You Fat Idiot

Don’t Talk to Strangers

I had an encounter this morning on my bike ride that rocked me to my core. I was on the sidewalk and there was a woman in front of me.
I slowed down, “excuse me,” nothing, “excuse me,” a little louder.
She turned around and yelled “YOU NEED TO BE 6 FEET AWAY FROM ME! YOU CAN’T BE ON THE SIDEWALK!”
I was startled and the only thing I could muster was, “I just want to pass you.”
“GET OFF THE SIDEWALK YOU FAT IDIOT!”
I don’t remember how I eventually passed this lady because I blacked out from the pain to my gut those words felt like.

 

“You Fat Idiot”

Is it so obvious? How did she know? I so deeply believe those words to be true that when she said it, it broke me. I cried the rest of the bike ride. I had to end the ride early to go home and continue crying in the shower.
I proclaimed –
“I’m going to write a letter to the Mayor about a stranger calling me a fat idiot”
I quickly realized that doesn’t make sense. The letter will just make him feel uncomfortable and think, “And the sky is blue and dogs have tongues that hang too low.”
It was her choice in words that struck me the hardest. I could handle being screamed at by a grumpy British lady but those words are my kryptonite.

The event stayed with me all day. I couldn’t shake it off.
I was sitting by the kitchen table at the end of the day, feeling exhausted from hauling this sentiment around all day, like a kangaroo with a baby in their pouch.
Ezzy walked in and said, “You’re giving this nasty woman too much power. You are so much more than that.”

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I felt broken because I heard her say what I’ve said to myself so many times.
This woman’s words echoed what I already had bouncing around in my head.
I had given her permission to make me feel small and inferior because I had given myself permission to do so as well.

Last week a Britsih blonde lady called me a fat idiot while I was riding my bike.

This week I told myself I am powerful and deserving.

Let’s see what happens next week

 

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“fatidiot”

Going Live with @StyledbySheva

We’re Live

Sheva and I know each other because her mother and my mother are sisters.
We have an understanding of why we’re both a little crazy and we support each other through it. She invited me to do a Live with her where she would ask me questions about design, style, and life. I wrote down some of the questions and my answers beforehand to give myself an idea of what I was going to talk about.
Thank you to all of you who tuned it and for those that didn’t consider this write up for you 🙂

 

What is your relationship with Instagram?
I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. I scroll through my feed and feel inspired. That inspiration is quickly overshadowed by fear of me not doing enough or my feed not being curated enough. When I find myself overwhelmed by Instagram, it means I need to take a step back because I’m too invested. I do better when I take myself and Instagram less seriously.

 

How to shop on a budget?
There are a few ways you can do that.
-First of all curbside pick up is a real option. I’ve picked up furniture pieces from the street many times. I have a beautiful wood mirror that I got 6 years ago and brought with me when I moved into my house.
-If you have more self-dignity than I do, thrift shops are great resources. Have in mind that it will take time to find your treasure, so stay patient and committed. Finding treasures aren’t easy. That’s why they’re treasures.
– I hate these words but they’re true, get creative. Especially with art which can be a real budget killer. Art is expensive and personal so I’ve always taken the route of creating my own. I bought a canvas from Michaels, painted it then wrapped brown wrapping paper around it. I was convinced I would be able to submit it to Art Basel. Thank G-d I have people in my life who helped guide me away from that decision. A  year later I was inspired by the Wynwood Flower walls and hot glue gunned flowers to a canvas to create an art piece for my daughter’s room.
– Frame objects you love. I took three colorful headscarves and framed them. If you have a scarf that you love looking at it, frame it. My mother bought this cute t-shirt from a market in South Africa and framed it. That souvenir is now on her wall.
-Hang a quilt on your wall. I did that in my guestroom. I went to Target and bought a quilt for $70 and just nailed it onto the wall. Now the entire wall is a backdrop
– Surround yourself with images you love. Buying a lot of frames adds up when you’re on a budget – pinboards are such a great way to bring life into your home. And it doesn’t need to be chaotic. You can have all your pictures in 5×7 and black and white. You can create the structure. You are in charge.

