Tag Archives: verbal abuse

Holy Guacamole: My Weekly Weigh-In, and Eating The SAG Awards- a Movie Buff’s Super Bowl Sunday

Is this where I address my WEEK LONG absence? Is this where I beg forgiveness? Is this where I scold myself for letting the mundane details of my life consume me?

I certainly hope not. Because here’s what happened: I was busy. Very busy. And sick. Fairly ill, in fact. Many things happened during this week long sabbatical from blogging. I’m going to start talking about several of those things in just a moment.

But I’ve already done enough emotional flogging related to my blogging break. I think that in order for me to  successfully maintain this journal, I need to stop giving myself such a hard time about the way I communicate with others. I’m actually quite upset with myself because not only was I too busy to write, I was too busy to read my 21093041787 favorite blogs. Therefore, my google reader is about to hemorrhage from too many exciting blog entries.

However, that’s neither here nor there, and yelling at myself on the internet will not turn back the hands of time.

First thing’s first: in spite of my tumultuous week (which involved a GIRLTALK CONCERT, sinus related illness, and breaking my Couch to 5k Personal records), I managed to LOSE WEIGHT this week. Now, while I’m obviously unbelievably stoked to have had this happen, I think there’s an actual Weight Watchers related lesson embedded in this experience:

ALWAYS WEIGH-IN. I didn’t want to weigh-in today- I was convinced I’d gained weight, and I didn’t feel like dealing with the consequences of my actions. I was in a very low place. However, I told myself that I needed to calm down because how could I change my actions if I refused to even see the results? So I stepped on the scale, totally prepared to see a gain. And I lost. I lost over a pound. But the point is that I was PREPARED FOR THE GAIN. I was ready to take responsibility for my bad choices (yes, super salty cheese enchilada that was SO not worth the ww pointsplus….I’m looking at you).No matter what kind of ridiculous roller coaster week I’m facing, I need to always remember that the proper way to start over is by getting all the facts.

ANYWAY, like I said, this week was very congested (and so was my nose- HAHAHAHA). I made a lot of really interesting food (most of which I didn’t photograph- boo hiss), and I increased my standard pace during week 2 of the Couch to 5k Challenge.

In particular, Sunday night was particularly exciting because it was the live broadcast of the 17th Annual Screen Actor’s Guild Awards.

sag awards

Anyone who knows me is well aware that Awards Season is the Jessamyn Equivalent of March Madness. In other words, Sunday night was essentially my own personal Super Bowl Sunday (yeah, that’s right, I just combined sports metaphors).

In honor of the occasion, I decided to make a lot of party related food for one person (one person because, aside from my mother, I’m the only person I know who is obsessed with awards shows).

I decided to make guacamole, hummus, and a pizza.

222011 008

This probably sounds stupid, but I’m 99.9% sure I  had never opened an avocado before Sunday. Yes, I’ve eaten avocado- I love avocado. But for some reason, the preparation of fresh avocado is not a very large part of my life.

The guacamole turned out pretty delicious:

222011 012

I used a very generic guacamole recipe, i.e throw avocado, onions, salt, and lime juice into a food processor, but there are a few changes I might make. For starters, while using a food processor is time efficient, it creates a fairly smooth consistency. I prefer chunky guacamole, so I might just use a fork to mash up the fruit next time. Also, using ripe tomatoes is usually tastier than using recently picked tomatoes- as a result, I had unnecessarily large chunks of tomatoes (and I hate tomatoes- ok, that’s an overstatement but you get the picture).

In addition to the guacamole, I made a batch of hummus using canned garbanzo beans. It turned out ok, but the flavor is a teensy bit off to me. This was my first time making hummus from scratch, and for that reason I’m cutting myself a little bit of slack. Maybe it tasted off because the beans were canned and not fresh- the recipe I used said to use some of the water drained off the beans. In all honesty, I think this added to the weird flavor. In general, canning juices are not know for having the most palatable taste. Whatever, the hummus tastes pretty good in wraps and with homemade corn chips. I just need to futz with the recipe a little.

The main event of my SAG Awards Viewing party was the homemade pizza. I’ve been craving pizza for weeks, and I finally had enough time to make a crust from scratch. However, before I started the pizza making process, I decided to fulfill one of my goals: Making turkey sausage from scratch.

Now you’re probably wondering: Jessamyn, what does one put in turkey sausage? Well, for someone who follows directions well and reads recipes thoroughly, the ability to rattle off an exact ingredient list is probably second nature. However, if you’re like me and have the natural urge to do things the hard way, then you probably just eyeballed every spice in your kitchen until you came up with something resembling sausage. I mean, making sausage is basically just handmixing a bunch of spices into a mass of raw beast right?

(my great-grandmothers are probably rolling in their graves).

