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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Deep End

133.4kg, 294.1lbs

I'm afraid of dying.

I stepped on my scale this morning, absolutely terrified of what it was going to tell me, but fully aware that I needed to hear it.

In essence, I put on approximately 20 pounds in six weeks.

The excuses are pounding on the doors of my brain to be let out - today is literally the day before my period, 5 pounds of that MUST be water; September is the first month back at school/working full time, it's been too stressful to keep up a healthy lifestyle; I can probably safely assume that half of that is phantom weight from bloating and a lack of fiber....

Yeah, right, whatever.

The honest truth is that I've been locked in a cycle of self-sabotage. I almost hit 275 over the summer and as exciting as that was, it was also terrifying.

Losing weight is a kind of suicide. Just as much as being fat is a form of incredibly slow, but sure, death by my own hand, so is losing weight.

Fat is who I am. It is what I am. It is who I have been since I was a wee lass with a bad bowl cut, missing teeth under my pillow for the tooth fairy, and purple corduroy overalls.

I have no idea who I am if I'm not fat.

A lot of people I know GOT fat when they got old (ok, 28 isn't OLD, but... it totally is). They know what they look like when they aren't fat. They know how people treat them when they aren't fat. They know how life acts... when they aren't fat.

I don't.

Change is scary. Change is terrifying.

I am quite afraid of Fat Me dying. Even if it comes with the promise of rebirth as Skinny Me.

Who the fuck is that? NO ONE KNOWS.

I'm almost certain that I dove head first into butter bread with jam and entire bags of mini Kit-Kats because it was reaching a point where it was obvious that what I was doing to lose weight was succeeding. People would notice. Sometimes they would comment.

How is a person supposed to deal with that?

How am I supposed to handle the new attention, the continued (neverending) ridicule, the fear of becoming someone I have never met, and the exhaustion I mentioned in the previous post?

How does one person handle that?

I wish I had a support system here. The internet is great, but outside of these bits and bytes, where the problems are real - even the ones that are just in my head... they are real - I have little in the way of support.

Other (smaller) people tend to foist their leftovers off onto my plate: "Oh, I couldn't possibly finish this, will you?"

They influence my supermarket purchases: "This cake is on sale, want one?"

They whine in restaurants: "Am I the only one getting dessert? Come on, get something, I don't want to eat alone."

Once more, I fish for excuses in the sea of fat and easily catch my limit.

It's time to stop getting drunk by myself (because I am always by myself) on the fishing boat and get back to training for crew.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Can I Take a Nap?

Thinking, rather than doing, is probably one of the worst things a person can do when it comes to weight loss.


Well, quite simply, when you think about all of the things you have to do to create, maintain, and succeed at having a healthy lifestyle, you will inevitably end up positively exhausted.

For me, this list includes, but is certainly not limited to:

1. Not drinking alcohol. Ever. (It tends to make me think I have a free pass to eat things from boxes and foil packets and plastic bags.)

2. Weighing, measuring, and recording every single bite of every single thing I eat. Or making a reasonable estimate of it if I've eaten out.

3. Cooking every day, usually twice a day.

4. Keeping up with the dishes that cooking twice daily entails.

5. Waking up before sunrise if I hope to get my jogging in before work.

6. Walking to work instead of taking the bus, even if the weather is crap.

7. Recording every single bite of every single thing I eat... most likely for the rest of my life. Maintenance, they say, is even harder than loss.

8. Being in bed between 9-10 P.M. six nights a week.

9. Avoiding sodium like the plague.

10. Feeling tremendous guilt when I fail to do any of the above.

Can I take a nap, now?

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Things I tire of:

- Skinny people complaining that they're fat. And let's face it, pretty much everyone is skinny compared to me.

- Stories about people who have done the impossible and eaten two... TWO... desserts after having a meal. And the subsequent agreement of everyone around about how truly implausible that is. Screw you, I could eat two meals and three desserts in one go if it's the right time of the month.

- People saying that they would have liked to offer me a ride, but their car is just so small. I drove a roller skate with an engine for two years in Japan and I am an expert at contorting and compacting myself into the smallest fat ball possible. Don't you worry about me fitting into your Pinto, bitch.

- Anyone selling anything who says, "It's good for diet!!" I know more about what's "good for diet" than 80% of the Japanese population combined. It's just that knowing and doing/succeeding are two totally different, unrelated states of being.

- Failure.

Ok, so that last one there is all on me. I get into these funks where I don't want to eat anything that requires any sort of work/preparation. Basically, if it comes out of a plastic bag or a cardboard box and doesn't require a utensil, it's game.

Some people go on drinking binges and wake up with their liver lying beside them in the morning, crying. I wake up with my pancreas beside me in the middle of a soliloquy about what it will do when it finally has diabetes.

Clearly, this cycle, this self-sabbotage, this whatever it is, has to end. The thing is, by this point, it's like starting over from the beginning again. Oh, I'm not back up to starting weight, I'm not even back up over 290, but I don't want to let that happen, either.

My body, however, would beg to differ. It is sluggish, unresponsive, tired most of the time. It WANTS the bags of chips and cheese curls and crackers and cheese. It does NOT want to stand in front of the stove and wait for chicken to cook, pasta to boil, eggs to solidify.

Thus, this is war.

Body vs. Brain.

Want vs. Will.

Celebrity death match. Ding.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Pit and the Pendulum

My main man Poe may as well have been thinking about diets and weight loss when he went all "Pit and the Pendulum".

