Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Am Slackasarus! Hear me... um, not do much of anything

One of my blog friends compared dieting (ok, ok, lifestyle. Change. What evah!) to playing some sort of demonic game of Whack-a-Mole. You get one thing down (drinking your water, for example) only to find out that you're slacking off somewhere else (like exercise). You turn your attention to working out and suddenly you're too tired to do your journaling.

There's a lot to pay attention to: water, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, proteins, vitamins, milks, healthy oils, and avoiding sugar and alcohol. These things are covered in the 8 Healthy Guidelines. Then you've got the four part methodology: eat less, move more, think first, and... hell, I forget the other one... You see how this goes, right?

And then there's calculating how many points you get, making sure you get them all in, figuring out what consists of a point, figuring out what consists of a "serving size" versus a "serving of vegetables"... etc. etc. I'm still not entirely clear on things like "does a slice of fat free cheese count as a milk serving?"

(I know my first few weeks of weight watchers, I was afraid to eat. My food seemed very threatening, somehow, and a lot of times, it seemed easier as well as safer, to just Not Eat.)

Then, throw into the mix that I'm trying to change other parts of my life, as well.

I'm trying to keep up with the housework, which tends to be a minimum of 6 tasks a day, and sometimes more. Make the bed, do the dishes, clean the countertops, clean off my desk (why my desk is the repository for every goddamn spare bit of clutter in the freaking house, I swear to you, I know not!), straighten up the living room, put Darcy's toys away, plan dinner, keep the household budget, sweep, make shopping lists, pay the bills, feed the child, feed myself...

And then there's my workouts, which I'm trying to run three times a week, walk three times a week, and do weight lifting and strength training twice a week, and do yoga once a week.

And then there's my various "entertainment" responsibilities. I have to collate emails from7 different people in one game, 3 people in another, keep plots running and interesting, do research on everything from 15th century cooking to mapping routes from Eisen to Ussura. This involves massive amounts of web and book research, plus I write at least three emails per week in varying lengths, of a few paragraphs to a couple of pages. I also, in warcraft, try to keep up with at least 15 daily quests, gathering materials for flasks, raiding, keeping my gear gemmed and in good repair, hold weird and obscure conversations with my guild leader, help Thomas organize Sunday raids, deal with guild drama and keep a running tab on the auction house. Furthering that, I've recently started doing online cooking lessons with a group of very friendly people. I try to write an email at least once a week containing a basic cooking lesson, with careful, step by step instructions, and witty commentary about cooking and food.

On top of that, I'm trying to fix my relationship with a good friend... we'd grown distant over the last few years not just because we live too far away from each other, but we have children and husbands and lives that seem to inevitably get in the way of sitting down and having a good chat more than once a year...

I feel like I'm some sort of obscene Cthulu-esque juggler, trying to balance thirty different things on my face-tentacles (Thou shalt not braid the elder god's face tentacles. Nor shalt thou put him in cute little bonnets.)

Life has seriously gotten in the way of this juggling act. Thursday, Thomas took our old Buick in for inspection. I'd rather expected to need a few new tires, and maybe replace the brake pads, for maybe $300. And then I was going to use our government 'take-a-loan-out-from-your-next-year's-tax-refund' check to get the car's air conditioning fixed. After three summers of no AC and we're just entering that unbearable part of Virginia living, called Summer.

But oh, no... nothing is ever that easy...

The car needed a minimum of $1,200 just to pass inspection... plus another $1,600 worth of work that the mechanic recommended... and none of that would have actually fixed the damn air conditioning. For a 1995 Buick with a peeling paint job, this just was not worth it.

So, after a few days of panicking and research, we are the not-so-proud owners of a 1994 (yes, older car! grrr) Mercury Sable. But it passed inspection in April, and the air conditioning currently works. Which cost us about $1,100 between buying the car, paying for new tags, and the sales tax, etc... I think we're ahead of the game, so to speak, but it didn't make me very happy. (The fact that the guy who sold us the car freaking siphoned off the goddamn gas tank and I ran out of gas before I got home with the stupid car, and we only live 5 miles away! doesn't exactly make me scream with delirious joy either.)

