Saturday, December 13, 2008


My time for making Christmas gifts is supposed to be after the boys go to bed. Ideally, with them going to bed at eight and me going to bed sometime after midnight, that's a good four hours of work getting done. It very rarely—OK, never—works out that way.

It's so much easier to stay in my nice warm bedroom hiding under blankets watching reruns of various crime/forensic dramas than to get up and go into the cold (so cold) sewing room and work. It's above the garage, it's easily ten degrees colder in there than it is in the rest of the house. And the rest of the house is also cold. I need to invest in some adult-sized footie pajamas. (There is a space heater in there, but I'd have to go turn it on at seven and then huddle by it the entire time I'm in there.)

I'm going to have to get over this, though. I have nine gifts in various states of completion. Most of them are in the “not started yet” state. If I want to get anything done on time, I'm going to have to wear my bunny slippers and a giant sweater and suck it up. Just...not tonight.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I have a terrible secret

Shameful, too. In fact, I might as well just come out with it.

I like tween TV shows.

It doesn't hurt that my four-year-old likes them, too. (He's my beard.) Drake and Josh, iCarly, Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place. I LOVE them. I have seen Merry Christmas, Drake and Josh about four times now, and it's so cute. And festive--I'm also a sucker for Christmas episodes/made-for-TV movies. And Lifetime TV movies. But I'm getting sidetracked.

I don't know what it is about these shows. If I'm honest, the writing is...not great. Most of the time, anyway. Whoever wrote Merry Christmas, Drake and Josh either has no idea what a parole officer does and the powers they legally have or they don't care. The acting is OK but usually over the top. If there are special effects they're terrible. Maybe all that's part of the appeal.

I know that someday I'll have to hide my love and consumption of these shows. I don't have any daughters to justify watching them with, and I would imagine the boys will only watch them for so long before they decide it's more fun to watch sports...or play sports...or do other things that boys do. My husband may suspect something, but I would probably deny it if pressed. Of course he likes Walker, Texas Ranger; what does he know?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Here's a cute title about fat people and clothes

So, somewhat inspired by this post over at Joy Nash's blog, I have been thinking about me as a teenager and my attitude about clothes. See, I had this thing about being perceived as fat. I consider this thing gotten over because I really don't care anymore. Whether or not other people see me as being fat is something I can't control, and I have better things to do with my time.

However, when I was younger I thought about it. A lot. I never ever wore horizontal stripes or bright colors or did any of the other clothing-related things fat people aren't supposed to do. When I would go shopping, if I was in the dressing room and the saleswoman asked me if I needed a different size I would always say no, even if I really did. My thought was that if I didn't tell her my size she wouldn't know I was fat. Which is stupid because a) she could probably tell I was a big girl whether or not she knew my size, and b) she was probably more concerned with me buying something and giving her a commission than what my size was and if that made me fat or not.

Usually in those situations I left empty-handed. Actually, most of the time when I shopped I left empty-handed. The clothes making me look fat was usually my reason why. It took me years to come to terms with the fact that while, yes, I do have long monkey arms and a long torso and long legs that are certainly not conducive to finding clothes that fit easily and hit me at a flattering point, it wasn't the clothes making me look fat. I was heavy--fat, if you prefer--and probably always would be to some extent. My whole family is large, and even when we're thin we still look...thick, if that makes sense. We're German. What can I say?

I'm trying to get better at ignoring sizes and buying clothes that I like and that look good on me instead of wearing my old T-shirts and track pants to rags. (I just threw away a shirt my dad bought me a decade ago. It was almost transparent. I'm still sad about it.) I'm glad I've finally realized that “looks good on me” is not synonymous with “make me look like a size six.” And I just might buy a trapeze jacket or a spaghetti-strap tank top or an empire-waisted dress one of these days.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Better late than never, I suppose

Anyway, as I promised you in September, here are some remodeling pictures and stories.

Story the First: when we got this place, the previous owner's daughter very proudly told us that they had been planning to remodel it but had never really gotten around to it, so they would leave the remodeling supplies they had bought behind. These supplies, according to the woman, were a new front door, some laminate for the hallway (three boxes worth, about 55 square feet), quite a few mini blinds still in boxes, and a toilet. The toilet was still in its boxes when we saw the trailer, and the woman pointed to them and said, “Here's a new toilet. We were planning on redoing the bathroom in a pink theme, so we got a new toilet.” From that I extrapolated that the boxes contained a pink toilet. We moved on.

