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Tag Archive for ‘Body’

Stuff I miss

1. My grandmother

Today I want to go to her house and play Gin Rummy with her. I want to eat her potato salad and sit on her furniture. I want to smell her smells and hear her stories.

2. James Hillman

There are days that I wake and I realize that James Hillman is really dead and that I will never hear him speak again. I go to Youtube and try and find a clip that captures who he was to me and I can never find it and it only makes me feel worse. I re-read his books and remember his lectures and doing all of this only makes his absence more intense.

3. Apricots

I never see apricots anymore. Did I miss the breaking news, are apricots extinct?

4.  Blogging daily

I miss being able to write everyday. And I miss being able to read everyday. I like my life the way it is but sometimes I miss my life the way it was.

5. Summers off

Summers used to be the times when I read and read and read. I want a summer of reading. I want it to be the kind of summer that feels like it lasts forever and I want each day to be filled with a book that opens up a new world in me.

6. The promise of some future self that would completely surprise me

I know who I am. I know, pretty much, what I’ll do and where I’ll go. I miss that feeling that today I might turn a corner and meet someone who could change my entire life forever. I know its still possible; only today it feels less likely.

7. Having a body that wasn’t so impacted by stress, sleeplessness or diet

I want to have a body that doesn’t punish me for neglecting it. And I don’t want to have to take medicine or Advil or go to doctors or give up gluten.

8. Having hair that I could let dry in the sun and that didn’t require many products to make it look good.

9. Grad school

I miss lectures, reading, and writing papers and learning new things. I miss that feeling of potential that one has when one is in school. I have patients who are in grad school and I see them wanting to rush through the process and I constantly finding myself wanting to tell them how lucky they are to be just where they are.

10. Wanting

Before I could afford stuff I used to think that getting stuff would make me happy. The sad truth is that stuff can’t make you happy. I sort of miss believing that. It was nice to believe that if only I could have those Kate Spade shoes I would be happy.  I do miss that.

What do you miss? Come on, tell me….You know there’s something you miss. Please share!


At least I dreamt that I was. In the dream I had been out in the sun and I didn’t have sunblock on. I had remembered that I had been using skincare products that made me especially susceptible to the sun’s harmful rays. In the dream I panicked. “My face”. I somehow saw my face( in a mirror?) and it wasn’t just red it was a purplish burnt looking red. It felt permanent and that I would be damaged by this exposure. That was it, that was the entire dream. When I woke up it had felt like a nightmare. So what does this little dream mean?

Let’s start with where the dream begins: I was out in the sun. What does it mean to be out in the sun? For me, as an introvert with Irish skin, it means that I am in two places that feel a little uncomfortable in( out and in the sun) and in a place that I need to be protected from—I am vulnerable when I am out in the sun. The sun is out in the day time, when all the action happens.  Hence the sun is more of an ego state( masculine) while the moon is symbolic of the unconscious( or the feminine. or the receptive). To get too much sun is to have too much ego state. Sun is light, warmth, and generative but it can also be burning, destructive and killing. The sun is the centre of our solar system. It is symbolic of enlightenment. Carl Jung theorized that the sun was an archetype of the human concept of the Self.

Continue reading ‘Red-faced’

Why I’m hungry

You remember the last episode of “Belette goes to therapy” in which I was angry at X and I expected Igor to help me see my issues that were responsible for me having this dynamic in my life and instead Igor agreed that X was being an idiot and needed to get X’s ass into therapy. And you remember how after it became clear to me that I had absolutely no agency in the behavior, save my reaction to X’s antics. And you remember how post-session I got a serious case of the “I deserve a brownie”?

My friend, who is brilliant, and who comments under the name of “My friend” left a thought provoking comment on my last post. She said, “I wonder if the energy you would typically spend owning/partially owning the behavior of others was suddenly suspended before you and because that energy had to go somewhere, it manifested itself in this voice of hunger and the subsequent sense of needing to control that hunger.” This friend of mine always gets me thinking and she really got me thinking with this comment.

Continue reading ‘Why I’m hungry’

Breaking news: I’m a 10.

No, no, Silly-Rabbit—not in a “She’s a 10″ kind of way. Not in a Bo Derek/Dudley Moore/Bolero kind of running on the beach in a bikini with my hair braided in corn-row way. However, I imagine if I was going to assign myself a number in that numerical way (which in truth I am totally against) I would give myself a four to five on an average day( I am a harsh and merciless judge of myself and a very generous judge of others—Igor and I are working on this). However if I had the help of a team of gifted and talented beauty professionals,  I could weasel my way up to a strong seven. If you add in energy, enthusiasm and extra-credit I would get extra points for personality and wit, not that those who are inclined to hand out “tens” give credit for such character qualities. But what I am talking about today is the size of my tushy. My tushy is, as of yesterday, a size 10.