Let's talk about the Pit.

It's my stomach.

And the pendulum?

To diet or not to diet, that is the question.

I realize I'm mixing literary references. Deal with it.

Recently, I haven't been doing that well. I've been on a downswing (which means an upswing in the scale) and I don't know why. As far as I can tell, life is fine. My new computer arrived safely and I did not get deported for the contraband DayQuil hidden in the packing peanuts. My usual budgetary worries are a little less immediate this month than usual because my paycheck was larger than usual and I've been working on raking in a profit by buying Japanese crap for people who want it but don't live here. Even hell school hasn't been too bad this month. I've seen glances and heard whispers, but none of the usual "ZOMG THERE'S AN ELEPHANT IN OUR MIDST" from before summer vacation.

So... why has breakfast turned into three slices of buttered or peanut buttered or strawberry jammed toast and a giant glass of milk? All Bran has served me well up to this point. What happened?

Eating poorly makes me sleep poorly. Being tired means I don't want to exercise. Being tired means I oversleep and don't have time to put together anything healthy for in my lunch bag. Being tired means I don't have the energy to cook anything healthy in the evenings.

See how this one thing makes everything else fall apart? Incredible.

The scale hasn't given me too much of a shock just yet. Maybe that's what it'll take to get myself back on track.

But I really don't have time to wait. Waiting to balloon up again as motivation to lose the same 10 pounds is... well... idiotic. Or perhaps... insane?

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

Who am I to argue?

Tomorrow is a new day, as they say. I have plans tonight to make my kitchen useable again this evening (I can actually trace this lapse back to the last cockroach I saw - and failed to kill - in my kitchen... which makes me not want to be in it. EVER.). There are dishes to be done and some reorganizing that I need to do, so with that on the agenda, hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Game

Planning. Strategy. Mental acuity.

Forethought. Being three steps ahead.

Controlling. Every. Move.

Man, this weight loss thing, it ain't easy. Who ever said it was?

I think the general response to a statement like that is, "If it were easy, obesity wouldn't be an 'epidemic,' now would it?"

Losing weight is largely a mental game. Basically, it's like playing chess with yourself... when you've never played it before in real life and have only clicked the mouse randomly on the spaces that light up telling you that yes, the knight can move to that square.

Really, it's like going up against a grand master in an international tournament... and being 99% assured of falling flat on your face in 2 moves.

A lot of people lose this game. Far more than ever win it. It takes some serious, serious dedication to figure out the things you need to know to win.

I've been on a losing streak for a while, now. I have the usual to say about it: "Life got in the way," "I've had a lot of stress in my life recently," excuse, excuse, excuse, etc. A lot of people may not have the wherewithal to win the game, but they sure do have a lot of "the dog ate my homework"s to explain away the failures. I point no fingers, I am no different at times like this.

But really, how hard SHOULD it be?

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Oh, Michael Pollan, how you tease me with your overly simple mantra.

I tend to be most successful when I can stick to a kind of 90/10 strategy - be "on" and perfect 90% of the time, while giving myself a little break to have "off" meals or days the other 10%.

Do you know how hard that is? Who wins 90% of every game they ever play? Who?

Doesn't that just make you want to go and bury your head in a vat of fudge?

Time to try it again.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Does This Make Me Look Stupid?

This is going to be short, not so sweet, but right to the damn point.

I absolutely hate... hate... seeing fat people (ok, girls) constantly worrying themselves with phrases like "Does this make me look fat?"

No, no IT does not make you look fat. FAT makes us look fat. I look fat every.single.day. There are ways to make illusions of being slimmer (waist nipped tops in dark colors, wearing dark colors in general, etc) and there are ways to make the illusion of yes, being fatter... (plaids and paisleys and don't get me started on the all-the-same-couch-print-from-the-70's skirt and top sets that Lane Bryant likes to sell). But let's face it... we're fat.

Maybe what you mean to say is, "Does this haircut make me look fatter?" "Do these jeans make my ass appear even bigger than it usually is?" There are some clothes that, when you put them on, it's a side-mirror in reverse. CAUTION: Objects in these pants may appear larger than they actually are.

I'm fat. I know I'm fat. I live in the land of the svelte and my brain and eyes have been re-trained as to what I think is fat or thin. I will never achieve this new definition of thin. I'm ok with that. Just because I have a definition of thin, that doesn't mean it's what I'm trying to accomplish.

And the only way to be fat and NOT want to drown yourself in a vat of caramel on a weekly (if not daily) basis, is to own it.

Fess up.

Take a photo of yourself in a swimsuit.

On second thought, don't do that. I did and my thighs haven't seen daylight in almost five years.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Moo Method

I'm a grazer. I graze. I float through my day, going from food to food to snack to snack.... Mooooooo....

It works for me. I like the idea of the Primal Blueprint and keeping in mind that our long-ago ancestors didn't sit down to three squares a day. More likely, they wandered around and ate whatever produce they came across and whatever they managed to kill as the day progressed. Grazing, more or less.

Maybe people don't like the fact that when I'm in the staff rooms of my schools, I am eating something at my desk every hour or so. It's possible that they cock an eyebrow in my direction, humming "Fattie Fattie bo battie, banana fanna fo Fattie..." in their heads (or at least, the Japanese equivalent).

But you know what? The system works for me. And everyone else? Can go screw.

Btw, regarding the ShamWOW... I've lost six pounds, so far... and my weigh-in day isn't until tomorrow. Let's see if I can make it eight.