Captious Captive

New post, new day.  Seems a waste to spend it talking about the mystery of the decapitated pig’s head I saw on a walk well over ten years ago which was my idea when I drove by the spot on my way home today.

My sister is out doing her job for a bit and I have my fans on and the sky is clouding up and I feel a bit of peace at the moment.  I’ve done good by the diet today.  I’m considering how my staying up so late impacts my hunger pattern and how if I make sure I’m taking care of food and sleep, things are just generally going to be better.

Nothing’s perfect, I mean.  I still sit here, after my dinner of zucchini and sausage, after my lunch of turkey, ham, red bell pepper, and cheddar cheese, after my shake for breakfast, and think, goddamn, I would love to make myself a waffle right now.  Even if yesterday, when I placed no restrictions on myself, I didn’t want one because I just didn’t want one.  But I’m doing something and I’ll get some water in a minute, get back on the bike and give it another ten minutes like I did this morning.  It’s something.  It’s not Extreme Makeover: Your Humble Human Form Edition.  It’s just what I can think of do and not fixating on its correctness or completeness as a method yet.  I am trying to both maintain and completely eradicate the thought that is running through my head that I would like to be crazy about this diet, like scare everyone obsessive.  Because that’s OBVIOUSLY a stupid idea, but the root of being sincere and approaching it with the outcome in mind, isn’t.  Being less…it’ll happen eventually, less laissez-faire about the whole thing is where I need to get to make this work.

Because the world works in mysterious fucking ways.

A friend from years ago, mourned and moved away to Texas, turned up today.  Today was one of those days where I said, quite literally, fuck it, nobody’s going to care about whether I wear makeup.  And he shows up out of the blue smiling, talking about how he needs a Colorado girlfriend to give him a reason to come back here.  And I, despite knowing our basic incompatibility, (he’s here for a giant three day hike with his family) got a bit giddy with him smiling and me smiling back and making up the fiction that these things were corresponding.  I didn’t even mind that the whole yenta approach of my co-worker who has this idea that she can just tell him my name enough times and we’ll announce our impending marriage.  It was just nice to be in the running.

And then I had a meeting with an ad rep guy all on my lonesome which was fine, surreal, but fine.  And I felt kind of fearless about it because what the fuck do I care, girl with food in her belly, shit together that I am (hah!)  And now the guy who finds me awesome, terrifying, also, finds me cute.  Even if it’s another pre-curdled situation and I don’t trust a thing he says, most particularly that.   This is a plenitude of ego-stimulation and I frankly, am going with it.

I will not throw my happiness into the forgetting room.  Whether I deserve it or not, this is what I have right now.   This is what I’m working for.

Tortoise Shell

Mild, short-term case of illumination.  Wee little flicker of hope.

I have a half-day tomorrow.  I am quite full, over-full really, with home-cooked food.  Vegetable beef soup and some garlic toast.  Well, neither of those things was really home-made.  More Sandra-Lee’d, much to my chagrin, but I must point out that I actually went to the grocery store and bought food I intended to eat and then eaten it.   I want to be sane in that regard.   That’s a goal.  To not treat fast food as a salving experience.  As a compulsion that cannot be curbed.  To remember that I like cooking and I like being domestic.  That I do not need to eat the same thing every night and as much of it as there is to feel calm.   There’s a thousand domino goals that come after that, in eating real, fresh vegetables and fruit with every meal, drinking boatloads of water, cooking more complex and better things and putting things away properly once I do, finding time for healthy food.  But this is a big step, a big habit to start making part of my life: eating at home.  So for now, as I mentioned yesterday,  I just bought food I knew I would eat and I am making it and eating it.   I’m going on two months without soda which has been incredibly un-traumatic in light of what I would have told you two months ago…that I would probably be drinking a soda on my dying day.  That I’d have my lips on a Diet Dr. Pepper within two days of going without it.  That I was less water than I was Diet Pepsi.  But nah.  Not so much.  It’s gone.  It’s not missed.  My teeth feel better.  I mostly feel better.  Small change over time becomes huge change.  Albert Einstein said something about compound interest being the most powerful force in the universe and I believe it.

So I practiced my guitar.  I am considering a few things that I need to buy soon and naturally, now that I know where a few chords are, I think I need a new guitar.  Well, I don’t.  I need new strings and lessons and fingers that can press harder than I currently can, but I don’t need to spend four hundred dollars on a new guitar.  That’s way too 1st world problems for me right now and I know that if I buy a new guitar, I’ll immediately lose interest.  So, yes.  I am going to get these new chords incorporated sooner or later.

