Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pat, Patty, Patricia

Wow, it has been awhile since I have been able to post a blog, I have to admit, I kind of miss the massive brain dumps. This past month has been a bit crazy. I hate using that as an excuse to not prioritize those things that matter most, but unfortunately it is the case.

Along with not posting any blogs in awhile, my travels have caused me to temporarily also put Weight Watchers journey on-hold. I didn't do too bad for myself these past 3+ weeks traveling, however, I am looking at this upcoming Saturday as my day to become a born again WW member, well at least until I Greg and I head to Hampton Beach.

I am kind of looking at the summer as a time to maintain. I would love to lose another 5 lbs this summer, but I would even be happy with maintenance this summer. I feel like the summer is the hardest for me, even more difficult than the winter, which is crazy. I think it is the outdoor cafes, constant desire  for wine and cheese and the muggy, hot weather that all hinder my weigh loss opportunities. I know none of these are good excuses and it isn't like Greg and I have been good about cooking lately, but there is nothing that makes me want to cook less than a hot and humid NYC evening. Our apartment is hot enough, never mind what putting the stove, or let alone oven would do. It is bad enough after taking showers. Again, all not good excuses, but I am proud of myself for having a goal for this summer. I am not expecting to lose much more than 5 lbs this summer and then hoping to pick things back up after Labor Day and begin to get closer and closer to goal. It is still a bit scary for me to say that out loud.

In my mind I am overweight, always have been and always will be.  It is part of my identity. It is hard for me to admit that perhaps it is possible for me to be a healthy weight and in-shape. I am still overweight and still have a way to go, but thinking of myself being able to get into the 140's is exciting. I was always that kid who was in that 98% range, in all the wrong ways while growing up. My pediatrician use to always mock me (it felt like mocking at least) tell me I was a "big girl" and "solid." Thanks, thanks a lot Dr. Chung. I honestly think he is the reason I refuse to have male doctor's these days and probably also is a large part of the reason I really do not enjoy going to the doctor's at all. I honestly do not even know what is possible weight-wise. I haven't been in the 140's since like freshman year in high school. I am trying to not let that be a mental blocker however. I like to think it is possible. I feel like as soon as I start telling myself it isn't, it won't happen. I need to continue to change the story I tell myself and the negative self talk that constantly plays in my head.

I am constantly trying to remind myself that I do not have to be that overweight person. It is just that so much of who I am has been influenced by how I view myself. I have no doubt I would have been more confident if I was not an overweight child and teenager. I have no doubt that this may have made a difference in who I am today and where I ended up. I will say, however, that I really wouldn't change anything. There is a reason why this is the way everything played out. I am not sure I will ever fully understand why things happen as they do, but I like to trust that my childhood and teenage years taught me a necessary lesson that has made me continue to learn and grow into the person I am today.

Always being an overweight person, in my mind, it is still hard to recognize and remember that I have lost 30 lbs. I am on the way to trying to slowly redefine how I see myself and who I am in the world. I am an overweight person, yes, but I don't have to be and I am working on that. As I say so often, I am so much more than how others see me. There is obviously a lot about me you would never know, unless you asked. 

Similarly, I often think about how my name has made an impact on who I am and who I have become. I was born on August 20, 1979 as Patricia Rose Landry. The only time I hear myself referred to as such is when I sign my name on credit card receipts, donor cards and official documents. When I was really little I have really vivid memories of being called Patti Rose. I have an Auntie Patty, so I am have always assumed Patti Rose was to help distinguish between my aunt and I. Looking back on that now, I am not so sure that is where the nickname came from, but that is the first one I remember.

One of my first and best friends ever, Sarah, use to call me Patti Patricia. Sarah didn't quite understand nicknames. She knew my first name was Patricia, but that people called me Patti. I am often reminded that Sarah use to ask her mom if "Patti Patricia could come over and play." Looking back on this now, of course this was confusing. People are given a name at birth and almost instantly many are also given a nickname. Sometimes it is a shorter version of their first name, sometimes it is a combination of their first and middle name, sometimes it has nothing to do with either name and sometimes it is more of a pet name and comes about because of something a family member calls you or something memorable that you may say or do.

I feel like Patti Rose also became my "you are in trouble" nickname. You know, when you do something you aren't supposed to and suddenly you are called something you do not normally respond to. But more than anything, my nickname was Patti. Patti with an "i" I remember my mom making me Valentine's Day lunches and use to always put a little heart over the "i." 

My rebellion came around the 6th grade when I decided that I was going to go from an "i" to a "y." I am not sure what inspired this, I think maybe I just liked how a "y" looked at the of my name. So, I went from Patti to Patty. Or maybe I was embarrassed about the little hearts above the "i's" I am sure there is a back story, I just wish I remembered it.

