February 02, 2006

Possible TMI

I'm going to try and explain something with this post. Not because I need to but because I want to. I'm hoping that it might help someone. Anyone. And - I just think it's something that people need to keep in the back of their minds.

Even smart, confident, good people have problems. Yes. Yes, it's true. And those issues/problems are real. They're serious. They are demons that haunt them. And NOT something that should be laughed at or made small. ESPECIALLY by mean, vindictive people that think they are better than everyone else. Especially those that take pleasure from other peoples pain.

Let me see if I can explain what I'm getting at here.

I have often mentioned my weight. And I blog/talk enough about food and cooking that y'all pretty well know how much I love to cook and eat. But I wonder if you realize why.

I have an eating disorder. Have since I was 14. Pretty serious as a matter of fact.

I was always over thin. It came in handy when I was young and just started modeling. And everyone always commented on it. I was known as the "Tall Skinny Girl". That was my moniker and there was nothing to be done about it.

Then at the ripe old age of 14 I started to develop hips. There was no "female talk" in our house, even though it was just Mama, my sister and I. Mama had been raised Amish and didn't really have a good handle on "worldly issues" like this. So - I just decided I was getting fat and went on a diet. I ran, worked out and played basketball. Pretty fit. And the not eating took care of any extra poundage to be found on the thighs/hips. Then one day a group of us were out dancing and a "friend" told me my ass shook like jelly when I danced in jeans. I was mortified. To this day I do not go out dancing in jeans.

I started dieting harder. Pretty soon I just quit eating all together. I became pretty good at faking it at meals and no one caught on. Because I had always been so thin, no one thought anything of it. It was just my metabolism.

By the time I got to college it was getting out of control. One of my profs figured out what was going on and they put me in counseling. OK - fine. If I must I must. They made me eat. I had "guardians" at each meal. I was told if I missed a meal I would be put in the hospital. Period.

So I ate. But I had a secret. I had discovered that if I ate a box of ex-lax just before or after eating I didn't gain weight. They never caught on. Ever.

Because they were making me eat I rediscovered the joys of food. I started cooking and giving all the food away. I started "food talking". Sharing recipes that I never actually ate. Just cooked. And I talked about food - a lot. It became my hobby.

The following years were not pretty. I spent time in the hospital, I was always sick. All I could think about was doing WHATEVER it took to not get fat. Everything about how I identified myself was wrapped up in that. Silly? Stupid? Yes. But real thoughts none the less. It was controling my life.

Finally in my mid twenties I gave up. I kicked the ex-lax and just started watching what I ate. My weight fluctuated every now and again, but I managed to control it. But I was still uber critical of my appearance. Anything over 118 lbs was bad. Bad bad bad. Folks - I'm 6'2". I'm supposed to weigh 160lbs min. I finally got my weight up to 140 and stayed pretty much there for years.

I don't own a scale. When I go to the doctor they cannot tell me what I weigh. I can't know. If I do - I get stuck on that damned 118 again and that's just all bad. I will go to my grave only knowing what size I wear, not what I weigh. I can't.

In my mind I know the healthy thing, I know the right thing - but it's not about intelligence. It's all mixed up. There is no logic to it.

A side effect of all the ex-lax is that I've totalled screwed up my system. Totally. I have serious stomach issues and there is nothing that can be done to correct that. It's the effect of all those stupid desperate years.

And still - everyone commented on how thin I was. It was how everyone knew me. If a guy wanted to hurt me he told me I was fat. It worked. Every time.

Now - fast forward to today. Many of you have commented/emailed that this whole diet thing is not necessary. I thank you for your kind words. But you must realize when I look in the mirror I do not see what you see. I see 50lbs heavier. No lie. And I am actually heavier now than I've ever been. I know that by how my clothes fit (or don't fit). I'm not looking at dropping a boat load of weight. Just enough. And I'm doing it smart. Eating several small meals a day and exercising. No stupid tricks. Not one.

I no longer identify myself by my weight. That is something I learned a long time ago - but some of the old thought process is there. At night. When it's dark. When things get rough that flippin' demon comes back to whisper in my ear that I'm alone because I'm fat. I KNOW BETTER - but that doesn't stop the thoughts. THAT is what I'm trying to say. I'm not stupid. I'm not a freak. And I KNOW I'm not the only person that deals with this stuff.

I tell this story because of what they are putting me through at work. (other than the normal shit) They think it's funny that I'm trying to watch what I eat. They don't understand that when I say I'm addicted to donuts I'm serious. I could eat a dozen in one sitting. No problem. Every day. It's almost as bad a smoking for me. And I'll be real honest - after doing that (or something damned near close) I think about the bulimia. I don't do anything stupid. But I think it.

