Thursday, November 19, 2009

Used To Be's

I know I said I would be writing only one new post a week, but since the other wasn't my usual style, it doesn't count ;-).

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I've never liked to think of my "best days being behind me". I've been proud to say that I've lived each phase of my life to it's fullest, enjoying all the highs and lows, taking that proverbial "bite out of life and letting the juices roll down my chin" attitude - well, maybe not the juice part. We all know by now how much I hate a sticky mess.

So with that said, I find myself looking back to the days when my whole life was ahead of me and many paths lay at my feet. Of course, by the same token, back then I felt the anxiety of not having a clear destination, so it's as they say "six of one, half dozen of the other". But if I take a look back to those youthful, me-centered days, I see that spark of "used to be".

Admittedly, most of it is appearance based and extremely shallow, but it's hard not to wax poetic when the days of boys forgetting their own names in your presence, are behind you. (That's not a joke, it happened more than once. Talk about an ego boost.) Now, I'm lucky if most remember my name right after I've said it.

Why am I tormenting myself with images of a bygone era? Because it might just be the best way to keep me on task. As you know, I'm attempting to get back to the body of a person I once was. Not way back then - that would be nearly impossible with 2 decades behind me. No, I'd be happy with splitting the difference; half way between then and now.

Above is a photo of me in the late 80's (check out the "wicked" spiked hair and eyeliner). Truth be told, I thought I was chubby back then - I mean, look at the baby fat on those cheeks ;-). I was a junior or senior in college; somewhere between 20 and 22. This was one of my head-shots as I prepared to take Broadway by storm. I was going to be an actress (you have to say that very deep and dramatically). I never doubted my abilities, being the young egotist that I was. I was ready for the spotlight. Oh, how reality can kick you in the butt.

Within weeks of graduation and moving back to New Jersey, I walked into a casting agency in Manhattan, secured an agent, was sent on a few screen tests, and that was it. The casting agency turned out being one of those scams where they take your money and close up shop... welcome to the Great White Way, Sweetheart! That was all I needed to tell me I wasn't made of the "stuff" to make it in this business. By the end of the summer, I had found a job in advertising that I loved and I never looked back.

What is the point of my story? When you're young you can bounce back easier. If that had happened to me today, I'd probably crawl into a hole with a block of cheese and chocolate cake and not come out except to take my daughter to and from school. But that wouldn't happen to me today because given my current self confidence, I wouldn't have even tried. I talk about the self-involved, the narcissists, the egomaniacs being the root of all evil, but in all honesty, it helps to have a smidgen of that "stuff". It cushions the blow of disappointment to be "full of yourself" once in a while.

A little bit of the girl I once was, the one that thought she was "it"... yeah, I could use some of that right now.

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So far, this week has not been difficult enough, which means I haven't pushed myself as far as I should have. I'm going to have to up my game. Big words coming from a person who yesterday ate bread for the first time in a month just because she wanted it. Ugh! I've got nothing but room for improvement ;-).

In keeping with the "shame" posts, my next post with feature a photo from my mid-20's when I was in the best shape of my life and just starting to date my future husband. Since it's been downhill since I met him (physically that is), I wonder if I can blame him for my rotund mid-section ;-).

9 comments:

  1. Hi Bonnie,
    Very interesting. I like your writing style and introspective humor. I particularly enjoyed your "Competing Personalities" post.

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving the thoughtful comment. In response to your question about storing tabletop items: I'm fortunate to live in a house with lots of closets, cabinets, and storage areas. Things are somewhat separated by category, but I'm fairly casual about it. I think I pretty much know where it all is. Some of the china/crystal is wrapped and stored in boxes (most of it's labeled). If I ever get it "neatened up," I might do a post about it.

    Thanks again. Hope the rest of your week goes well.

