I am a fat woman in a thin body. I am a thin woman in a fat body. I am a fat girl in a thin body. I am a thin girl in a fat body. Fat girl, fat woman – Fat woman, thin girl – Thin girl, fat woman – Fat woman, fat girl – Fat girl, thin woman – Thin woman, fat girl – Fat girl, fat woman – Fat woman, fat girl – Fat girl, thin girl – Thin girl, fat girl – Fat girl, fat woman... Around and around I go, Not-so-merry-go-round. Fat is my truth, Consuming above all. Two tales, one body, One body, two tales. Two bodies? Thin narrates a sudden lie, Fat an epic truth, *A Tale of Two Bodies* Another truth: Fat, I am shamed; Thin, I am raw. A bared secret: I turn to fat, In a flash; I dwell in fat. I have journeyed to thin – A distant land, A short sojourn. I am a fat woman walking. I am a thin girl running.
A Shadow Selfie of the Author, Walking at the Mall At the Start of Her Journey ________________________________ Jennifer S. Lee, also known as Jennifer Semple Siegel, is the author of three books, several short stories, essays, and scholarly articles. Jennifer is also a retired adjunct professor. She has taught Creative Writing and Literature at York College of Pennsylvania and Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje (Skopje, Macedonia). Her fiction and non-fiction, including scholarly articles, have been published in various national and regional journals, magazines, and anthologies. From 1993-1996, she edited Onion River Review , a literary journal. She earned her M.F.A. in fiction from Goddard College (Plainfield, Vermont). In 2009, Jennifer served as a Fulbright Scholar in Skopje, Macedonia. In addition to her teaching and own writing, her Fulbright project included helping to develop a new American Studies program at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University.
The author mostly off camera _________________________ I’m taking a break from meetings at Weight Watchers, now known as WW, although I’ll probably continue weighing in. This has not been an easy decision; WW has been my second home for the past two and a half years – it was there when I needed it most, and I’m forever grateful. However, for the past year or so, my uneasiness has slowly grown, first as a nagging little voice letting me know that all wasn’t right, at least for me, to full-blown discontent. Before I offer my reasons for pulling back, let me first affirm what I still love about WW. 1. The program itself is sound, emphasizing a life-style change, as opposed to “being-on-a diet.” Because of this focus, I have, within a 16-pound window, kept the weight off for over a year and a half, something I have never done before. 2. The people, both the other members and the staff, are very welcoming. No one has ever said a mean thing to me, and, as far as
Palisades Park Comic Book Ad (1950's) Remember those iconic comic book ads for Palisades Amusement Park ? Even the name was cool. Growing up in the Midwest, I thought that this park must have been heaven on earth. I mean, how cool would it to be able to ride a Ferris wheel on the edge of a cliff? Palisades Park Ferris Wheel In fact, I was a bit aggrieved that I lived too far away. The amusement park might as well have been on the moon. Comic books filled with ads for free admission I could never use – Even back in the early 1960’s, our culture was East- or West-coast centric, the Midwest a lonely outpost for farmers and hayseeds. Boo, hoo. Once, I sent away for a booklet that offered names, addresses, and photos of potential pen pals (I wasn’t in it – Hell, no!). I flipped through it until I found a boy from New Jersey. His name was Lawrence Miller; he lived over the border from Philly – Cherry Hill, I believe. South Jersey. Palisades Park was
“Fools are my theme, let satire be my song.” – Lord Byron ______________________________________ Today, I am going to teach you how to build a fat body: 1. Eat whatever you want and in any quantity . Eat until your gut bulges. Dump a load of greasy snacks down your gullet, especially close to bedtime so that the middle of the night morphs into a cauldron of acid indigestion and acid reflux. What fun! 2. Skip meals. Better yet, starve all day, and eat only one large meal a day, and that should be at night, the later the better, lasting until you hit the sheets. Be sure to add some sweet and salty snacks to your food dump. 3. Never exercise. Walk only when you must, for example, shuffling to the fridge or waddling from your car to your favorite fast food place. Better yet, use the drive-through. 4. Make sure that you’re sleep deprived. Four hours a night is quite enough, but I’m sure that you could function with a lot less. Soldier on! Man up! 5. Eat not
The author at George Takei's book signing NCTE: November 2019 ________________________ After the holidays, it was time to get serious. My weight was going up – fast. For two years, WW had worked well for me, but then it just stopped working – no matter how much I stuck to the program, my weight just wouldn’t budge. The least deviation from program resulted in weight gain. I was discouraged. To add insult: last summer, while on vacation, I gained 11 pounds in two weeks. Granted, I wasn’t sticking to program very well, but that amount of gain seemed excessive – like 10,000 calories-a-day gain. I knew that couldn’t be right. I was eating nowhere near that number. After vacation, I could not shake that weight. Here and there, I would lose a pound or two, but then I would eat something high calorie and high fat, and the weight would just come back – and then some. I had my thyroid checked – Normal. So I just kind of gave up. Hell. I gave up. Then, the hol
The Author at Her 4th Birthday Party at Madge's Day/Night Nursery _____________________________ I’m not quite sure when The Beast was unleashed. None of my early memories revolved around food or the yearning for it. When I was four, my weight was normal – I was terribly little and cute, as most tots tend to be: a beguiling curly-haired blonde with mischievous blue eyes and a sparkling personality. Life hadn’t yet bruised me, although, unbeknownst to me, the world was crumbling around me: my mother in crisis, her drinking, joblessness, and love life reeling out of control. Living in California, I was parked at a day/night nursery, a boarding house for kids of all ages, placed there by Mo, my grandmother, when it became clear my mother would be unable to care for me going forward. Mo’s friend owned the boarding house, so she likely assumed I’d be happy there, and I was mostly safe, if not content – but some of my worst fears and nightmares occurred there. Madge, the pro
Built Bars and Quest Bars _______________________ As someone who must constantly monitor weight, I am always looking for tasty products that can help me to lose and maintain a healthy weight. I have discovered two protein Bars that I like: Built Bars and Quest Bars . Built Bars: Of the two, I prefer Built Bars, which has a better flavor overall and a real dark chocolate coating. Stats: 3 WW points; 110 calories; 15 grams of protein; 4 grams of fat (2.5 saturated); 6 grams of fiber; 4 grams added sugar (just enough to offer satisfaction for my enormous sweet tooth). Pros : a rich flavor, a substantial size, lower calories and overall fat, and the same stats for all flavors across the board. The bar tastes like a candy bar, a definite plus! I feel full after eating a Built Bar (with a salad or fruit). Built Bars can be a meal replacement or a snack. For consumers with nut allergies: no nuts and manufactured in a nut-free facility. Cons : Some consumers may not lik
If we adults played like very young children, we would probably never get fat, certainly not obese. If we approached physical activity like children do – that is, before the lure of technology and the opposite sex kicks in – we would probably never give up moving our bodies. We would always be in tip-top shape. We would never get up in the morning and groan about having to hit the gym or the great outdoors. We would just jump into our play clothes and shoes and hit the pavement. No drama. It’s all about attitude: children embrace activity – they enjoy playing outside and exploring their surroundings and making new friends. As a child, I wasn’t especially adept at or fond of organized sports – I was never much of a rule lover – but I did spend a lot of time outside, roaming the neighborhood and finding other kids to play with: the Stanislavs, the Crannys, the Behrens, the Bolands, the Hawkins, among others. Freestyling kids don’t select their friends because of commo