Complete and Total Meltdown: Day 42

I think, briefly, I capitulated to the great despair.   I am not sure if I am still on my knees before it, but I think, perhaps, I will not be long down.

I gave myself an inch and that inch became a hundred miles.  I feel tired and bad and like a devil just has been awoken from the tranquilizer dart I thought would see me through to safety.

I was thinking about Valentine’s Day and how nicely nebulous the dark space is where my heart is seated in my chest.  I was thinking about my mother and how I don’t like how the chemo seems to be using her in the way you would imagine the cancer would if it had its way.  Exhausting, wizening, enervating.  She’s upbeat, she knows what’s up, but I have to overwrite the story in my head.  I am not seeing her enough so every time feels a bit surprising.  I’m not seeing her because I want to hold everything at status quo in my mind.   I want everything to push forward for me without doing a dang thing, and I want everything to stay steady for her without doing a dang thing.

Meanwhile, at work, we learn about a little boy who has benefited from the things we make.  A bajillion heart defects and issues and surgeries and problems and finally – we do a thing and he is free to be a little boy.    I mean, I don’t do it, but I answer phones for people who make ads for people who do it.   Or something inexactly, but legitimately related.

So I haven’t lost any weight, despite a non-zero effort.  The kitchen’s a nightmare, I don’t want to cook in it.  My car suddenly turned on a low tire pressure sign halfway through the drive this morning, causing an inadvertent panic.  They’re asking me to do things I don’t know how to do.  It’s fine, but I’m unsure.  Tired.  The activation energy over the past few days – I know what I need to do. I just do not do it.

So I ordered a pizza and have sickened myself on it and it’s here next to me and I’m contemplating which is the greater evil – to eat it and swallow the shame of having bought it and blown yet more money on one-off food fixes, or to toss it and blow that money and risk constantly daydreaming about wasted pizza and use that to justify another wave of carb-tasia.

It’s not good.  It’s just not.  I am thinking about how I didn’t even think or care about my goals.  How I didn’t feel qualms about breaking the plan.  How I know how this feels and I know how it feels to string yourself out on guilt aftershocks after the initial binge.  I know and I know that I don’t know if anything is going to be different even though there’s a thousand and one reasons to make this time the time.

Why can’t we make this time the time?

Snowblind: Day 37

I am feeling positive this morning.  Not entirely sure why given the fact that right behind me is a veritable whiteout situation.  I don’t have to immediately leave work, which is the only way that I think I’m not flipping out.  I will, I suppose, have to eventually leave work.  I’m deciding on the bus, but it’s a matter of whether or not I’m driving myself to the bus station or no.  I’ve got boots in the car, at least.  There is an element of peace working here where I know, on these days like this, crap flying from the heavens upon us, I don’t have to necessarily find the huge well of resources within to sort out how I’m going to sleep at my house tonight.  How, in this 1-3 inches, I will endure?

Maybe it’s the activation energy! Which I announced with an exclamation point as I got myself upright relatively quickly this morning for an early meeting.  Up I rose, careening into the heavy, extensive fog.  It didn’t feel impossible.  Days with an hour later start and I am on the constant edge of death.

For now, at my desk, with a charger possibly in my car, possibly not, typing away as I eat my salad.  I do not violently hate the fact that I have to eat this salad on Day 6 of episode 900000 and 1 of my weight loss “journey.”   It could definitely be a worse salad than it is.  It’s mostly fresh and the dressing only had 3 carbs, and sure, this is the sort of content that brings all the kids and their milkshakes and their music to my lawn.
Spent the evening working on some writing. Not happy with it, but it’ll do for what it needs to be.
Counting that towards my total.  Happy I saw Dimash on my CBS TV.  Feeling decent save for the snow.  Shoulda grabbed those boots yesterday!

Habitland: Day 36

Start early. Get the window rocking in its pane, just ever so slightly, so you can pop through it when you must.

I would like to write on what I would like to write on. Just mark it down under the long, long, interminable list of things that are out of my hands.

