Monday, September 01, 2014


I originally blogged this on March 12, 2010. It deserved a reblog! I hadn't found Josh Rubin of East West Healing and Performance yet, so he's not mentioned. If I could recommend one practitioner, it would be him, otherwise...


Carnie Wilson Unstapled: FIRE THEM!! Fire them all!

"I'm really proud of myself. 
What I've done in the last six weeks 
is I've really become accountable 
for what I'm putting in my mouth... 
I know how to work hard, 
and so I really paid attention....
...All that blood work came back normal. 
To this day I am not pre-diabetic.
If he wants to call me that, it's fine, 
but my glucose levels are at a normal range....
...the fact that he had labeled me morbidly obese 
really shocked me...
but Dr. Oz was one of the sweetest people I've ever met."
- Carnie Wilson

Fire them, Carnie. Fire them all.
Start with that exercise trainer of yours with his drill-sergeant style of yelling, scolding and thundering around like an Neanderthal. You tell him something that needs acknowledgment and attention and he tells you you're making excuses. If this "expert" can't hear you when you say you're too busy to put on leotards and work out (his harsh, sweat-too-much overwork yourself style of exercise) then fire him. A real expert will give you movements that you can do through-out the course of your busy day. If five minute increments of stretching or ballet or whatever is all you can fit in between commitments then find a coach who can give you what you need based on the needs you express! I can't bear to hear these so-called experts brushing off the things you say and labeling them as excuses. He's the worst offender. Fire him.

Next is the "sainted" Dr. Oz. A cardiologist, am I right?
Ok, so you claim he's sweet but what I saw him do to you on last night's finale of Carnie Wilson: Unstapled was sexist and condescending. You suggested that there might be something physical going on with you contributing to your cravings and your body's tendency to hold on to fat.
He (like all the other awful people who failed to hear you) insisted that you have emotional issues with food and that these emotional issues are to be addressed rather than anything physical. In their opinion your body is a result of  your emotional flaws.

What are we back at the turn of the century when women were labeled with hysteria for complaining of difficult to diagnose physical symptoms or dissatisfaction with their lives? Hell the male doctors (and some female docs too) are still doing it in 2010. Look at Melting Mama's blog about her visit to the doctor (click here)With seizures and black outs and serious hypoglycemia -  most likely from her gastric bypass - she was dismissed, talked down to and made to feel that her complaints are all in her head.

I couldn't stand to watch Oz's triangle jaw with that stern look on his face insisting that you walk 10,000 steps per day. You protested. You claimed you tried. You tried to get a word in edgewise. I never did get to fully hear you explain what challenges and obstacles you had in trying to get in 10,000 steps per day. Had you been able to state your feelings and circumstances clearly you may have actually gotten some sort of help...maybe not from Dr. Oz though. He seemed hell bent on calling you an "excuse-maker" and doing the tough love ultimatum thing. I've been tough loved before. It didn't work. It only made me more rebellious. And how did I rebel? By eating. It was the last bastion of self-hood I had left.

So yeah, all the experts (you do realize that there are many experts and many of them have different methods and approaches...not all experts agree) want  you to embrace your food addiction as an emotional issue in your life but without focusing on what that issue is. You're pissed off at the way people treat you. You go to these folks for help and they treat you like you're weak and out of control. They judge you and refuse to hear you. No wonder you're pissed off.

Oz also dismissed your Fresh diet, a plan that delivers food to your door.  He insisted you cook your own meals on Saturdays like "everyone else in America does". Oh? Really? What I see on Saturdays are frazzled families on the road doing all kinds of shopping cuz that's when folks are off from work. They grab fast food on in their cars.

Cooking together IS a great idea. But if Oz thinks the majority of "average Americans" are home in the kitchen he needs to be more observant (pull his head out of his ass). It seemed to me that he was just disapproving of every step you made to try to take care of yourself while running a household.

Same way your awful trainer totally failed to acknowledge you for holding your family together and keeping your house through all the financial uncertainty. Same way he wouldn't offer any encouragement for the 7 pound weight loss. Talk about a lack of support!

The next person you should fire is that god-awful Dr. Judi Hollis. She came across like a spokesperson for the cult-of-addiction. She accused your family of being enablers and tried to convince you that the only people you can really rely on for support are folks like her - recovering food addicts. I took one look at her and knew there was something 'off' about her. She had brittle hair and a craggy face. I'm not criticizing her for being older. I don't care how old she is. I'm wondering why she looked so unhealthy.  If she had a healthy relationship with food she would glow. She would radiate health. She doesn't. She looks used up like years of poor eating (overeating then starving) have left their glacial marks on her.