Anyway, I started with a pound of lean ground turkey. From that point, the sky was the limit. Here’s a sampling of ingredients that made their way into Jessamyn’s turkey sausage:

–cumin seeds

–thyme

–rosemary

–cayenne pepper

–oregano

–onion powder

–garlic powder

–nutmeg

–fresh ground black peppercorns

WAIT A MINUTE. Let’s pause here a moment, and I’ll give you a process shot of my beloved turkey sausage:

222011 023

I bet you’re wondering why I just inserted a photo of chocolate chip cookie dough into a blog of sausage making. That’s because it’s NOT cookie dough- do those look like chocolate chips to you? Let’s turn the flash on this baby:

222011 024

Yeah, that’s right- my gorgeous turkey sausage was marred by accidently dumping half a canister of WHOLE BLACK PEPPERCORNS into the mixing bowl.

I wish there was a photo of my face as the pepper fell into the bowl. I’m sure it was priceless.

Needless to say, I spent the next 15 minutes individually picking the black peppercorns out of the raw sausage. Yes, I washed my hands often. Yes, I was BEYOND pissed off. But I’m not made of money- there was no way in HELL that I was going to toss out a pound of meat because of a few hundred black peppercorns.

Anyway, after much trial, tribulation, and peppercorn picking, this finally went into my oven:

222011 026

And then, miracle of miracles, the crust rose properly! And it was both soft and crunchy. AND I DIDN’T EAT IT ALL AT ONCE (probably the greatest miracle of all).

By the way, the crust recipe I used was my own personal spin on a WW recipe- instead of using 4 1/4 cup ( s ) all purpose flour, I subbed in 2 1/4 cup ( s ) whole wheat flour- partially because of the health factor and partially because of the ‘I ran out of all-purpose flour’ factor. A lot of people are afraid of whole wheat flour, but I think it’s perfectly delicious.

Original WW Recipe:

1 1/2 cup(s) water, warm (105-115°F)

1 tsp sugar

2 1/4 tsp yeast, or 1 package

1 Tbsp olive oil

4 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp table salt

Jessamyn’s Adaptation:

1 1/2 cup(s) water, warm (105-115°F)

1 tsp sugar

2 1/4 tsp yeast, or 1 package

1 Tbsp olive oil

2  cup(s) all-purpose flour

2 1/4 cup(s) whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp table salt

  • Combine the water and sugar in a measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until foamy and lagoon-ish, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oil.
  • Combine the flour and salt in a food processor, stand mixer, or with your bare hands (like in olden times- just pretend you are someone’s Italian grandmother). With the machine running (if you don’t feel like busting it out with your hands), scrape the yeast mixture into the bowl; pulse until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. If necessary, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth and elastic.
  • Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray; put the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down the dough, then cut in half. Refrigerate or freeze in floured zip-close freezer bags at this point or use as directed in the recipe. Yields 1⁄12 of dough per serving.

I only used 1/5 of this recipe to create my Sunday night pizza. The dough can be used in a lot of different recipes, and I have big plans for homemade calzones later this week.

ANYWAY,

How was your week? If you watched the SAG Awards, were you shocked by any of the wins and snubs (for example, are the various critics associations just pretending Inception never happened? Actually, maybe it was all just a dream…)

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Filed under couch to 5k challenge, food, recipes, verba abuse, weigh-in, Weight Watchers

FAT Attack: Being Fat in the Gym

(STOP: By reading below this disclaimer, you are allowing yourself to read a stream of conscious and potentially nonsensical rant. You were warned.)

So I planned to do a whole post about days 2 and 3 of the Couch to 5k  Challenge– I was also going to give updates on me and Gabriel’s joint venture to complete the 200 sit-ups training program. However, though I am a truly shameless narcissist, I need to put my self-indulgent updates on hold to talk about something which involves more than just me and my exercise demons.

(Ok, I can’t help myself: 200 sit-ups is going surprisingly well, and Couch to 5k Challenge…well, I’m still hammering through it.)

Part of why I think I need to broach this topic has to do with one of my favorite podcasts. Two Whole Cakes Fatcast features two Fat Acceptance Titans (Marianne Kirby and Lesley Kinzel) discussing a multitude of issues which affect fat people on a daily basis. As a life-long fatty who has quietly chugged away in a fat-hating world, listening to Fatcast is basically like listening to Potterwatch (just as a warning, that’s probably the least nerdy Harry Potter reference I’ll ever make, so prepare yourself).

By the way (just for the record) I am a serious Two Whole Cakes fangirl. Having a fat body has reached the point of true political activism, and I salute anyone who is willing to use their body as a vessel for change.

