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Archive for September, 2011

Down 15 Pounds

This is me, down 15 pounds and able to fit into the smallest size in Macy’s plus size (or “Women’s”) department.

It was very exciting to find that this dress fit AND looked good on me. For the first time in years, dressing up for a friend’s wedding will actually be a positive experience. Goodbye forever, 15 pounds!

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Seriously, I heart this woman so much. Her subversive pictures for the odious American Apparel’s plus-size model search are both hilarious and a pointed commentary on the cheerful mockery Am. Apparel was trying to disguise as friendly inclusion. I think it’s also just a genius fuck you to the way advertising and media deride and marginalize anyone that doesn’t fit into an incredibly narrow and unrealistic definition of beauty. Seriously, this is the best, most well done and spot on middle finger I’ve seen to all images and ideas that have ever made me feel bad about myself because I’m not thin.

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Now, there’s cake in the kitchen. To thank us – for hard work, awards, etc. I wouldn’t mind being thanked with moneyfor my hard work. I’m just saying. Because the sweets aren’t doing it for me.
I write this both in anger at the temptation that is being put in front of me that I must then work harder to avoid, but I also write with some feelings of hypocrisy. Because two months ago, I would have been counting to 20 just to avoid being the first person to run to the kitchen. And during all the time at my old job, nothing made me more excited than parents or students bringing us cookies, pastries from Porto’s, fancy cakes, and other treats. If truly brightened my day when the student whose dad owned a mochi ice cream factory brought us boxes upon boxes of mochi. And I just ate it. And it was SO GOOD.So how does one reconcile that good feeling with constantly feeling bad about herself at all times when the treat is not in her mouth (and even sometimes when it is)?I don’t know how to be cool and fun and low-key about treats anymore because this shit is causing me problems. Emotional problems, health problems, image problems, mobility problems. It’s like an addiction. Because it is an addiction. One that’s much more socially acceptable (at least until it makes you fat) but much harder to recognize than drinking or drugs or porn or gambling. But still, for me, an addiction.

I’m hoping at some point I can get back to a place where cake is just cake, and I can eat it or not eat it and it won’t be a big deal. It won’t feel like the answer to the cosmos is necessarily, compulsively in each bite. It will just be an option. One I can take or leave. But for now, I can’t take it without taking it all, so I have to leave it. All of it.

So fuck you, office. Fuck your cake.

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I went to get my coffee in the office kitchen just now and saw some fucking bullshit: krispy kreme (with k’s! b/c it’s so clever and different!) donuts. I mean, seriously? Come the fuck on.

Our offices are making us fat. And not just because we sit in them for hours on end without moving around. On top of the sedentary lifestyle they create for us and demand of us, they then ply us with sugary, fatty treats that have no redeeming nutritional value.

Do I love donuts? Yes, obviously. They are delicious. Am I going to eat one? No. Because it is all sugar and the bad kind of fat. I’ll be happy for the minutes I’m eating it (soooo happy), and I’ll feel a slight burst of energy afterwards; but then will come the horrible crash and the pissy mood. Neither or which was ever enough to stop me before, but that’s the thing about momentum: you start gaining some and then keeping it going becomes more valuable than a quick rush.

So I’m going to eat these blueberries and nuts I have, which will give me sustained energy as well as antioxidants and good fats and the satisfying feeling that I’m caring for myself. It’s not as sexy or as frivolously fun as a donut, but I think it’s better.

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I had my first session with my trainer today, after 5 weeks away. First, she was on a long trip to New Zealand; then I was in Austin; then she was sick. She told me I was stronger; I was glad to hear it. I know it’s true, but it’s hard to remember when everything is still hard and I’m sweating and saying “fuck” under my breath all the time.

Still, I can tell the difference. I feel different. I look different too. Not a lot different. But it’s like the outside curves of my silhouette have been shaved down some. I’m a little bit more streamlined than I was before, as far away as I still am from actually being more line than circle. But I can wear some clothes again that had gotten unflattering looking. It’s more comfortable to sit places. I actually have some physical stamina. I can hold a plank for 10 seconds twice in a row (which may not seem like much, but it’s fucking hard). I have lost 15 pounds.