 

How to spruce up your space during this time?
I like to think of my space as an experience and now is a really good time to upgrade that experience. Tap into all your senses to create the experience you want in your home. I use scented candles a lot in my home. When I’m feeling dragged down by the mess I light a candle and it literally motivates me to slowly put things away and clean. Music does the same thing for me.
If your couch is bothering you but you’re not buying a new couch right now, buy a throw blanket that will make you smile when sitting on the couch to read a book. It will add an element of warmth and texture.
-Everyone is foraging right now, so take advantage. Flowers and greenery literally bring life to your home. Don’t underestimate that. Once a week go out and cut, pick or buy yourself some flowers that you like. It can be roses, tulips or eucalyptus. Keep them close to where you work or spend the most time.
-Use beautiful objects in the mundane areas of your life. My mother in law bought me these two beautiful wooden trays from South Africa and I use them for lemons on my kitchen counter. Drink wine out of your nicest glasses. Use a marble bowl for your salt. Drink coffee from a handmade mug. Use the softest handtowels. We’re in our kitchens so much take something that you love and incorporate it into those spaces that are usually forgotten about. 

 

How to create a gallery wall?
– When starting with a gallery wall, begin with collecting all your favorite pictures. Once you have them all in front of you, pay attention to a theme. What’s standing out? Are they mostly portraits? Are they mostly pictures of when you were traveling? Are they a mix? Find a common thread.
– When it comes to framing my rule is there are no rules. Having said that I always advise finding a common thread either in pictures of frames to help create a cohesive look.
– Decide the style of the gallery wall. Symmetrical, asymmetrical, collected, a mix of everything
– Patience. anything in life that’s beautiful takes time – time creates a collected ad curated look which is ALWAYS the best
– You need to love everything on your wall
– If you want to create a gallery wall based on your season, that’s an option too.
If you’re a winter your gallery wall will have more used colors more symmetrical layout and use bold ad striking pictures
– My main piece of advice is to do it! The act of starting it will inspire you enough to get through those decisions that are making you feel stuck right now.

 

What are the benefits of anxiety in a creative job?
Being an anxious person to me, means that I live with my feelings charged way more often than they need to be. This happens mostly because I spend a lot of time worrying and thinking about the worst-case scenarios. When I start a job, I’m always nervous and those nerves push me to try harder. I’m always at the brink of being a failure so I work harder and commit myself to every job.
Anxious people feel all the feels which work in my favor because I use my instincts when it comes to design. So being really in tune with what’s going on definitely helps produce work that is a definite “hell yes” – that’s what #mytherapistsays

 

How do you shop for clothing before you’re comfortable with your body?
That’s a good question. I’ve learned through working with an intuitive eating coach ( 1.5 years ago) that healing your relationship with food and your body is one that takes a lot of time and acceptance. The biggest improvement has been giving myself more compassion and permission. That doesn’t mean I’m at the weight I want to be. I’m still figuring that part out.
I  want to be thinner but I’m not going to hate myself until I get there.
That’s what I have come to realize. I held onto a belief for a very long time that my heaviness took away from my value. I didn’t want to be in pictures with my kids or want to be part of videos because of my “fat” body.
At the time I told myself, I’ll be in pictures when I’m thinner. Now 8 years and thank G-d four children later, I’m still in this body.
What did I do with that time? I spent 8  years denying myself of love. I spent 8 years killing myself internally.
I’ve learned to let myself live regardless of my size. I’ve learned to accept that yes I do want to be thinner and that’s okay. I can want my body to change and accept my body right now. This is my body right now. Regardless of its size I will take care of it and love it because it is carrying me through this life and I am so grateful for that.

 

Thank you for having me on Sheva.

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Keep Notes

Welcome to the Live Feed Inside My Head

Recently I’ve been biking by the beach early in the morning.
While I bike, I stop to write down all the wonders that are my thoughts and I observe the people around me. The combination of these two activities has been such a resource for me, especially during a time when most of my day is spent hauled up in my home talking to Lego people.