On top of this, the sore throat that went along with my infected root canal has yet to completely go away. So I haven't exactly been feeling well, either. And I have a shin splint. Oh, and I had more dental work done this week, in which he used a diamond headed saw against a steel peg that he'd placed inside my tooth which vibrated right up into my sinus cavity, so I said "yeah, it feels fine" when he really could have polished it some more, but I didn't think I could stand it, and I have rubbed my tongue raw on the tip poking at it. Serves me right for lying about it...

And we had a bad storm the other day, and about 30% of my running path looks like this.

I feel like some sort of Complainy-Maude doll, but really... you'd think a girl could catch a break, just once in a freaking while...

Well, you might think that, but you'd be WRONG!

So... for the last week, I've barely worked out. I did 2 of three runs, took one of three walks, did one session of weights, and decided that I was just not in the mood for crystal-twinkism cleverly disguised as a yoga workout. I also haven't journaled a darn thing. I probably haven't gotten all my waters in this week (but I don't know, because I haven't been checking them off!). I don't know about vegetables, but probably did ok with them, since it's gotten to be a habit of mine to eat a salad for lunch. I'm probably great on milk, and I know I'm good on oils. And I think I wrote down all my flex points. I only had 12 left by the end of the week, but they are there for me to use them, and there are a few left over in case I forgot to record something...

Also, on the week I probably could have used my meeting the most? Closed. For memorial day.

I'll be headed out to do my weigh in shortly. But I'm not expecting Good Things.

[Update: Well, it just continues to show that how I feel and what I've lost have ABSO-FRAGGING-LUTELY nothing to do with each other... I'm down 3.8 pounds, for a total of 31.6 pounds lost. I now officially weigh less than I have since just after Darcy was born - officially meaning scale-weight - I think I lost some more after the weigh in at 188, but I'm not positive and I never had any numbers to work with. I am about 8 pounds away from having lost my second 10%, which as you may recall, is my goal for end of September... do you think I can lose eight pounds in 120+ days? Yeah, me too...]

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Better Bad Choices

Thomas and I stare, our eyes dreamy... our gazes lock and we give each other a pained grin, and turn back to contemplating the object of our desire...

Darcy's uneaten hot dog.

She wanted it, I made it up for her. She decided that after two bites of chips, she wasn't hungry any more, and the playground was Right There, Mommy! She ran off to play.

Thomas and I contemplated her pristine, untouched picnic delight, with the nice blackened grill marks, bleeding ketchup and just a hint of plain, yellow mustard. The roll is standard, Food Lion brand white bread. A few cheese doodles sit next to this summer-time favorite.

I'm already doing the mental math. Well, one hot dog was seven points (I checked the Nutritional Information), so... do I have enough points for a second one? Well, I could have... a bite. One bite is what, maybe a point and a half?

"Would you stop at one bite?" Thomas asks me. I shake myself. I hadn't even realized I was talking out loud.

"Probably not."

"Me, either."

I consider my options. There's absolutely nothing healthy at this kid's party. Hot dogs, cupcakes, cheese doodles, chips. Nary a vegetable in sight, unless you count the almost entirely uneaten jar of relish. I've already had a hotdog (7 points), 4 pretzels (1 point), and a small (the smallest one in the batch I could find) cupcake (5 points). I didn't eat much for breakfast - I overslept and was really crazy-busy. I didn't even pack up the strawberries that I thought about bringing with us. Excuses excuses. I'm not even all that hungry, but man, did that hot dog taste good.

Thomas is already off-plan for the weekend, and he knows it. His hazel eyes flicker back to the hot dog and a half-embarrassed smile flickers across his mouth.

"Split it with you?"

"All right."

I could have castigated myself for the decision, but last year, I'd have had two or three hot dogs, a double handful of chips, and at least two, if not three, of the cupcakes. And I'd probably have snitched some of the pinata candy from Darcy's party bag on the way home.

It's not always about huge, gigantic leaps.

Sometimes it's about making the better bad choice.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

And Yet Another Reason Men Should Be Shot

I knew this was going to happen... absolutely. Freaking. Knew. It.

