old navy sizes – smaller than normal

i just went to old navy to take advantage of their $15 jean sale (only for today) and decided to take some time in the fitting room. i knew i needed a smaller size since i’ve been belting up my size 10 (also from old navy) for awhile now.

so i figured, “size 8… that’s what i’m looking for.”

i picked up two different types of leg opening – skinny and boot cut. both size 8.

i walked out to the mirrors where doug and chaeli were waiting for me. doug asked, “so how are they?”

looking in the mirrors, i frowned as a replied, “i don’t know. they’re comfortable. but awfully baggy around the hips/thighs. and i can definitely pull the waistband away from my stomach that it may be too loose.”

“so go and get a size smaller and see.”

size 6, this time. i came back out and modelled the smaller size for both to see. i asked, “so? how do they look?”

chaeli responded quickly, “they still look baggy.”

“what? how can that be! i’m a size 9/10 for other brands. i know old navy label their sizes smaller than the rest of the fashion world, but this is ridiculous! i’m not a size 6. i’m not even a size 8! and for cryin’ out loud, i’m SO not a size 4!”

well, i didn’t bother trying on a size 4. i do like my jeans on the more confortable size so i stuck with THEIR size 6. it’s still a bit loose but at least won’t fall off with just a tug (unlike the ones i currently own in my closet).

the thing is, i think it’s sad. that they have to lie to us women who shouldn’t be lied to about their size. what we should be told is that we’re okay the size that we are. that the size of our pants should not define who we are and that no two bodies will be the same so there is no ideal size.

i have the same issue with many scales at a few goodlife fitness centres i’ve been to. i can weigh anywhere from 5-10 lbs LESS than i know i weigh (i trust the scale at my doctor’s and at my dieticians – they have no need to lie and calibrate their scales regularly).

we don’t need to be lied to – in the end, that’s not doing us a favour. but more awareness on REAL body image is definitely a must!

thank god one company out there understands the importance of this.

artificial nocturne

I’m just as fucked up as they say
I can’t fake the daytime
Found an entrance to escape into the dark
Got false lights for the sun
It’s an artificial nocturne
It’s an outsider’s escape for a broken heart

the past.

my memory takes me back to when i was about chaeli’s age – 10 or 11. there i was sitting in the kitchen of our old house. my father, standing there beside me – hovering over me.

math. it stared back at me. numbers. something that always confused me.

he was talking impatiently, asking me to solve the problem. but i couldn’t. i barely could see the problem from the notebook anymore. and as i sat there, sweating and staring in silence, his voice started to get louder… and more anxious.

fear started to creep in as i desparately stared harder and harder – hoping, praying the answer would come to me.

there was a long period of silence before a thud was heard.

i don’t know if that thud came from his hand hitting my behind, or when i landed on the kitchen tiles after flying off my chair and under the kitchen table.

the pain of the impact his hand made on me was very real and very scary. but i was in so much more pain from not being able to please him. not being able to solve that math problem.

why couldn’t i solve it? was it true? was i stupid like he’s told me i was before?

why couldn’t i have just solved it?

the present

we’re sitting at my aunt’s and uncle’s place after dinner.

my uncle has diabetes type 2. just like me though he’s had his for 25 years. but he’s managing it. and i go to him, and my aunt as she’s been a big part of helping him manage it, for not just advice and knowledge…. but mainly for support.

and for empathy.

empathy has become a theme in my therapy sessions. i have learned that my childhood lacked empathy. and as a result, i give myself very little empathy – and through that, i have a lot of guilt. mostly from things i had no control over. it is this pain from this inner turmoil – this guilt – which has caused anxiety over every decision that i make, not just in the present, but struggle of past decisions and fear of making wrong decisions of the future. everything i do, i fear if it’s the best way.

the best way – my mother always made me see what was the best way. if some one hurt me at school, i was told which was the best way to have avoided being in that situation. if i planned to take the public transit downtown, i was instructed to the best way. on my best friend’s wedding day, when i was maid of honour (which was with such great honour, i might add, as it was one of the best days of my life), i was told my hair was not the best way for the day. the list goes on.

my father – he never told me what the best way was. he just expected me to know and i suffered his wrath if i simply did not know.

basically, a lot of people/parents will give a statement of empathy such as, i’m sorry you are going through such pain, BUT…

the ‘but’ usually negates the empathy. and that’s okay to some extent. we care and love our family and friends so much that we want to fix their problem, forgetting that the first reason they came to us was not for a fix, but simply for empathy. as humans, we’ve probably all made this mistake.

