internal medicine, four years of radiology, another match, and a fellowship–Austin will be almost 40 when he’s an attending physician. And yet we celebrate. We celebrate the choice to start over, four years of hard work, and the end of a very good chapter in our book. We also celebrate the beginning of a career. There is nothing like finally doing something you love.

It takes courage to leave your desk job at 27 and start again from scratch. Something to celebrate today.

To Dr. Baer.

***

First Day Of Med School
Marrying A Student
Being Sad About All The Studying
12 Steps To Becoming El Doctoro
Residency Tour
City Search
Match Day
Last Day Of Med School

Friday Snacks {5.15.15}

May 15, 2015

FINAL

bouq Five Links To Read

Hell For Each Personality Type +  Excuse The Language, But Yes + Social Media And Sadness + The Mother Son Dance + Why Is Your Millennial Crying?

+

One Thing To Love

These photobooks.

IMG_8517
I talked about these books last year and wanted to let you know I’m still getting them every few months when a book fills up. The cheapest happy mail (and a small relief knowing there’s a real print of all my best phone pictures somewhere).

The deal –> Print your Instagram photos in a book series, automatically. Every photo you share to Instagram creates a page in your book. You’ll get a notification each time you get close to 60 new pages. Excluding photos from your book is easy as a tap ( I usually exclude a bunch!). Curate as you go. Editing captions is also a snap, but I leave them out altogether. Order additional subscriptions so loved ones can enjoy your adventures as well. Don’t ask Grandma and Grandpa to figure out Instagram – just have them go to the mailbox. $6 dollars shipped.

Get your first book free when you subscribe to your instagram series with code KATEJBAER.

Collage

+

One Truth For The Week

truth

+

Happy Friday

***

Thank you to everyone who shared Internet gems. You make Fridays better.

Best leggings & workout gear. $25 Dollar Outfit + Free Shipping For Newbies.