Continue reading ‘Breaking news: I’m a 10.’

Let’s get physical

I have been in a bit of slump when it comes to fitness. Truth be told the last time I was in the gym was prior to Obama being elected and, on a more personal note, it was back in the pre-Lily days that I last made the big trek all the way down to the gym( it’s three floors down from me and that elevator ride isn’t as easy as it sounds). It is tough to admit to myself that it has been that long. The truth hurts and so does my back. Yes, it seems that my writing exercises, emotional heavy lifting and deep and yogic like rumination does nothing to keep my body in shape. I do work up an occasional sweat when I realize I have misplaced my keys and I do the cardio-circuit between the kitchen counter, my bedside table and my closet floor—sometimes I do that circuit three or four times a week. Don’t be concerned about my extreme fitness regimen, I drink lots of water before and after and I make sure to cool down and stretch so as not to build up lactic acid. That said, be sure to consult your physician before you begin such an extreme regime.

I also walk Lily over a mile a day but my pace is not the kind of pace that gets one a spot on the speed racing walking team in the summer Olympics or an ass like a Kardashian. My heart rate never gets anywhere near the fat burning zone as we do lots of stops for Lily peeing, sniffing, checking pee-mail and saying hello to every dog and person we meet. However, there is some minor stretching on our twice daily puppy promenades, I have to bend over and pick up her poop and that is as close as I get to toe touching and/or squats.

I have long wanted to lose enough weight so I could get down from a size 12 to a 10. That shouldn’t be a lot of weight. And, really, it isn’t weight I want to lose. I want to lose inches. You see, weight loss and scales and numbers are a bit dangerous for me as from the time I was 15 until I was 27 I was bulimic and I will do whatever I have to in order not to go back to that dangerous and destructive behavior. I am proud to say that it has been 14 years since I have partaken in any traditional bulimic behaviors. That is not entirely true, there was one time when one an in-law said something snarky about my body and it triggered a two day relapse, but that was long ago.

Even though I don’t act like a bulimic I tend to think like one and exercise is a place where my bulimia continues to rear its ugly head. When I exercise I tend to think that more is better and that even more is better than that. If one step aerobic class is good then two classes of double step is better and then maybe I should do an hour of weights and then maybe a relaxing evening half-marathon and maybe a yoga tape. See, my body and moderation are two things that don’t go together. I have managed some brief periods of exercise moderation but they are usually short lived and I go from a healthy amount of exercise into compulsive exercise and push myself until I have an injury or I just can’t keep it up any longer and then I do nothing, that is unless you consider channel surfing to be an exercise.

A couple of years ago I developed a pain in my back. This pain hits at the worst time possible, when I am sleeping. The only way this pain will go away is if I get out of bed which is rather inconvenient at 3 a.m. The other option is for me to exercise. On the days I exercise I am totally pain free and I can sleep through the night. I have chosen the first option for far too long and now my back seems to have even less tolerance for sleep and it wants to get up at 1 or 2 a.m. and watch Shamwow commercials. Growing ever more sleep deprived I went to my doctor hoping that they might find a quick fix for my dilemma, like surgery or a spinal transplant. My uncooperative doctor suggested that if exercise prevented the pain then I should exercise.

Here is my Olivia Newton John, “Sweat Away the Back Pain”® plan: I am exercising for 21 minutes a day seven days a week. Why so short? Because I am lazy. Why seven days a week? Because the pain relief only occurs on the days I actually exercise. I am doing 21 minutes of cardio and ab work—every day without fail. No matter if I am tired, menstruating, or what other reason I can expertly concoct. And as I seemed to have developed an extremely short attention span for cardio equipment, my regime is seven minutes on the stationary bike, seven minutes on the elliptical machine and then seven minutes on the treadmill. Once I am done with cardio then I will do some ab work and maybe a stretch or two and that is it. Nothing fancy and no excuses( that, I think, was going to be the Nike catch phrase until they came up with “Just do it”. Or was it “Buy our products and you will look like an athlete even if all you do is sit on your butt and watch sports”?).

There was a part of me that hoped that my regimen would fail and that exercise would not relieve my pain as it had in the past and that my doctor would get me on the emergency list for a spinal transplant and she would be forced to eat a crow or a hat or some other inedible item to prove how wrong she had been. Sadly I am here to tell you that I am now on the fifth day of my new lifestyle and I am completely without pain. I guess that means I have to keep up the exercising and stop Googling “Bionic+spine+replacement+like+Jaime+Sommers+had+on+the+Six+million+dollar+woman.”