the issue with me, however, was that it was rare, in the past mostly and sometimes in the present, where i even recieved that first startement of empathy. and so, a lot of what i came home with, my problems, my struggles, was made apparent that i was responsible for everything. not accountable in some way, shape or form, but completely responsible. even if it was not my doing, somehow, i could have prevented it.

and so, i sat there at the dining table expressing my concern over my glucose levels as for the past 2 weeks, there were very high spikes i could not account for (nothing changed in my diet or exercise – yet, my levels would got up sometimes as high as 3 units after a similar lunch i had 2 weeks before with very normal readings afterwards).

i was very upset, i mentioned. and frustrated.

my dad then interjected and told me, “yeah, but, you have to take control of your sress and not obsess over this.” it wasn’t what he said. it was how he said it – a manner that expressed, this is your own-doing. there was frustration in his voice – and while i understand now that it’s his own anxiety and worry over my health, that he has no time for empathy and just wants to fix my problem for me, i was just so angry at him for not being more sensitive.

and so i responded, “yes, well, easier said than done.” in other words, okay… thanks for the piece of unwanted advice. perhaps you would like to tell me HOW to do this since you seem to have all the answers?

he was not happy with my one liner. and started to raise his voice, arguing with me that he KNOWS it’s not easy, etc. i ignored him then and returned to my conversation with my uncle who was, at least, giving me the reassurance and support i was searching for.

all the time, i thought to myself, if i wasn’t so depressed, i would be laughing. here is a person telling me to take control of my stress and yet he’s arguing with me and stressing me out even more. how is this helping, i wonder?

the summary

the above is simply an exercise of my thoughts from this past week, which links to what i posted yesterday.

i understand it is up to me to tell my parents how i require the support yet at this point, i’m not sure i’m ready to try this step as it would be a very big step. anyone who knows my parents, would understand how big it is.

the issue is that i could tell them but they would either argue back and say that they’ve always been supportive of me. or that they simply would refuse to reflect on their own path of self-improvement due to what i had already mentioned in my previous post, their lack of self-awareness.

the above video and song by metric, is a song that is close to my heart at this moment. i do not know exactly what the intentions were behind the meaning of this song, but it seems to mirror how i feel these days.

the trick with therapy

my last therapy session was good – very good. we did a lot of digging. so much was uncovered that i added another session between this last one and the next one which i had planned for early may.

i figured, before the session, that i would be ready to go every couple of months as planned. but as soon as i got home, i emailed the lovely, friendly receptionist (they chose a good candidate to take care of business in their office) and asked for another session between now and then. so about 5-6 weeks appart between each sessions.

this was my own decision and my therapists never puts any pressure on me as to when i feel the need to return. everyone is differnet. some people need to go weekly, some monthly and some, just go ever other month or so for a “tune-up”. some need more time to process the information and put it to good use before the next session. and some require the frequency to be more intense because it helps with the motivation.

i chose to make it sooner than later because i feel we’re at a crucial part of this digging.

it’s tiring, though. and painful. what i mean is that old wounds were open. i went home and for the past week since i saw my therapist, have been flooded with painful memories of my childhood. memories not forgotten but simply put away or off to the side.

there was some frustration though… these are memories i thought i was over. things that have been dealt with. i want to move on with them. i thought i had moved on from them. but the reality is that these things from the past are still here in the present. perhaps they are disguised in different shapes and forms, but they are very much still here. either metaphorically as the culprit of my anxiety/depression issues. or, evern more painfully, embedded in my current relationship with my parents.

now, as i mentioned already, i do not want to hold any ill-feelings towards my parents of my childhood. which is probably why i am frustrated with these haunting memories that have caused so much emotions.

but the truth is that, perhaps, my frustration lies in our relationship at the present moment. and i’m aware now that something happened between my father and i this past friday, just a couple of days after my therapy session, which angered me and opened up the flood gates to some of these horrible memories.

it’s a reminder – when something happens in the present, it automatically links, for me, to the past. and until i deal with my personal demons – and learn how to handle my current relationships – this will always be the case. at the least, through my progress in therapy, i’m able to link this cause and effect relationship.

it’s tricky – to be strong enough to go through all this digging, opening old wounds and NOT go to that dark place where it’s easier to just point fingers and blame them and think, you did this to me! this is the way i am because of you!

