Being Thin???

When people notice that you have lost weight, the reaction is with happiness and joy. When you gain weight and people notice, they react with disappointment and disgust. Why are people reacting at all? Well, because what social media and society tells us is acceptable.

Let me tell you a tale.

I have anxiety. I think that I have mentioned it before. If not, well, I have anxiety. Its not the run of the mill anxiety, its the kind where my doctor has gotten involved because I have reached out for help. It can be the all consuming dreadful anxiety. But, over the years and doing research and learning more about who I am and what sets my anxiety off, I have been able to get it under control. To an extent.

When my life becomes very crazy and the anxiety amps up, I tend to just not eat. Some people eat, I am a non eater.

When my daughter went to school last year, I decided to take a part time job for 20 hours a week to give me something to do. Well naturally because I was working, I was snacking less and having lighter meals and lost a bit of weight. Nothing to fret over, just my pants were a bit lose. But people noticed. They would say things like, “You lost weight, good for you.” Well, it wasn’t like I was doing it on purpose. But it made me wonder, were they grossed out by me before? I had some curves but its not like I was grotesque.

After the pandemic hit, work was shut down for two months. I started eating again, and for a while it made me ill. Like every time I ate food to that fullness threshold, I felt sick. My body just wasn’t used to eating food, like real meals. The two months that we spent at home, I did eat more but smaller portions and my weight came back a smidge, but whose didn’t? Not like I was worried about it.

When the lockdown was over, and I went back to work, things escalated. I found myself not eating all day because my anxiety was through the roof. It was nothing but chaos and panic, rushing and running all day. I felt like there was too much pressure on me, on the group as a whole. I was given duties that I felt that were too much responsibility. I started seeing passive aggressive behavior coming at me (and someone with PTSD issues, this is not good) and I started to shut down. There were times that I was headed off to eat something but was stopped because someone told me I had to do something before I could eat. So I just didn’t. My weight was dropping and dropping and dropping. Just putting food in my mouth made me sick. Finally I had had enough. I decided to put my two weeks notice in.

I haven’t worked in almost 4 months. I haven’t gained all of the weight back but at least a good ten pounds. It took me at least two months to get my body to regulate to eating food again. Now that I am home with my daughter doing homeschool, we make time for meals and snacks. We eat when we are hungry. Lunch and breakfast are a priority every day, even if it is something light.

You may be wondering what the hell is the point. My point is that society comes up with these standards about how you are supposed to look and how much you should weigh. But at what expense? Mine was making me spiral down a horrible tunnel of anxiety and panic all for a job that I was just doing to kill time. Granted I liked the way I looked, and I liked the compliments and how clothes looked on me, but was that enough to keep spiraling down a dark path? No, not for me. But for some people it is.

People may have weight fluctuations for positive or negative reasons. Like me, its negative, its my anxiety. I don’t want the compliments of how my body looks because I have a mental health issue that is shutting me off of food. Its not a good compliment because of the reason behind it. SO, just don’t comment on anyone’s weight for any reason, ever. Weather they have lost a bunch or gained a bunch, just don’t say anything because you may be bringing up demons that that person could be in the trenches fighting. Instead, tell them how you like their eye shadow or ask them about a new book they have read. There is more to a person than their size and weight.

The Garden Diaries

How many of you had a garden this year?  First year?  Twentieth year?  I have a small raised bed garden and it puts out a lot of amazing produce.  It is my 3rd year, and I feel confident with my growing abilities.  So much so that my husband thinks that we should expand it for next year.  (Not sure how I feel about that.)

So there have been things that I have done the last couple years that have helped me learn what I am doing with all the produce I grow as well as where I want it to take me in the future.

I love the tomatoes I grow.  I have experimented with tomatoes, and I have learned that Sweet 100s and Purple Cherokees grow amazingly, and I get an abundance of them.  But that is a problem.  I can’t eat them fast enough or give them away fast enough.  So, I think the best thing to do for the next growing season is to grow the types that are best for canning.  I have never canned but have watched videos and read article on how to can.  I think the best way to preserve my awesome tomatoes is canning them mainly into pasta sauce.  Maybe soup.  I may not get a lot, but I can also compensate with getting extra from the farmers market if I need to.  I am thinking next year I am going to go with a Roma tomato or something similar and then the sweet 100s I will make into pizza sauce because its delicious.

