The Fire Was Hot


I have this imaginary broom and I am trying, whilst wearing an imaginary babushka, to shoo my slavering, screeching demons off my doorstep.  They found my address today and are doing all they can to get in.

Stamp those feet, sing that song, just don’t open the door and let them run in behind you.

I ate a pizza.   A wee one.  It isn’t the end of the world, but I wish that I could have at least jammed a carrot in my mouth between steaming slices.   It was 10 pm and I hadn’t eaten but half a sandwich since noon and suffice it to say, it could have been worse.  My 10 minutes helped to offset it a smidge.  It wasn’t a caloric Hiroshima, but my body knows different over the past month, and it didn’t necessarily want what the mind insisted it eat.  Not all of it, anyway.   I at least heard the millisecond of disagreement before I ravenously cut a third slice.

But, Mildred and the Mental there was driving which was both very positive and then, later, inexplicably, full of a a weird, excessive panic episode that frustrated the shit out of me.  A road I used to drive regularly, but haven’t, recently.  Yeah, no reason, except the anticipation of it (and perhaps listening to “Girl on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” while this was happening.)

I can only congratulate myself in that it happened, this complete feeling of disassociation overtaking me, of panic and desire to do something completely irrational like drive into traffic, of being completely vulnerable and of needing to hide in the middle of a four-lane road, of being scared fucking shitless for zero reason, I didn’t do any of those things.  I just kept it together, turned around in the stupid subdivision I had no reason to turn into, and within a minute, was back at it.  It doesn’t destroy me, but fuck, does it try.

And! And! There was weird, excessive torture porn being shared at writers group and I had a weird, completely not excessive reaction to it which I actually did my level best to verbalize.  The response was, “Gee, I suppose this would be harder to read for women.” and…I had to let it go.  All I can think about is, sure, some people are evil and take revenge on other people’s families after 20 years of being locked up.  But a vivid description of those actions is not a story I cared to read.  I told him that if it wasn’t that he was a good writer and we were in group together, I wouldn’t have gotten past the first page, which featured a woman being raped.  That’s completely true.  I find it completely gratuitous and…sick.

This isn’t the sort of thing he ever brings, but I just…yeah, I don’t feel like I have to ooh and aah over well-written violence for violence sake that doesn’t serve any greater purpose than a man loses his family so he leaves prison and destroys the man and his family who hurt him 20 years ago.

I was stressed.

So I think the old habit emerged and I just thought, I’m low on calories, I just want to stop the gnawing and the blinking and the hunger and the feeling.  It did that, but not entirely.  I am sitting here, quietly waiting for tomorrow.  A tomorrow not guaranteed to be better, but not guaranteed to be worse.  And a day that will have some food in it.


The Talkies


So I am realizing that I really wish I still was going to my therapist or that I could figure out the insurance tout suite to get a new one, because there’s some stuff cropping up right now that I think I need that format to deal with.  I think I need an impartial sounding board to advise me.  I am really feeling my mental incapacities lately.  I’m really feeling, is the thing, and I don’t like it.

If I am a knot and I’m slowly picking at that knot as I lose this weight, I suddenly am aware that this knot was tied for a reason and maybe there’s some ballast at the other end and if I get rid of it, I might fly into the sun.

…the thing that I’ve been mentioning over the past few days. is nothing, but if I let it, I’ve been reliably informed, it would not be nothing.  That he is curious about whether or not it might, in fact, be something.  And oh, dear reader, I am of every sort of mind about this.  I am twelve years-old again and there is an existential threat to my spinsterhood that I can’t quash by going and eating a whole bunch of terrible things and deciding I am too ugly for such coy games as I am playing now.  That there is only pain and embarrassment for everyone this way that I’m going.

I’ve done this before, danced up to the edge.  And always danced myself back down by eating, making a mess, fucking up the diet, refusing to exercise, laying still and doing nothing about anything until the worries dimmed. In fact, even now I’m wondering if today is the day for this month’s cheat meal, but I know if I get a few things from the store, I could make it through to next week when we’re having our pizza party and just use that as the meal.  Of course, I’m thinking that doesn’t really count and I’d just have salad and a bit of the top of some pizza and not charge it against this monthly allowance.  But, my mind is off the prize, my mind is starting to recoil as though it doesn’t even recognize it as a prize anymore.

How frustrating that these things coincide.  I should be happy.  But I don’t even…want to be?  I want inaccessible guys who will never compliment me nor know I exist.  This throws me, stirs my solutes into my solvents, brings out really awful and disturbing parts of my character.  Because I don’t know what it all means and I don’t…

All of it becomes an excuse not to push forward.  All of it becomes more and more ballast to keep me on the ground.