Thomas was "bad" this week. Not horrible, but he didn't make some of the greatest choices that he could have. Chief amongst the bad choices was going out to lunch with some co-workers without researching his restaurant choices beforehand. He selected a chicken sandwich that ended up being 20 points. And on Core, we only have 35 points to play with for the whole week (altho we are technically unlimited on CORE foods, a chicken caesar wrap is Not Core.)

And then at Darcy's little friend's birthday party, he had a hotdog and a half, and a chocolate cupcake. He went over on his flex points by... maybe 7 or 8 points. (If it was me, I would have had the hotdog or the cupcake, but not both.)

So, not a total binge or anything, just some bad choices through the week.

I... did not have a bad week. I had a good week. I got all my intended workouts in, I did my running, drank my water (even when I didn't feel like it, because this sore throat is still hanging around and water is just... no pun intended, hard to swallow) and made much better food choices. I ended the week with 15 flexies left.

Thomas lost... 3.2 pounds, going over his 30 pounds, and getting another gold star.

I lost... .6

I hate him. Just so you know.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Reality Bytes


Scene: Office luncheon. Conversation in Progress. Thomas, Ashleigh, Kai Lan, and Nathan.

Ashleigh: So, let me get this straight. She's losing weight, cleaning the house, running, and dyed her hair?

Thomas: Yeah, and...

Ashleigh, Kai Lan and Nathan exchange looks.

Thomas: What?

Nathan: She's leaving you, dude.

Ashleigh: Definitely. By the end of the year.

Kai Lan: Sorry about that.


Scene: Dinner with the in-laws. Conversation in Progress. Thomas, Lynn, Rosie, Howard, and Darcy.

Howard: Losing weight and changing your life? You're a bit young to be having a mid-life crises, daughter.

Rosie: And you credit Flylady with all this housecleaning and lifestyle changes?

Lynn: Well, I...

Thomas: ::firmly:: No. Flylady is a tool. I credit Lynn with having the determination to change her life when she was dissatisfied. And she's done an incredible job. I couldn't be more impressed with her.


Scene: Personal Email, excerpt. Lynn, Angelia

Angelia: ...On another note, I've told you this before, but I'm so impressed with your weight loss and it's neat to see how you are changing in your writing on the WW board. Not that I ever considered your comments anything other than helpful or kind, it's just the tone.......you seem, less cynical, maybe?


Scene: Personal Phone call, excerpt. Lynn, Ardelle

Ardelle: ... looking forward to seeing you next year, hon... especially so much less of you... you know, I never thought you'd ever realize just how bad you looked...

Lynn sighs.


Scene: Personal Email, excerpt. Lynn, Carol

Lynn: I saw someone passed me the other way while I was running who was smoking a cigarette. I can't image why on earth you'd want to smoke while running. I mean, that just seems pointless... Even if you're only running because you're late, smoking seems counter productive. Addicts!

Carol: *laugh* Yeah, that's kind of weird. Even if you accept the non-logic of hoping the two will cancel each other out, I can't see doing them at the same time. I'd at least have to stop running to smoke. Lean against a tree or sit on a bench or something for my nicfix, then toss the butt and get back to the trail. Weird.

Lynn: I did actually complete my run today, all 8 intervals, even if I did get followed by a half-grown mackerel cat for a while. That was weird. I could understand if a dog decided to chase me, but a cat sort of loping along behind me was just WEIRD. I'm beginning to think there's a weird magnet hidden in the lake or something.

Carol: That would explain why you're running over there...

Lynn: ...

Carol: Oh, come on, you didn't really expect me to pass that one up, did you? :D


Scene: After a hard day, reading through comments on blog entry. Lynn

Rose: I know it's hard to do but you don't need to prove anything to him (or anyone else for that matter) because you're great no matter what.

Cammy: Fwiw, I believe in you, too!

Hanlie: I believe in you too!

Valerie: ...at the very least that you will know that you really are an awesome person. You don't have to prove that because you're walking, talking evidence for it. :-) Many hugs.

Thinking Thin: Why shouldn't he be proud? You are an incredible woman, don't ever doubt that.