Now it's after we've bought the trailer and we're clearing the garbage out, aka gutting it. No one has looked in the toilet boxes yet, but one had been moved into the living room to use as a little table. I realized we hadn't opened it yet, so I peeked inside and saw...the basin to a pedestal sink.

I called my husband over and said, “Please look in this box. Am I correct in thinking that this is a sink basin, not a very shallow toilet?” He looked and agreed that it was, indeed a sink and not a toilet. It was white, too—bonus!

I went to look at the other box, thinking maybe they got one wrong box and the other one is part of a toilet. A pink toilet, too. I wouldn't be surprised. But no, I opened the box and saw the pedestal to a pedestal sink.

A pedestal! A new pedestal sink. Woohoo! Best part of the deal so far if you ask me. Now, granted, these people aren't big on measuring things (you'll know how I know in the next story) so I'm not totally sure it will fit in the bathroom. The vanity has to come out anyway, though, so at least we don't have to buy a sink. (Probably not--my dad is strongly against the pedestal sink, and we've had a few fights about the pedestal sink. Mostly because I insist that the plumbing for the sink go under the floor or inside the wall, not across like you would be able to get away with if you had a vanity.) I will point out that getting a pedestal sink to replace a double vanity in a trailer that's less than 1000 square feet was probably not the smartest choice, but whatever. We'll put the pedestal sink in and put a tall cupboard next to it for storage. There was one at Home Depot that had cupboards on the top and drawers on the bottom that would be pretty nice, I think. I'd even stain it instead of painting it.

Story the Second: Remember the new front door I mentioned up above? This is it:

Now, first things first: I love a French door as much as the next person. However, this trailer is located in Nebraska. NEBRASKA! Anyone who lives in Nebraska—or anywhere in the Midwest or any other state that gets cold winters—please raise your hand if you think a French door is a good idea for an entry door. Not to mention how easy it would be if someone were ever to break in.

The second thing about the door...I don't know if you've noticed, but it's a storm door. It's not an exterior door at all. There is a handle with a lock on it, but it's certainly not a lock I would ever consider acceptable for keeping things out of my house. Plus there's no key, so the lock would have to be replaced anyway.

On to the third point. The point that makes the first two points moot. I shall tell this part in my typical long-winded fashion. As I was moving this stupid stupid door around inside, I kept thinking, “This door is really big. Really, really big. But surely they measured before they went and purchased a storm-door-that-is-supposed-to-be-an-entry-door. Surely.” Hahaha! Oh, you fool! Measuring is for suckers, all the cool people eyeball it.

Here is a picture of the existing front door. (It's textured almost-paper-thin sheets of metal sandwiching a slab of styrofoam, so it's probably not keeping much cold air out, either, but still.)

I have helpfully added the measurements for you. This door—the existing door—is 32 inches across and 76 inches tall. Now for the storm door...wait for it...

That's right. 36 inches by 80 inches. Really? Really? It's a metal door and this is a trailer, I'm not really sure if they just thought it looked like it fit or if there was some plan to make it fit. It could not have been a very good plan, I don't think.

Story the Third: I was going to separate this out into another blog entry, but I'm typing this in Open Office Writer (screw Word, I don't have that kind of money) at midnight, so it would really be pointless to separate it, wouldn't it? I'd just post both entries at the same time anyway.

This is the Best Story of All. This is the Story of How I Fell Through the Floor. Gather round, children.

Okay, enough of the caps and librarian crap. We knew when we bought the trailer that some of the floors would need to be replaced, even though there were supposedly no active leaks (HA! And HA! Again!). I am amazed that anyone managed to put a bed in the master bedroom, considering that the floor was completely rotten and was fixed with a sheet of 1/4” plywood and gigantic railroad spike-type nails driven through it (but not actually holding it in place, they were apparently just there to increase the odds of someone getting tetanus or something).

We knew that the master bedroom, bathroom and boys' room needed at least some subfloor repair. We did figure out that the kitchen also needed some repairs, presumably where the refrigerator used to be. We did not, however, realize how bad it was.

I was standing in the kitchen, having just triumphed over some crappy cupboards. I was now taking out carpeting—the original 1975 carpeting, I think; none of the cabinets had bottoms, but they all had lovely blue floral carpeting in the bottom of them, which is gross beyond words—that had been glued down with that black tar-type glue. I was basically just having to cut it at the wall with a utility knife because it wasn't ripping up. I think they installed the carpet and then put the walls in, because the carpet was under the wall.