In other news, my half-sister and her boyfriend (who was a high school boyfriend she lost touch with) are getting married. Due to the conflicting and compartmentalizing nature of my psyche, I’m pretty delighted for her.  This may or may not mean we’d be going to England for the wedding like she talked about last year.  Which is pretty exciting and wonderful.  I called and told my mother that this was happening and she mentioned how great it was, and how maybe this would inspire my sister and her long-term boyfriend to get hitched and of course, maybe I would join a gym.

It’s…it’s stupid.  I feel so damn stupid.

Killer of Sorts: Day 21

I am beginning early to cobble together some forward energy and not let everything be dissipated on yet another Sunday in bed and gazing at the wonders of the internet.


Hope I can convince my sister to work on my dress.  Move bed.  Screen.  Exercise.  Water.  Um, maybe get dressed.  Write.  Finish Weight.

Task one:  Not yet completed.  Sort of makes me think I should practice sewing – make a little apron or teach myself more about it, but I don’t think I have a very deep desire to do it.  It’s just a passing thing, and I have so many passing things, I try not to give in when I can.

Task two: Bed is moved, managed to knock over a cup of water on what must have been a dried ink spot and now I’m Billy Mays’ing the fuck out of it. This is not a great position for the bed, but it makes a change and I’m going with it.

Other tasks?  Totally put by the wayside while we voyaged collectively to Boulder for no specific reason other than to go to Boulder.   I don’t have anything against Boulder, even being a CSU alumna.  Didn’t care about it while I was going there and I can’t claim to care now.  I think it’s a pretty town and I love the Shakespeare Festival despite being rained on so hard I thought I was going to die of hypothermia last time but it definitely, hard as it must work to do otherwise, has a sort of aura.  If you think you belong there, you probably feel it draw you in.  If you think you don’t, then, well, they won’t miss you.  Lots of restaurants.  Lots of organic looking restaurants.  Lots of options, really.  And where do we end up for my lunch (and way overdue, first substantive meal of the day)?   Chipotle.  Kind of an argh moment, but I got exactly what I wanted without it being fucked up and rice snuck in or something and I’m glad I did because I needed food in the worst way.

I still do, really, but I am being incredibly lame and not getting up and cooking it.  Lightheadedness and doofy disconnectedness with your body is kind of how you start to think that dieting is crazy.  When really, what is crazy, is not giving yourself nutrients because you are expecting diet magic to happen.  You’re hoping you can just wait it out.

You can’t wait out your hunger.  You really can’t.  You can pace it.  You can curb it.  You can slow down and neuter it.   But you can’t turn it off.  And you don’t want to.  Your hunger and your sense of satiety are some of your most crucial biological functions.  Same with sunburn.  It is your body’s way of telling you to pay some damn attention, please.  Moping about having to exist is not cute.  It’s unfair, but it’s the same unfairness that everyone has to deal with so buck up, settle down, and eat some goddamned 9pm eggs.

Wow, got a little grouchy there.  I’m not.  I just need to eat.  Check the people in your life?  Are they bitching at you?  Cook for them and endear yourselves to one another.

Today: 158.2
Yesterday: 160.6 – there is no sense in these things, but I’m simply reporting to keep myself aware
Goal: 155 by June 16

The Same Rain That Draws You Near Me: Day 19

I am home.  This is very relieving.  Today was event day and I am glad to be able to report that while now I can see my way clear to tomorrow’s problems and potential ulcer triggers, we got through today without the co-workers at eachothers’ throats (at least not so far as I am aware) and I didn’t pass out and I am not in a blind rage as I sort of expected would be the case by the time I got myself transported back to my little dusty rose coverletted bed.  Coverletted is not a word, unfortunately, but that is only because no one has sat down somewhere coverletted and been moved to describe their location as such.  Now it has been done officially so you can go forth with coverletting confidence.

Points I wanted to make as the time dwindles away.

I am proud of myself today.  Not only because I avoided emotional upheaval but because I stared temptation in the face and gave it the finger.   While I didn’t realize it at the time, today was/is (for a few more minutes) National Doughtnut Day.  My boss announced this when he brought in the usual dozen of Event Day doughnuts and I thought that he made it up until my friends let me know that they got free doughnuts at Krispy Kreme and I put two and two together.  But the doughnuts had no pull.  I wasn’t hungry and I didn’t care that other people were eating them.  I’m still a girl on a mission – at least for a few more weeks as the plans are currently outlaid – and deciding off the cuff to eat a doughnut my body decidedly does not want would suck.  It would really suck and I could almost taste the guilt when I thought about gloopy chocolate and headache-inducing sugar granules.  Very different experience than two weeks ago when it felt like such a who-the-fuck-knows if you can do this diet or not deal.