Lynn cries.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Strange Grey Landscape

I'm in a strange place, somewhere between smugness and sadness. The cloud cover roils between anger and guilt. There are lightening strikes of fury, flash floods of misery, and the occasional break in the clouds that lets through some truly radiant triumph.

I've been flip-flopping between rage and depression all morning.

It's infuriating.

I'm angry at myself for how I feel; I'm angry with him for making me feel this way. I know he's not responsible for how I feel. I know he's trying. I know, there's been remarkable improvement over the years. We're so much better than we were once. And there's the part of me that will never, ever forgive him. And the part of me that just wants it to be over.

I'm talking about my father, for those of you who might not have instantly realized it.

I don't think there's another human being on the planet that can throw me into such complete emotional turmoil.

For Christmas, my dad agreed to give Thomas and I three of the 10-week check in sheets for Weight Watchers. We ran out of slips this week, and he still owes us each a sheet of 10. (And Thomas's insurance offers a $300 rebate for "health initiatives" so that's how we're going to pay for the rest of the year... plus $100-$150 out of pocket, I expect...)

I called him three weeks ago and told him we only had 3 slips each left. He said "Ok, I should do something about that."

I called him again YESTERDAY to remind him.

"Oh, right."

We talked for a bit, about how we were doing on the Plan (~25-30 pounds lost for each of us) and my exercising and whatnot. He told me he was proud of me again.

It didn't inspire warmfuzzies this time.

He didn't think I could do it.

That's what this boils down to.

He has never believed in me. He sets expectations impossibly high and is then parsimonious with praise for a job well done.

There's the part of me that's obnoxiously smug about this: See what I did, and you didn't think I could. Showed YOU!

And then there's the part of me that wonders why the FUCK I had to prove ANYTHING to him. He's my FATHER. Shouldn't he love me, be proud of me, believe in me, NO MATTER WHAT? I mean, isn't that the way it's supposed to work?

Woe is me, I am so homesick
But it ain't that bad
'Cause I'm homesick for the home I never had
- Soul Asylum

Of course, there's the other part of me, the part that thinks he's right to not to believe in me. That he's right to dismiss my petty accomplishments and wonder why I can't do better, be better.

And if you don't expect too much from me
You might not be let down
- Gin Blossoms

My father and I agreed we'd rather be Happy than Right. But there's so much we don't talk about.

I know that I'm a prisoner
To all my father held so dear
I know that I'm a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I'm afraid thats all we've got

You say you just don't see it
He says its perfect sense
You just can't get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defense
- Mike and the Mechanics
I've tried really hard to let go of the old hurts, the things we can't change. The Right he thought he was. The stupid misunderstandings. The careless words. The active interference of my mother who wanted nothing more (and would accept nothing less) than to be the center of our attention. It's never been easy, and sometimes it's the hardest thing in the world.

And I can never forgive him for loving my daughter more than he loves me.

Sometimes, I don't know that it's worth it.

And yet, I can't seem to stop trying.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More LolCatz

more cat pictures

Right, Or Happy? (Pick One)

What we believe usually dictates how we feel. Our attitudes about people and events will generate our emotional responses to them. Our attitudes and beliefs are always right, otherwise we would believe something else. Since we have practiced our attitudes and beliefs over a lifetime, we are very loyal to them. It is very common to get stuck on our rightness and lose sight of our real human objective which is to be happy. Many people believe that being right IS being happy.
- Russell Friedman & John W. James
There's something to be said about being Right. I wouldn't know what that something is, however. I spend a lot of time playing peacemaker. In the A/B personality matrix, I'm not the one who cares where the hyphen is in Anal-Retentive.

Thomas hasn't spoken with his father more than four times in the last eleven years. His father learned that he was a grandfather about 5 weeks after Darcy was born. At my instigation. Rick and Thomas are so busy being Right that they don't know how to talk to each other. They don't even want to... they're so busy being Right that they're not talking to each other about who was right and who was wrong for issues that no one can even remember. It's sad.

Thomas would rather be Right.

I would rather be Happy.

This means, in practical terms, that I spend a lot of time being Wrong. And apologizing for things that I did, even if he and I both know that I did the best thing at that particular time.

