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Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Way back at the beginning of this blog (wow, June 2009, how are you?), I made a pretentiously intelligent-sounding post titled "Food vs. Ph00d," wherein I more or less lay blame on chemically processed crap masquerading as food for making (and keeping) me fat.

I still believe that's the case, sure, but now there's supporting evidence regarding the whole mess.

Still, it hadn't occurred to me that my pithy respelling of the word food would one day strike me with another meaning.

Food as pharmaceutical. Phood.

See, there's a lot of stress involved in living in a foreign country. Even when one has lived in said foreign country for damn near six years. Regardless of how homey you make your home, it is not home. In fact, foreign-country-home and home-country-home have their own idioms when one is using English and living in a foreign country. When you go back to your foreign-country-home from work everyday, you "go home." When you go back to your home-country-home for the holidays, you "go home home."

A: "Are you going home for the summer holiday?"
B: "Home home?"
A: "Yeah."
B: "Nah, I'm just going to relax at home here. I need some down time."

Ya dig?

To deal with the stress of being "home" (vs. home home!) takes a certain level of finesse and some fine tuned coping skills that many people have in various forms. These include, but are not limited to:
  • creative outlets (crafting, art, writing, etc.)
  • exercise
  • pharmaceuticals (Paxil! Xanax! Prozac! oh, my!)
  • eating
Guess which one is my default? I wish it were any of the other three, but it's really not. It's food.

Food is my witch doctor, my shaman, my general practitioner, my babysitter, my therapist... hell, most of the time, it's my best. damn. friend.

Until it takes up residency in my ass. And thighs. And, more recently, stomach.

I need to oust the FDA in my brain (that's Food-as-Drug Administration). It's hard, though, since I already know all of the prescriptions so well. I guess it's kind of like changing careers in your 50s. It can be done, it has been done, but not without a butt-load of time, effort, and probably more than a few tantrums.

Problem 1: Get excited over scale success! Try on goal clothes "just to see." Goal clothes make me look like a stack of old tires forced into polyester tubing.
Solution: Take a therapeutic walk in awesome clothes that do fit, determined to keep going until the even awesomer goal clothes fit. Wind up at the grocery store buying everything that's on sale in the snack aisle, whether I like it or not, and pray that there's fried chicken on sale. Eat until I'm sick, though I don't really know why or consciously understand what happened. Wake up for school, determined to make it a better day.
New Solution: ??????

Problem 2: Students decide today is a good day to compare my arm circumference to their thighs. Or, God forbid, my thigh (that's singular - one thigh) to their waists. (Japan was a much nicer place when I didn't understand the language.)
Solution: Take 4 slabs of pizza toast and a box of chocolate chip cookies and call them all bastards in the morning, when I wake up with a sugar hangover of epic proportions.
New Solution: ??????

Problem 3: Wake up in the morning, decide I look 6-inches shorter and 3-feet wider than usual (thanks, kids!), even though the scale shows absolutely no change.
Solution: Prescribe "Why bother? It makes no difference..." dinner of 1 bag of granola (not 1 bowl, 1 bag) and pass out in carb-sugar stupor, oversleeping tomorrow's alarm(s).
New Solution: ??????

Ok, so, clearly we have a pattern here. I am aware of it.

I am working to find new ways to expend this stressful energy when it builds up. I have an exercise bike in my room that I have used maybe a dozen times since I came to Japan (in 2004), which is abominable. There is no reason for me NOT to be on that thing five days a week, if not everyday.

For now, my solution is to clean. It may be snowing like a bitch outside at the moment, but spring is coming, and I am clinging to that fact with claws digging in and knuckles white.

So, I clean. In anticipation of spring, of warmer weather, of sunny days where I can hang my laundry outside and open my windows.

F-U, mid-March snowstorm. You ain't getting Debu-chan down.

Monday, March 8, 2010


"Keel-ee calleya ku kah!" (You disappoint me!)

Oh, yeah... definitely time to get a move on.

I should take a photo of my garbage pile after a binge night. Hell, I could probably turn photos of that crap into some modern art exhibit.

Hmm... points to ponder.

Points to ponder while I try to pedal myself to Tatooine on my exercise bike, that is.

Friday, March 5, 2010


I've decided that I am facing a 1/3-life crisis.

