Aresteia

I have been staring at this page off and on since I arrived this morning, gung-ho to get it done and out of the way.  It hasn’t happened, though, despite my sort of lazy approach to a Friday.  I’m not quite able to put it together.  The words are precariously heavy above my head: thick, gravid, nigh overripe fruit that Tantalus and I (even with me playing piggyback) can never seem to reach.

But unlike Tantalus and Sisyphus, I can buckle down and get something done even if it seems impossible at the outset.  Something like these five hundred words.  So, mes amis, let me tell you about my day.  It’s Friday night now and the house is quiet, the heater isn’t even on for the moment chugging and gusting so earnestly even though we know that it could die any day, it’s own coffin-shaped coffin to be buried in.  I’ve watched Supernatural and adored it.  I’ve screamed delightful obscenities at my friends via the interwebs.  I’ve had dinner and just have the promise of a bit more cheese and chicken to finish me up today.  I’ve done my exercises and sweated to the oldies and logged all of that.  I bathed in the blood of several impertinent virgins. I’m about to watch some more Law and Order in a minute here.   I ogled the way the t-shirt/night shirt / Matthew Good band tour shirt from a thousand years ago fits.  All of this has happened in the course of a few hours.   Sometimes you feel so frozen within yourself, so exhausted by possibility and just fundamental boredom that you start to tell the big ridiculous lie which is that you can’t do anything.  You aren’t doing anything, you’re not even moving, and this exact spot is where you’re going to be fused until you die (which can hardly be long now) and it’ll actually come as some relief in the face of this void which is your capability to effect change.  This is the ticker-tape thought parade you’re floating down the Avenue on.

But change is remarkable because it organically happens while you’re bitching about your inability to effect it.   Change doesn’t seem to like the long jump.  The crevasses we seek to traverse are life journeys and if we try and vault over them, you can imagine what happens most often (not always, but most often): face soup.   The way is every inch of where we need to go, however long it takes, we have to cross those inches and milimeters.

External fullness doesn’t translate to internal fullness, not with any more permanent results than my great method in my schooldays of trying to visualize the experience of eating a 3 Musketeers and Dr. Pepper while I rode home on the bus and then skip dinner so I could lose weight.  The brain can’t obliviate my hunger and a vast table full of food can’t make me happy, proud, at ease, content, in love, profoundly moved or fulfill any other psychic needs I have.

For me, to make this work, I have to be here, every day, cobbling together these pebbles, tracking and knowing what I’m eating and expending.  Is it joy?  Is it fun?  Is it seasons in the sun? No, but it’s not terrible.  It’s not Greek tragedy.  Ovid might have understood that real metamorphosis is not just passing through the flame, the goddess’ glare, the laurels’ reach, it’s just being alive and doing something with it.

Dinosaur Attack

I’m at work on a Saturday and despite the fact that I am here, typing to you (at you), I am actually working.  This may result in a pretty scattered post for today, but it’s another packed schedule  – you know, for me – I’m not a head of state or anything.   There’s a lot that I both need doing and want to do and I feel like I sort of just got through yesterday by the skin of my teeth and I’d like to do what I can to get on track. 

I haven’t been off-track, I’m pretty delighted with myself for working my ass off last night despite having the ability to foist it off onto today.  There was something about promising myself, along with Mr. Tight White Shirt, that I didn’t want to disappoint.  I didn’t want to have to catch up with the exercise, really.   And also, this is pretty much the crucial difference between this diet experience and those I have had in the past: there’s the effort to do the whole kit and caboodle.  I’ve been wanting to write a full post on why I’m not doing low carb even though I know that right now I would have lost a lot more weight – actual pounds – at this point if I was doing low carb again.  I don’t know if this is that post to break down the thought behind that decision right now, but I do know that when I was doing low carb I never felt this powerful impetus to work out and build muscle and physically feel tighter and stronger and “fitter.”   It was just about a fast way to drop numbers on the scale.  I wanted to be able to say that I have lost weight and that I could wear smaller clothes. 

