Tag Archives: Judy Garland

Every Little Step

There it is. I saw this on Pinterest (Obsessed. Did you know it’s the fastest growing social media site ever? I learned that from an infographic I saw on Pinterest) and it really resonated with me.

Recovery is one of those things that everyone thinks they’ll be able to just jump into as soon as they make up their mind to. Obviously since we’re completely in control of our eating disorder we’ll be totally in control of our recovery, right? I think fighting for recovery on my own, outside of treatment, was the first time I’d realized just how in control of my eating disorder I wasn’t. I thought I’d be fixed overnight, but almost a year later I’m still far from “recovered”. I mean, I’m doing well with the food stuff, but I still have a long way to go before I feel “normal”.

Y’all know I love me a good metaphor, and I’ve got a good one for this “steps to recovery” thing. And guess what: it’s dance-related.

When I started back into ballet in January, I figured I’d just pick back up where I left off. I mean, I’d only been off dance for less than a year. No matter that I’d starved off all my muscle and regained a ton of weight that, well, wasn’t muscle: I was gonna be a ballerina in no time!

No such luck. Nothing was working like it was “supposed” to. I was driving myself insane(r) trying to focus on everything I needed to fix. I couldn’t fix everything at once. So, I decided to do it in chunks. First chunk I fixed: my arms. I figure it doesn’t matter what your feet are doing, so long as your upper body looks supported and correctly positioned. My arms improved. Other things improved along with it without my noticing. I’ve worked my way through my body, focusing on a new part every few weeks: core, turnout, spotting, feet, leg stretch. I’m never going to be a prima ballerina, but I’ve improved a lot.

I feel like the same thing is true for recovery. You’re probably not going to be able to eat a cake right away (or even a year later, in some cases . . . so I’ve heard . . . ) but something is better than nothing. I started off by adding things to what I was already eating. I added an apple to my bowl of (in the interest of not sharing any unhealthy tips and tricks, I’ll just call it “air”) , and adding bit by bit, slowly that bowl evolved into my über healthy current breakfast. The current breakfast contains no (air), but I almost didn’t notice it changing. Almost. It was fucking terrifying every step, but the little steps were WAY more manageable than going from (air) to my souped-up steel cut oatmeal.

Patience is hard. But so is recovery. Baby steps make it less hard – slightly. The important thing is to keep taking the steps. When you stop stepping forward, you start stepping backwards, and I promise: that’s not where you really want to be.

(P.S. The pint-sized prima ballerina? Baby Liza. She’s never looked more like her Mama)

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What It’s Like to “Know Somebody”

Happy (?) Day 3 of NEDA Awareness Week! Tomorrow is Wear Purple Wednesday to raise awareness/show solidarity. I wore my purple socks today, so it looks like I’m wearing my purple-ish shirt tomorrow. Join the party! Purple is pretty 🙂

Since the theme this year is “Everybody Knows Somebody”, I thought I’d dedicate this post to those who know somebody. As excruciating and painful as it is to be consumed by an eating disorder, it’s pretty hellish to watch someone you love go through it, too. I’ve been on both sides, and hell is hell, no matter who you are.

The other day, before the Oscars, the 1954 version of A Star Is Born was on tv. It’s the best version, in my opinion, starring Judy Garland (not so much looking forward to the Beyonce remake . . . ). There is a famous scene where Judy, as Esther/Vicki, talks about what it’s like to live with her alcoholic husband (played by James Mason). Judy, herself, suffered with drug and alcohol addiction, which I think makes this scene even more poignant. While addiction and eating disorders aren’t exactly the same thing, the effects and the mental/physical torture are similar enough.

Eating disorders and addiction affect everyone touched by them, so it’s up to us all to fight against them. Please share with those you know, take a stand, get help if you need it (there are groups for sufferers AND friends/family of sufferers out there), and maybe wear a little purple tomorrow. It takes a village to raise a child, and a community to save a life.

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Day 9 – If Music Be the Food of Love, PLAY ON!!!!

“2 Songs”

Seriously?!? How am I supposed to pick just two? Ok. The first one is easy enough. If you know anything about me, or have been reading the past few days of blogs, this should come as no surprise.

1. Over the Rainbow It’s just a perfect song, and Judy does it so beautifully. I want to introduce you to another version of it that I love, by Eva Cassidy. There are few interpretations of this song I love apart from the original, and this is one of them . . . maybe the only one.

Number two is harder. I love so many songs . . . but this is a song I refer to as “my song”. I was (to the best of my knowledge) the first person in Canada to sing this song, and it’s always meant a lot to me. This video is of a very talented singer and actress (and a lovely human being) named Stephanie J. Block. For those of you “in the know” in the theatre world, she was Liza in The Boy From Oz, Grania in The Pirate Queen, Judy in 9 to 5 – The Musical, and the role of Elphaba in Wicked was written for her. This song is from a musical called Piece by a young, up-and-comer named Scott Alan. The lyrics in this video are not the finalized version, but I just love SJB’s performance here. Enjoy.

