And You Called Her for a Liar: 3/365

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.

 

Prayer Hours at the Temple of Love (2/365)

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.

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.

 

 

The Whirling Fan

Don’t waste my magical writing time with nonsense.  Go to work.

It was a terrible day.  I screwed everything up. I forgot everything.  All my training evaded me.  All my plans fell to shit.  I got yelled at (or the disappointed, I told you, don’t do it again conversation with sternness enough that I am still quite quivery about the whole ordeal) and I am, ultimately, alone.

I mean, I have someone, but I can’t figure out how if this is the sort of having you have with someone who just happens to be taking the same bus you are.  A conversation that intimates nothing.  I want to know, to ask some authority, is this working or not working – what is real and what is just linguistic jiu-jitsu?  And are we all that safe either way?

Instead, I do what I do when I don’t know what to do.  I go and see my mother.  We don’t really talk about the events of the day because as soon as I come in the door after letting her know I needed to come for dinner because it had been a hard day and I had nothing really low-carb to eat, she says You Need to Be More Prepared!  And I won’t argue with the sentiment, because it’s true even if I find myself quite unable to knuckle down and open a laptop after a 10 hour day and face even one email with a questionably aggressive tone.  And they all feel a little bit aggressive these days.  Oh, gosh, it is just the wrong thing to say to a person after a day like this.

My mother.  I will not complain about her, but report this happening with more of a wry attitude rather than one of the usual frustration.   So of course, after feeding me the chicken and green chile and some jello with a heap of whipped cream and giving me her last two shakes in the whole of the world, she begins the quiz.

How long has it been for the diet?  How much weight so far? My answers: a week, and four pounds, six if you go back a bit, are satisfactory.  She gives me the rundown of how to do low-carb for the ninety-thousandth time.   This is not so much wry, is it?  I watch the news with her as we contemplate political eventualities.  I say I have to go.

She has no interest in J.  I have to bring him up if there’s to be any discussion and the discussion is more me venting about the surreal and frustrating nature of the thing.  She is both suspicious and entirely nonplussed.  Who he is and what he wants with me are of no import.  She’ll wait for me to sigh and offer something up, otherwise, it is entirely illegitimate and hell, she may be right.

Still, I leave, and the last thing I hear as I cross the threshold is “You’re getting your waist back again!”

Sigh.  I don’t know.

Pink in Eureka

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Viola D’Amore

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I meant, probably around when it first came out, to talk about the This American Life episode about fat.  I don’t know what else was going on at the time, the usual, I’m sure.  Double job fuckery, having just returned a few weeks ago from burying my grandfather, from burying a certain Camelot that had existed both in reality and in my mind since childhood, and, I think, the sudden and hardcore romantic interest of someone online.

I felt wild about it then, but it felt like this, forgive the horrible and discomfiting pun, huge box to unpack.  An undertaking to relate to these women who had opened their souls up to the whole world and within their souls is much that mine finds as kindred.   I wasn’t up to it and slowly, other posts took its place.

We were talking today after we celebrated my father’s birthday.  We talked about NPR and Serial and briefly about podcasts that the majority of which I hadn’t paid attention to.  We talked about Peaky Blinders and I made my pitch they should watch that.

I wanted to say as part of this flow of conversation – had you heard this particular episode?  This Tell Me I’m Fat episode which was something I felt charged about, felt ready to talk about.  My mother, my mother taking cancer medicine, my mother whom I adore, had earlier mentioned that she needed to lose five pounds.  That she wouldn’t feel okay until she lost five pounds.

Nobody looked at me.  Nobody didn’t look at me.  Nobody shook their index finger at me.  It occurs to me that nobody had to.  The message was so ready in my mind – I’d spent the day not eating anything, there wasn’t time, there wasn’t anything in the cupboards, and I wanted and it had made me the definition of hangry.  Worried about money and all out of whack, we had to run errands before I got food and ended up with a big burrito at nearly 4pm.  A choice made to just make all of the hyperactive pissant thoughts in my head stop in their tracks. Ravenous, I ate until I felt sick and gross.  Then, as though on a conveyor belt, my father’s birthday supper arrived at five.  Homemade spaghetti with garlic toast and wine.  A meal that is enshrined in my head as soothing, homey, wifely…real kitchen witchery.

I tried to explain how the garlic toast was my version of a madeleine – tried to explain Proust.  My mother nodded at my ramble and changed the subject.  Suddenly, it transported me into wave after wave of memory.  Joy, family cohesion, a time of weightless and worry-free childhood.

We watched the ballgame.  I felt waves of effusive agape in equal measure to the frustration I’d felt before.

Then, we had cake.   A big yellow Betty Crocker cake with cream cheese frosting and optional toasted coconut.  My sister’s boyfriend who does not care for desserts made one of those quasi-innocuous comments that I every so often wonder how exactly quasi they are meant – about how every time lately that we’re over there there seems to be cake.  Well, we said, swallowing another bite of the treacly frosting, there’s been a lot of birthdays lately.  For my part, I felt a fair amount of shame, sitting there, no makeup, nearly relaxed, nearly out of reach of my internal monologue and whammo, oh, you girls and your eating again.