Anyway, one of the first Fatcasts is about being fat and exercising- more specifically, every underlying issue related to physical activity in a fat body. Since I’m on the smaller scale of fat, I won’t pretend to speak for those who experience a level of discrimination which is fairly foreign to me. However, I am very familiar with how shitty it feels to be the largest person on the row of treadmills. This was made even more relevant to me in my spin class earlier this weekend.

First of all, excuse my French, but I fucking love to spin. It can be very physically exhausting, but the emotional rewards transcend words. However, this particular spin class whipped my ass. Maybe it was because I wasn’t engaged with the music (I’m sorry, but THE EAGLES? Who wants to spin to that?!). Maybe it was because I couldn’t seem to get my bike set up properly, therefore making it impossible for me to hop out of the saddle properly (and trust me, 60 minutes in the saddle is enough to make even a seasoned spinner contemplate death). For whatever reason, Thursday’s class made me want to punch someone and I’m sure my negative ‘tude was written all over my sweaty face. However, the instructor (and every other 50+ year old Lance Armstrong wannabe in the class) looked at me like I was the baby rhino trying to make its way through the Jumanji stampede- it’s this “look at the fat girl try to do what we’re doing” expression that makes me (ME, ANGRY PASSIONATE JESSAMYN) feel both angry and defeated.

That feeling of judgment and defeat is why my fellow fats have been taught to fear the gym, or any other form of organized exercise. Because it’s nearly impossible to forget the traumatizing grade school physical fitness tests, and the mortifying waits to be picked last for kickball.

And while I implore all those who judge to get the fuck over themselves, I really want to tell my fellow fats that it’s not all bad. In general, as much as we like to think everyone is staring at us, the gym is one of the major places where narcissism is not only accepted, but widely encouraged. Therefore, it’s highly likely that no one is watching you lift weights or run or bike. No one gives a toss, because your gym buddies-to-be are too busy worrying that everyone is looking at THEM. That’s issue #1.

Issue #2 is that your life and well-being should not be compromised because of widely accepted insecurities. Exercise can be really freaking fun. Judgement sucks out all the fun. Find a source of happiness and pleasure that has nothing to do with the judgement of others. It would be ridiculous for me to ask anyone to stop thinking about the opinions of others- it sucks to have people think mean thoughts in relation to your life choices, and the judgement of others affects us all.

However, if you can find a source of happiness in the gym which involves only you (and not your exercise demons), the pay-off will be more than worth the effort.

Also, RIGHT AFTER I BLOGGED ABOUT HIM, Jack Lalanne died today (1/23/2011). RIP, Papa Jack- I’ll enjoy a juice in your honor.

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A FAT Girl’s Manifesto: Why FAT Should Be a Description, Not an Insult

(STOP: By reading below this disclaimer, you are allowing yourself to read a stream of conscious and potentially nonsensical rant. You were warned.)

Like I’ve mentioned before, FAT is not a word I’ve ever associated with myself. In fact, I’ve had a standing policy to judge people who use FAT as a verbal weapon. However, I’ve recently begun to rethink my policy on the word FAT and its implications.

You see, FAT is a word which has shifted from being a physical description (like ‘pink’, ‘slimy’, or ‘colorful’), to being used as an opportunity for abuse and pain. Nowadays, when the average person says FAT, they are not saying it as a harmless descriptive word. They are using it to shame and humiliate any person who could potentially fit the word’s original descriptive meaning.

This humiliation has become widespread and generally accepted because it hides under the cloak of health consciousness. Ergo, when describing someone as FAT, the abuser is ‘really’ saying,

“That person is so unhealthy. I’m hurting their feelings because I care about them. I don’t want them to be horrible and FAT anymore.”

Actually, what the abuser is REALLY saying is,

“I hate the way that person looks because it makes me evaluate my personal decisions. Maybe if I hurt their feelings, I can mask my own paralyzing self-doubt.”

However, what we need to learn is that you should not have to shame and hurt others to “care” about them. The dialogue about health consciousness and beauty ideals is supported by a media-centric world which makes a profit by belittling consumers and preying on their insecurities. In reality, it has very little to do with actual good health guidelines, or self-love initiatives. By using the word FAT, humans have created a derogatory word which transcends any other F-bomb because its strength is garnered by deeply set emotional boundaries.

That being said, it is crucial that we reclaim the word FAT. Just like, as a woman who is attracted to other women, I must reclaim the word “DYKE”.

Words are just that: WORDS. The concentrated power within the word FAT will cease to exist as soon as we stop hurling it like a verbal shot put event.

Yes, I’ve never associated the word FAT with my physical description. However, it is absolutely necessary for me to start calling myself FAT so those who bully will lose their ammunition. By calling myself FAT, I’m not trying to shame myself or abuse my own feelings. I’m simply describing my physical description- I’m also BLACK.

FAT and BLACK should inhabit the same space- they are descriptions, not insults.