Her forced smile and condescending approach made me suspicious of her methods. Both she and Oz talked about a diet-buddy. I could puke. That's how people in cults function. They pull you away from your loved ones and convince you that only those on the inside of the cult-of-recovery can possibly understand you. Only the recovering addict is trustworthy. All the other people are out there to sabotage you and keep you from practicing the enlightened ways of the cult - in this case it's the victim mentality of the food addict cult.

As a person who once suffered a severe binge eating disorder I know what it means to believe you are a food addict. I know how it feels to be accused of being a compulsive eater, a failure, and excuse maker etc. I also know that recovery is not merely emotional but mostly biological. This food thing is a physical issue surrounded by emotions, not the other way around.

My heart broke in a million pieces when I saw all that good, healthy food the Boobies and the gang were eating. They had a fabulous meal and you were sitting on the outskirts of the group convinced that the good food they were eating was bad for you. Are they obese? No. They eat moderate, filling amounts of healthy (fat, carbs and all) homemade food and stay fairly slim. That requires an explanation. The explanation has nothing to do with you being special, an addict or weak. It has to do with  your metabolism. Another deprivation diet will only prolong your suffering.

If you stopped depriving yourself with diets you wouldn't be inclined to rebound eat to make up for the nutritional deficit.

Dr. Judi said you kept turning to experts to do the work for you.
I wanted to scream. I don't see you being lazy or passing the buck of responsibility to anyone. I see you attempting to assemble the best experts out there and then I see them being abusive or failing you.

There are better experts. You have other options.
As far as eating disorder recovery check out Drs. Hirschmann and Munter, authors of "Overcoming Overeating" and "When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies". They won't condescend or deprive you. They won't label you as an addict or an addict-in-recovery thereby pigeon-holing you for a life of being an outsider to your own family. They'll talk about healing your relationship with food for good by eating, not dieting. They'll explain why your rebelliousness is really an attempt at self-care.

Get a better trainer. Find someone who will listen to you. Rochelle Rice here in NYC specializes in overshaped women who live busy Manhattan lives. Erin Huggins on the West Coast is a nutritionist and trainer who believes in lovingly moving one's body, eating generous amounts of really nutritious food and would never shout or drill-sergeant you around.

This fat thing is turning into another way to tell women they're weak, hyper emotional and dependent on the patriarchal system of dominance. I couldn't stand watching these supposed helpers talking to you like you were a tantrum-throwing child who just-wants-her-way. I hope you don't get pulled into the addict mentality. I hope you believe that you can be fit and well and most of all heard and respected with a more nourishing approach.

I'm currently studying up on independent nutrition researcher Matt Stone's approach that busts the diet myths that have failed us for so long. Finally someone makes sense and doesn't want to pull my plate away.

I'm not quitting till I can properly expose the diet industry for what it is: a money making mega machine that preys on people's eroded self esteem by giving nutritionally unsound advice to a desperate public who has bought into the myth that obesity is solved through will-power and low calorie starvation tactics.

I hope you find the answers you're looking for.
You deserve to be listened to and cared for.
I kept hearing it in your words and between your words.
When you were telling your husband that they insisted on weighing you before you had your morning bowel movement it turned into a tense exchange between the two of you. He suggested that it shouldn't matter, I kept hearing you wanting to be heard and understood by him and by the experts you thought could help you. You felt you were being pushed around and unfairly judged by the folks you thought had answers for you. You had every right to be pissed off.

Instead you got more finger pointing and blaming from one expert after another.
They kept calling you an excuse maker.
It was painful to watch.

Under those circumstances who could blame you for wanting a nice piece of cheesecake.

I hope you find a way to get healthy and eat your cake, too.

The ways are out there. Keep looking!

You're strong, beautiful and funny. I hope you can find a way to bring your baking business back to your house, too. It made you happy.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

won for focus and attendance

A flower has to push through a lot of dirt 
before it can blossom.
- Mackay's Moral 

When you get into a tight place
 and everything goes against you, 
till it seems as though 
you could not hang on a minute longer, 
never give up then, 
for that is just the place and time 
that the tide will turn.
- Harriet Beecher Stowe

Do you know how many times I wanted to quit?
August was a particularly difficult month. My teaching schedule at the community college was tight for fall. I didn't think I'd be able to take martial arts classes. Determined to fill my class requirements for yellow belt, before the fall semester, I upgraded my membership to unlimited classes at my dojang. It wasn't until I'd taken classes three days in a row that it hit me: this is hard, this is really, really hard. 

I'm getting in shape ever so slowly. The five minute warm ups at the beginning of class kill me. I get that cold stabbing feeling in my chest from being out of breath. I feel like I'm going to pass out. Kicking drills are killer. Coordination drills challenge me. Games tend to get an emotional reaction from me since they flash me back to gym classes and getting bullied as a kid. It's serious work.

Every time I put on my dobak and tied my belt I thought, "Why am I doing this? I must be crazy. This is too hard. I want out."

