21 April 2016

New Attitude :)

I'm slowly updating this - though - I'm not in love with this backdrop - but for now - there is so much I want to say about the scale.

And how letting go of it...
has been my greatest accomplishment.

Numbers in general...
depicting my self worth.

Or my beauty.

We matter.
We are loved.
And no number on any scale has ever told me that.

17 March 2016

Re-Air and Refresh ;)

March is always sentimental.

It's the time of the year the entire Extreme Weight Loss casting process started in Philly.
At the same time, I had just moved to Philly from Massachusetts, leaving my biological sister in the Western MA area after meeting her for the first time and having her move in with me in MA.
Started dating Joseph.
Had just started the Rock school a few months before.

Was falling in love with my kids.
And just lost Polina in a tragic accident.

March was literal madness.
In some amazing and not so amazing ways.

When the show ended and aired - life progressed forward.
Somehow on fast forward.


Try out for musical.
Land role as Eponine.

Apply for teaching job.
Start teaching 3rd grade at the Disney World of Elementary Schools.

Reconnect with old love.
Fall HEAD over heels.

Dream of attending the Tony Awards.
Attend the Tony Awards.

Travel to see the cast of Season 4.
Run the Warrior Dash.

Agree that NYC is our space.
And put down some roots.

Fall in LOVE with my school
And let's face it - my kids.

And I LOVE my days these days.
Intermixed here is a lot hard things.

Like travel the road of a nasty eating disorder.
That honestly.
Still wages a battle against my body and mind.

Though the Frida Kalho dress I'm rocking today says I'm more confident than I really feel.
I run.
I eat.
I actually eat.

I don't count calories and haven't stepped on a scale in YEARS.
I am not currently BDD clean.
I purge.
I make mistakes.
And I wrack my body trying to gain control of other things by controlling the intake and output of food.

Heidi has always called this perfectly imperfect.
This Authentic Heidi - is my absolute favorite :).


The brokeness I just typed:

While on the show and immediately following - it did.

And now.
After a little....TON...of therapy...keeping it real...it only explains a piece of me.

As does any snapshot of life on TV.
In a blog.
In random photos on facebook, instagram or twitter.

Snippets from a life lived well.
That was a long way of saying - tonight TLC wherever you are will re-air Jason and Rachel's episode.

To say that I love them is an understatement.
Letting pieces of my EWL family go into oblivion was difficult, but a necessary part of moving forward.  I'll be watching tonight, just to hear Rachel's laugh and see the twins.
And remember it all.

Next Thursday TLC will re-air my episode.
And I'll refresh my memories of that time.
And those people.
The Lauren's
And the Jason's
and Tom's

and Tina's and Kristen's.

Who defined my life at that time.
And I will be refreshed at the same time.
That my life now is different.
Better even.
More loved.
More loving.
More open.
And free.

Harder in some ways.
I travel WAY more than I ever did before.
Less money.
More bills.
Less time to be with more people.
And I wish I had more time for EVERYONE.

But all in all.
My life is beautiful.
And I'll be watching next week.
Not in vanity.

But in sanity.
That in that insane time.
A little more put together - WHOLE person emerged with a theater family.
And true love.
And a passion for singing.
And for mattering.
And being seen.

And honestly?
That's WAY more than I ever could have dreamed at 290 pounds.

01 July 2015


*Written in April.
But totally applicable at different points in my life.

I keep putting off this blog post.
Don't ask me why.
Being vulnerable really isn't the issue.
That's my life.
And I'm positively happy sharing it with you.
The brokeness - that is.

It's more like - being crazy in front of you.
That scares me.
And Dr. Jill would say, it's not about crazy.

It feels.

That's not exactly how I feel at this moment.
It's more like.
Everyone would be better.
Without me.

It is an overwhelming, suffocating feeling.
That to function in public around it - at times - is impossible.

And this feeling - has truly, never gone away.
No matter what.
Or light.
Or Joy.

