Sunday, May 27, 2007

Will they even dye my eyes to match my gown? Jolly good town!

I've decided that, once a month, I'm going to do something very nice for myself that has nothing to do with weight or weight loss or weight gain or ANYTHING AT ALL about inches, pounds, or bodies. I decided this after typing a letter to a friend and realizing I had spelled the word "way" as "weigh" and "wait" as "weight" at least once in the body. I may but just a teensy trifle obsessed with ass-reducing right now.

So today, since it was raining out and my original plans of calling up a friend to do something outside were thwarted I decided to indulge in a day (or hour) of beauty. Unfortunately, because I have chosen to reside in the stank, humid armpit of the Midwest, there aren't really many institutions of beauty from which to choose and especially not on the Sunday before a government holiday. Sometimes, though, the rural Missourian in me rears its spiral permed and frosted head and I start feeling a peculiar urge to do very Midwestern things like tan, or go drink Bud Light by a lake on a pontoon, or get fake nails and the instinct must not be denied.

So I wasn't really surprised when I ended up in a vibrating armchair at the nail salon located in the local Wal-Mart. (Yes, I said the nail salon in the Wal-Mart, which, like the Subway-in-the-Wal-Mart, and the Bank-of-Greater-Metropolitan-Wal-Mart, I try never, ever to visit. But it's a holiday and they're very, very inexpensive and the urge was strong so JUST BACK UP OFF)

I had never gotten a mani-pedi before; my only experience with phalange-related beauty happened several years ago when the manicurist accidentally sliced open my finger with a cuticle pusher and screamed and practically shoved me out the door when she saw the blood spurt up. I guess she had legitimate concerns about HIV, but I got stuck with like an eighth of a manicure, and a pretty gnarly scar on my middle finger. I was hoping that the salon would be filled with the usual number of pre-teen girls and their mothers out for a "Girls' Day", but when I tentatively stepped in the door, the only other person in the room besides the nail techs was a stunningly overtanned woman in cutoff jean shorts and a hot pink tank top. She smiled broadly at me as I sank into a massage chair next to her and the pedicure lady sunk my feet into a heavenly spa jet thingy.

Over the next hour I learned that I should never, ever cut my nails on my own (as evidenced by a quarter-inch long hangnail the pedi lady exorcised from my big toe and waved accusingly at me as if she had discovered a bag of heroin between my toes), and that I should never, ever get color put on my nails (advice from the Mahogany Truck Driver Woman who told me that the way to get great sex was to get a French pedi and find a good man with no kids and a foot fetish). I decided to get hot pink anyway, not only because it's springtime, but because I'm certain it complemented the color of my cheeks after Mahogany Truck Driver revealed very intimate details of her love life with her Pederast Truck Driver Boyfriend.

A flash of impulse compelled me to ask the salon owner if they had time to put acrylic French tips on my fingers, too, and suddenly I was being slathered with all sorts of adhesives and attended to with scary dentisty drill things and there was acrylic flying everywhere and when the dust cleared I looked down to see ten very grown-up looking nails. I'd had French tips painted on when I got married, but I bit them off in the bride's room before the ceremony and I think they've been in various states of dishevelment since then. The new nails sort of hurt a little bit, and I'm terrified to do anything other than sit and display them carefully, but in a way I really like them.

Without forcing too much symbolism on the occasion, I'm kind of glad I spent the money to do this, because not only do I feel sort of pretty and sexy, but I also feel older...more ready to be a woman. I've been kind of a twenty-something twelve year old for several years now with my baby face, and my unruly hair, and my penchant for wearing sweats and t-shirts and tennis shoes when I could be dressing like an actual woman. I've also always been afraid of improving parts of me while the most noticeable aspects weren't so great. Whenever I'd get dressed up or made up or I'd try to look feminine and pretty, I'd ultimately always think, "What's the point? No one ever sees anything but the fat, anyway". I got really good at becoming one of the guys, or the funny fat chick, or the quiet, unassuming one who made every attempt to hide but could be devastatingly cool once you made the effort to know her...but you know what? It's almost harder work being unapproachable anymore, especially when I actually have things I'm proud of about myself. So these silly, forty dollar acrylic appendages that are making it hard for me to type correctly are kind of a little step toward liking myself most of the time, even if I can't be completely satisfied with who I am yet.

