Sunday, April 03, 2011

after much, much, much handwringing, i've decided to close up shop here on the size ate blog.

i know, it's probably not much of a surprise to any of you (are there any of you left?) since i've been M.I.A for almost a year now and posting was spotty for a year or so prior to that, but i wanted to write one last post to explain my decision because i think it's a healthy one. i also think it's possible that many of you might someday find yourself in a similar position and be scared (like i've been) to cut the cord. it might seem completely impossible to you now, but someday you might find that it's time to kill your own ED/body image blog, delete the ED/body image blogs from your bookmarks, store your ED books in the basement and move on to exploring and expressing something new. not because you're perfectly recovered - we know there's no such thing and our recovery is a work in progress - but because you're so much better and the world is so much bigger than your disordered eating and your body image.

and isn't that the point of getting better? to live? to try new things? to grow?

my disordered eating and body image scheisse is a part of my history. an important part of my history that has, in many ways, molded and shaped who i am today, but as a part of my history, it should probably stay there. i hope my story will, like history lessons always do, continue to help others navigate the present, but it's time for me to move on and write new stories. a marriage story; maybe a new mommy story; a food truck story; a new blog about living happily, hopefully and healthfully; a new show about the insanity that is WEDDING.

i don't know!

and isn't.



i was discussing size ate's role in my life with my therapist the other day - something we've done a lot of over the past year or so - and i said to her, "ya know. i just don't feel like talking about myself anymore."

she looked me in the eye and surprised me by saying, "margaux, that's a sign of recovery."

(my "doh!" moment.)

and so, i took that as a sign that it's time to sign off.

this blog will remain as is, and i hope that women and men, young and old will happen upon it from time to time and find comfort and inspiration here. i'll still be performing the show occasionally and will keep that site updated with show locations and times, so check in there if you're still interested in seeing the show live. i've also got a film version of the show in the works (if only in my head at this point, but isn't that where all good things begin?). i'll post updates on all new projects on my Facebook pages, so the best way to stay in the loop would probably be there (size ate page and my own personal page). be my friend, please.

also, i'm not pulling a J.D. Salinger, so PLEASE feel free to get in touch with me at margrocks (at) if you need anything - support, NYC hotel recommendations, wedding advice (that's easy: elope).

it's been an honor to share my story with you, and i hope in some small way that it's helped you shape yours. by reading my words you've helped me heal. thank you.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

where the hell have i been?

well, folks! i'm getting married! this july, to be exact! so, as you might expect, i am knee-deep in wedding planning. in an effort to make time to indulge my type-A planning tendencies, wrap my brain around this wonderful and scary and courageous leap called marriage and to - oh, i dunno - be fully present for the entire thing, i'm taking an indefinite break from size ate. as always, this isn't "farewell", it's just "see ya later."
life happens. it's very important to make room for it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

size ate is baaaaack! & merry, mindful holiday eating

i just wanted to check in to let you all know that i'm performing SIZE ATE (i'm playing with it in all caps. what do you think?) in NYC again, january 14-16. it's open to the public. please do come! more details and ticket info here. i hope to see you all there! 

wouldn't a pair of tickets to the show be a great last-minute holiday gift? ( ;

lord knows i've been a stranger, and i'm sorry, but my life is filled to the brim these days, and it's just not leaving a lot of room for regular blogging. i hope you are all enjoying your holidays: staying sane and soulful and sweet. as i write this, gingerbread is baking in the oven and an apple cinnamon candle flickers on the coffee table. le sigh... i love Christmas.

speaking of sanity and the holidays, my dear friend and co-inspirator, Susan Weiss Berry, was kind enough to write up some tips on Merry, Mindful Eating during the Holidays. read them and be like a sponge: absorb. have a wonderful holiday, happies. enjoy every blessed morsel of it. and i don't just mean the food.

1. Eat between the extremes. This year, instead of restricting what you eat, try this: regardless of what you weigh, how much weight you think you need to lose, or what you ate yesterday, each time you are physically hungry (sensations in your stomach) eat the foods you truly want and work towards stopping when you are just comfortable (before full). Become aware (mindfulness=no judgements) of when you are physically hungry vs. when you just want to eat (appetite =emotions, stress). Instead of criticizing say: "Isn't that interesting? I'm not really hungry right now, I just want to eat because...", or "Here's what I'm hoping the food will do for me." When you do eat, pay attention to the food as it enters your mouth. Chew slowly; put your fork down between bites. Close your eyes and tune into the tastes, textures and sensual pleasures of the food. "Do I like this?  Do I want more? Have I had just enough?"

