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hello i am fat

plork

It’s not been a great week. Except that it’s been a pretty good week. I’ve been productive with writing, I’ve been going out, I’ve been feeling good, this kind of happy! Happy! I think I’ll go for a walk! kind of not-dead yet mood, and things have been generally all-around okay, except that I don’t fit into any of my Fat Clothes, the big-girl clothes which should have been stuffed into the back of a closet somewhere and never needed not ever again, and my eating has been out of control.

I eat before I go out to eat, and I eat again when I come home from eating, and it is mindless and weird. I keep telling myself I will get a handle on this weirdness, this bad and ungood pattern which isn’t even a pattern, just a huge undifferentiated violent splotch of lousiness.

It’s been easy to not think about. Easy to not consider what I’ve been putting in my mouth and to not think about how long it’s been since me and the gym have been close and personal bosom buddies full of love and admiration. It’s really easy to have Oreos for dinner.

I like Oreos for dinner.

And that’s the problem. If it weren’t for the way I stand in my closet for fifteen minutes every morning, sort of staring blankly at my clothes, thinking “too small, too small, too short, too short and small, too short, small and stained, too short and stained, too short, too small and with a rip” and, you know, etcetera, I would never think again about fitness or healthiness or my body. I would float along on this undifferentiated sea of plorkiness, bob bob bobbing because you know how fat floats. I am the floatiest in the whole, wide world. Bob.

Today I went to the gym, mostly because I wanted to take a shower, to tell you the truth. But the price of a shower was sweating. So I went in, and I sat on the recumbent bike because I couldn’t make myself go on the elliptical, and then twenty minutes of peddling made me very tired.

At the end of every minute, I had to trick myself into another minute, and then another and another and that is the only way I made it through that twenty minutes. Because I am dumb enough to believe myself when I say “after this minute, you can totally stop. No, really! I swear!” and I go “okay! Yay! Ohdy ohdy oh!” peddlepeddlepeddle along until finally I can no longer take the lies, the terrible, terrible lies full of hate.

But it’s a start. And even if my relationship with the gym is born in lies and nurtured with the milk of deceit and weaned with the formula of deception, I will make it work. Even if that means going grocery shopping. I hate grocery shopping almost as much as I hate cooking.

Today I poked around the internet and found meal plans that might give me the structure I so desperately crave. Tomorrow I will print them out. The day after that, I will beat my head against the desk until I bleed from my ears and I sever my tongue with my own back teeth, because I am so goddamn tired of baby steps, always baby steps. Where is my fucking rocket car? What happened to all this living in the future shit we’ve been doing?

And one of these days, I will make a goal. Just one little concrete goal.

goalie

My cold is almost an ex-cold, and yet I have still not managed to make it back to the gym. Where is my vim? Where is my vigor? Where is my whenceforth and heretofore? Also, I just ate a snickers bar. Can a ham be far behind?

I feel like a ham. A big greasy deep-fried one.

It is astonishing to me, how easy it is to fall out of good habits – one small step to the side, one brief break, and there is suddenly so much to catch up on, it is frightening, and it seems hard, just impossibly so.

I tell myself I am working my way back slowly – I bought a pair of workout pants to replace the scary faded capris I've been wearing – the ones that are super, super sexy with the scrunched-down knee socks and sneakers. I finally brought my extra brush in, to tuck into my gym bag, because the post-shower wild and crazy look was not winning me many admirers at work. And I remembered to put my flip flops back in with my gear, because I do not want to grow interesting and varied funguses in the course of showering.

Baby steps. Little tiny ones. With all the requisite splatting and thumping and wailing.

What I need to do is make goals. Here is me making goals. As soon as I figure out what they are, I'll get back to you.

(I think my first goal should be "snickers have vitamins." Wait. That's not really a goal, is it. This is going to be harder than I thought.)

we ate and ate and ate and our hearts were happy

What is more romantic than meat on a stick? Nothing. Nothing in the world is more romantic than meat on a stick, unless it is the sick feeling you wake up with the next morning, because of all the sticks full of meat you stuck in your face.

Ow.

So yesterday was Valentine's Day. And I liked it. I have always liked Valentine's Day, single and coupled, and single but sort of coupled and coupled but sort of single and pretty much in every permutation of relationshipness that there is. Because it is about love, and love is grand. I enjoy the lingerie parts of Valentine's Day, and also I call my mom and generally try to spread the joy like cream-cheese frosting with little sparkly bits on top.

