Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Weigh-in Edition, Week: God only knows

Weight: 220

Progress: -1 lb.

Total Progress: 14 lbs.

Pounds to go: 90

I was pleased to see a loss this week after a month or so of steadily gaining again. It's funny, because during the Great Ass Reduction of Ought-Two, I felt like I was losing weight too fast...close to 60 lbs. in about six months and from a lower starting weight. Now I'm overjoyed to just not gain each week. I can't imagine my metabolism has gotten so lazy in just five years, but maybe it's a give and take; I've gained perspective and restraint and maturity and in return have had to accept the thyroid of an 84 year old grandmother. My mother hypothesizes that my killer tonsils have allowed my body to harbor some sort of infection for the past year which explains why I'm always dragging, always sick, always pathologically attracted to my office futon and body pillow at 4:00 pm when I probably should be doing productive things instead. Maybe I'll turn around after the ENT yanks the toxic little effers out this summer.

Anyway, veggie and bean fajitas for lunch today with an apple. If I can make it through the afternoon doldrums without giving in to naps or cheese-based snacks or fast food for dinner, I'll be golden for the rest of Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Finally...What a Good Food Day Looks Like

Breakfast: 2 Kashi Multigrain Blueberry Frozen Waffles, 1 Tb. creamy peanut butter, 1 banana, green tea

Lunch: 1 Cedarlane Couscous and Veggie Burrito, grape tomatoes and edamame, 1 apple, water

Snack: 2 mozzarella cheese cubes

Dinner: Black bean and veggie fajitas, 2 flour tortillas, shredded soy cheddar, 2 Tb. guacamole, 1 Tb. nonfat sour cream, 2 Tb. pico de gallo, 365 Brand Organic Corn Tortilla Chips, 1 Sugarfree Jones Cherry Soda, 1 Kashi Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate cookie, 1 mango

Points: 33

Monday, June 25, 2007

One of my piano student's mothers decided to take lessons from me as a means of keeping up her mental alertness and concentration. I tried valiantly to convince her to buy a Sudoku book... a much cheaper and ultimately less humiliating option...but she insisted and has been showing up in my studio without fail every week since January. I'm very glad for her company, and I like that I have a student who can discuss the latest episode of Big Love and swear when she misses a note and who doesn't come in dressed in all manners of Hello Kitty kid couture, but teaching her is a painful experience completely unique to the awkwardness of teaching kids how to learn a new skill.

She's progressing quite rapidly, actually, and apparently has had some fine arts training in the past because she approaches each song with a fairly musical sensibility, listening for nuances in phrasing and always being careful of "making it flow", even though a student of her ability level really does well just to pound out notes and rhythms. The frustration in our lessons doesn't stem from whether or not she hits a black key or a white key, or whether "On Top of Old Smokey" retains a modicum of recognizability; I think the real tediousness in her lessons lies with how fearful she is to actually just sit down and play.

Every weekend there is a different excuse for why things aren't perfect, or why she doesn't feel ready to really "perform" for me. There's tendonitis, and the in-laws are visiting, and the husband is out of town, and it's Purim...each and every reason accompanied with a resigned sigh and effusive apologies for having to listen to her playing. But the thing she doesn't realize is, I LIKE to hear her play. I love to hear how she's progressing and learning and I like weeding out the little bad habits she has so I have something to actually teach and refine in her musicianship. I get paid to do it, and the only thing I mind about her as a student is her relentless self-doubt and toxic perfectionism that keeps her from just messing up gloriously and then fixing the problem later. Kids don't have that problem; if they screw it up, they'll either admit they had a brainfart or they simply didn't practice and then they'll correct the problem and we'll move on.

I wonder how adults become so fearful, so guarded against acknowledging that there may indeed be a deficiency, but that it can be made up by charging ahead and trying again. I wonder at what point we start to shrink away from taking chances, and being uncomfortable, and even being a little bit in pain as we journey down the path towards something we want. I am, of course, being an utter hypocrite, because I do it in my own way every day just like any other adult: "I just can't pass up chocolate!" "I try to exercise, but I'm just so worn out and sick all the time!" And it's pathetic, because those excuses are flimsy at best, and yet I'm using them as the absolute truth for why I can't accomplish any of my own personal goals.