2. Neverland (Fly Away)

I also have a playlist that I will share with you at some point (when I’m low on inspiration) full of musical theatre songs that I find inspirational and to have some “ED” metaphor hidden within. Stay tuned. Get it? “Tune”d? If you don’t hate me for that comment, share some of your favorite songs in the comments.

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Day 8 – Popcorn, anyone? No?

“3 Films”

I’m glad they worded it “films”, not “movies”. It just sounds classier . . . and I’m nothing if not fucking classy. Three movies . . . as hard a task as narrowing down books. Again, I’ll do categories.

1. Favorite Classic Film: The Wizard of Oz. This also falls under the categories of “Favorite Childhood”, “Favorite Musical”, and “Favorite All-Time” to name a few. I always watched it when I was home sick from school as a child. Again, we know I love Judy, and all things Oz . . . really, it was a pretty obvious choice.

From mymodernmet.com

2. Favorite Modern Film: Moulin Rouge! Such a great movie . . . the “just ok” voices of its stars make it seem more like real people just breaking into song. Such a beautiful story, and I love Baz Luhrmann’s direction. So pretty to look at!

From minimalmovieposters.tumblr.com

3. Favorite “Just Because” “Feel Good” Film: The Proposal. Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite actresses, and Ryan Reynolds is just goofy enough to make his good looks not overwhelming. The story gives me hope that someday someone will love me in spite of my bitchiness. Oh! And Betty White. Who doesn’t love Betty White?

From entertainmentwallpaper.com

Hooray for movies! Second only to musicals in escapist entertainment. We know T-cat likes Lord of the Rings . . . Anyone like anything else?

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Day 2 – All You Need Is Love

Day 2 of the 10 day challenge is

“9 Loves”

So here goes.

1. Family and friends. Duh. Pretty sure you’re an asshole if you don’t include this.

2. Music. For so many years, the only way I could express myself was through song. It was always safer to say how I felt using someone else’s words, made more beautiful by the music. A good song can make you feel things you didn’t know you had inside you, and can allow you to breathe when you didn’t know you’d been holding your breath.

3. Nature. Trees, birds, flowers, the sky, butterflies . . . all things that make the world more beautiful and remind you that, even when everything looks dark in your life, there is light and freedom available to you, if you open your eyes.

4. Judy Garland. We covered this last post, but that woman never fucking gave up, and lived to make the world a better place through her art. You gotta love that kind of determination and, well, love.

5. Tea. I was a coffee girl for a lot of years, and it was a big part of my eating disorder. This summer, I discovered David’s Tea. They have the greatest collection of loose leaf teas in every variety: white, green, black, oolong, pu’erh, mate, rooibos, and herbal, and about a million flavors to choose from. My favorites are Forever Nuts and Mom’s Apple Pie. They help me get in my water content for the day (still a battle), and taste like a big hug.

6. Books. I’m a big nerd. I always have at least one book on the go (I think I have 4 right now), and love to escape into a good story. I also love auto/biographies . . . You can learn a lot from real people. Some of my favorite books are: The Wizard of Oz series (I have 10 of the originals, including a couple 2nd editions. My dream is to own a first edition of The Wizard of Oz), The Red Tent by Anita Diamant,  Dancer by Colum McCann and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Auto- and biographies: Get Happy about Judy Garland, Alan Alda’s books, and old Hollywood autobiographies, because they use old-timey language (Kate Hepburn, Fred Astaire, etc.) Oh! I also really like The Hunger Games trilogy.

7. Keeping on the über nerd theme, I fucking love learning. I was born curious: my dad tells the story of how, when I was born, the doctor lifted me up and I was already straining against his hands to turn my head and look around me. Nowadays, I’m still fascinated about everything. If I learn a little bit about something, I want to know everything about it. I like learning to craft to: just learned how to knit, so I can make Christmas presents for everyone . . . I overestimated myself, though, and all my friends and family might have to share one scarf . . . Also, once I learn how to do something and have mastered it, I never want to do it again, because the fun of learning how to do it is gone. Oh well. At least this nerdiness will come in handy, since I will have to go back to school if I want a good career . . .

8. All things vintage. I firmly believe I was meant to live sometime between 1920 and 1950. I love the fashion, I love the artwork, the music, the movies, old pictures, old people . . . Another dream is to own a vintage Kelly bag. Come on. It’s got my name! I have to have one!

9. Finally, even though I retired from it, I still love musical theatre and performing. Basically, it makes me believe in a happily ever after. It’s like G.K. Chesterton says about fairy tales:

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

Thanks for caring enough to read . . . anyone willing to post a love or two? No takers so far on the secrets . . . hmmm.

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What’s a blog without a little theft?

