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!

For Best Results: Day 27

So yesterday was a longer post, I don’t know what tonight will bring when I really want to work on at least two other things and the thing I most want to work on is delayed until Tuesday at the earliest.

I have tasks I have to complete.  I’ve been arguing in some ways with J all day as our motivations and interests collide and diverge.  I need the time to think about and address my own stuff.  This morning we did not do breakfast.  No fancy final eggs benedict to swallow me up, however, the absence of breakfast lead to me holding firm on the idea of needing lunch.  So my birthday lunch ended up being my younger sister and I eating tacos quickly and splitting the bill so we could hurry and get my mother the pho she wanted.  This was important because she’s changing the chemo formula next week and things are continuing into a positive, but nebulous place.  A nebulous, but positive place?  One spot going away to reveal another spot.  The cancer in the bone holding steady.  Things not progressing, but the medicine not attacking like it should.  Somehow the new medicine will be less harsh.  Maybe her hair will grow back.  If she wants pho, or she wants the moon, we do what is required for her to have it.

You stop thinking about needing some grand party in moments like these.  You stop thinking that the day needs to hit some watermark of ego-stroking to matter.  They gave me a big gift card for Amazon.  They let me watch Critical Role for over an hour with nobody making too many comments.   That’s lovely.  If I can’t have them sitting there, engaged with something I care about, I’ll take being able to just enjoy it around them.  It’s nice to feel as though I could give myself 5 seconds of not being beholden to an idea I have and how much air is in the room when I do that.

I don’t have to be made to be a princess.  I have to make myself happy.

I’m doing that by writing, and slowly, painstakingly, taking care of one thing I need to take care of at a time.  I’m doing that by letting myself think about the plans I made and set out in the future, how day by day they’re moving toward me…but also, I can move towards them.  I can find the mechanized walkway they have in the airport and walk fast as I can on it and zoom by rather than lean on the side.  A labored metaphor, but yes.   I can think about what I want.  And another day of Starbucks and pizza and refusing to track and pay attention to your choices is not going to make for better posts.  Must lay your head down in new places to have better dreams.

Tonight before bed: find your bus pass, please.  Pick out some clothes that you can wear to survive the snow.  Buy the book. Charge your fitbit.  Check your email.  Take your hand off the stove.

Phone calls.  Other things to note.  I apparently leveled up in our game.  I’m excited about that, given that it’s never happened before.  I’m excited to be able to do more, to use the information I have.

That’s enough for you for today.

The Body Demotic: Day 7

So yesterday, though nobody would know it to look at me, nobody would know it without going after me with a needle and a fine-toothed comb, was a hard, heartbreaking sort of day.  I’m not dating anyone, though, naturally, I kinda sorta thought I was.  And I kinda sorta am.  Still.  But not really.  I can’t claim the title.  Wouldn’t hold up in court. And that’s as much clarity as anyone can give me on the situation.  Wait it out until you don’t feel like waiting anymore.  Like, what, what does that actually mean?  Care about me until it becomes a problem for you.  What’s it actually require of me?  A woman with broader shoulders and some sense would say, okay, halfway is not enough, we’re just going to hurt ourselves on the sharp edges of this. But I’ve pecked at crumbs and ash my whole life when it comes to affairs of the heart, so this understanding that the porch light is going to be left on for me, always a dish of food and water at the door doesn’t trigger the negative reaction that it should.  Even if it’s clear I’m never getting in the house. I think, well, there’s food here. That’s not nothing.  And nothing ties me down.  I can keep my own devices as it pleases me.  It’s what I wanted, right? It’s everything I’ve ever believed, that’s all.  The best relationships are those conducted entirely by post?

And I thought I took it in stride, accepting the ambiguity of it all, the inevitability of my hope being broken down into a sticky sort of powder, until I realized, about halfway through the evening that I was acting like a teenage maniac.  A stupid, stupid maniac who is going to regret her choices when they spin around and smack her in the face.  Emailing the RP’er like some kind of ridiculous swanning princess who thinks she can set a world down for two years and pick it back up and find it entirely as it was.  That was never going to happen and I knew that.  But still, I was free! I was uncommitted.  I was not on a path towards anything or anyone.  I was officially and am officially single.  Sort of.  Only nothing’s changed.  And it was only ever going to be about me.

