I have caught the Third Day Flu. The notorious third day, what the fuck, my body’s constant glucose drip that I have so long gone out of my way to provide it with, is gone Flu.
It is the day when if you’re not sure you want to turn your life on your head for this that you give the hell up.
Some days it just sucks. And I have melted at these points. I have given up so many diet ghosts because I would really preferred to have somehow not been hit with this natural reality – and my preference in the moment trumped (fuck him and all he stands for) my ability to recall that this is what happens. There’s some sort of memory block that happens when I’m planning or thinking about low-carb or just reducing the horrifying amount of sugar I generally, casually, eat. Like having a child, I guess. You have to forget or you would never, ever do it again.
It happens and it sucks to get headaches and be both hungry and repulsed by food and needing to add water and feeling irritated about having to pee more frequently to accommodate the Suez Canal’s worth of water your supposed to be swallowing every day.
It sucks and rather than transcend, today I choose to do what I need to do and whine at the internet, my very safe place here upon the internet, that it sucks.
But I won’t quit. Wouldn’t that be hilarious and tragic if all it took was three days off the go go juice and I am broken down completely? Ready to capitulate to any terms for a handful of marshmallows (don’t tempt me, my friends.)
I will respect the fact that I am taking step 3 to get to step 365 – a step ostensibly somewhere far out from where I am right now. I am taking it like I take my vegetables: with a face that indicates I’ve just been hit in the face with a bitter, skunky baseball. Literally, my eyes will water at a piece of asparagus. But I think half of that is just not troubling to cook them in a way that will make them delicious rather than simply edible. The other half is just the training in my brain that anticipates punishment and a sense of “missing out” and sitting in chairs for hours after dinner refusing to eat the lima beans that were served to me. Lima beans that tasted like mold, like musty, rotten fuzz in a leathery shell. Hiding them in napkins to look as though I cleaned my plate.
This is not deep childhood trauma. This is just an association in my mind that I am well aware of and have build ruts into with how regularly I work at defending and recalling this stance. Vegetables are not gross. They are helpful and fine.
So I need to break down the aversion and eat more of them. Ugh. I will. It’s important.
The book: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.
January 2nd. We’ve come back again just like that Backstreet Boys song. That’s my era, my friends, perhaps I’ve evaded saying so for eight years of blogging, but that’s music I grew up with. Along with The Smithereens and Liz Phair and Goo Goo Dolls (especially, now, their pre-Superstar Carwash albums) and a host of others I should write about some time.
Anything to not stand before you with my five hundred words about intention again. I’m not bored with doing it. Certainly not on day two of this segment of my life, this year arc of experimenting with what happens when you just don’t do the shit that always fucks you up. You just don’t do it, touch it, come near it, allow it space in your life. I’m not bored already with trying. Just framing the language of YES, I AM TRYING TO BETTER MY LIFE in such a way that we both feel like I mean it and that I’m not overworking every single sentence to get us there. Just to enjoy this as the opportunity it is – to rebuild my journal and do right by myself.
I ate low-carb today. I got up and walked a smidge, took some recycling to the bin that needed to go, got low-carb groceries. Pro Tip: order your groceries if your grocery store provides this service. It means I can’t wander the aisles contemplating carb counts and squeaking by with eating something quasi-justified, or saying fuck it, and asserting I will start tomorrow, and filling the cart with pizza and candy bars. Not that I have ever done anything like that.
The above means I left the house for something other than work. Got outside. Immediately felt rrefreshed and energized and everything as advertised. This needs to be done. Working my brain into a tizzy about doing it and never doing it is…a gross result. It’s icky to swirl around in the same thoughts for too long. It’s like using the same bathwater for a month.
I need to find a book. If there were many of you, I’d poll you. I just need to pull a book and get it read. There’s surely a couple here I haven’t read, hell, I could even read The Ship of Theseus again and let my brain swell up with possibilities.
I will find one and put it in my bag tonight before my head hits the pillow.
I’ve been playing Mass Effect; Andromeda, not exclusively, but nearly. I have my opinions – mostly I like it but there is a certain rush job quality that Bioware can be so much better than. You see the edges here. Sometimes you get stuck in them and hope for a recent save. Not to be excessively metaphorical. I am just working out months and months of not posting like this, friends.
Eventually…no…I and this will always be weird in this particular fashion. It’s okay if you don’t like it.
No particular beginning that you can discern happening for a week. This is just…the in-between.
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.
A little after 7:00am. The thing about running a daily blog, even if it consists only of monologues you perform before an uncaring universe, is that you can review any portion of the day you so desire. Even only an hour of wakefulness if it suits you. Sometimes you have to change it up from the 11:00pm hussle. You don’t have the full day’s events, but you have the desire to look forward and plan and be hopeful rather than worn down.
Sunday, however, is another sort of animal. It’s the last hurrah of the weekend, in case you were unfamiliar with a Sunday’s role in your sense of the calendar. And on Sundays, we hussle.
So I have a day to review because I held off completing this post. I am very aware of late how much I hummingbird around in my life. Just moving from point to point, dropping things for other things, mostly opening new tabs on my browser or deciding I need to get a new bottle of water rather than finishing the old one. I have, I’m afraid, some very terrible habits.
I realize now how painfully necessary it will be to correct them if I ever hope to make something of myself at either the company or my own goal of becoming a writer. Because a half-finished anything isn’t a product that does well at market. People tend to want to know the end of a story, or to have the email sent. The meaning to and wishing to don’t provide any additional cache. It needs to be completed and completed well.