I wanted to have the conversation with everyone about being okay and being seen and being registered as I am in this moment and being connected when I felt so loving and caring towards everyone.  That dissipated out of my hands.

But listening to it again now, I know I wouldn’t have liked the path the conversation would take.  No matter at what point.   I wanted to offer a tool for greater understanding of me.  Me, a zaftig person, or an overweight person, or a cute little pudgy darling, or a fat. person. and how maybe I was trying to be okay with myself…mentally, right now.  I was trying to say, think about me, hah, doing something so crazy, wow, as to just live.

When Lindy says, for the most part, she doesn’t see her fatness as likely to change.  That for the most part, fat people’s fatness doesn’t change no matter how valiantly they war against it.  That after holding space for that question to even exist…she’s struggled and struggled and eventually, somehow, found the place where she’s okay with that.

It blew me away. It felt like such an epic question to me.

When Elna Baker explains how the thin and fat versions of herself are in this conversation of worthiness and fear and pedaling as fast as you possibly can to keep these two versions of self separated despite how they long for one another…that’s something I want to share.  The profound nature of Roxane Gay finding herself outside these constructed barriers of fat levels that can use societal tools to subvert societal messages.  This idea of working as hard as you can to better yourself and if your body doesn’t hit a mark, you don’t make it.  You don’t get the gold medal.  You don’t get on the podium.  You don’t get some guy to hang out with you and complain about the type of TV you watch behind your back.

Sitting there, though,  I didn’t want this to be taboo.  I want it to be a shit that could be shot. Even as I think about dieting and weight loss for my own physical comfort, my own air in my own lungs, my own clothes on my own body…I want to say, hey, whatever you think of me…it could be okay if I knew what it was. Even as I contemplate what it means in this singles group if a guy talks about liking heavier girls?

Do I feel…appreciative of that, relieved, amused, disappointed, encouraged?  If you knew someone would look at you and want you, and they’re alright in your mind, do you go and chat them up?  Yes, the universe leans in and hollers, YES.  But for me, I feel profoundly less able to go towards someone who is moving towards me. I feel as though there’s that finger wagging I’ve been looking for.

And maybe that’s my problem.

I have needs in this world.  And being so bold as to breathe them out loud, to say, hey, I want happiness and I want it the way I want it and the way I want it is evolving every day in my own mind and I’ll let you know when we’re getting closer so long as you do the same…that seems like progress.

And if me saying something out loud complicates someone else’s reality, well…good.  It probably needed saying.

Spare Change

dirty-old-truck-1475644-639x503Okay.  So.  The thing in the way of my happiness is me.  If I am to gauge that I would experience a noticeably larger amount of happiness were I to follow up with my plans and attempt to struggle towards my dreams.

So, weight loss.  Right now.

I hesitate to write this because I certainly wouldn’t want anyone writing about my status when I’m working on myself, but my sister is doing great with her low-carb.  I don’t know how much or how little she’s lost, but she’s feeling good, she’s doing it and I can see a difference and I hardly pay any attention to anything.   There is, not an insignificant amount of jealousy, in that I feel bloated and starving and exhausted all the time and she seems, from the outside, alright.

And I am making no money at all, (so it seems) and running out and buying fast food and eating out at places that aren’t really in my poor person budget, acting in old habits, airporting as I defined yesterday.  Just thinking about the

I think, okay, vegetables.  And my whole body gets pissed off.  I get pissed off about everything that’s out of my control or seemingly so…my job situation, the fact that you can have one of these lingering powerful romantic interactions with someone and be strung along for weeks, my mom being sick and having to suffer to do what we can to destroy the sickness and getting messages from my vacationing sister about how I need to be reacting and behaving right now.  And in that space, being able to have a sandwich or a piece of pizza or four or five peanut butter cups to quash hunger and everything else attached to hunger, is magic.

It feels like sidestepping the effects of time.

Yesterday’s truth: There is no day outside of the chain of days, time does not stop and restart, we don’t escape life to some other place.  We just live in or out of fear.

This is the story of the fat people of the world.  Sometimes.  Some of them.  Of me. The Brene Brown bonafide truth that you feel freaked out and vulnerable and you do whatever you feel is necessary to excise those feelings.  Eating, when you’re scared of your own power, is this magical shield that is also a sword.  It just shuts off the thoughts for a while.  I feel like if I am vulnerable to my thoughts, I’ll lose ground, not gain it. Start panicking about driving which I’ve mostly avoided for the past three or four months.  I’ll look around and see what I’m currently half-blind to – real unhappiness with the treatment I accept, real fear, real sense of time slipping out of my hands.  It’s all the mental surgery I don’t get anesthesia for.

I’ve put forth this diatribe before.  I’ve danced the dance, lit the candles, stood very still and waited for signs to emerge.

Yet. At the bottom line, it’s will I do it or won’t I do it?  Right now, I don’t have the strength of will to curb things slightly.  Right now, I want a big act or nothing.

Hmm.