This weekend I stopped at bookstore to see if I could find a copy of Passing for Thin or When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies, since both had come highly recommended to me and I was worried that the last thing I remember actually reading this month was the back of my new shampoo bottle. Of course, my local Borders is lame and probably stopped stocking those books in order to make room for their FOURTEEN KIOSKS of Harry Potter merchandise, so I ended up with Erin Shea's Tales from the Scale and a book I'd never seen before, entitled Skinny Bitches. I, of course, started with the latter, because the 12 year old boy in me reasoned that a book with curse words on the cover could only get better inside the pages. I wasn't disappointed.

The book is written by a former model cum holistic medicine expert and a former Ford Modeling agent who are, in fact, "skinny bitches". The difference between them and your run-of-the-mill Nicole Richie or Olsen twin is that these women are glowingly healthy on top of their stunning looks. I was immediately hooked by chapter titles like "Don't Be a Pussy" and "Sugar is the Devil". It's like reading a note from your mean, pushy best friend who knows where all the good parties and the best shoes sales are and calls you a "whore" affectionately and you let her because you know there's a really kind heart beating behind her bullying facade. Their basic premise is that if you want to be thin, you have to be healthy, and if you want to be healthy you have to stop eating crap.

Well, duh. Obviously. But the book presses on to explain that you can't eat meat, can't eat dairy, can't eat sugar, can't drink coffee or non-organic alcohol, can't eat processed, refined, artifical foods and ever expect to REALLY be healthy in your life. And I definitely agree...a pure vegan lifestyle is probably what nature intended for us, and my friends who are vegan are basically glowing with vitality. I've read books on the vegan/whole foods/holistic lifestyle before and I've slammed them shut with an enthusiastic vow to replace Cheetos with quinoa, mozzarella with tofu, and I do great and feel amazing for a week or so until unplanned hunger hits, or I smell barbecue smoking in a pit, or I'm just too tired to deal with processing ANOTHER fruit smoothie for breakfast and then I fold and start my inevitable backslide to the Land of Egg McMuffins and Curly Fries.

And so, until I got to the "Don't Be a Pussy" chapter, I read this with the same amount of skepticism I reserve for any crunchy hippy diet book and figured there was just no way to deal with it. But those final chapters really resonated with me...what are we so AFRAID of, that we can't let go of the junk food and the overeating? I know that while I was researching vegan recipes this morning I was also staring longingly at the recipes that featured feta, or monterey jack, or sour cream in their ingredients list. Did you know you can actually get addicted to cheese? I know I definitely am, because the idea of living in a dairy-free existence sends me into such a dither...I get shaky and anxious, like somehow just THINKING about a world without muenster means that grocery stockboys are actually pulling it off the shelf even as I type.

It's just ridiculous. If you asked the average person if they would like to start taking illegal drugs so they can feel the effects...the highs as well as the lows and all the side effects...they would probably say it wasn't worth it, don't you agree? But that's because they're not addicted, obviously. So WHY is the notion of not having cake, of not having Oreos, of not having nachos so emotionally upsetting? The only thing I can figure out is that we're addicted to the foods we love, because otherwise we'd all be clamoring to buy tempeh and broccoli because we know that ultimately they're tons better for our bodies. And why are we so terrified to feel hunger? Humans endure sunburns, menstrual cramps, broken bones, kidney stones, childbirth, the flu, strep, migraines...all of these things with a fairly stiff upper lip, but when our stomach starts feeling empty and we have a little light-headedness why do we act like someone just amputated our thumbs? A blogger I read regularly, and I'm sorry I can't remember who, reminded us a few weeks ago that Gandhi fasted for weeks, and most of us can't make it through the evening without a Fourthmeal now...what the fuck?

I spend so much of my time making excuses for why I can't do my very best, even though the resources are all laid out in front of me every day. The research has been done, the friendly neighborhood Whole Foods and the Wild Oats have been constructed, the trashcan is waiting for me to dump my bags of crap food and to move on with my life. What am I so afraid of? That the detoxing is going to hurt? That I'll be boring if I prefer salads and spring water to brats and beer? That it'll be hard work and it won't be any fun? Puhleeze.

