Merry as a Grig

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I know I need to write on the novel.  I do, I do, I do, or at the very least start editing a few other things, having some word fun.  The Faithful Light (i.e. the very cleverest, most loyal part of my inner eye that watches all and guides towards higher ground) said today that it is only doing the work that will save you, not the dreaming of doing the work.

So I heard her, but I have applied it in a different arena today and have tracked food, eaten a little that felt like a lot (still have room for some ice cream, caffeinated ice cream which I don’t need), and have done a little in-home cardio for 30 minutes rather than the baseline 10.  Also, it appears that I have nearly (.8) lost the first pound of the however many I end up losing and leaving lost.  Almost wish it was frameable and could be stuck on the wall to remind me.

But it’s not even a whole dollar’s worth of a pound yet.  And who can say what my body will do as I collar it and yank it around the exercise pen.  There’s always push-back.  There’s always stress headaches and skipping food and long days rather than three day weekends and food cooked for you to fuck it up.  It will happen.  But today, today was grand for its clarity.  Also washed all the pots and pans and watched a bit of The Tribe, so I feel well sated for intentional living.

As shitty as yesterday was, we boomerang around to feeling alright.  Thinking about my birthday coming up.  Happy about it, actually, because I’m both working on myself so I’m not Queen of the Slugs, and because I’m free to enjoy it.  Actually enjoy it and not have to consider how much I have to pinch and cut to make it “justified,” or insisting that I was going to throw caution to the wind and just gorge myself.  Now, it’s just going to be a nice day and I’ll read on it and write on it and dance on it and sing on it and possibly cry and mope on it and it won’t be catastrophe.

So long as I get my dutch oven.



+300 story words.


On Starting a Diet: Day One Hundred Sixty-Eight

856599_76957995Best practices for starting a diet (all the fuck over again)…

I am no expert. I am merely a repository of a great deal of experience in this matter.  This is tongue-in-cheek, and more for me than for you (despite the second person) but like everything here, if you can make use of it, do.

1.  Take/find/use a picture of yourself just as you are at this moment.   Stare at it even if it gives you the shivers.  Remember that, in all probability, you look fine.  In the grand scheme of things, you are probably okay with the fact that people see and interact with you at the size you are.  You’re able to go outside and shake hands and maybe, date, or flirt and you might even have great body acceptance and want to start dieting for reasons entirely other than the way you look.  But, there’s probably also a shred or a sliver of shame and sorrow and loss of control and dislike that you feel for yourself.  You shouldn’t have to have this embedded in your psyche, but today’s modern living…you probably do.  And for me, negative impulses have a lot more power to motivate me than positive ones.  At least when you need that good hard spur to your own ass to start watching what you eat, forcing yourself to exercising and drink water as opposed to not doing it.    So stare at that photo and think, hey, let’s get away from this visual.

2.  Prepare.  Cook a week’s worth of stuff.   Pack it and bring it and then eat it.  You have to make new neural pathways about this rather than, oh, hunger = go through the drive through and eat until either you’re overfull and you want to puke or you’re so filled with self-loathing about what you ate that you want to puke.

3. Recognize that right away people are going to comment, control, and sabotage.  Not even meaning anything by it.  They get excited (which is at the worst when you’re only hanging on by a piece of dental floss off the great cliff of bingery and wagon-falling-offing.)  They try and be helpful and start tsk-tsking when they see you with something off plan.  Even if you don’t announce it, if they see you eat one meal that shows intention, the next one you’re open season.  Then, of course, it turns out that three days in, you have to go to your favorite restaurant and more likely than not, NOT order your favorite, faux emotionally fulfilling meal and try and order a salad, knowing you have no control over how many calories or carbs are actually in it, even if you pick carefully and make notations like a freak.  You are going to have to feel like a freak for a while.   You are going to have to sit on the pedestal of person making life changes, you’re going to have to be the best taxidermied platypus in the “look at this asshole thinking *this* is the time it’s going to work” exhibit.  Because they’re never going to move you into the “Oh, shit, she actually did it” diorama until you’ve been on display, flop sweat and self-loathing and angry and self-important and all for a good long while.

4.  Get rid of the stuff in your house that you’re going to self-justify eating and pushing back your start time.  Try not to do this by eating it.  Or instituting a super long series of this is the last time I get to eat this for 9000 years so I’m going to just eat ALL of it right now.  Sometimes, you have to, though, because it seems like that will become an itch that will need to be scratched immediately when you start your self-imposed moratorium on “happy food” but, you have to stick with your start date and time and meal and once you’ve entered diet time, “new lifestyle time” or whatever the fuck you’re labeling it so that you can swallow it down with your broccoli spears, you’ve started.  It’s happening.  It counts.  Sneakery has not just physical consequences, but personal integrity consequences as well.

