Posts filed under ‘Incarnational’

Sad and Tired

My work took me visiting to the Mental Health Services floor of our local hospital. D1 wing is located as far as it is possible to be from the main doors. To get there, you need to pass through the only public part of the hospital that is underground, down a corridor more narrow than the ones above (with, obviously, no windows) past doors clearly marked as electrical and mechanical service space. Barely public space. It is a distressing place to visit. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to be in distress, and have that be where I was expected to go for help.

I rarely find my way to D1, most of the people I am called in to visit in the hospital are there for physical ailments. (You know, the “good” kind of sick. The “normal” kind. Just regular sick. Not like those sickos locked away on D1.) And when I note that Mental Health Services is tucked away down an inhospitable corridor, far away from the hopeful bustle of the rest of the hospital, I should hasten to add that it used to be housed in a separate building altogether, even less encouraging of visitors. Today I saw no peeling, faded yellow paint. No damage or graffiti left by previous inhabitants. No barred gates. So it’s better than it used to be. I have some hope that the people there are being helped.

I went to visit a woman I last spoke to the day before she was admitted. She yelled through the door at me that I could not come in, that she hadn’t been expecting me, that I should come back tomorrow; she shouted her phone number, which I didn’t have- which was why I’d stopped by. I thought it odd, the yelling through the door part, and the frantic tone of her voice. But I didn’t know her well, I didn’t (and still don’t) know what her baseline of ‘normal behaviour’ looks like. I don’t know how she came to be in hospital, or who she let in to her apartment after I left. She didn’t answer her phone. I didn’t hear from her for weeks. Until today, when she asked me to bring communion to her, on D1.

I struggle with finding that line – when does “respecting human diversity” blur into “failing to recognize significant distress”. When does “respecting human autonomy” blur into “failing to support and help someone who didn’t know how to ask”. When does “respecting privacy” blur into “letting people fall through the cracks”. When am I my sister’s keeper?

She was very insistent that she was a “client” on D1, not a patient. I don’t know what the difference is, or if there is one. I know she is a beloved child of God, that is all I need to know in order to bring communion to her.

I’m not sure what my point is, or even that I have one. That the collective, societal “we” needs to get right the fuck over our stigmatization of mental illness. That mental health care needs to stop being Health Care’s neglected cousin. That it sucks that when I hit the genetic lottery, the place I’ll be seeking help for depression is a place that already makes me feel sad, and tired.

March 30, 2011 at 6:04 pm 4 comments

Bless me, what do they teach them at these schools?

I admit it. I am that mom. You know the one. The one who had her police record check into the school office three months before her kid started Junior Kindergarten. The one who goes along on field trips, and tries to learn all the kids’ names (even though all the light-haired, light-skinned, crew-cutted boys look the same to me) and volunteers in the classroom.

As much as I jealously watch the careers of other women who made different choices, I really do like having the time to be that mom.

But now the question arises- since I’m right there in the classroom, how do I talk to the teacher about stuff that really bothers me, without burning bridges, and becoming a whole other kind of that mom- the one who walks into a classroom with no background and questions what is being taught by the expert?

The last two days that I have been in school, I have heard my daughter’s class singing “Little Bunny Foo Foo”. I learned this song as a Girl Guide. It was kinda funny.

Here’s the classic version, the one I sang as a kid:

Now, all in all, this is not a terrible model for the stuff that I teach to my volunteers. The smallest and most vulnerable members of the community are being mistreated. The good fairy witnesses unacceptable behaviour, and asks that it be stopped. She confronts FooFoo directly, uses “I” statements, she doesn’t attack- she just lays out a clear expectation about what behaviour will and will not be tolerated, she lays out the consequences for persisting in the unacceptable behaviour. When FooFoo persists, she takes action to protect the field mice from further harm. You could argue that a three-chances policy placed the field mice at greater risk than necessary, but… all in all, the Good Fairy is a pretty good fairy, in the classic scenario.

Ruth has learned a very different version.

