Thursday, September 30, 2010

Feel Good Inc.

When I was about six or seven, I started reading The Baby-Sitter's Club books. I read them until I was about twelve or so, from memory, and the first one I read involved Claudia breaking her leg. ...and what does that have to do with my diet? Well, reading those books was what first introduced me to the condition of diabetes mellitus. I'm more than passingly familiar with it now, of course, but even though I was a skinny kid I was aware to some degree that my mother was unhappy with her own weight and I feared in a vague way that one day I would be fat, too. So, as I read about Stacey having to not eat sweets and be careful with her diet, I actually began to hope that one day I too would be a type one diabetic and therefore my eating habits would be out of my control -- or at least, under a control that was not at all voluntary.

In an odd way, child!me understood the way my mind worked better than does adult!me. Scary stuff.

Still, this came to me a couple days ago as I was walking back to work after lunch, frantically calculating times in order to work out when I could eat another cracker and my apple. This diet I'm on involves careful timing of my different "streams" of food. While I can cross the streams (Egon would be disgusted -- and Venkman does not thank us for the helpful safety tip), I have to get the timings right within them. I also have to weigh out my portions and make decisions about what I want, and...I realised suddenly that this is what life for a diabetic is like. And...while I certainly no longer wish to be a diabetic, I think Mini-Me had a point. I need to have real structure in order to get anywhere, I have that structure.

I haven't done any weighing yet -- I am leaving it until Sunday morning at the earliest -- but I can feel something different in my body. It's hard to articulate, which is frankly a little humiliating for someone who writes as much as I do. I mean, my clothes are already starting to feel looser. I wouldn't say it's noticeable to anyone but me, but I...slide inside of them, just a little. And I am more aware of myself in space. My muscles are aching somewhat, but it's nothing odd. They just feel like they're...tightening. It's not uncomfortable. It's like I've felt a couple weeks into an excessive exercise routine. I focus so much on thought and imagination that I often forget I have a real live body. I think this is just me fitting back into it.

Otherwise, I've had hunger pretty much every day, but again it's not a normal hunger. I don't crave anything the way I did before. I've looked past chocolates and chips and wine the last couple of days with only an emotional feeling of loss. Even then it's only been thankfully mild. My body doesn't actually want me to eat these things. My mind is just remembering. It won't forget, not ever,'s nice to know that I don't need these things. I'll have to hang on to that thought in the days ahead.

In the meantime, I really need to start drinking more water. I have a headache today, though that's probably partially because I had a hellish day at work. So...end of day five? Things are going fine. Here's to all the days being as good.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Life On The Outside

...fair warning, this entry's bound to be somewhat EMO. But I was thinking about this at work today, because of something that had happened there. Basically I've only just begun explaining to people what I am doing. I've known about it for a while, obviously, and to be honest? I was frightened of explaining it to my mother. I'd actually have waited until she went to Australia before beginning, if not for the fact I had to start within four weeks of my initial blood test. It's just...a sense of shame, I suppose. Because I am ashamed of how I look. I've been ashamed of how I look since I was...about fourteen, I think. That would be when things went downhill. And even though I've always known people have looked at me and judged me no matter what I've thought, we all know the only way you can solve a problem is by admitting you have one in the first place. Annd admitting that I'm fat, for all I've known that for years, has been very hard for me.

So. I explained a bit to a couple of my workmates yesterday and whatnot, but by no means have I told everyone. There's certainly a couple of people at work I would never feel comfortable talking to, about this. One of those people was talking to another of those people, and I wasn't part of the conversation; I was doing my own work. And the first person started talking about diets and things, and then actually started complaining about how stupid the diet I've chosen is. I believe she had no idea I'm on it, but it made me...well, angry, I suppose. Partially it's because I didn't choose it on a whim, I thought it was sensible both for my needs and on a more global sense. Certainly it's not something that would work for everyone, but as far as I'm concerned it will do what I need from it without half-killing me in the process. Admittedly the first time I heard about it my knee-jerk reaction was "You can't lose that much weight that fast and call it healthy!" Some research later, I came to the conclusion that while it may be too fast, in some respects that's what people like me need...I'm into instant gratification. And this isn't instant, of course, but thirty kilograms in about four months is very rapid. But it's not as if you go on a restrictive diet and then bounce back to normal. It's a lifestyle change, because of what they call the "refeeding programme," which lasts two to four weeks. So...yeah.

Still, what bothered me more about it, I think, was the fact that both the women in this conversation are both naturally slim. I won't deny that they do work for it, in that they'll eat better than I ever did and probably exercise, but...there's a big difference between losing three or four kilograms for a special event, and losing thirty kilograms as a permanent lifestyle choice. These women have never been fat. They've always been attractive. Men have always looked at them. And while I am not in this precisely to get male attention -- I wouldn't know what to do with it even if I had it -- I am very used to being invisible. The invisible elephant in the corner, as it were.