Now, I don’t feel such an incessant, pulsing rage at the scale every morning for it not being some ridiculous number.  Low-carb can be thrilling in that way when you wake up and suddenly you’re two or three pounds lighter than the day before.  If you can believe your scale and at the moment, I do.  It went down the slightest bit this morning,  but it’s not anything that would impress anyone.  It’s just now, I know I’m doing more than I’ve ever done and I’m working towards doing as much as I possibly can.   If I’m looking towards being at my goal in September, and I’m exercising and cutting the calories down, I know I can get there.  And if I feel better all the way along, I don’t have a lot of reason to question that.  I don’t feel like if I did have a doughnut (and I’m not going to, but a hypothetical doughnut), I will have sinned against God and destroyed the diet and why even try?   It’s a groove, a path, whatever metaphor you want to use and you can get it in or out of it and your life will continue, but 

I’m getting more done now in my life.

Victoriananana

Diets are better done in secret.  Maybe.  I’ve been pondering this thesis today after a woman who works upstairs poked her head in and asked if I was dieting.  Not so abruptly as that implies, but she wanted to know if she could put things in the freezer like what I had in there – a little frozen, “diety” macaroni and cheese.  I said, I was, “a little bit.” And she said that she was starting a group with a cousin to lose the last 10 pounds she put on after she got married.  I do, like I always do when someone tells me something I don’t know how to respond to (or if I think they’re putting me on since she was pretty slender to begin with), I laugh.  I laugh until they bugger off, basically.   But it got me thinking, as much as I appreciate online support and expressing what I’m doing and journalling and blogging and all of this, I really don’t do well with human interest in my weight loss process.  Not live and in person support and encouragement.

It feels way too much like judgment even when you know that there’s nothing in their words that implies anything other than support and encouragement.  It’s immediate projection.  They are immediately “over-hoping” for me that “this is the time she gets it.”  OR I imagine them thinking back to the other times I’ve said I was dieting and viewing me through that lens of someone who is constantly trying to manage their weight.

I think I like to…I know I like to have the appearance of a swan, all grace and a sangfroid demeanor at all times, completely unflustered by anything negative in the world, and utterly free of those creepy, smelly, difficult emotions that you other people have.  It feels like a big sloppy weakness.  The thought of tracking calories and minding myself with other people, particularly when the other person is just a few pounds away from her goal, is just completely unappealing.

I don’t think this necessarily has to be a lonely process, doggedly pursued, for a goal that is, in some facets, very superficial.  But it is a fragile process in the first few weeks.  Sometimes it feels like an ill wind will blow me into a cheesecake if I’m not careful with myself.  I don’t know if I’ll make all of this work or if the pounds will come off even if I believe 100% and do exactly as the plan says I should.   If someone out there knows of a group that doesn’t feel that way online, doesn’t have those components of judgment and expectation and ceding control of what has to become a private, but deeply rooted compulsion to people I don’t necessarily know or trust – I would love to hear of it.

For now, popping in and reading and posting on SparkPeople is enough to remind me that I am in a giant (HAR) wave of people who are struggling in the same direction, separate from them but among them.  I like knowing that and forging ahead.

Time to apply my ass to the stationary bike.

Le Jour Le Plus Froid Du Monde


Oh, weathercasters, you are retarded.  No snow.  Barely a thin sheen of frost on the roof of the adjacent condos.  We so often live in terror of things that will never be.

Blonde over blue, one word from you is all I need to be inspired.

It has been months since I’ve been able or willing to post in the mornings.  It makes for a nice change of pace, actually.  I thought that if I sat down and tried to be thoughtful about things beforehand then maybe today wouldn’t get away from me.  I got on the scale.  158.  That’s a number that can make you mad or it can make you relieved depending on how you look at it.

Today I need to venture out after straightening up as much as I can before I start rending my clothing and tearing my hair and go to the store.  I have the list but it is making me nervous in the morning light.  I really don’t want to spend 100.00 dollars on good food and end up throwing it out.  Seriously.  This is the kind of ridiculous headspace I’ve been dealing with where I’m so manic for fast food and unhealthy things that I don’t even allow myself to consider going home and cooking even if that meal is as tasty and good for me as anything else.  Since I have to drag my Christmas ham (oh, that sounds like a terrible aspersion on myself) over to my parents, I probably should go to the grocery store over there and deposit my check.  But if I go there, the likelihood is high that I’ll sit around or be dragged to the mall where the little flame of willpower promptly is blown out by the prospect of a joyful/numb 20 minutes in a food court.