I need to calm down on the zucchini.  This year I planted 4 plants and I have 13 bags of frozen zucchini in the freezer.  Now I am not crying about it because I see lots of muffins in the winter, but it is a bit overwhelming.  In 2021, I think I will just do 2 plants and that should be plenty.

This year was the first year that I planted lettuce.  I also planted some collards.  Man oh man, it was amazing!!!!  I loved it.  I loved being able go out and get lettuce for salads or BLTs.  I had Buttercrunch lettuce and another, but the name evades me.  My collards were excellent too.  Since I had never grown lettuce before, I didn’t plant a lot but 2021 will be the year of the lettuce.  I want more of it in my life because it was so great.

I did not plant squash this year and I regret it.  My first year I planted 2 buttnernut squash plants and it gave me 7 large squash.  It got me through half of the winter.  Last year everyone’s gardens sucked because of the rain and we all ended up with blight covered plants, thus I yielded 2 squash.  This year, I didn’t even plant any but got one by accident because it was labeled a cucumber but obviously was not.  Oye!  So, this upcoming year I plan on doing a butternut and spaghetti squash and we will call it good.

Radishes.  I can grow them but they are puny.  (Hold on to this thought.)

Cucumbers…cucumbers are erratic.  Sometimes they produce like wild and others not so much.  I do know that I like the small pickle cucumbers more than the standard cucumbers.  I usually plant 2 or three and this next year will be about the same.

On a side, I have also had an issues with critters this year that I have never had an issue with before.  For the most part my garden is fenced in so most critters can’t get in.  I suspect some of them with their little “hands” somehow make it in as I have found some half eaten tomatoes outside.

There are a few plants in the hot seat.  Eggplant is on the list.  Spinach.  Radishes. Potatoes. Onions and Garlic.  I say these because my husband has come up with a thought about expanding the garden and making another bed for some of these plants so we can grow more of our own food.  Now I have never grown any of these(except radishes and they seem to be tiny) so I am not sure how well it would work out for me, but I would be willing to give it a go.  No harm in trying.  Also, we have been getting our meat from a nearby farm and I am hoping that they could also supply me with some manure that I can turn into the soil before the freeze and in the spring.  I feel like some of my plants are struggling with success because the soil needs some tending to.  Which is all par for the course.

So there is the garden rundown of 2020. Hoping the garden of 2021 is epic and provides just as well, if not better, than this year.


The Virtual Tidal Wave

This is the school year of all school years.  I am exhausted and we have not even started school.  Well we have but not really.  Confused?  Me too.

Our school district in Michigan had us set to begin on August 25th.  The district plans were to allow students and parents to decide if they wanted virtual school or F2F.  My family chose virtual as I am a certified teacher and have actually taught in the school district that my daughter attends.  We did not start school on the 25th because we didn’t have computers or teachers.  Now, as of today, we have a teacher (thankfully it is the same teacher that she had last year so the relationship is already there) and a computer, but we still have no classwork.

Apparently, the program that we are supposed to be using has become so overloaded that it is slow and is taking more time to import all of the student data in it to begin.  We were supposed to have logins for our classes today, which now they say will be Friday, and I think it will be next Tuesday.

I was also surprised to find out that our district has 41% of students doing virtual classes and some nearby districts, it is only 14%.  I wonder why there is such a large discrepancy?

I am not in a panic for my daughter to start because there are things that we can do at home or outside to bring the learning to her.  We work on telling time and reading.  We talk about plants and how they grow.  We do a little math while baking something.  There are always things that can be done that can allow the connections and build the knowledge.

All of this has been a huge learning curve.  Not only for teachers but for parents, grandparents, kids, bus drivers and more.  There are things that I am pleased about and some things not so much.  But this is the first time that virtual learning on such a massive scale has ever happened.

I wonder what it would look like if this was happening and there was no internet to do virtual school.  How would learning be handled?  What would be happening in the schools?  How would parents handle it?