Why should middle-agers (mid-) and college grads (1/4-) get to have all the fun?

Here's the score card that I have to look back on as I embark on this last year of my 20s.

+ I have visited 14 countries.

+ I have had a steady job for seven years and spent no more than one month unemployed after my college graduation in 2003.

+ I own a car and have an impeccable credit score that will help me get anything I want or need when I go back to America.

+ I've lost, and maintained a loss of 40-50 pounds since I graduated from high school 11 years ago.

- I have had one relationship (when I was 19) and have absolutely no prospects right now (and don't even know if I want a husband).

- I have had no children (but that's ok, since I don't want any... this is a negative because it's a societal negative from the standpoint of my age).

- I have not been able to wear clothes from the regular women's department since about 6th grade and appear to be no closer to that goal than I was in my college days.

- I've watched countless opportunities pass me by, either because I was overlooked due to my weight or because I held myself back, fearing that my weight would make it embarrassing or even impossible to do something.

I don't know how to compare those lists. Are they balanced? Does one clearly outrank the other? I simply don't know.

Still, this blog isn't about my existential crisis as I approach 30. It's about the exponential crisis of my ass as I approach an accepted metabolic threshold that I would rather not have to overcome weighing my current 290-pounds(-ish).

Even though there is snow in the forecast for my part of Japan next week, spring is on the approach and I can't help but harbor some faint hope that it will mean rebirth for more than just the flowers. I know that this won't happen without work - and fucking hard work at that (see previous entry for wagon analogy) - but the return of warmer weather might make it a little easier to urge my bones and muscles and brain into doing what needs to be done.

Namely, pushing one huge-ass wagon up one huge-ass hill.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


No, I've not lost 29-pounds. Nor have I lost 29-kilograms. (OH, to have lost 29-kilograms!!! Yowza.)

Don't worry, I haven't gained them, either.

I have, however, marked that many years on the planet. Yes, folks, on March 2nd, I turned 29. I'm usually quite happy about my birthday - I'm proud of being a Pisces, of being independent, of sharing my birthday with the likes of Dr. Seuss and Bon Jovi. This year, however, I kind of felt was a bit of a downer.

Now that it is March 4th, I have precisely 363 days before I turn 30.

And you know what? I don't want to be this size when that happens.

In fact, I want so badly to NOT be this size that the gravity of the situation has been pressing down on me, hard, and making it really difficult for me to do anything about it. Fat begets depression, depression begets fat.

At an outdoor concert, once, some random European guy (mostly drunk) popped into the middle of my group, held up his hand and put thumb to forefinger to make like an "A-okay!" sign and then he wiggled it and growled. Then he said, "Do you know what that is?" and he did it again. A-okay, wiggle, growl. With perked eybrows and puzzled expressions, we all shook our heads and waited for the answer to the riddle (which turned out to be a punchline): "IT'S A VICIOUS CIRCLE!!" he guffawed and then ran away.

It was hilarious. It made me laugh like crazy when it happened, and it still makes me chuckle, today.

That doesn't mean that I hate my own vicious circle any less.

Lately, I have been feeling my complacency. I feel it in my muscles, in my stomach, in my head, in my energy levels. The theory is actually quite simple: "Eat crap, feel like crap." In fact, that theory has been tested so many times that it has moved beyond theory and solidly into FACT.

I feel that it goes without saying that my February goals were laughable and a complete and utter failure. However, having scheduled workouts written in my daily planner and having to cross them off as I continually failed to do them DID induce some guilt about the whole thing and kept it at the front of my mind, even through the triplet of birthday celebrations endured through the end of February and beginning of March. Still, I basically hopped off of the healthy lifestyle wagon and onto the fried food carb bullet train.

It seems like that's a pretty good analogy.

Healthy living - that's a wagon. With one horse, at best, but usually even the horse is too tired to bother, so you have to push that bitch up the hill by yourself.

Crappy, yet delicious, foods and bad habits - definitely the bullet train. The station is crowded, ultimately it's too expensive, but damn if it isn't convenient and there are dozens of people just clamoring at the gate to help you get on your way. And once you're on it, you can just sit there and coast along. Straight to hell.

Eat crap, feel like crap.

Why is it so hard to keep something so simple in mind?

If that isn't going to work, maybe this will.

363 days

Ready? Go.