I do have a few people in my life that call me Pat. My response to this nickname really depends on who uses it. I am not bothered by my closest friends and parents or sister using it. It kind of rubs me the wrong way when people I do not really know use it. I am not sure why that is, I feel like it is even more of a nickname than Patty, yet, Pat, I guess should sound more grown up??

Then there is my sport's and high school nickname. Many of my closest friends that I grew up with and played sports with called me Landry. I think this is the nickname I miss the most. I guess I have always been very attached to my last name and and so I really do miss not hearing it as much. Running around the bases, I use to hear it all the time. 

Then there is "P" some of my favorite people call me this. I guess it is just a shorter version of Patty, although I don't expect it to become my ultimate name of choice. It is much more of a close friend, casual nickname, but I cannot leave it out. 

Last but not least, I have one aunt that calls me Patrish. I have always liked this nickname. It makes me feel a bit more grown up and formal than Patty, but not quite as formal as Patricia.

Why am I discussing all of this? I guess it is because I want to put this question out there to everyone. What is really in a name? Does it really impact the person you become and your identity? For those of you that have a formal first name, and have always gone by a nickname, are you ok with this? Have you ever felt like you wanted to start being called your full formal name? If so, how did you do this?

I always joke with people and ask how I am suppose to know when I should move from Patty to something else? Patricia, perhaps? Is it necessary for me to transition away from Patty? I have brought this up with many people, especially at work, and I am often told that "I am a Patty." Am I really a "Patty" or do you just know me as "Patty" so it works for you? Would I be a different person if I started going by Pat, Patrish or Patricia? When I ask if I would be a different person, I don't just mean personally, I also mean would I be perceived differently by others.

If you met me somewhere and I introduced myself as Patricia vs. Patty, or vise versa would either name have a different affect on you? Would Pat resonate with another feeling? I guess all of this is hard to consider if you know me well as a person. I guess I am just wondering what comes first, the chicken or the egg. If I suddenly started spreading the word that I wanted to go by Patricia or Pat, would that somehow influence me? Would it give me more or different confidence about myself, my career or the person I am? If we are friends would you have a hard time starting to call me Patricia? Would it not feel right, would it not suit me?

If the answer to any of this is "yes," why is that? It is because once you know someone it is hard to change them in your mind, even something as simple as their name? Is it because I just don't act like a Patricia?? What does acting like a Patricia even mean?

I know all of this may sound a bit crazy, but it really makes me think about how much importance a name may or may not hold? I think, regardless of how short your name is, it is hard to totally escape childhood or life without some type of nickname. Granted, Patty sticks much easier than Snuggy Wuggy and is a variation of my actual first name, so people can call me Patty is personal, professional and social settings-- I guess Snuggy Wuggy may work for some?

I am also curious if I am the only one that struggles with this? When do I become Patricia, or something more formal than Patty, or is that not necessary. I always said that if I decided to take Greg's last name, I would have to become Patricia Cram. Patty Cram just sounded too short for me. Not use to only 3 syllables. I am use to 4. I am pretty sure I am going to keep my maiden name for many reasons, one of which being my attachment to it, another being the difficulty I had while doing family research. I ran into way too many "wife of John Smith" which really bothered me. So, I guess I can either stick with Patty Landry (4 syllables, as always), or maybe at some point go to Patricia Landry (5 syllables).

I like to think it will become clear to me, at some point, if I am a Patty, Pat, Patricia, or heck, maybe even Addie. I have to admit when I discovered that Addie was a nickname for Patricia, I was sad I didn't find that sooner. I feel like it is too late in life to change my name that drastically. Part of me also feels that even if I do become Pat or Patricia, people will continue calling me what they are comfortable calling me.

All of this makes me feel like a name must really hold a lot of weight with people. I know when I consider baby names, I automatically rule out certain names because of negative connotations I have with that name. I also try and think of names that I don't have any negative associations with. I often hear my teacher friends say it was hard because sometimes they really like a certain name, but then they have a student with that name that gives them a hard time and suddenly, they don't like it any more and cannot imagine naming their child that name.

I have often wondered if I could pull off Patricia? I guess perhaps this is another part of my process here in Blog Land. 

In the end, I like to think I am who I am, regardless of name and regardless of the number on the scale. I can only hope I can continue to take time to learn about myself, the world around me and keep an open mind to possibilities. 

Coming up next:


My religion



What 5 year olds teach me

Subway stress

Letting Go

And that's all she wrote....

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