Hello. Good-bye.

June 10, 2010

We are back from our fabulous vacation. One week in London and two weeks in Italy.

And while on vay-kay, I took stock. Of where I am in life and where I want to get. It’s not so much that I brooded over capuccinos feeling philosophical. It’s more that on this vacation I had a real sense of freedom and possibilities. And “me” ness to my life. Which made me think about why I don’t feel that degree of freedom and possibilities “at home.” Because I’ve created so many obligations and distractions that are not on point! There is so much I want to do and I’ve started slipping on a slope of letting the lesser important things that are more seemingly urgent take precedence over things that are less urgent but ultimately much, much more important. I committed to myself to not let any more weeks and months (and years perhaps) slip by that way, with me so distracted by busy-ness that is not at the heart of who I want to be.

I looked at all the ways I spend my days and reworked things so that I will be able to stay true to me, focused, not just busy.

I currently have four blogs and that is just c.r.a.z.y. I’m dropping this one, my day to day thoughts, and my fitness blog as I’ve decided to write a book about my year ahead. Yes, a book!

I will keep my art blog and my photography blog because those two are helping me build my career as an artist & photographer.

By cutting back on some of my extra curricular obligations I will have more time to focus on these, my goals and priorities.

Fitness & health.

Art & photography.

Family & friends.

If you’d like to follow me, I invite you to check in:

http://www.charlenecollinsfreeman.com (art blog)

http://www.fstopmoments.com/ (photography blog)

And or friend me on Facebook. And if you want to contact me about my book and or your fitness and health goals, I’d love to hear from you.

I wish you all well.




May your dreams come true.


Fat as Protection

May 29, 2010

I’ve been in Italy, with my parents, for a few days now. And immediately memories and experiences I had either forgotten or denied wash over me. The sense of not being safe. The sense of emotional mines that can go off at any moment, with any step.

Of course, my mom as commented frequently daily about my weight gain. And that I knew would be the case. No surprise there. Then, when Richard’s fiance’ (my soon to be sister-in-law) showed up, my mom went out of her way to keep pointing out how thin and beautiful she is. “Why Stefffffy, did you lose MORE weight? You are already so small…. You must be a size 0 by now!” It actually didn’t bother me as much as amuse me. Mom doesn’t realize how much I prefer she give others attention rather than me. Because again, her attention is a minefield of potential explosions and emotional amputations.

And then it hit me. I think I gained all this weight over the past 8 months precisely to protect myself. Even to spite her. It’s my size 16 going on 18 “fuck you” with a smile.

It’s stupid I know. It’s like taking poison and hoping it hurts someone else. But my issues are deep rooted to a two or three year old Char. It’s the best she mustered. I’ve never been as physically fit or happy as when I am totally focused on just me. There is no doubt that in the past year, between my wedding and then Richard’s, my focus has been on time with family. And its inevitable need for defensive shields up maneuvers. And thus, I showed up with over 50 lbs of insulation.

I’m a bit mortified at my own image and at everyone’s reaction to my new bigger broader presence. I’ve had a few moments of self-hatred but for the most part I’ve been apologetic as I’ve agreed with person after person questioning me: “You’ve gained weight haven’t you?!” Awesome.

But here I am. 214 lbs which really is incredible even for me to absorb, even now. I’m feeling insulated but still pissed. I know there are better ways to look out for myself. Being fat is something I’ve learned to do in order to take care of myself, have less expected of me, be given more time to be alone and do my own thing. And my own thing is usually just to read, paint, enjoy life. But being fat robs me of that. It’s not a defense that works. I wonder if now that this trip is here, the threats are in the present… will I be able to return home and lose the weight. Love myself. Stop building up this arsenal. Learn to honor myself and embrace what I deserve while finally accepting that there are healthier ways to keep myself safe.

In the meantime, the part of me that found it necessary to put on this much weight will have to agree, there would’ve been better ways to enjoy myself here in beautiful Europe.

Tomorrow we leave for sunny Sorrento. It’s doubtful I’ll get into a swimsuit. But I will let the beauty of days and nights wash over me. All of me. Best I can. Promised.

217 to London

May 20, 2010

Well my friends, today I weighed in at an all time high of 217. In a few hours I’m getting on a plane for a three week vacation.

I’m not looking forward to being on vacation with my fat. I think we’ll break up during this trip. Then, I will go about learning to love myself again.

My heart is set on living.

Arriverderci for now!


May 14, 2010

Yes that’s right, the numbers went down a bit. Ever so slightly. But down.

