Monday, January 28, 2013


Trigger Warning: talk of addiction and eating disorders.

I have a problem. I have had this problem for the majority of my life, and I have only realized what it was a few days ago. Why?
This is literally what I thought think.

Because I have had a relapse.

Probably triggered by recent events, I had a discussion with Mata this past MLK day that really made me reflect and analyses myself. I had complained to her about the treatment in my P.E. class, and during the discussion she asked me, "Why are you fat?" ....What?

"Why are you fat?"

I had to think about it. Of course, there is always the answer, "why does it matter?" That's like asking me why I'm a girl or why I am tall or why I like Paganism over all the other religions. But for the sake of argument, let's consider it. Why? There could be many reasons why: genetics, socioeconomic class, access to quality food, ability and means to physically move. Genetic wise, my maternal family is all short and average, and my paternal family is tall and stocky. I seemed to have inherited more from my father in that body type than from my mother, but the problem is that no one, no one, from that side of the family is as heavy as I am (they are also not very many of them alive; I am 75% sure I also inherited their tenancy towards heart attacks and cancer).

So what about the other three factors? I was from a poor family; the Working Class. We were only able to buy cheap, typically processed, food like Ramen noodles and $0.99 cent white bread. Fresh fruits and veggies were rare, and were typically frozen or canned. We just couldn't afford $4.50 for a loaf of good wheat bread or $5 for a half gallon of organic milk. My ability to move around was self-restricted as well, preferring to stay indoors and read, eat, or watch TV.

Toxic words like these would replay over and over again.
But, as I have talked about before (TL;DR - Food Issues, linked above), I mostly ate. I would eat and eat and eat and eat and eat and eat and eat. I wouldn't -- couldn't-- stop myself. I would binge without the purge, not because I was against bulimia but because I couldn't force my body to. I have, on many occasion growing up, put toothbrushes or even my fist down my throat in an attempt to vomit. My body would absolutely refuse. I tried to gorge myself many, many times, to the point of bursting, and still my body would not give it up. That is the only reason why I did not become bulimic.

That's not to say I didn't have an unhealthy relationship with food. I obsessed over it constantly. I thought about it always, and especially when it was in front of me. I would stare at my friend's breakfasts or lunches like some starved dog begging for food and my friend's would become uncomfortable. I would sometimes hide in the library to escape the sights and smells, skipping my own lunch or breakfast. I would later, in my teen years, cycle between not eating and binging, hiding from my friends and begging them for money. I would also hide my own eating, not wanting to eat in front of my friends and family. They probably didn't notice just how much I ate when people weren't around and no one was watching.

Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words can make me starve myself.
When I started my journey towards the betterment of myself and found HAES, I started to work on my relationship with food. I would buy myself actual food; real fruits and veggies, organic foods and milk, wheat bread, and everything I thought would be better for my body. It really responded for me, very much enjoying the new sights, smells, and tastes. Slowly, I would recognize my impulses to emotionally eat and would do something else. Soon, I would find an exercise that I actually liked instead of despised, and then another, and another. I would still eat many times a day, 5 or 6 times, but they were small, dense meals that would fill me. I would stop thinking about eating; stop revolving my life around food; stop obsessing about my weight; stop being possessed to horde, and gorge on, food.

I still horde food, but now I don't gorge, and the food is all in the kitchen instead of in my room. I horde food to such an extent that too much of it goes bad and I throw it out. I shop every week, mostly out of necessity, but if I have to put back food because I don't have enough money, I become stressed over it. If I don't have enough food in the house to have a full fridge and pantry, I become very stressed. Sometimes I go look in the fridge and pantry (and this sounds so damn silly) to make sure the food is still there.

I didn't notice just how far I had gone in my recovery until my relapse. I have had a non-stop binge episode for the past week, and I am struggling to control it. My ability to listen to what my body wants has eroded and has been exasperated by the fact that I can now afford to "feed my habit." The sudden stress at home, work, and school has agitated the disordered eating, and the disordered eating is creating stress which in turn excites the disordered eating.

This isn't what I want! This isn't how I want to be! Damn it, I don't want to be consumed by my thoughts; I don't want to be devoured by my depression again; I don't want to be engulfed by this.