I was trying to avoid the exact spongy spot because I was worried about exactly what happened next. I fell through the floor. Not just a little, but left leg up to the hip. I think I'm lucky that the insulation under that part of the kitchen had been taken out, because Lord knows what would have been in that.

There's the hole. That's the bare ground you see down there. I'm going to look on the positive side, though. Now it's going to be easy for us to put insulation in there, and no one will have to crawl through the nasty dirt under the trailer. Makes it easier for me to do stuff on my own, because Brandon is not really much of a DIYer unless he wants to be, and that's not very often.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stranger Things Have Happened

I have somehow lost six pounds. I hope they stay lost.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fun at Home

A little bit of news since I last posted. First, I had my first ever trip to the emergency room. We were over at the trailer cleaning up and I stepped on a nail. Ho-ly monkeys did that hurt. A little info about our deck to set the scene: on one side there is a gaping hole. This gaping hole is there so that people may walk down the stairs on that side, but because no one has maintained this place in years, the stairs rotted off. The previous owners started pulling them off but basically left a giant pile of wood to rot in the yard.

So Brandon was loading the last of the trash from inside (yay!) into the back of the truck and I decided I would hop down into the yard and toss the pieces of wood up onto the deck so he could put them in the truck, too. I sat down on the deck and scooted off, and as soon as I did a piece of wood with a good inch and a half or so of nail went through the sole of my shoe and into my foot. (Sidenote: I am a big fan of House and CSI. As a result, whenever I think about the nail going into my foot I get a mental image of that inside-the-body imagery they use, and I see the nail going into my foot from the inside, plus I hear a “puncture wound” noise. It's hard to describe, but I bet if you've seen any of those shows you can imagine it, too.) I screamed and pulled it out and took off my shoe and sock. Hoo boy was my foot bleeding. I staunched the blood with my sock (mmm, sanitary) and waited for Brandon to find me. I say I screamed, but it wasn't bloodcurdling. It was pretty breathless, actually.

It stopped bleeding within a few minutes, but it was easily the worst pain I've ever experienced outside of childbirth. In fact, as I was sitting there I had to do some deep breathing and remind myself that it hurt a lot less than giving birth. After that I debated on going to the emergency room. When I pulled the board off I had tossed it back to the ground, so we couldn't be sure which one it was, but none of the ones we could see that it could have been had rust on the nails. I went inside and looked up tetanus on WebMD. The quote that did it for me was something along the lines of “tetanus can very often be fatal even if expertly treated.” I was decided after that.

We were in and out in about an hour. By the time the doctor saw us—about an hour and a half after it happened—the wound was nearly invisible. Deep but not wide. That was Sunday, and my foot is pretty much back to normal. The doctor said it would bruise and be painful to walk on, but it never bruised. It was pretty painful to walk on for the first day, uncomfortable the second, and only bad Wednesday if I stepped down on it a certain day. Hopefully all the things that can kill me from the trailer are gone now. I can't image what else it would be. Tree branch falling on my head? Electrocution? I suppose I could fall through the floor again and, I don't know, knock myself out on a beam and die of a subdural hemotoma. Let's hope not, shall we?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tomorrow Comes So Quickly

Oops. The "tomorrow" that I promised to post pictures on has come and gone quite a few times. Can I just say, though, that Blogger does not work on dial up? At least not my dial up. So this is being posted from my mom's computer, which has broadband. Slow broadband, but nevertheless.

So basic update: we're still working. I was hoping to be in by the end of October, but now it's looking like mid-December. We will be in before the end of the year, because since we're moving from one state to another it will have tax ramifications if we don't. And I hate filling out tax returns for two states.

Um...yeah. I don't have any pictures on this computer, and I've forgotten where I left off with my story last time, so I'll have to do all that later. I will try and do that by the weekend, but no promises.

As for weight loss...well, I'm at the same weight I have been for a while. No more, no less. Any effort at changing my eating habits has been put on hold until we move. Basically, while my mom has an awesome kitchen, it's 65 degrees in here right now. We tend to huddle in one bedroom with one or two space heaters so we don't all freeze to death. In fact, I think that's where we'll go now. I can't feel my toes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Diet is...