When I was in Mexico, I remember being at Teotihuacan and sitting with Rose very close to the Pyramid of the Moon. These sorts of areas in Mexico are teeming with roaming hawkers, and we had one approach us and hassle Rose about buying silver. The guy zeroed in and focused solely on her, and after a bit Rose tried to turn him onto me (not in a nasty way, it's just what you do when you're in Mexico). He wouldn't have a bar of it, though I was literally right next to her. She eventually turned to me while he was still standing there and said helplessly: "Why not you?" The guy admittedly had little English, but even then he didn't acknowledge my existence. And to Rose's defense, she didn't really know what was going on. But I didn't have the heart to explain to her that I've seen this before -- foreign guys look right through me. Actually, all guys do, but I've noticed it especially while travelling. I just about burst into tears several times in Paris while travelling with my sister because she's both prettier and skinnier than I am, and while the French fawned over her I was...invisible. I might as well have not existed.

Thing is, mind you, is that I haven't a clue what I will do when I get on the inside, when I become visible. I'm not exactly the most social of creatures, after all. Still...I guess when it comes down to it, all of us want to be seen. Else, why would we ever walk out of our front doors?

Monday, September 27, 2010

One Small Step For Cows

So, after much arsing about, I have managed to actually start this little journey. The arsing about wasn't fully intentional, mind you; I decided to wait until my father left the country, and then begin the following weekend. EPIC SNOWFALL later, I was trapped in my house while one supermarket's roof fell in and the others all closed in solidarity. As this was combined with my getting stranded in the 'burbs while getting my hair straightened, I really think I could be forgiven for thinking God does not want me to be pretty.

Still, here we are on DAY TWO. ...yes, I was too lazy to write anything yesterday, although that was at least partially because shopping, study and a writing group meeting basically ate up the day. Have to admit, though, it was a nice distraction from the entire thing. So far I am finding that I am often hungry, and am really hoping that's going to pass. I also am already finding that I have to mentally roundhouse myself whenever I open a cupboard, as the instinct is just to graze. I've always been a grazer, me, so curbing that urge is probably going to be the hard thing. Also knowing my limits and sticking to them...I was eating an orange earlier, and the damn thing was delicious. I wanted another. But I'm at my two fruit limit of the day, No more orange for you, missy. But I'm still hungry. I suppose this is where I need to get back to drinking water or green tea, ha ha ha.

But yeah, already my attitude towards food is changing somewhat. Like I said, it's become something that I can't have, which is somewhat distressing as I never realised before how much I really did graze. I'm also a more than mildly fussy eater, and if I don't want to finish something I just won't. I don't get that excuse with this, as I have to eat everything I've made. I struggled this morning with my yoghurt, actually; yesterday, oddly, it was fine. This morning I was in a rush, being that daylight savings changed over the clocks and I felt like I was up an hour earlier. I don't eat breakfast as it is, so having to shovel in that much yoghurt and an apple...yeah. Not a happy bunny. With that said, the damn recipe book keeps describing food as my "medicine," so being a pharmacist...does and doesn't help on that front. Ha ha ha. Actually, a pharmacist I worked with in the UK went on and became a spokesperson for a diet where they treated the whole thing like substance addiction. They essentially took food off you until you were at a decent weight and then gave it back. With counselling. Fortunately this isn't as drastic, but...still.

The weigh-in yesterday was odd. I haven't done the measurements, which I should get to tonight, really, but I jumped on the Wii first thing to check my beginning weight. I think the last time it told me I was about 82.2kg, which I rounded up to 83kg as the Wii board isn't that accurate. Yesterday, though...79.9kg. That's the first time I've ever seen it below 80kg in the two years I've owned it, and I hadn't even started yet. Honestly, I have no idea. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. Either way, I should start doing the "yoga" they have on WiiFit, I need to stretch myself a bit.

At any rate, I'm on the upward climb now. I'm hoping to be out of the woods by the end of December. Let's see how that works out...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Paranoid Android

To my surprise, the package arrived in the post this afternoon. So, inbetween my Japanese lesson, watching old AMVs and attempting to find old pictures on one of my external harddrives, I actually got around to reading the information about the actual diet itself.

It's...daunting, and then it's not. Like any diet, I guess, one tends to first focus on the things one CAN'T have, rather than what one can. But flicking through it, there are some things that make me happy. Like, crispbreads. I thought all starchy things were off the menu, so being able to have up to five crispbreads a day makes me ridiculously happy. I love crispbreads. I'm banned from fruit juice and milk, which aside from Lift Plus are about all I drink, but oddly enough diet soft drinks are allowable (in moderation). I'm not a huge fan of fizzy drinks, but at least it's an option? I think I'm going to have to start drinking green tea again. Which isn't really a hardship, but it IS a change. Still, I guess that's really the point? Of course I have to drink a lot of water, too, but then we all saw that one coming a mile away...

So, while the meal plan is a bit daunting, more than anything else it's probably just the effort. I don't actually make my own meals as it is, so having to get my shit together and look after myself is going to be massive anyway. Thing is, this is the root of my problem -- I just eat whatever's going. I never really consider what it is that I am eating. So, this is my learning curve.