So I decided to share some of those thoughts. Buckle up, this is going to be ordinary.

Wednesday, April 29

There’s the blonde woman who runs every day. Neither of us acknowledge each other. She runs in shorts and a crop top. She has a perfect tan, killer body, and some mornings she’s running and pushing her toddler in a stroller. I’m not sure why I think she might be Russian.

 

There’s the older lady who wears a frilly dress and cute hat. She once asked, “Isn’t that something?” while we were admiring the sunrise.

Then there’s the older woman who sits on a bench and meditates with her palms resting on her knees. I think her eyes are closed. She wears glasses. I would love to take a picture of her but I’m not sure if that crosses the line. If I could guarantee her eyes were closed I would just snap. 

Thursday, April 30

I just walked past a corner in my house that’s full of boxes. In my head, I had returned them. In reality I printed labels, stuck them on the boxes, and told myself the corner of my house was the UPS store.

 

Sunday, May 04
The fuckin pigeons! They don’t get out of my way until the wheel of my bike nudges their feathery behinds. I feel like the homeless lady in central park from Home Alone.
I thought George Castanza got to the bottom of pigeons knowing their place with human traffic. Apparently, he did not.

Tuesday, May 05
Today I saw the older lady with the cute hat talking to the Russian sled runner. I almost stopped from the excitement of seeing these two women, who I’ve been observing, interacting. But I didn’t.

I’m in the mood of a fresh tuna salad.

I just ate 3 bowls of leftover pasta.

Friday, May 08
My right elbow is tingling.  Is this the end for me?
If I continue to massage it, will the tingling go away?

 

Monday, May 11
I just ate my 7th biscotti, should I stop baking them?

If I stop baking them, what will I do with my time?

My friend just called me a nerd because I hung up on her to scrapbook.

Tuesday, May 12

I’m at the pier now, there’s a man standing here smiling and watching me take pictures. Is he expecting a conversation? Is he expecting directions on how to take good pictures? 

I’m doing neither of those things.

I just baked again.

 

Wednesday, May 13
I just drove past a sign that read,
“Bicycles permitted on the beach path 9am to 5pm ONLY.”
I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that sign.

The older lady with the cute hat just stopped me,
“They made a new rule about bike riders. You can’t be here before 9am.”
I hate her stupid hat.

Today I feel like giving up.

I told Ezzy my right elbow is tingling and feels weird. He has no response.
The massaging hasn’t helped either.

Thursday, May 14

There are police officers everywhere blocking the bike path to the pier.
He’s telling me the elderly people complained about the “bikers whizzing by.”

I’m sure there’s another way to ease the all this worry about the”whizzing” without closing the bike path until 9 a.m.
I feel like my last freedom was just taken away from me.

It’s 3:30 p.m.

It’s 3:32 p.m. Still too early to be drunk?


Friday, May 15

I’m taking action today. I’m writing a letter to express my frustration with this new restriction. I will fight for my freedom!

Dear Mayor of Bal Harbor

I have been bike riding every morning for the last couple of months. I get up early to be on the path by 6:15 am so I can get in some time to myself, so I can exercise and take advantage of this beautiful city.

This past Thursday I was told I can no longer bike on the bike path before 9 am or after 5 pm. The bike path is open between 9 am and 5 pm.

The hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. I am feeding my children breakfast, signing them into their zoom classes, playing with them, preparing dinner, reading with them, feeding them lunch, playing outside, feeding them, coloring with them, feeding them and taking care of them. I can’t bike between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

We are over 2 months into lockdown. Schools are closed, camps are canceled, parks are closed, pools are closed, beaches are closed and now the bike path is only available for me to use when I am home because of all the other consequences of lockdown and isolation.
The morning bike rides are my lifeline. I am sure they are for many people choosing to start their day off with a bike ride and fresh air.

I am reaching out to explain how disappointed I am about this restriction and hoping it can be reversed.