There is no fairy.
Mommy Bunny says “Little Bunny Foo Foo / I don’t want to see you / pickin’ up the field mice / and Boppin’em on the head… you need to learn how to make good choices. Hands are for helping, not for hurting”

and the next day… nothing changes. Little Bunny Foo Foo still makes the wrong choice.

Daddy Bunny says “Little Bunny Foo Foo / I don’t want to see you / pickin’ up the field mice / and Boppin’em on the head… you need to learn how to make good choices. Hands are for helping, not for hurting”

And the next day… and little Bunny Foo Foo decides to make the right choice.
“Little bunny Foo Foo / hopping through the forest / picking up the field mice / and giving them a hug”

And Mommy and Daddy Bunny say “Little Bunny Foo Foo / I’m so proud of you / come up on my lap / and get a great big hug”.

And.
I.
Want.
To.
SCREAM!!!!!!

(But I don’t. Because Nice Girls don’t cause a commotion in kindergarten. And that Mom is a Nice Girl.)

So now, Mommy Bunny is a useless disciplinarian who offers nothing but a faint and easily ignored warm-up for Daddy Bunny, there is no consequence for bopping the field mice, and scoopin’ up the field mice for an uninvited hug is the “right” choice.

“Little Bunny Foo Foo / I just want to see you / remembering that you’re at least three times bigger than a field mouse / and asking their permission before you touch them at all.”

Well, we would teach the 4-year-olds about body autonomy, but it just doesn’t scan.

September 30, 2010 at 10:56 am 3 comments

Deep Thoughts on Diversity and Inclusion

I love when Play with me Sesame airs classic segments from the street.
Ruth was exhausted when she came home today (I’m hoping she’ll get accustomed to the pace of JK, otherwise we’re going to have a very tired little girl on our hands!) and we got to sit together and enjoy this:

I hope you do, too.

September 13, 2010 at 3:31 pm 2 comments

Silly Fun

A friend of mine had a Mad Man avatar of himself on facebook, and as a new fan of the show, I followed the link. (How did I miss this show? Where have I been?)

GET YOUR SILLY FUN HERE!

And, unlike other avatar-generator games I’ve seen, this one let me make a version of me that actually resembles me. Well, except that nothing in my closet is that fabulous. And while I do occasionally find myself making presentations, they would rarely involve pictures of scantily clad women.

August 31, 2010 at 9:41 am 2 comments

I hate bathing suit shopping.

Were you looking for a heaping helping of self-loathing, here? Sorry to disappoint you. Bathing suit shopping for me is almost painless- provided I can find a suit that looks as though I came to the pool to swim. (If you, as a sexually available adult, enjoy lounging around the pool looking sexy, then please understand that I mean you no disrespect. It’s not my thing. We’re all individuals.)

No. it’s for my daughters that bathing suit shopping makes me come home from the mall and grumble-chat to my girlfriends about how much I hate the entire child-bathing-suit-manufacturing universe.

But, Ruth’s beautiful handed-down suit is falling to pieces after half a season of playing in the chlorinated pool at day care. And next week we have plans for both a family trip to the splash pad, and a day camp trip to the public pool, and maybe a visit to Nan and Papa’s backyard pool. So off to the mall I went.

It is not yet August (by the skin of July’s teeth). So, even if you only swim in the summer, there is still a month left of bathing-suit season. And realistically, with swim lessons and pool parties and such, bathing suits are a 12-month-a-year item– readily available in June. Kids grow. In spurts. They outgrow things in the middle of the season. Bathing suits fall apart with frequent use in chlorine pools. But new bathing suits in August? Too much to ask.

And especially too much to ask is the style of bathing suit I want for my 4-year-old. She’s coming out the other side of potty-training, but when she’s doing something superFUN! (like, say, swimming) she’ll ignore subtle signals until it’s a rush. Any item of clothing requiring herculean effort to get into or out of? Bad idea. So a two-piece suit is the logical choice here. I don’t, however, want to put my 4-year-old in a string bikini. Modesty! Sun Coverage! Avoiding the year we have to say “last summer that was fine but now it isn’t”! Sun Coverage!

