Saturday, May 09, 2009

Saturday Afternoon Fever

What a Saturday it wasn't!

I did not go to the Brooklyn Design Festival, in which all manner of future-is-not furniture was on display in unlikely spaces.

I did not go on the Brooklyn Heights Home and Garden tour where I could have ogled Meissen pots and stainless steel kitchens.

I did not go to the Unitarian Church's annual book fair.

Whatever all the crowds were outside of St. Ann's School, I didn't join them either.

The world smelled of flowers and wok oil. I stayed inside with the smell of natural gas and dogs. The pilot light is out in my oven and relighting it means moving a lot of stuff, stretching out full-length on the floor and hoping for the best.

I have no time for hoping for the best.

Today I took out great blotches in chapter 11 of what I now hope was not the necessary information I once thought it was and dumped it into a dummy document. I moved some definitely important and lyrical stuff into another document of usable things I haven't found places for. Then I lifted the first fourth of chapter 12 into chapter 11, stirred until blended and, after 3 1/2 hours, saved it and closed up shop.

As lovely as it would have been to be out in the gray, fragrant, tepid air, I'll take 195 minutes of unconsciousness any day. Especially when it's productive.

I've been struggling with the last three chapters. I am so not out of the woods that I might as well not have a word written. And now, of course, I've read one more book that will have to be referenced, this time Gary Taub's Good Calories, Bad Calories, which is more dense than its critics say on the back cover but is a fascinating expose of what the American Medical Association, the American Diabetes Foundation, Center for Disease Control, American Obesity Association, American Heart Association and most diet books promote as good nutrition -- low fat, high carb. Turns out fat is not much of a worry. Even calories and definitely exercise are not much of a worry. It's overloading the system with insulin, which drive fatty acids back into storage as fat that is the problem.

And now dropping that into the book is my problem.

OK, can we stop harping on sugar now? Pleeeeaaase?

Let's celebrate the big deep pink and deep red peonies on Willow Street. Let's celebrate 85 days of abstinence and 234 pounds/about 36 pounds lost.

This is a totem weight, a fact I didn't realize until I realized that in the last ten years this is the most weight I've lost in one sitting.

Funny how goals aren't or are meaningless when it comes to day counts and scales. The fact of beating my 30-pound losses is big. Being 234 pounds is not a big deal. The big deal will come at 220, 210, 200, etc. But it's the first time I've thought that I will, in fact, have to contend with those numbers and what they mean to me. Having beaten that 30-pound barrier, I'm less afraid of them.

Why would I be afraid? There's something sexual after 220. There is ferreting out clothes from dark recesses. There is tucking in shirts. Mostly, from that point on, I feel that I risk becoming a visible if unremarkable human being again. Which is weirdly sexual.

But let's look at the bright side: it won't happen for a couple of months, if I'm very lucky in the first place, and maybe by then I'll be avoiding the onerous chores of pilot lights because I'm deep in my novel.

OK. That's all.


Nan said...

You're writing the ultimate book. Of course it's hard. Good on you.

Nan said...

Yeah, let's celebrate. I don't have as much to celebrate as you, but let's do it.

April said...

Frances! Fix your pilot light! I do not want to read about you in the paper or see you on the six o'clock news!

And great entry, by the way...

bestgrandkidsever said...

Thirty-six hoorays for you!

Unknown said...

I know you're going to hate this and I'm going to say it anyway.

Natural gas is naturally odorless. The smell is added so that people will know when there is a leak because the fumes can KILL you. And Daisy too. And other people in your building. Either by a spark causing an explosion or by breathing them.

Your apartment has a super. I know you don't like to call for help but in this case it is an emergency and you should. Clean the stuff around it the best you can while you wait for them to show up.

Only saying it because I care. We want you to be around to rake in the royalties from your book sales, right?

Unknown said...

Bravo on all the writing, cutting, pasting, blending, etc. I know how hard it is to do that in a long feature article; can't imagine the task inherent in book-length projects.

Congrats on the weight loss. Seriously, that is awesome.

Frances Kuffel said...

I fixed the pilot light. My kitchen floor is cleaner for it & I threw out my old scale while I was at it.

The gas on my stove isn't lethal -- it's a teeny spume that is continuous. I hate that because it's both a waste of gas, slightly expensive, & warm (either the flame is always on, very low, or the gas is leaking).

But it's done.

Jen said...

Thanks, I was worried!

Terri Watson said...

Hi Frances,

I feel part of this post viscerally. When you talk about passing that 220 threshold and "... becoming a visible if unremarkable human being again" I am right back in the emotions of passing that same threshold in my own weight loss. I remember getting to a place where my experience was one of normalcy. It was as though I became a real person. What a scary thing.

I totally get the sexual thing too. I felt terrified. No one understood. All my friends thought that I should be happy and joyful. All I could feel was exposed.

You're the only person I know that has ever expressed these feelings that I recognize so well. So, what I will say to you is: hang in there. You are not alone.


Laura N said...

Congratulations, Frances, on the 36 pounds, the 85 days, & the fixed pilot light!

Cannot wait for your book.