Because otherwise, things happen that need not happen. Like me taking the keys that don’t have the house key on them. Being aware of this, but deciding that my sister was home and I would be fine to take a little trip to the mall without a house key. I turned the lock and idly left. This ended up meaning after a lengthy mall crawl that had me actually considering the ugliness of Victoria Secret bras…I think I was under the impression that they would be made of moonbeams…and buying some things I wanted but wished I could have spent more time considering. There is no time for consideration these days. At any rate, you must already be made aware that I’ve looked at facebook any number of times in trying to get these few four hundred words out.
And none of these words tell you how marvelous it was to speak to my friend from Canada and be assured that she is planted precisely where she ought to be – growing toward the light of her dreams – and how instantly kind she was.
Or how all of my not having a house key meant I went to Old Chicago to charge my phone while I waited for my sister – who had left – to return home and I ate a high-carb calzone. Or at least half of one because I was still so full from my low-carb choices that I couldn’t finish it. And none of these words say how I felt as though that was the only thing I could do which is ridiculous.
So. Tomorrow. A steadier hand, less time thinking about boys who are preoccupied elsewhere, and remembering to pick up the coffee in the morning. No tears.
Certain forms of hysteria have taken hold. Perhaps because I made the step to get the blog running in some sort of functional form, I have begun to think I am smart about certain things. This is not the case.
This is day two of going low-carb. Low-carb = traditional Atkins, 20 carbs or so for the first two weeks, then, we evaluate how shit is going. I feel better in a lot of ways already. The scale, as ever, is fucking with me, but it says I lost 3 pounds (yes, we can hear the yelling of WATER WEIGHT from here) overnight. I don’t know…I do know that it mattered to me to just start this. To just do it so here I am. Having had more vegetables today than I’ve had in eons. More water. And less food overall.
I still feel weird and tired (again, the shouting of transitioning and detoxing groggery can be heard for miles) and I have done bare minimums in terms of exercise. But I did do it. I did do it with nary a complaint. I will do it again tomorrow.
I keep thinking about what I want. That is one thing that my new job has really helped with. The courses I’ve taken have impressed upon me that I need a plan and I need to work the plan. Goal setting and moving in slow, steady steps towards the future. That you can actually say I want this big, overblown, challenging result and if you mete it out into little, manageable daily contributions, it would happen. That’s the issue and that’s why I’ve spent so much time avoiding finishing any of these little, manageable steps. So that I don’t end up somewhere I don’t want to be.
I’ve done this instead of deciding where I want to be and working really hard to make that happen.
I don’t know if I’ll write this way all the time, but I like that this all has just started and it isn’t January 1 and it isn’t a Monday (not yet). It’s not a perfect takeoff (I don’t imagine I could even recognize it if it was), but it’s like how with every paycheck, I’m adding to savings, already it feels significant. If I continue on, the possibility continues on. If I keep clapping, Tink still glows.
So. What I want is to be with him. Not…necessarily in terms of trying to have a partnership on a level that demands that one of us move to where the other one lives, though that doesn’t faze me as it once did, but I want a weekend. I want a day of shared space. Of mutual presence. Of figuring out if the shit in my head is anything more than shit in my head. Not putting carts before horses. But this, all of this, tells me, I gotta keep on this diet on track if this is really what I want. And I keep testing it and realizing that it is.
I’m hopeful that I can carry this post over to MyFitnessPal. I just need to be present there. I am also hopeful that the internet will remain connected long enough for me to draft and post this. I’ve written every day – however, internet blackouts have kept those posts as word docs so I’ll edit them in soon.
Some of this will be replicated in earlier posts, but I don’t think I’ve given much detail there – if at all, so I will not have to mind repeating myself.
Today was Sunday. A day of not being on-call. A day of not being anyone’s employee but my own. In that regard, I did one thing of significance. I left the house.
It is odd. You build a thing up in your mind as difficult and it builds its own little wall around the idea. What was once simple and easy and done every single day, for me, can become the sort of issue that I wake up and find myself panicking over. I have, of course, been travelling on my own – particularly lately as I have had to take those long drives into the old stomping grounds to perch myself on the old stomping lane for my little part-time job. In some ways, I have been doing precisely the opposite of what an agoraphobe desires. I’ve been in public, talking with people, driving, active. But in my head, I’ve been doing what I can to not think of anything.
My grandfather passing, dear little Peanut having to leave this mortal realm to wherever kitties play beyond this life, getting this new job and how much it pricks the heart of my body issues, visiting my friends and then realizing the depth of their absence in my life, feeling profound deja vu with issues related to the current job, feeling tired all the time. That was May.
Food, through this, and soda, too, has been this coping mechanism. The great cure-all to make time pass, to make time stop. To shut out all the shaming voices that I hear about the failures and frustrations I am experiencing right now. And the other good tactics I know about, in my head, feel impossible. It’s those walls that exist around them after avoiding them for a month. Exercise felt like digging through a brick wall with my fingernails. Writing down the fact that I had ice cream for breakfast and a brownie for late breakfast today still feels like I’m spitting in the wind. I feel embarrassed, but at the same time, like I’m not ready to take off the bandaid. Even if I don’t have the money right now to keep eating out for every meal. I have to start paying attention.
But I told my parents about the job situation. They didn’t flip out. They didn’t catastrophize the way I did for them. They absorbed it and supported me. They did, as they do, start to think of ideas what to do, but not as though I needed to do them…more of a group brainstorm. It was okay.
Somehow, telling them what was going on took a load off of my mind. I didn’t need to go get some extra food after seeing them to take off the edge of having spent so long thinking about these painful things. I didn’t go buy a bottle of soda just for the craving.
So I feel, somehow, like I’ve done something right.
And on another note, bonne matin!