My grandma has this magnet that looks like it was made in the '60s or '70s, and it's been on her refrigerator for as long as I can remember. It's a small rectangle of wood with a black background and a measuring tape painted across the middle. One side says “Diet is On,” and when you turn it upside down, the other half says “Diet is Off.” My magnet has flipped to the “Diet is Off” side. Low carb...well, it sucks, but the reasons it sucks are mostly due to me. For one, I like to cook, but I don't like to wait, and I don't like to do dishes. You get to do both in low-carb cooking. Also, it annoys me to eat something different than the rest of my family, because of the aforementioned dish-hating. So my patience with it was wearing thin, but the biggest reason I went off it (okay, maybe not the biggest, but one of the bigger) was that we spent all our money on a mobile home. Moving out means having to pay actual bills again, and since I was already getting tired of low-carb, now seemed as good a time to quit as any.

We've been looking for an apartment closer to Brandon's work and having little luck finding anything we could afford. I mean, seriously, we live in Nebraska. Prices near $1000 for a 900-square-foot two bedroom with washer/dryer hookups? Come on. But then we saw someone advertising a mobile home for free on a garage sale group, so we went and looked at it, then took it. Free was by no means really free, though, as you probably suspected. Free included a ridiculously high price for credit checks for Brandon and I ($70! I can buy a credit report WITH A SCORE for $6!), two months back rent plus one month's rent as a deposit, and, since we're in a trailer park and officially trash in the eyes of the world, ridiculously high deposits for all our utilities. Plus the fixing up that needs to be done on the trailer itself, which we will need a small loan for.

So anyway, there it is. And this is your notice that I'm going to start blogging about things other than weight or size acceptance or dieting or whatever. I think we all know, from the spacing of the entries, that I am at a bit of a loss when it comes to blogging about size acceptance. Tomorrow I shall have an entry or two with hi-larious stories, including one about how the previous owners of our trailer think that all doors fit into any doorway and how I fell through a rotten floor. I bet you can't wait, can you?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Yet Another Change of Plan

In the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should post this here: I am on a diet. Low-carb, to be specific, but not Atkins. (Screw induction, I'll eat as many vegetables and low-sugar fruits as I want to eat.) I feel a few ways about this: first of all, I feel a little bit like I've failed. Like I've become a person that just has to be on a diet because they don't know any other way, which, to be honest, is true. I've been on diets since I was twelve—I'm almost twenty-six now, so I've been dieting over half my life. I don't know how to relate to food normally; that's why I am where I am.

I also feel a bit defensive about this choice, and I feel like I shouldn't have to be defensive about it. I probably don't have to be, but since this is a blog, here I go.

I wholly support size acceptance. I do. It feels a bit hypocritical to add “for everyone else,” but there it is. SA should also allow me to not accept my size if it's not what I want for me. I am 80-100 pounds overweight, depending on which numbers you use, and I don't think that's anything to sneeze at. And since it took me twenty-some years to get to this point, logic dictates that it's going to take a fair amount of time to get to the point where I can relate to my body in a semi-normal way again. It's time I don't have. I have a family history of diabetes and heart disease, and I feel like I'm courting disaster, not only with my weight but with my eating habits. In a perfect world I would be able to see this and have some sort of epiphany which allowed me to immediately start eating tons of fruits and vegetables and very little processed food. It's not a perfect world, as we all know, so this is going to take some work. Obviously doing it on my own isn't working. Also, I feel terrible most of the time. I constantly have sinus problems, joint pain in my ankles and fingers, and stomach problems even when I haven't eaten for several hours. I can stand on principal all day long, but if I feel like shit when the sun goes down, I'm going to take some honest-to-God for-reals action.

So this is the action I'm taking. I'm going on a diet. I'm going to try to make it a learning experience and to break bad habits, like eating when I'm full or bored or eating nutritionally deficient foods. And yes, I still think dieting sucks, and I still hate being on one, but you do what you have to do. I want to be around to see my grandkids, and I don't want to be so out of shape I can't enjoy it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Where has the time gone? Where have I gone?

I thought I had just posted here for some reason. I didn't realize that bridal post was all the way back in May. The end of May, but still. I was being crappy about posting before that, though, so that's really no excuse. I shall hang my head in shame.

Anyhoo, it appears as if we are moving. To make a thousand-page novel short, we were going to buy a house. It appeared as if everything was going great, so we notified our landlord, who congratulated us and sent us a letter being official about the whole breaking our lease thing. (It's month-to-month, so no big deal.) Then the house deal fell apart. We had an inkling that was coming, and had been tossing around the idea of moving to a different apartment if we didn't get that house, one that would hopefully have most of the features that our current place did not. Namely, a dishwasher and a washer/dryer. A playground or some sort of yard would be nice, too, as would being on the first floor so that I wouldn't have that excuse for not taking the boys on walks. We started looking, but the idea of moving when it wasn't to a house was overwhelming and annoying. So we changed our minds and DH called the landlord to inform him that we were not moving. Then, a few days later, a woman came to our door with a paper for us to sign telling us we didn't have to be out at the end of July, we had to be out at the end of August, maybe September. After some (rather embarrassing on my part) conversation, we found out that we didn't have a choice in the matter: the building had been sold. That letter wasn't just for us; everyone got one.