I think next month I'm going to go for a proper haircut and highlights at the day spa where the Wisterians go. It's not exactly Bliss in New York City, but at least it's not flanked by a bait refrigerator and an ice machine in the middle of a Super Wal-Mart.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

American Beauty

A combination of delayed first flights and early connecting flights forced me to cancel for the weekend (my scale thanks me, but my social life is shaking its head in frustration). I purloined this from a friend's blog...the magic of Photoshop, no? It sort of makes you wonder what models and actresses really look like before the airbrushing, but it's also a pretty sobering look at what it takes to be "beautiful", and how incredibly hard it would be for some to get there.

Potentially NSFW, if women wearing negligees fall under that category for you. Also, loud, loud techno music blares when you click, so have your Ecstacy and glo-stick already in hand, please.

EDIT: The song is actually "Bootylicious" by Destiny's Child, as roz was very nice to point out. I guess I have the same reaction to the introduction that song as I do to "Sound the Alarm", which means I body slam my speakers until it's muffled, even though I like the actual song part of both of those a lot.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The ass and I are out of the office...

After a 6 am workout at the Fat Lady Gym (honest revelations on whether or not I think Curves is lame and why to follow next week), I go to work and then leave scool to drive straight to the airport for a mini-vacation to Birmingham, AL. The friend I'm visiting is a bit of a foodie, and was more excited about making reservations at restaurants than about making reservations for the flight. In about thirty-five minutes' time, he had decided we would visit The Highlands Restaurant (named the #5 restaurant in the country), Dreamland's BBQ (known for its ginormous rib platters), and Bogue's (to die for biscuits and gravy, and infamous for recommending that patrons seeking healthier fare go to the "Commie frou frou restaurant down the street). I think, even as recently as a couple weeks ago, I would've been all for this food-crawl adventure, but my rather sobering experience with the Flex Points and Mother's Day, coupled with the fact that I just don't have a taste for shitty food anymore is making this whole situation more awkward than I expected. Since he's essentially treating me this entire weekend, I feel like I can't request different restaurants, so this is all going to be a big challenge.

Since it's a big vacation weekend, the WW topic this week was "Turnaround will Travel", and I think it was helpful on a fairly basic level. Some of the lifers suggested switching from Flex to Core for the week, so you could have as much food as you wanted and then splurge on one item with the extra points. Other people said to pack your own food and bring a cooler. Both ideas are great, but I was disappointed we didn't get down to the root of a fairly emotional issue: What do you do when you're spending your time with someone who expects to eat, and expects the act of eating to be a bonding experience?

I ran headfirst into this issue as a kid, and while dating my husband. In my household, food was always an issue of money, and non-eaten food meant wasted grocery cash that my parents didn't have. If we went to a buffet, the unspoken rule was we ate three plates worth plus dessert, or the $7.99 a head wasn't worth it. It was a weird existence, trying desperately to eat enough to keep my parents' blood pressure down while we were out to eat and then being told at home not to eat anything, because I was getting fat and I was eating them out of house and home. I finally sorted out that issue in college, when I got serious about eating healthfully and I turned to salads and Lean Cuisines and Subway as an easy, quick fix to sort out my eating.

When I met my husband, though, I realized quickly that he viewed food as a way of expressing love and companionship. He was appalled by my habit of quickly throwing together a veggie wrap and sitting on the couch to study or read while I ate it, and soon my rabbit food was replaced in the refrigerator with steaks and rice and sauces and desserts and I bought recipe book after recipe book and scrambled around trying to create the perfect three-course meal every time. As a working student, it became too much and soon my husband and I ended up eating out every meal as a way to satisfy his expectations. But again, if I didn't finish a meal or I didn't ask for seconds, he was offended, because his father taught him to always compliment the cook by asking for more. It was so hard feeling that out of control in those watch my waistline expand and my thighs squeezed by the fabric of the jeans and all my hard work unraveling because I wanted to make sure he was happy, even if I wasn't.

