One-Star Review (1/365)

I am on the path. I know the start weight.  I know the score.  The feeling.  The muscle memory of January 1.  This is the easiest day of the whole thing.  The simplest to find the Fitbit and get it charged.  To look up a few low-carb websites.  To add a couple glasses of water to your morning.  To eat some cheese and be distracted by the newness of it all.

This is the day for all of that to happen.

I have gained weight over this year of undocumented emotional indulgence.  The roller coaster of are they, aren’t they, will they, won’t they, do they, don’t they has taken its only just now acknowledged toll.  I’ve pretended that I feel the same, even if stairs leave me slightly ought of breath, if I feel slightly overclocked sometimes, a mind and heart racing without any particular stress to trigger it.  There are signs that are subtle and not that double orders of chile cheese fries have an impact to the body.

I don’t feel the resonating thrum around the idea of providing this page with yet another, probably annual at this point, mea culpa.  I don’t feel like a public face palm is all that valuable to me, personally.   I was mad earlier, overlooking the scale, not shocked, but disappointed that I thought that the magic in my magical thinking was hardcore enough as to invent a workaround for the Law of Conservation.    That I could eat violently – eat against imperfection – and end up perfect.  End up unmarked and not carrying all of the impact of adding dessert at every meal, of cravenly eschewing anything remotely green in color (the chile was mostly red in hue). As ever, the value to me, or to you now, is in the path forward where either we do a little better at not fucking things up, or we don’t.  I mean, as much chatter as I can provide us both about it and we all know I can chatter with the best of them when I’m of a mind, the things I do today are what the rest of my life will look like if I don’t break the chain.

I have my plans.  My flexible suggestions that I am going to be writing into law once I am sure I am not going to spend every day breaking them.  I am writing them down, but not here.   Again, not until I am doing something I can comment on.  Day One, as has been explained to me at my new corporate job, is energy and excitement and press releases and the whole embodied concept of LAUNCH! It’s important and necessary to cast your boat off the shore hard and get moving.  But it’s Day Two, it’s the realization that people – perhaps you, dear reader – have moved on.  The excitement for them is already behind them, scratched out of their bullet journals, and it is on you to design and sustain your own passion and maintain it so you can sell it back to them all the way down the road.

So I have done the Day One Showing Up.  I have provided myself the rationale.  I have not eaten a single marshmallow of the bag of marshmallows that have sat next to me on the couch all day long.  I have joined the hordes of perpetual failure: I have started a diet  and I hope I achieve my goals with it.  But this is the same group that is winnowed out into those who get somewhere, who do make it.  It has to come out of the pool of everyone who is willing to say, goddamnit, okay, maybe my Id can’t run me from morning to night and I have to put my foot down.  All of us tryers standing at the shore, taking the shove into the waters we know, pulling ourselves into the waters we don’t.

 

 

Attack of Opportunity

 

It is a terrible poison to find that when what you pine for is granted to you, your heart flinches and begins to target anew.  It’s a terrible curse to hear words and beneath them hear this guttural chant, these fiendish songs ring out that speak of the end of all things.

It is so strange.  So surreal.  So within my grasp at the same moment it is flung far from my heart.  To know that I can no longer turn back and ever expect to cross this river.  That, alas, I cannot swim, but nevertheless I find myself diving in.

I did not expect this and now I am to write you a letter tonight that professes my deep affections, affections I surely have because I read back and realize I have shared them before.  Shared them over a long summer of hopes and dreams that aged and iced into this intermittent winter that is half-summer and half-slick, frosted windowpanes glittering around and in front of me as far as the eye can see.   We’re here now and I think you think nothing has changed and I think I think everything has.  Neither of us can possibly be right.

You tell me on the phone about this joke of a thing, entering a raffle to win a prize, to win a trip to somewhere nearby.  Nearby as in – in the state.  In the same region, as in the way real people exist in relationship to one another when they think about their relationships.

Still the offer is intangible, hedged, locked in the roll of a dice as we joked.   Should I?  If I?  Would I? Would that be okay.  I was all encouragement.  I was every moment delighted.  And why not?  Why not after presents had been sent and dear, kind remarks about my sweetness and loveliness and overall charms?  How can I be both so moved and so cynical at the same moment?

