Sunday, January 9, 2011

big as a barn

One and a half weeks into this diet and I feel as big as a barn. One of those big red ones. Someone could paint "Ohio: The Heart of it All" across my backside and put me along I-71 north and someone would come and take my picture with some very nice cows and a split rail fence and put it in Midwest Living or something. It will make for a very nice photo spread, but it will take both pages. So be sure to check for it next time you're at the grocery. Will probably be out sometime in March. The banner will read something like: Big Ass Barns and Big as a Barn Asses. Or something like that.

Of all the completely inane things people repeatedly tell me when they know I'm struggling with my weight, possibly the most incredibly aggravating is "Don't go by the scale. You have to go by how your body feels." Um, yeah. Right. Did I mention my body feels as big as a barn?

The culprit today, this very moment, is the pending arrival of that which arrives for a woman every month but no one talks about in public because it's not polite. How does my body feel? Bloated and huge. The culprit yesterday was Splenda—not something I usually ingest but was without options and simply could not bear the possibility of straight tea with nothing to make it roll around on my tongue a bit. Bloated like a balloon. The culprit last week was coming down off the carbohydrate hangover from being at my mother's for Christmas. You guessed it. Bloated and huge. Daily, weekly, monthly. My body is not a reliable barometer for that which is going on in the weight department.

Case in point: I can put on a pair of jeans in the morning that fit comfortably, and by the time I get home in the evening the waistband is cutting off circulation and I'm peeling them off. Case in point: I can step on the scale in the morning and be pleased, and step on it again in the evening (not that I do any longer) and be dismayed by the five pound difference. Case in point: I can eat the exact same thing my husband does over the weekend, portion size and all, and wake up Monday unable to get into the pants I wore comfortably on Friday while he notices no difference whatsoever. Ever. My body, and the way my clothing responds to it, are no more dependable than the scale when it comes to gauging progress.

So, if I can't trust the scale as a measure of progress, and I can't trust how my body feels or how my clothes are fitting, then to what do I look for reassurance? For hope? For the magic marker that says, "You've succeeded?" What can I trust?

The little voice in my head that says what I think people are going to say says You need to trust the process. I ignore it, and it says it again. This time I give the voice a dirty look. Yeah. Right. Trust the process. I'll get right on that. Two years of trying to get this weight back off. Two years of a number of various and sundry "processes," none of which have obviously been successful or I wouldn't be here writing this post about trying to lose weight. Again.

I don't trust the process. The process doesn't work consistently. My body is fickle. My metabolism temperamental. My fat persistent. The process is no match for their tenacity. I can't trust the process. My fat out smarts it every time. So where does that leave me? I can't trust the scale. I can't trust my body. I can't trust the process.

Pssst! Psssssst!!! The little voice in my pipes up again. You can trust that there is purpose in this. God has a purpose for this season. Death glare to the little voice. Now I'm really irritated.

I decide not to bicker tonight. Too much already going on in my head to take up with this argument. I will consider it, but only begrudgingly. Because, to be quite frank, it really torques me off.

My new copy of Midwest Living peers out at me from under a pile. Cupcakes on the cover this month—not a barn in sight. But rest assured, if there are cupcakes on the cover this month, the barn issue is sure to follow shortly. Especially if they're made with Splenda.

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