Monday, February 28, 2011

out of my head

You can tell when I'm frustrated with how things are going. Everything goes internal. I stop writing about it. I stop talking about it. But I certainly don't stop thinking about it.When I'm frustrated, all gets quiet on the outside and the inner rioting begins. But not tonight. Tonight, I will write.

Tonight I will quiet the thought that the diet isn't working. Because it is. It's just not working fast enough and far enough. And that is a different issue entirely.Tonight I will squelch the voice that screams I'm never going to lose weight. Because I will. And I am.

Tonight I will unplug the treadmill of planning and scheming what I'm going to do next when it becomes apparent this isn't working. Because my head hurts too much to follow a pattern of thought beyond the next 30 minutes. And in 30 minutes I will be in bed, so what does it matter?Tonight I will turn down the volume on the inner tapes playing a continuous loop of self-hatred and disgust. Because I don't even have the energy to complain and criticize. And I'm trying to make peace with the body that gets me where I need to go.

Tonight I will give voice to the tiny whispers of hope. I will give voice to the questions and comments from friends about how I look. I will give voice to the fact that I can pull my favorite jeans up over my rear end. I will give voice to my efforts at sanity and moderation. I will give voice to two months of discipline and the fruit of my efforts.Tonight, I will turn on the lights and watch the scavenging roaches that are fear and control scatter back into the darkness. I will leave the light on. I will make a mental note to pull out the Raid tomorrow.

And then, I will go to bed, in peace.

Friday, February 18, 2011

moderation, my fanny

I almost didn't do it. I had been avoiding it lately--afraid of what I'd find and what I'd do once I found it. And so I went for three weeks maintaining total abstinence, in complete ignorant bliss, not knowing what the scale had to say about what my body was or wasn't doing. I'd tell you it was a peaceful, serene three weeks without this constant, subjective feedback, but that would be a lie. Feedback, alas, comes in many forms.

Over the past three weeks, feedback has come in the form of pants that fit better one day, but then clinging exactly the same as they used to the next. It has come in the form of bloating throughout the day to the point of having to peel my pants of at night. It has come in the form of checking my reflection morning, noon, and night, to see if it looks any different. I'm unfortunately no less neurotic simply for having not stepped on my scale.

This morning, however, I am slightly more neurotic for having stepped on the scale. All the feedback over the last few days--pants fitting better, people commenting on how I look, the image in the mirror looking a little smaller--all seemed to indicate that there should be a new number on the scale. And a lower one, to boot. So I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers, and took a gamble. And was immediately reminded once again that what SHOULD be and what really IS do not often line up in my world.

My scale blinked the same flippin' number at me today as it did three weeks ago. Three weeks ago. Are you beginning to see why my body makes me crazy? Three weeks of miracle diet, with very few exceptions, and the scale still reads 145. I don't know what... I don't know why... I don't know how... I can't even complete a sentence. There are so many possible endings to each of those beginnings.

Eight pounds lost, five to go. And the scale is not budging. This scares the crap out of me. Why? Because it's beginning to look like I might need to do something drastic. And I'm just not sure I'm up for drastic.

Over the past three weeks, I had two pieces of pizza and a slice of cake for my son's birthday. I cheated. Yes. I admit it. But I did so in a healthy way. I did so in moderation. I did so in order to not swing from the extreme of legalism to the extreme of anarchy. I felt okay about it. The next weekend was my women's group retreat. I went off the diet for one day--ONE DAY--and ate in moderation what everyone else was eating. And this past weekend, we had a birthday celebration for a friend, and I cheated for one meal. ONE MEAL. I did not binge. I did not go hog wild. I did not go completely off the deep end. I ate what everyone else around me was eating, and I did so in moderation.