So, I'm kind of haunted by those insecurities going into this weekend, especially after a conversation with my friend where he said it was going to be impossible for me not to gain weight, so to just give into it. When I told him I've had plenty of biscuits and gravy in my lifetime (probably more than I rightfully ought to have had) I didn't need them at Bogue's, and that while I'm sure the BBQ at Dreamland is luscious, I could probably make do with a salad, he got really hurt and I know it's because he wants to share those experiences with me. But, my goodness...if sharing food opinions is the best thing we have going on between us, maybe we ought to find other things to talk about? I don't know. I don't want to hurt his feelings, but I also know I don't want to slide off the wagon just because someone will raise an eyebrow if I ask for dressing on the side.

Anyway, I'll be out for a few days, so have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day. I'll be looking forward to catching up on Tuesday.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

12.5 lbs.

A very nice reader (I feel like when I write that I've turned into my aunt and I'm wearing a sweater set and pearls and writing this on some lovely cream stationery) emailed and asked if I would restart the graphic representations of my weight loss again, just for perspective and inspiration. I stopped doing that during the February-March debacle of readjusting my scales and starting weight and not actually dieting and then being vegan for two weeks and then just trying to eat intuitively and discovering that my intuition has been smothered by my more primal urges for pizza and ice cream, but I think now that my manic MUST LOSE 3LB EVERY WEEK OR I'LL JUST DIE phase has passed and I'm on a slightly healthier path, I can start doing it again.

So...thus far in my Reduxing, I've lost the equivalent of:

A very cool garden owl that I might actually buy and stick on my patio so I can stub my toe on it every time I go out and water my flowers to remind myself to never, ever again allow that much weight to accumulate on my body. I mean, a garden gnome is quite a lot. I think if I ever hit goal, I'm going to force myself to walk around with 10 garden gnomes in a sack every time I have a craving for a Quarter Pounder.

Weigh-In Edition: Week 19

I keep stepping on and off the scale, trying to mentally calibrate how I'll determine a loss for this week. I didn't make it to Weight Watchers because during my trip from one side of KC to the other, where my meeting and home is located, I ended up in a bottleneck and an hourlong standstill on the hottest, most boring, most foul smelling highway in Western Missouri. The man in the Subaru next to me took care of his boredom by lighting up a joint and taking a nap in his reclined seat, but since I'm a 50 year-old woman in training I had no such entertainment so I sat primly at the wheel of my LeSabre and very calmly planned my dogged pursuit of our transportation department and how I would ruin them in small claims court for my cost of Weight Watchers plus 1/8 tank of gas. I'm ruthless where insignificant amounts of money are concerned.

So, I didn't get to weigh myself on the WW Official Scales of Doom and Judgement, but I have my trusty Health-O-Meter at home and it says I now weigh 219 without my clothes on. So I guess with lunch and breakfast in my stomach plus my usual WW ensemble of yoga pants and a t-shirt, I'm probably sitting at 222 for this week. I'm very happy with's a loss of abut 2.5 pounds for the week and 4.5 overall since I started the program.

I'm really chomping at the bit to hit 219 legitimately because I haven't really given myself a reward yet for any of this, and I'd really like to update my progress pics. I don't think there's much of a visible body change, but once the reward kicks in (a Curves membership) I think the various lumps and rolls will reconstitute themselves into something slightly more feminine. At least I hope.

Happy Sunday, everyone.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I spent the weekend in my hometown, chilling with the parentals and my 92-year old great aunt, so you can imagine that wild times went down with the four of us. That old lady can really pound back the tequila-Metamucil cocktails

Anyway, since my family isn't exactly known for our gastronomic restraint, I had more than a few dinners at restaurants. I decided to dip into my reserve of WW Flex Points for the weekend, but I didn't keep track of them as I ate. I was really super proud of what I thought was a great job, eating-wise, because usually my trips home are an orgy of cookies and nachos and ice cream and buttered popcorn and fatted calves and those cute pigs with the apples in their mouths...

So I thought I was doing really, really well until I decided to do sort of a Flex Points retrospective on the weekend, and I think I managed to total up about 60 Flex Points altogether...Holy Moses, I had no idea.

So basically that means while I thought I was maintaining an almost Buddhist level of self-denial on my weekend, I was actually overeating, which means the last 25 and 3/4 years of my life have been spent, like, doubly and triply overeating. Like maybe to the tune of 3,000 calories or so per day, and that's really nasty.

