Friday, August 28, 2009

What's left of Victoria Beckham?

Hello Bloggies,
I saw a photo of Victoria Beckham in the newspaper last week. Or should I say, I saw a photo of what is left of Victoria Beckham.
I don't know much about this attractive young woman except that she was a "Posh Girl" from Great Britain, and I am assuming that this reference is to a popular singing group. (Can you tell than I am old and getting older by the day?)
It was a side view and if you didn't look really hard, you would have missed her, the poor thing. Yes, she has a beautiful face, very beautiful, I would say. But her body? Her shoulder blades betray a beautiful skeleton and the circumference of her arms ( dangling and floating from the shoulder bone) was not much more than the width of my tooth floss.
So, this lovely young Brit comes to the good ol' USA and adds to the absurdity of our young girls being obsessed with an emaciated body image. We don't really need any outside assistance, do we? We are doing a bang up good job on our own.
That's why I wrote this little book, "The Joyful Life of a Diet Dropout". I am not a young girl anymore but I was also becoming obsessed with the American preoccupation with thinness. When I did the research on how many of our young girls are dieting and the horrifying percentage of girls who will progress to pathological dieting, I was terrified. It was then that I realized that I was promoting the whole scam and bought into it hook, line and sinker.
Pictures of this social icon, Victoria Beckham, solidify the wrong message to the next generation of women.
Women should have curves! Curves don't automatically adhere to bones! In fact, they are the antithesis to bones! Eating is a joy! Dieting is the curse! And of course, I am only speaking to those of us who are not overweight in a way that our health is affected. And I am not advocating that we do away with exercise! But eating healthy and staying fit do not have to involve starving, diet crazes and obsession with how we look!
Please, Victoria, have a hot fudge sundae. And it has to be three scoops. Believe me, lovely young lady, you will look a lot better. And maybe smile, too.
I'm also hoping you will discover cheesecake.
Sending love and "love yourself" vibes,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Was Michael Jackson Bulimic?

Greetings Blogosphere!
Yesterday, I read an interesting blog on by Dr. Abby Aronowitz, Ph.D. It was about Michael Jackson and the possibility of a link to his alleged bulimia in the past to his recent demise.
Dr. Abby talks about Michael's essentially "turning against" himself in different ways (although she didn't put it exactly like that). Eating disorders weaken our bodies, that is a well known fact. And while there may be no "smoking gun" of a current eating disorder in his case, one of his staff was assigned to make sure he ate. That's got to indicate a problem and Dr. Abby makes the valid point that an eating disorder can weaken your body to the extreme of death. Even if the cause of death is a drug addiction, your body is weakenend to the extreme and cannot deal with the physical trauma caused by drug overdose as well as a well nourished body.
I remember the death of Karen Carpenter, another phenomenal musician. I loved her music. Anorexia stole her beautiful voice and robbed us of many songs that we would have loved to hear. She died at a very young age. Anorexia silenced her song. Something silenced Michael Jackson's beautiful song, too. I wonder how much it had to do with an eating disorder. I hope that some day, we will know, so that others may not follow down that fatal path.
I met Senator Chris Dodd (D-Ct) at a Chili Fest in Somers, Ct. where I was doing a book signing. (He bought a book). I was telling him some of the sobering statistics regarding eating disorders in young children. He told me that he will be beginning hearings in Wash. DC on eating disorders in the fall. That's why I put up the Eating Habits Survey on my blog. I'm hoping that many will send me their stories and I will forward them to Sen. Dodd for these hearings. From what people are sharing at my book signings, we only know the tip of the iceburg regarding this subject.
I would love to hear from you. Won't you look over the survey and send me your comments? Do you think that Michael Jackson's death had something to do with pathological eating?
sending love,

Friday, August 21, 2009

Eating with Remorse

Greetings to The Blogophiles,
We heard today that 30% of Americans are obese. Wow! Being substantially overweight increases the chances of all kinds of health problems: especially heart disease and diabetes. The book I have just released "The Joyful Life of a Diet Dropout" does not advocate an out-of control diet or promote obesity.

I am making the much needed point that as a society, we are becoming obsessed with how we look. If 30% of Americans are obese, than why are 80% of American women on diets? Shouldn't that be 30%? And that figures includes males as far as obesity.

So, why are 50% more of us on diets, over and above the 30% who qualify as obese? I think that those statistics substantiate my claim that we are a nation (and maybe a world) disturbed by "thin thinking".

I was on the "Fat Cell Hamster Wheel" for more years than I care to admit. I wish I could have some of those years back and could have begun to enjoy one of the joys of life (Food!) a long time before I eventually woke up and smelled the bacon.