So, avoided that.  Ate the top off some pizza along with my usual lunch food, but didn’t touch the crust.  Then, we had our event and there was no appropriate food.  No time to allow for me to go get appropriate food.  I was sort of, stupidly, deciding not to eat.  Like I just wouldn’t feel lightheaded and shitty this time for some unknown reason.  But then my sisters showed up and got me a lettuce wrap which was perfect and just as the doctor might have ordered if the doctor wrote prescriptions for italian sub/lettuce wraps from Jimmy Johns.

I don’t feel like I missed out on anything.  Instead, I feel like I finally didn’t use the stress as an excuse to give up.  Tomorrow will be an even greater test, but I can do it.  I can let the process take me forward instead of fighting it.  I thought about Chipotle tonight in an abstract, absurd way.  In the past, I’d be checking the clock to see if I could get there by 10.   Instead, I knew I was full and fine and there’d be more in the morning and the impulse was gone.

Today: 158.6

Yesterday: 158.6 (I think there is something fucked up with the state of the scale, but I really can’t afford a third one if the problem is actually my inability to weigh myself)
Goal: 155 by June 16

Idlewild: Day 5

Agh,  so I don’t even know.  Post-season finale melancholia and all its religious and philosophical implications.

But I’m happy.  I think I’m just tired.  That’s the problem.  Tired as hell.  But happy.  In no way dissuaded from the good work.   I could probably convince myself to do the walking, but I’m thinking it makes more sense to do it tomorrow morning – Saturday (oh, holy holy) – and not try and run my legs off tonight when I’m so rarely ready for sleep sort of close to what is actually my bedtime.   And the exercise always jolts me awake for at least three more hours.  That’s not a smart plan.  Not that anything I do is all that smart, but when I can concede the fight to Nod, I try.

I should try.  We’ll see.

So here’s the happy and good details.  I keep on pressing onward without trying to be too upset about things that I emphatically have to give up like my sister’s yellow cake with chocolate frosting (the second cake I’ve had to forego so far) or the wedding cake (number 3) that will no doubt be served that this wedding that I’ll awkwardly go to by myself.   Or the chocolate cake that was in the kitchen at work (#4!)  Or whatever hoecakes my sister made tonight (5!)  or the cheesecake from our luncheon (#6!, goddamn.)  You never are aware of exactly how much sweets are around you all the time until you start to see yourself as separate from them.  As a non-cake eater.  I used to/and sort of do think that people who turn their noses up at something sweet as lost causes.  As lacking a personal virtue I find necessary for me to ever truly befriend them or feel like they’re a useful member of society or even worthy of knowing.

I think cake is a symbol of joy.  We make it in celebration, in honor, for pleasure.  Probably why I used to take whole Betty Crocker mixes and stir them into a bowl with water and put them in the microwave and steal away to my room and eat them until I was sick.  When you have cake, you are always at least on some ancillary, tangential level, celebrating.  It helped me, I felt, feel like I wasn’t completely irrelevant to the social experience happening at school or less confused by all of the emotions I was being driven towards both in my writing and physiologically.  It helped opaque everything that was moving too fast for me to control and I was, so kindly, providing it to myself.  Making myself feel like I was the only one I could trust to provide that internal succor.

Now, right now, anyway,  I feel still inside.  That things can and will go amiss and I can and will have food that may impact my mood but they aren’t tied in a knot.  They’re mutually exclusive properties.  I don’t feel like not having cake, or not having Diet Dr. Pepper (which I am free to do, but just didn’t want to drink today) means that I’m telling myself I don’t get to be happy.  If this is truly something I’m learning for good, I think this is an excellent lesson to get out of the process.

There will be future cake.  The cake is not a lie.   It is an illusion, though.  And I’ll live without it between now and then and have joy on my own terms without adding to my middle.

Start: 166
Current: 161.6 (down a pound from yesterday – magic of the whoosh, and I understand what it is.)
Goal: 155 by June 15 – or is it 16th?  16th, I think)

The Bumblebee Wot Flew

Watching Downton Abbey with mes amies.

Tomorrow will be a much better day with regards to everything.  Everything.

I’m using all my magical powers and willing it so.  Believing it.

So, in that vein of true belief, I decided that despite it being late and not necessarily the most deeply comfortable thing I might do all day, I rode the bike.  I told myself that I can believe in me for 10 earth minutes and that I’d just see how big a Katamari I could pedal up in that time.  Amazingly enough, once I hit the 10 minute mark, I felt pretty decent and not really all that worked out.  So, since I had the phone charger plugged in (I plugged the cord into the laptop and plugged the laptop into the wall and set it next to me to manage this), I figured I’d keep going.  I’m no Forrest Gump, but I did get to 30 minutes on the bike which was what I needed to do to keep on track anyway for today.  That surprises the hell out of me after all my wayward talk and the feeling  like I was just wasting my time with this trying to straighten up bullshit.