I know myself well enough to know that I will make a fool of myself at every given opportunity when I’m hungry or bored or in between hungry and bored.  I’m an incredibly dangerous person in that way.  Stand in awe.

So, all that being said, I do need to eat and while we may have a new generation of penicillin growing in the fridge, we do not have breakfast in there.   This is getting rather overwhelming and it feels like time is slipping away.  When you get overwhelmed, here’s what I do when I’m thinking straight – write down five things on your to-do list and do those things, not other things, not additional things, no other things until those items and tasks are done.  Once that’s true, you can look again and see in what other direction to go in.

You definitely don’t want to turn on the Netflix and watch a random episode of Law and Order.  No.  You have things to do, you’re a mover and a shaker (a terrible aspersion?), you’ve got people to see and hams to deliver and life is right outside the door.

Random recommendation: watch Misfits.  Do it.

Sometimes I can understand French when I don’t try so hard.

Thumbelina

More Faerie Tale Theatre:  Thumbelina. I have to imagine that if Carrie Fisher wasn’t doing drugs while appearing in this production, she certainly must have started soon after.  There are giant rats.  She’s falling in love with a giant rat in a Keebler’s Elf hat (a hat that surely has a more colloquial name than the Keebler’s Elf hat) and the toads are beyond hideous, amazingly well done.   Oh, it’s not a rat, it’s a fieldmouse.

They’re all sitting down to chestnuts and dandylions.

These would have been perfectly delicious things to have for a meal in the vigor of my childhood.  Now, I think in fact, I need actual food.   I have plenty of  pieces, as I mentioned yesterday, but I’m very unsure of what to make.  I had chicken taco salad – not intentionally, I just had to not have the blessed Burrito Supreme when we had our usual lunch at our usual favorite Mexican place.  It took more willpower, more strength of character, more gumption than I would have believed that I had within me not to take one of those warm tortilla chips or order this big burrito filled with beans or to eat the beans in this soup sampler the owner gave which was quite delicious  or not to even scrape a bit of the fried tortilla shell that held the taco salad.  I did none of those things and thought instead about not wanting to fail on a stupid tortilla chip or bean.  Just wanting to keep the roll going.

This is always the question – am I going to give up right now for something very  If I’m going to do right, I can’t intermittently, randomly do really wrong.  Not and expect for any permanent change to take place.  So, I have to figure out dinner.  I wouldn’t mind some eggs, though I need to wash the pan.  Sigh, I know.  Either that or reheat yesterday which is of course, taco salad.  But I will not be questioned! This is is working.  The scale even said so.

I can’t even describe what’s going on with Thumbelina right now.  There’s flower princes (nay, The Prince of the Flower Angels – YES.  YES!) and swallows who sound like they’re straight out of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and black-tighted dancers legs and everyone’s got tulle wings.  The Flower Prince of the Angels  named WILL is in love with Thumbelina.   The mother is Berta from 2 and 1/2 Men, a fact that it saddens me that I know.    I…yeah, I think I need to play some Mass Effect and shoot the shit out of some mechs and not worry so much.

Work has given me way too much to worry about as it is and I just had a ten minute wave of not being able to stomach anyone, not even the random guy in my age range who is not terrible to look for no good reason.

I need to eat, I’m rambling and I still need to decide if a halloween costume is possible this year.

The Joy of Cooking

It’s a tricky brain that can feel guilty about going home sick when it – the body that holds the brain if not the brain itself – is verifiably, snot-dripping, eyes itchy and weeping, sore joints sick.   I still feel bad physically and really tired, but at least it feels like this is the tail end of the bug.   Thank goodness.  I’m getting rather bored of slugging back DayQuil and vitamins and feeling like an invalid.

And the thing of it is, I went to work from 8:30am-1:30pm before finally sort of feeling like I was able to cut out and I still have this curlicued thought spiraling about my brainpan that says: you probably could have finished out the day and been fine.  I don’t know what it is that I feel like I’m taking too much or that I’m causing trouble or that I’m giving into a whimmy, childish desire to just not be there and instead go home and play video games until I pass out.  Like this is something that all grownups have stood up in solidarity against.

