Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Weighty Thoughts...

I have had weight issues since my twenties.  I have lost weight a few times, only to put it back on.  I was at my heaviest (not telling how much) when pregnant with my second child.  Then, a couple of years ago, I got rid of the weight from two pregnancies and looked and felt better than I had in a long time.

Now I am falling back into my old habits and seem to feel hungry all the time.

But I kind of had an epiphany today.  I think I am eating in order to hide from myself and the world.  This whole adventure of becoming a published author of m/m romance, while it has been amazing and exciting, is also scary as shit.  I have put my deepest, most erotic fantasies out there for anyone to see.  I have not really used a pen name.  Although Elizabeth is my middle name, everyone knows it is me, even my neighbours.  I refuse to hide, because I see nothing wrong with what I write.  But it is still a very personal part of me that is now out there for the world to see.

MLR Press just published my second book, The Crush.  I am worried that it is not as good as my first book.  What if people don't like it as much as Exposure because it doesn't have the 'character with a disability' angle?  What if it tanks?  I act all brave online but, at times, I am a quivering, frightened mess.

I am also becoming friends with many very attractive gay men, both online and face to face.  It is great, but I cannot deny that it revs my engine too.  I worry all the time that I am being too forward or exposing too much my fascination with and attraction to gay men.  I'm not afraid that they are going to hit on me or anything (I am a woman, after all, and not a spring chicken).  I'm afraid they are going to find it distasteful or exploitative.

I'm also allowing myself to delve into the leather/kink community a little.  I have always had a yen to explore this lifestyle, not necessarily as a participant, but definitely as an observer.  But I'm afraid of my own desires.  What if I really like what I see?  What if I want to try something that my husband isn't interested in?

I think that I am turning to food to anaesthetize this feeling of fear and exposure.  And, I suppose, to hide myself in a fat suit so that I won't have to deal with my own sexual power.

I love my husband and would never cheat on him.  I need him in so many ways and feel blessed to have him in my life.  I don't want him to feel like I am yearning for something that he can't give me.  Because I'm not.  He gives me everything and then some.  He is open to trying pretty much anything in the bedroom.

Ever since I figured this out this morning, I haven't felt tempted to overeat.  I've decided that I don't want to be fat.  Chubby, voluptuous, I can deal with.  Once I get below 160 lbs my ass starts to disappear anyway.  Right now, at about 180 lbs, my ass is perfect.   My belly and boobs, though, are getting a little out of control.  I know if I can lose 10-15 lbs I will look much more proportional.  And sexy.  And bloody gorgeous (for a 42 year-old mom).  If I can just find another way to deal with this ever present fear.  Of not being good enough.  Of being so 'out there'.  Of being slightly perverted.  Lol.

Maybe instead of turning to food, I can turn to sex.  I know my husband would be on board with that.  Literally ;)


Johnny Miles said...

Wow, Elizabeth. That's quite an epiphany! I commend you on being able to realize what could be triggering your eating habits but also applaud you for sharing such intimate details of yourself.

I think many, if not all, of us share those fears. It's not a matter of looking ourselves in the mirror and embracing that we might like "X,Y or Z" but what will the rest of the world think of me when they read this?

Every time I get one of my books out there, I think, "Oh crap! Are people going to think this is me?" Most times characters are made up but let's face it, facets of our lives, however small, are always wrapped up in our work. Hence the vulnerability we feel when a book is released.

I send you a huge hug from across the miles in the hopes that you continue to find courage and self-acceptance as well as coming to a happy medium concerning your self-image.

Verena said...

You really shouldn't worry about your new book. I absolutely loved it and I am definitely going to read it many many times. I really like your writing style.

And I also like your honesty. You said a lot of personal things in that post, and I think it's great that you are so direct about how you feel.

Fernando farfan. said...

You are gorgeous, my admiration for you as a person as a woman and as writer is immense, and Elizabeth I have something to say here, "You are ENOUGH"

Elizabeth Lister said...

Oh, wow, thank you all so much! Johnny, what a lovely comment - I'm sending a hug to you too :)

Verena, thank you for the reassurance on my new book! That makes me feel really good. People assume that once you're published you know your stuff is good. Yet I'm still plagued with insecurities. Will it ever go away? I don't know.

Fernando, thank you so much. You are such a sweetheart and have always been so supportive. You are a wonderful photographer and lovely person.

Terry J Cyr Photography said...

Alison it feels you are on the right path to just discovering who you are. I have known you for some time now and find you to be an exceptionally witty charming person who is compassionate and filled with life and love. Your writing is a talent that you can not take for granted or dismiss so lightly, when I read it, it comes from your heart and becomes quite apparent the way you present yourself. It was a bold and interesting step to choose to show a romance in a young character with MS and Jeremy become a part of you. In life not everything we do is a success, all we can do is be true to ourselves and approach everything with honesty and respect, which you always seem to do anyway. Sometimes it becomes time to just move on and or forward. You are a brilliant woman with lots of talent. I know it when I first met you. Write about these feelings and what you know, this is what touches our hearts and it is touching the hearts of others deeply that makes what we as artist do so powerful. I think your next characters need to deal with weight issues and self esteem it's a raw nerve that we all keep buried or hidden.

Elizabeth Lister said...

Thank you, Terry, so much. I do try to bring a raw honesty and intimacy to my characters. Jack, in The Crush, talks big and acts tough and crude but inside he is an insecure young man. This comes out as his relationship with Michael progresses and Michael is able to get through that tough outer shell to the scared and vulnerable guy inside. I do love to make my characters as real as I can and use my own fears and insecurities to do so. I like your idea of introducing the weight issue in a future book - I definitely will.

Anyway, you know I think you are absolutely brilliant and immensely talented, so these words coming from you are so valued. Thank you for leaving this lovely comment here :)