2. Do you want peace or a piece of pie? Holiday parties can overwhelm with a variety and abundance of food. Before you eat, place your hand on your belly and ask:  "Am I hungry? Physically? Or do I want to eat because… it’s time; I’m stressed, I’ll never, ever get to have any of this food again," or "Aunt Agatha is giving me agita?" Survey the spread and choose only the foods that really “hum” to you by asking, “Do I want something hot or cold? Salty or sweet? Crunchy or smooth?” Don’t over think this— go with your gut. Remember, foods are not good or bad and you are not good or bad for wanting them.

3. Avoid the Virtue Trap:  The Voice of Virtue (perfection) is Fear Mind. It carries on, yapping in your head, "if you eat this one cookie, this one slice of pumpkin pie, it’s all over, it’s ruined."  BIG FAT LIE! Truthfully, challenging our conditioning around food takes time and courage, but in the long run, it’s so much simpler to respond to Hunger and Satiation in the moment, than to carry around a Weight Watcher’s scale and a tally sheet. And being perfect, by the way is totally, and completely impossible!

4. Trust your brilliant body- If you feel like you’ve eaten too much—like you end a meal too full, instead of getting into a panic, reacting by bingeing or starving to punish yourself for being too full, just stay busy while the food is digesting. Say, "oh well, no big deal," and turn your attention to something enjoyable. It’s amazing but after a couple of hours, you will no longer be full, and maybe you will have made a gorgeous beaded bracelet, watched a fascinating movie, or finished an amazing book.

5. Assess the stress:  Notice the more nerved out you get, the bigger the knot in your stomach gets, the more shallow your breathing becomes and the more you want to eat/restrict? It’s challenging to know what the body truly needs when it’s anxious/stressed. To create the calm you crave, try this: Leave the group. Go to the bathroom, wash your hands slowly with warm water, or just close your eyes and take a deep breath. Listen to the tightness in your stomach, chest, throat or shoulders. Sit down, exhale through your mouth then inhale through your nose. Feel your shoulders drop, your stomach relax. Now breathe slowly and gently through your nose for 1-2 minutes. Your body will relax even more. Allow yourself as much time away from the group as you need. Take good care of you. Repeat as needed.

6. Stay in the Moment: Fear Mind enjoys rewinding to Christmas 1980 or fast-forwarding to Hanukkah 2020. It enjoys rehashing negativity and predicting dire futures. I say "Bah-humbug." The present moment is a safe haven from Fear Mind who loses all power in this tick of the clock. When you hear words like should, have to or what if, you know a Fear Mind fable is on the way. Try this: Label troubling thoughts as Thinking and redirect your attention through your five senses: sparkly candles, sweet Christmas Carols, smell of pine, spicy cinnamon eggnog, cold snow on your skin. This is what’s real and true right now. This is the present moment. All is well.

7. Bring Your Toolbox:  Instead of using food, we can create portable, lightweight tools that distract and comfort us when we feel stressed, anxious or uncomfortable. It might be a pile of People Magazines, music, knitting, books, puzzles, nail polish, crayons, games, naps, walking, or calling a friend. Pack whatever works for you. Befriend yourself.

8. Set limits:  Know how much time you can comfortably spend at holiday gatherings.  Let hosts know in advance when you’ll need to be leaving. Take breaks often to assess the stress and decide, do I need to leave the dinner table? The room? The house? Be Mindful of information your body’s sending to you and let yourself have a break whenever needed to get your balance back. Ask: What is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now? Use your tool box; create exit strategies.

9. Make a list:  Holidays are a great time to review the year. Instead of focusing on what you did not like, ignore the critic and pay attention to what you are grateful for. Include the smallest details: I can see, hear, walk. List the things you are proud of (include the smallest things:  I walk my dog in the rain, I get up and go to work regardless). Comfort and joy, acceptance and compassion are the perfect gifts to give to yourself and others. Keep giving all year. As Pema Chodrun says, ''Mindfulness practice isn't about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we are already.''

10. Start A New Year This Year- Winter holidays can be a source of solace or stress. It all depends on your point of view.  It’s easy to become over-focused on piles of potatoes and pumpkin pie not as a source of pleasure but as a way of medicating uncomfortable feelings. This year, instead of adopting the Fear Mind philosophy--"who gives a crap, I’ll diet Jan 1st," try this: Pretend the New Year begins 12/22, the day after the Solstice, when Light returns and the days grow longer. A time of hope and renewal. Light a candle. All is well.