We have all accomplished much, much more difficult feats in our lives, and probably for a much smaller payout. Why are we so scared to actually challenge our bodies to do the same?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I have had the distinct pleasure of contracting strep for the fifth time this year yesterday, and as my tonsils were staging a mini Central American revolution against the rest of my body I had plenty of time to languish in my bed (I am SO in need of a Victorian settee...and maybe a bustle and a fan...much more dramatically effective for languishing) and think about how good my swim/walk workout was on Tuesday and how great it'll be to get healthy so I can actually try to move my body more than once a week or month at a time.

Anyway, while my pain sensors stop being such grumpy poodles and my left ass cheek heals from having a giant needle of antibiotics plunged into it, I'll tackle Laura's meme, since she was kind enough to tag me.


Ten years ago I was 16 and getting ready for my senior year of high school. I think I probably would've been at this three-week long fine arts camp where I had a wonderful time but was egregiously misinformed as to the idea that one can make a viable living off one's passions.


Hmm...last year I was not in my best form. I was a part-time professional towel folder and disgruntled employee at Wal-Mart until I walked out and never came back, I was in the process of packing up my husband's possessions in the hopes that putting his toothpaste in a hard to find box would actually prompt him to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE (It didn't until the tail end of July. The man's tenacity is extraordinarily impressive.) And I was finishing a long, slow slide into the worst physical shape of my life...infections, weight gains and pains, and general illness that's only just now working itself back to normal. I am SO glad it's not 2006 anymore.

1. Chips and salsa
2. String cheese
3. Almonds
4. Fruit
5. Kashi Cookies

I have a problem with not being able to remember the lyrics to any song I hear on the radio, even if I've heard it a zillion times. I'm that person that sort of half-mumbles until the chorus and even then I'm a half-second behind the music because I'm waiting to hear the words so I can confirm I have it right. My brother won't even let me sing in the car with him because it's so annoying.

I do know pretty much any song you would've sung in any elementary music class by heart, although having an intimate knowledge of "Skip to my Lou" never seems to help me at parties.

1. Pay off all my debts
2. Buy a truck for my dad
3. Pay for my brother's college
4. Buy a house
5. Buy a fuel-efficient car for me

1. Eating my feelings
2. Not saving money
3. Being extremely hard on myself
4. Being messy
5. Putting on too much nail polish on purpose and peeling it off, Bonne Bell style

1. Watching movies
2. Writing
3. Painting and drawing
4. Dancing
5. Teaching kids stuff


1. A Wal-Mart smock
2. Tapered legged capris
3. My wedding rings, unless I reconstitute the engagement ring into a solitaire necklace
4. Fake nails
5. Suntan panty hose (my mother used to insist there was no such thing as nude hose, so I spent the better part of my adolescence looking like I had just come from the Swingin' Senior Dance at the Boca Raton Retirement Ranch)

1. My cell phone
2. My computer
3. My iPod
4. My thingy that turns my iPod into my car stereo
5. Hmmm...I'm a bit of a neo-Luddite. I do think it's cool my TV has a DVD and a VCR built into it. Does that count?

"INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so."

1. Tam's Fitness Journal
2. Lose Weight With Me
3. Kathy Calculates
4. The Pursuit of Healthyness
5. Minx, Redux

"Next select five people to tag:

1. Brenna
2. Lori
3. Abba
4. Luna
5. Lukos' Mom

ALSO: I'm getting referred for a tonsillectomy this summer (Ice cream! Excruciating pain and hemorrhaging!) and I'm getting mixed stories on whether or not it'll require a lot of down time, etc. If you've had a tonsillectomy as an adult and can comment as to the nature of the surgery, could you leave a comment please? Thanks.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Last night after work I pocketed the money I receive for teaching the progeny of the various KC suburbanites who spend their "me time" hunkered down in the back seat of their Lexus SUVs with a grande half-caff marble macchiato and every mobile telecommunications and organization device legally available for purchase in the western hemisphere. Sometimes they fall asleep back there and it's darling when I have to escort little Chutney or Farnsworth out to the car so we can knock on the windows and rouse the parent to take them home. Seeing a member of the upwardly mobile wiping their drool off the tastefully beige leather seats of their luxury vehicle with a Kleenex hastily plucked from the depths of a Coach satchel makes all of this just a tiny bit more worth it.