Lunch today was bacon-wrapped meatloaf and a salad which I definitely need to make some time next week for myself. That could make a good number of meals. Alexa, I would say, if my electronic overlord had access to me here, remember the meatloaf. I’d also have more control over the random wheat carbs that were in it because it’s institutional meatloaf and institutional mushroom gravy and everything needs a little sawdust to puff it up for another 100 mouths. It’s a good idea.
There’s something nice, settling, relaxing, protective about the realization that it doesn’t really matter in the end if I do low-carb, or low-cal, or keto, or some pickle soup diet. It is never about the exact restrictions or the exact ideology or scientific benefit. What matters is that I feel it working and I stoke that feeling and that belief and that discipline long enough to see a difference. Then, I’m standing with enough elevation to decide something. From down here, from the place of the same 5-20 lbs, nothing really changes or hooks. The habit is simply a habit. But you can’t get to the whole “lifestyle change” garbage/personal heaven without passing through habitland. You have to walk in the direction of your dream, regardless of how you’re thinking about it, so the muscle memory.
So I don’t want to frighten anyone, but my goal, I think is to change enough to frighten people. Not in terms of being unhealthy looking, not in terms of having so much control over this that I lose control and become mostly skin and bones.  A walking sack.  No, that’s not the vision at all.  The goal is to make people realize how much I can do when I settle in and dig down and put my mind to it.  To make the discipline that dances in and out of my life so permanent, so powerful, that I can’t be seen as I was before.  That I get all the power and praise that comes from effectuating that level of change.
That I get that moment where everyone understands an inside the same as an outside.
Fuck, it feels very trite, save for the fact that when you haven’t had a moment like this, ever…and you’ve lived through eons of cycles pretending you don’t mind, you don’t care, you can be ignored and forgotten and made to be secret and unnamed…maybe I need to accept what my trigger actually is. What actually motivates me rather than what is supposed to.  Good health, body security, ability to not get fluttery over hills.  Yes, to all of that.
But maybe part of good health is a good body image. And maybe a good body image can happen when you accept that you have a body – one you want to carry your skull around and show off your genius.  Maybe having someone tell you something good might interrupt the sonic shell of bad news.  Maybe it’s alright to feel like you could get a compliment and it wouldn’t be about anything more than that.
Maybe!

Campestral

Fascinating how the presence of a single word – a word altogether new to me, a word I can’t recall ever having seen written anywhere before just now – can thrill me and change my mood so entirely that I can’t even imagine naming this post what my first impulse was:  The Drop-Off.  Campestral is much prettier, suddenly I’m painting in mental greens and everything is English and brookside and summery and far away from an icy mountain at which I’m flailing about at its bottom.

Day 2 is always hard after a generally good Day 1.  This is why all these business coaches started writing about what happens after you have a great start or launch in your company.  How do you do more better at the same time maintaining and not slipping from where you were? (These are my references these days, sorry, it’s all Blue Ocean Strategy from this point on.)  All of which is compounded by the fact that this whole rig is piloted by me, a girl, a lady who generally forgets to come in out the rain.  I have so much hopes and energy and sometimes there’s just reach way exceeding grasp.  Doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea or a good plan.  I just need a breath to make sure that everything breakable stays on the cart I’m careening around.

I cooked food last night that was good.  I tracked it and was exorbitantly pleased with myself for my organizing and following the materials I’d put together to help me and check, check, check, day 1 in the can, suddenly, I’m going to be slender.  Not precisely?  But close enough.  Then I wake up this morning with a blistering headache and feeling like I’d been running through fields of molasses all night and I come to the kitchen to collect my perfectly portioned brussel sprouts and delicious butternut squash and parmesan ravioli and fuck me if they aren’t sitting there in their containers waiting to be put away like I promised I would last night.  DAMN, I was pissed.  Well, I was as irritated as I get these days about it.  Day 2! The glorious triumph, crushed.  Then, everything felt pear-shaped and slow and if anyone at work cared where I was or wasn’t, it might have
Still, we do some important things.  I called a new dentist and have an appointment in two weeks and I even went so far as to ask to be put on the waitlist.  Bit irritated that I’d have to feel this shittiness while I’m on vacation, but I needed to do something and as my therapist says, this is hard for you, so it’s great when you find the strength to try.  So, yeah, I’m a bit proud of that.
I also had a challenge today to work on an old story.  Still going to try and pull it out if I can.  Only so much in a day, but I’m feeling far more positive now that I’ve eaten and I’m locked down into not eating again until morning – nothing to prowl for.
I need the time back, to write and read and put away dishes, so off I go, but thank you, day 2, for linking me to the future where I’ve done this.  For pushing me out, safe and secure, into the impossible dream.

Your Favorite Cliche: Day 1

Well, here I am.  Day one of 2019.  Locked and loaded.  Imperfect in my plans and desires but missing you all dreadfully.  Every one of you my favorite voice in the Void.  Me not writing last year had reasons, I suppose, but none of them ever seemed very reasonable.  I just didn’t want to deal and I see now, the results of not dealing.  You gain weight.  You stress out.  You lose hair.  Your gums ache.  Your heart is powdered.  You exist but only on the terms of the unforgiving universe.

I would like to think we can do better than that.

So here at the start of the year, I’m not afraid of a useless five hundred a day.  I’m not afraid of repetitive posts, of a whining, broken record telling me the same hopes and draining me of the same fears three hundred and sixty-five times in a row.  Because somewhere in all of my nonsense, there are granules of the good stuff.  Clarity and freedom and mental security where I know what I want because it’s on virtual paper.