I also got on the exercise bike for ten minutes.  One more thing I tell myself I can’t do until I start doing it and it’s nothing.   It’s literally nothing.  But you add these things up.  You go forward and not backwards and it’s not nothing.  It’s a new course for yourself.

These myths we are so bound by, these stories we tell to ourselves or were told to ourselves and which have informed our choices since we were old enough to choose,  they are powerful bindings and we stay inside them out of fear.    But they’re not more than knotted strings.  We outgrow them and we either cut them loose or lose the extremities they encircle.  I want a whole life.  An A-Z life.  Everyone told me I wasn’t musical.  I can’t sing.  I have no sense of timing.  I can memorize, but I can never understand the theory.  And maybe all of this is true.  But it doesn’t mean I can’t try and find such joy in the struggle.

See you tomorrow.

A Kettle of Fish, A Barrel of Monkeys

Diet nostalgia is a weird fucking thing.

I am having a sudden sense of who am I, where am I going, what am I doing with myself.  Bodily.
I am having a sudden sense of something.

What’s it mean?  Aside from a caffeine come-down and a bad food guilt trip, I have no idea.

It is Friday.  Fridays are generally the best day for me to wax philosophic.   World events are happening that give my heart joy.  Thunderous joy.  Pain and ache.  Too much excitement, and I don’t have the ability or skills to debate it.

I kind of feel like I don’t have anything to say at the moment.  I am going to take Answer Me This, my best beloved podcast and take a bath.  Which doesn’t seem exactly worthy of this page, and I am thinking that what I want to say would be if I could just get the snowball together. Pinch a couple flakes together without them melting between my fingertips.

Here’s the thing I’m thinking about, I guess, that has relevance to this whole unexpected desire to be harnessed to the old plow again.  I gave up pop without so much of a how do you do.   I just did it and have done it and am doing it.  It’s out of my life.  I was looking at the refrigerator at work today and grabbing my leftovers to take home for dinner (which reminds me of a whole other thing I could talk about, but won’t because it bears its own post rather than being stuck on the tail end of this one.) and I was marveling at how much Diet Dr. Pepper there was.  There was still a whole shelf of it.  I hadn’t decimated it with my soda a day habit.  I was, therefore, kind of saving the office money.  Then I thought, boy, with this very salty bad for me food, a soda would taste pretty ridiculously awesome.  (Not really, but I thought this.)  And I glanced again at the can and read Benzoate on the list of ingredients.  And I remembered exactly why I don’t want to drink it.  Sure, lemonade is not the best go-to alternative, but I am not pickling myself daily with this stuff as though it will have no ill effect on me.   Benzoate sounds like something you’d find in the battery in your car.  I mean, can you find yourself drinking something that has the chemical formula of C6H5COOCH3 on a regular basis?

But for a long time, a very long time, Dr. Pepper (the full sugar, hardcore stuff) was my opiate of choice.  I nursed the 20 ounce bottles you could buy from all over our high school and I always had one in my backpack and eventually, I…assuming I was making a healthy choice, switched over to Diet and learned to like the taste of  C6H5COOCH3.  Ahem.

If I can do this, and not die, not be broken by the long-term addiction, this is going on two weeks, admittedly and is not forever as of yet, but when you pair that with this blog – going on two years of daily posting – who the fuck is to say I couldn’t do ANYTHING I wanted to? Provided I nailed down specifics and took it one step at a time.

Things that never were sometimes, radically, inexplicably and suddenly are.

Automatic Happiness: Day 7

I am sick with story revelations and have to wake my sister up because she is going to make a dress for me, I think and then I hope to have a nice big dinner.

Lots of writing to do after I get home and then I am considering the hows and whys and wherefores of watching Game of Thrones.  Timing is difficult.

Another curious day where I do odd and curious things – at least in my mind – for a very short while and then return back to my rabbit warren.  I went to the wedding and basically got there just in time to scoot into my seat before the first bridesmaid mowed me down.  It was, as I keep noticing as I go to these things, not the most original affair, however, it was truly heartfelt. The officiant was a bit over the top for my taste, but it was suited to them, and there were humorous touches and sweet parts and I was glad to have seen it.  They are happy with one another and after many years of being romantically unhappy, it’s nice.  I didn’t stay long at the reception, mostly because I need to properly eat and haven’t yet and the cheese and veggie tray wasn’t cutting it and the prospect of hanging out with coworkers and making eyes at the handsome bartender whom I didn’t have a dollar to my name to go visit even for a diet soda just wasn’t strong enough to keep me there.  So yes, yet another cake avoided.  I had two water crackers because I was already terrified of my ketosis breath (another reason I sat pretty listlessly and spoke as little as I could) and I’m not concerned about two water crackers, I just know that these things CAN and DO snowball out of something as small as two water crackers) so I hit the road and went home.