Thank all the retail gods that little boys get to cover up their young and tender little torsos with board shorts and sun-resistant board tops! Now, if you could just manufacture some of those without pirate skulls on them? That’d be spiffy. Kthnx.

After 4 stores, where suits were picked over, out of season, or entirely made of string, we found these:

Thank you, Please Mum for coming closer than any of your competitors to providing me what I need for my family! The bodysuit (we got it in a lovely turquoise blue) is more hassle for getting in and out than I’d like, especially when she’s off to day-camp and her counselors may not have time for potty helping. It’ll be fine for family trips to the splash pad though, so at end of season (can you see me rolling my eyes?) sale pricing, it made the cut. And she can manage the two-piece on her own, no problem.

(There’s a WHOLE OTHER RANT about how this store is gendered. There is a boy side and a girl side and ne’er the twain shall meet. What makes that bodysuit (it came in turquoise blue, orange, and green) with an adorable turtle on it a ‘boy’ item? Yeah, I didn’t know either. I’m a hetero, cis-gendered, traditionally feminine female woman person, and even with my fairly uncomplicated relationship with sex-and-gender, I want to SCREAM when I enter these shrines to gender policing. Is *I* *AM* *A* *GIRL* really the most important thing about my kid? The one thing that needs to be telegraphed at all times and in all places without ceasing? And my friend whose sons who are rocking gymnastics camp- does it need to be so nearly impossible for her to find a pair of leggings somewhere where her eldest doesn’t FREAK OUT about buying “girl clothes”?)
But. Really. Why why WHY?!?!? do toddler-sized bathing suits come in styles that look like the adult-style suits I refuse to buy for myself? The ones that are made not for swimming, but for lounging around the pool looking sexy. My kids have NO NEED to lounge around the pool looking… anything! They are not at the pool, the splash pad, the cottage, or the beach to be looked upon.
Whose needs are being met with a toddler-sized bikini on which the top rides up when she jumps in the pool because she lacks the anatomy to keep it in place?
Male Gaze? I’m looking at you. With burning white-hot angry-laser-vision eyes.
Get. your. gaze. off. my. kid.

July 31, 2010 at 6:25 pm 9 comments

In which I Ruminate on my New Hobby

I learned to knit a long long time ago, and my enthusiasm for the craft tends to wax and wane. I spent the last trimester knitting blankets for both of my girls. I have found a group of fellow knitters here in town, and I delight in their gatherings. Somehow, even working on individual projects in the same space can’t help but make a gathering feel like a community. Becoming a part of a community is probably the most significant reason why this current bout of knitting has lasted several projects longer than any other.

Which is why I’m so glad that I’ve become part of this community that thinks and writes about what it is to live happily in fat bodies. Knitting is not the only thing in my life for which my enthusiasm has been variable. My commitment to growing towards self-acceptance has also waxed and waned over the years. But the notion that this body is an acceptable body, a good body, and it deserves to be well-fed, well-dressed, and and well-loved is an important one. Are there limits? Sure. But in the past few years they have more to do with financial and time limits than with this body not being worth the effort. And being part of a community of other who believe these things about themselves makes it so much more possible for me to believe this about myself.

Also- I notice knitted items now, and I notice things about them I didn’t before: the colour, the stitch patterns, the construction. Because I’m part of a community that talks about these things. I’m learning. And last week, I finished my own first design. I went looking for a pattern and couldn’t find one so I made one up. And now I’m adding that to the vast pool of knowledge that is out there, contributing my own small voice to the conversation. In a similar way, because I am part of a community that talks about things such as bodily autonomy, and shame, and the difference between being harmed by a state of being and being harmed by a social and cultural response to that state of being… I see those in more places, too. In people of all sizes. So often I find myself thinking a lot less about how “Fat people should be treated better” and more “damn! People should be treated better”. I’m still figuring out how to participate in that wider conversation in a meaningful way. I know that things I’ve learned here have found their way into my preaching, into my interactions with with people, into my parenting. A small enough contribution to the conversation, but a contribution that I wouldn’t ever have been able to make, if I were on my own.

