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.

Lego My Ego

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I am going to try and do double duty as some kind people on MFP have noted my absence there and I am trying to both rev myself back up to start tracking again and empty my brain of all of the resistance I have.

Confessions:

I obviously did not track while away for the funeral and vacation.  I didn’t want to.  I didn’t want to think at all.   I don’t know if I wanted to float as idly as I did, but that’s what happened.

So I’ve drunk soda.  Quite a bit.  That’s happened after more than a year of not drinking it.  I think I’m still capable of turning on a dime and not drinking it again, because the return is infinitely diminished, but I have to actually make that turn and stop.
I have eaten…not great things.  Cupcakes and lava cakes and tacos and random hamburgers and basically hardly even a green thing at all.  My body doesn’t like that at all.  We just sort of ate out constantly, first because of the stress of the funeral, then because we were vacationing and everyone had that mantra of food feels good and there was a lot of good tasting food to be had.  The idea of ordering a salad or having a smaller portion honestly did not occur to me.
I did drink less coffee, if there’s anything to be said for doing that.
I didn’t eat as much as was physically possible if I can get any points for that.

I think the deal is…the new you.  The new iteration.  I’m back in my house, back in my patterns, back in my thinky-thinky brain and you’re just a nice guy I get to think about who likes my facebook pictures and posts and whose pictures and posts I am daring now and again to like.  You live very far away.  You’re not a threat to my creepy little existence.  You, unless I really fuck up wonderful, can’t make much of an impact except in one important little way.  You can make me feel good, like I exist, like I have a draw and a pull on another human being even if that pull isn’t any stronger than a refrigerator magnet.

So I need to get back into the diet.  There’s this impulse, like hey, you’d be more willing to be confident about this if you were confident about you.  Then, the impulse that he seems to just like me and he’s very far away so I don’t have to race.  But he didn’t even exist before and I wanted to do this then so what’s the deal, yo?

Ego.

I am just going to spend the next three days tracking whatever goes into my mouth.  I can do that.  I have done it before.  Then, tracking and adding back in the exercise and getting myself rolling.  Get back on the scale.  It’s not so terrible.  It’s just a habit I have to make by repeating the motions.

 

 

The Sweet Consumptive

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HEY YOU.

You know what you need to stop doing?  You need to stop putting caffeine in your body in the afternoon.  Sugary caffeine in your body 3-4-5p.m. ain’t doing you no favors when it comes to this whole chilling the fuck out situation…

So, okay.  My plan was to write on the short story and get that all sewn up and then gleefully post the word count here and go on to my other projects.  That, I don’t think is going to happen.  Still gonna try to work as so often after I refuse or think that tonight is not the night for it, some vision will bubble up to the surface, but this girl is jumpy and panicky for no reason.

Well, the reasons are that I exercised and I ate below my calorie counts for today – mostly by having a big lunch (or a lunch that filled me up at Panera that was good but full of salt and sugar) and then added a tall skinny caramel macchiato – my weapon of choice these days – and I saw that damn, that’s the calories I need all used up.  So I stopped with the eating (save for a few pretzels).  And now I am bouncing off the walls, trying to focus and freaking out that I can’t.
So that’s why this post is happening.   Sorry, I want to say.  But it’s really borne out of something good which is giving a damn about doing this when I have had all sorts of terrible impulses and giving up the trick vibes and I haven’t.  I’ve lost 14 pounds so far.  I started higher than ever before, I have further to go than ever before, but I’m still going.  I’m definitely still learning and the lessons become clearer all the time.

I am also hanging out in a MST3K dating facebook page group.  I don’t know.  The whole premise makes me laugh – not the idea of the group, which is a fine and sensible idea and I like, pretty exclusively the guys who are intelligent enough to find MST3K funny, but the idea of me being there is laughable.  Because it’s me being an encouraging force for people to chill the fuck out about being so goddamned desperate about finding out of this relatively tiny pool of people spread out all over the country.  It’s me being this sage voice of reason.  There’s worries about the ratio of men to women, who messages who and when and I…for my part, feel as though there’s no rush in the slightest.  People – men – have been kind to me, but I realize how much I’m hung up on Mr. Confusion’s style.  A man who can write to me like he could and I’m not…it’s all a probably terrible idea, but I’m staying on that road, too.

In the interim of all this, I found the time to get obsessed as hell with this short film set to Ane Brun’s music which I think is such a beautiful work of art…did I mention this yesterday? Perhaps I did.   You should watch it, oh my word.

I love it so much that the young man in the film who becomes the old man, totally mentally cast him in my story.

Okay.  I feel very obnoxious, so off I go.  Till tomorrow.

Athenaeum

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So.  It’s a weird thing to both be aware of what you usually do and want to do it again and mostly do it, but then, not.