My favorite part of Valentine's Day, though, is how food is love, and I love food and so does Guy (Captain Fancy Cook himself, natch) and so we decided that fondue was the only way to go. Because who doesn't love fondue? Communists, that's who.

I looked hot. I wore a dress, and, get this – slacks under the dress. And I looked hot. Not lumpy or weird or freaky. But stylin'. Without the g, so you know that it's serious. And we cooed and were lovey-dovey and were very, very funny (we are very very funny) and we ate fondue.

Fondue is funny. Fondue is food on sticks with a lot of dipping and poking and assembling and fiddling and the laughing at the dipping and poking and assembling and fiddling and the cheese that flew everywhere and the vegetable broth that splattered and the beautiful, beautiful dark chocolate that I almost just leaned over and just put my face in it. I would have been happy to spend all of Valentine's Day with my face buried in a pot of dark chocolate fondue.

The other thing about fondue is that is it expensive. It is a lot of money. It is all the money. It is a heart-stopping amount of money for food that comes in pots that you have to cook your goddamn self. We do the work and they reap the profit? That seems like cold, hard business sense right there. And I suspect that their profit margins are enormous, because you don't use half your dipping potatoes and mushrooms (though you definitely use all the bread) and so on because you are too busy making for damn sure that each bite you put in your mouth is loaded up with all the cheese a single tiny potato (or mushroom, or bread) can hold, so they take your potatoes and your mushrooms and your wide and varied assortment of sauces and garnishes back to the kitchen, and they repurpose. That means "serves your cooties to the next table."

The last thing about fondue is that it is a lot of fucking food. You do not think that it's a lot of food, because you are eating it from sticks and sticks do not hold a lot at one time, but when you've et and et and et and et some tiny filets of beef and chunks of chicken and prawns and you feel slightly sick, as if there is a towering stack in your stomach pushing up against your esophagus and shuddering with every breath you take and then you look at that platter and realize you have to keep eating until you are dead if you want to finish your platter of meat for which you have pledged the equivalent of city college tuition for an underprivileged youngster, you suddenly find yourself thinking wow. that is a lot of fucking food.

I am cheap and trashy, because I asked for it to go. Sandwiches!

We were creakingly, achingly full by the second course, but there was that chocolate fondue thing and we ate all of the chocolate fondue and sort of cried gently in our napkins and hated ourselves until the server came by with the big sexy check.

And then we stumbled home via taxi and crawled into bed and choked back the bile a little bit when we switched on the television and a lovingly filmed steak blossomed into full color on the screen and quickly switched over to the Cartoon Network, because nothing says romance like falling asleep to Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Except meat on a stick.

pb&gah

I have spent the past month – has it been a month that I've been ostensibly been on a diet? – eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I enjoy peanut butter, and I am a fan of jam, and together, they make beautiful love on top of squooshy and deliciously carby honey wheat bread, but after you've had one for breakfast and then – ehhhh, I don't know what else to make and I don't have time so I'll make one for lunch, and then you get home and you are tired and just want to crawl into bed with a book and a cat on your head, and you think – ehhhh, I don't have time for water to boil, I'll just make a sandwich, with hey! Peanut butter and raspberry preserves! Woo! I'll mix it up like a crazy person! Well, you get tired. Very, very tired.

Peanut butter, I am breaking up with you. But I can't! But I have to. But oh god, I can't! You are easy, and you are delicious, and I am wretchedly, wretchedly lazy.

I think I'm broken.

There is something soothing about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for every meal. Not just the homey simplicity of it, the callback to childhood and a more innocent time and milk mustaches and cartoons. Not that I've ever stopped watching cartoons.

It is also the fact that it takes approximately thirty seconds and not a whole lot of skill to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the ingredients, they are cheap and plentiful on the ground, so to speak, and I know the caloric points kind of count of each and every piece of that little portable meal which I have created, with no estimating or guesstimating or eyeballing.

It is five points, filling, sweet and a little bit salty, crunchy, perfect, delicious, and I think I am going to kill myself if I make another one.

But I am scared to move away from the safe world of peanut butter and jelly. On any of the weight watchers plans, on any of the diet plans, you can eat anything. At any time! Kind of. The world is your oyster! Within reason. But even though there are strictures and guidelines, it's too much. Too much freedom! Dizzy, dizzy, delirious freedom.

