Carol Bontekoe

This blog has been keeping track of my adventures since 2004. The stories and the adventures have come from my college dorm room to Uganda, Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan, learning Dutch in the Netherlands to living in the wilds of Homer, Alaska. I went back to school in Amsterdam to study Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Science) at University of Amsterdam. And now my adventures as a Fruit Fly, a Sexy Unicorn, and creating a movement with Team Sparkle in Chicago.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pick Your Head Up

"Imma girl, Imma girl, Imma GIRL! And... nobody wants to fuck me."
The drunk girl adjacent to me at the Cheesie's bar folds over and places her head on the bar. Still dressed in her Caribou Coffee work shirt she is now post-shift and plastered with a man on either side of her. She gasps and pops back up from the bar, "I mean... you''d...ya'd think somebody, ANYBODY would want to sleep with me. BUT! no. no." She shakes her head as she places her face into her folded arms resting on the bar. She mumbles into the space between her forearms and body, "Nope, no one wants me."
I giggle and take a pull from my Vanilla Porter as I continue to transcribe her monologue into my notebook. I don't giggle out of judgement, I giggle out of recognition. I giggle because I am this same kind of drunk: The-insecurities-boil-over-so-I'll-tell-you-everything-that-is-wrong-with-me-and-how-aware-I-am-that-I-am-undesirable-before-you-can-point-out-how-unattractive-I-am-Drunk.This girl's insecurities speak to my heart. And I giggle because she seems completely unaware of her two male friends on either side of her that are diggin' on her something hard.
I try to send her a telepathic message-- pick your head up and look to either side of you. The one on your left is cute. Trust me you can get it if you want it. You just gotta believe you are desirable and this will be so easy for ya.
She didn't hear me. Hell, I rarely hear me when I try to send that message to myself. I tend to be very complacent in my own undesirability. Yeah, I get it. Totally on board. yep. Oh, are you still talking to me? Let me just make sure my insecurities seep through your pores and get under your skin. Now just leave the ugly girl be and walk away from me sir.
Except. Except sometimes I feel sexy, sometimes I feel desirable, sometimes...hell... I feel I might...maybe...could attractive.
Unfortunately it's not when I'm dressed up and out amongst men. Not when my hair is done or my eyeliner meticulously drawn onto my lower eye lid. It's not when I have my heels on making my calves look long and sleek. And it definitely isn't when a guy tells me I look good, because as we know he is just being an asshole... right?
The time I feel sexiest is when I first wake up. My hair is an absolute mess. No make up to cover up my red cheeks or the wrinkles on my forehead. I shuffle around in cow slippers, dressed in an old Detroit Tiger's shirt that no longer fits and underwear.
This is when I feel my most attractive. Those moments before I can start talking myself out of it. Before I start comparing myself to others. Before I pin point just exactly all the things that are wrong with me. It's here brewing morning coffee, splashing cold water on my face, brushing my teeth, sliding my fingers through my hair as I try to pull the snarls out that I don't just feel sexy-- I know I am desirable. Maybe not the mainstream kind of desirable, but a kind of desirable that if you give it a chance can be pretty awesome. Like when you find a band that no one has heard of and you just fuckin' love 'em. My sexiness may be that underground band just waiting to be discovered. But it's there being awesome and under appreciated. It turns out I have to discover it before anyone else can. I have to give my own desirability it's big break just by believing in it enough.
My drunk soulmate at Cheesie's was the first time I had heard that unlocked flow of insecurities come streaming out of someone that wasn't me. And it broke my heart. It also made me realize it's not helping and it's not true. So, as I tried to telepathically tell her I have to say to myself yet again.
Pick your head up and look around.  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Enjoy the View

"What happens when you plateau?"

On my 29th birthday I hit the hundred pound weight loss mark. Since April I have biked over 5,000 miles through the city of Chicago, become a vegetarian, fallen in love with Pilates, stopped drinking pop, and well lost 100 lbs. There is a lot of "Now what-ing?" from friends and acquaintances about what am I to do now that I have lost 100 lbs.
I don't really have a game plan, I have never had one. This weight loss has been the result of a lot of external and internal changes in my life. Lots of very small changes that when added up looks like, in retrospect, it was one huge life changing decision.
 I know I'm running in the Chicago Marathon in October. I know I'm going to bike a ton this summer. I know I'm stickin' with the no pop-vegetarian thing. I know I WANT to be a more open person and not be so guarded. That's about it.
Still no idea what I'm doing.
 If the weight comes off wonderful. I still have 60 more lbs that I  need to lose. However, this was never strictly a weight loss journey for me. It was a journey of taking control of my life, a life that had seemed to lose all direction or control. It is still rather directionless but I can at least see where a few of the turns are coming.
Plateauing is only a problem if you refuse to remember just how far you have come, you forget the journey that brought you to this plateau. I have come a long way in a relatively short time and I can't forget where I was a year ago.
 I have a history of getting down on myself and being my own harshest judge, aren't we all? Right now I have to tell Carol to shut up and let me be pumped about how great I'm doing. How excited I am to be running a half marathon in a month with my friend Lydia (we will eventually figure out how to make energy bars). How excited I am that I can buy clothes in non-specifically plus size shops. And I'm taking big risks outside of this whole weight loss thing that are fun. And I love the city I live in. I meet new and interesting people every day. I'm still quirky, awkward, showtunes lovin' Carol. And I'm fabulous. So, to the Carol that is saying it's all not enough just shhhhhhhhhh. Let me enjoy this for a minute.
I know I'm only about 2/3 of the way on specifically the weight loss part of this transformation journey and the last third might take a lot longer but I'm having a blast and I'm thinking long term. I want to be healthy- LONG TERM- not just looking for being "New Hot" right now. Long term health includes mental health and if you beat yourself up about the scale not moving when you are out living a life full of risks and adventures, then you are missing what life is about.
I refuse to miss out on life. I have this one life and it is going to be full of peaks and valleys. A plateau here and there can be a welcome change of pace sometimes. I'm gonna enjoy the view from where I'm at right now.