Tag Archives: body

Dear Body: A Letter of Apology and Appreciation

Dear Body,

It’s been a long five years, but the journey is over and it’s time for me to reflect on what that journey has been like for you. Miserable, right? And oh my gosh, am I ever sorry.

Five years ago, we started trying to get pregnant. It was fun at first (wink), until a couple of months had gone by and we had to get a little more serious. So I watched you like a hawk. Just tracking at first. Then predicting ovulation, a basal body temperature first thing in the morning, peeing on ovulation predictor sticks. The doctor refused to see us in that first year, that’s how it works — nothing for 12 months. And month after month, the fear grew, the frustration built, I hated you.

So, I started to subject you to ever more invasive interventions. It was just pills at first — the clomid with it’s bloating, headaches, and artificially elongated cycles that led to unrealized hopes month after month. Then came the intravaginal ultrasounds… and those wouldn’t stop for the next four years. Probes and clamps and ultrasounds and ultrasounds and ultrasounds. Six months later, the clomid had failed too.

So we traveled to Madison. Three rounds of IUI, four of IVF. Pills, injections (so many needles — bruising, bleeding, nerve damage), sticky patches and adhesive burns, another hysteroscopy, with a camera this time, so… many… ultrasounds… and every time, failure. Except the one time, when for 10 weeks when we thought otherwise, only to result in a stopped heart, a nearly unbearable surgery, and the worst months of my life.

It was awful, really. But it was impossible for me to let go of the hope, nor the anger at you. Until now.

Because, Body… you endured. The sticks, pokes, clamps, ultrasounds, surgery, heartbreak. You endured all of that, plus the physical symptoms of grief, anxiety, depression, and extreme stress. You may not have made me the baby I had so desperately hoped for, but you did every other thing I asked. Even ran that marathon. And for that, I am grateful.

So, Body, I’m done now. And you’ve certainly earned the kindness coming your way. At least 5 years-worth, probably more. I promise to give that to you. Of course, there will continue to be physical consequences for a while yet… you’ve been through a lot and I can’t make it all go away in an instant, particularly the physical manifestations of the anxiety and depression as I work to figure out a new way forward.

We’re in this together, and you’ve hung in there through some seriously tough stuff these past five years. I’m sorry for what I put you through, I appreciate how hard you let me try, how long you let me hold on to what was an impossible hope. Thank you for that. I’ll do better for you from now on.

So much love, for real,



PS: Next time someone tells you to “relax,” permission granted to take swing.

A note about the word fat.

I called myself fat yesterday and lots of people were super concerned. Self-deprecating, yes, kind of… but let me assure you, Fat Girl Walking was merely a genius play on Dead Man Walking and, finally, at 31 years old, I’m done being upset about the word fat. Done-zo.

It’s true. I’m bigger than your average bear. Now.

I wasn’t always. In fact, when I look back on photos from when I first started thinking I was fat, I can only groan/shake my head/be pissed off at all those stupid wasted years of fat-shaming, fat concern, fat obsession when I was not, in fact, fat at all.

Except what if I had been? What about the times when I was? Because, let’s be honest, my weight has gone up and down and up and down a lot of times over the course of my life. And I think that’s normal, isn’t it. Puberty’s not exactly fun for anyone and most of us get at least a bit chubby for a minute there.

Even if I had been fat then, and even now that I am, my body is still kind of rocking it. I can run for-evs (like I said yesterday) and mow my lawn and vacuum my floors and cook and bake and dance and relax and blog and read and write and talk and and and… my body does all those things. It provides my soul with pretty cush digs, to be honest, and right now, especially, it deserves my dang RESPECT.

Because dang, it’s holding up. IVF meds are no joke. NO JOKE. And my body is going through some stuff, but remarkably, my body is handling it like a champ and despite a level of discomfort the likes of which I have never experienced, exactly, I’m doing ok.

Fat or not, I can appreciate that, the champ-i-ness of my bod. So I have to be ok with the word fat — I have to turn it into just another characteristic. I’m blonde-haired and green eyed. I have size 11 feet and curly hair. And I’m fat. It’s just another thing — a size XL, 14/16, bigger than your average bear. It’s not a bad word unless I let it be a bad word. I choose not to let it. (Anymore.)


So, pretty please, don’t worry about the word fat. Also, don’t worry about me because my mommy came to Wisconsin today and she’s taking real good care of me. We’re taking a road trip to Madison at 4 am tomorrow — eggs, eggs, baby!!

me and my mumsy



And PS: If I was worried about being fat, now would be extra, extra rough because ah dang… my abdomen is getting blooooooated. There’s not sucking this beast in. It is what it is and the only level of comfort comes from just letting it be. Oh ovaries, you better be growing me lots and lots of eggs.

Celebrating my fat heart!

Have you guys seen the movie Pitch Perfect?!  I’ve seen lots of pins on Pinterest with quotes and “The Cup Song” has come up several times on my Pandora (love it!), but I never actually watched the movie until just this morning.

You see, I’m pretty much confined to within 10 feet or so of my sweet puppy girl’s kennel unless she falls asleep (like really asleep) or she whimpers and whines, so I resigned to spending the morning watching movies on the couch, including several made-for-tv Christmas movies (so much cheesiness! so very good!) and Pitch Perfect.

Pitch Perfect was awesome for a lot of reasons, but I recently got into Rebel Wilson in the show Super Fun Night and I’m extra in love with her now that I’ve seen her as Fat Amy. Seriously, she calls herself Fat Amy so “twig b*****es like you don’t do it behind my back.” And she had so many other gems! But my favorite was at the end of the movie when she says to her friends:

Even though some of you are pretty thin, you all have fat hearts – and that’s what matters.