Like those addicted to drugs or alcohol, this addiction has truly harmed myself and those around me. Harming myself is obvious (short term; stomach pains, depression and sluggishness, lack of energy, depletion of food stores and subsequent stress over lack of food. Long term; high blood pressure, high resting heart rate, muscular atrophy, etc), but others? Yes; I have lied, cheated, and stole to feed my habit. I have taken money from my parents and stole food from my family's mouths. I have lied to my friends for food, and even taken from them. I have pressured the people in my life for "hits," or just directly taken from their pantries or fridges. But unlike those people who are addicted to heroin or cocaine or alcohol, I can't just stop eating. I can't not have it in the house. I can't not be around it. I can only manage it, and take steps against it.

Being Body Positive helps me. Being an advocate for HAES helps me. It helps me form a positive image of myself and helps develop inner self-esteem. It helps by soothing the underlying reasons for my addiction. If even for selfish reasons, I advocate loving yourself, because if I didn't, I would have died long ago.

I am Kitsune and I have an eating disorder. Perhaps I am fat because of it; perhaps I am fat for other reasons. Perhaps many other infinite things that I can't describe or think of. All that is certain now is that I have this, and I have to deal with it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fat And Anorexic?

BIG TRIGGER WARNING: Pictures of women with eating disorders, and talk about eating disorders. Scroll down to see.


 [No seriously, it's a buffer]

What do you think of when you  hear the words "anorexic" or "bulimic"? What mental picture do you have?



What about this?

What exactly is "dieting" for fat people? Dieting is "restrict[ing] oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight." It is constantly obsessing about your weight, how much or little food you eat, what type of food, when, where, why. It is:
  • Obsession with calories and fat content of food
  • Preoccupation with food, recipes, or cooking; may cook elaborate dinners for others, but not eat the food themselves
  • Dieting ...
  • Rituals: cuts food into tiny pieces; refuses to eat around others; hides or discards food
  • Purging: uses laxatives, diet pills, ipecac syrup, or water pills; may engage in self-induced vomiting; may run to the bathroom after eating in order to vomit and quickly get rid of the calories
  • May engage in frequent, strenuous exercise
  • Becomes intolerant to cold and frequently complains of being cold .... body temperature lowers in effort to conserve energy
  • Depression: may frequently be in a sad, lethargic state
  • Solitude: may avoid friends and family; becomes withdrawn and secretive
 It is:
  • fixation on number of calories consumed
  • fixation on and extreme consciousness of weight
  • low self-esteem
  • low blood pressure
  • irregular menstrual cycle
  • constant trips to the bathroom
  • depression

Whoa, wait a minute! Did I just tell you the signs of anorexia and bulimia nervosa? Yes I did.
Counting calories, fixation on weight, preoccupation with food or cooking, and strenuous exercise are all dietary requirements for fat people, but if you are thin, you have an eating disorder.

It is so easy for overweight and obese people to have an eating disorder nowadays. It is even advocated. Here, just look if you don't believe me:

You hear these things all the time. I know I do. On the TV, on the radio, in songs and movies, in the street, on the internet, oh so much on the internet. You hear it from doctors, from politicians, from the First Lady, from scientists, from your friends and family.

"Just stop eating so much."
"Do you really need to eat that?"
"Why don't you exercise instead?"
"Your height to weight ratio is not as good as it needs to be."
"Put down the donut."
"I am concerned about your health."
"If you continue the way you are, you are going to die."

On and on, and you wonder why eating disorders in children under 12 have risen. Not surprisingly, so has adult eating disorders. That's what happens when "[o]n any given day, nearly 40 percent of American women are on a diet." There is not a thin line between dieting and eating disorders. They are, in my opinion, one and the same.

Tune in tomorrow for a first hand account of an eating disorder.

EDIT: Due to the response of this post, I have written another post addressing issues from here.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Trigger Week and Clubs

Trigger warning: talk of fat bashing, but then it gets better.

My college classes just started about a week or so ago, and I can honestly say that I enjoy most of them. My English professor is a hoot, Intro to Interpreting has already promised to be challenging, and Fingerspelling and Numbers and ASL 4 are still being taught by some of my favorite Deaf professors.