So, let me see what I can get going here, make some use out of this sunny day and this body which was always meant for work instead of pondering body issues and Eve Ensler and loving one’s tree.  I have very cute hair at the moment, and if that’s where I need to put the love, I’ll put it there and stride forward.  What sounds good but fajitas?

I did have taco salad.  Not only that, but the best that I’ve made in a long time.  Better than earlier this week for sure.  Steak and guacamole and it was really excellent because I was starting to think that as good as I want to be, not eating isn’t really a viable long term solution.

Then we went to Joann’s and got some fabric for a dress and my earnest belief in this project was redoubled just from the doubt of others and me re-remembering why this was so critical in the first place and I feel quite good now.  I’m glad to finish this up and return to Lillie and Adrian as they navigate the very good and very stupid reasons they shouldn’t be together.

Started: 166.0
Today: 160.4
Goal: 155 by June 15

Pining for the Fjord

Other things I’d like to do before this day is over:

1. Finish this post.  Not that I’m questioning it.  It’s just on the top of the list.
2. Get on the bike for a little bit.
3. Plan tomorrow’s food.
4. Write 100 words in the novel, just fleshing and working on the timeline
5. Finish reading A Storm of Swords
6.  Figure out about my brakes.
7.  Figure out about emailing back.

So, here’s what I think I know.  Day 2 is the day where you always question the whole idea of diet/food restriction/lifestyle change/getting your shit together.  Day 2’s the day where, oh, ho! This is what it’s going to be like on the second morning, the twenty-second morning, and what it’s going to be like does not involve cake!  Of course, that’s counter balanced with this really nascent but vital desire to try and not fuck it up on only the second day.  But since it was Sunday and I didn’t really have to think about much with a full larder at the ready and an icy, joint-stiffening gray sky keeping me indoors, it was a lot easier than it might have been to just carry on and do right.

So, what does doing right look like?  Well, drinking what feels like an eternity of water and of course, minding the bladder’s unaccustomed response to that.  Walking with the very silly soundtrack on Walk It Out for an hour.  Eating celery and peppers and broccoli and cauliflower (along with eggs and bacon).  Reading a bit more of A Storm of Swords – so close to the end I can taste it/be naturally frightened of what at a George RR Martin ending entails.  Played Mass Effect for a bit.  Considering playing Civilization V if I get my writing ducks in a row with the outline I started yesterday and was pretty happy with just because I was astonished I remembered 5 characters worth of plot points.

Now to make sure I do something with those characters tonight instead of leaving them to languish in further doubt of their fate.

I have the feeling right now that if I could just have this day 30 days in a row – I could manage to meet all my goals and have every success with this diet possible.  There wouldn’t be room for error, the other factors that boggle my head and convince me to give up.   But as I was thinking about these tender spots, these reasons why this low-carb diet expedition wouldn’t work if it didn’t work and as serendipitously as my life sometimes turns, I come across this TED video about wrongness.   I think this presentation is remarkable because it asks us to consider that as sure as we are in any direction, time and chance and fate can alter what happens.  All we can do is try again and this time be open to possibility and not the dogmatic drumbeats in our own heads, especially when they’re tweaked and prodded by media, by physical hunger, by the exclusivity of personal experience, by…essential wrongness.

I don’t know if this diet is right for me.  I don’t know if weight loss is going to make me more creative, more popular, fall in love, change my life or if it’ll add an enormous psychological load on my shoulders that I won’t be able to bear.  I don’t know if I’d be happier and more successful cutting my calories instead.  I don’t know if my success or developing weight loss would cause rifts and hurt to other people.  I don’t know if I’ll give it up tomorrow on account of it being boring or too hard and if this will make me feel terrible or relieved.   I don’t know if I’ll stay the course and go to this concerts as emotionally resolved and physically altered as I hope to be.  I don’t know if I’ll feel more alone and regretful and miserable that day than any other.  I don’t know if I’ll wished I never tried.

But I will know.  Because I will try.

166 today.

Oh, I forgot yesterday that I mentioned I’d explain the counting.  The concert is going to be on the 16th.  So.  I think a 30-day challenge, despite beginning early, should really begin on May 16th.  So, things are happening and I’ve got my food and I’m eating low carb, but the “challenge” aspect is starting tomorrow.  Oh, shit!  Oh, yay! Oh!