But it had a real location.  A place I knew, if not well, then, at least a place that is here.  And how I have wrestled in my mind over this.  After all of these internal struggles of concern over being left in the dust to some other person out there in the world, of wanting just the security of a Facebook status change and feeling entirely thwarted in such regards, suddenly, there’s this suggestion provided apropos of nothing.

I will adjust, I will calm and this will either pass or be brought up again.  The frenzies of the morning never seem to make it to the night.  I am not to be tossed aside

Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned about the email from my dear friend.  There are things going on and I need to concentrate and lock it down and make it happen.

At least got those nails painted.

Procellosus (15/365)

The power of Fred.

It’s real.
Not that I’ve suddenly gone off-course.  I just am quite aware how draining and exhausting and bleh being OTR can be even if you’re entirely prepared for it to be happening.  Yesterday, even with great intentions, I found my steam running out much earlier and much more frequently than the previous day had indicated. I wanted to do another 3 miles of walking and just laid there.   This may also be because I did, now that I think of it, go and see the sister, and get the groceries and scrape the car and carry and do my best with my very short frame to fling a giant plastic tote of recycling over my daffy head into the bin.   And the part that matters was seeing the sister and hearing how despondent she was with her relationship with the guy person in her life and me talking about mine and needing so desperately to DTR (which I, in my great obliviousness, had never heard of, but means Define the Relationship).  It threw a lot of energy into a weird place.  Because I know I need to this, but every time I attempt to even parse the words or make the space for
But the dishes got washed.  And the laundry got put away.  And that’s an astonishing big deal so that I know tonight when I go home, I can cook without any junk in the sink to deflate the idea of steak and spiralized squash noodles.
I have also ordered things that are perhaps not so straight-forwardly cleanly low-carb.  Along with some great things, but a few questionable items that I know are going to slow things down.  Still, I am hopeful that my awareness will be half of the battle and that expanding a boundary in the short-term is better than calling the whole thing off.
Tomorrow, we’re being provided lunch.  I’m slightly freaking out that I can eat any of it.  I just have to bring some of my questionably low-carb home items to back me up when there’s quiche and sliders or whatever the catering throws out on the table (can’t hope for fajitas where the culling is fairly straightforward.
The middle of the month, there’s a meeting with my cousin that I thought of as my one-off, cheat meal.
But end of the month I’m going to Seattle.  Food there is…?
If I’m honest, I’m questioning this isn’t asking for trouble.
Because at least in my mind I want this to be the year of focusing on this.  I want this to be the year January-December where I’ve put time and effort and energy into the old bod.  Gross.  Into my health mildly together.  Into not being utterly beholden to Food and Ideas About Food, to Food as Narcotic.  I want, just as I’ve proven with this posting exercise, to be able to steady myself day after day after day and see what that accretion of time and effort can build.

Shifting The Numbers (14/365)

When I woke up like a bolt of lightning had run through me at nearly 5:00am, I was curious as to how the remainder of the day would go.  I woke up and got up and got shake and lingered a bit, laying there, drinking what I actually find as enjoyable as any Starbucks I’ve ordered.  I actually finish my shakes more often than not which I can rarely ever say for the former.

Well, it seems, that the energy has stayed with me.

Energy that has allowed me to exercise for forty-five minutes without feeling panicky and nervous and heart-fluttery which usually freaks me out just enough to stop.  My music was fast-paced and my stomp walking with Leslie Sansone felt like…exercise. It felt legit even if everyone and Cindy Crawford is lifting weights and doing yoga.  It was forty-five actual minutes and I felt every drop of that serotonin moving through me.  Oh, this, this is why people do this?

I have to imagine that just the regular walking and getting up and moving around that I’ve been doing in January has helped make it easy to shift a bit.   I’d half-planned just to see if my XBox would even play the DVD or if it had been scratched and ruined at some point between now and the last time I attempted this.  Caffeine, I’m sure played a role, but today…I don’t know.

