Welcome to the second official week of the Read My Hips Summer GiveaSway!
First, announcing the winners of the BusyBodyBook GRID Planner giveaway:
Turning to food for comfort is common enough. Almost everyone does it at some point. Think of how often you watch a movie or a sitcom, or even a commercial, in which some gal is having a bad day, and she retires to her couch with a pint of ice cream and a spoon. I’m not even sure why it’s still considered cute, it’s so hackneyed.
Me, however — in my 40 years, I’ve routinely taken food as medicine almost all my life.
I have a genetic predisposition to extreme anxiety, and as a small child I was shy with strangers nearly to the point of selective mutism. So when my parents decided to turn us into one of those families that picks up and moves every couple of years, I found myself suffering a chronic case of NewKid-itis — and it couldn’t have happened to a worse candidate.
I didn’t deal well with making new friends. I panicked just thinking about navigating unfamiliar school hallways and neighborhoods I had yet to map for mean dogs and even meaner kids. I was afraid to speak for fear of saying something wrong, and when you were new, everybody had questions. My mind was constantly brimming with what-ifs. And being that way produced a scent that only bullies were born to detect. They could sniff me out a schoolyard away.
But food was an easily-accessible tranquilizer. As I wrote in my memoir Read My Hips:
Food was something to which I had ready access, and with it I cleverly fashioned a survival mechanism that pulled me back from the edge of insanity. – a young MacGuyver of angst and junk food.
Over time, comfort food contributed to a belly — one that started out modestly enough, but which always hung on to some extent, no matter how thin I got. It’s a belly that’s gotten much bigger as I’ve gotten older, and is still with me to this day. I used to hate my belly, wish I could just slice it neatly off, like the heel on a ham. But I no longer feel that way.
In a chapter of Read My Hips I called “Belly”, I wrote that:
My belly is an old friend. It’s been with me since early adolescence. My belly never dismissed my fears and concerns with ridicule in front of my younger siblings, who’d then sing my troubles, quirks, and insecurities back to me in cruel nursery rhymes. My belly has stuck to me through thick and thin. It is always close and warm. No matter how many times my parents moved our family to yet another state — from Pennsylvania to Michigan to Louisiana to Tennessee to New York, never staying longer than three years in any one place — my belly was a constant. It was my steady companion through years of being “the new girl”, time and again. Whenever I sat alone at an otherwise empty table in a school cafeteria, agonizingly self-conscious and friendless, my belly snuggled right up against me and sat patiently in my lap. My belly had weight, too, even in its early days. It gave me the sense of having a cannonball-like core that made it harder for my short-tempered, bullying father to pick me up by the hair and frag me across the room. Maybe some part of me even imagined it made it more difficult to move me from one state to another.
But my feelings have changed since I first started cultivating a belly. So have many of the behaviors that helped to grow it bigger and bigger. As I wrote in Read My Hips:
I don’t need my belly to act as a half-assed mimic, simulating an embrace…I don’t face the same kinds of threats now that I did as a child, and I have methods at my disposal that help me feel grounded…I continue to work on finding grown-up ways to deal with life’s challenges, actions that make sense and have a very real chance of leading to genuine solutions. The old habits are deeply ingrained and won’t be easily waved off. But neither will I.
I don’t think dipping into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s when you’re overwhelmed with emotion is the worst thing a person can do. But I think making it a habit does us a huge disservice. It gets between us and such worthwhile things as insight, solution, resolution and evolution.
That’s why I think it’s important to find non-food ways of finding comfort — so we don’t slip into a habit that becomes a form of dependency. A rich, creamy crutch, with chocolate chips.
That’s why this week’s prize in the Read My Hips Summer GiveaSway is…a deliciously comforting Slanket! It’s The Original Blanket with SleevesTM!
Feeling worried? Fuming? Hurt? Maybe this time you’ll leave the ice cream in the freezer and reach for a Slanket instead. The Slanket is a gigantic (60″ x 95″) fleece blanket with sleeves — very soft to the touch, lightweight but warm. It has large, loose sleeves that are designed so you don’t feel like you’re wearing the blanket — simply wrapped up in its cozy comfort. It’s designed to keep your entire body covered while you retain the use of your hands — for the remote, a cup of tea, or holding your copy of Read My Hips.
I hope you’ll be one of the lucky three winners of a snuggly, comforting Slanket!
So, how do you enter?
Just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org including:
– your name and mailing address, and
– write the word SLANKET in the subject line of your e-mail.
– send the e-mail by midnight EST on Wednesday, July 27, 2011.
Other things you should know:
– If you entered to win a different prize in the Read My Hips Summer GiveaSway, you can still enter to win this prize. Even if you were a winner before.
– I won’t share your e-mail or mailing address with anybody else.
– By entering, you agree to give me the right to use your first name and last initial on my blog, on Facebook, Twitter, and via e-mail to others.
– Three winners will be selected at random. Sorry, you don’t get to pick the color of your Slanket — but they’re all equally comforting.
– Winners will receive their prizes by mail within 30 days after winners are announced.
– I will announce the first names and last initials of the winners on my blog on Sunday, July 31, 2011, and winners will also be notified by e-mail.
Now remember, the Read My Hips Summer GiveaSway is eight glorious summer weeks of fun and prizes. Every Friday for eight weeks, beginning July 1st, I’ll announce a new giveaway, right here on the blog! You’ll get to read all about my hijinks from a different chapter of Read My Hips, and you’ll learn how to enter to win the latest and greatest goodies!
So stay tuned to Read My Hips: The Blog all summer long. And meanwhile, keep those hips swaying, take deep and lusty breaths, strut your stuff, and always remain willing to get a little bit smarter every day. Oh — and read wonderful, eye-opening books!
Your friend the incurable beach bunny,
Good luck, everybody!