So thanks for having me, eh.

July 19, 2010 at 7:41 am 2 comments

Wear-A-Dress Wednesdays

Thanks to following the fatshion blogs that are on the Notes from the Fatosphere feed, I have found myself feeling more free to choose the clothing that makes me feel good.

And this summer, I’ve been enjoying “wear-a-dress Wednesdays”. This is especially fun because Wednesday is the day of our midweek service, and I have usually considered this a day that I “should” wear a clergy shirt and collar. But during the service, I’m vested in robes, and a stole, which are all the marks of my office that I should really require.

So the real problem with wear-a-dress Wednesday is not questioning if dresses are what I “should” wear, it’s that I only own two office-appropriate dresses. Or rather, yesterday I only owned two dresses. Today I came home with this one:

(I’m not in the US and not subject to US laws concerning these declarations that I see elsewhere, but I receive nothing from Penningtons but respectful customer service)

What makes a dress office appropriate for me? Your mileage (obviously) may vary, but I’m looking for colour, generous cleavage coverage, sleeves (at least large enough to cover the tattoo on my shoulder), and length that hits near the knee. No unintentional “festival of inappropriate sharing”* for me. And I feel pretty in Empire waists.

What made this a possibility for this summer? An accident, really. I tripped and ripped the leg of an almost-new pair of nylon/lycra tights from welovecolors.com and rather than take them off, I quickly cut both legs off just above the knee. I expected they’d roll up my leg and be terribly uncomfortable- but No! Voila! Instant not-to-hot-for-summer chafing control, without the bulk of bike shorts, or the cognitive dissonance of shapewear!
I came home and Doctored another pair that was showing wear in the heel.

*with thanks to Peacebang at beauty tips for ministers for that phrase!

June 22, 2010 at 6:06 pm Leave a comment

Healed by His Wounds

I wrote this for a joint-between-area-churches midweek service. My boss was scheduled to preach, but was then called away to a funeral. This probably isn’t what he would have written, though it is based on his chosen text, and his title.

1 Peter 2:21-25

For to this you have been called, because Christ aslo suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.
‘he comitted no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.’
When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the corss, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned tot he shepherd and guardian of your souls.

This week- this Holy Week. The word itself evokes a strong sense of things Spiritual, Numinous, Other-worldly.

And yet, this week of all weeks, this Holy Week, it is exactly the this-worldly, incarnate, tangible body that we recall and honour. The body of Jesus of Nazareth, bathed in Mary of Bethany’s expensive perfume. The body of Jesus of Nazareth, perched atop a borrowed donkey The body of Jesus of Nazareth, honoured with palm branches and cloaks thrown down before him. The body of Jesus of Nazareth, feasting in Passover celebration. The body of Jesus of Nazareth, bent low over the feet of his disciples. The body of Jesus of Nazareth, wracked in prayer, “let his cup pass from me”. The body of Jesus of Nazareth, abused, judged, beaten, spat-upon, humiliated, destroyed.

The body of Jesus of Nazareth, revealing and making manifest the presence of God among God’s people.

Now, this is nothing new, in the ancient world. Zeus was recognizable by his middle-aged head on a youthful, athletic body. Apollo spend time as a shepherd. Isis and Osiris knew life and death on the banks of the Nile. A God in human form is nothing new.

And so it is known what a God looks like, when in human form. The human body of a God is a strong body; a powerful body (and so almost always a male body); a beautiful body. These are the sorts of bodies that are closest to Dvinity. God-like bodies.

It is this sort of God-like body that is honoured as it enters Jerusalem. Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed be the one who comes with strength and power to save us.

But neither Zeus nor Apollo nor Osiris are the God revealed and made manifest in the body of Jesus of Nazareth.