So, Lesson #1: Weight Watchers is seriously helping me handle food better than I ever have in my non-dieting past, so I get to spend at least a tiny fraction of the time saying "Yay me!"

And Lesson #2: COUNT THE POINTS. Every point. Every Flex Point. Every bite that goes in my mouth even if it's just a random spoonful of angel food cake mix that didn't make it to the bowl (not that I would do that). Because I'm pretty sure my weigh-in tomorrow will show a loss, but if I hadn't overdrafted my Flex Points, I'm sure it would be bigger.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I think I'm getting a hang of the WW Flex points now, in that the 1750 extra calories you're allotted each week are not supposed to be used furtively while under the cover of darkness. I have this tendency to view anything marked "flexible" as a crutch for weaklings, and so I either try valiantly to not use the Flex Points or, having dipped into them, I spiral into a pit of despair (mental image of that one guy from Princess Bride) and end up binging on all 34 remaining points and then, say, nineteen or twenty more. Because apparently I must be the valedictorian of Weight Watchers, or else the weight loss doesn't really count. What a jackass I am.

I think for me the points thing still confuses me, because I'm so comfortable counting actual calories. Somehow points seem bigger and more ominous, and while I may not have batted an eye at eating 50 calories over my 1500 limit, adding in an extra point fires off a Klaxon warning to my brain and suddenly everything turns orange and men in Hazmat uniforms run at me and spray an extra layer of lard to my hips even before the last bite of Sunchips I just popped are sliding down my throat.

But seriously, 1 point is 50 calories, right? And 35 points are 1750 calories and that's only a half pound difference in the course of a week, and you don't have to use them all if you don't want to AND you could easily burn off at least half that by walking a few times a week.

So I'm not so sure what I was freaking out need for Flex Point-related self-loathing at all, especially when the fact that the longest "adult" conversation I've had today was with my cat is TOTALLY more pathetic.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Sometimes it just John Hurts a little.

My stomach currently feels a little like this:

Fever, chills, big stomach pains right after I eat each time I eat anything solid but no expellation of said foods. I wonder what it is.

Anyway, I dragged myself to WW for the meeting and I lost 1.6 lbs. this week. I'm happy enough with that. See you tomorrow, hopefully, and if I die there's a bottle of unopened Cuervo in my pantry if anyone wants it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Ladies who Lunch

Because I decided to pursue the glamour profession that is public school teaching, I'm privy to a number of marvelous benefits that the rest of you peasants don't have. Among the highlights are:

1)Exposure to a wide variety of 19th century illnesses, and to all of the current ones, also.

2)Endless supplies of sparkly barrettes and Littlest Petshop figurines that I claim as contraband and hoarde jealously in my desk as if somehow, the plastic camel sitting next to my White-Out will ensure my survival and procreation of a new line of humans come the Great Day of Judgement.

3)Dry erase marker stains on my pants

4)25 minute lunches.

Since my classroom is located in the hinterlands of the school building, my 25 minute lunches are usually reduced to 15 minute lunches by the time I kick the last kid out of my classroom and racewalk to the teachers' lounge. You would think that because of our limited time to consume food, there would be very little talking and a lot of determined cud-chewing, but no...shit goes down there, folks. I don't lie.

I happen to have a lunch shift with a group of teachers my very favorite person in the world has aptly named The Wisterians. He chose this moniker not because they investigate horrific crimes in their idyllic neighborhood while managing to engage in ridiculous and often hilarious sexual and romantic hijinks themselves, but mostly because they shop at Talbots and really, really enjoy passing judgement on the world at large and especially on the teachers who aren't there to defend themselves. These are the women who sigh longingly about the day their husbands will allow them to quit teaching and become full-time Pilates instructors, and who hover over their yogurt cups and Diet Coke cans while the rest of us flabby, pathetic mortals try to hide the fact that we've actually brought food made of bread. Or meat. Or anything but Splenda.

Isn't it funny how hard a thoughtless comment can slap you down when you least expect it? I got a double whammy from the Wisterians today, and both comments happened within five minutes of the other, and I didn't even get that I was being judged until like four hours later when I was at home and I was unloading the dishwasher and thinking about it and suddenly exclaimed "Bitches!" as I was reaching up to put away a glass and my cats both looked at me and cocked an eyebrow and I think if the big one could've said "Language, please" he would've.