I don’t really feel comfortable writing it out, this thing in medias res which might well be speculated upon and swiftly deciphered if anyone were of a mind. I suspect they’re not, but nevertheless, I feel bad enough about it that I want the shame shield to hang up like a Great Wall of China (and not some evil, orange-hued paltry attempt at nothing) between us.  Sit down with me and a cup of coffee, glass of wine, and I’ll tell the rest.  Suffice it to say that it all had to be entirely as it was, but my own good intentions done effed me again.  The world has changed much since all these trains hit the station at the same time, and I am certainly not the soul to demand anything of anyone, certainly not punctuality.

It’s just going to be disappointing is all.  Not evil.  It’s not evil.  Not yet.

Given these truish facts, I am endeavoring to continue on something I know is benefiting me – my small, paltry attempt at getting this body on the same page as my mind.

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.

 

Prayer Hours at the Temple of Love (2/365)

January 2nd.  We’ve come back again just like that Backstreet Boys song.  That’s my era, my friends, perhaps I’ve evaded saying so for eight years of blogging, but that’s music I grew up with.  Along with The Smithereens and Liz Phair and Goo Goo Dolls (especially, now, their pre-Superstar Carwash albums) and a host of others I should write about some time.

Anything to not stand before you with my five hundred words about intention again.  I’m not bored with doing it.  Certainly not on day two of this segment of my life, this year arc of experimenting with what happens when you just don’t do the shit that always fucks you up.  You just don’t do it, touch it, come near it, allow it space in your life.  I’m not bored already with trying.  Just framing the language of YES, I AM TRYING TO BETTER MY LIFE in such a way that we both feel like I mean it and that I’m not overworking every single sentence to get us there.  Just to enjoy this as the opportunity it is – to rebuild my journal and do right by myself.

I ate low-carb today.  I got up and walked a smidge, took some recycling to the bin that needed to go, got low-carb groceries.  Pro Tip: order your groceries if your grocery store provides this service.  It means I can’t wander the aisles contemplating carb counts and squeaking by with eating something quasi-justified, or saying fuck it, and asserting I will start tomorrow, and filling the cart with pizza and candy bars.  Not that I have ever done anything like that.

The above means I left the house for something other than work.  Got outside.  Immediately felt rrefreshed and energized and everything as advertised.  This needs to be done.  Working my brain into a tizzy about doing it and never doing it is…a gross result.  It’s icky to swirl around in the same thoughts for too long.  It’s like using the same bathwater for a month.

I need to find a book.  If there were many of you, I’d poll you.  I just need to pull a book and get it read.  There’s surely a couple here I haven’t read, hell, I could even read The Ship of Theseus again and let my brain swell up with possibilities.

I will find one and put it in my bag tonight before my head hits the pillow.

I’ve been playing Mass Effect; Andromeda, not exclusively, but nearly.  I have my opinions – mostly I like it but there is a certain rush job quality that Bioware can be so much better than.  You see the edges here.  Sometimes you get stuck in them and hope for a recent save.  Not to be excessively metaphorical.  I am just working out months and months of not posting like this, friends.

Eventually…no…I and this will always be weird in this particular fashion.  It’s okay if you don’t like it.

No particular beginning that you can discern happening for a week.  This is just…the in-between.

One-Star Review (1/365)

I am on the path. I know the start weight.  I know the score.  The feeling.  The muscle memory of January 1.  This is the easiest day of the whole thing.  The simplest to find the Fitbit and get it charged.  To look up a few low-carb websites.  To add a couple glasses of water to your morning.  To eat some cheese and be distracted by the newness of it all.

This is the day for all of that to happen.

I have gained weight over this year of undocumented emotional indulgence.  The roller coaster of are they, aren’t they, will they, won’t they, do they, don’t they has taken its only just now acknowledged toll.  I’ve pretended that I feel the same, even if stairs leave me slightly ought of breath, if I feel slightly overclocked sometimes, a mind and heart racing without any particular stress to trigger it.  There are signs that are subtle and not that double orders of chile cheese fries have an impact to the body.