No matter how many incredible people invade the space I live in.
Or love me.
It is ever present.
And in every way distorts any attempt to build me up.
::I'm sorry I take up so much space in the world::

"You look amazing!"
Translates to "You disgust me."
"You're creative, where do you get those amazing ideas!"
Translates to "Everyone hates you."
"You have an amazing talent."
Translates to "Why do you even bother?  Everyone would be better..."

I can not explain it to you anymore than that.
Except to tell you the translations are painful.
Inside my body.
I want so badly to hear you.
All of you who sprinkle my life with unending goodness.
And I try.

Dr. Jill and I once tried to get to the root of the translations -
I could not then.
And I can not now - explain to you why this happens.

Because the translation is not comforting or safe.
It is not self serving or helping -
It's lonely.
And debilitating.
And it rings in my ears.
There are words complimented years ago - that ring with the self loathing I have always known.

Tonight  - one of my dear friends and I were talking about something written about me.
And how he was so excited for me.

We've been friends long enough for him to know - it was painful for me to read.
"How do you feel?"
I sucked in hard.  A deep breathe caught in my throat.
"I can't own that."
"Because.  It translates to - everyone hates me."
"I can not explain that to you.  But it is crushing me."

He went for the hug because sometimes, that's all he CAN do.
And he's a doer.
Into his shoulder, I repeated, "Crushing me."

So we put in a movie.
And chose to pick up the words that were crushing me and indulge in a little Serendipity.

At these times.
When the translations crush me.
And this crush has been building for months.
Sometimes all we can do is laugh.
Tell funny stories.
Watch a favorite movie.
And read affirmations.
Like these.

The most crushing feeling within these translations is that...it all happens on the inside.
And the facade assures you - I'm okay.

Even though, I'm being crushed.

This post got real serious.
And almost - too real.
Maybe that's what keeps the world from collapsing in on me.
A little note to you.
That I am here.
And even with a thousand things mistranslating into my brain.

Little self.
Holds onto mattering.
I love you matterers.
Most of all, tonight.
Right now.
As you are.

29 June 2015

#LAHC Summer Number Two

I've been trying - since my long trip home from Colorado - to articulate - in any form - the magnitude of camp.

It hasn't happened.

It just hasn't.

It seems too big to put into words.
And somehow so finite it barely requires talking about.

Yes, friends, nature is the bomb.
I can't.
I'm over here just can'ting.

Something exceptionally healing even though the location itself isn't the biggest piece of camp.

I'd be hard pressed to express to you what the most important piece is, because it all seems to MATTER.

And since I'm a big lister during the school year, I've come up with the top 5 things that changed my life this summer @ LAHC.

(For those of you who weren't with me last summer - use the search box on the right and type CAMP to catch up on all things Adoption Camp)

#5: Communing with Nature and Music.  In a lot of the parent workshops (in which I operate as the rogue adoptee - and I LOVE IT.), we spent a lot of time talking about outlets and what healthy options we have for our children (in here I include my students - since I have no plans on starting a family...ever) and talk always came back to music, singing, dance, sports, and anything outdoors.  Yes, yes, and more yes.  Theater, inclusive of , but never limited to my theater family and my deep passion for all things musical, there has always been a community there, when things felt hopeless.

#4 Community.  I mean.  I grew up in the white suburbia of Western Massachusetts and if you want to do the math with me, I graduated with a class of 342.  12 of us were latino/a.  TWELVE.  Within that subsect ONE, me, was adopted.  I often straddle the line of a delicious ho-ho.  Brown on the outside, white on the inside.  It is pervasive.  And constant.  Sometimes it's everything, sometimes, it's not that big of a deal.  Never more, is it more obvious than standing in a room of a latinos who are largely - sharing my experience growing up.  Anonymity and acceptance in one space.  It's magical.
#3 Parents. My own adoptive parents were amazing at times and epic failures at others.  They are people who do not own their own work and rather sit in their own worlds. not wanting to do work to better themselves, comfortable where they are, who they are, even if it means never being who they might become.  But at camp.  Well.  I am surrounded by parents who want to be more.  Do more.  Who want nothing more than to be enough for their children.  Know enough to help their children.  I admire them.  The work they are doing.  My mothers are beautiful and flawed and as an adult I have come to understand their choices, even if I don't agree or accept them.  I see where my parents are and know that I want more.  To live more openly and constantly be open to change and love.  Parents at LAHC, I openly and unabashedly think, want that too.  They want the most for their children. That is a beautiful thing.