So how do they support me? By leaving donuts in the drawers of my desk. By leaving them on my folders. By walking by carrying a box. By baking cookies and brownies and putting them on my desk. And then making fun of me when I say no. Oh - the making fun of doesn't bother me. I could give a rat's ass about that. It's the fact that they think it's all such a joke. Makes me wonder....if I said I was an alcoholic would they leave drinks around? (that might not be a bad idea - good way to get through the day)

But seriously....think about it next time some one says they have an issue. You may not understand it. It might seem stupid to you. But to them....it's real. To them....it's painful. It's their demon.

And if you can't be supportive......shut the hell up.

Posted by Tammi at February 2, 2006 05:30 AM

Sweetie, I know much of what you went through... and still deal with.
To me my 'baby fat' made me look 200lbs overweight, and throw in kids who can't control what comes out of their mouths... I was anorexic for years, and yes, I used another form of... purging.
I did physically challenging work all day, then went to the gym at night...

I finally got it under control, but to this day if I feel something wiggle I freak out. [Which is why I stay depressed all winter] I'm not happy unless I'm very thin.
That's difficult to admit.

I haven't looked at a scale in years, either, and I always tell them not to tell me.

Those people at work? They just don't know, can't possibly understand. You don't have to tell them everything, but I'd be very serious and very firm.

If all else fails, return them by throwing the suckers at 'em.


Posted by: pam at February 2, 2006 07:41 AM

Being a cruel, mean and sadistic bastard even I draw the line at some jokes. Your co-workers are taking it too far.

Posted by: Contagion at February 2, 2006 08:01 AM

hey, first of all, I got NO business telling ANYONE ANYTHING about the way they eat.

Second of all, I think you look fine. I'm of the school that women should have hips. And baby, you got'em.

I've been fighting my weight for about 2000 years. At least, it seems that way to me. I keep hoping I can find someone or something that will help, but so far, no real progress. You're doing fine,and anyone who says otherwise? I have a WOLE CASE of whoopass I am anxious to open.

Posted by: og at February 2, 2006 08:02 AM

I have had a metabolic disorder all my life and I fight fat always. I am not fit, the asthma I have adds to the problem. I joke about it. I tell people that I have anti-anorexia, "when I look in the mirror I think I'm skinny."

It isn't funny, I know. It also isn't funny when a coworker looks at me and says "gee, you could stand to join the gym - here they just sent me this flyer." When I join a gym I hulk out, the steroids I'm on make me look like the Incredible Hulk's short fat wife.

I was bulimic in high school. I still didn't lose much weight, but I developed ulcers the entire way down my throat and then I couldn't eat. I cry a lot. Especially when i don't think my husband is interested (he is). Even small cute jokes sometimes make me cringe. My two year old told my hairdresser "My momma is fat but I love her!" Cute, but still made me stair in the mirror and want to cut acres of fat off.

I've seen your picture, you are rockin! I think you are beautiful. I only know you from this blog and plan to know you better in a couple weeks, but you do, you rock. Take those donuts and go up to the nearest jackass and shove them up his ass!

While I go deal with the joker who just last week said "Oddybobo's fat, she knows what I mean. . ."

Love ya! See you in a couple weeks, and we can share a diet soda! ;) {hugs}

Posted by: oddybobo at February 2, 2006 08:13 AM

Sweetie, I am so sorry. Have I told you how beautiful you are today? Do you need me to go crack some skulls? Cause I know where they live, hehe.
I know I've bought you goodies before but I am so sorry they are doing that to you. If they haven't figured out that you are truely bothered by it, they never will. They really are stupid self-centered fools, u know. You are doing a great job and even moreso you are an amazing person.

Posted by: talulazephyr at February 2, 2006 08:14 AM

First off, ((HUGZ))

Secondly: What Og said, pretty much to the letter.
Sign me up for random untraceable violence if you need some asshole removed.

Posted by: Graumagus at February 2, 2006 08:38 AM

What a bunch of A-holes

Posted by: Carmen at February 2, 2006 08:43 AM

I get this, body dysmorphia thing.....


and I do not know 1 single woman that is pleased with her body, not one......


So, now I have to figure out how to make Pink Ninja the 1 woman I know that is pleased with herself.

I will also tell you something, the yoga has been empowering....

"Yoga allows me to keep my body as such, that it will not become a distraction".....