    Bill

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  2. Lucky you! I was never so lucky as to have men forget their names in my presence. Up til I first became pregnant I was cursed with acne, glasses, braces and bad hair. I still wear glasses and love/hate my hair. But I still have scars, inside, from being tormented. I have a few of those photos of me being in the best shape of my life. My fave is of when I was 4 months pregnant and I was wearing a bikini,seriously, and am walking along the beach with my husband on Myrtle Beach. I was exercising and an aerobic instructor then and you couldn't tell I was pregnant. Gotta love your 20's. Don't be so hard on yourself. Most likely you aren't as bad off as you think. It's all in our heads most of the time.

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  3. Hi Bill,
    What a honor that you've taken the time to read me AND comment when it's clear you have a huge fan base vying for your attention.
    Thank you for answering my question; I'm relieved to hear that you do store items away until you need them. I've been blessed with my own fine china (wedding gifts) plus my great-uncle's (which he brought back from Germany after the war) and I'm always on the hunt to special items at antique stores. But I'm running out of display space and was feeling bad about storing it away. With you as inspiration, I'll be able to rotate items in and out on a regular basis so pieces won't go into permanent hiding.
    Thank you again. And I hope you'll find time to come back and read my blog some more. It's a given I'll be reading yours :-).
    Bonnie

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  4. Hi Wendy,
    The phrase "youth is wasted on the young" comes to mind. Ah to be in my 20s again. But then my daughter wouldn't be in the picture so, no, I'll have to pass.
    I may be coming to you for exercise advice. I hope you don't mind being my blogosphere trainer. I get bored with my workout routines but I'm not in shape enough (in my mind) to take classes at the gym. What do you suggest? Bear in mind, I can't do yoga or pilates; there's too much stuff in the way to bend in those directions.
    Looking forward to hearing back.
    Bonnie

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  5. Well, I actually LOVE The Firm dvd's. You can do them without weights to begin and yes, you do need to have at least 3,5,8 pound dumbbells. And a fanny lifter or step bench. However, if you know someone who's handy at building things, you could have a fanny lifter made to whatever size you want. And before I became an aerobic instructor, I walked. I didn't drive til I was 26 and 8 months pregnant with my first child. And walking is great. Not just hype. It works your core because you have to pull in your abs when you walk straight. Try walking some time and actually visually think about using your abs to initiate moving your legs. Sounds odd but you'll feel your abs pull in with each stride. Also, if you do walk, with each step think of tightening you butt cheeks. Now, that's not to say you should be walking stiff or feel like a soldier, LOL, just walk as you normally would only squeeze your cheeks a bit with each stride. I miss walking a lot. Treadmills don't do a thing for me. I get bored and need outdoors to keep me motivated. If you are short for time, there are the 10 minute interval dvds. You can customize in which order you want to do each workout and which ones you want to do. And each workout is only 10 minutes. You could break them up through your day and if your daughter is old enough, she could do some exercises with you. My 4 year old has one pound weights and he loves to workout with me. I only nicked him once with a weight, he snuck up on me, so make sure you have room and know where your daughter is, LOL.
    Ok, that's a lot of my ramblings for one evening! I am wishing you luck. If I can't answer something, I will ask some of the people I am working out with to get an answer if you'd like. Let me know if this helped =)

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  6. It helped a great deal, Wendy. But let me ask you... how can you get a workout in 10 minutes? If that's for real, then that's for me! ;-).

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  7. The dvd I have and enjoy is called 10 Minute Solution Pilates~10 Minute Workouts To Shape Up Your Whole Body. You create your own customized workout. So you only do what you have time to do! And, pilates is safe and can be done everyday. Try doing pilates with a stretchy rubber band, it works amazingly well and helps a lot. Another good one is Pilates For Dummies with Michelle Dozois as the instructor. She's very good and you do no more than 10 repetitions of each move. Again, try using the band. When we do our class at the YMCA our instructor also lets us use bands. I don't get sore because I get a nice stretch while I work my body. Pilates is awesome! You will also feel relaxed afterwards. What's not to love? Try it and let me know if you liked it =)

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  8. Btw, you DON'T have to be a size 2 to do pilates. There are some full figured gals in my class and they are doing well. It's mind over body. If you think you can do it, you will ;) Good Luck, Bonnie

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  9. Thank you for stopping by and leaving the thoughtful (and fun) comment!

    Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

    Bill

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