Here's what makes me CRAZY. Moderation is not enough. Apparently, a few slices of pizza and a couple of desserts over the course of three weeks, even done in moderation, are enough to completely derail any semblance of progress. That makes me utterly, ragingly insane. If I want to take off this last stinkin' five pounds and fit back into the rest of my "fit girl" wardrobe, I'm going to have to be completely, 100% perfect. I'm going to have to resist eating like everyone else at next week's potluck. I'm going to have to possibly go even more drastic with the diet. And I'm going to have to work out even harder. And I don't know that I have it in me to do that.

Some days, I wish I were just okay with being fat. Some days, I wish I just didn't care. Because some days, I just don't think I have what it takes to fight this life-long battle with a body that wants to be covered in a nice, thick, warm layer of fatty flesh. I know what it takes to do that. And today, I'm sick and I'm tired and I'm just not up for it. Not for today, not for this weekend, not for the month, not for the rest of my life.

Tomorrow will most likely look different. I will try to cling to that and put the blinking number and the swirling thoughts and the raging confusion out of my head for now. As for how I shall succeed with that attempt, well, we shall see...

Monday, February 14, 2011


Today was back-on-track day. Or, it was supposed to be back on track day. Instead, I somehow ended up at Panera, with a beautiful chunk of whole grain baguette on my plate next to my soup and salad. And, well, you know. I just succumbed.

Perhaps it is this upper respiratory crud that has me in its grip that weakened my defenses. Perhaps. I just knew that I was going to end up with carbohydrates on my plate, and I didn’t have the urge to fight it this time.

About six weeks into the miracle diet now, and I’m still not quite there yet. I had kind of thought I would be done by now, which I must admit is a bit disheartening. The results had been so immediate and impressive the last time—I expected a similar result this go-round. As usual, life does not turn out as expected. But I’m okay with that. I can slide into a pair of jeans I could not pull up past my hips before Christmas. That means, slowly but surely, something is changing. As long as it keeps moving in that direction, I will not lose hope. Yet.

The good news is there is not a food event on the horizon for the next several weeks, enabling me to concentrate on sticking to my diet for a good three or four week stretch, hopefully getting me to my goal weight by the end of March at the latest. If I can steer clear of Panera and the magnetic pull of fresh-baked bread, I should be good.

I hope.

And to hope, after all, is progress for me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

coming up for air

It never fails. I gain a new resolve to write regularly, to work out consistently, to lose weight steadily, to gain momentum on all the grand undertakings I am attempting to undertake, and then WHOOSH. I get slammed. Slammed.

Here is a perfect example. I finally have a day to write. I got the workout out of the way, I got showered, I sat my butt in front of my computer. This was 15 minutes ago. I am only on the second paragraph. Why? Because I hit some funky key that did some funky command and then suddenly my whole computer was funky and I could type anything into it. Nothing at all. And it took me 15 minutes to figure out how to fix it. I only have five hours today within which to work on my manuscript. Add in getting lunch, and it's down to four and a half. If I check email, write on my blog too long, answer the phone, pet the cat—suddenly I'm down to four or less. Four hours, within the last four weeks, to try to write a flippin book and lose ten flippin pounds and create a birthday present for my daughter and finish the photo book from vacation plan the valentine party and…

Sigh. 15 minutes, when you only have four hours, is extremely frustrating. And here I go again—petting the cat. But he looks so cute sitting here on top of my keyboard… And now it's suddenly been 20.

I need to quit complaining about my lack of time to write and just write. And so I will go. In the meantime, the miracle diet is still progressing slowly but surely, in spite of a birthday party two weekends ago and a women's retreat this past weekend. I am allowing myself to be normal in these settings. To "do all things in moderation." And it is working. There is a grace on it, and I don't lose control, and I get right back on the diet when I'm finished. That, alone, is miraculous. Is this making allowances slowing down my progress? Probably a little. But I can live with that. For now. I have four hours left. I am also making allowances for school events and unforeseen crises and physical therapy appointments and birthday treats for the class. Is it slowing down my progress? Definitely. But I have no choice but to live with these allowances. And so I take a deep breath, and I make the most of my four hours.

Here I go…