You May Not Know This About Me

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Both of these pictures are of me.

I have struggled with a variety of eating disorders over the years. In fact, I think my earliest memories are of the comforting feeling McDonald’s gave me when my mom woke me up in the middle of the night with the smell of French fries and the scratchy sounds of napkins being pulled from paper bags. (She worked late nights, and I had an obsessive, irrational fear that she would die in a car wreck.) When I smelled late night fast food: I knew she was home safe, and that it was finally time for me to eat.

I won’t begin to touch on the pains of being an obese kid or teenager, but at least you can see a small part of where it all began. I decided to have weight-loss surgery at age 20, and had it reversed (against my wishes) within a year because it became abundantly clear that I had gamed my surgery for bulimia, and lost too much weight, too quickly. I learned the mindset required to starve myself, and continued to shrink without the surgery. I thought I’d be happy when I got to 120 110 98 lbs., but believe me: it’s never enough.

In a weird twist of fate, I won a stack of wine books in a drawing. I wasn’t into wine, but I’m the type that has to read every book in my house, and so I did. I learned that a glass of wine could contain endless flavors and aromas; things that I once ate, which were now a distant memory, were now accessible in a glass that contained far fewer calories than the dishes themselves. Some reds could smell of gamey meats, blueberry cobbler, or even cherry pie. Champagne contained lemon zest and yeasty bread, and Chardonnays were (some would argue unfortunately so) full of butter.

My obsession with wine grew, and I attended every class and tasting I could find. Given that wine is almost always served with food, I think you can see where the story goes. I was slowly reintroduced to eating, and eating well at that; I became less and less afraid of nibbling the bits of cheese that accompanied my Pinot. Over the years I became healthy, then slightly overweight, and then healthy again. My life became a balancing act: I did not want to miss out on the things that gave me pleasure, but I did not want to overindulge and face feeling extremely uncomfortable in my plump, loose skin. These days I try to eat a low-carb diet, and work out every day at lunch. I try not to starve myself. I never throw up on purpose. I wear short shorts because I feel good about my body.

And yes, sometimes I still see myself as incredibly fat. I love food, and I hate that I wasted so much time fearing it. I remember visiting France and only allowing myself a croissant and an Orangina most days, crying and trying to purge it somehow if I allowed myself anything else. My days are spent tottering on a mental tight rope: I never want to be obese again, and I never want to let that obsession with being skinny take hold.

This is a very personal post, and I hope you will all respond with sensitivity. I have been working on an autobiography off and on for many years now, and I felt that sharing this might help inspire me to finish it, and to quit fearing what others might think if they knew this about me.

Urban Betty Salon: A Series of Selfies

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My hair was growing out, and as the roots got browner, the ends got brassier. I was looking slightly ragged, and had long since lamented that the last time I colored my hair, it didn’t turn out Targaryen White. I needed help, and decided to turn to Jami at Urban Betty Salon.

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I dragged my poor boyfriend along, and thankfully we were both greeted with drinks. (I went with wine; he went with Shiner.) My stylist was almost immediately ready to take me, which can be rare, and she was beyond patient with my waffling back and forth on, “Should I go violet or platinum? Kelly Osbourne has violet, so maybe I should avoid that.” She brilliantly came up with the idea to put on a slightly violet toner that would appear lilac in certain lighting, and silvery-blonde in the dark.

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I’m pretty chatty, and Jami kindly engaged with me as she worked. She took the time to explain what she was doing, and how long things would take. I, unsurprisingly, got a refill on my wine, and laid back comfortably as the chemicals worked their magic. When all was said and done, my hair looked exactly how I wanted (minus that fact that my @$%!%ing bangs won’t grow out fast enough!).

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If you’re looking for a new salon, one that will make you post way too many selfies to Instagram during and after (*cough cough*), then I highly recommend UB. The place is spacious, stylish, and brimming with talented people that truly care about making you look and feel like, well, like I felt. Which is hot enough to post way too many selfies to Instagram when they’re done!

Blogger Tasting at Mizu Steak & Sushi

Mizu Steak & Sushi has a beautiful view of the Texas hillcountry, but you’re going to have to drive for it. 


The happy hour runs from 5-7 and features discounted dishes, $5 wines, $4 “premium wells,” and a couple of discounted beers. The specialty cocktails are truly special, but they’re still full-price.


Some Yelp reviewers will tell you that Mizu has the best calamari in town. It’s definitely different- somehow lighter, sweeter, and less tough than any that I’ve ever tried. My photographer for this event, Matthew Blanchard, absolutely loved it.


The spicy edamame, miso sea bass, and sashimi were hands down my favorite dishes. 


Most sashimi dishes included herbs and fruit. The hamachi crudo was served with ginger pear puree, kumquat, and jalapeño, while the tuna tartar was served with watermelon and stone fruit.


The baked roll (shown above) was very rich. It contained everything from cream cheese to spicy aioli. 


By the time dessert rolled around, I was convinced that I was going to die (we were stuffed)! It was worth risking death to taste the delicious cinnamon ice cream that accompanied the warm brandied bread pudding.


Chocolate cake was a hit with the crowd, but I was more fascinated by the banana nutella cake.


As you can see, I went up a pants size on this particular night.

The takeaway: Mizu has a great happy hour, gorgeous view, and a LOT of flat screens (if sports are your thing). The calamari is a must-try, as is the edamame. The quality is better than the downtown sushi joints, so if you feel like taking a scenic drive, try them out!

Original photos by Matt Blanchard

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