I meandered over to the local sporting goods store to check out their swimsuit collection, where I was confronted with the reality that...duh...generally, retail athletics stores sell products for people who are ALREADY athletes. I pulled a size 18 exercise swimsuit off the rack and tried to pull it on over my thighs with absolutely no luck, and there simply weren't any bigger sizes available anywhere. I've always been under the impression that swimsuit sizing follows dress and pants sizing pretty closely, but apparently Nike and Speedo both cut theirs smaller. (Or else I'm really just that fat). I was a little disheartened, because I figured the only place that would probably have plus-size swimwear available for purchase off the rack was Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart seems to specialize in being purveyors of the ugliest swimwear you could imagine, and I wonder if conception of their plus-size swimsuit collection began with a deal brokered with Omar the Tentmaker and his rejected fabrics from the Fall 2007 Tent Season.

Nevertheless, I was a determined to end up with a swimsuit, so I went to The Mart anyway and confirmed that they had absolutely nothing worth buying. It seems like they would profit from at least a small rack of suits that women who actually want to MOVE in the water would wear, but the entire display was nothing but suits with tiny straps, no straps, those skirts that are supposed to hide your fat but instead act like beacons of obesity because they're ORANGE! WITH RUFFLES!, and those weird tank suits made out of ribbed material that always look promising on the hanger but seem to lose elasticity the exact moment the fabric hits your body. I bought myself a pair of goggles as consolation and left otherwise empty handed.

Right before I went to bed last night, I remembered I had an old racer back tank suit left over from when we swam a lot during my honeymoon and I fished it out from the depths of my armoire to try it on. I was close to fifteen pounds smaller when I got married, and the suit was marked "Large", so I was really expecting disaster from this encounter with Spandex. Oddly, the suit seems to fit everywhere it counts...nothing is splooging out from the armholes, and my ass is entirely covered by the seat of the suit. I can definitely tell that my stomach is nowhere near as flat as it used to be, and my thighs look like two pale pink bratwursts exploding out of their navy blue encasings, but I can live with that for now.

I'm excited. I'm going to move my body...and with any luck, when I move it in and out of the pool, there will be absolutely no one there to see me do it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The collective amount of effort my fellow teachers and I are exerting to impart knowledge during the four weeks of our summer school program is so minimal that I think the children might actually be getting dumber as the days pass. We're arriving as late as we can, leaving as early as we can, and generally are just phoning it in to collect our summer "bonuses". I'm a fairly ardent champion of educators and the public school education system, because the majority of us work ourselves into exhaustion trying to teach and proxy-parent and support our children, but by all means say what you will about summer school teaching because we are an unabashedly lazy-assed group of people right now.

Which explains why I'm blogging at work instead of using my free time to, like, make a database or look up gross-motor vocabulary words or something boring like that.

Anyway, the long-promised Curves entry is here. I decided, last month, to end my gym membership and open a Curves account for a couple reasons: First, because my gym is a part of our community recreation center, I often found myself competing with county people for machines, equipment space, and privacy every time I visited. (And when I say "county people", I'm referencing the fully clothed people who sit on the weight benches drinking Mountain Dew and listening to Kid Rock on their shared Ipod while I stare at them with murder in my eyes.) Second, because I sort of feel like my body is just needing some sort of remedial exercise rather than full-on Stumptuous-variety weight and cardio routines. I had belonged to a Curves a few years ago, and I knew a zillion women who had amazing results from it, so I decided to give it another chance since they were having a special on membership fees. I worked out with them three times, and as of three weeks later I'm buying out my contract with them and I think I'm going to endure the gym instead. I am nothing if not gleefully mercurial.

So, is Curves lame? Yes and no. Here are the arguments in favor of it:

1) It's fat and female-friendly.

The commercials you've seen are completely accurate. Most of the patrons of your local Curves will be 40-something or older, not in spectacular shape, and 100% female. (There are male equivalents to Curves called Fast Fitness 4 Men and Cuts Fitness, if you're interested in pursuing that, although they also may or may not be lame and I won't be able to inform you one way or the other). A surprisingly high number of runners and naturally fit women do work out there (I assume as a way to build bone and muscle density on top of their cardio), but most Curves gyms are overwhelmingly populated by the aforementioned clientele. And I think that's a major bonus, because the pressure's off to look a certain way, it's okay to sweat, etc.