Energy that stuck with me, too, to take garbage and recycling out, to wash pots and pans, attempt to make chicken stock (celery but no carrots, it is going to need work.), go to the store and try and find size 6 riding boots to zero avail, but ended up coming home with some random chicken, random Bordeaux-hued lipstick, some more gum, and some soda.  Slowly working on pushing that pop out of my life again.  To do laundry.  Order groceries.  Contemplate if in the next month or two if I want to try making keto bread.

And soon, hopefully, if I can stop distracting myself with random nonsense, make up my bed with some nice, clean sheets.

That’s a lot for me.  Maybe you and yours have all this shit locked down, but I am in a constant state of personal revelation when I handle anything without spending hours letting the thoughts run around in my mind, percolating a few drops of high-octane willpower before collapsing in a heap of your own making.

I know that better habits – habits at least like not buying Starbucks, even the low-sugar macchiato – make for days like this.  And if you can stack a few days like this, you can make your surroundings a place where you can trust that you have a clean bowl to cook your slightly more complicated low-carb food in and you’ve got space to move around in and you’ve got time as well.  So you don’t block yourself out of your own plans.

A little scary, mostly wonderful to contemplate.

The eventualities of sticking with this for a full year.  What it will mean.

Comme Ci, Comme Ca

No rush.  No Fuss.  No alligator guts.
This aims to be a wildly enjoyable Friday.
I have maybe another couple of hours, but all the reasonable work is done and I am not going to start a massive project so here I am.  I have to leave early otherwise everyone shall be paying me for all my fun and games and I am ethically heartburned by that.  Even if I could use the money.  I’ve already spent 45 minutes working on my French again.  C’est un stylo! Le femme n’a pas de voiture.  Or something.
I think, perhaps, it is harder to come up with the words lately because the angst in me has somewhat dissipated.  And even the angst about what I am eating – at the moment – is taken away from me and replaced by this earnest idea that I am doing something to improve my lot.  It is not a perfect scenario where the pounds glide away like so much latex beneath a sharp exacto-knife.  It is just not doing the aggressively wrong things – blunting with food the freaked out emotions, the overwhelmed and anxious empathy, the confused spirit who is now in places where she never thought she’d be – more often than I’m doing the sincerely good things.  The attempts at having vegetables become a regular thought, a plan.  The earnest excitement I briefly experienced at the thought of being able to cook butternut squash soup.   The desire to get those extra steps in.  It takes up the gaps in my head where the listless rambling lived.  There’s direction and traction now.  The words are not gone, per se, just redirected.  A mason steadily taking them and putting the bricks and the mortar one next to another.
I have never been sturdy.  Whatever my weight or the morphology of my personage, I have never been steady on my feet.  There’s always been a Santa Ana, a side-eye, a turn on the river. Some distance between my thoughts and my being.  I’ve always wanted to be in the ether, looking down at everything all at once, out of time and out of context. Safe, in that way, but also powerful.
Now, there’s this power in walking inside my own flesh.  In putting things where they go.  In washing a cup.  In following a routine.  Know that once those items are actually secured, there is this massive IMAX screen of life rolling out around and in front of you.  A panorama view unobstructed by the minutiae that means you sleep in clean sheets, you lean down for a pan and like magic, the one you were thinking of awaits.  The butter and the steak sizzles, the dream is not interrupted by the idea that you are a failure because your dreams sometimes break mid-thought.  You make the soapy water part of the dream.  You take away the choice for it to be depressing, low, external to the magic.  You make the laundry churn and the warm heat of the just dried hand-towels part of the care, part of the aerie your thought dance in.  A place you flutter through because there’s no reason to avoid it.  No reason to turn away from this charming scene where your muscles are moving, just as they were made to, to work through the blossoms and the remains of all your day’s plans.

Whiskers

The more, the more, the more.