7. Track your shit.  Even if you have to generally guess at what’s in the things you ate…track your best guesses because when you stop tracking, you stop caring and craziness ensues and you go back to the start, not passing go or collecting 200 dolla.  MyFitnessPal is your pal.  It is not perfect for low-carb, but at least you aren’t going by gut instinct…which, when you’re in the first few weeks or months, is just not going to be accurate.  Track your water and try and drink more than 0 glasses of water a day.

8.  Find a website that helps you stay motivated – be it conversation, pictures (if you find pictures of skinny, sweaty people motivating, more power to you), recipes,  venting.   Bookmark it and look at it every day, it helps if you don’t find the people who post there on a different wavelength or philosophy than you.   No need to collect other people’s diet rage when you probably have your own in spades.

9.  Try and lower your expectations with regard to numbers and scales.  You need a scale, maybe, probably at least to start.  But you are not going to lose a pound a day, every day for the next month (or year) or whatever it would be until you’re at the goal weight you’re setting for yourself.  That’s not going to fucking happen, a. because it’s not healthy, b. your body doesn’t work like that and c. you can’t get a whole new wardrobe in a month and d. nothing in life has that exact perfect trajectory and you’re probably going to have some accidental tacos and suddenly gain back three pounds and want to stab yourself in the face.  You gotta keep going regardless of the day to day fluctuations, knowing that you’re building habits, you’re retraining your brain and your body and you’re PUSHING (persisting until something happens).

10.  Exercise from day 1.  Thinking that once you get the diet nailed down you’re going to exercise means you’re never going to exercise and then, your weight loss is slower and your energy is lower and your bad moods are like anvils falling down on your head and suddenly recidivism sounds like a damn fine plan.  You can do it for 10 minutes a day every day, that’s what’s scary.  You’re at least that powerful and when you feel like it’s mildly less stupid and awful, do a bit more.

Maybe I’ll have more ideas later.

Pineapple Hospitality: Day One Hundred Thirty-Four

1415535_47645058When you keep a food diary, or at least, when I do, I realize I have to end up dealing with issues of perfectionism.

Which is always laughable when you consider how I keep my room, my workspace, my car, anything I can claim as my own space.   If I try and explain that it’s easier to fret about mess than fret about attempting to clean it and seeing all those

I had a stressful day.  It was just all Monday all over the place where, you’re emotional and grumpy and feeling really shat upon and your co-worker is trying to cause trouble and say the other co-worker’s mad at me…you…whatever and she wasn’t, at all, and I need to deal with all of their quirks and needs while the boss is away and basically, I didn’t get lunch until 3:00p.m. because I started to remember that a.) I needed to eat and b.) I needed to eat right that very minute.  But leaving the office for even 10 minutes, even to walk outside, felt like I’d be flying off this constant treadmill which included a letter from someone I’m too nervous to do anything other than vaguely explain (like they said that because we rejected them on merit, they remembered some situation years ago where someone called them one nationality other than another related to us, a nationality their actual nationality would be offended to be mis-identified as and because of this, they feel we maliciously brushed off their application.  Because what other explanation could there be?!) which lead to me having to craft this very intentional letter to spell out how that wasn’t the case.

It wasn’t *ALL* I wanted to tuck into something carby, but if I didn’t have this bright new intention leading the way when I went to the grocery store, it might have happened.   But, well, the not eating until late and the idea that my blood sugar was outta whack got in my head and I decided on getting the fixins for a low-carb tortilla quesadilla (and some kale to bake.)   So, I got an Atkins bar to help balance me out, I guess, and get me home, but I realize now, having put all of what I ended up eating into the myfitnesspal that even with the exercise, my numbers are not lovely.  They’re not bad , I mean, they’re not old food numbers, but they’re not numbers of someone trying to lose weight.  Like a shit-ton of sodium, and only two glasses of water (providing I drink one before bed!).  It tells me that if you do this every day, you’re basically not going to lose weight.

I mean, I told myself, you just have to track it.  You just have to accept that you put that stuff into your mouth.  It really happened.  I just want to “accidentally” not track the guacamole or not track the crazy calories that are in these low-carb tortillas, because it makes me look better (like anyone is checking or watching but me) and I’m learning as a result.

Now I have a food plan for tomorrow and I need to finish up, get in the bath, and get to sleep so I’m ready for my 7:30a.m.  meeting.

That’s all for now.