That line– I LOVE IT!  I rewound and rewound to hear it over and over and over again because it made me laugh so hard!  But it also touched me– right in my big fat heart! I love the way Fat Amy embraced it, she loved her life, she worked her killer bod, and she showed us that “fat” is not a dirty word. (Despite the nearly constant fat shaming we get exposed to in the media.) Just brilliant!

Have I mentioned before that weight is a pretty big issue for me? Oh right, I titled an entire post “Mind. Body. Prison.” and a search for “weight” pulls up 5 separate posts, which is a lot considering that I’ve only actually published a grand total of 64. (But dang, let’s reflect on that number for a minute– 64?!  Awesome! We should totally plan a party for 100!)

So, yeah, I’ve mentioned that weight is a big deal to me. For most of my life I have desired very strongly to lose it, and when I did, I desired to lose more. I’ve recently shifted my focus, though, and am really working toward body acceptance, no matter it’s size, instead. No matter my weight loss goals, my biggest desire was always to be comfortable in my own skin. Is there any reason that can’t happen in my current skin? No.

I am a healthy, happy person and that’s what my friends and family care about. They love me for my fat heart! And so do I, I suppose!

People come in all shapes and sizes, colors and creeds.  You may have bushy hair, big feet, an extraordinarily square jaw (just some examples… ahem…), but it really is what’s inside that counts. That is what your friends and family love you for and it’s the same reason you should love yourself.

And you should love yourself, friend. (You can trust me, I’m a doctor.)


PS: I’m really loving some of these normal-sized women that are starting to show up more and more often on tv and in the movies! I will forever support The Mindy Project, Mike & Molly, Super Fun Night, and Parks and Rec for that reason. (I watch too much tv!)

Mind, Body, Prison

First order of business– THANKS a million for all of your help on deciphering the 100% illegible inscription from Adam Bucko!  I’m pretty sure it’s “may you be the change,” but “may you be in charge” could also be right… and that little word after be seems to look a little more like in than the.  So, after pondering, I’m going to read the book, see if “in charge” makes sense, and then decide if that’s it or if he was quoting Mother Teresa.  Either way– thanks so much, friends!!  You’re awesome and someone’s about to get a book!!

Anyway, on to our regularly scheduled program.  Prison time!


I read a really interesting article from CommonHealth the other day entitled “I’m Finally Thin – But Is Living In a Crazymaking Food Prison Really Worth It?” by Rachel Zimmerman.  It was a really good read and I loved her prison analogy.  Loved it!  So much so that I wanted to extend it to the other side, too.  Because it’s not just thin women that end up in that crazymaking prison… I think all women can.  And it’s not difficult to get locked up.  At least not in my experience.

So, let me tell you about life… on the inside.  (Do I sound hard?  Like prison hard?  That’s what I’m going for.)

Mind, Body, Prison.

When I’m trying to lose weight or maintain a lower-than-usual weight, those are times when I’m working toward parole and I’m so busy kissing the warden’s behind that I can’t do anything else.  My stomach growls and I spend hours in the gym, but it’s never good enough.  So much time is spent obsessing about food, and not eating it.

When I’ve gained weight and feel too fat, those are the times when I feel hopeless and certain that I’m in for life.  I’ll make a shank out of just about anything (cookies! candy! cake!) and I’m quick to use it at even the slightest provocation.  (Nom nom nom…)  Again, I’m obsessing about food, but the feelings are of finding more and then feeling guilty for consuming it.

My body is covered in prison scars and homespun tattoos– stretch marks from rapid weight gain and loss and persistent injuries as a result of over-exercise.

They say that people can become permanently institutionalized… unable to function appropriately in the real world.  And I fear that I share that fate.  I hope for rehabilitation, a chance to live happily on healthily on the outside.  But what does that take and how do I get there?

My institutionalized mind has two alternative answers for me.

The goody two-shoes hopeful parolee says that loss of a few pounds (or many…) will impress the parole board– a smaller pants size, careful control of caloric intake and demonstration that I am willing to eat nothing but leafy greens and crunchy carrots.

The prison yard gangsta says to forget about it because I’ll just end up back here anyway, searching the yard for another sugary, salty treat to turn into a weapon… and let’s get another tattoo while we’re at it.

So then what’s the real answer?  How do we reform the mind-body prison system?

I don’t know.  And at the moment, I’m the tough guy looking for a fight, about to start a dang riot.  And that’s a problem because people who just want to fight (read: eat) are rarely capable of looking for diplomatic solutions in the heat of the moment.  And, to be perfectly honest, the piece of me that hopes for an answer is really just looking for a way back in front of the parole board– in smaller pants.

I have pretty intense physiological and emotional cravings for, as the book says, Salt! Sugar! Fat!  (Really, good read, I highly recommend it.)  But I’m simultaneously dealing with a neurological and sociological obsession with thinness and unrealistic, mainstream beauty ideals.  But above all, the thing that my heart desires is comfort and to be out of prison, once and for all.

Orange really isn’t my color.  Even metaphorically.



Oh man, nerd alert.  I was re-reading this post and was concerned that I had used the word shank wrong because suddenly shiv was popping into my head instead.  So I googled it.  Don’t worry.  They’re both names for sharp, handmade prison weapons.  Whew.  I wouldn’t want to incorrectly label a handmade prison weapon.  Oh TV, thank you for giving me so much prison knowledge!