It both not as hard as I would have imagine and a lot of hard work. It’s not as hard because, as it turns out, all I had to do was just decide to do it and then actually do it. Not just think about it, not just plan to start soon, but every day, with every choice, do it, follow through on the decision, on this commitment, over and over, one step at a time. And it’s hard when everyone else is having mimosas before brunch or my boyfriend is ordering the nutella pancakes. It’s hard not to be “fun,” which is to say reckless and hedonistic with food and alcohol. It’s hard to do the sideways squat walk back and forth across the gym with my muscles burning and my butt sticking out in the air, making me look ridiculous.

But it’s not any harder than not doing. Than all the fighting against myself, all the times I ate and then felt bad, emotionally and physically, all the conflict I felt, the constant bargaining, the back-and-forth negotiating, the shitty self-esteem, the obsession with when to eat what and who would notice and how I could justify it and how it would seem. That was all hard too. And more painful in many, and the most important, ways.

Now my muscles ache, but I feel better. And I sometimes want a cookie so badly I could hit someone, but the feeling passes. And then I’m fucking shocked and thrilled with myself that I haven’t had a goddamn cookie in two months and it’s okay. It’s totally okay. I still exist without the dessert. I’m still doing fine. I actually like fruit. I can choose to set aside the obsession, acknowledge it and then turn away from it, and keep moving forward.

I know the date. I know what today is. I am grateful for many, many things. Including each day I get, each chance I have to do and be better.

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On our last day in Austin, we had some downtime before our evening flight. Neither my boyfriend nor his friend/writing partner (our other travel companion) had a lot of ideas about what to do, but I did. I wanted to take the Friday Night Lights tour of Austin. Or at least part of it.

Which is how we ended up at a Dairy Queen on the east side of town. Because it’s the Alamo Freeze! THE ALAMO FREEZE! (Seriously, go rent Friday Night Lights right now if that doesn’t mean anything to you. It is THE best, and not nearly as much about football as it might seem.) It doesn’t look much like it did on the show, and I was prepared to just take some pictures of it and move on to the next site.

See? Not much what it looked like in Dillon.

But because we’d driven all the way there, and there was nothing else in the area (besides more FNL locations), my boyfriend and his friend wanted to go in and get something to eat. And I tolerated it.

Our friend, of course, can do whatever he wants, but it’s somehow much harder for me to watch my boyfriend eat food than anyone else. So when he ordered a Blizzard with Butterfingers (my favorite!), I just breathed deeply and reminded myself that there was almost no actual food in it, and certainly no nutritional value.

But then my boyfriend held the spoon up to my mouth and said, “Bite?”

To which I replied, “Are you fucking kidding me?! Who are you? What happened to the guy who convinced me not to have even a single bite of the birthday cake I made from scratch?! Can I have that guy back please?”

And then I sat indignantly and stoically and did not eat any of that motherfucking ice cream.

Which just goes to show… we all have more strength than we realize. There are always deeper reserves and more power in us than we can possibly imagine. Because two months ago, I would never have imagined a scenario where I not only didn’t order an ice cream treat, but refused it when someone I love tried to spoon feed it to me. Ice cream used to own me. But now I have the power to say fuck that shit. I own me now. And I care about how I turn out.

Coach and Tami Taylor’s house, however, looked EXACTLY like it does on the show.

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Fuck You, Pizza

I just received this company-wide email:

In order to thank you all for your hard work, we’ve ordered some delicious pizzas for the department!  Stop by the kitchen at 12:15pm to enjoy!

Thanks again!

My response to which was, Oh, fuck you. Because pizza? Is not acceptable any more. Some day again, yes, maybe. And I actually have this frickin’ awesome brown-rice tortilla pizza thing I make at home for now. But I’m clearly not going to eat some cheese and grease fest, no matter how delicious it might be.

And I feel kind of hypocritical bitching about it because a couple of months ago I would have been like, “Yes delicious pizza cupcakes ice cream more now thank you please” in response to the various offerings of food meant to make up for the long hours we’re all working, but – but. Now, I’m like, oh great, thank us for working so hard by giving us crap food. Like really? I have to work through my lunch and stay two hours late and stress out AND you want to give me food that will spike my blood sugar then cause it to crash and make me all lethargic and miserable? Why no veggie stir-fry? Is it not sexy enough?

And that’s the thing: it’s NOT sexy enough. It’s also – like so much real food – much harder to make and serve en masse. We are a country that wants what’s convenient and fun and easy. So we get pizza and donuts. And then everything else gets hard.

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