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.

The Talkies

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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.

Whatever It Takes

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Grannngrh.

The sound of a woman who just began some sort of odyssey only she doesn’t quite know it yet.  She just knows that today, the mental work she had to do, was rough.  At least, at its root, which is the place she will eventually have to go.

This is day one.   This is sort of my chance to reintroduce myself, my mission (it may seem laughable, but it feels like a mission) and what I’m dealing with.

I began the diet as planned.  There was no reason or happenstance to prevent a good first day.  I had all my food, I had no work to encourage me to stray, no place to go that would remind me, really of what I might be avoiding/missing out on.

First things first, I got on the scale.  175.  175 at one point would have made me pass out, crack my head on the bathtub.  Now, it just s what it is.  It is where we start.  I don’t care if you think 5’1″ and 175 is “fat” or “not fat” or “healthy” or “unhealthy” or whatever semantics for the dieting world feel comfortable for you, because looking at that, for me, for my self-esteem issues and problems emotionally attaching to folks in the outside world, it’s just too much.  As I get older, it’s also just starting to creep up on me how 30-50 extra pounds is going to feel on aging, bones.  The things we get used to, if they’re wrong, eventually, they take their toll.  Usually when we’re too vulnerable and tired and set in our ways to see an easier path.

It’s a good, visceral reminder that I don’t stay steady when I try and eat “when I’m hungry” or “listen to my body’s needs.”  My mind is the one steering the rudder and my mind tells me, yes, Chipotle, Starbucks, Totino’s Pizza, Chocolate Bar, Diet Dr. Pepper in combination will make me full and happy.  Well, not really.  It made me full.  And gave me panic and jittery sensations and left me awake at 3a.m. watching Rifftrax’ Fun in Balloonland and thinking I had actually lost my mind.

Right now, that same mind is telling me it would have been better if I had just saved a little bit of that chocolate bar because today, having suffered such deprivation, I would appreciate it times a thousand.  No.  That’s just sugar addiction trying to pretend it’s not here.   It is.  It is, also, going to get much worse than this.  This makes me nervous.  I know there’s a place beyond this worry, I know this is part of the bargain, it just helps to say it out loud.  So to speak.

I also stomped around for fifteen minutes of actual exercise.  We’ll make sure to match that tomorrow – and I hope – for the next three hundred and sixty-five days.

I am excited to do this, glad.  It just takes a lot of focus to make me realize those are my feelings rather than the constant star of wanting to approach my life through distracted, emotional eating.  Like, a lot.

Tomorrow: possibly buying a new Fitbit like the rest of this disgruntled nation.  It doesn’t feel like a new year, just like we flipped the book over and started writing on the clean pages in the back.

Whatever it takes.

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.

Today:

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

Mint Julep: Day 15

Halfway.

Memorial Day.  I honor and recognize this day and all those who have given all of themselves so that I have the freedom to bloviate on the internet and wail about things as specious and ridiculous as a quest to slenderize myself.  Such a huge offering.

….

Alright, last day of the three day vacation.  The great gasp before we plunge into the proverbial abyss of summer events.

So, what I require of myself today is a bit more giddy-up and go.  This is why I’m typing to you from my bed before 10:00am in the morning with not a great deal today except to proffer up one more daily plan of goodness and progress.

….

Well, we giddied-up and went.  Today took an unexpected turn and my sister decided that it would be a good day to go out and check out Red Rocks.  Silly me, I thought, Red Rocks, that’ll be fun.  Which isn’t to say it wasn’t, but of course, once we got ourselves packed with a lunch and driven over there, I felt groggy and irritable and the thought of tripping through the undergrowth, sidestepping rattlesnakes, and basically all the significantly unpleasant things you might associate with hiking reared up in my head.  All of a sudden, my little anxiety-ridden mind pulled a screeching halt to “this will be fun” and it played a little sequence of You, honestly, truly, despite the fact that everyone else is doing it, physically cannot go on this trail.  Played it in that voice that I have spent a very long time listening to and so I pulled up short, gazed out the distance halfway up the ramp that would take us to the ampitheatre and dizzily made my way back down, letting my sister go on ahead.  I was dehydrated and this incline in elevation would make the blood vessels in my head pop and I’d start crawling on my hands and knees.  These were the kind of out-of-control, completely groundless and wasteful thoughts I had.  They frustrate the shit out of me now, but in the moment, they always, always feel like the truth.

Curious as I am to see the ampitheatre and having never actually been to a concert here despite living 30 minutes away most of my life, I still meekly went back down.  Not knowing what to do with myself, I walked around the parking lot, almost 3/4ths of a mile until she came back.  Then, I thought, well, this is kind of bullshit on my part.  This is kind of annoying for me to do.  To come all the way out here and not take advantage of it.  We got ready and everything.  I don’t want to leave with that shitty feeling hanging on me the rest of the day.  So we went and did the trail and while it was hard in some spots…I didn’t panic or freak or spaz  and was kind of a normal human being for a minute.  So glad I did that.  Next time, we’re going up the ramp.  I can climb the Great Wall of China, I can climb this, easy.

It’s all easy, in the end, when you get your brain out of it.

Today: 160 on the nose.  Less salt, more water!
Yesterday 159.2
Goal: 155 by June 15

 

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?”

 

The Duel

Probably should start writing the post before I worry too much about the picture.

I am far too chipper for the late hour.  I’ve gotten the wanderlust again and I don’t know if it’s because we’ve had weeks now of miserable weather with only a few broken hours of weak sunlight or if it’s just become a natural part of my rhythms, but I’m planning trips for the coming year like it’s going out of style.  Minneapolis for my cousin’s wedding in June, now it looks like DragonCon in September and possibly going to New Orleans in October.  This extra week of vacation plus the icy temperature and fields and fields of blow that seem to have transformed the parking lot outside of our condo has me dreaming of airplanes and airport security lines and the wonderful process of going.   Hopefully, all the plans will come together and the money can be set aside and it won’t all be the gleeful fannish dream it feels like right now.  Someday, somehow, we’ll add up all these little half-escapes and find a door right out of all our troubles.

I’ve gone just enough today to be quite pleased with myself.  I have not yet succumbed to all cravings and excuses and little sidesteps that are settled just above my head.  All the ideas that I let destroy my diets in the past, they’re just outside my peripheral vision but I know exactly what they are, how they feel with then they swing towards me with this angelically demonic tone just syruped over everything they whisper.  They hope to get my attention and they hope to put the breaks on what is starting to become a fairly visible difference.   A physical difference that I can physically detect.  These ideas, these failed motivations, these fears all are hoping that one of these days I will trip up and fall out of my groove and my life will become predictable again.

I am becoming one of those people who could just up and do anything.   This is very scary.

Scarier yet is how this is coming about.  I find today that I like doing push-ups.  Even if they’re modified pushups from your knees.   I remember being told to do those in high school gym and no one ever properly explained how to do them and I sort of half did them just enough to get by. They felt impossible and awkward.  Now I’ve got enough strength going in my arms and I understand how my arms need to go to support the weight and it feels good to feel that I can do them.  Not a thousand.  Not single-armedly (hear that, Miss Grammar Nazi 1994, I know it’s not a word.  It is poetic license, though).  I can do a push-up or two, though.

I ate in the limits, rode on the bike with the seat so hard it’s akin to medieval torture until the calories were up, did the strength exercises and I don’t feel remotely brutalized by the effort. Not a drop mistreated.  So, terrors, fears, cravings, and whatever else is battering around inside the Pandora’s Box of my brain, you’re going to have to make me far more miserable than this to make me consider going back to what was.   This is my glove on the ground.  This is a challenge.