In the middle of feeling out of breath on the mats I'd tell myself that I'd quit gracefully and never come back. I'd lie if I had to. I'd say whatever I had to to get out of the pain and suffering. I wanted to give up, but I didn't. I just kept tying my belt and showing up. Show up, tie the belt. Tie the belt, show up. I perspired too. If anyone knows me, they know I hate perspiring. I had to get over that quickly. I sweated my face off. 

Yes, yes, I was having fun, but mostly it was work, really hard work. You know the expression, "feel the burn"? I felt the burn. I felt the burn, the pain, the emotional upheaval, and the strong desire to quit. Most of me wanted to quit most of the time, but it was like I was possessed by the compulsion to keep going. 

I was reminded of my undergrad years studying philosophy when I had something to prove. I was determined to develop my mind, to train in argumentation, to improve my reasoning ability, and to be able to play with the big kids in philosophy and theology. I did it. Earned my bachelor's degree summa cum laude. Martial arts feels exactly like that. I want to develop my coordination, my endurance, my strength, my balance, and play martial arts with the big kids. When I signed on for this I knew I had to stop wishing and start working. If not now, when?

August was when. August was the month I turned 50. August was the month I fulfilled my class requirements to test for yellow belt. August was the month I won a big beautiful gift basket for most attended classes (pictured above). I trained with kids. I took Armor classes with little Rhinos. I trained with teens, athletes, and people who wayyyy out classed me in athleticism. Most importantly, I trained with amazing instructors. Kyosa and Mr Perez are highly skilled in their respective arts, have incredible patience, are wonderful teachers, and enthusiastic encouragers. I love learning from them. I feel built up by the way they notice my improvements. I feel pushed but never punished. They toughen me up. They help me to be better. When I walk onto the mats they're happy to see me. I feel like I belong. I'm not some outsider. That's my school. That's where I work hard. That's where I learn. "This is your home," they tell me over and over. They make it so.

Today was the last class in the month of August. I didn't want to get out of bed this morning. My head started yapping at me that I didn't have to go to class, that I had gone to enough classes for the month. The angel on my shoulder drowned out the voice of defeat and said, "Shut up. Tie your belt. Train." So I trained.

Good thing might for right won out! Today was THE day for me to go train. The dojang owner brought out the basket for me at the end of class and told me I was being honored for my attendance, focus, and determination. He pointed out that I had attended Basic classes, Teen Adult classes, and even Armor class where the little kids learn bullying prevention. My award was well deserved.

So what's in the gift basket? Boxing gloves, wraps, a cap, and assorted goodies. For the amount of joy I feel you'd think the darned thing was filled with gold!! 

It's a basket for athletes. Here's how the boxing gloves conversation went:

Boxing gloves? What am I going to do with boxing gloves?

You're going to punch the bag.

I'm punching the bag?

You're punching the bag.

But...punching the bag is really hard.

That's right. If it were easy, everyone would do it.'s gonna hurt.

Lisa, you said you wanted to be an athlete, right?


And your sport of choice is martial arts, correct?


Martial artists work out a lot of ways, 
one of which is punching the bag.

I guess I'm punching the bag.

Mm hmm.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hand hero quote

That's what it takes to be a hero, 
a little gem of innocence inside you 
that makes you want to believe 
that there still exists a right and wrong,
 that decency will somehow triumph 
in the end.
- Lise Hand

I had this quote saved in the Drafts file of this blog. When I first read it, I thought it was from the scene at the mouth of the volcano at the end of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.  I could have sworn it was what Sam said to Frodo.

When I looked it up I discovered it was a quote from Lise Hand. I'm not sure she said it or one of the members of WestLife said it in her biography of them, but it's credited to her.

I love finding little treasures from years ago, quotes that I meant to blog about but never did.

It is my wish that we all maintain that little gem of innocence inside us that keeps us hoping that there is good in the hearts of humankind and we'll choose to be decent to one another. Let the hero inside us triumph.

We can be heroes, just for one day. - David Bowie

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Friday, August 29, 2014

50th birthday record

After a wonderful meal and cocktails
at a bar that looked like something out of the movie 'Frozen',

we went back to my cousin's place, blasted Lady Gaga,
sang at the top of our lungs, and danced our butts off.

I'm glad one of us was on the ball enough to take a picture.

We topped off the night with praise music from Michael W. Smith. 

Earlier that day my mother and I had sushi for lunch.

I just wanted to record this so when I look back in my blog for what I did on the actual day of August 6, 2014 it will be here.

And so it was.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

no pinballing

Most of us need the crutch at times; 
but of course it is idiotic to use the crutch 
when our own legs 
can do the journey on their own. 
~ C.S. Lewis

Awareness brings out information.
Awareness exposes things that denial kept hidden for too long.