Wisterian Uno is a mother of one, makes sure we all know she weighs 105 pounds, and recently told us she was happy she got impregnated again because it gives her 9 months of absolution from being five pounds overweight and so an abomination in her husband's eyes. Rumor has it she spends two hours a day on the treadmill and does butt clenches while she grades papers at her desk. Apparently during her pregnancies she becomes diabetic, so as she was tearing into a rather humongous piece of "farewell to sugar" Reese's Pie (Teacher Appreciation Week...TOLD YOU we got perks) she leaned over to me and asked if I had any low-carb, low-sugar cookbooks I could loan her. I was happy to oblige and after she thanked me she said, "I knew I could ask you because you're always eating so healthfully." Then she looked me up and down and half-laughed with a, "Well, at least you TALK about being healthy." And I, being slow of wit, smiled like a moron and walked out of the room and mentally sorted through my diet cookbooks for one to bring back to her.

Wisterian Dos is like the Queen Mother of the Wisterian set and is notorious for her unadulterated, poison-dripping lack of tact and the backhanded compliments she bestows to everyone in her path. The favorite I've heard so far was a comment she made to a different pregnant teacher in our building when she said, "I bet it's great that you're a bigger woman, because when you start to show you won't have to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe!" I usually try to avoid eye contact with her, but today I ended up at her table and while I was trying to eat without actually look like I was, you know, ingesting calories I felt her gaze on me and I looked up to see her considering my face thoughtfully.

"You know," her pinched, upper middle-class voice broke through the din of the lounge as everyone looked her way, "You remind me SO MUCH of that Sukie St. James on Gilmore Girls" I hadn't seen enough Gilmore Girls to know who Sukie was, so I strutted around school all day beaming because I thought she meant I was the witty and musically talented Asian one who's Rory's best friend in Star's Hollow. Or maybe, like, her brilliant and determined roommate who's dating that adorable George O'Malley-esque boy. But no...I reminded her SO MUCH of the either ginormously pregnant or morbidly obese chef who laughs a lot and is clumsy and waddles when she walks.

And suddenly I got it all over again. Being fat isn't just my's apparently everyone's concern, and the fact that I'm not losing weight means I'm not only disappointing myself, but everyone else, too. But WHY is it okay? It's not like I walk around and remark on someone's emerging crow's feet or nasty dark roots...why is it that obesity is a matter of public record? For the most part, at least before it starts to become victorious, it's a difficult, painful, sometimes humiliating process...why does it need to be discussed and pointed out and remarked upon by the people who haven't been through it at all?

God, being fat sucks. Why couldn't I just have halitosis or a wicked case of scabes instead?

Monday, May 7, 2007

Day One of not treating myself like shit for screwing up has gone well, I think. I think I'm going to dub the next phase of this Mission: Mediocre, because I somehow need to convince myself it's okay to be a fat, kinda lazy, health challenged woman who's trying to do a little sumpin' sumpin' for a healthier body, and a little sumpin' less for her largish ass. Wait...positive self-talk. some periods in history my lovely lady lumps would be revered, nay, WORSHIPPED by men. I am Catherine of Aragon...I AM Catherine of Aragon.


So, since tonight was one of my Job One straight to Job Two days, I didn't even pretend like I was going to get up at 5:30 to do yoga, or to pop right out of my car to run through the neighborhood. I know, deep in my heart of hearts, that I'm not yet That Person. I don't love to exercise. I don't miss it when I haven't done it. I'm not training for anything, so I can bear to have a day off. Maybe in a few weeks or months I actually will want to bring a pair of running shoes so I can catch an evening workout before dinner, but all I can focus on driving home from Job Two right now is how quickly my WW Confetti Chicken is going to be passing through my mouth and into my stomach. Hopefully before I pass out from faux-hunger and crash into the Suburban with the "W, '04" bumpersticker in front of me (although that might be considered an act of public service).