Posted by: ArmyWifeToddlerMom at February 2, 2006 09:06 AM

I vote with Pam to start returning fire. Or better yet, super glue the suckers to the assholes desks. That'll teach 'em! Things like that show the extent of which you don't care about a person and there is no room for that. It's harrassement, creates a hostile work environment and you should tell your boss that HR will be informed unless its backed off pronto. That'll put the fear of God into them.

I have always found you to be a stunning, striking and amazingly beautiful woman whom I'm honored to know and have in my life. I'm glad that while you feel the need to do something for you, you're doing it smart. You know I'm always here if you need me. And I'll be glad to send you HEALTHY care packages from Florida. (Maybe some fruit!)

{{{Big hugs}}} You are so much better than them. I sign up for the butt-kicking. Just let me know when to be there and I'll bring a tall, angry Texan and fired up puppy-dog! We'll kick some tail!

Posted by: Lee Ann at February 2, 2006 09:10 AM

Lee Ann - I'd make a comment about HR at this company - but I better not... let's just say - this is pretty much the backwater of the world - "modern" inventions such as being nice to your co-workers (even if it's a PC enforcement) don't seem to have made it to this company yet. Of course I have heard they are a "Christian" company... we'll get to that later...

As for the co-workers and the donuts... I hope to meet them in a back alley one day and introduce them to donuts in a whole new way. That is the lowest meanest dirtiest playing on the field.

Tammi - they should all be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. But it's more likely they're sitting around gloating over making you miserable. They are wormy little low lifes.

Since they seem to get their kicks by hurting other people, I have to wonder if they haven't mixed up their terms and they are a Sadist company.... Of course they did announce loud and clear that they are a "Christian" company - I generally find, if you must announce this... you're doing something wrong in the "Christian" department.

I wish I was there so I could have your back. (then again I'd get me fired by trying to shove donuts down people's throats...)

Posted by: Teresa at February 2, 2006 10:18 AM

After I am done kicking your co-workers asses, I will get these casino spammers

Posted by: ArmyWifeToddlerMom at February 2, 2006 11:30 AM

uh......ok sorry lost my train of thought of seeing the previous Spam

I'm with them. Your co-workers need to have a Come-to-heart-meeting in the woodshed.

Period, no excuses.

Posted by: BloodSpite at February 2, 2006 11:43 AM

when I am done judo chopping the co-workers donuts, I vow to get these damn spammmers

Posted by: ArmyWifeToddlerMom at February 2, 2006 12:38 PM


Those boys at your work need to learn a little lesson the hard painful way.

Revenge is a bitch...

Posted by: Sarah at February 2, 2006 12:50 PM

I completely understand what you are talking about. I was bulimic all through High School and well into my 20's. Not good. Not good at all.

When I was 22 I literally weighed 100 pounds less than I do now. After I got married, I began to come to terms with the fact that I am not now, nor was I ever meant to be teeny tiny. (A size 14 is about as thin as I ever want to be again.)

I was fighting an up hill battle with rollerskates on, and being so consumed with controlling my weight simply became too much to bear. And it was taking a toll on my health.

I still watched every little thing that went into my mouth and obsessed when I gained a pound. Then I got pregnant (while on the pill).

I was freaked! I didn't know what I was going to do. After reading all of the books I had no idea how I was going to *force* myself to eat (and keep down) all of the the meals (and portions) that I was supposed to!!

Needless to say, I have figured out how to eat. ;) You've seen me, I am definitely *not* starving... But even after therapy, and coming to pertty good terms with my genetics it still freaks me out sometimes when I think about how heavy I am right now.

I am a sucky dieter partly because I do not like self deprevation. But also partly because I am terrified I might once again slide down that slippery slope of obsession. And I can never write about this at my place because I know exactly how my obsession with not being fat (please God, anything but fat...) started. And he reads my blog.

All I can hope for now, is that I do a much better job teaching my girls to love themselves however they are. Their Daddy will always reassure them that they are beautiful. I have to trust that God knew what he was doing...

Posted by: Richmond at February 2, 2006 12:52 PM

Honey, you know I love you dearly and think you are beautiful.
Fat or overweight are not the terms I would associate with you at all.

Having said that, I have something harsh to say.
Your co-workers are harrassing you.
You may choose to ignore me or come up with some excuse why you can't file a report.

But I fear that if you don't find a way to deal with being harrassed this time, the Universe is going to continue to recycle this lesson and present it again. As with the rest of us, I expect you will repeat a lesson until you learn and grow from it - until you resolve the lesson.

I'm sorry.

Posted by: _Jon at February 2, 2006 03:25 PM

I'm completely stunned by what complete assholes your co-workers are. I have to say, I've never in my life worked with people like that. May they rot in hell for eternity.