I read an article on remorseful eating recently that will illustrate what I am saying. This poor lady wrote a whole article on how she ate several chocolate chip cookies and whipped herself all day over how "out of control" she was. She had given in to temptation to wreck her body, she said. She even made a statement that if she succeeded in becoming thin and remained that way for the rest of her life, she would still not be able to enjoy her life because she would suffer from the fear of gaining weight. She used a lot of deep talk in this article about psychological needs and a lot of it was very good. But the remorse she felt over eating these couple of cookies was palpable in this article. She admitted that she did not accept herself for the way she was.
That's the tragedy. I could tell by this article that this was a lady I would love to meet. She was articulate and surely sensitive. She has bought into the lie that the way we look is the all-powerful motivator in life. She believed in exercise and tried to eat a healthy diet. But this little "cookie blip" had catapulted her into the land of self-disgust. Been there, done that.
These delusional "thin thinking" principles are joy busters. It's really okay to have a few cookies! It's not okay to eat yourself into obesity. But it's really more than okay to accept yourself for who you are and giving yourself permission to have a little treat that you en-joy (key word: the last three letters: joy!).
I just had a little baby hot-fudge sundae. First one in months.
Oh, yea baby. There is not a negative vibe floating anywhere near my happy little tummy!
Tell me about your guilt trips?????
Chocolate Lips

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Joyful Life of owning a new Puppy

Hello Bloggophiles!
Are you noticing that I am creating new words for bloggers? I am not sure, but someone else may have said these words before. So what else is new? That's the story of my life.
But Excitement! We have a new puppy! "Miss Liberty". We call her "Libby". We bought her on 7/4, so we had to call her something related to freedom.
She is 9 weeks old and we have had her for two weeks. I am not exaggerating when I say she is the cutest puppy you will ever lay your eyes on. A Golden Retriever. Looks like she just stepped out of a commercial, only cuter. My husband, Pat and I have been discussing getting a puppy since "Murphy" died 9 months ago.
Some history: We went to Mass. to buy "Harriet", an Old English Sheepdog pup and we bred her twice. The second litter, we kept the pick and named him
"Murphy" in honor of one of my favorite people in the whole world, Betty Murphy Mitchell who has gone to heaven to prepare our place there.
Well, I was in total denial, but we kept them both for a horrendous year. Harriet hated her offspring. We finally gave her away and kept "The Murphenator". "The Murph" lived for 13 years and went to live with Betty in Heaven 9 months ago. We were in mourning. Both Pat and I and our son, Ben.
We have been talking about getting a pup for months now.
Finally, on 7/4, I could not take it anymore. Reading the Hartford Courant, I saw Golden pups advertised from a breeder, ready that day.
Pat, Ben and I went to scope out the pups. Ben wanted to bring all six home but we settled on "Miss Liberty". Our friend, Dennis (this blog designer) had introduced us to "Miss Pickles", a shitzu he had rescued a few months before, so we named our pup in honor of her. (If you love this blog he designed, let us know and we will ask him if he can take on another client). Dennis advised us that web-sites are passe and blogs are the way to go. I like the inter-active nature of the blog because we really want to hear from you.
Well, anyway! Our lives are not the same!
There is another woman in our house! The attention I have received in the last two weeks is zippo! When I hear Pat say (with such excitement in his voice) every morning, "Well, my sweetheart, did you sleep well"? I look happily at him to answer, but I quickly see he is addressing the dog. I walk away, sulking.
Then he says, "Honey, are you hungry? Can I get the sweetest girl in the world something to eat"? No, really, it is okay if I starve as long as the DOG gets her dish filled! Then, he says "Honey, can I get you some cold water"? No, really, it's okay, I can get it myself, you swine.
The only time I am sure that he is not talking to me is when he says to "Libby", (in that sickly sweet, baby talk voice) "Honey, do you need to go outside to poop"? I am really serious here. I am NOT going to be going outside to poop under a tree anytime soon (at least not on a leash, thankyou)!
So you see what our lives have become in two weeks? And I wanted this dog, this suddenly subversive "other woman"?
Well, it's a good thing I love her as much as he does. (I hope).
My writing is all about "living a joyful life". Getting a puppy is really good advice for living one.
My son, KC, who was visiting last week from San Francisco, said that Libby had two speeds: full speed ahead and stop. She is a canine cyclone. Cuter never happened in a furry puppy.
So, if you need a shot of joy, get one. And be prepared to move over in the love and attention department if you've got anyone else living with you. But that's okay. She will give you more love than you lost.
Shoeless Susan
(yea, she really loves my shoes but I had too many, anyway!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Comparison Trap