We begin and then we crave.
It could be anything.
No one knows, but I am tucked away in the hidden room, writing my five hundred words.  There is no one to check on me or worry about my whereabouts.  There is nobody so desperate to find me that they can’t send me an email or message to respond to first.  I am out of view, cloistered away and remembering, oh so briefly, and even in this sterile environment, exactly who and what I am.
Things have something like a positive shape.  I did laundry last night and put it away.  I emptied the dishwasher and put things back into it so they’d be ready to go.  I have some interest in cleaning countertops and maybe hoisting my petard on a bike whilst I watch my beloved Critical Role and help my mother book her flight to Tampa to see my aunt.  It’s quasi, I don’t know, pleasant?  It is space that other things can go.
I don’t know how to do it.  How to bring it up.  I want us to be official FWB.  I want to have official freedom for what is around me.  I don’t want to cause any pain or issue any ultimatums.  I just know the things that I know.  I don’t want to move and he, seemingly can’t/won’t visit or meet me in the middle.  I can visit him there, but I know the longer intention doesn’t allow for that to matter.  I have a job here that, I guess, for the time being and spill some salt, I like.
Food front:
Drank my shake.  Felt normal.  Went to the grocery store and got rotisserie chicken and celery and a block of nice Australian cheese and ate happily my small share as my appetite is pretty manageable these days so long as I keep on top of it.  I am feeling normal.  I also got another bacon-wrapped beef filet medallion to cook up with some butternut squash noodles.  I’m a month in so I am fine with the butternut squash noodles.  Going to give my birthday present of a spiralizer (just because this is the world I live in, and I didn’t want anyone to think weren’t wildly cosmopolitan) a whirl and try and get some squash and zucchini noodles with a modicum of fuss.
It’s been a full month since any Chipotle has crossed your editrix’s lovely lips.  It’s been a full month since I felt so crazed and unstoppable with my need to feed.  Since that insatiable need for sugar all the time, every moment ran through me.  It’s been
I am not sure what the end result will be.  I guess I’ve lost 7 pounds.  Maybe not.  Who knows.  I just am committing to the time frame of the year.  That’s always helped.

Soul Fond

Well, isn’t it funny how easy things become when you just do them? When you don’t worry about the look of them.  The rightness of the language and the height of the latticework they have vined upon.  You remove the choice around the tasks on your to-do list and you do them.   In doing just this, I had such an extraordinary amount of time free to me last night.  Just picked out the thing I would have to wear today the same way I would in the morning without the procrastination so that when I woke up, the dress decision had been made, I knew it would work well enough and be ready.  I mean, this is the level we are at.  This is the circuitous thought process I have to track and spin around before any great progress can be made.
 A  Last night, I washed pots and pans. I did it imperfectly.  I have 10 things the pots and pans reminded me also needed attention.
I am hopeful to get to the point where I just have to wash the things I used that day and not store things up for some massive perfectionist cleaning job that I can never complete.  That’s the latest advice I’m attempting to integrate into my reality.  I am hopeful to get out of the worst of my habits and into something better for myself.  As I’m reminding myself by writing today – this only can occur by starting and doing.   Can’t ever think about it enough to make it happen.
Didn’t you know I’m a terrible mess?  Wasn’t that clear in all of this rambling, day in and out, years on now, that I have a lot of stuff that needs a lot of attention?
Now you do – if you were confused before.  This whole thing is an episode in confusion.  My whole life goes that way.  And I am trying, today, at least, to do better and not crash on the way down.
….
The sky is beautiful oftentimes in the morning. I don’t note it anywhere or tell anyone, but as I cross the threshold and stumble down the stairs to meet that pinkish sky, I do think how lucky I am to see a sky and have that beauty register to me.  That I’m not so far gone down this corporate rabbit hole that I am numb to a gust of wind that reaches the skin on the back of my neck and reminds me of that one particular day, that one particular memory of an imagined world where I was both places at once.  This quantum entanglement of pieces of my spirit, bound together, but so far distant, all comes back to me in a rush.  No Madeleine required.
I have, also, stayed away from Madeleines, cakes, and now cookies will be added to the list.  I brought two dozen, plucking each one from behind the plastic doors at the supermarket and managed to abstain.  I’d rather have an Atkins shake.  That’s a bit fucked up.  I need to add some exercise, but I’m doing something right now.  I’m giving a bit of a damn.
That’s why I’m here.  Letting you know.