I hate my body. I awaken very day loathing it. I can look in the mirror after stepping out of the shower and be despondent the rest of the day. It's one of the reasons I work out so much... chasing this unobtainable brass ring of what I think I'm supposed to look like.

What is it with we women? Why are we like this? And for this alone, I am glad I only have boys and no girls. I would wish this self defeating attitude about one's body on no one.

And as I am apt to say (language alert), in this case with regard to your co-workers "A pox upon them and their ilk and may they fucking rot."

Posted by: Bou at February 2, 2006 05:29 PM

... Tammi, you are a beautiful woman... and that is all I have to say about that..... you need to get a different mirror.....

Posted by: Eric at February 2, 2006 05:40 PM

AWTM is correct. There isn't a single woman on the face of the earth who is happy with her figure. I feel like I'm looking into a fun house mirror every time I look at myself in the mirror and wonder what the hell happened! Even if you don't see it, you are a beautiful and sexy woman. I don't know a single person who would disagree with that!

Posted by: ktreva at February 2, 2006 06:53 PM

Um, Tammi - you're weather pixie looks like a hoochie tonight.....

Posted by: Carmen at February 2, 2006 07:16 PM

First, a big {{{{{{{{{{HUG}}}}}}}}}}

Second, I want to second what was said above by Teresa that if you have to call out that you are a Christian, that pretty much says all that needs be said.

Third, Jon has a point. Then again, you have a lot of options on how to deal with it. Notate, document, and invest in superglue and more.

Fourth, I was never there when they had a real serious "Come To Jesus" meeting as a former leader used to put it. Nope, plan to be at Fritz's... That's my story and I will stick to it.

Posted by: Laughing Wolf at February 2, 2006 08:24 PM

Wish I could say it surprises me that people could act that way, but it doesn't.

I think you need to put a little effort into thinking of out-of-the-way places you could 'stash' those unneeded donuts - unattended briefcases, purses and laptop bags (for the jelly-filled ones), suitcoat pockets, inside hats and gloves, winter boots...

Gotta be tough to work around maroons like that.


Posted by: Light and Dark at February 2, 2006 10:15 PM

I'm thinking along the same lines as Paul. If the co-workers think they're being funny, they'll keep on doing it. Take their 'fun' away, make them think you're consuming their 'volleys of pain' and you'll prolly take away their fun..and hopefully they'll stop..? Good luck, Tammi!

Posted by: Marcus at February 3, 2006 07:54 PM

My admiration for you has just risen tenfold, if that were even possible. Am now hoping I din't offend with the "kilt comment" a few days ago.

Posted by: Sgt Hook at February 4, 2006 01:03 AM

Tammi - I wish I could have a girl night with you. A night without food or mirrors or media's idea of attractive. Every time I look in the mirror I see something similar to what you see from yourself - I see the me that weighed 215 pounds and knew she was alone because she was fat (the guys weren't shy about telling me). Personally, I blame the mirrors. So just let me know when you'd like to start knocking off the mirror manufacturers and I'll get right on it.

Posted by: Princess Cat at February 4, 2006 08:51 AM

It won't do any good for me to say this - it never does - but I will.

I've met a lot of the ladies who commented here.

And ALL of them made me think "mmmm... nice..."

No exceptions.

Posted by: Harvey at February 4, 2006 09:08 AM

Reading your story reminded me of a gal I knew in the Navy. She, too, had an eating problem but she had it under control..she was the right weight she should have been. However, people would just fuck with her...like we'd do a chow run and people would wave fucking french fries in her face and shit...it just pissed me off no end. She was a bit of a bitch though, and they quit pretty quick after feeling the backside of her tongue. That always struck me as being the absolute meanest thing I have ever seen done to someone, though.

Posted by: Kelly at February 5, 2006 03:40 PM

Teresa will have to explain this, but I'm calling Uncle Guido to come deal with your incredibly unchristian co-workers.

I sat on the other side of the fence most of my life - watching my mother diet herself into the hospital and finally dieting herself to death. She never learned what you have (even if you don't think so) - you are a wonderful, attractive, intelligent woman. Don't let anyone tell you differently or make you think anything else.

Posted by: MathCog Idiocy at February 6, 2006 06:43 PM

I've never met you in person (but maybe I'll be so fortunate one day), but I can tell you're beautiful just from all I do know about you.

As for the donuts, if Contagion says they've gone too far, it's time to start leaving bags of flaming dog poo under their desks...while they're in them...and tied down...

Posted by: Ogre at February 7, 2006 05:51 PM