I also didn't make a ten-bullet list of important things to do before I went to bed for tonight, which is great. I found this Post-It under my desk I had from last Monday, and it was an absolute homage to perfectionism, all done up in tri-colored ink and splashed with imperatives like TWO LOADS OF LAUNDRY BEFORE BED!!! LESSON PLANS TYPED AND PRINTED!!! I sort of wanted to bitchslap myself after reading it, partly because...why am I such a jackass? and also partly because I never really did any of the things on the Post-It. So this is unrealistic expectations equals no disappointments equals no sulking over a Strawberry Cheesequake Blizzard at 10:30 tonight. Yay for breaking the cycle of perfectionism.

I do have a question for the fellow Weight Watchers, though:

During the introductory meeting, my WW leader said that they had made a revised points goal scale to accommodate age and frame and activity level. According to my modified goal, since I'm young and a teacher, I should be eating 31 points. The WW e-Tools just say 28 and they don't give me the option to put in the modifications. 31 points seems like a lot, but you know...if I can get 3 free points of the deal I"m going to take them. Anybody know whether she was right about this and how to change it on the Points Tracker? Merci beaucoup.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Like a Dude

I've written a couple times about how my father, after receiving a stern warning from his doctor about imminent diabetes, or heart disease, or at the very least an increasing inability to get up gracefully from his La-Z-Boy, basically plunked down with a bowl of cut cauliflower and broccoli as a snack and announced that he planned to lose 50 lbs. And he did. He walked on his treadmill, he followed the Mayo Diet religiously, and he looked at his old comfort foods of buttered popcorn and ice cream with such scorn it was hard to believe he ever really ate junk food in the first place. He lost 50 lbs, and a little bit more within three months I think, and even though he gained it all right back after his doctor gave him the all clear, he's very cute and smug and sits in his armchair with a smile and I KNOW he's thinking "I could get up out this chair right now and lose like eight pounds in the process, so step off about the bag of Doritos I just crammed into my mouth. Bitches, please."

I always ponder this when I'm in a diet rut because there's such a huge disparity between men and women in this. Somehow the fact that I have ovaries gives me license to ruminate over every single detail of dieting. How I FEEL when I start a diet. What I'm THINKING while I'm on it. What were my EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS when I fell off the wagon? Seriously...every day I'm on a diet is like a Lifetime Original Movie around here, and between the journaling, and the reflection, and the personal meditation, not a whole lot of actual weight loss gets done.

I always chuckle when I get comments from male bloggers after I've had a particulary Sturm und Drang-y entry because they're usually like, " if you're having trouble eating too much chocolate, maybe stop eating chocolate?" I think that's a laudable goal, but as every woman knows the fact that you can't stop eating chocolate while you're PMSing is directly linked to the fact that you got made fun of for eating a Ding Dong on the bus during a school field trip in junior high when you were a little chunky already and that you only had the Ding Dong because your mother packed it in your lunch and you always felt that your mother secretly wanted to sabotage you from being pretty because she had an inferiority complex and so that's why she made you wear unflattering glasses and a bowl cut until you were 15 and really it's all her fault and why doesn't the world understand me and my urges and I will never find a man who kisses me the way George kissed Izzy last Thursday and I'm going to be alone forever in this apartment with these cats and where in God's name did I hide that last Klondike bar...

...and scene.

Do you see? Men don't have to put up with the insane woman in their heads, and I bet normal women don't have to either. But at least I do, and I suspect there are a few other women who have to as well. And so we think, and write, and eat, and then the process starts over when the judgemental lifetime member at Weight Watchers writes down your .2 lb. loss on your tracker with pursed lips. Men just do, and I admire that about them, so I strived today to do at least some positive thinking and to get my priorities aligned and to plan ahead for the week's battle with food so I wouldn't be caught in the McDonald's drive-thru (now with 2 lanes so you can get to your massive coronary with greater expedience!) jonesing for a McGriddle on Thursday morning again.