I was paying attention and I discovered that I had been pinballing. What's pinballing you ask? Well, if you've seen a pinball machine you know how the ball bounces from bumper to bumper, bell to bell, flipper to flipper, etc. Well, that 's how I've been walking around my apartment. Without realizing it, I've been using my furniture and walls as crutches.

I don't mean that I use the arms of the sofa or the walls to hold me up or as "canes". I'm not avoiding putting weight on my knees. I did that for years and for some time after the knee replacements, but not any longer. I mean I use anything I walk past as righting devices. I use the walls and furniture to help me keep my balance. I noticed I was using the sofa on the backs of my calves as I stood or walked. It's hard to describe. Imagine standing on one foot next to a wall. If you lose your balance, you put your hand on the wall, steady yourself, and resume standing on one foot. Imagine being unsteady on your feet when walking. You'll ricochet your body off of the nearest steady structure to keep from falling over, even if it's just a light touch our brush by.

That's what I've been doing. No wonder my balance hasn't improved. It's as if I'm using crutches. You can't get better at walking if you're on crutches, you can only get better at crutching. I can't get better at standing on one foot if I always have a wall next to me to push off of when I topple. Walking like a pinball around my apartment has kept me from developing the musculature I need to stand on one foot.

Awareness brings new information. We can try to shove it back into the darkness of denial, but that takes psychic energy that drains our subconscious power supply. Keeping it in the dark was already draining our power, but once it's exposed to the light it takes much more power to cover it over again. Once something is brought to our awareness, we will only get stronger if we choose to deal with it.

I was pinballing.
Time to deal with it.

September 12th is immanent. 

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

get better at it

Finish the sentence,
"I'm not good at _______"
Notice how you say it. You may have rolled your eyes as you spoke. You may have sounded exasperated for emphasis. Maybe you put emphasis on the "not". Perhaps you became insistent and presented evidence or told a story about how bad you are at _______. You might have added the dreaded "you don't understand" to plead your can't-case.

I train with a teen who is always saying he's not flexible. I always add "yet" when he says that. He may be tightly wound up now, but he doesn't have to stay that way.  He's just a freshman in high school! How could he possibly be doomed to being inflexible?

I find that I'll say I'm not good at something to cover up my shame at being not good at something or to save me from the pain of working to get good at something. I know the tricks. I know pain avoidance. It's painful to become good at something One has to have humility to be a novice, which can be painful. Then one must suffer the growing pains whilst learning, one must endure the pain of making mistakes, and the pain of weakness leaving the body. It's so much easier to just say "I can't".

We did some advanced stretching in class today. The kid who thinks he's inflexible complained that the stretching really hurt. Kyosa told him that it would hurt for now, but it would be worth it when he was able to do higher and better kicks.

Did the stretching hurt me? Hell yeah. I didn't complain. I'm not in this to be comfortable. We did partnered stretching where one person would sit with their legs out in front of them, unbent and as wide as they could spread them. The partner would use their feet to push the other person's legs wider, then grab their hands and pull them forward. Kinda  like this...

I may have titanium knees
but that doesn't mean my ligaments, tendons, and fascia have to stay underdeveloped. I got stretched. I breathed into it.

Then we did
partnered butterfly stretching.

When I was the one pushing down
on my partner, Kyosa asked why my partner didn't grunt or make any ouchy noises.
"I was giving them Qi, sir!"
I was. I work with my body, my heart, and my spirit. My partners also got a brief mini massage and Qi chopping when we were through. Hey, I always want to leave people feeling better than they felt when they came into my space. Healers are obligated to heal. We don't have to make a big splashy show of it, we just have to have healing intentions when we're in contact with people. We have to decide to make people feel better, get stronger, and do well. We have to use our thoughts, will, and breath to move the energy. I can help people become what they think they cannot.

If we want to become better, stronger, more flexible, etc. we need to allow for the possibility. I don't let my students get away with saying they're not good at something. I remind them that they're simply untrained at it. Training brother says he's not flexible? I'm going to remind him to say "yet".

The temptation is to hide behind "can't" or "not good at" in order to avoid pain and shame. We have to recognize when we're doing that so we have a choice. We have the choice to stay not-good or to train. We have the choice to get better at it.

I'm still struggling with balancing on one leg. I have 16 days till my yellow belt test. My instructors know that I know the mechanics of the kicks, BUT I can't do them properly yet because of the balance issue. I can't set up for a proper side kick because I topple over during the lift-the-leg part. I can't ...yet.

The easy way out is to say I can't balance on one foot. The developmental way is to work harder at balancing on one foot so I can do my kicks correctly. Can I do that in 16 days?

Can Can't
Try Do
What can we accomplish
if we follow through?

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 26 2014

I'm so tired I'm nodding off at the computer.
If feels good to be tired at the end of the day.
I like hitting the pillow and thinking
I'm glad I did
rather than
I wish I had.

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