If I were a very rich person who was also nauseatingly spoiled, by god I would have a personal chef, and the chef would tell me what to eat and I would be happy. I would not stress and panic and worry and things would be easy and birds would sing and the hallelujah chorus would break into beatboxing joy.

Not being rich or spoiled, I frantically search for guidelines, boundaries, a tiny little box in which to lock myself. I tried to look up the Discovery challenge, uh, challenge, in hopes that there was a meal plan, but they only shouted at me with exclamation points. I've looked up diet sites, but they've only popped up at me and offered to count my calories. What calories! I shrieked. What calories should I be putting in my mouth! I sobbed.

I heard about Oprah's boot camp and thought that that sounded promising! Very promising! Oprah, she would tell me what to do. Her giant head is very comforting. But all it says on her site is some nonsense about no bread and blah blah protein and blah blah I KNOW BY GOD. Please, please just give me a meal plan?

I spent the week looking for the paper copy of the magazine, in hope, in hope, in hope, but no luck. No hope, either.

This morning, for breakfast, I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I will get my act together. I just – I have to work through this feeling of paralysis, this sense that there's too much information, too much coming at me and too little time to process, and what if I don't process it right?

It is depressing that I do not trust myself – but you know, trusting that what I wanted to put in my face was fine, just fine! That's what got me to a place where I am not fine, just not so fine at all. I have everything to relearn, which I am doing slowly, but it's going to take a long time before I trust my instincts again, before I can do this on my own.

Hold me, Oprah.

with the ow and the sobbing

Only this morning did I muster the energy to scoop up the wads of tissues that lie scattered around the apartment like dandelions on a beautiful grassy field, and other metaphors that make you forget that these are nasty, snotty tissues I'm talking about, here.

Only this morning was I able to stand up in the shower and lean my head against the wall and moan piteously, rather than sit on the floor of the tub with my head on my knees and the shower beating against my neck while I moaned piteously.

Only last night was I able to sleep more than an hour at a time, and I didn't have any of those awful "oh my god, I'm suffocating!" dreams that I have whenever I score myself a rotten head cold.

However, my nose is still chapped and painful and red, my tongue is dry because of all the awesome mouthbreathing I've been doing, my ears still feel as if they are stuffed with wadded up balls of sticky cheese (or beautiful fat and fluffy bunnies, if you'd prefer a metaphor that doesn't make you think about sinuses and mucus), and I want to just die already and obviously, I still haven't gotten over feeling sorry for myself.

And what the fuck is up with all this sneezing?

So obviously I haven't been to the gym in a week or so. And that's okay, because it's not like I've been eating or anything. But I cannot get over how awful I feel – not just this hideous head cold which is worse than any head cold I've ever or anyone ever else in the whole history of head colds has ever had and I am not exaggerating because I feel sorry for myself because I totally don't – but how sluggish I feel, and sploogy and splorky and gross.

That could be because it appears that all of my living cells have been replaced with little balls of cold goo, but I think it's also because my metabolism has slowed down so much it is going backwards, and everything I put in my body is staying there and can I take a nap, now? Just a little one? I'll just rest my eyes and – okay, fine.

I am actually looking forward to eating food that isn't like, toast (with butter! For lubrication) or soup, or toast with a side of soup, or toast soup, and I am looking forward to being back in the gym. Sort of. Because I have a feeling that a week away means my level of fitness is not going to be a pretty sight.

In the meantime, I will just lie here until the crows come and peck out the jelly of my eyeballs, thanks.

true love

My iPod. My iPod! It arrived. It's SHINY.

shinyshinyshinyshinyshinySHINY. SHINY!

I think I love it. Maybe just a little bit.

Because I am not weird and obsessed, I am not going to name it. And I am not going to sleep with it. I will not tuck it into a little knitted cozy, and keep it by my side and love it and squeeze it and call it George. Because I already swore I wouldn't name it.

But man, it's been really, really hard to not lick it.

rewards

I bought myself an iPod because I am so wiggety-wack. Unless "wiggedy wack" is a bad thing. Which it might be. In that case, I am not wiggety wack. I just rule.

Right. So I bought myself an iPod to say to myself "Self. You rule. With your gym-going. And here is the way I say thank you and keep up the good work!" The iPod will help me keep going, see, because if I have Energizing Music to listen to, I will Go! Go! Go!

Go!

That's pretty clever of me, don't you think? I think so.

I ordered it a long while ago (only because I felt it would be a valuable tool in my continuing fitness success)(Shiny shiny shiny!) and then I started checking my order status – well, pretty much immediately, eight or eleven times a day. And then only eight times a day, and then only a couple of times a day, and then only every other day, and then I forgot about it.