This body reveals its Divinity, not in strength and power, but in weakness and vulnerability. This body reveals its Divinity first as an infant, helpless- honoured only by outcasts and foreigners. This body reveals its Divinity as it is abused, judged, beaten, spat-upon, humiliated, destroyed.

This body reveals and makes manifest a God to whom we do not grow closest in our strength, but in our vulnerability; a God who is most present among us not in power, but in frailty; a God who is acutely and intimitely concerned with humanity- all of humanity- and the realities that we encounter in these bodies.

Weak bodies. Powerless bodies. Hungry bodies. Cold and exposed bodies. Vulnerable bodies. Sick, and dying, and grieving bodies. Abused, judged, beaten, spat-upon, humiliated bodies. There is Divinity there. If we would honour the God revealed to us in the body of Jesus of Nazareth, let us honour him there.

The God revealed and made manifest in the body of Jesus of Nazareth is aGod who knows birth, and death, and all the life that happens in between. He himself bre our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness. And by his wounds, we have been healed.

March 31, 2010 at 9:11 am Leave a comment

Fasting

I think, unless the Holy Spirit does something very unexpected in the next seven hours, that Tomorrow is going to be a rather public ‘coming out’ for me. Because I’m planning to get up in front of my Church and say this. I’m tired of thinking “I wish my Church had something to say about this” They put me up in that pulpit! Who else was I waiting for?!

May the words of my lips, and the meditations of all our hearts, be now and always acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our strength, and our redeemer. Amen+

So, every year, at the beginning of Lent, we hear this story- in which Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to go without food for 40 days. And as always, this story leaves me with one burning question: WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO DO THAT?!?!

Why would anyone choose to go for over a month without eating? I mean… eating is good. It feels good. It’s good for you. And if you stop doing it for long enough- you’ll die. Why would Jesus purposely go out into the desert to be hungry for almost 6 weeks? WHY?

Jesus, of course, is not acting in a vacuum. His choice in this- all his choices- are informed by who he is, where he is, and what has come before. Jesus is a product of his culture, and his faith. And these have something to say about fasting as a religious practice.

While there’s not a lot of specific teaching in the Old Testament about fasting, there are certainly stories where it plays a part. And taken together, these narratives can point us in the direction of how Jesus’ may have understood this radical act.

Fortunately for me, H.A. Brongers, in an article “Feasting and Fasting in Israel in Biblical and Post-Biblical times” did all the legwork of collating all the Old Testament references to fasting, and found that in general, fasts are carried out for 5 purposes: “1) as a sign of grief or mourning, (2) as a sign of repentance and seeking forgiveness for sin, (3) as an aid in prayer, (4) as an experience of the presence of God that results in the endorsement of his messenger, and (5) as an act of ceremonial public worship.”

These 5 purposes boil down to 2 main theological ideas: fasting as repentance for sin and fasting to intensify prayer when seeking God’s favor.

And these ideas presuppose an even more basic truth that underlies all scriptural references to fasting, a truth where we might look for an answer to the question: Why would Jesus do this?

Food- and the eating of it- is one of the most basic and normal parts of human life. This is what we do- this is what all living beings in creation do- we consume. We eat the cow that ate the grass that came from the soil that is made of living things and organic matter from no-longer-living-things and mineral elements from the foundations of the earth. And when we have finished our time of consuming, we will be consumed: Pushing up daisies- that will in turn be consumed by some other living thing. This is the natural order of Creation in all its wonder and carbon-cycling majesty. We are dust. And to dust shall we return. This is the rhythm of life.

Abstaining from eating implies a disruption in that rhythm. And throughout the Old Testament narratives that inform Jesus’ time of fasting- disrupting this good and right and necessary natural order is done to point to something even more necessary: Communion with, and dependence on God.

The prophets have long used fasting and prayer as a… re-set button for the peoples’ right relationship with God. Sort of like calling tech support and getting told, “Have you tried turning it off, and then turning it back on again?”