It can get very tiring, sometimes, always being Wrong. Always being the one to come forward, to make up, to make peace.

The problem with being right is it usually costs you your happiness to be right. When you are being right you cannot grow. When you are being right you cannot see areas that you could improve. When you are being right you are not being loving. One of the secrets of a truly powerful person is giving up being right. Even when you know you are.

When you give up being right and focus on what you want, Love automatically becomes present. Love automatically shows up in its place. Peace and happiness show up when you give up being right.

Yes you can be right for the principle of the thing. And if you are right for the principle of the thing what you will end up with at the end of the day is the principle of the thing. It will cost you love, it will cost you your happiness and often it will cost you your wealth. The price it costs to be right is just not worth it.

Yes you get to be right, but the price you have to pay is very heavy.

Thomas brings his work home with him, and he chews over it in the evenings, after the people he's mad at are long since home and eating their dinner and probably not thinking about him in the least.

I was watching him, last night, rant and rave and bitch and moan about this audit thing at Evil French Company. Almost tearing his hair out, knowing that today he'd be dealing with the Manager of Operations, who is both Stupid and Always Right...

After a while, he stopped ranting and looked at me. "What are you smiling about?"

"I was thinking how lucky I am."

"For what? Not having to put up with corporate bullshit?"

"Not really. More thinking it was nice not to be burdened with having to be Right."


"In the end, will it matter if you are Right, or Pete is Right? Will the auditor care? The process is flawed. There's no way to fix that tomorrow. At the best, you'll get an Observation. At the worst, you'll get an Improvement Item. Even if you argue about it, that won't change anything. You'll just look stupid and petty. BOTH of you. So don't argue. Don't make yourself all angry and frustrated. It doesn't matter if he's wrong. It doesn't matter if you're wrong."

"But I'm not wrong," Thomas grumbles.

"Well, you're not happy, either," I say.

"I hate you."

"Only because you know I'm Right."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Make My Meeting Move

I'm still plugging away at my weight loss. I'm down another 1.6 pounds (that's three weeks in a row, 1.6, 1.6, 1.6... ) for a total loss of 27.2 pounds, thus far. And I'm edging closer to getting out of the 190's. I'll be happy to kiss those good bye!

So, Beth, our meeting leader, was profuse in her appreciation of her Monday Meetings yesterday.

"I wish all my meetings were like this; you guys aren't afraid to laugh. Or talk."

"Or correct your spelling!" Pipes up Al, from the back of the room. We do that, too.

She goes on to tell us that in her other meetings, she has to practically carry the whole thing herself, or enforce participation by giving people handouts to read out loud. I confess myself tempted to get her schedule and go to one of her other meetings, just to see if they're really that bad. (There's the cynical part of me that wonders if she says the same thing to all her meetings, as a sort of ego boost. We're "better" than the other meetings....)

Yesterday's theme was Actunity.

Thomas and I always sit in the front, so while we're waiting for her to finish off the weigh ins, I'm staring at the display pad.

What the HECK is Actunity? It took me a few minutes to figure it out, but I had it before Beth started up the meeting. It's a portmanteau for "Action Opportunity." We talk about Move More a LOT in our meetings. Beth was actually pretty frustrated with this meeting topic. "We just talked about activity what, three meetings ago?" she says, putting her hands on her hips. "I was talking to one of the other leaders about this and said to her 'what am I supposed to say, we all know about parking further away.'" She looks out at us. "Ok, I need some suggestions... what activities do you actually do? Does anyone actually park far away from the meeting?" More than half the meeting raised their hands.

"But," Al pipes up again, "it's only 'cause there's never any parking spaces nearby!" We laugh. It's true... there's never any good parking out in the lot. (Of course, it's also true that Thomas and I tend to walk over to the Food Lion after the meeting and back with whatever interim groceries we need to tide us over til Wednesday. Last night, tomatoes and bananas. And the popcorn seasoning that our regular grocery store doesn't carry.)

So, we discussed our activities. Again. We're not talking about going to the gym... gym rats are fine, Beth says, but a lot of people don't like to do that. We're talking about little things. Tiny, really.