2) It's Easy.

You truly only have to show up 30 minutes, three times a week. In fact, they strongly discourage you from going more than four times, partly because they're worried about your muscles having time to heal, but also I think because they want to keep the space open for new people. The workout is basically a circuit training course, usually in a small office-sized room. You spend 30 seconds on what are called "cardio pads" or "recovery pads" where you raise and maintain a target heart rate by marching or jogging in place, dancing, or just swinging your arms. You rotate between the pads and hydraulic resistance machines (usually 12-13 of them) so by the end of one rotation you've work most of your major muscle groups, and then you complete the course a second or third time. The course runs anywhere between 25-37 minutes depending upon how many times you go around, and there are usually 3 opportunities for assessing your target heart rate in the course of one standard workout. Curves stresses the importance of a post-workout stretch, so stretching mats and charts are located at the back of most branches and the attendants will get on your case if you skip it to go home faster.

The gym attendants have to walk you through your workout at least twice before they recommend you trying it alone, and someone is always near the machines to correct your form or the way you're moving on the pads. They're pretty vigilant about correct form, and I'm sure that contributes to the longevity of the memberships there; very few people get hurt while working out at Curves. The recovery pads are also handy because you can change up your movement based on how fast your heart is beating at the moment; some women jog full out on every pad, others use knee raises or kicks to give their legs an extra workout, and some just stand and swing their arms to get joints working and blood pumping each time.

Basically the convenience and ease of the workout is its major bonus.

3) It Can Be Very Fun.

If you, unlike me, are a social animal, then Curves would probably be right up your alley. Most branches seem to have a constant rotation of promotionals, special days "Like Wacky Wednesday", and giveaways or contests to keep people interested in coming back. At my old Curves, the attendants would read trivia questions or have impromptu horseshoes games to give away door prizes, etc. They are instructed to keep a flow of conversation going at all times, and so there's usually chatter going on pretty much all the time, and they try to get everyone involved. If you're into a friendly, family-type atmosphere at your gym, then this is a really good selling point for Curves.

I think, really, the appeal of Curves stands on its ability to attract women who might be insecure about their bodies and get them to really come to love working out until it starts working for them. I know at least a handful of women who've lost 100+ pounds by changing their diet and working out with Curves, and several more who've lost between 25-50 just by going. It's a slow and simple method towards fitness, but it seems to be working.

Now, on to the cons:

1) It's Expensive For What You get.

I think if I saw a commercial that asked, "Would you like to lose between 1-2 lbs. a week and keep it off for only $40 a month?" I would probably keep watching to see what was for sale. (Keep in mind, I'm also the person who watched the Magic Bullet infomercials religiously EVERY SINGLE TIME they were on paid TV on Sunday mornings) Curves can certainly make the above claim and even have it be true, but there are a few hidden catches to the equation: First, the sign-up fee ($159.00) is pretty steep, (unless you catch them during a promotional or know someone who knows someone) especially for a gym you're just trying out. Most normal gyms offer a trial membership or a money-back guarantee if you're not into it, but Curves doesn't. I got around the sign-up fee by informing the manager that a nearby branch offered discounts to teachers, and she chose to honor it. The cost of membership each month is around $45.00 unless you sign up for direct debit on a yearlong commitment, and then it's only $39.99 a month. If you want to get out of your contract and you're on the yearlong plan, you'll have to pay $10.00 a month for each remaining month on your contract, but they can only charge you up to 5 months regardless of how short your tenure with them was. One caveat: SAVE EVERYTHING they give you. I've read a ton of stories where women who've tried to break their contract for legitimate reasons like pregnancy, medical concerns, or change of residence have been really burned by their Curves managers bending the fine print to their own advantage. Remember, each Curves is a franchise and if they don't retain members, they get shut down so they'll fight tooth and nail to keep you and your money.

The other reason I'm including this is a con is because every Curves branch is different, and some might not have the business hours or the space to be worth your $40 bucks a month. At mine, for instance, they're only open from 6-11 am and 3-7 pm most business days, a few hours on Saturday, and not at all on Sunday. If you have more than one job, or work odd hours or long hours like I do, it can become extremely tedious trying to find a time to actually get in to work out. In the end, that was a major deciding factor for me, because I just couldn't get in to go.