I know most fitness experts would likely tell me that seven days a week is too much and/or that I should be doing more varied workouts and/or more intense or more or less of something else. However my plan is not about fitness. My plan is not to have buns of steel or biceps of titanium or even thighs of some other precious metal— I just want to be able to sleep through the night. Don’t get my wrong, it would be REALLY nice if I had thinner thighs in 30 day—however my goal is sleep. Thin thighs just can’t be and aren’t my primary goal—and for me that is the healthiest choice for my mind and body.

I do fear that if and when my thighs get thinner the bulimic part of me that is dormant and yet still living in my psyche( I wish that beyotch would pay rent if she insists on living in my head) will wake up and start wanting to tweak with my exercise plan. She will suggest two sessions of 21 minutes or even more. I will do what I can to fight her off but her siren song of a size eight is as tempting as a chocolate brownie.

Writing in Valencia: Part Seven

If I could give this post another title I would call it “I am Burt Reynolds” and/or “What would Clint Eastwood, aka Chris Orcutt, do.” Last night just moments before bed I read Chris Orcutt’s fantastic post entitled Preparing for Success. Even as I tried to get to sleep I could not get his post out of my mind and as I laid there I started to count the ways I needed to prepare for my success as the sheep sat on the sidelines waiting for their turn to be counted.

I am going to go on and on about how much this post means to me and what it has made me wonder and what I am going to do because of reading it, but I still highly recommend you read his post for yourself, even if you don’t want to be a writer. I think this post offers a lot for anyone who is waiting for something to arrive at their door, whether it be the “Angel of Success”, the “Angel of Love” or just maybe the “Angel of UPS” to bring you a box from J Crew, or is that just me, or some other Angel.

Instead of just sitting around and waiting for success Chris Orcutt found inspiration in book form from Chin-Ning Chu, the author of Do Less, Achieve More ( that is so my kind of book title), Chu advises:

Before the Angel of Success arrives in your life, you should devote yourself to preparing your welcome for her. Polish your craft and strengthen your body to be fit so that you can do your job and enjoy success when it comes. Sharpen your mind and spirit so they are ready to face the challenges that accompany a visitation from the Angel of Success.

If you are not ready when the angel knocks, she will flee. And who knows when she will make it back around to your door again? One night in the 1960s, Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds were dining together. Clint has already become a famous movie star, but Burt was still struggling, trying to get bit parts. Burt asked Clint what he had done before he got his big break. Clint answered that he had simply “prepared myself for success.”

Those unadorned words, preparing for success, were the advice that was worth ten thousand ounces of gold to Burt Reynolds. He heard the words, understood the profound principle that they held, and went on to stardom.

Yes, I did laugh over the image of Burt and Clint dining together at a L.A. eatery and Clint spouting wisdom between bites of blood rare filet mignon and sips of smoky Scotch. I imagined Burt booking it back to his shiny fire red Camaro and scribbling Clint’s advice on a tiny notepad he kept in his leisure suits coat pocket especially for phone numbers of the ladies. I imagine that after that meeting Burt began to prepare for success in a focused Jedi Master kind of way and that soon after he got the audition for Deliverance and he was ready for what the “Angel of Success” had to offer him and because he was prepared Smokey and the Bandit came soon after. Yes, I mock Burt a little. Whether or not I appreciate Burt’s cinematic oeuvre, I do think Clint had something to teach and Burt learned it.

But what I found even more meaningful than the image of the two laconic and iconic tough guys getting all Tao Te Ching at the Topanga Canyon Chart House was reading how Chris had applied these principles to his own writing career:

Since I read that, over six months ago, I’ve been working diligently behind the scenes to prepare myself for success. I’ve beefed up this website. I’ve taken up golf. I’ve changed my diet and lost almost 20 pounds. I’ve started lifting weights again. I’ve bought myself a few tailored suits, including this fabulous Hickey Freeman number. I’ve organized my writing and my office (well, Alexas did). I’ve gotten my computers and typewriters in good working order. I’ve gotten an agent, who is getting my book read. I’ve been building a fan base. I’ve had a professional take author photos of me. And I’ve said yes to lucrative writing assignments, even though they aren’t directly relevant to my ideal career path as a novelist and screenwriter.