A week from today I will wake up in London, a city I’ve come to love over the years. I would like to be 205 when I do. A week after that I will be home, in Verona. I would like to be under 200. 12.8 lbs in two weeks is a tall order. I would like to be there. I would like to be that tall.

Fat = Distance

May 13, 2010

Fat adds distance. Distance to get around my waist. Distance I need to cover to connect from the inside to the world. Distance I need to cover to connect from the inside to myself.

Fat insulates. It stifles. It hides. Like prison walls, fat at first feels lonely and scary and then starts to feel safe and comforting. But in the end, when I feel fat, I feel abandoned.

Abandoned? That’s an interesting word to have pop up. Yes, abandoned. I have abandoned me. Checked out.

I know how great I feel about myself, my looks, my LIFE when I eat right, move my body, take time for myself. Live right. When I live close to me. Not far away. When I’m present, instead of distant.

Every day I prompt myself to be present, but most day I end up avoiding myself. Going to the fridge instead. “Oh look, I was looking for my authenticity but found this cake instead.”

I eat to numb myself, no doubting it, like an addiction. I begin tracking my food for the day almost every day but peter out. So much self awareness is too painful. Too overwhelming to track all this food. But my life is good. I don’t feel stressed more than just the baseline stress that comes with being alive. I feel complacent. My only stress comes from being so overweight. Which then escalates into stress about not being a good friend to myself.

Am I so against myself? I don’t think so. I think that I don’t feel that I deserve to be happy. Now that I’m out from under the heavy burden of debt and I have the opportunity every day to pursue my dream job (painting and photographing), I am burdening myself with fat. Intellectually I know that is crazy ass shit. I know we all have the right to pursue happiness. The right to be happy.

And instead of being on my own side, setting a foundation of beauty, health and confidence, I’m checking out daily, dressing unflatteringly, trying not to care. But I know the difference between going through my day feeling good about me (success breeds success) and feeling disgusted with myself (defeat begets defeat). The big difference is loving me. Celebrating me. Being close to me.

I recently read that beauty is what happens when we are in full celebration of ourselves. That’s beautiful. Truly…

Two thumbs up

May 12, 2010

It definitely did not feel like I was walking on a sandy beach or soft moss but it did feel good. I walked with much better posture and could feel the walk in muscles I usually don’t feel when walking less than two miles.

For now I give the MBT Baridi mary-janes two thumbs up. I’m not going crazy with enthusiasm but that’s likely just more about me than the shoes.

Investing in me

May 12, 2010

I have gotten cheap with myself, that’s for sure. I actually enjoy NOT spending money. But when I want something or need it, I do give it to myself pretty readily. Unless it’s something that for whatever reason I’ve classified as something I don’t deserve. Something usually in the family of purely feeling good, looking good. No functional justification…

But for the last two days I’ve been investing in me. Read: spending money at the mall. My most expensive purchase was from The Walking Company (horror of horrors… sensible shoes!).

I bought myself a pair of MBTs and just now read that they are a way of life. I’m not sure I want to commit to a shoe’s way of life. Below is the ad pitch. I’m strapping them on in 15 minutes and going for a walk. I’ll let you know if there is truth in advertising… Especially this bit about creating a pleasant feeling of walking on a sandy beach or soft moss. I hope so!

A more casual athletic style, the women’s MBT Baridi mary-jane is an athletic shoe that truly works with your body to provide positive effects. Wearing MBTs significantly improves your gait and posture and relieves stress on your joints and back. It also exercises a large number of muscles, whether you’re walking or standing, helping to stimulate the metabolism, burn extra calories and support muscle regeneration.

  • TPU and glass fiber shank adds firmness to sole construction and also ensures a natural rolling movement of the foot with every step,optimizing the pressure distribution over the whole sole.
  • Masai Sensor (Masai Barefoot Technology®) creates a pleasant feeling of walking on a sandy beach or soft moss, and instantly creates a natural instability to which the body automatically reacts, increasing muscle activity.
  • 3D mesh synthetic upper is lightweight, and highly breathable.
  • 3D mesh lining ensures cooler and drier feet.
  • MBT DRY&COOL sockliner allows for breathability, assists moisture management, is quick-drying and antimicrobial.
  • Athletic rubber outsole.
  • We recommend that you perform the MBT warm-up exercises to help get you acclimated to the MBT way of life.

"Creates a pleasant feeling of walking on a sandy beach or soft moss"....