Sincerely,
A mother who is passionate about mental wellbeing during quarantine.
Sunday, May 17
My letter was received and the response was kind but this new restriction isn’t changing any time soon.
How many letters about freedom to bike is considered too many?

Tomorrow is May 18, the day we start to re-open and go back to normal.
My question is, how do we learn to live with Corona when 2 months ago it was the very thing that locked us all away?

 

 

 

 

 

I’m at Rock Bottom, How Are You ?

Quarantine Parenting, Don’t try it at home.

Before Corona I would consider myself an okay parent. I adore my kids, document their every move, tell them ‘I love you’ before they go to sleep, remember to floss their teeth, give them eye contact for 5 minutes a day, tell them their feelings are valid, and take pride in their accomplishments.

During Corona the challenge has been trying to stay an okay parent. Now I scream at my kids from my bed instead of getting up to do it. If my kids get wet outside while playing with the hose, they are now bathed. If I drop cheese on the floor and they eat it, dinner has been served. If they’re wearing underwear, I consider them dressed. If there’s no fighting, I consider them happy.

My 3-year-old son Yosef has picked up two new habits recently.
He started throwing furniture around the house. An older sibling will take his seat or take some tiny piece of Lego and he’ll quickly transform into an angry bird. We’re all shocked at how he goes from not being able to wipe himself to being able to lift side tables above his head.
He’s found a new love for the Hot Lava game. The players of the game need to avoid any area deemed hot lava or else it’s game over for them.
“1, 2, 3, the floor’s hot lava!” Everyone who’s standing on the floor is out. My son Yosef does this without any warning and the intention of getting everyone to burn in hot lava. I’m a terrible player. I never attempt to move. “1,2,3 the chair you’re sitting on is hot lava!” Ok… so now that I’m burning in hot lava do I get to finish reading my book? I’m trying to figure out what the game will do for me in terms of peace and quiet. My 1-year-old daughter loves the hot lava game because she’s rarely standing on the actual floor. She’s either on a chair or a table so for the hours she’s awake, she’s kicking ass at this game.

I recently spoke to a child therapist about the difficulty I’m having with the furniture throwing habit. I told her about my difficulty with being a lot more reactive than proactive. “It’s really normal to be struggling to stay calm now when everyone is home and there’s less structure.”
I told the therapist my response to this behavior was coming up with a new version of hide and seek where I hide without telling my kids to come look for me. I’m not a game person but this is hands down my favorite one.
I’ve been hearing this a lot, “Right now we all just need to survive.”
I think for me, surviving means being okay with being mediocre. I’m really scared of being mediocre. I spend a lot of time trying to stand out as original. But thanks to corona, I’ve been renting out this space called “Rock Bottom.”
I’ve been making an effort to take care of myself. I virtually see my therapist once a week so I can quote her on Instagram through #mytherapistsays. I’ve read Lori Gottlieb’s book, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.” I’ve listened to Brene Brown’s podcasts. I know that all pain is real pain. I’m very developed and self enlightened.
And yet
 I’ve been berating myself for weeks based on the belief that my pain isn’t deserving enough. This question keeps coming up, “I’m self caring so well, why isn’t it working ?”

“If the queen had balls, she would be a king.”

This sentence from Lorri Gotlieb is hitting home for me right now. I am not different than who I am. I am where I am. I feel what I feel. Just verbalizing that simple truth has power to it. I don’t know why I’m struggling more than what seems like normal. I don’t know why I feel rage and sadness and then joy so close together.
I am who I am and I am where I am.

Rock Bottom. It’s been in this space that I’ve pushed myself to exercise every morning. It’s been in this space that I’ve pushed myself to journal every day because who knows, maybe one day it will be published as a book. It’s been in this space where I’ve pushed myself to create more space to breathe deeply. It happens to be that my rock bottom involves moments of me slamming chrome books onto the couch and ripping up the economist magazine because I know how much my husband loves that magazine. The bottom of our rocks are going to look different from one another’s but I think it’s through seeing the bottom that we start to see the beginning of a new route.

Anyways, I’m at rock bottom, how are you?

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