Likely not.

In fact, when I was explaining to the volunteer that was sitting next to me, folding brochures, that I was probably going leave early (I told her this like seven times and things kept coming up) and she said sometimes you just have to do that.  I sort of nodded and said, yeah.  And she said, No, sometimes you really have to take care of yourself.

And sometimes, even if it is inconvenient or frustrating or not Miss Perky Sunbeam Secretary 24×7, you have to take care of yourself.  That’s today.

But I have not fucked things up dietwise, so you can all let go of those breaths you were holding on my behalf.  It has sort of redoubled my resolve.  I brought my lunch to work in a bag in case I ate it there – orange pepper, chicken salad, cheese stick, jello.  And I ate it when I came home.

Now, I’ve realized/re-remembered (re-re-re) how much I really like cooking.  I’ve made myself a taco salad sans taco shell and didn’t completely wreck the kitchen in the process.  I made it just so and it’s delicious and I feel good about what I’ve done.  I haven’t used the fact that I’m feeling exceptionally out of it as an excuse to just not begin.  I also haven’t used the fact that Wednesday is a special full-day meeting where I can’t bring my lunch, but instead have to eat the sandwiches as provided by the caterer as a reason to not start now because there is just no two weeks on the calendar for me that don’t have some kind of food conflict.

Instead, I have to just enjoy doing healthy things like this – for myself, by myself, in the way that pleases myself and let that help me go forward.  I am my own best resource and instead of looking for new things outside of myself, I’m trying to look within.

 

Deathless Prose

It’s over.  Almost.  My poor Shepard.  Poor me, really, who has to wait these long months until she can can have another immersive adventure being the woman who can do anything and for a friend, would.  There’s nothing left to do, no planets left to explore, no new missions.  I told myself I wouldn’t allow myself this awkward post-game funk, but here it is.

Wait, what?!

Okay.  Okay.

Let’s talk about the new plans.

The new plan is a single thing.  Get through this week without falling into crazy food situations and I’ll consider it good.  This week is the culmination of six months of major events for me.  Once this Saturday is over, I’ll be my own person again.  Or at least I’ll go on vacation for an extended weekend and then I’ll be my own, home-bodied person again. Maybe start working on some writing projects.   I have been wicked stressed and…yes, wicked stressed…and dealing with everything has sucked.  Let’s be frank.  It’s been a huge catalyst for me not being able to be on track with anything the first three months of the year promised.  This is the cycle and while I haven’t been able to figure out a way around it, at least I know that it exists and until I do find a way around it, spring and summer –  event season – is going to throw everything diet wise out of whack.  And that’s a long time for a lot of damage to be done, believe me.

Today has been a fire sale day.  All carbs must go.   Just this aggressive eating.  You look at it from the outside and it sounds fucking nuts.  It is.  But when it works, it works wonders. We are racing towards surfeit because that’s the only stop sign I seem to yield to lately.  I’m pondering what the Shepard diet is.  She must have bad military-type rations and not really think about it that much.  I am fully aware that she’s just a computer generated badass, programmed to delight and inspire me and she doesn’t actually eat anything, but if we play along…Shepard has so much going on and she doesn’t have to have fire sale days.  She might drink now and again, but none of that froo-froo stuff that’s full of sugar.   She just eats when it’s time to eat and that’s it.   Does the best she can with what she’s provided and while she may drag the Normandy through some Ilium drive through now and again, she’s got a life and a mission and things are bigger than how many pieces of bread can she eat in a given day.  She wouldn’t even think to ponder that.

Shepard Diet starts tomorrow.   Survive and conquer diet.

Got a few non-gaming things done and vacuumed as was necessary.   Go N0t-Growing-Into-The-Couch team.

Time to pull on those knee-high combat boots, get our war paint on, and do the Sunday Night Dance of Denial and Eventual Acceptance of the Inevitability of Mondays.

I realize if you don’t play Mass Effect this is all meaningless, but I was never one for meaning much to other people.