Oddly enough, I have some strange little fears about all this. Primarily my concern right now is that I am feeling really tired all the time as it is, without even having changed my diet yet. I suppose I could put it down to Misadventures In Mexico, as my stomach hasn't been quite right since I came home. I never actually had any major issues while there, but I was getting cramps off and on from about the second week on, and the week after I got home my stomach was quite upset. Probiotics seem to have settled it, but with that said I've been feeling like I've lost weight already. I'm pretty sure I dropped a couple of kilos in Mexico/NOLA due to dehydration and a general lack of appetite, but I should probably have piled them back on by now. Odd. My trousers feel looser. Which brings me to my second concern:


Losing weight means new clothes. And while my credit card is not looking forward to the Loli-Goth clothes that are going to appear on those statements soon enough, my work clothes are another matter entirely. I am a short-ass, and this country? Doesn't deal in short-asses. Unlike the UK, where I delighted in my short-leg purchases at Marks and Sparks, in NZ one has to have someone take up one's too-long trousers. My mother usually does this for me -- god bless mummies everywhere -- but she's about to move to Australia. Uh-uh. ...I could learn to sew, I suppose, but there you go.

Actually, I am a bit bewildered by my goal weight as written in the booklet. It's...about 49 to 51 kilograms, or something. While that's amusing from a Nanami-standpoint -- she bitches at one stage about weighing 49 kilograms -- I...don't think I want to weigh that much. There'd be nothing left of me! Although then again, the very thought of it makes me dizzy and/or delirious with happiness, so I suppose we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Huh.

Haven't set a startdate yet, by the by. I am thinking Monday, but...we'll see how the weekend goes, first. I have some planning and organisation to do. I also have to resolve to start liking yoghurt. Dammit.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Final Countdown

Last Thursday I finally got my shit together after confirming via email that my stuff had arrived with the clinic, and I went to the local lab to have some bloods taken. Now, I'm not squeamish, but I really dislike watching needles being put into my skin. Maybe it's that I remember being off my face on nitrous and morphine and yet still screaming when a nurse tried to put a shunt in the back of my hand. They ended up putting it in the elbow of my right arm. My dominant arm. That's some real freaky shit, being able to bend your arm and feel something poking around in the veins. Mmm, delicious. Mind you, as soon as the needle was in? I swivelled my head right round and watched the vial filling with my blood with all the restraint of a starving sparkly vampire. Go figure.

Still, it was interesting in that this is the only lab in town that can take payment and therefore is the only one who can forward results to the clinic in Queenstown, meaning the woman knew exactly what I was up to even though I didn't explain any of it beyond the "Yeah, it's a private request test, not on a GP's order." She asked me if I'd already begun, and I said no, it was the initial; she replied that they've seen a few through the lab and that they've had "amazing results." It's heartening, I think. Makes me feel a little less isolated, too.

Still, I wasn't really expecting anything much until the end of the week. However, at around four-thirty while I was taking my break, my phone beeped with a message from about a quarter hour earlier; apparently my diet plan is in, and will be in the post. I suppose I might get it Wednesday? I'm to read up, write down my questions, and call my "coach" back. I guess this really is the downward spiral now. I'd planned to start this weekend if possible, but we have family guests and because my father is off to Australia I suspect there may be dinner involved. Maybe I'll go for that, and then...away we go?

In "celebration" I swung past Briscoes on the way home and picked up a hundred dollar Breville electronic food scale for fifty percent off. Oh, Briscoes, NEVER CHANGE. I also ended up discussing looting after the Christchurch earthquake and Hurricane Katrina with one of the staff, and we decided shooting the bastards is a good idea. I miss you, New Orleans...though that's really neither here nor there. Hopefully by the next time I get to the US to see the RoseCon crew, I can dress as Nanami and crawl over tables to glomp my oniisama. Nice to dream, innit? ^_~

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Well, tomorrow, all going well? I shall go have my blood test done. Hopefully this means by next weeked I'll have my diet plan so I'll be able to start things then. It's all a bit nerve-wracking, but then I suppose that's half the fun? Ha ha ha.

I was just thinking this week, though, about some of the "side-effects" I've been reading about. People have apparently complained of hair-loss, gall-stones, and then amenorrhoea. While I could do without gall-stones and hair loss would be particularly annoying as I'm about to spend several hundred dollars on chemically straightening it, I actually wouldn't mind a bout of amenorrhoea. I mean, I don't want children and I hate having my damn period at the best of times. I also got annoyed at my doctor when I asked to have Yasmin prescribed before I went to Mexico because a) I didn't want my period on holiday and b) the anti-androgenic effects of the progesterone analogue would maybe be nice. She refused, partially because of the fact I don't need it for birth control, and then because I was too fat. So, maybe if I'm skinny, I can have it? Ha. Probably the PCOS-ish symptoms I wanted it for anyway will have gone away with the excess weight anyway...

Still, I did laugh at some of the comments regarding the loss of periods. "It's unnatural!" Er, If your body thinks it can't support a baby, what better way to avoid it than by not ovulating and proliferating? It's entirely natural. And I am kind of hoping it happens. I'm probably A Bad Person. But then you know I love it, baby.