I started this blog to help me deal with two things – my food issues, and the challenges with my marriage. As of late, though, I haven’t posted on either of those things, so I’m probably due to provide an update.
It is entirely possible I’ve been avoiding the subject. Because that’s how I handle things. I don’t. Instead, I eat (or don’t eat) to turn my focus on something I’m good at vs. the thing I really need to handle.
It’s like seeing a hungry alligator in your garden, and thinking, “Hmm…the tomatoes are wilting…I’d better get some water.”
Yeah. Pretty much that.
But I’m at the airport. (Again.) And my flight is delayed. (Again.) Because of my mad travel skills, I did manage to devise a plan that just might get me home tonight: At 4:45, I switched my delayed-by-nearly-two-hours 5:31 flight to the 3:13 which was delayed by three hours and is now leaving at 6:18, so I’ll land exactly forty-seven minutes before my connection leaves. (Didja follow all that? Forget that controversial Common Core – airport math is what y’all SHOULD be teaching nowadays.)
So I have some time to kill. I can fill this time with food, of course – but the “gourmet” options here really aren’t worth the calories (see my posts here and here for the not-so-delicious details), and I can’t choose which kid will need to forfeit college just so I can afford to snack.
Since I’m cheap, I still have a couple of pounds to lose, and the Wi-fi is free here….writing wins.
First, the weight. I’ve been waffling around about 5-10 pounds higher than I want to be for – yikes – nearly a year now. (And, if I’m completely honest with myself, for like two years before that.) It’s been a roller-coaster – I’d have periods of deprivation worthy of sainthood, followed by a sudden seismic shift where I’d fall face-first into a Smartcar-sized bag of kettle corn and eat until my insides kersploded. So I’ve kept gaining and losing the same couple of pounds.
Since January, though, I’ve been solidly disciplined about eating 1200 calories a day. Every day. I have literally only had four days where I exceeded that limit. Well, OK, there were like 3 days I was at 1202 or 1210. But the fact that I allow myself that much flexibility is progress in this whole recovery, or pseudo-recovery, dealio. I realize how absolutely bonkers this sounds. But the beauty of EDNOS, or OSFED as it’s PC to call it nowadays, is that you are frequently eating in a manner that is contradictory and illogical. Allow me to illustrate some of the typical behaviors of this madness:
* Go out to dinner with friends and order a garden salad with no dressing. Arrive home and eat an entire bag of potato chips and a pint of ice cream.
* Treat yourself to ONE brownie. Then another. Then, since the day is ruined, finish the ENTIRE PAN of brownies, six spoonfuls of peanut butter, and the 1/3 bottle of leftover wine in the fridge. That way you can “start over” tomorrow.
* While shoving the aforementioned brownies into your mouth, carefully weigh and measure out exactly 28 grams of pistachios and 237 grams of fat-free Greek yogurt for your lunch tomorrow.
* The next day, log a killer workout. End the day six calories below goal, successful but starving out of your FREAKING MIND. Ah…gum! But wait…ten calories. Tell yourself you’ll chew off the surplus, because four calories, come on, man. Chew the gum and regret it five minutes later, because NOW YOU’VE GONE OVER. AGAIN. Do twenty jumping jacks and go to bed grumpy and dejected, vowing to do better tomorrow.
After reading the above, you likely fall into one of two camps. Some of you are nodding along like it’s a well-loved tune from your high school days, waving lighters and saying, “Yes! EXACTLY!” And the rest of you are shaking your heads sadly, staring in much like you would at a mangy deer at the petting zoo, wondering why the thing just sits there allowing itself to decompose from apathy and grubby, sticky hands versus taking a flying leap over the fence and catapulting itself to freedom.
But like I said, I’ve been on a roll here. I’ve been super-strict with myself, mostly because I HAVE to be in order to actually lose weight. My basal metabolic rate is low enough that even occasional dalliances can totally destroy a week or two’s worth of progress (I blathered on about that here. But don’t click it if you’re a woman over 40 trying to lose weight, because it’s effing depressing, and while chocolate and wine improve most situations, they do taste much better without tears in them.)
Another speedbump: I haven’t been able to exercise much. Inexplicably, one morning in December, I woke up one day and was slapped with a big “nope” sticker from my right hip. After a few months of physical therapy, it seems that I’ve been leaning on that hip to pick up the slack from a bum left knee, so, frustrated by the unfair burden, it quit without notice. (Can’t blame it, really.)
Now that the hip is stronger, the knee is complaining to its union steward that I’m forcing it to perform tasks outside its previous job function. After the grievance was filed and dismissed, the knee is now functioning, sporadically and unenthusiastically, like a disgruntled employee copping a bit of an attitude. So, I’m slowly and gradually trying to re-increase my running, but I’ve had frequent setbacks and roadblocks. I’m up to 3/4 of a mile at a time now, on most days, anyway. It’s not where I was, but it’s better than I’ve been. It’s maddening that it takes me an extra fifteen minutes to burn the same number of calories – I mean, that’s fifteen minutes of precious, precious sleep I could be having here, people! If you know how I get along with mornings, you’ll understand that there are LIVES at stake here….
Side note – The hubs used to think it was cute to call my first-thing-in-the-morning persona “Fluffy.” He wasn’t that far off:
But, although progress is slow, and not always steady, I’m down 9.5 pounds since the first of the year (yes, the cliché diet. I KNOW you did one too) and am now the lowest weight I’ve been in two years – even a half pound lower than I was at the conclusion of the very stressful Ashley Madison diet, where I lived off adrenaline and fury and lost six pounds in a week. But there’s been no binging, very little deviance from The Plan, and while I have a few random days where a couple of pounds sneak back on in the middle of the night, the general trend is downward.
So, Kate, how’s your marriage these days?
Well…hmm. I haven’t packed my things and relocated to Arizona yet – so, while we’re in remission, the jury’s still out on the life expectancy.
We’ve had some really, really good days. When I focus on our relationship as we have it today, and filter out all the white noise from the spiritual differences and the now-infamous indiscretion, things are actually pretty good. We’re generally compatible. He picks up after himself. He’s supportive and affirming.
But when I look closely, I can still see the cracks. A T-shirt will appear in the wardrobe rotation, and while his current collection isn’t nearly as inflammatory as some of the shirts he used to have, they still highlight the chasm of differences between us. We’ve attempted to begin discussions on spiritual issues – I want to understand his viewpoint, but I find it challenging to listen from a neutral position, especially when he struggles to present his thoughts without anger.
It’s exhausting. Having these discussions is like working with Jillian Michaels.
We get started on a conversation, and after an hour or so of defending, diffusing, and explaining, I’m wrung out. Spent. Badly in need a break. But the hubs insists on one more point, one more thought, and I can’t just lie there and let that stuff go without a response, so I push myself to the point of mental sports injury, leaving me feeling bruised, depleted, and desperately needing some Gatorade. (And by Gatorade, I mean wine. But I’ve already had my 1200 calories for the day, so no wine for you. Sorry.)
So, some progress, but no final prognosis. Definite cracks, but not completely broken. It’s quite easy on some days to relax my focus and pretend I can’t see the damage through the thick layer of glaze resetting the pieces.
Holding promise, but not quite ready to hold water.
Salvageable, with work and care.
Still a vessel that we both feel is worth preserving.
As long as that’s true – and as long as I still have fuel – I’ll keep firing the kiln.