For Female Eyes Only

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My Five-Day Diet…That Only Lasted Three

Oh my God, you won’t believe it! I lost a hundred pounds last night while I was sleeping! Oh no, wait, I fell asleep watching America’s Next Top Model and thought that girl was me. Oops. Look, I know it’s only been three days, but throw me a freakin’ bone. At least let me start to see Elle Macpherson’s cheekbones on my face. The word diet, by the way, stands for “I Died because I couldn’t Eat It!”

No wonder this diet I’m on comes from doctors. It only lasts five days because then they have to check you in for a heart attack, rage issues, or passing out brought on by abnormal intake of dry toast and beets. But I’m excited about day four; I get no bread at all and dessert is sucking on ice cubes to prevent dehydration! I figure by four o’clock I should start to see Big Macs driving next to me in traffic, or chili dog friends coming over for a visit. And then after my cup of carrots and one bare weenie, I’ll be off to bed with a headache, anger issues, delusions, and no energy. P.S. I’m so malnourished I can’t even remember my old jean size, so how will I even know if this diet worked?! Good night, my little ice cream sandwiches…

You’re So Vain…You Probably Think This Varicose Is About You

It was a gorgeous day, a perfect short, silky sundress kind of day. The kind of day when construction workers whistle at your very existence and you don’t want to give them the “I am a woman” finger as usual. I was in my closet enjoying the delicious search for the perfect sandals, when I saw them—my great-grandmother’s legs attached to my body. Why on Earth did I look eighty from the thighs down? I thought it was bad lighting (you know, the varicose lighting often found at Ikea…or not). How was I going to explain this to my summer wardrobe? How was I going to explain to my twenty-nine-year-old body that from the thighs up I had obviously not gotten the memo that I am aging? Why didn’t Cosmo ever write about this happening? Forget “How to Do Your Best Friend’s Guy” and horoscopes…Why had no one ever told me that the bubble in which we exist could burst at any moment? What was this and why?

As I did some asking, in between sending myself “you’re still attractive” text messages, I found out that it happens to a lot of people. Didn’t help me much, but misery loves company. I am starting to deal on a normal level now with my vain problem—pun intended. But where do I go from here? I mean, we don’t get younger. Soon the varicose veins will be joined by other things: saggy boobs, wrinkles, and hair on my face. Yes, I did just say HAIR ON MY FACE. I could go on, but why? (P.S. I just sent myself another “you’re still pretty” text.)

Maybe I can make them a conversation piece?

“Hey, did you see my vein formation in the shape of Texas? Pretty cool, huh?” Or “Want to come over and play Connect the Veins?”

All right, I’m trying to be positive. I look at it this way—I have earned them. Here’s the deal. We all have things that get us down. Love yourself anyway. The right people will love you for your heart, not your veins. So hold your head high, make those blue goddess lines your beauty mark, and make being vain a good thing.

Bitch, Please

If ordering personality parts for a woman was like ordering food, it might sound like this: “I would like to have elegance as an appetizer; class, dignity, and sex appeal as my main course, with a side of great legs; and for dessert, a little bitch, please!”

Yes, I did just order a little bit of bitch. From this point on, bitch will be a good word, and for us, a compliment. It’s that little bit of feisty that we may need to use every now and then. And even if the “bitch” is never used, just by carrying it inside, you will have an inner strength that will keep people from messing with you.

Sometimes you have to be a bitch. It will keep girls from pushing you too far and stop men from thinking you are a pushover. Now please, do not go and tell people that I, JLH, told you it was okay to be a bitch, but it is okay to have a little bit of bitch inside. So use it! Let your man know he will have to work (in a good way) to be with such a great woman. And that, if needed, your little friend “bitch” will come in and finish the conversation. And to “those types of women”—you know, the ones who seem to awaken even the smallest, quietest bitch—let ’er rip! They will be shocked and they will back down. I repeat, your inner bitch isn’t to be used for bad, only the special moments when you need her. I may never say this again, but go ahead, ladies…BE A BITCH!!!

It was a strange day in my life, the day my bikini photo was plastered all over every magazine and Internet site imaginable. I found myself consumed with asking, “Why me?” I’m a nice person. I haven’t harmed anyone. I honestly didn’t get it. And what would other women think watching one of their own get attacked in this way? I finally came to the conclusion that it would be a very small, although painful, moment in my long existence. I would leave it in the past and move on. By the way, the whole situation totally made me hungry.

Fat, and Not with a PH

Why do people need to comment? Did my supposed fat tell you how stupid you look in that color? Or how hard it is for me to listen to that ridiculous noise you call a laugh? No. My supposed fat sat right here in this little black dress, quietly drinking its margarita, waiting for the food it ordered. OH, I BET YOU LOVE THAT! FOOD. THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID FOOD! Food that might add to the fat you mentioned earlier when you drove your large stake into the tiny part of my heart that stores all of its self-confidence, but don’t dare deprive me of it because I will get angry. And a hungry, upset, so-called fat person isn’t pretty coming at you in a dark parking lot in her car.

I take a deep breath and realize that maybe you have the problem. Maybe you feel like you have to comment on my weight because you have your own worries. And suddenly I want to share with you a brief bite of my tasty morsels instead of shoving your face in them. I heard someone say once that a world without men would be a bunch of fat, happy women with no crime. So come on, let’s pretend there is no one to impress for a moment. Stop being catty, grab a fork, and share my little bit of tasty heaven, and bite by low-calorie bite, take the world on tomorrow.

OMG I’M 30!