The exception? Concepts of Physical Fitness. It is a required course for graduation, and I can't substitute it for anything else. Let me tell you, it is the biggest trigger for me in years. Oh, you wouldn't believe some of the crap coming out of the (woman) co-professor's mouth. Or maybe you know exactly what they say. Let me say, I specifically looked for the professor I currently have because he is somewhat body positive (at least more so than any other professor in the health department) and I can stand him. Unfortunately, to "save space," the Health Department decided that two Concept classes should be put together in the same room. Yay, I get a professor I wanted in the first place with another who I dislike very much. Because of this, I had a hellacious week.

It started with Concepts class (surprise). We started lecture, and the woman professor went through the chapters with us. She went through all the usual propaganda of "our children will die before us!" and "the obesity epidemic is on the rise." When I told her that the information was incorrect, and that new data says otherwise, she told me that the book was up-to-date as of 2010. Y'all, just not. A lie repeated a million times is still a lie. Then she said she "used to be fat and 10lbs overweight but now I'm thin and healthy." That's great for you, but don't think that what you did will translate to anyone else. And ten pounds, really?

The real kicker, and my final straw, was when she went off on a tangent and said that all fat people are lazy couch potatoes that do nothing but shove their faces full of processed foods and have a constant diet of fast foods and that all fat people would be healthy if they would just get off their lazy asses and exercise and eat right. Dafaq? Just, dafaq? If I have another three months of this coming, I don't want to take this class anymore. I just wanted to scream and shake her! Alas, I didn't.

Afterwards, I posted on Body Love Wellness' facebook page about help for this situation and what I should do about it. Golda turned around and posted it for her fans and they gave great information, and I will be pursuing them. The suggestions were:

  • Get Dr. Linda Bacon's book, read it, read the research, and quote it. Already ordered it!
  • Challenge the information and discuss it with the professor privately. I may do this first, to try and convince both the professors to lay off it. 
  • Keep a journal, write my thoughts and impressions, and talk to a therapist. I have never been good at keeping journals (that's why my BOS and Dream Journal is still a major WIP. /forshame/)
  • Write an article in the college newspaper. This is a great idea, and I actually am working towards that. I met the producer of my college's radio show and she used to work for the college paper. She said she would be glad to give me an interview on the show and that she would also recommend me to the newspaper too. Whoot!
  • Blog about it! (ehehehehe)
  • Ask for a day to lead the discussion. I will honestly try this! 
  • Write a two page handout for people and distribute it throughout the class. I think this is another great idea, and I think that I will do this not only in the class, but also as a club activity.
Club activity???  Yes! I have started the process towards getting a Health At Every Size club up and running at my local college after the class incident. After three semesters of searching for a sponsor, I had to go outside of the Health Department and found one in the Art Department. I am so grateful for my sponsor, and she has some tales of her own. Touki has had bariatric surgery and went through a roller coaster ride from it. I am sure she will be a great resource.

Happy thoughts. Mmm, I wonder where this goes?
But, it was because I was looking for a way to get the club up that I ran into the Student Organization part of the college. I showed up, and since I had been there before, the secretary knew me and what I was attempting. She told me that she was going to put together a panel in March that talked about body image and that she was looking for participants. She asked me and I suggested a Sociologist because body image has most of its roots as a social construct. The secretary also said she might ask me to join as well. Yay!

But, while I have had a crazy week, I have been struggling with myself. I have relapsed (more on that on a later post) and I'm not feeling well. I am ashamed that something like this has affected me so much, but then again, I wasn't where I wanted to be in the first place. And so, here begins the road to recovery, but this time it will be paved myself, mending my self and self-esteem to create an internal anchor. A sword only gets stronger by being beaten and sharpened, beaten and sharpened. I look forward with anticipation.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Why Japanese Names?

It's come to my attention that perhaps you guys don't know why I use Japanese names for the people in my life. Mostly it's because I need a way to at least marginally protect the identities of these people and to cover my own ass. The other reason is because my Craft name is Japanese. So, here is the breakdown of the people and why they are that name.