So now we're looking for a new apartment. We may have found one in a nearby town, but we're waiting to hear if we've passed muster. And that's all I'll be able to type today because the children are up now and I'm being ordered to hold E. Duty calls.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Fat Bride, Pregnant Bride

So thanks to Kate Harding's great post I am now hooked on InfoMania. (Seriously, I think I've watched all the segments twice now.) Last night was a new episode with a new Target: Women section about bridal shows. Go watch now, then come back and I'll finish. Go on, scoot.

OK, back? I would like to discuss the part about the show Bulging Brides. First of all, the name is beyond ridiculous. Nothing like a little shame to get a fat girl motivated to fit into her wedding gown, am I right? Second of all, the woman they refer to as a "chubster"? I'm not the best at guessing dress sizes, but I seriously doubt that woman is more than a size 8. That's fat? (And why is her wedding dress a size too small? Generally speaking you order your dress or have it custom made, why not just get it in the right size?)

I'm not really comfortable with bridal shows--partially because there seems to be a large percentage of the population that think it's OK to act like a total bitch if there's a camera on them--but also because there is this whole message that you, as a woman, are Not Good Enough to get married. You must be skinnier, more tanned, with better hair and the perfect dress or your prospective husband will realize the error of his ways and call it off. It makes me appreciate my husband more, who still loves me as much as or more than the day we met even though I'm easily fifty pounds heavier than I was when we got married. And even though our wedding was something of a disaster.

For my second item, I would have you refer to the June 2008 issue of Redbook. (Don't worry, I'll type it out.) On page 28, in the "What's on our Radar" section, there is a story titled "No Way!: The Bridal Bump," which reads "We're not suggesting that you need to be a virgin to wear white at your wedding, but a white maternity gown takes the chastity speculation out of the equation altogether. Sister stores Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod, and Mimi Maternity are now offering wedding dresses for their shoppers who are 'marrying and carrying.' Shotgun sold separately."

Yes, Pregnant Brides, for shame! How dare you marry after getting pregnant! Don't you know you are supposed to hide your shame and not show your face in public once that little bastard starts to grow inside you? Then you pass the baby off as a younger sibling or a niece or nephew.

Set aside for a moment the mistaken assumption this article has that white wedding dress=chastity,* why on earth shouldn't a pregnant bride wear whatever the hell dress she wants to wear? Because she's pregnant she's not allowed to wear white? She should wear red instead since she's obviously a big whore? And what is the deal with the shotgun line? Not all women who are pregnant when they get married are getting married because they're pregnant. Maybe this is what I get for reading Redbook. Heads up, editors: some women DO THINGS OUT OF YOUR DECREED ORDER. Some women have children and THEN get married. Some women have children and NEVER get married. Some women get married and never have children. Get off your high horses.

*The white wedding dress trend was started by Queen Victoria. The way I've always heard it is that white wedding dresses are a symbol of wealth. Up to that point most women simply wore their best dress, so buying a white dress that you would wear for one day and could never wear again showed that you were rolling in the dough a la Scrooge McDuck. Wiki has it a little differently, saying Queen Victoria chose white to use some lace she had and that other women honored their queen's choice by also marrying in white.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Shopping While Fat and Other Delightful Tales

Wow, it has been an excessively long time since I’ve been on here. My only excuse is that I am boring and many times I have nothing to say. It’s a character flaw that needs to be addressed. Also, I think the Internet wants to know that at this moment I am eating popcorn with white cheddar seasoning and M&Ms. (Well, between typing.) Also, my husband bought three pizzas for movie night at a friend’s house and 1 ½ came home with them. Therefore I have eaten pizza for I think every meal for the last twenty-four hours. Tomorrow I am going to roast some vegetables and eat them because roasted vegetables are freaking delicious. (Fun fact: I will only eat cabbage that has been roasted. Otherwise, eeeew.)