She told us a story about one of her members, years ago, who was so heavy that she couldn't even stand. And how she started really small, playing basketball with her son in her wheelchair. Her son would bring her the ball, and she'd throw it. And he'd bring her the ball, and she'd throw it. And after a few months, she could stand, and throw the ball... and eventually, maybe two years later, she was actually managing to move around the court with him.

One of the ladies in our meeting takes her son to the park, and kicks a soccer ball against a wall while he's on the monkey bars and swings. Another girl dances while she's doing the housework. (Ok, I confess, I do this too... I've been known to play air guitar in the kitchen with my broom...) Al and his wife square dance. I sweep the porch. (Hey, that's hard work! And the lawn care guys are so courteous and are constantly refreshing the cruft on my porch to sweep back off!) William walks to the downstairs bathroom, while he's at work, taking 2 flights of stairs down and back. Judy does wall-pushups while waiting for her popcorn to pop.

So, what do YOU do, to Move More?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

No More Fathead!

I was putting my hair back up last night - I wear my hair pulled back with an alligator clip 90% of the time... it's easy to get it up, it's quick to take down, and I'm severely lazy about my hair - when I noticed something.

I walked out into the living room, clip in one hand, fondling the back of my head with the other.

"Interesting," I said.

We're in the middle of taking a break during our SSC run (our tanks are all mind controlled, and we're waiting the 10 minutes for it to wear off) and Thomas isn't really paying much attention to me, since he's talking with our Guild Leader about the guild funding his recent respec...

"What's that, spouse?" (Thomas always calls me "spouse". We picked that up from a friend of ours' parents, who called each other that, and as they were the most IN LOVE couple I've ever seen, and decidedly good marriage and whatnot, we adopted it, since we'd just love to "grow up" to be Richard and Margaret. Yes, this totally freaked out our friend - who was also Thomas's best man - when he heard us doing it... )

"You know that fat-roll I have on the back of my head," I said.


"It's not there any more." I run my fingers through my hair again to confirm this. It's really not there... it used to run all the way across the back of my head, pretty much from the top of one ear to the top of the other.

"I know."


"I noticed it last week," he said. "When we were, you know, on the sofa and..."

"You DON'T need to talk about that with your MIC OPEN!"

"Aw, Balth, were you proc'ing Kyth again?" Drei says over Vent.

I snatch my mic up. "Better than all your premature misdirection! How's Thea dealing with that, anyway?"

There are assorted wolf-whistles over Vent... and then Sassie pops up "Ooooooh, you are so totally REPORTED!"

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Back on Track

For the first time in a week, I got in all my 8 Healthy Guidelines...

I'm really feeling much better. Physically, at any rate. My mental state is sort of still.... well, a little mushy. Part of it is that I get so damned angry with myself when I act like ... well, whatever unflattering descriptor you want to call what I was doing yesterday. Whining. Bitching. Puling. That's a good word, puling. Highly underutilized in today's vocabulary. Unless, like me, you read a lot of historical romance novels.

[Yes, yes... I read bodice rippers. I rather like them, actually. I also like ABBA (tell me, seriously, are you planning to go see Mama Mia? I am!) and Prince and I have a special place in my heart for Thundarr the Barbarian. Admittedly, it's a special place that involves never actually watching it again, as I don't think I could bear the reality of it... all my other favorite Saturday morning cartoons turned out to be such trash when I got older, I just couldn't face it if Thundarr was just as bad.]

We did Weigh In last night. I am down another 1.6 (I really would have thought it was more, given that I've barely eaten all week) and Thomas was down .4, which put both of us over our 25 pound mark. And Thomas has now reached his 10% goal. So, I have new blog bling, a 5th gold star, and a large purple magnet for my fridge.

My next "big" goal is another 10%... not 10% from what I was when I started, but 10% of what I was from when I reached the first 10%.

So it would look something like this:

Starting WeightLossGoal

And that would leave me with like 5 pounds to get to goal...

For other, non-scale goals, I've decided I want to be comfortably in size 14's before the end of the summer (that's 4 months to lose about another 10-15 pounds), and 12's by the end of the year (another 4 months to lose 10-15 pounds).