11. Let go. Overeating/undereating is not a crime and does not make you a bad person. As a gift, give yourself a break. Name the thoughts and feelings that come up like, "oh, this is anger, this is how it feels in my belly, my throat." After naming feelings, let them go. Live in the present moment—in what is true and real NOW! Let go of worrying about what you ate an hour ago, or last night. Don’t punish yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. See the humor in all situations and respect where you are right now. Take good care of yourself in all circumstances. 'Tis the season to be jolly.  Keep learning, breathing, laughing.

Susan Weiss Berry, MS, CNS is the owner/director of Evolved Eating in NYC and an expert in the fields of Eating Disorders, Emotional Eating and Mindfulness (

how do you cope with the holidays and food? 

holidays are so much more enjoyable for me now that i have full permission to eat anything i want. what's weird and beautiful is that i'm far less likely to overeat. i've also learned a lot about my limits as well as my tastes. i don't like feeling super full, and it turns out i don't even like apple or pumpkin pie. now i save that precious belly-space for chocolate items!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

what does recovery mean to you?

last week, i performed size ate at Dominican College in Orangeburg, NY. after the show, a young woman came up to me and after a few initial pleasantries, asked, "so... there is no clinical definition of recovery out there. what does recovery mean to you?"


good question.

of course, my recovery is all i can discuss because the path to recovery is varied and many, and my recovery is the only recovery i'm an expert on (and even that is debatable on certain days).

what does my recovery look like? 

not scheduling my meals, but eating intuitively, like a toddler. when i'm hungry and with passion, enjoyment and curiosity. sitting down to a meal, ordering and enjoying(!) whatever my body wants and needs - a cheeseburger with bacon and fries, or brown rice with chickpeas and broccoli raab, or a 2nd piece of birthday cake - eating until i'm full, then stopping because satiated, not stuffed. all of this happening without too much handwringing or having to give it too much thought. then coming back and doing it again when my belly starts to gently rumble.

exercising when my body and mind craves movement - enjoyful movement - not because i am trying to tone or lose or tighten. not scheduling 5 daily workouts/week because the exercise magazine says so. moving because it brings me joy and because it helps me live my life with less anxiety and fewer migraines.

knowing how to recognize the self-destructive thoughts as just that, thoughts, not instructions. not truth, just thoughts. thoughts that i have the choice to listen to or not. then, when these thoughts beckon, knowing how to take care of myself, mother myself. metaphorically, letting that little girl throw her temper tantrum, or picking up that scared little lonely girl into my arms and letting her cry and shushing her to sleep with kind words, a warm bath and hot tea.

that's pretty much it.

simply put, recovery for me, is freedom. freedom to eat, to move and to feel whatever it is i need and want and not being bound by what others tell me how i should eat, how i should move, how i should feel.

in my case, recovery has yielded me a life populated by coulds as opposed to shoulds.

what does your recovery mean to you? struggling? if you could ask a Genie to grant you recovery, what would it look like to you? no limits.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

finally! bodyPeacebyPiece

begins this saturday 10/17! for more info and to sign up, click here.

Friday, September 04, 2009


bought this birthday card yesterday for my absolutely wonderful, amazing, illuminate acting teacher, Elizabeth Browning. the words on the front are inscribed on the wall of Shishu Bhivan, a children's home in Calcutta, and i wanted to share them with you. if i can, i'd like to live my life this way.

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

If you succeed, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

People really need your help, but may attack you if you help them. Help them anyway.

Give the world the best you've got and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you've got anyway.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

grateful x 1000

i'm going to be MIA for a few weeks until things settle down a bit. The Cute had a bit of a health scare last week, so i spent the bulk of my time at the hospital (definitely not one of my favorite places). it was very scary for a few days there, but i am exceedingly happy to report that he is 100% on the mend, but i'm just now catching up with emails, upcoming show details and um, sleep.

precious, precious, precious, glorious, glorious, glorious, unworried, uninterrupted sleep.

i was also supposed to move in with that adorable man this past weekend, but that got postponed seeing as how he was shackled to an IV stand he affectionately dubbed "Twiggy" for the past 6 days.

'til my return, a few things i'm grateful for:

happy, functioning kidneys.

our hospital theme song. The Cute's theme song.

snoring (because that means he's sleeping next to me, alive and well).

new sheets kissed by The Polka Dot Fairy.

home-cooked meals by The Cute's momma.

raspberry sherbert that brings you to tears. chili that makes your eyes roll to the back of your head.

a happy and healthy life is a daily commitment and, like all things worth doing, is hard work but, my oh my... the benefits make my eyes water, my heart swell and my throat lump.