Monday, January 4, 2010

Donna B.'s "Archies": My Top Things of 2009: Shameless Idea-Stealing Edition

One of my favorite ex-professors (or, you could call her Professor X, too, that fits), and a prolific cultural, theological and knit-ological blogger presented her annual "Top (insert whatever number you want) Things of the Year" list; known as the "Archies", named after her son, Archer. I liked the idea, so am shamelessly stealing both the name and the idea to present my own "top" things of 2009 list. Well, actually I don't know if it's stealing so much as propagating or disseminating. Anyway, Donna says about the list, on her blog,

"Listed items must be things in the world, and must have played a significant role in your year. Significance, as will soon become clear, is to be defined solely by subjective criteria . . . Remember: Much like Time Magazine's "Man Of The Year," these need not be your favorite things in the world, only the top things in the world. Play along at your own site or in the comments, anytime through the month of January."
So, without further ado, and with a hat tip to Donna, who is practically perfect in every way, here are my:

Top 25 Things of 2009
  1. Blogging
  2. Twitter
  3. Lady Gaga
  4. Love
  5. the Genitive Case
  6. the Kindle/Nook
  7. President Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama
  9. Story podcasts
  10. Alexander Skarsgard
  11. HBO shows
  12. Downloadable coupons to Kroger card via
  13. internet scrabble games
  14. Used DVDs for sale at Blockbuster for $5
  15. "Tool Academy"
  16. Just-released best-sellers at the library
  17. Kavarna coffee house
  18. A Personal trainer
  19. Used book stores
  20. Story's "Introduction to New Testament Greek"
  21. Excedrin Migraine
  22. Doc Chey's Iced Jasmine Tea
  23. Rise-n-Dine sweet potato pancakes
  24. MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Resolutions thru Thick -n-Thin

So. New Year's Resolutions. The most common one being: loseweightgetinshape. It's not original, but it's a classic.
During the break, I spent a lot of time trying on outfits for various parties/gatherings/picture-taking opportunities where I wanted to look my best. In the process, I discovered that I've gained some weight over the past few months. My skinny jeans no longer fit, and my fat-jeans are now just regular jeans. Specifically, I've gone up a size. On a 5'2 frame, a little extra weight really shows.
So, I've been mulling over this; not really worrying, but pondering the best way for me to "get back to my skinniest size." Last night as I was making a peanut butter sandwich and pouring myself a glass of 2% milk, my mind flicking through the calorie estimate, I thought back to when I was at my skinniest. I didn't achieve 111 lbs. and a size 2 through a stringent diet and intensive cardio - I was sick and extremely unhappy.
The body of mine that got the most compliments, the most second-takes, was the result of relentless nausea, an inability to eat or, when I did eat, keep anything down. My body suffered because my soul was sick. I have been at my "best weight" two times in my life. Both were periods of profound anxiety, depression and stress that marked me so profoundly that I now estimate times and events in terms of "before" and "after" that time in my life. At one point, I couldn't keep down anything for weeks besides (bizarrely) Publix apple pies. I ate sporadicly and at strange times. It made me mad and upset when friends, family and acquaintances would come up to me and say, "Whitney, you look fantastic! What are you doing?" Sometimes I let my impulses get the best of me and would reply, "I've been extremely sick and stressed." Yet even with all this - those horrible memories, the migraines, the crying jags - I still look at myself in the mirror and think back longingly to when I was smaller.
So last night, as I was spreading a huge dollop of peanut butter across my bread, thinking about all those calories, I had a thought that stopped me in the act. "It's 10 p.m., and I'm making a peanut butter sandwich because I'm hungry, and it sounds good to me, and I'm looking forward to eating it." 
I may never be a size 2 again, but this time last year I wouldn't have been able to make, eat, keep down and enjoy a peanut butter sandwich.
I'm happier now, and I can enjoy the simple things in life like wearing bright colors, putting on lipgloss, complaining about getting up early, and drinking a cold, delicious glass of full-fat milk.
So I may not lose those extra few pounds that I want to this year, but I promise to smile much more than I did last year . . . and that is far more beautiful to me.