Hahaha! No I didn't.

But I've had this little iPod-shaped hole in my heart for, man, almost a month, now? As I've been waiting and waiting and waiting. And waiting. And then, I got an email. And the email said "your order has shipped!"

And so I've spent the entire day refreshing the UPS tracking site. That little iPod shaped hole in my heart has started throbbing and tingling and aching as my little iPod gets closer and closer and I think, in the middle of all my refreshing, I forgot to go to the gym today. Whoops.

oh, hell

I kept waiting for someone to come barrelling into the bathroom, shrieking "STOP!" I kept waiting for someone to tell me "you know, this is a really, really bad idea." I kept waiting to believe the little voice in my head that was cowering in the corner with its hands over its eyes going "Oh man. Oh, man, I can't look."

But that never happened. And so I cut my own bangs. They were in my eyes! They were floppy, and stupid, and driving me nuts! What was I supposed to do, spend seventy five dollars on a bang trim? Okay, fine. Maybe. But there I was. Snip. Snipsnip. Snipsnipsnipsnip.

Oh, shit.

You'd think I'd listen to the second group of voices that said "okay, like, maybe you should leave well enough alone?"

"Choppy" is in, right?

cracker jacks are a very good snack

but where the hell are the peanuts?

This is bullshit, man. Fsh.

p.s. send ham.

embarrassed

On my first week of the Diet Thing, I lost 3.6 pounds. This is a great thing! A thing of which I am proud. I worked hard, and I ate goodlike, and I earned every one of those pounds and fractions of pounds, huzzah.

And I called up my best friend on my cell phone, on my way back from the meeting, and I found myself whispering about it.

"Hey!" I said. "Hey! Guess what? I lost three point six pounds." My jaw was all clenched, and I think I was trying to not move my lips in case there were lip readers near by.

"What?" he said, crunching something that was probably not carrot sticks. I sighed.

"I SAID I lost three point six pounds!"

"You did what to the pound?" Crunch.

"I am doing the thing, right, that I told you about?"

"What thing?"

"The thing. You know! Where I am being, uh, less."

"What the fuck are you talking about?"

I was calling someone with my great news, my excellent news, my news of which I should be proud, and I could not just come out and say it, in public, because I was embarrassed. Embarrassed. I was afraid someone would overhear, and look me up and down, and say to themselves "good luck, fat chick."

This is something that I've been struggling with, in its permutations, forever. I almost never come out and admit (and look at me say "admit!" all unconsciously like that) that I am on a diet, that I am going to the gym and trying to be a Healthier Me. As if it's a ridiculous thing for someone who is overweight to bother, as if I have become the living embodiment (ha ha! that was a pun! Sigh) or the poster child for pipe dreams. As if it is a sad thing for someone who is overweight to try to do something about it.

I think about it every time I am at the gym, pounding the Precor (does anyone think this is funny?), and every time I am in line at the grocery store, with my pile of vegetables and weight watchers delicious ice cream dessert treats (does anyone think this is sad?) and every time I walk into a clothing store (does anyone wonder why I bother?).

God, I do it when I meet someone new, when I'm afraid that whomever it is is worried that the fat chick will take a shine to them – I make a point to bring up Guy. To say, metaphorically, I am not interested in you, do not worry!

Jesus.

And I'm not really sure what I can do about it. I'm not sure there's a whole lot to be done – it's hard, living inside a body you are not friends with, and fucked up, living inside a body image that is so fraught with unpleasant associations you've made up yourself, and the unpleasant prejudices that sure, exist – you see them everywhere – but you can't help assigning them, willy-nilly to everyone you meet, unfairly and not.

I am new to this weight loss blog thing – I did not realize it was a cottage industry until I started my own, started reading just a fraction of the ones that are already out there, started getting your really wonderful comments which man, are so appreciated – this is a community kind of thing and it amazes me as I sort of situate myself in it and get settled in. Everyone is brave and strong talking about their bodies and their struggles and their successes and posting pictures and stats and I admire that and I can't do it.

I cannot tell you I started off weighing this, and now I weigh this. I can't post a picture of me looking a way I wish I never did. I can't be honest about it, even here in the anonymity of my website. Does that ever go away? I hope it goes away. I hate that it probably won't go away until I lose weight – that I can't be comfortable here, where I am, how I am.