2) It Can Be TOO Easy.

I think Curves is an incredible opportunity for extremely out of shape, sedentary women to make gradual lifestyle changes and incorporate exercise as a habit in their new active lives. I think the workout can change bodies and it can be extremely invigorating for a certain kind of people, but I don't think it's going to work for everybody.

The problem with the Curves workout is twofold:

First, you don't spend enough time actually exercising to really get your body into fat-burning mode. Research has indicated that you have to spend approximately 20 minutes exercising just to switch from burning sugars into burning fat, and a typical Curves workout stops five minutes after that.

Second, the workout is entirely dependent upon how hard you want to work. The machines use hydraulics, which means the air that builds up inside the machines dictates the amount of resistance you'll have as you push and pull them. So, if you want to build up resistance and work your muscles harder, you have to use the machines faster. That's great, but as I've found as I'm exercise, if you're working faster you lose the range of motion needed to really work the entire muscle group, so you're effectively losing out. Also, your cardio workout is completely dependent upon how fast you move your body on the recovery pads. Obviously, you can slack off on a treadmill or a bike too, but I've noticed that if you're the only person on a pad who's really running or jumping hard and the rest of the ladies are kind of treading water, peer pressure will win out and you'll end up slowing your movements to seem less conspicuous. It's just one of the hazards of working out in a circle where everyone can see everyone else.

Ultimately, the women who've had phenomenal success and have attributed it to Curves have also employed some extra cardio/weight/yoga work to their routine and have made significant changes to their eating habits. Curves does offer supplements and a high-protein, low-carb eating system but they're not mandatory to follow and again add cost to your membership fee. So the bottom line on this one is that Curves help you form the healthy habits that will eventually lead you to doing some real body sculpting in the future, but I don't really think it's a cureall by itself.

3)Miscellaneous Issues.

This one is kind of a sticky one for me, and I apologize if I offend anybody with what I'm going to say, but...

Curves founder Gary Heavin is a widely-known opponent of abortion rights, and is fairly public about using his corporation's money to support pro-life organizations and fundraising. Essentially, that means that the money you pay to Curves will probably end up, at least to some extent, going towards those particular causes. Some Curves also collect direct donations of money or shopping items to help pro-life charities or clinics, and mine has literature on how to become a pro-life advocate. Please understand I'm not trying to push an agenda one way or other; I just hope you'll be aware of where your money is going, no matter where you put it.

And finally, in a slightly related way, there's a reason why Curves is the fastest growing franchise in America, and it's because they treat their branch managers and owners very aggressively. I've heard lots of complaints about branches being abruptly shut down due to a handful of dropped members even though they were thriving in all other areas, and I've seen other gyms completely crowded to the point of not being able to use it because the managers weren't sure if a second branch in another location would do as well. My basic thought on this is that the franchise owners know what they're getting into before they plunk down the first payment, and that they're hopefully skilled enough to understand how to run a successful business that makes their corporate parent happy. But still, the effects of franchise aggressiveness can kind of trickle down to you, like when you find your gym abruptly locked up with a "CLOSED" sign taped to the door, or you have to wait fifteen minutes to work out. It's a possibility anywhere, and not just at Curves, but it's still something to consider.

So the bottom line for me was that Curves WAS a little lame, but mostly because I like to work out by myself, to mix up the activities a little bit, and to let it be a more holistic experience than a room full of women dancing to 80's music can really provide. I think for a woman who needs to feel good about working out before she's ready to commit to a traditional gym, this is the absolute perfect solution to that. But maybe it's kind of like those Lean Cuisines we all have stockpiled in the freezer: they're a great idea for when you want to be healthy without having to think about it, but using them as a lifetime solution probably isn't the greatest idea.

Anyway, check it out on your own if you're trying to decide whether or not to join.

Whatever you decide, congratulations on at least considering a healthy lifestyle, and let me know how it's going.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Trudging back in.

I had just one giant bitch of a week, and I decided to wait until I stopped lavishing in my own misery to write about it so I could at least look back with some perspective on things, and so now I'm back...2 pounds heavier but hopefully with some sort of plan for moving forward.

