Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Weight Loss


69 degrees with a high of 85; 75% humidity; fair skies
Day 33, with a serious slip
246 pounds, holding; down from 262

I've learned a couple of things this week & thought about a couple of things, & I'm going through a phase of the fuck-its.

One of the things I've learned is that I can't eat at someone else's house yet. There are further conditions to this. I especially can't eat at someone else's house when I'm not at ease with the circumstances and people, and it's very dangerous for me to drink 2 glasses of celebratory champagne.

This is to say that I like to be able to take Daisy with me whenever I can and having to keep her on leash in her best friend's house because the tottering gentleman of the house is afraid she'll jump, and who criticizes her for it while Daisy's best friend leaps and smudges my glasses, puts me so on edge that I want to eat to buff that edge right off.

And a little alcohol, when I take antidepressants and haven't had sugar in a long time or filled my stomach with lots of dense food to absorb it, diminishes my judgment.

I decided, after discussing the matter with two close friends, NOT to go back to Day One. Quelle horreur! my 12-step readers will say but I say, gently, not. There is such a thing, after all, of imperfect abstinence -- and that's a last resort.

The two most important things for me, right now, are not to get yet more demoralized by this awful process, and to LEARN from my mistakes without being further punished by them. It's taken three days so far to arrive at some peace with myself over my night of sin (which was not a binge). I don't need any more of the set backs, like loss of day count, to deepen the fuck-its that currently have me by the short hairs.

I will not, however, consider Friday as part of my abstinence. I did not go pick up a 30-day coin the next morning. I did not reward myself for Day 30. I will not be going to dinner at anyone's home for a long time unless Daisy can run free, be loved, and I can bring my own prodigious amounts of vegetables. Being able to smoke would also be a plus.

So I've lost no pounds in the last five days, or at least I don't think so. I have an old-fashioned scale that is marked in two-pound increments. My eyesight for those lines is rather blurry. Maybe I weigh 145, a weight I intend to honor by dropping a couple of bucks in my savings account, lately emptied by the Air Conditioner Crisis -- but does it matter? Does that one pound make my shorts looser or my face more defined? Does it make the mile-and-a-half walk to Henry's easier?


Only cumulative weight loss does that.

Which is more important -- what one has lost, or what one weighs?

We aren't even going to have the conversations about a) how much one needs still to lose, or b) how much one will either lose or weigh in a month.

I'm pleased to have lost 16 pounds. I'm not pleased to weigh 246 pounds. As far as states of minds go, the answer is simple. But which is more honest?

The fuck-its are part of the territory but they require drastic action. I know that in ten pounds I'll be able to wear other clothes. I'm chomping at the bit for that. I also want to give this weight loss to readers -- in my author photo for Angry Fat Girls, as a simple presence in the world. I do not intend to be an example. That backfired terribly. The only example I'd like to be is how MUCH I want to live -- and live right-sized, emotionally improved, with new and funner challenges than this ridiculous Ferris Wheel of weight and food.

The fuck-its of a plateau or a blah weight mean I need to get out of my head and into the world or a productive mania. They also mean that I have to be grateful for every other good thing in my life -- this computer, the breakfast nectarine I'm finishing as I write, the dogs I walk, the sunny cool morning, Daisy just to my right, the love in my life...

The fuck-its are another diet within a diet, or another abstinence within an abstinence. I have to change the blahs to other progress and other celebration.

That champagne was celebrating some wonderful news. Wonderful news makes me want t0 eat. So, of course, does bad news, no news and the News of the World.

Eating diminished the joy I should be taking in the wonderful news. I don't know how to feel wonderful very well. It's a little like being drunk, from the times I remember feeling that way. It was scary and jittery and completely enveloping, a physical experience. That's why champagne is so fabulous, I guess.

There is a lot I don't know. I wrote in my inventory last night that,

"I had an interesting walk w/ God this morning on my way to the office supply store & Hero's. You know how [12-step people] say that you should pray for everything you want for yourself be given to the person you hold a grudge against? I've been doing this for Alix, but this morning after my usual list of things I prayed she would receive, I compared what I wished for her vs. what I wish for myself. They aren't at all the same. Do I pray for contentment, diligence, showing up, doing my job, working on progress for her, or the stuff I'm pretty sure she wants -- lots of money, fame, flirtation, health, great shoes, fabulous vacation, her husband's health???"

Someone recently said in my hearing that when you wish an enemy evil, you hang on to your enemy. When you wish them well, you separate yourself from your enemy, your lives diverge. That was the most powerful inducement to this form of prayer I've every heard.

So there you have it. Other than the battle scars of food, eating, prayer, and hatred, I've gone through almost all my papers and filed them, discovered I need a different kind of file box, washed my down winter clothes, replaced my clumsy rolodex, gotten a raise, thrown out all the pens that no longer have ink or are missing caps, and am making, I think, a new friend.

Actually, all in all, it's been a fruitful, not uninteresting five days...even at 246 pounds and holding.


Caffeinated said...

I think it's been an INCREDIBLE five days if you've learned all of this and had this time to reflect. I don't know you personally but I'm sending you lots of good thoughts and good wishes and strength and support - and I'm not at a point where I can eat at other people's houses either, without going off my plan.. so I just avoid eating with other people for now and find other things to do (go out to coffee with them, go for walks with them, stuff like that.) It's hard, I know, because EVERYTHING in this world seems to be celebrated/noted/consoled/marked by Food. And I love food. But I just need to learn to love it in a different way. :-)

LMI said...

I liked this post a lot. I read it this morning, but just got the title (yeah, I'm slow--it's been one of those weeks/months).


Anonymous said...

It's easy to detour off a path, even when it's happiness and joy that spark the detour. It's hard to pick up and go forward and learn from things done or left undone. FWIW, I think you made the right choice to not negate your abstinence and also not to claim a day that wasn't abstinent. You didn't crash, you paused, and man, did you learn a lot in these five days.

Bea said...

Thanx for the photo. Cute new do. Is Daisy the one under your arm with the sweet expression on her face?

You are on a new path (adventure). Some of the sights look the same but they are not. That is where some of Us get in trouble. We berate ourselves for treading the same ground over and over. In fact we are breaking new ground each time we lose or gain. The learning you experienced proves my point. Happy trails.

Vickie said...

You: "can't eat at someone else's house yet . . .when I'm not at ease with the circumstances and people"

I: can't BE at someone else's house yet. . . when I'm not at ease with the circumstances and people

And I can't tell if I should work to BE there - or if I don't actually need to BE there.

Anonymous said...


Laura N said...

I agree that not starting from day 1 is a good choice. Expecting perfection is so dreadful. Allowing for humanness is forgiving and much more liveable.

Congrats on the good stuff.

Helen said...

Love your new hair and, if I hadn't read the post to feel your turmoil, I would say you look very happy. Odd how the exteriors often are desceiving...

I totally sympathize as I'm going through a teeny setback myself...but I keep saying that each day that I don't go overboard is good no matter what the scale says...