I remember when I was twelve years old: my birthday wish was to be thirty. It just seemed that all the women I knew or looked up to always got cooler at thirty. It’s when the girl finally sits to the side and the woman gets to take over. It’s when you are no longer afraid to have a real opinion on that, want more for yourself than just the “okay for now” guy, and can look at yourself and actually like what you see.

On my thirtieth birthday, I felt like a new me, so free and ready to show what I was made of. I decided to spend my day paying homage to one of the greatest women we all know, Audrey Hepburn. I had breakfast at Tiffany’s, lunch with my girlfriends, wore a tiara all day, and had the most fabulous party that left me dancing ’til 5 a.m.! It was glorious! I challenge us all to make every birthday as wonderful as thirty. Hold on to that “I have arrived” feeling, spend your birthdays paying homage to your favorite female icons, and remember, every year we get better. Here are a few things I have been doing for myself in my thirtieth year. No matter what age you are, you might want to give these a try.

· 1. Every day, look in the mirror and find ten things you like (you must say them out loud).

· 2. Every night before bed, find five things you think are sexy about yourself (that’s right, say those out loud, too).

· 3. Sleep in sexy lingerie, not for him, but you. (Sleep naked for him.)

· 4. And my favorite, take a bath every night with a tiara on. It really does make you feel like a queen.

If you don’t like these, come up with your own, but spend time on yourself and you will like the results.

Be Polite, It’s Cellulite

It starts off gently, a reminder to have one less french fry. A friendly, subtle “Hey there, you’re no longer sixteen.” A tiny, inconvenient, unimportant, barely noticeable, completely controllable bump. Misplaced cell or tissue, if you will. You don’t even think to mention it over a girls’ lunch because it will be gone after a forty-five-minute session on the treadmill. But then you wake up, two months later, after 150 hours on the treadmill, two weeks of sucking on ice, and eighteen massages for that little cell/misplaced tissue problem. And suddenly it hits you—it ain’t a houseguest, it’s here to stay. Your bathing suits have skirts on them. Your once string bikini is now surf trunks and a rash guard. You suddenly are very sensitive to sunlight and can only tan alone and at home. Department stores have seen what lurks under your jeans and have invented shorts—tight, skin-colored, cutoff-the-blood-supply shorts—meant to make you feel extremely secure when worn under your dresses and skinny jeans. Except you are getting no blood to your brain to make you feel secure. And now you waddle. They are so tight. You waddle over to the mirror and you tell yourself one last time that it’s only a matter of days before this nightmare ends. Let’s stop the insanity! (Thanks, Susan Powter.)

It is what it is. “Be polite, it’s cellulite.” Lots of women have it! A lot, a little, surface, deep, butt, thighs, whatever. The only personal victory I had was finding out and seeing with my own eyes that models have it. Yeah, perfect people are just like us! Let’s all have a celly parade! Walk in bikinis and invite people to bring tomatoes to throw at our cottage cheese! And the shorts from those Einsteins at the Spanx company have saved our lives. They should have their own day. Spanx Day! Don’t shoot the messenger, but put on those shorts and learn to waddle!

W.O.R.T.H.

(Women Over Relationships That Hurt)

WORTH: The quality within a person that renders him or her worthy of respect.

This is a struggle I personally deal with. Worth. How to feel worth it. To be worthy. When I was thinking of the word, it hit me. Maybe those of us who struggle with this concept need to form a club, a secret society of women, who need to learn to feel worth it. And maybe we can do it by healing from the relationships that made us feel worthless. So we will form the Worth Club, Women Over Relationships That Hurt. Instead of constantly not feeling worthy and wondering why fulfillment is not found in new relationships, we will do inner work, which is really different for each person, to heal ourselves before moving into the next relationship. Here are a few steps that I think work.

· 1. First, figure out who or what made you feel unworthy. Accept your part, and what’s not in your control, let go of.

· 2. Second, get a book on self-esteem, serious or funny, and actually read it, probably more than once.

· 3. Third, know that until you can believe that you are worthy of love from yourself, you can’t and won’t accept it from others. And when you feel that you are a truly worthy person, no relationship can actually break you.

To join this club, just be honest with yourself. Ask the person in the mirror to help you feel worthy, and then do your inner work. I think you are worth it.

The Perfect Date, Batteries Included

Oh, the days of steamy novels, daydreams, and endless satisfaction with our dream man…Remember when a rabbit was a cute, fluffy animal that taught you responsibility? Not anymore. Samantha on Sex and the City proved that a good vibrator is as important as a toothbrush. The rabbit is an extremely well-sold vibrator that the modern woman packs before her undergarments. Our dream man is even threatened by the relationship between a gal and her AA Energizers. But here’s the thing—sometimes a girl wants a quick “wham bam thank you ma’am” without all the perfume and fanfare, just like men and a Playboy centerfold. If she’s single, it can keep her slutless and disease-free. If she’s partnered, it can be used as a spice-up tool for even the most perfect relationships. And other times, it’s just a way to express your naughty self without feeling like you need someone else for everything. Remember, it knows exactly what you need, doesn’t talk back, shuts off when you say so, doesn’t want anything in return, and can’t kiss and tell. For those who are modest, name that little sucker and from now on tell people you are having a hot night with “Brad.” Then go home, grab a glass of cabernet, and turn him on…wink, wink.

Women wish to be loved not because they are pretty, or good, or well bred, or graceful, or intelligent, but because they are themselves.

—Henri Frédéric Amiel

(1821–1881),

Swiss philosopher,

poet, critic

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