I know that sounds weird, but I think what I mean to say is I am still exercising and tracking my food on March 20th.  We made it through the winter and now the lion’s burst through and chased off the lamb.

I’ve lost about 10 pounds if we trust the scale – and I’m trying not to fight with it but to track what it says and try harder on my end if it’s slowing down.

I still have the same feelings about the weight loss.   The expectations of just finding a way to WANT it 24/7 with 100% of myself, and instead, I have this odd cycle of, oh my god, I’m actually losing weight – this is fantastic! I’m making good on my promises and goals and my sacrifices are getting me somewhere to oh my god, I’m losing weight – this means I’m capable of anything.  The barriers I’ve told myself are permanent, the way people respond to me because of my inherent physical flaws and shield of tubbiness, the protection I have against being fully accountable and in charge of my life is being burnt away.   Then this fear becomes oh my god, I’m putting back up those walls, I’m pretending I don’t have to get up and exercise, I’m giving up, I’m giving up, no!

Only now, so far, I’ve come back around at that no.  This is a rare development. Even today, I got on the bike.   I am contemplating another half an hour of something since the legs are getting the brunt of it these days.  I haven’t been eating perfectly, but I’ve been minding it.  I’ve been making different choices than I would have made in December. I have been stressed out of my everloving mind, and I haven’t crossed my fingers that binging on food would change that.  I haven’t tried to fill in these voids of time with mindless eating – instead, reading and writing and sometimes even exercise have kept me going.  I’ve wanted to, now and again, but it’s definitely different.

I have had a few days recently of just feeling…numb about it.  Scared, maybe, which is odd because at the same time, I also feel like I’m a little bit more comfortable with the new tightness, the inch or two here or there that is gone from where I expected it to be.  You get this idea that you’re doing so well, you need to do better.  You need to be perfect.

And for today, I want to tell myself…slow down.  You are going at the exact speed you need to go to get there and get there with everything intact and ready to live there instead of blow by it and crash.  You are okay.  You don’t need tomorrow or yesterday. Just track and do the work today.

Writing other things.  Reading.  Continuing with life.  It’s okay.

Melting Down the Broomstick

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I am writing to you now over my plate of roasted chicken thigh and a stewy wine and carrot and cherry tomato concoction (leftovers, I might add) and this is something of an achievement.  In that, I chose this of my own free will after leaving the house for writers’ group and having a fair amount of calories to allot for dinner.

I’ve felt a bit Lucy McGoose lately about the diet.  Still doing it, still tracking, still exercising, but my heart and brain have been slowly melting down the broomstick of intention.  The fact that I have all of this extra time, but not really any extra money, and in fact will have less money than ever…none of that seems to have sunk in yet.  I feel as though I am floating, unable to affect even so much as a detectable increase in friction.   In part.  Sort of.

I have to qualify that because today was good insofar as I made choices that reflected my participation in the diet, lifestyle change, whatever.  I did things and refused offers and drank water and thought about it without shoving it out of my mind.  Without lingering regrets about not getting another teaspoon of ice cream or being given leave to go fall apart some fast food.  It was just too many calories, it was just factual that the food equated to more calories than I had to give, so it wasn’t possible.

It was nice to feel it so clear in my mind.  So straightforward to stop when you are supposed to stop.

So, yes, hello.  How are you?  I am well.  It feels like I need to make introductions despite having been here every day – the writing has been fruitful and I knocked out another section for group.  Perhaps this has been part of the disconnected sensation.  So here’s the news:

  1. Getting pretty excited for Seattle.  After picking the parents up at the airport, I’m ready to take another flight.  To feel those hundred thousand little things that travelling provides – the alertness, the expectations, the freedom, the vulnerability, the newness, and of course, getting to see my friends.  Taking off all the encumbrances of who I am here, and being who I am – but there.  I know what I mean.
  2. The working 4 hour days has really thrown me.  It all comes down to habit.  So the plan tomorrow is to get up at the usual time, not linger in bed, and work out and clean up for a bit.  Then get ready and write.  Build the right muscles, Popeye.
  3. Tomorrow, too, I plan to put some makeup on my face.  I have missed doing that.  My morning routine has evolved out of taking enough time to even be alive to the degree in the morning where I would recognize missing it.  I do miss it, though.
  4. Put on some pants.  Same size as the jeans I’ve got on which are getting really loose on the legs and NOPE.  Closer, but a big ol’ NOPE.  But I didn’t find that painful, but instead, a target.  When those work, we’ll have done something concrete.  So shooting for that.
  5. UH.  Tomorrow.  Tomorrow!

 

 

The Shape of Crazy

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Some days you have to just say that, well, okay, putting back the pint of ice cream a couple spoonfuls after you felt like you were losing control is a victory.