Salutations to bloggophites,
We went to the beach yesterday. Rocky Neck, Ct. in Old Lyme. It's a great beach, a little smaller than some nearby ones so not quite as crowded. But crowded enough to people watch.
I am fascinated with why we, as women, are so interested in comparing ourselves to other women. That's what got me started on my diet obsession for ten years. How many hot fudge sundaes have I missed?
I am like most women, I compare myself. "Look at that model, she is thin, therefore, gorgeous. I want to be gorgeous so I must be thin". Except that my distorted thinking didn't warn me that she was 6 feet tall and weighed 117 lbs! (that's average for a model) while the average American woman is 5'4" and weighs 140 lbs. Now why don't we compare ourselves to that?
Anyway, on the beach yesterday, I noticed that most of the women who were there (baring the almost naked truth) were not thin at all. Most of them were actually on the verge of looking pretty curvy! We would save ourselves a lot of time, energy, money and self-esteem if we lived back in "The Day" when curves were in. Remember those wonderful Rembrandts?
But I started thinking about The Comparison Trap more globally. We observe what is accepted as "normal" in our society. I don't think we consciously do this, but we all do it, big time. And then we measure how we fit into the standard, whatever it is that we are considering. It could be so many things. It is "normal" to be tall if you are a man. So, if you are short, too bad for you. Get elevator shoes. Men should have hair. If you are bald, get a rug. If you are a woman, you should not have wrinkles. Buy those expensive products or get a face lift. Women should also have big breasts. You know what you have to do.
People should be married. What's wrong with you if you haven't found that perfect mate? And if you are married, you should have children. You raise eyebrows if you choose not to. You can use your imagination to go on and on with the comparisons we make. Sexual orientation is a big one. Step outside of society's "norms" and you will pay the price.
But isn't it true that we make the comparisions ourselves and suffer the consequences? Does it really matter what others think of us?
I don't think it does. It matters a lot what we think of ourselves. And when we open ourselves to The Comparison Trap, we will always be unsatisfied in some way because each one of us will not measure up on one scale or another.
You know what I have observed now that I have graduated to the grandmother status? Old people really do have a lot of answers. But our society has a construct that getting older is a negative. How absurd! Getting older is a hoot! You can say and do what you want and you don't really care anymore about those silly comparisons! I wrote somewhere that it is a very frustrating thing to have so many answers when nobody asks any questions. I was trying to be funny but it is true. So, the next time you face the temptation to compare yourself to someone else or even worse, to the distorted "norms" of our society, watch out! Catch yourself! Go get some dark chocolate and do something fun for yourself! Get a dog. They won't compare you to anyone or anything. Just love ya.
I love ya, too.
Does anyone get what I'm trying to say????
Is there anyone listening?????

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Borders Book Signing in Farmington CT July 11, 2009

Borders Book Signing in Farmington CT July 11, 2009

Thanks to everyone who attended the book signing today at Borders in Farmington! It's so interesting to talk to women about their own diet wars.

I promised to talk a little about how this book came to be.
A funny thing happened on the way to this book. I was trying to get another book published (on poetry with painting illustrations) and I was getting rejection after rejection. It seems that you have to be dead (or on life support) before anyone will publish poetry.
Anyway, to amuse myself (while waiting for the next rejection letter) I started writing a humorous look at my tortured years of dieting. I wrote about the "principles of dieting" that I learned in many different ways, every new diet, books, magazines, nutrition counselors and on and on. After at least ten years of obsessing about my weight, I finally hopped off The Fat Cell Hamster Wheel and began enjoying food again without becoming anxious about everything I popped in and feeling guilty that I was such an out-of control failure. This book is about self-acceptance, really. About accepting yourself for your great qualities, not equating your worth with how much you weigh. I am not advocating a life of gluttony without exercise, but rather to enjoy life and one of the joys of life is food! Everything in moderation has always been a wise life choice. So, eat healthy and well, have some chocolate (a hot fudge sundae once in a while), stop counting calories (a sure-fire way to keep the obsessive lifestyle operational), exercise as much as you can (you can get obsessed about that, too). But remember, this book is not intended for anyone who is overweight in a way that health is affected. It is for those ranks of women who are a size or two over what they would like to be.

Tell Susan Your Diet Up’s & Down's by Posting your Options in our Comments???

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hey Blogosphere!

I'm back! I want to let you know about my book signing tomorrow (Saturday 7/11/2009) at Borders in Farmington. The address is 1600 South East Rd. Farmington. (860-674-8110). This store is approximately 1/4 mile from the West Farms Mall. The signing will be at 2:00.

I would love to see you there. You can get directions on internet by typing in: to store locater...type in Farmington, Ct.

I'll give you some chocolate if you come!

Tomorrow I will talk about how the book "The Joyful Life of a Diet Dropout" came to be and about the importance of The Eating Habits Survey that you can take directly on my blog.
Till then!