#2 Adoption is BEAUTIFUL.   Never more do I understand this than in groups at camp.  Families that match on the inside, even if they don't on the outside.  Long black hair and caramel skin rubbing up against the lighter shades of parents.  Adult adoptees searching for themselves and connection, navigating through their hurt and pains, trials and tribulations.  There is something more beautiful than I can contextualize about growth.  And families of adoptees are constantly in growth.  Learning, opening up, changing, finding more beautiful branches off a darkened path.  I am often filled with so much beauty that I can't seem to digest it all.  One night I sat with other adult adoptees in what I can only deem a difficult conversation.  But.  The best, best, best, way to describe it - beauty in the break down.  And I think it's safe to leave it there.  Adoption is Beautiful.

#1 Be the Change.  This year I worked with middle and high school adoptees around the idea of being the change they wish to see in the world.  They T-1ed their writing to list as many of the world problems and narrowed their lists into umbrella topics.  Once the lists were complete they spent the rest of their time in groups designing ways to solve these problems.  Lists included poverty, racism, hate, fear, war, violence, drugs, guns, education, equity, etc.  Their ideas.  As teens, and pre-teens.  They.  Knocked.  It.  Out.  Of.  The.  Park!  Their ideas were genuine and thoughtful, open and thinking.  One of my favorite moments was talking about BIG change and little change and that changes can start small, and Ana told me this great story about a man and a dog.  I can't remember the whole thing and it's more about like the Boy and the Starfish story.  But that moment with her was one of my favorites.  She gets it.  That change will come with them.  Each of them has the power to make their own mark.  Each of them is perfect.  And beautiful.  And have made me better.  Healed me in their hearts.  Their thoughts, and their dreams for the future.

Matterers, camp is a magical place.
You are beautiful.
And loved.

We Matter.

15 March 2015

I can.

Member tweety?
And he'd be all like..."I tawt I taw a putty tat...I DIIIIIIID. I DIIIIIIID." 

Has been on my heart for a while.
And it needs to be here, to get out of me.

Picture me.
In the dermatologists office.
Working on getting back on Stelera.
Praying to the insurance Gods that they'll approve it.

When out of the blue, Dr. H says,"How much do you weigh?"
Stopping for a moment, the room stood still. 
As air left the room, I hesitated.
"230 or 240? I'm not sure," I said.

In disbelief.
I sat in his office morbidly obese.
You ugly fat girl.
 He slowly turned around in his chair.
"There is no way."
"I don't really know," I said.
Great, I thought, I must be over 250.

"There is no way you're even 200 pounds, sweetie."
"Really. Body dysmorphia?"
"I'll put 200, but I don't really think that's right."

He never made me step on scale.
And I'm proud that this May will be 2 years since I have.
It'll also be 6 months without a consistent pattern to my bulimia. It would have been a perfect 6 months, but.

I have beautiful amazing friends who have started getting their already svelt bodies ready for bikini season, and that has fu$%ed with my head, BIG TIME.

Moving on. This post is actually about my gym.
And my trainer.
He and I have spent the last year trying to find balance.
With my bulimia, my training, and my love of my self.

It hasn't always been easy.
There were times he desperately wanted to weigh me in.
Help me track my progress.
There were workouts where I'd just purged.
Or hadn't eat in...hours...days...weeks.

We hustled through them.
And it was this beautiful Sunday morning.
That we got to talking.
About what I weigh now.

And the point he was trying to make.
That I love more than anything was that he was proud of me.

"You have come in here with energy, ready to work.  You've eaten, I can tell."

I smiled through my side lunges.
"And better yet, you are always honest with me.  If it's been a bad week, it's been a bad week."
And I love that.

I chuckled to myself as I goblet squatted.
Today, I loved myself enough to eat, keep it down, and drive to the gym.

To work out enough but not too much.

I thought I saw your inner light shining.