i don’t want to go there but during the most painful parts of these past few days, the temptation was there. but what point would that be? it would be vengeful and spiteful – and that will not help me in the end. plus, i know my parents just didn’t know any better way – they were raised in probably a harsher and/or more abusive way than how i grew up. and part-way through my adult life, i could see there was regret on their part.

the best thing i can do is to try and deal with this – and move forward. i’m lucky, very lucky, to be more self-aware of what is going on inside of me. unlike my parents who still to this day struggle with the concept of self-awareness.

i use this ability of mine to make sure i be a better parent to my own daughter. because i don’t want to put her through what i went through – i don’t want to pass on this anxiety/depression issue to her. i hope she has a future of much greater freedom than this type of inner prison i’ve been trapped in for decades.

stigmas of mental health are road blocks that trap us

once in awhile, some one whom i naively trust, finds out that i’ve been suffering from anxiety and depression. they are surprised i am in therapy and have been struggling with both these foes of mine for years.

that’s okay. i don’t blame them. i am a master of masking my pain in front of others. it’s part of that egocentric, grandiose perception i have of myself that defines my irrational guilt. you see, if i burden others, two things then comes into light. 1) i’m weak – and i don’t want people to see that; and 2) i then spiral into this awful guilt of burdening them and then this causes anxiety of whether or not i will chase them away with my extravagant, possibly too-much-to-handle personality which then causes depression that i’m so fucked up and abnormal and oh damn, why can’t i just be happy? yeah – that’s a small glimpse of what happens in my mind and believe me when i say small. the actual steps and thought process connecting all those main points is pretty scary.

it’s completely my own doing, really. hide behind an image and of course, people will fall for that lie if they know no better.

once in awhile, though, i’ll face some one who is stubborn. or ignorant. or both. while they may or may not know they are being a complete ass, bottom line, they are doing more harm than good.

the worse is when they say something that basically translates out to you’ll be okay. you’re not really depressed. it’s all in your head – you just need to get over it.

i’m sure most people who say this do not understand the full affect of how harmful this stigma is on mental health and some one going through it. so i’m here to try and explain what damage that type of stigma can do to a person who should be getting professional help.

like all mental health stigmas, it’s a road block and prevents a person from getting the help they need. it actually just makes them more ashamed of themselves as they retreat further in their mental illness.

to put it bluntly – if mental illness is a gun which harms/kills a person. a mental health stigma is what puts that gun directly in a person’s hand, tempting the person to pull the trigger.

death by scent

i was working out at the gym… a typical cardio session reaching about the half-way point. my breath is definitely more rapid but i can still carry on a conversation. perspiration is forming around my brows, but not so much that it’s dripping into my eyes. my heart rate was probably at the 75% max. mark.

overall, it’s where i wanted to me. it was good – i was content.

then in came these two people – a man and a woman. he stopped at a stationary bike diagonally to my right. she, on the other hand, walked past me to a treadmill diagonally to my left. as she crossed the front part of my elliptical trainer, she took off her coat.

it was at that exact moment, i felt my nose nearly scream out in pain and agony as it tried to run away from my face!

i have no idea how much perfume she bathed herself in that morning, but the stench was unbearable. i immediately react with a coughing. they both turned to me just as i started to fan my face, trying to almost swat away the scent.

i wasn’t trying to be rude. this was just the immediate and natural reaction i had.

i continued to cough as they looked at each other, shrugged and turned away. i don’t think they realized SHE was the cause of my ill-reaction.

as usual, due to my sensitivity towards strong, perfume scents, the inside of my nasal cavity started to sting until the entire inside of my noise felt like it was burning. all this happened while on one of the tv’s overhanging the front of the cardio session, the one which is stationed to the fitness centre’s personal message station, read, please be mindful of wearing heavy perfume and scents while at the gym.

i looked over towards her at that particular moment. nope, she was oblivious.

the next few minutes got worse. her own sweat mixed with the perfume she was doused in, caused a chemical reaction which not only magnified the scent but altered it to something even more hideous and extravagant.

i had had enough. i got off my machine and chose the one furthest away from her within my section. it was a bit better but every now and then, her scent still managed to attack my nose.

i beg both women and men to take notice of this… PLEASE be mindful of the amount of perfume or cologne you put on. most places are becoming scent-free as more and more people are showing allergic reactions to the chemicals found in fragranced products. but it is particularly worse at the gym.

i plan to write to our gym and ask that they replace their courtesy message which only comes on every 20 minutes or so for only a few seconds, to posters at each section of the gym. and to heavily consider replacing the courtesy message to a scent-free policy message. a lot of gyms are doing this now – it’s not at all new.