Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Of Grapenuts and t-shirts: Steps Part 2

Of course Grapenuts are a danger signal. Anything processed beyond freezing or being canned in my house is a warning sign that I'm either going to lose my abstinence or have to do some serious cupboard cleaning.

I don't have very much time today so I want to talk about how the near-end result of compulsive eating, my weight, makes my life unmanageable.

Today I weigh one pound more than I did when I began blogging on Amazon a couple of years ago. Two Five One, folks. I'm in a good place to note how physically unmanageable -- or compromised -- my life is because of Grapenuts.

It's warm out. Not hot but a breezy 80 degrees or so. Five years ago I would have walked in the sunlight to keep warm. Now I sweat through my underwear and have to p-e-e-l off my clothes when I get home. My shorts ride up at the crotch and I have to try to find a private moment to tug them into place. My hair is wet after an hour in the dog run. My back and hips ache from walking.

I wanted to find a big tenty dress with pockets to wear when I walk dogs in the afternoon but soon realized I chafe my thighs. This was a real ugly realization. Just like the bad ol' days.

On top of which, I don't get the sizing of things, partly because I'd about rather slit my wrists than go in to the five stores that carry my size and try things on. The 2X sweat shorts and capris I just got also chafe my things because they hang so low in the crotch and I can't cinch them any tighter. The same size in cotton trousers is too small altogether.

I'd have to hunt high and low for those fat lady stores. Five years ago I'd have bought my dog walking "Rat Clothes" at the Gap and Target.

Why did I keep these things that were too big and why didn't I keep things that were slightly too small?

Because I don't trust myself.

Ouch. Talk about unmanageability. If I can't trust myself to control my eating and my size, what can I trust myself to do and be? My food, which my size represents in this blog, is the front line of how little I believe in myself.

I like what I found and ordered more in the same vein. It doesn't take long for me to be bored with my clothes now.

I have to do more laundry because of the sweat and because my body pokes out to soak up grapefruit juice and chicken. I'm lucky to have laundry in the basement of the building -- but it's $1.75 a load for the sweat and stains.

Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to plane travel next week or the [hopefully] silent reaction of my parents.

And the clothing that spans size 6 - 24 takes up ENORMOUS space in my little Cave. Have I mentioned the chaos I live in???

What was once not a big deal now makes think twice -- cleaning the bathtub and the oven, looking under furniture for a missing dog toy, theater seats.

I've been doing a lot of meetings on open-mindedness to God's will lately and my panic over this day diminished a little when I realized I could simply take Henry home, rather than risk having him eat the Bat Cave while I did my afternoon walks.

It was thinking hard about how to keep myself sane (remember Steps One and Two: "We admitted we were powerless over food and our lives had become unmanageable," "Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity") in order to bolster my chances of staying abstinent, repeating the word "willingness" to remind me that there might be options, divine or otherwise, I haven't thought of in regards to a difficult day, that made that light bulb go off to take Henry home.

But it's 50 stairs, a total of 100 more stairs for the day. My first instinct was to say, ah fuck it: I'll risk my flip-flops. I was thinking of the airless warm journey up two floors. Willingness, willingness, my mantra went on. And yes, I wiped sweat of my face when I got back outside.

I do not look in mirrors, even from the neck up. I do not look at my shadow. The light burned out in my bathroom and it was only because I need stuff in there -- clothes, hydrogen peroxide, hair brush -- that I changed it. I certainly didn't do it to look at myself.

I'm relieved when I can step off the sidewalk to pick up dog poop -- it's another three inches I don't have to stoop.

It's Day 3. I had a cup of brown rice, 1/3 cup fat-free cottage cheese and a grapefruit for breakfast, a salad with 4 ounces of chicken and a tablespoon of mayonnaise for lunch. I feel clear-headed and energetic.

I'm lucky as hell. At 51 and this weight, I will walk dogs for approximately 200 minutes today, including about 250 stair steps. I came home from 80 minutes of three dogs and set to work cleaning said oven, then got in the shower. I chopped eggplant and onion and am roasting them for dinner now. I will prepare to relocate to another dog's house tomorrow, and in doing so will prepare to go to Arizona. All of these things require energy, strength, willingness and strong knees. I can do them. I couldn't do them 80 or 60 pounds heavier.

But I used to do them a lot more gracefully.


LMI said...

What you said about the mirror--Oh Lord, do I relate to that. I think there were whole years that went by that I couldn't look in the mirror, just couldn't--because if I did, and actually saw myself, the self in the mirror would be the real me, which was a devastating idea.

Things are going well for me right now, but I've got to constantly remind myself that my good momentum right now is a blessing, and not an iron-clad commitment that things won't get rough again.

Thanks for writing this!

Anonymous said...

I share your pain, please keep writing. Good luck to you visiting the parents. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Vickie said...

are you able to sleep - with all this topsy turvy stuff going on in your life? Are you able to find peace then?

mirrors and cameras - are hard - really hard - I agree.

Your comment:
"repeating the word "willingness" to remind me that there might be options, divine or otherwise, I haven't thought of in regards to a difficult day, that made that light bulb go off to take Henry home." made me smile. That has been a hard road for me too - to look for simple and not do everything the way I always have or the harder way - to be open to possibility.

thinking of you.

Brenda said...

I want to commend your braveness for contintuing to blog despite things not being good. It takes a very strong person to admit they are struggling. I am wishing you all the strength I have to spare that you continue to fight for yourself.

Anne M. said...

I can't even imagine 200 minutes of walking dogs and 250 steps, and am so proud of you for managing it all.

"All of these things require energy, strength, willingness and strong knees. I can do them. I couldn't do them 80 or 60 pounds heavier. But I used to do them a lot more gracefully."

Well, yes, you could. But you know what it's like for them to be gracefully and easily done, and see the difference. Without that memory, it would be easy to settle into thinking that Now is all that's possible.

Laura N said...

Warm wishes for your trip to Arizona. I hope you have a chance to write to us while you're there.

Natalie C. said...

Not trusting yourself is an interesting epiphany. I could never admit I was struggling with not believing in myself until I recognized some of my same excuses in some Biggest Loser contestants (at the beginning, obviously before they lost the weight). At least we know it's possible to overcome. Good luck finding the way to do that. I'm looking for it, too.

Anonymous said...

I want to echo what Brenda said.

I can't do cameras or mirrors yet.... I am a robot in the shower as well. I don't want to see.

The willingness to just do it - take the action - is something I am working on as well, and it seems simple, it is simple, but not easy. But nothing is easy, I have to pick my hard.

Best of luck and safe travels to AZ.

Cindy said...

I appreciate you writing this post very much. I can relate to the unmanagability. My room still displays mine. The rest of the house, the public view, is tidy enough but go in my room and you find it. Self trust - I still struggle with that in some areas of my life. Not so much with food, but with other choices. At some point I realized that the scariest person in my life was me. I was the one I feared the most. It was an epiphany. Step one, for sure. We found the enemy and the enemy is us..who said that?

Anonymous said...

please keep up the work Frances. You have been an inspiration to me for the last couple of years - thank you for sharing your stories