Kitsune - my name. It means "fox" but means oh so much more than that. They are magickal creatures who can be around for various reasons; to teach lessons, to put someone in their place, for love, to learn themselves, or to pass a message from the Gods (specifically Inari the Rice God/dess). Perhaps I fell in love with kitsunes because of their attributes and because I may be selfish and want these qualities myself, or because... well I have no other reason. ^^;

Ka-chan - this means "Mother" and is less formal (but not impolite) and common way of addressing your mother. "-chan" is also a suffix for a familiar female person and usually denotes affection. 

Chichiue - this means "father" and is considered an affectionate way of saying it. While Chichiue isn't actually my birth father, he is the man that I think of as my dad the most.

Otouto - means "younger brother." Otouto is 9 and 1/2 years younger than me. Truth in advertising.

Oyaji - means "father" but is impolite and considered rude. Oyaji is my birth father and is the one who has been causing problems recently. No affection is lost here.

Mata - means "again, also, and fork in the road." It is also my shorthand for mataitoko, which means "second cousin." Mata is very energetic, very outgoing, very in your face, very all the time. While she isn't technically my cousin at all, she is still considered family.

Futa - means "set, pair, or lid/cover." This too is my shorthand for futaitoko, which also means "second cousin." Futa is a reserved man, very quiet. He speaks when he has something to day and very much is a pair to Mata. While he isn't technically my cousin, he too is considered family.

Kouko - means "anxiety, worry, the public, and financial corporations" which completely embodies my roommate. He worries so much about everything, and happens to work for a financial company.

Touki - means "pottery, ceramics, fighting spirit, and rise" among other things. She is my club sponsor and a professor of ceramics.

If more names happen to crop up, they will be updated here.

Catching Up

It's been a while since I posted last, and I apologize for that. So let's catch up, shall we?

Karen the Exchange Student and I with a dog.
Over the Yule/Christmas week I spent my time at my cousin's farm in East Texas (i.e., middle of nowhere). It was like a much needed retreat, and I had the fortune to be in a place with 40 acres of nothing but forest and no lights for miles and miles. Blissful to say the least, and it reminded me that I do very much like the country life. Now, only to get 100 acres of my own....

Gotta Catch 'Em All!
You can see a portion of the woody area behind Karen and I. Behind the camera, as well as to the right, the woods were much closer and much deeper. Also done was one of my Bucket List items! (Yay!!) When Christmas came around (because my cousins are Christian and celebrate that), I got a great collection of kitchen items as well as my very own Pokemon party. xD

Did I mention that my cousins have goats and horses? No? Well shucks, those things are so cute and so stupid at the same damn time. Those goats, I'm telling you, are either crafty, sly little poop machines, or they are so damn stupid I wouldn't be surprised if they had trouble breathing in the rain because they look at the sky with mouths wide open. A few of the goats had kids, but one had twins and rejected one. So Mata (my female cousin; she is very, very energetic. Mata means again, also, or fork in the road.) is taking care of the baby. Booger is sooo cute and sooo spoiled!
Damn thing is so cute. It is a boy, and also adoptable.

After we got back from East Texas, we proceeded to move my brother, Otouto, into my house. For the back story, look here. It has been a rocky first week, but we are getting the hang of things and it is starting to smooth out. Perhaps things will continue to be smooth. Perhaps my lesson in all of this isn't to have a clenched fist, but rather an open hand. "Pay no mind to the battles you've won. It'll take a lot more than rage and muscle. Open your heart and hands my son, or you'll never make it over the river."

As for my health, I have (to my relief) started lifting again. HAES talks about moving your body the way you love to and it loves to, and for me that is lifting weights. I love the pump, the rush, the feeling of being strong. Now, don't get me wrong; I also enjoy Zumba and, most recently, Flirty Girls (they are kind of like a mix between dancing and stretching, except way harder). However, there's just something about pumping iron that excites me.