Truth be told, I don’t believe in angels, fairies, benevolent forces for good and/or anything else they sell at the Psychic Eye bookstore, that said, I do believe in opportunities and being prepared for them. I am not sure what the tenor of Do Less, Achieve More is and whether it is a bit new agey and promotes the idea that if you are ready the opportunity will come or if it is more pragmatic and realistic. But it is not the book I am so interested in, it is Chris’ action plan that hooked me and as soon as I read it I wanted my own.

You see, things are starting to happen, doors are starting to open and I have the second meeting with my own personal “Angel of Success” to discuss my book in early January. But after reading Chris’ essay I wondered if I am really prepared for the success and opportunity that I am working so hard to achieve.

So, I am going to break down Chris’ brilliant plan of preparation. I am going to go one by one and see what Chris did and see how I might apply these principles in my own plan of preparation. In this story Chris is Clint Eastwood and I am Burt Reynolds. Chris has the better part in this story. I guess things could be worse, I could have been Charlton Heston or Steven Seagal and I do have an impressive mustache (see picture above).

1. Beefed up website
Hmm, yes, things to do in this department. I have been procrastinating about writing a new “about me” for months. And, I have hired Eight Crazy Design to do an extreme makeover on this blog and create a couture design. And, I am preparing psychologically to reveal the name behind the pen name so that publishers can see the face behind the weasel.

2. Took up golf
No, no golf for me. I don’t imagine I will be meeting the “Angel of Success” on the links at Pebble Beach. But, is there some sport I could take up that would up my chances of literary success? Perhaps Judo, fencing, Israeli fighting, or some other man to man combat. No, I think not. That said, if what it took for me to have a book published was to wear madras shorts and an “I love Tiger” tee shirt I would so do it.

3. I’ve changed my diet and lost almost 20 pounds. I’ve started lifting weights again.
These are good things. I could lose 20 pounds and when I say that I mean that I could, I mean I could afford to lose 20 pounds and then I would be size 8 and that would be lovely. Now whether or not I could physically lose 20 pounds that is another matter all together. I do think that I could get myself to the gym if I told myself that I was going so as to prepare my self for success. I write almost 40 hours a week out of dedi
cation to this dream. So, I feel sure I could get to the gym if I convinced myself that it was in the name of the success of my book. I think I am going to download the theme for Rocky to my I-Pod. “Flying high now!”

4. I’ve bought myself a few tailored suits, including this fabulous Hickey Freeman number
I could use a few tailored suits, well maybe not suits, but I could use a couple of ensembles that I will wear when I meet my publishers and other literary events that require me to dazzle with my sense of understated style. Imogen, Make do, and Sal,do you have any suggestions on what the female version of a Hickey Freeman suit is for ladies in literature?

5. I’ve organized my writing and my office (well, Alexas did). I’ve gotten my computers and typewriters in good working order.
Definitely there is work for me to do in this department. I don’t have an office and I am really fine with that. When I had an office I never used it. I prefer to write from the discomfort of my living room sofa. But, my computer needs to be organized. When I think about beginning this task I start to feel tired, sick and in desperate need of channel surfing and carbohydrates. I need my own Alexas.

6. I’ve gotten an agent, who is getting my book read
I am working on this.

7. I’ve been building a fan base.
Well, I have been building what people in publishing world call a platform. So, I think that I could count on many of you lovely readers to buy my book when it hits the stores. At least that is what I am hoping.

8. I’ve had a professional take author photos of me
I do have the portraits of me as done by Badaude and Fifi. But, do not think that is what Chris had in mind. Well, I guess I will attempt to lose the 20 pounds and get my Hickey Freeman suits before I start shopping for a photographer.

9. And I’ve said yes to lucrative writing assignments, even though they aren’t directly relevant to my ideal career path as a novelist and screenwriter
Lucrative writing assignments? I am totally unaware that such things existed.

I am extremely motivated by Clint, I mean Chris. As I begin to prepare for my success I would appreciate any advice you have on preparing for success and what you have done/are doing or did do (yes, I as a writer am able to work in all three tenses) to prepare for your success.“Go ahead, make my day.”

About Me

My name is Tracey, aka La Belette Rouge. I am a psychotherapist and the author of Freudian Sip @ Psychology Today. I blog about psychology, my therapy, dreams, writing, meaning making, home, longing, loss, infertility and other things that delight or inspire me. I try to make deep and elusive psychodynamic concepts accessible and funny. For more information, click here .
These blog posts are informational only and not meant to replace individual psychotherapy, counseling or medical advice. If you are in need of help, reaching out to a professional may help you decide how to proceed or how to find the care you need. For a referral, contact

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