In the same way that pilgrimage allows the pilgrim to leave an ordinary place, and then come back different- fasting allows the faster to leave the ordinary relationship with Creation, and come back different. Better. Restored.

But, then, Jesus is no ordinary faster. And this story that Luke tells us is no ordinary fast. He is aligning himself with Moses and Elijah, who fasted before him. To a people who know those stories, he is identifiable, in this 40-day fast, as a man deeply connected with those ancient stories of God’s redeeming love for God’s people.

And so it is here, in the early chapters, that Luke tells us of a fast for Jesus that becomes a part of the great story of God’s redeeming love for God’s people- how Jesus succeeds in resisting temptation in the worst of all possible circumstances- physically weak and corporeally famished. He is victorious exactly where Adam and Eve, in the best of all possible paradise conditions, failed. Not by bread alone, but, as the quoted line from Deuteronomy continues, by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

For Adam and Eve, and for Jesus, eating and not-eating is deeply connected, both symbolically and concretely, with right relationship with God. Eating abundantly in the garden when the relationship is whole. Then falling to temptation, and eating. Then cast out of the garden and struggling to eat enough, working to till the land when the relationship is severed. And now, driven by the Spirit, Jesus inverts this. Not eating in the wilderness. Then not-eating in the face of temptation. And restoring right relationship with God.

Although, of course, even this incredibly long 40-day fast is only a small disruption in the live-and-eat, die-and-be-eaten cycle of Creation. The true ‘reset’ and restoration of right relationship- Jesus victory over death itself, is yet to come. And, lest you think I’m making too much of this eating/not-eating business- Jesus specifically invites us to participate in that restored relationship by saying, “take this bread, which is my body, and eat it”. And we do.

Which brings us, at last, to the other question that we bring to all of these ancient texts: what has this to do with us? What has this to do with this gathered group of faithful people who were invited, just 5 days ago, to “Observe a Holy Lent by self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, and alms-giving.” What has this to do with us, who would spend these 40 days as Jesus spent them… stepping aside from the normal order of things, in order to return to a more whole relationship – to be reconciled with God?

Because that is, all in all, what the whole thing is about: to be reconciled with God. To rediscover something even more necessary than our daily bread: communion with, and dependence on, God.

I don’t know if or how you’ve chosen to observe a Lenten fast this year. If you have, I hope that it may, indeed, be for you a means of drawing closer with God, a means of reconciliation.

But if we do fast, we do it in a time and a place very different from Jesus. The idea of re-establishing a right relationship with Creation or Creator by disrupting the natural rhythm of consuming and being consumed- implies that we regularly maintain a natural rhythm of consuming, and being consumed.

Our reading from Deuteronomy lays out what a natural, normal connection with food might look like: The harvest- the gathering up of stuff of the earth for the purpose of eating it- is marked by thanksgiving, and celebration. It is a moment for remembering the past, and looking to the future. It is a time for joining together with friends and strangers- to celebrate together that the Lord has given sufficient abundance for all.

If that is the hallmark for what “normal” eating might look like, then we fall short.

Far from joining communities together, industrialized agriculture turns food production into a means of further separating rich from poor.

Food technology manipulates our appetites and leaves us echoing Isaiah’s question: “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy?”

One reality of life in this particular place at this particular time is the painful prevalence of disordered eating. The diagnostic criteria for eating disorders include “being fanatical about weight and diet”, “taking time off work, school or relationships in order to exercise”. “Allowing weight and shape to overly influence how we feel about ourselves” “Feeling we can take control of our lives by taking control of our eating and weight”.

So, while according to 2002 Data from the National Eating Disorder Information Centre, more than 2 million Canadian women have diagnosed eating disorders*—the rest of us are bombarded with dieting advice on how we can adopt many of these same disordered behaviors in order to improve our health. And our daughters are inheriting our broken approach to this simple, basic act of eating. More than 25% of girls in grade 9 and 10 have dieted to try and control their still-growing bodies. And not to be left behind in the field of body dissatisfaction, some 4% their male classmates reported using steroids.