The Upside of Down: Day Ninety

You can’t start this at 10:30p.m. tonight, honey, you gotta shake it around today.   (Well, after failing to finish any one of the first six or seven sentences I’ve written here, I’m putting my foot down and finishing this…at 9:00p.m.  A little better, I suppose.)

Went to the grocery store which I wasn’t precisely expecting to do, but I am happy that my sister suggested it and we went.  Even if I didn’t necessarily get a week’s worth of healthy food.  I got two or three meals worth of food and snacks and things that aren’t terrible except if you do like I do and try and eat them all at once.  I did, being full, get smart and put most of the tortellini and meatballs in tupperware for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner.

It was odd at the store because I was wandering around feeling pretty socially anxious.  It’s probably a blood sugar, food-influenced thing but I walked about avoiding eye contact and feeling exceptionally stared at and stressed about what food I should get and what that was saying about who I wanted to be in a huge writ large sense, and like I just wanted to get back to my computer games.   So, like a genius, I got through it and got some sugary stuff and Starbucks so I would continue feeling jittery all day.

Dragonrealms is dangerous because you get swallowed up in it.  I love it, but wow, you can lose time faster than I lose pens at work.  It just slips into the netherworld.  I feel as though my real life is now rubbery and soft and won’t hold me up when I come for it.  So, I have to make a list.   Tonight, pay bills, find a way to deal with the insurance, get some clothes planned for tomorrow, and do my board properly and with focus and even as I write this, I wonder if it’s possible to even handle one of those things.

I mean, I know what not making myself do the board means.  It means the same thing as not making myself do the situps.  It is about reinforcing the myth of exhaustion and things that don’t make any sense at all.   Like the idea that I could somehow get enough.  Because, clearly, I can’t right now.  The idea of doing being impossible.

Because those things are huge myths.  They’re invisible barriers and they don’t legitimately exist on this plane at all.   It’s just inertia of going so hard in one part of your life for a while that you notice the neglect in the others.  You don’t want to see.IMAG0600_1

I have paid my credit card bill.  I have signed up for insurance and am waiting for approval so I can cancel my old policy.  I have spent 30 minutes walking.    I cooked supper.  I have watched some videos that make me feel better about the universe.  These are small things, non-zero day bonafides, that I care not only about my virtual life, but this real one, too.





Spring Training: Day Sixty-Six

When you’ve got this bitchface starting to grip your facial muscles…you have to do something before it starts to stick.

So somehow, even though I feel like I could tear through a plate glass window, like I could bat aside a skyscraper, like everybody can go suck a dick…I found a way to exercise.  More than just 10 minutes on the bike – an act that like this one, writing daily, means as much as the effort I bring to it on any one particular day – I walked for twenty minutes.  No big deal, no whoop.  Nevertheless, I did it without prompting even though I have been feeling pretty darn weird and dizzy today along with the straight ugh, get out of my faceness.

Maybe it’s because the scale went down a pound (though it didn’t seem happy about having to do it) that I made that bit happen, but somehow, I zombied my way to put the shoes  on and the workout gear and I grouched my way through it.   This has nothing to do with attitude and just with following through on a whim to keep the wheel rolling.  To not let the day be the day it fails and maybe, because I left work thirty minutes early, I had 30 minutes of extra energy after going over to my mother’s and making dinner in her big kitchen, to push a bit farther.

Proud of it.

Bored by it now, when I have to write the board, take the bath, and find a way through one more day of inanity, gossip, and..and…and…it’s not all that bad.

I can’t even be all that sour now that I have these goddamned endorphins swimming around in my head and now with us overlooking Friday which overlooks the weekend.   You can forget about the cat having seizures, about the boy heavy breathing over your shoulder, about all the undone chores and be grateful that you – I -we – made it through the week.

Happy rather than sad, smart rather than caught off guard, feeling rather than numb.

I should think of joyful things if we can pretend all things are equal.  I have concerts to go to like Haim and Nickel Creek.  I have a new game to play once I figure out how to get this usb controller to work with it.  This weekend, Skyrim, we will try again.  My friend is trying, without even knowing my mood, to cheer me up and tell me nice things about myself and my poetry.  That’s very nice of her.  Exceedingly.  I have nailpolish I am determined to put on my fingers tonight.  I have a haircut in my future.  It’s going to 70 soon, in between the snows.  I am not owned by anyone and am free to be the foolish girl I am.  I have a mother that takes care of me still, albeit while she picks at me and tells me the upsetting stories with a pause as though I should respond in some way other than I am.  I have been hugged and honored and complimented up the ying yang today.