So, yeah, the shopping thing. The mall was having a sale a weekend or two ago, so DH requested that I go and procure the family some clothing. I did. It sucked. I hate shopping as a fat girl. Especially the specific fat girl that I am, because I have long monkey arms and long legs and a long torso, with a big butt for good measure. Finding jeans that fit ever since low rise jeans became popular is IMPOSSIBLE. And who is the genius that decided that elastic waistbands were a better idea than trying to make women’s jeans according to some sort of sizing standard? (Newsflash: they're not. Maternity pants have elastic waists. Jeans of any size above 3T should not.

As I was walking around the store, trying to figure out which of the 40 women’s clothing vignettes I’d visited and which of them had clothes that would fit me, I got this sudden urge to throw things on the floor and kick and scream. I hate shopping. Even when I was thin I hated shopping (because of the aforementioned monkey limbs) and obviously being fat does not make it better. I also wanted to put everything I’d picked out down and run away from the mall. But I sucked it up and purchased a hoodie and a few shirts. No pants—nothing that looked good was on sale.

As for the other tales I promised you up there in the title: I saw this the other day. (And yes, I know it's old, but it's my blog and I'm going to talk about it, damnit.) Basically, a sex columnist for the New York Press used some old Dan Savage questions in her debut sex column, as she had no reader questions of her own. (BTW, Dan Savage doesn't think it's plagiarism.) It’s not totally clear from the way these articles are written if she just took the questions or if she used both the questions and the answers. The first one, bad but kind of understandable. Second one, very bad and not at all understandable. I am going to guess that she took only the questions and made up her own answers, because I would hope that she planned to do some writing on this column. I have no legal training or anything, but I would say that was misguided more than it was plagiarism, although still a fireable offense. Here’s my thing, though: when I was a relationship columnist in college (ooh, kinky) and I didn’t have any questions*, I MADE THEM UP. Seriously, how hard is it to hypothesize a sex column question. My girlfriend wants to tie me up and I’m not comfortable with it, how do I talk to her about it? My boyfriend wants me to use a dildo on him and I’m not comfortable with it, how do I talk to him about it? See, there you go. Done and done. Open communication in a relationship is a must, kids.

As a final parting gift, I will tell you that potty training sucks. And pretty much as soon as I’m done with Kid One I have to move on to Kid Two. I don’t know what my son’s deal with the potty is but apparently he has decided it is a Very Bad Thing and is acting accordingly. I want one of those kids that just decides—preferably as close to the age of 2 as possible—that they’re not going to wear diapers anymore and never has an accident again. I think they’re a myth, though.

*I never had any questions. Well, I got one the whole time I did it, which was from another columnist. We either had apathetic readers, readers with very healthy relationships, or I sucked. I shall leave the deciding up to you.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Obligatory Whining

I love not dieting. I do. And I am a bit shocked that it's not taking any effort to eat vegetables or salads, because--shocker--I like them. There is a but, though.

I never imagined letting myself have full reign over what I eat, without consulting anyone else about it, would be so hard. On the surface this seemed great--the aforementioned freedom from consulting books on what I should eat, no running on a treadmill unless I wanted to (that's not going to happen). Just freedom.

Have you ever seen "The Shawshank Redemption?" Where the prisoners talk about getting out and committing another crime to get back in because they're lost without the structure of prison? That's the closest example I can think of for this feeling. I want the freedom but I'm scared of it, too. I have no idea what I want to eat 90% of the time, good or bad. Some days after I've been staring hungrily into the refrigerator for half an hour, trying to decide between one thing and another but not really wanting any of it, I feel like collapsing to the floor in a gibbering mess, rocking back and forth until a nice orderly comes and puts me back in my room.

One thing that I always used to do was make lists of weight-related goals. Eat eight servings of fruits and vegetables each day--and the good ones, too, not potatoes and corn. Exercise six days a week at least an hour a day. Weights three times a week. Don't eat more than X calories. And so on and so forth. At first I didn't miss that; now I do. I have goals for other parts of my life, but I have had to follow a plan for eating for so long that I feel like something's missing now. And it sucks, not because I really want the lists back (I don't) but because it's making me feel like any decision I make is the wrong one.

There's also this guilt I have because I still want to lose weight. I still read diet articles and watch diet shows. I still weigh myself, although the number on the scale no longer makes me want to delve headfirst back into disordered eating. I accept that dieting is unnecessary and almost certainly harmful to my body, but I can't accept the weight I'm at now. (For the record, I am about 65 pounds overweight, and that number is based on what I consider to be my set point.) So does that make me a SA fraud? I don't know. I wish I did.