Someone please show me where the reset button is on our “normal” relationship with this basic life-giving act of eating, with the natural rhythms of interconnecting with the Creation by consuming it. We are, I think, in deep need of both a symbolic and a concrete way to ‘reset’ a right relationship with both the Creation that we incorporate into our selves- and the Creator who brought it all into being.

I’m just not sure that more abstaining, more declaring this or that food to be ‘off limits’ is the departure from the normal order of things that we’re looking and longing for.

And if you either think I’m on to something there, or if you think I’m completely and dangerously wrong- I hope you’ll come back Monday night and talk about it. Because I firmly believe that we, who struggle to live out spiritual truths within these corporeal bodies, have something to talk about, there.

We are all of us, here, longing to be reconciled with God. To find some peace in this world. To know that Hope overcomes despair; that life is stronger than death. To know that we are loved.**

“Rest assured”, Luke tells us, “fear not. In the face of temptation, what Adam broke, Jesus has restored”.

In his life, his death, his resurrection… Jesus has accomplished what we ourselves cannot.
“This is my blood of a new covenant” he says, “that sins might be forgiven”.
“Take this bread, which is my body” he says, “and eat it”.
And we do.

Thanks be to God.

*I had to do the math myself.1.5% of women 15-24, which according to these people is (assuming roughly equal gender distribution) close to half of 4,359,100 people. So “more than 2 Million” seemed like a reasonable figure.

**I know, I know. I have a serious sentence fragment problem. I should give up fragments for Lent.

February 21, 2010 at 12:30 am 8 comments

Ow! OW! it HURTS!

My Lenten Study, Feasting and Fasting: Living Abundantly in a Dieting World, is forming up. I’m really excited about it– about the content, about putting out there in front of people who know me the same sort of stuff I’ve been writing anonymously for 2 years, about learning how to use Powerpoint, the whole she-bang.

The downside is that the structure of the study- in which I invite people to consider a text from popular culture that speaks about the body in contrast to a text from Scripture that speaks about the body- demands a certain amount of “research” into texts from popular culture.

I have put myself in a position where I am reading Women’s Magazines for work.

I was never really a fan before finding FA, and even less so now. But the first mag I picked up to browse through hurt my head so badly, I’m not sure I can go back.

At least I was able to find it online, so I can grab screenies to use in the study. I think I would have cried a little if I’d spent money to have access to gems such as:

Prevent Love Chub
That’s right, ladies. We know it takes a skinny girl to get a man, but once she’s got him, how can she prevent all that weight gain that comes from being in his vicinity? The brain-breaker came last.

The Problem? too much happy. But fear not, we have a fix for that
That’s right Laydeez. you might be too happy. But the solution is easier than you think; weigh yourself more.

You’re Happy
Research shows that what’s good for your heart may be bad for your hips. A study published last year in the journal BioPsychoSocial Medicine found that happy people were less likely to succeed at losing weight than those with a “slightly negative and cautious outlook.”

The fix: Weigh in often. It’s great to accept your body and not obsess over every last calorie, but it’s hard to feel good about yourself when none of your pants fit. To prevent your eating habits from spiraling out of control, Miller-Kovach recommends regular weigh-ins. “Studies have shown that once you pass the five-pound mark, weight gain can take off like a runaway train,” she says. Seeing the scale creep toward that mark can be a call to action. Still need convincing? Women in a Duke University study who lost as little as 10 percent of their body weight reported dramatic improvements in the bedroom. “Research shows that people who are more active and happier with their bodies have more satisfying sex lives,” Ward says. If that’s not motivation, we don’t know what is.

Hop on that scale more often to ensure you maintain that elusive slighly negative outlook. Actually, if you get really successful at the self-loathing, maybe you can convince him that he’s unhappy in this relationship, too. And then you won’t have to worry about the Boyfriend Layer any more. WIN!

February 11, 2010 at 10:19 am 5 comments

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