I figured out that I really think (and maybe this is another woman thing) that I tend to swing from extreme to extreme. One week I'm at Whole Foods, buying two hundred dollars of organic vegetables, macrobiotic prepared cuisine, and super elite Colombian coffee that, like, promises to help you do calculus better or something. But since all of that stuff is hard to cook, and hard to keep in the refrigerator, I don't use it, so I end up at the Arby's, sucking down a Jamocha and hiding behind my sunglasses in secret shame. I guess it's important to realize that that kind of lifestyle is great for people who already have healthy eating habits, who've done the vegetarian/vegan thing successfully for awhile and have detoxed bodies and no cravings and who can transition into eating miso and seitan and other healthy foods with lots of vowels. For the average dieter, whose former life was probably full of high fructose corn syrup and maybe some Slim Jims thrown in for good measure, I don't really think it's THAT shameful to have to supplement a diet with weight loss junk foods. 100 Calorie Packs and WW snack cakes are obviously not going to be as beneficial in the long run as edamame and tofu salad, but if they keep you on the wagon, then I think they're just fine.

And I guess the same thing happens to me with exercise. I make exercise tables. Color coded exercise tables on Excel when I'm supposed to be planning for the edification of the young minds about to pass through my doorway. They're very fancy charts with every permutation of cardio, strength training, and flexibility you can imagine. They're divine. The only problem is, I don't use them. Evidently the effort required in creating such glorious charts makes me too exhausted to just move my lard ass in actuality. So you know what? No charts. No expectations. No depression when I don't Stick to the Chart. Again, an hour and a half of exercise a day is probably awesome for someone who's run a 5K, or even just one K, but I'm like in Remedial Fitness right now. I gotta move my body, but it doesn't need to be in profound ways yet.

So yes, the irony of writing a ginormous post about actually getting things done instead of thinknig hasn't escaped me, but at least it was productive writing and not whining writing. And at least I didn't make a grand promise I won't be able to keep tomorrow. I just want to be realistic here, and I have to thank the Male Dieters of America for helping me keep it real.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

So what kind of loser does it take to spend a week on Weight Watchers...the easiest, most sensible, foolproof weight loss plan in the Western hemisphere...and only manage to post a .2 lb. loss for the week?

It takes me.

So basically, at the rate I'm going, I should be at my weight loss goal in October 2016. Awesome. I've always wanted to be 36 and smokin' hot.

I am not sure the amount of hubris it requires for a person to pay forty dollars a month, to sit through meetings and nod and contribute, to read success story after success story, to sit and watch the Jenny McCarthy promotional video where she bats her heavily made-up lids in amazement at her post-baby do all those things and STILL manage to walk away saying "You know, I don't really need to count points. Or exercise. Or eat food that is not made of cheese."

Seriously, who do I think I am?

In the course of all this navel gazing, I've spent lots and lots of minutes trying to be Carrie Bradshaw and pondering the "what does it all mean?" question in regards to diet. Is a diet stripping away the layers of yourself? Is it a lifelong journey? Is it about planning on completing the Ironman in 2 years and figuring out how to do it? Is it hanging up the little black dress in your closet and picturing it every time you have to make the choice between a donut or a bowl of oatmeal? Is it memorizing the sound of your ginormous thighs slapping together as you race down the stairs for work each day and pledging that you will do everything in your power to never, ever let that sound get louder again?

And so for at least right now, I've decided that a diet just has to be an exercise in honesty. Honesty meaning that starving myself in the five hours before a WW meeting in the hopes that the six previous days of less than stellar eating won't show on the scale is an awful, cowardly copout. That throwing on a couple point's worth of food at the end of the day is never, ever okay, and that WW has paid millions of dollars to Caltech degreed scientists to figure out exactly how many points you should eat to not be a fatass and so I should probably just shut up and agree with it no matter how much I deserve an extra cookie in the afternoon. It means admitting that I need help from other people, because if I could actually lose weight on my own without a program, then I'd be wearing a bikini and stilettos to walk out to the mailbox instead of seven layers of oversized clothing to hide the lumps and the rolls and the past week's worth of pizza and garlic bread and ice cream, and, and, and...

And I guess it has to work the other way, too. I have to be honest and admit that I'm not going to wake up at 5:00 am to do yoga if I've only been able to sleep for four hours before that, and maybe that's okay and I need to find something else to work for me. I should be honest and understand that failing at this (even failing at it over and over and over like I seem to do) doesn't make me a bad person, just a really typical one.

And that maybe if I can figure out all this stuff and learn to live with myself and my setbacks and my propensity for excuses, maybe I can bump that weight loss goal date up to, like, 2012. Exciting.