I don’t feel the resonating thrum around the idea of providing this page with yet another, probably annual at this point, mea culpa.  I don’t feel like a public face palm is all that valuable to me, personally.   I was mad earlier, overlooking the scale, not shocked, but disappointed that I thought that the magic in my magical thinking was hardcore enough as to invent a workaround for the Law of Conservation.    That I could eat violently – eat against imperfection – and end up perfect.  End up unmarked and not carrying all of the impact of adding dessert at every meal, of cravenly eschewing anything remotely green in color (the chile was mostly red in hue). As ever, the value to me, or to you now, is in the path forward where either we do a little better at not fucking things up, or we don’t.  I mean, as much chatter as I can provide us both about it and we all know I can chatter with the best of them when I’m of a mind, the things I do today are what the rest of my life will look like if I don’t break the chain.

I have my plans.  My flexible suggestions that I am going to be writing into law once I am sure I am not going to spend every day breaking them.  I am writing them down, but not here.   Again, not until I am doing something I can comment on.  Day One, as has been explained to me at my new corporate job, is energy and excitement and press releases and the whole embodied concept of LAUNCH! It’s important and necessary to cast your boat off the shore hard and get moving.  But it’s Day Two, it’s the realization that people – perhaps you, dear reader – have moved on.  The excitement for them is already behind them, scratched out of their bullet journals, and it is on you to design and sustain your own passion and maintain it so you can sell it back to them all the way down the road.

So I have done the Day One Showing Up.  I have provided myself the rationale.  I have not eaten a single marshmallow of the bag of marshmallows that have sat next to me on the couch all day long.  I have joined the hordes of perpetual failure: I have started a diet  and I hope I achieve my goals with it.  But this is the same group that is winnowed out into those who get somewhere, who do make it.  It has to come out of the pool of everyone who is willing to say, goddamnit, okay, maybe my Id can’t run me from morning to night and I have to put my foot down.  All of us tryers standing at the shore, taking the shove into the waters we know, pulling ourselves into the waters we don’t.

 

 

The Whirling Fan

Don’t waste my magical writing time with nonsense.  Go to work.

It was a terrible day.  I screwed everything up. I forgot everything.  All my training evaded me.  All my plans fell to shit.  I got yelled at (or the disappointed, I told you, don’t do it again conversation with sternness enough that I am still quite quivery about the whole ordeal) and I am, ultimately, alone.

I mean, I have someone, but I can’t figure out how if this is the sort of having you have with someone who just happens to be taking the same bus you are.  A conversation that intimates nothing.  I want to know, to ask some authority, is this working or not working – what is real and what is just linguistic jiu-jitsu?  And are we all that safe either way?

Instead, I do what I do when I don’t know what to do.  I go and see my mother.  We don’t really talk about the events of the day because as soon as I come in the door after letting her know I needed to come for dinner because it had been a hard day and I had nothing really low-carb to eat, she says You Need to Be More Prepared!  And I won’t argue with the sentiment, because it’s true even if I find myself quite unable to knuckle down and open a laptop after a 10 hour day and face even one email with a questionably aggressive tone.  And they all feel a little bit aggressive these days.  Oh, gosh, it is just the wrong thing to say to a person after a day like this.

My mother.  I will not complain about her, but report this happening with more of a wry attitude rather than one of the usual frustration.   So of course, after feeding me the chicken and green chile and some jello with a heap of whipped cream and giving me her last two shakes in the whole of the world, she begins the quiz.

How long has it been for the diet?  How much weight so far? My answers: a week, and four pounds, six if you go back a bit, are satisfactory.  She gives me the rundown of how to do low-carb for the ninety-thousandth time.   This is not so much wry, is it?  I watch the news with her as we contemplate political eventualities.  I say I have to go.

She has no interest in J.  I have to bring him up if there’s to be any discussion and the discussion is more me venting about the surreal and frustrating nature of the thing.  She is both suspicious and entirely nonplussed.  Who he is and what he wants with me are of no import.  She’ll wait for me to sigh and offer something up, otherwise, it is entirely illegitimate and hell, she may be right.

Still, I leave, and the last thing I hear as I cross the threshold is “You’re getting your waist back again!”

Sigh.  I don’t know.