History, New Orleans, and World War II

The semester is almost done!  I couldn’t be happier.  Tomorrow I’m turning in my final paper for my World History Research Seminar, and after that I have two final papers and that’s it (also two ten-minute and fifteen-minute presentations on them).

This evening was the last meeting of the semester for our PAT chapter.  At the closing of the meeting we discussed the 2018 Biennial which will be hosted in New Orleans.  The 2016 Biennial was at Disneyland but it came at the beginning of my graduating semester, so months before my senior thesis would be completed.  I’m in better shape now to speak at a conference, and the pres said that they may be working on a World War II panel at the Biennial and my heart leaped when he said that.  They especially want Asia/Pacific content, which is what my recent research has been on.  I haven’t presented at any conferences yet so I know that’s something I need to start doing.  I’m hoping I don’t lose the courage to apply when the application deadline actually rolls around (October).

I’ve also started interning at a historic site near my neighborhood.  I’m part of the education team and I just do research for program content and will be given to choice to work with school groups that come to the park or to go to school visits (I’m going on one next Thursday to a private school near my university).  Right now my current homework is to do primary source research, looking at the Japanese perspective on Pearl Harbor and plantation immigration.  Things are going great. 🙂

Me Vs. Food

It’s been about a month since my last bulimic episode.  That’s a long time considering I suffered from it for about two and a half years.

This time last year was awful because of it.  Everyone everywhere knows how much eating takes place during the holidays.  First it’s Thanksgiving, a few weeks later it’s Christmas, and one week later, it’s New Years.  And favorite foods in Hawaii are so unhealthy, but just as delicious.  My dad’s family always has a full roast pork on New Years Day and the skin is so unhealthy but so, so, so tasty and crispy freshly cut.

Surprisingly, though, the thought of gaining weight hasn’t been weighing too heavily on my mind.  I can tell that I have gained weight (or lost muscle mass), but it isn’t bothering me nearly as much as I had imagined.  We ran the marathon on the 8th and since then, we haven’t really run.  I started doing pilates but I don’t have as much time for it now that I work full-time until I start school again.  I need to find time for it; I really enjoyed it and since I went off of Cassey Ho’s Blogilates videos, it’s easier because she talks during all of her videos.

But anyway, I think I’m doing well.  I don’t count calories anymore and I’m a lot happier eating whatever I want.  I still stay away from fast food meals (not the fries though!) and greasy foods in general.  Last week my friends, boyfriend, and I went to Hooter’s for our early Christmas dinner and I felt so sick for days after that.  I ate a plate of tater tots and one and a half parmesan garlic chicken sliders.  So.  Much.  Oil.  But, I love tater tots way too much and I still don’t really regret it.

I don’t know what clicked in my head.  This time last year, my eating disorder did get a little better because on Christmas Eve, I came down with the stomach flu and spent the entire night tossing and turning with body aches, and if not that, then in the bathroom throwing up or, you know.  And that entire night being spent throwing up until my stomach hurt because nothing else would come out made me realize that I did that on a daily basis.  I made myself throw up vital food intake on a daily basis because I had been made fun of for being fat in high school.  I weighed 98lbs around that time.  It got worse again, and got a little better after I got back from Washington in July.  And since mid-November or so, I haven’t made myself do it.  I threw up once last Sunday, but that was because I tried so hard to eat $62 worth of crab at Hoku’s breakfast brunch that my body just couldn’t take it.  As much as I love king crab legs, there’s only so much I can eat comfortably.

But, I am a lot happier.  Counting calories is a waste of time.  Two and a half years of bulimia naturally did make my appetite smaller, so it’s easier for me to control how much I eat now.  Bread and pasta were my deadly enemies before but since then, I’ve learned that eating them in small portions is fine, and I’ve even learned how to make no-knead bread (it’s pretty good if I do say so myself).  I can’t even explain how much I love bread.  I love the smell of freshly-baked bread, I love making it, I love the texture, I love its versatility.  Pasta, eh.  I can do without it.  I also used to eat A LOT of rice, as most Hawaii residents do.  I’ve learned to substitute rice for vegetables in most cases; however, spam, eggs, and rice or eggs, vienna sausage, and rice CANNOT be subbed for anything.  They need to be eaten with rice, I’m sorry.  It’s a breakfast staple here!  I also love waffles and I’ve learned that one waffle won’t kill me.  In fact, I ate a Belgian waffle for breakfast today.  I woke up craving one, so I drove to Aiea to get a strawberries & whip waffle from Koa Pancake House and I ate it in less than ten minutes.  Like the tater tots, I love waffles way too much and I don’t regret it one bit.

I think, though, I’ve learned that being stick-thin doesn’t make me pretty, and being a little thicker doesn’t make me ugly.  My boyfriend knew about my eating disorder a year in, but at the time, I had told him that I had gotten better.  So for a year and a half, I just hid it better.  Deceitful, yes, but I thought he’d be happier if I became thinner.  Let me say, he is not like that at all.  From the day we met, he’s constantly told me how beautiful, pretty, cute, sexy, adorable, witty, funny, intelligent, and kind I am (or that he thinks I am, anyway!).  He tells me on a daily basis that I’m pretty and he has for the two and a half years we’ve been together.  I just never believed him.  Maybe now I do.  We wake up in the morning and he’ll roll over, look at me, and tell me that he feels lucky to wake up next to me every morning.  This has happened for two and a half years, and I still thought I was fat and ugly.  How could I think that, right?  I’m not sure.

I’m not scared of gaining weight anymore and it feels so wonderful.  I don’t eat whatever I want, whenever I want, but I’ve just learned to eat in a smarter way and that sometimes, I’m not hungry, but simply bored.  I’ve learned to love running and exercising in general, and I’ve grown to love fruits (I’ve always loved veggies).  A chocolate cake is a chocolate cake, I don’t need to try one from five different restaurants.

The hardest part about my eating habits these days is being at work.  My work place is full of closet chefs and bakers.  In fact, my coworker is the one who gave me the recipe for the no-knead bread.  He’s a wonderful cook and makes fresh bread at work weekly.  I work in an office and there are always snacks, especially in my department.  There’s a desk designated solely for snacks.  One of the loan officer’s wives makes brownies all the time and gives us the brownie edges.  BROWNIE EDGES, the BEST part of the brownie!  He knows I like brownie edges so he’ll always give me the first pick.  Members are always bringing us malasadas, coco puffs, manapua, cake, pie, etc.  Not to mention staff just baking and bringing things to work.  Sometimes I’ll flat out say “No, I do not want cake” and I’ll get up to grab something and ONE minute later, there will be two slices of cake on my desk.  It’s my fault, everyone there knows I have a sweet tooth. 😛

I also really love cotton candy.  This is the one food my mom told me I cannot eat.  I’m 20 and she tells me I CANNOT eat cotton candy.  I’m 20, I can eat whatever I want!  Including tons and tons and tons of cotton candy.