I have grand plans for 2019 and I’m not afraid of that, either.  I’m not afraid of the piping, shrill, nasal inner voice that indicates “She always has plans! And all of them go to shit!”  Sure, dear critic, I have plans and want things, things that my circumstances do not warrant, things I am not trained or prepared for, things that I don’t have any way of getting – especially, when I refuse to acknowledge that I want them.  I’m human.  It’s okay.

And I’ve done work in 2018 to clear some paths.  I’m in therapy again.  I’ve got every kind of tracker imaginable and I’m joining boards and teams and taking before shots and measuring myself the way it’s suggested so I have that baseline.  I’m not making any decisions on doing low-carb until after my birthday.  I’m going to try and practice careful tracking and exercise and loosely reducing sugar and starch in the meantime, but I know that I am going to hit those dates and judge myself based on my behavior and I want to give myself the best chance I have.   My friends are coming in a few days – 10 days – and I care more about figuring out some supportive habits that I can keep going through that than showing everyone I can be perfect.  When nobody knows what I think perfect is anyway, nobody cares in that regard at all.  I have what I need to do mapped out.  I have things beyond just dieting and exercise that are important to me to get back into and they’re a part of this movement forward.  I am here.  I will be here, writing my shit out instead of leaving it somewhere lost in a fog in my brain.

J.  Well, there, at least I can say that I am growing myself up.  We had an adult conversation that didn’t go superlatively well.   I cried a lot. He said I was wonderful, marvelous, all the things any girl would like to hear.  But wouldn’t commit to the fact that we’re single, only to say that he is not in any position to meet anyone.  He doesn’t want things to change.  I don’t want things to change, but I know that they have to – I know that I have to have his understanding that I need a person in my life who is here.  The therapist kept reiterating that’s what I need and at first, I felt frustrated, thinking that was something she thought I needed.  But I can’t live a thousand years on a string.  I’ve lived so long that way and it’s what I know, but it isn’t fair.  It isn’t enough.

So that’s going to be a place where work has to be done.

But not today.  Not everything today.  Today is showing up.  Cheering myself for showing up instead of being down and dire about another restart.  Let’s have a lifetime of restarts and caring for myself enough to give a shit about not letting myself go to shit.  Let’s have a lifetime of being a dork about it.  Let’s be cliches, baby!

Catching Up (4/365)

You are owed parentheses.
I am in a great state of regret.
I didn’t post yesterday.
It was not on account of a screw-up.  I didn’t fall into a burrito or capsize into some sugary sea.  I did just fine. Imperfectly, but fine.
I just forgot.  I was playing Mass Effect, struggling through that vault on Elaaden – which if you’ve played it, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  I also was watching Critical Role in this final week before it comes back and blows all our faces off and I just forgot.
It’s a reminder to me that habits take energy and thought to keep the repetitive action chain going.  At least, they do at first. The momentum on day four does not yet exist even if I don’t feel so wildly ravenous and despairing of not being constantly on the verge of eating something bad for me. Not eating to hurt somebody.  Frankly, I can hardly get anything of this lunch down as I take a moment away from frenetic emailing to try and sustain myself.  I have to do more, so much more, after yesterday’s completely ironic laissez-faire conversation with a coworker where I called my level of work blissful.
Many, many changes at a job that over nine months has nearly given me whiplash with changes.  Natural in this sort of business, but at the same time, the reactions of those around me encourage me to worry even more.  Wirrah, wirrah, sis boom rah.
It is apparent that my brain is half fuzz. Though, not as an answer to the question of perfect attendance here, just as a notation on how much of my thinking needs constant corralling.  I think about one of these changes at work – a departure for someone I work closely with and my mind instantly glances over at the chocolate bar that is on my desk.  A chocolate bar I bought before I started on January 1st and I have had in my purse and something needs to happen with it – and I think, oh, I could give it to this friend, I should do something nice for her, oh, I should take her out for lunch…but there isn’t time. But you know, some sort of celebratory lunch for me…?  It’s all serotonin and dopamine and giddy giddy giddy don’t stress.
I am not sure if those impulses, however much I can curb them, will ever go away.  That is a bit depressing to think about.   Day four is going to probably look a lot like day 304 in terms of me trying to drag myself towards the light.
I am actually doing well with the diet.  I am actually doing okay in that even though I eat spinach like I’m getting a spoonful of Popeye with every bite, and I feel positively tortured by vegetables…I am eating them, and I am surviving. I am hitting the bare minimum marks I need to hit to feel engaged and okay.  I don’t want to end any streak I know I’ve started.

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.