I’ve said all this to make it clear that my diet changes have absolutely nothing to do with being FAT. My confidence level is high, and it won’t be affected by whether or not I’m FAT. I like my body. I find it to be very beautiful and (if I may be so bold) quite sexy.

I’m changing my diet and my exercise levels because I want to be at my optimum level of physical fitness.

I want to run a marathon.

I want to bike across America.

I can’t achieve these goals if I don’t rethink my life choices. This is not to say that all FAT people are unhealthy- on the contrary, some of the more health conscious people I know are FAT. And, on the other hand, I know THIN people who think Bojangles is the saving grace of the food industry.

I can only speak for myself. I can only know my own goals, and I will not dictate the health ideals of any other person.

In truth, I hope that all people will want what is best for their body. I hope we will all learn to take of ourselves, and strive for optimum physical health. But we must understand that being healthy does not always mean being THIN. Being unhealthy does not always mean being FAT.

And by defining HEALTHY as THIN, we’re not creating body consciousness- we’re creating a civil war between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.

I hope that one day health consciousness will be seen as a normal life choice, and not as a way to step behind the velvet rope of “acceptable beauty”.

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The “F” Word: A Blogger’s Declaration

FAT

My parents never verbally abused my brother and me. For those of you out there in the blogosphere, “verbal abuse” can take many forms. Most people think it just lives in the first realm of mean words: ‘stupid’, ‘dumb’, ‘idiot’, etc. However, the kind of “verbal abuse” to which I am specifically referring has to do more with descriptive words which are, for all intents and purposes, socially acceptable. People, I’m talking about the word

FAT.

It’s the word everyone dreads to hear in reference to themselves. I’d be hard pressed to think of another word which so accurately sums up hate, ignorance, and discrimination in a way which has so exquisitely seeped into our society. In my opinion, FAT is (historically) one of the most hurtful words which can ever be used to describe another person.

And, to be honest, it’s a word which has fairly accurately described me for the vast majority of my life. And in spite of numerous other minorities which can be used to discriminate against me (Afro-American, Genetically female, Bahai, Lesbian), the only one which truly stung me on the proverbial playground was/is

FAT.

However, because my parents are beautiful and upstanding individuals, FAT is never a word I’ve associated with myself.

Sure, kids shouted it in the hallway of my junior high school. Yes, it was/is written in imaginary sharpie over the mouths of sales clerks in my favorite stores. But when I was at home, FAT was not part of my life.

As I’ve aged, my identity has evolved past the world of teen magazines and adolescent angst. However, the word

FAT

still hovers in the wings of my life. At this point, I’m beginning to accept FAT as a word which I can reclaim- it does not need to encompass the hateful emotions of the people and images which have taunted me my entire life. However, a key element of fat acceptance is the need for a shift in dialogue on the issue of health consciousness.

Let’s be clear- I don’t endorse dieting.

Dieting implies that there is something about the ‘dieter’ that needs to be fixed in order for the ‘dieter’ to be a socially acceptable human being. To be frank, this is a disgraceful idea. What’s more, dieting does not typically result in long term life changes.

Instead, we should strive for better health guidelines.

(And while we’re on the subject, calling someone FAT does not make them want to have better health guidelines. It just makes them want to curl up in a ball, and pray for the earth to open up.)

So yes, better health guidelines. What’s my idea of better health guidelines? Drinking water, primarily buying unprocessed food, sticking to a vastly whole foods diet, not smoking, and limiting or eliminating beer and alcohol.

SODA

Really, my path begins with a simple soda. I was not raised drinking this particular beverage- as a general rule, I’m pretty sure my mom considers soda to be the work of evil forces in our universe. Sure, I’ll enjoy one or two if I’m out with friends. But what would ever possess me to purchase a two liter when doing my grocery shopping?

However, a couple of weeks ago, I caught myself actually PURCHASING a bottle of ginger ale at the super market. This little act may seem silly and inconsequential to you, but it was a truly scary and bizarre experience- I felt as though another woman had been ambling through my life, and I’d just returned from some chaotic vacation.

Something needs to change.

However (and I doubt I’m alone in this struggle), I am unlikely to accomplish my goals without some form of accountability. I am the worst self-police woman in the history of self-‘policing’.  But I need to start somewhere.

Understand This Distinction:

In general, I’ve come to terms with my FAT-ness. Like every human with feelings, I have off days. But for all intents and purposes, I don’t believe my size holds me back socially or emotionally. I don’t think a person’s size is an indicator of their physical ability or eating habits.

However, I have a number of life goals which I want to complete. I think these goals are being held back by a lack of personal discipline. I‘m not going to blame my lack of discipline on my

FAT.

But no matter what the true cause, this blog will track my progress toward a life of self-discipline- one where I  can achieve the goals which have seemed vaguely ludicrous only because I’ve lacked the courage to believe in myself.

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