Which brings me to a competition. My favorite bodybuilding website is sponsoring a fitness competition, and the grand prize ain't something to sniff at. To the victor goes $50k, plus a few other nice tid bits. I am seriously thinking I am going to join and go through the LiveFit workout program. Mind you, the LiveFit program is about leaning out but also for strength building and endurance. For my purposes, I'm going to focus on the latter. If I happen to lean out, meh, but that isn't my goal nor will I advocate for that. I've cheated off the program for a while now, getting workouts from here and there, but haven't really gone through it, but I can tell you that the workouts are pump-ilicious. I've never pushed myself like I have before. Makes me lick my lips just thinking about the challenge!!

Last but not least, I have been working on lucid dreaming with mixed results. A breakthrough happened a few days ago, where I just happened to go to sleep *in my dream* and while I was dreaming in my dream (Inception!) I realized that I was dreaming and "woke up" to be able to fly around for a bit before waking to the first dream and continuing with that one, completely oblivious to the fact that I had a lucid dream beforehand (if that makes sense).

Source, and a pretty interesting article.
My dreams have always felt "real," sort of, in the sense that I never ever feel like they are dreams; instead they feel like reality. No matter how odd, how completely weird or crazy the dream becomes, it always always feels real. In fact, when I have gotten injured in dreams before, I wake up with pain in that spot. A few weeks ago I had a dream that I was having a heart attack, and I woke up with chest pains. Years before that, I had a dream where I had gotten shot and I woke up thinking I was dying because I could still feel the bullet wounds. Anyway, my dreams seem to be like I am the third person watching things unfold without my opinion or voice, as if I am the silent observer.

Almost like this, except male and scarier.
One dream stands out from the many, many. This one I was actually present, way back when I was starting my Pagan and magick path. There were two children in the dream, a girl and a boy, and I wandered over to them. We started talking about magick, and they told me that they could teach me. We started talking about stones when suddenly I was in an alleyway with cats everywhere. I walked down the alleyway but as I was, the scene kept cutting to a guy who was running down the other end of the alley in a nun's outfit (he actually was surprised he was in the nun outfit, but then actually hiked the dress and started running lol), and then cutting back to me. We reach the middle in this sort of tunnel/bridge underside and I'm on this ledge looking down at this guy. At this point, the two children are next to me. The guy brandishes a knife and tells me that I should "stop, before things get serious." I could sense he was talking about my journey into learning magick and that he was going to kill me if I didn't. I looked down at the children, and the children look back up to me with worry in their faces; they were worried I was going to leave them. I guess I decided to stay with them, because I cut the guy a look of pure indifference and wish him gone, and I wake up.

This would be just another weird dream of mine if I hadn't caught wind that my mentor also had a dream of the same children and the same guy that same night and gave details of these people without any kind of preconception. In his, he was teaching the children about magickal Fire when that was cut short and he ended up in a blacksmith shop which eventually lead to him fighting the same guy who was in a priest's suit and collar.

Anyyyywaaaayyy, the very last bit of news is I have been going through the articles in this Body Love Wellness post. Warning, some of the posts may be triggers; it certainly triggered me into a serious binge this past week (which can also be coupled with boredom, being super stressed re: my brother, and my seasonal depression). Either way, the articles are a must read, and so is the blog.

Chow for now!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Why I don't like Biggest Loser

The Biggest Loser is on its 14th season, and recently decided that they would include children on their program. You might be saying, "Oh, this is great. The child epidemic is finally being addressed in a successful program like BL." Well no, this is actually a bad turn of events. While I can sit here and retell you everything these next links will, I'm not. So go and read these, because holy crap.

Season 3 Biggest Loser Finalist, Kai Hibbar, recounts her traumatic experiences on the Ranch, and the horrible conditions people were forced to endure for the sake of Reality TV. 

Biggest Loser contestants can't talk out about it though, or they risk a million dollar fine.

Meanwhile, Jillian Michaels says on air that she was "proud I made [Season 2 contestant Greg] vomit." She also says she makes the contestants vomit when they work big muscle groups and that vomiting expels toxins. Where the fuck did you get your health degree, because it needs to be revoked!

How about the fact that the Biggest Loser destroys contestants metabolism?

There are other things, like previous contestants saying they have gained almost all their weight back after they left the ranch and have very bad food issues afterwards. And to have these things now pressed on children? I think not.

body love wellness recap 2012 post image #1
From Body Love Wellness. An awesome blog!!! (click on pic for link)