While blog surfing earlier today (totally doctor-approved exercise) I found a 10-day blog challenge. Apparently recovering from an eating disorder isn’t challenging enough for me, so I’ve decided to tackle it. Here’s my stolen challenge:

 

Not sure if it’ll happen in ten consecutive days, but it’ll happen eventually.

Day 10: Ten Secrets

1.   I play the extrovert really well, but in actuality I’m really shy and socially awkward.

2.   I am an Olympic gold medalist . . . in singing. In Y2K they created a “Choir Olympics” and my choir medal-ed in the Children’s Choir Category. Yup. Super cool.

3.   Although my hair is dyed ginger nowadays, I was, in fact, born with red hair and blue eyes (they’re green now)

4.   If you catch me off guard and ask me how old I am, I will knee-jerk respond with an age roughly 10 years younger than I am. I’m not lying deliberately, I just forget I’m so fucking old.

5.   I always get crushes on middle-aged curmudgeonly doctors on tv . . . Hawkeye Pierce, Gregory House . . . rough-around-the-edges assholes . . . mmmm

6.   Bad child actors really piss me off. Find me a Margaret O’Brien, a Mickey Rooney or a Dakota Fanning, or write the child out of the script (You hear me, Sex and the City movies? Charlotte’s daughter is AWFUL!!)

7.   It’s no secret, but it always bears repeating: Judy Garland is the best thing ever. Period. The secret is that when ever I discover something we have in common (Judy and I) I feel like I’ve done something right

8.   There is mainstream music on my iPod. I am very vocal (ba dum bum) about my loathing of mainstream music, but certain (embarrassing) artists made the cut . . .

9.   I would wear a costume every day, if I could. Sometimes I give my outfits personas so I feel like I’m costumed anyhow.

10. I would rather die young than live an ordinary life.

So, those are my secrets . . . the ones I’m willing to admit on the internet, anyways. How brave are my readers? Share your secrets in the comments . . . I DARE YOU!

 

 

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And the contest winner is . . .

NOBODY!

Either y’all seriously didn’t know (shame on you all . . . Liza is a LEGEND!) or nobody wanted a cookie . . . I suspect it’s a combo.

Liza in sequins (Courtesy of broadwayworld.com)

For more on Liza, watch The Ellen Degeneres Show today. (Did I mention I get to see her in concert for my birthday this year? Now you know . . . I’m gonna wear my sequined skirt. Liza loves sequins)

Ok. To answer my own trivia, here’s the original statement with 2 Liza references in it:

I know what you’re thinking . . . eating disorder blog about models. WRONG!!!!! (P. S. There are two subtle Liza Minnelli references in that opening line . . . a cookie to anyone who can identify them both . . . no takers?)

So reference #1:

“I know what you’re thinking”

It’s the opening line of a song called If You Could See Her Through My Eyes from the musical Cabaret. The Liza connection? Liza starred in the movie version of the show. Watch it. It’s good.

Reference #2:

“WRONG!!!!!”

This one was really tough. Basically, you had to be in my head to hear the sing-song-y Liza-esque inflection. It’s from her one woman show, Liza with a Z from the intro to the song of the same name. (You can hear her say “WRONG!!!!!” at approx 0:28 in the video) I doubt even my best gay friends would have gotten the reference. So don’t feel too bad.

So why Liza? Why NOT!!?! She’s freaking awesome. She’s a legend, begotten of two legends: Vincente Minnelli and Judy Garland. (For those of you not familiar with Vincente Minnelli, he was a film director of such classics as Meet Me In St. Louis and the original Father of the Bride . . . for those of you not familiar with Judy Garland, GET OFF MY BLOG!!!!!)

Judy, from the A Star Is Born poster; Vincente, from Wikipedia

In addition, Liza is a survivor. She’s been to hell and back, she may be bat shit crazy at times, but the woman doesn’t give up. She keeps moving forward, and does it with a smile on her face. Here’s a few quotes from Liza, on her philosophy on life, her struggles, success, and never giving up:

“I believe all drunks go to heaven, because they’ve been through hell on Earth.”

“I had a one day slip, Matt. So what do you do? You get up and you go on, and you try not to do it again.”

“I feel like I haven’t done my best work yet. I feel like there’s a world of possibilities out there.”

“I know that. I’m having a ball. I’m not slap happy. I’m just filled up with joy and with peace and with all kinds of things that have eluded me for quite a few years. And they’re back and they’re thriving.”

“I mean, I inherited the disease of alcoholism, and I learned early to get help when I needed it. I always went to people who knew more than I did.”

“Reality is something you rise above.”

“The thing is, is to raise your hand. It’s not to hide, and it’s not to try and pretend or do anything like that. You raise your hand, that’s the best thing about it.”

So, be like Liza:

Believe in a better tomorrow. Fall down and get up. Never give up your optimism. Appreciate the good in your life. Ask for help from smart people who can give it. Know that you can play a better hand than you were dealt. Use your voice, stop hiding, and BE ANYTHING BUT QUIET!

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