So, that's what my plans are....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Why Do I Need a Vacuum Cleaner (My Body-Image Just Sucks)

I did some clothes shopping this weekend with my best friend.

I can wear size 16s now, in jeans and dresses. I didn't get another pair of shorts, but I did pick up a cute dress, since it was on sale. I also got some more tank tops (14/16s... time to toss out the 4X I think...) and a blue crochet shrug.

Carol thought I looked great.


I didn't.

I don't know what the hell is going on with me. I've lost nearly 25 pounds, and I hate the mirror now, even more than I hated it 30 pounds ago. (remember, I was heavier last July when I last saw my asthma doctor...)

My fat is doing weird things. Instead of having a fairly smooth "belly bubble" for lack of anything more dignified to call it, I've got two... bumps. My upper stomach, right under "the girls", is noticeably distended. And then I slim down a bit. And then I have a paunch. I've also got some very loose skin around my thighs, but my arms aren't budging a bit. My cheeks have thinned down some, but my double chin (which went away for a few weeks) is just as obvious as it ever was.

I can't figure it out; why is it that the more weight I lose, the more I hate my reflection? I know everyone's talking about how much better I look, and that things are so obvious from the progress pictures, but I can't see it. To me, I look pretty much like I've always looked.

I've started obsessing over beauty-related things that didn't used to bother me. I've bought cream for under my eyes to try to get rid of those puffy dark circles. I've got 2 kinds of skin-cleanser, and a moisturizer for my face, and now that most of my dental work is done, I've started getting self-conscious about how yellow my teeth are. I fret about how many zits I have (You'd think at thirty-six years old, I could stop having the skin of a teenager, really!!) and worry when my fingernails are ragged or dirty.

You know, I spent a week being sick, and the house got somewhat messy while I wasn't doing anything, and despite the fact that I managed to get things back into shape in about three hours this morning, all I can seem to focus on is what still needs to be done. (My desk needs to be dusted, for example. And I really should clean out all the gook that's managed to accumulate in the sliding door track, and Darcy's mirror has fingerprints all over it, and the kitchen floor is in dire need of a good moping, and while I'm at it, the refrigerator is all disorganized again, and...)

This is so STUPID.

I don't know why I can't seem to focus on anything that's good.

I don't know why all I ever do is drag myself down.

One of these days, I'm going to figure out why I am so fucked up.


Don't hold your breath.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Running on Empty

This week would not be what one might describe as "On Plan."

In fact, Not Even Remotely might be a good descriptor.

Can we take a minute to discuss my loathing of the phrase "I cheated on my diet..."

Cheating, to me, implies breaking the rules with the intent of winning through unfair means.

[Complete and total digression here.... my father has a comic strip magnetted to his refrigerator. It's of a baseball game. The first frame has the pitch. The second frame has the umpire yelling "Foul! There's a foreign matter on this ball!" The pitcher says "What's foreign?" The last frame has the umpire yelling "Foreign is Sushi!" That comic has been on my father's fridge for 20+ years now. I didn't get it when he first put it up. I don't get it now. But it does sort of pop into my head from time to time to puzzle me exceedingly.]

Forgive me, I've been (and still am) sick. Digressions become more frequent with me the less restful sleep I've been getting.

Back to cheating... When you cheat at cards, what are you doing? Trying to win a game when the rules of the game say that you should lose. I had a friend in high school who loved to cheat at cards - particularly solitaire. She flipped cards 1... 2... 3... the way you normally would, the first time she ran through the stack... when she started running low on cards, she did an alternate shuffle that moved the cards into her hand 2.... 1 behind the 2.... 3.... she still lost from time to time. But she won more games than she lost. She was really quite defensive when I pointed out to her that she was cheating.

"I'm only playing myself," she said. "How can I cheat myself? What possible difference does it make?"

"Well, I know you're a liar," I said. "And so do you. Don't you think your self-respect is worth more than that?"