Ever So Lonely

Bristling against my fetters today.   I have the things I wanted to do post-work and I think, being stuck behind that train for 10 minutes really just put me all out of sorts.  Or maybe that’s just an easily accessible excuse.  The best laid plans of mice and men, you know.

I know, I know, I know that I need to get myself to sleep earlier tonight because I need to get in an hour or so early and get all the last minute stuff with the books finished up and get my head on straight since tomorrow is going to be relentless with events and volunteers and smile, girl, smile, and all the things that are getting my hair trigger going right now like needing to stop what I’m doing to help people open files on their Windows 2000 computers are going to be occur non-stop.  It’s mostly my fault, I’ve set that precedent.

I need to wake up rested and chill and not zoning out while I drive.   That would be nice.  Nice, too, would be to not have people dumping candy on my desk and bringing in red velvet birthday cakes and leaving me to my very baby, bourgeoning healthy whims instead of snuffing them out with their ladyfingers.  (Ahem.)  How this will impact my ability to throw on some clothes and tramp around in front of the laptop for 30 minutes is hazy, try again later.

I tried to do well at lunch and foodwise, things went downhill and then went for a full slalom after work when I realized, obnoxiously, that it was a decent day.  I looked at the creek as I made my photo-copies of checks and for a few stretches, it felt like the dark clouds and  heavy yokes lifted spontaneously from my shoulders.   For no reason at all, I remembered that I was young and it was spring and life was not only not unbearable, but ultimately, joyful and good and right.

It faded after a while and pressures returned, but it was a nice thing to recall when I was sure that my fate was to drown due to my inability to remember to stand up in the shallows.

Watching baseball of a sort, with the GameCast on ESPN.com, cheering my beloved Rockies.   Trying to consider what, if anything, I can commit to do tonight.  Maybe this isn’t the most exciting thing for me to keep a journal about, dear readers, but this is the way things coalesce.  This is the way a thing begins if it begins at all: with an intent and a list.  Intent: lose weight, be fearless and fabulous and rule my small duchy with grace, care, and wisdom.

If that’s the intent:  then, we need a list which may, over time, become a plan. Walk for 30 minutes, straighten up this morning’s messes, take a bath, leave Mass Effect for tomorrow, light the red candle and the white candle and consider the yellow candle.   Don’t be lazy and when you’re lazy, try and be brave for 30 seconds.  Thats usually all it takes.

Teenage Heaven

One more time, with feeling.  Try it again, breathing’s just a rhythm.

Thank you, Ms. Spektor.

I’m doing the creepy-crawl back towards sanity.   What else is there?  We’re all sick of it.  We’re all tired and running out patience.  We all have bigger expectations than we will ever be able to achieve.  We are all not super interested in going forward and staying still is obnoxious as fuck and backwards is debilitating and depressing and miserable.  Crawling in a circle isn’t exactly a genius life plan, but it is at least now involving movement and that’s a good thing.   That’s the thing we have.

So, look for some serious updates tomorrow.  A scale update.  An exercise update.  A food rundown.  Look for loving hard and working hard and an accounting of one’s peas and queues.  It’s diving in too far when I don’t have the time to do it, but fuck it all, what else can I do to motivate myself?

Re-reading some posts, turning off the video games and doing something.  There’s the grand plan rising up again.  Don’t have to change the world, just the tone of the day.

What can I do in a case such as this where I’m promising to be a better person, but it’s already 9:18pm and I’ve just gotten through a stressful day by the skin of my teeth and I’m so ready to throttle everything and I don’t feel as powerful as these big sweeping reforms would require.  I don’t want to show up with two different shoes on and waste another day on flaking out of being a better person.

“You’ve come too far to turn around now.”

You look and look for a catharsis until the absence of one starts to seem like proof that you don’t want one.   And if you don’t want one, you are going to be exactly where you are and how you until the day you die.  That is pretty remarkably scary.  Scary enough to maybe get you moving and doing and taking care of business in every direction and scary enough to get you doing so much that you don’t have time anymore to break down and mewl about the state of the universe.

“I want to sweep the halls of this arrogance.”

So I’m cramped up on the couch and despite working hard at making us not explode at work, I’m not really minding myself the way I need to.  I’m forgetting how nice it is to know where your things are, to have cleared spaces and sweet smells and lit candles and I know the magick can’t work unless we give it room to work.   You can see, obviously, how much fear and loathing and protection I’m getting out of letting things get out of whack again.  I’m getting some kind of psychic satisfaction out of flailing and falling towards rock bottom when rock bottom is a myth we tell ourselves to let ourselves begin to try again.  There’s always worse and there is always better.

More than that, you are always choosing between them.