99% of all of this is just in your head.   It’s just the noises you make when you face change so that you don’t throw yourself off a cliff before you’ve had a chance to breed.  It’s the natural evolutionary function of fear to respond to change so that it puts a space between you and all the danger in the world that you could go flinging into.  But when you let it be a crutch, when it evolves well past its function of engaging your brain before engaging your flailing legs, when you can’t dig through the disproportionate cloud of anxiety to act on anything at all, that’s brutal.

And that’s a place where a lot of us are.  A situation that’s just as scary to be in as any thrill-seeker who finds themselves having made a mistake.   Almost, in some regards, I find it worse, because you can watch anxiety ebb and flow and coalesce and attack and draw back and punch you or just hold its fist right next to your cheek.

All of this is a message to me that what I’m doing right now is a lot of talk.  A lot of kicking up the dust that makes this cloud start to gather and take shape.  I’m courting the way out because I’m imagining people changing how they respond to me.  Bright blonde hair, thick-rimmed glasses, funny little hipsterish buttons on a red coat.  Arms not crossed or shoulders hunched. It’s a sliver less invisible than I’m used to and it makes me nervous.

You can change your life.  Completely.  That’s what Mr. Bates says.  Though sometimes you have to be hard on yourself and after what he’s gone through I believe him.  I’m a worthy girl. Worthy of the risk of living on my own terms.  I want it to be otherwise, to forever live in the bitter alleys of other people’s ideas of beauty and self-reliance and romance, you can march around in your clouds back there and no one’s the wiser.  It’s not though.  I’m not nothing.  I’m something and I inch towards something remarkable.

Keep Your Secrets Secret

Oh, I just had the most wonderful dinner.  Dramatically, fantastically, tremendously wonderful.  What the doctor ordered.  I tried to draw my line at lunch with my frozen dinner.  But I’d barely eaten anything for breakfast and it just wasn’t enough to sustain me so I ended up having some of last night’s meeting’s leftover pizza.  Not a great plan, but I started throwing up the usual psychic smoke screen of thoughts about re-starting tonight/tomorrow/very soon and I can’t right now and one indulgence and needing to be cossetted in fat right now because of some serious work drama involving flouncing and stress rashes and Star Wars characters (oh, I so wish I could explain in a public forum, but I am not ready to even walk into the room where they keep Pandora’s Box of Office Gossip, much less pick the lock.)  It felt like a really good idea to accept the fact that terrible food was going to get me through this hysteria, just like always.  Like alcohol seems like a good friend who isn’t going to judge and is going  to talk over all noise, keeping you safe.

It’s hilarious, but mostly sad, the way you can do this a thousand times and see that, of course, food is not going to really shut off the screaming in your life and the emotional maelstroms you’re being keelhauled into, that it’s going to have its effect no matter what headspace you’re, but the next time, the lie presented feels so warm and comforting that you let yourself believe it despite knowing the truth.

You just want to think that instead of making yourself stronger by facing it, you can opt out of the fighting and Switzerland your calorie count.

No go, though.  So, once work was done, off I went to the grocery store to make sure that if I was going to eat, I had the option to eat right, even if I was going to be a 10-gallon jerk about it and still eat garbage.  And I thought about all my reasons to keep exercising and drinking water and trying to enhealthen myself, how making sure that blood will keep flowing to my head and toes should probably be a priority and how I didn’t want to give up the new figure and how I really didn’t have to just up and throw it all away and right now, I’m cobbling together all of that and I’m getting myself back on the road.

I got some chai which I’m looking forward to having with my sugar free pudding post-WiiFlail whilst I enjoy the calming interlude which is sure to be Downton Abbey.  I got some asparagus to steam for tomorrow with my dinner.  I got bubble bath.  Not to eat, obviously, but I can read another chapter of A Game of Thrones in the bath and let my brain percolate.

There’s sun coming for this weekend’s forecast.  I have an earnest flame, a true heart.

Oh, and the dream!  I dreamed of Lady Grantham of Downton Abbey, that she was my mother, and she sang/recited this marvelous poem that I so wish I could remember as we were wandering outside and observing these amazing, immense carvings.  The one I can think of was of a lodgepole pine minotaur.  I sighed, so happily in my dream, so earnestly, and said, aloud so indelibly that it burned into my waking mind: “Oh, how could the world survive without poetry?  Why would it even want to try?”