Going over and feeding the animals who needed you despite being lost in a video game is a victory.

Replying to an email you’d half-forgotten about for two days rather than feeling guilty you didn’t immediately answer it and blocking it out of your memory is a victory.

Knowing you needed some protein and getting up to cook a filling meal for yourself to keep yourself on an even keel even if you probably had less care over the calorie counts than usual is a victory.

Letting yourself be open to crying, mindfully checking your brain and giving yourself quiet time, even if you couldn’t actually break down and turn on the waterworks.  Realizing you couldn’t because you didn’t need to.  Because you are in the very midst of resolving the problem you would be crying about.  All of that is a victory.

Being not exactly when everything in you wants you on lockdown, wants you at quota, wants to take the knife and measure you flat against the lip of the cup is a victory.

Going through and putting in your calories even if it means you’re over.  Recognizing that even if you never put in your calories again, be it in this app or another, you are still eating them.  Not despairing over this is a real victory.

Accepting that this is that time of the month when you get extra hungry and you get extra angsty and you get extra low and you get extra extra about everything and you can’t change it.  You can let it go by and not change your behavior based on these few days.  Doing that is a big victory because the impulse to say, no, I am this shitty and failing and ravenous and out of control is strong.  That I am at all able to call upon the impulse to say I am an unassailable fortress of light and an indestructible obelisk of cardio exercise is a victory.

Cluing into the fact that the reason your face goes numb is because you crush it into your palm for hours on end whilst playing video games.  You are not suddenly developing bells palsy.  I am giving you this victory, but I do hope you’ll be a little bit more chill next time.

Looking at Sunday night without a violent fright about the Monday morning that follows is a glowing, smoking, white-hot victory.

Looking at OKC and seeing Mr. Confusion’s mug unexpectedly and feeling less strongly than I might is a victory of the good.

Being willing to forge ahead with all my big plans even if they feel impossible and deflated and imperfect and basically made of embers and not the fire they sparked.   It is my focus on them that makes them real, not their inherent worthiness.  Writing this story happens with me writing it.  Practicing driving happens with me putting myself behind the wheel.  Not giving up is my biggest possible victory.

 

 

 

Devil’s Resting Bitchface

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Okay.

I woke up fine.  Wrestled with the scale.  Is it the same or did I lose .8 lbs?   I got both answers and only one is really acceptable right now (no, it’s fine, I have a year, I have a lifetime, but you know, fuck) so I went back to bed so I didn’t have to think about anything and ended up sliding in and out of weird climbing dreams where I was clearly thinking way too hard.   A climbing pit inside a mall that was shutting down and I accidentally ended up getting left behind there and having to climb these odd manufactured mountains with these grips that just looked like regular drawer handles and it was, in some ways, easier than I feared.

Still, I woke up mad.  It might have been the email from my sister about needing to pay my part of the bills and being pretty sure that if I gave her any money I couldn’t pay my student loan payment and suddenly, last night’s exercise – a bit more intense than usual – had a delayed impact.

This is PMS.  Full throttle, son of a bitch, give me a drink and stay away from me or I will light you on goddamned motherfucking fire PMS plus, as it turned out, an odd explosion of anxiety and panic.  Even though got the go-ahead from the boss so I technically got paid, or will be on Monday and so did the sister, I think even the relief threw on the other side of Whack.  Wherein I decided, like a crazy person, that I couldn’t feel my cheek properly and then silently wugged over that.  And then basically proceeded to attempt the grocery story and doing the welfare check on the animals while my parents were away and eating and exercising over there and just…finding myself thinking bizarre and unhelpful things.

Nevertheless – I did buy food.  90% of it healthy, plus a miniature pizza aggressively encrusted with sodium.   Everything I ate I tracked and we’re under given that I did exercise…doing the 3 mile walk in the aggressively silent parents house with my music playing on my phone like some sort of funeral march.

I know this will pass, but grah, and shit, and ugh, and it isn’t stopping me.  It isn’t debilitating me.  It is just unnerving me and wasting my time.  Like, my dad texted us this picture of himself by a giant ceramic shark hung upside down on some pier somewhere in Florida where they are vacationing and, to my great relief, having a great time, clearly.  He makes a dad joke about having caught it after going sponge diving.  And I had a thought too morbid to post here and it’s like, great, thanks, that’s incredibly unhelpful brain.

And right now my brain is just cackling at me.  It feels as though it can see how desperately I’m working on myself, how I am really making an effort to exercise and how I am digging in, and it wants to upset the apple cart.  It wants to upset me into being afraid that my positive change is the trigger for the panic…and maybe it is, but only in the sense that this is a protective barrier around the security of the status quo.  It’s a test I have to pass this time.