So... if cheating is a way to win by breaking the rules, it is, therefore, impossible to cheat on a diet. Since, you know, cheating on your diet actually prevents you from winning. (Or losing, as the case may be!) Eating foods that are off plan, or in amounts that are off plan isn't cheating. It's just eating... and it's not going to help you lose weight. I'm not even willing to say that Gastric Bypass or lipo are cheating... since those procedures have different risks and temptations and expenses that make losing weight through those methods just as fraught with peril, temptation, and self-remorse/self-disgust as any other options.

There is no cheat; there is only lie.

Now lying... that's something I understand.

I try not to lie to other people too much - it's too freaking hard to keep track of. You have to remember what you told, and more importantly, to whom. And then you have to worry about whether person A who thinks one thing will talk to Person B who knows something else entirely... You end up having to be involved in conversations that you have no interest in, so that you're there to turn a conversation aside from a topic that you don't want them wandering into... it's a lot of work, and in the end, it's not worth it at all. Trust me. (Oh, sweet irony, how I love you!) But I lie to myself all the time. I've been lying to myself for years. "Oh, I don't look that bad..."

The biggest lie I've told myself, though, was this. "As a chronic asthmatic, I'm not going to live very long. I may as well enjoy eating, since I'm living on borrowed time anyway."

I'm 36 years old.

I was never expecting to live past 35.

I was certainly never expecting to live without my inhaler inches from my fingertips. Without the near consistent trips to the hospital every 6 weeks. Without waking in the night, gasping for breath. Without pausing in the middle of marital activities to grope lovingly for my nebulizer saying, "Hold that thought, would you, Thomas?" Not being able to laugh freely, for fear of sending myself into an asthma attack. I vividly remember a trip to watch fireworks with some friends, and we had to walk about a mile from where we parked to where we could see, and I had to stop every quarter mile to rest and use my inhaler. By the time we got there, I was shaking from the effects of too much albuterol. I vaguely remember my husband and my best friend joking about something to do with biting, but that's all... I can't remember the fireworks, I can't remember any conversation... just this nagging, low grade fear, nearly buried in the back of my brain while the front tried to keep on breathing. I am going to die like this.

Jeez, was that a digression worthy of a politician or what?

All of this boils down to nothing more than a long self-defense of my eating habits for the last - is it Friday already? Shit! - six days.

I have NOT been eating On Plan this week. I have NOT been exercising. I have NOT been drinking water. Almost a whole week at this point, and there's the snarky side of myself that wants to say "Well, shit, you've been Off Plan most of the week, may as well just finish the week off, right?" The sick part of me says, "Plan whatever you want, I'm having nothing to do with any of you, so just shut up and go away."

On the plus side (bah, I want to get OUT of the plus sized clothing, thanks awfully!) it's not that I've been over-indulging. It's that I simply have not been eating. If I'm lucky, I've been getting in ~800 calories a day. Maybe 2 waters, but mostly soda. (For some reason, swallowing water makes my throat hurt worse, and as I currently feel like I swallowed a bookcase. Sideways! I'm just not up to water. Soda. Or hot tea/coffee.) I haven't been eating my veggies either - partially because my tooth still hurts a bit (that's at least finally getting better!) and partially because I just DON'T WANT TO. So there!

Yesterday was the closest to On Plan that I've been since Saturday. And I'm still off by 3 waters and an oil.

You know the worst thing about all this? I'm sick. That's not an "excuse", that's not a "justification", I'm not "rationalizing" or "in denial." It's a freaking FACT. I'm sick.

So why the hell am I feeling guilty about my eating? (or lack thereof) Jeeeeeeeeez!

I did my measurements today. It's been about a month since the last time.

Upper Arm: 12 inches. (stayed the same)
Waist: 38 inches (down 1 1/2 inches)
Hips: 43 1/2 inches (down 2 1/2 inches)
Thigh: 23 (down 3/4 inch)

So, that's 4 3/4 inches lost this month. And adding up all my losses, I've lost 6.8 pounds in April.

Time to get philosophical about it. I've been saying it to other people for a while now, so it's time to take my own damn advise.

Scratch dirt over that day, it's done. Start again today.

(I'll try. But I'm still sick, so I may have to scratch dirt over today, too... I'd better get better soon, though, because I'm seriously running on empty right now.)