A very heavy depression descended on me this of those where I'm honestly concerned about whether or not it will ever lift, and for awhile yesterdy while I sat in my car in the dark garage for thirty minutes because I couldn't will my body to get up out of it I really didn't think I was ever going to be able to think clearly again. Lots and lots of stress and exhaustion and tension and stupid adult problems with banks and cell phones and insurance companies sort of just kept building and building until I freaked and spent a lot of time eating various forms of fried chicken...chicken on buns, chicken dipped in gravy, chicken shaped into tiny balls and crammed into my gaping maw by barbecue sauce stained fingers. Somewhere in central Arkansas, dozens of Tyson Chicken employees just got laid off because I ate EVERY FREAKING CHICKEN in their farm. Sigh.

And I've spent a lot of time wondering what it takes to be brave enough to do all this. To just go and move your body and eat the right foods no matter how many chocolate cakes are shoved under your nose or how many time your brain says that the world doesn't need another obese person waddling down the sidewalk in sweatpants. I went from actually being sort of brave and hopping on an airplane for Chicago at the last minute to hiding in my bedroom because a picture taken of me standing on the beach at Lake Michigan finally revealed to me just how bad things had gotten. There were no artfully posed "Fat-girl-with-chin-down-quirky-smile-to-hide-the-jowls" shots, no pageant position standing to minimize the waist and obscure at least one hip from the lens, no black on black couture to hopefully detract from the rolls and the pudge...just me in my pear-shaped glory, squinting at the camera and trying desperately to shield myself from sight with my forearms. And if I were serious about any of this, my blogs should've revealed a steady progression of good choices and moderate weight loss every week since January. Now I just have fits and starts and big gaps in the entries where I became an utter fuckup and ate away my disappointments and washed it down with a large Coke.

I wonder what it takes to be THAT person...the one who swims and dances and does yoga in a big-lady Speedo and XXL workout pants and doesn't apologize for wanting to do any of it. The one who says the Curves gym is okay if you want to not do very much, but that I have a right to be in the real gym with the real people, so move over so I can leg press thank you very much. The one who jiggles her way around a few miles of town every morning, no matter what, until the jiggles stop jiggling and the flesh is replaced by muscle and suddenly no one is staring or laughing as she steps into the pool. Where does the self-possession to say "I don't give a fuck" come from, or does it never actually click until you've earned the right in the eyes of everyone else?

I wish I knew...I'd like to instill myself with at least a modicum of bravery and integrity before I end up threatening the entire poultry population of the Central Plains.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Usually if I've been gone for a week or more, you can be assured it's probably because I found myself lost in a junk food induced haze and I've only come out of it long enough to type a plaintive "What was I thinking?" entry before resuming my two steps forward/one step back trudge down the path to physical well-being.

So of course I'm true to form this time and am limping back into Fatblogland with my tail between my legs and a terrible sugar and fat hangover from ten days worth of indulgence. The last week of school is dizzying melange of ice cream socials, potlucks, long lunches at Mexican restaurants, and general hedonism on the part of the teachers and students. I think our PTA was even considering renting a vomitorium for next year's orgy.

Surprisingly, I haven't gained any weight--still holding steady at 221--but my body just feels beyond nasty. I was never sure if I bought into body toxins and cleansing the body, but boy do I ever now. I spent the entire day today languishing on the couch and flipping between Maury and Greg and wishing I were dead. There wasn't anything wrong with me--I wasn't sick and I wasn't tired--I just felt like crap.

I go to Chicago on Saturday, but tomorrow and Friday I'm going to see if I can flush out some of the thirty-seven tons of assy foods I stored in my intestines (lovely mental images, no?). A friend of mine who's battled cancer and gall bladder issues and kidney issues and all sorts of other awful things was given a bottle of that 48-Hour Hollywood Miracle Diet (I know, right?) to drink with foods off the Detox Diet and lots of water. So it doesn't do the harmful 10 lbs. in two days weight loss like it just detoxes and lets you keep up your energy while you eat small amounts of stuff like brown rice and miso soup and vegetables and fruit.

I'll catch up with all of you tomorrow, hopefully. Have a wonderful Thursday and stay away from sugar cookies and Kool-Aid at all costs!