There have been no direct comments, positive or otherwise regarding my ying yang.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, there’s always tomorrow.IMAG0571_1

A Few Bites Left: Day Sixty-Two

A few bites left of my test scotch egg.  Well, we’ve learned from that cooking experiment.  They’re delicious, only without breadcrumbs and more egg to coat and bind them, the sausage/ground turkey binding strained on a few and flat out fell off of the one I am eating now.  After spending much of the afternoon waiting for Skyrim to download (a trip over to my parents’ house shortened that by about nine hours), I looked up recipe after recipe for these things and finally got to the point where I thought that it was a fairly achievable cooking task.

The end result makes it clear that my skills and materials must have been off.  Because they look like eggs with meat swimsuits on rather than being whole balls of meat hiding a marvelous, soft yoked egg inside.  Well, I’ve got eight of them to eat now, so I think I can continue on low-carbing, focusing on the fact I get to cook and invent randomly.  That can be a bit of an incentive.

My weight, despite all these good efforts is stuck at 158.  I need to find the energy to do more than the 10 situps / 10 minutes on the bike paradigm, but I’m really grateful I have that much, too.  Because before I started this, it wasn’t always clear or obvious to me that my energy would allow me, or that I would choose to do anything related to exercise in a given day.  Mostly, I wouldn’t choose those things and would still end the day exhausted and full of starches that nothing was happening to save converting into fat.  I think that’s how it works.  So at least now, there’s a foothold, a handhold, a map to the next level.  I just have to get out of my own way and do it.

If I can just keep the house clean enough, my heart open enough – ah, hah, that reminded me of something that’s been missing on my board lately and I’ll have to add back in tonight – there will be room to maneuver when I come, sincerely, to the table and ask for something more than a comfortable, livable status quo.  Right now, we are out of the trench, out of the muck, and out of the mire, though we’re still covered in it and looking for a place to rinse off before trudging the open roads where one is bound to collect all sorts of detritus.  All of that is a roundabout way of saying, yeah, we need to do more tangible things, but we’re proud of where we, collectively, are right now.

So I have to go put those dutch…french..SCOTCH eggs away before they get eaten by an itinerant feline and then I have to apply my many liniments and ointments  and unguents  that convince the world I have a face.

Tomorrow’s monday.  We’re full of meetings and tasks and things I hoped I’d touch on this weekend, but didn’t.  So I’m going to be a basket-case, but a basket-case on the move.


Languid Melange

Boy, is your girl tired today….

I had a good day, though it’s hard to remember it now having had dinner and am suddenly crashing from those great heights.

I’m reading old posts, chewing gum, and pondering those messages to the future which those entries ended up being and perhaps this entry will transform into the same.

I said some rather prescient things three years ago.  Back then, Mr. Rochester – whom I do not write about now with some terrible ache and hope and secret flame of desire but as a fact of history –  was not yet the mystery he became and I adored our tentative and literary companionship beyond measure.  It carried me through some of the worst times, the most anxious, the most mind-numbing.   That connection always reminded me of who, under the skin and layers of both fat and propriety, I believed I was…or most wanted to believe.

Not having had that for many years, and having only a few grasping attempts at meeting, you know, someone else (can you imagine?!), you begin to approach these days, these last dwindling days before thirty, aware of the fact that you are experiencing all of this  – good, bad, indifferent – on your own.

I dreamed I got lost in Beijing last night, a long series of nightclubs and tunnels and towers.  A Chinese policeman with milky eyes spoke English and told me how much easier it would be if he could use his gun on everyone.  Maybe next July, he waxed philosophic.  I ran well away from him, got more lost, and then sighed that it would be so much easier for me if I was lost in France and proceeded to speak for several minutes in dreamy, quasi-accurate French, before I then sighed, what would be EASY would be if I just woke up.  So I did and felt like my legs were made of rubber.

I think, maybe, I’m not entirely sure, but today I took a finger’s width more ownership of this diet situation.  I made sure I ate – still had way too long a gap between meals, and felt really excessively emotional and passey-outey by the time work was done and I went to the grocery store.  But I didn’t go see my mother or update her on this day three of attempting eating low carb and attempting to lose weight.

Lately, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around why I have such a negative reaction to support about the diet.  To talking about it to the people around me when I have a whole damn blog devoted to it.

I think part of it feels disingenuous.  I literally follow all of their comments with these terrible statements that feel true in my head, and so knee-jerk they’re nigh unconscious.

I think they’re saying, smugly, sarcastically, matter-of-factly,  Look at the fat girl trying to be like us.  We have to support the fat girl, obviously, but she’s not going to make it.

Nobody’s saying that, but I make them say it.  Because then giving up is a righteous act.