Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Something Like Strangers

Well, the last few days have been both good and bad -- and I was starting to think that the bad? Was winning out. The thing is, basically, that I fell off the wagon on Sunday. I was planning on sticking mostly to the diet until next Monday and then going off it more completely -- i.e. by starting to make proper meals from all the books and recipes I've been marking over the last few months -- in Australia and beyond. However, I was making cupcakes on Sunday and everything kind of fell apart from there. I still thought I'd be able to keep a handle on it, but...apparently not.

The good thing, of course, is that I feel so much better, thought-process-wise. Not necessarily mentally or physically or emotionally, because I've eaten to the point where my stomach feels distended, I feel guilty as fuck about doing it, and emotionally I'm as much a wreck as I ever was, but the fact remains: I can work again. I can concentrate on my damn job, and on Monday I went to an online Japanese class for the first time in two and a half weeks and had a good time. I also went to a writing meeting tonight with a group I've been avoiding out of exhaustion, and last night? I started "reading" 「時の旅人 クレア」 again for also the first time in weeks...and I say "read" because it's a translation of an American novel for native speakers of Japanese and I can't read the half of it. It's just a good way to really familiarise myself with sentence structure and paragraph construction while recognising kanji in different contexts. The fact is that before I could barely get through a day at work, whereas now my brain has come back to life and I can actually think.

With that said, I've been wondering how straight I've been thinking because I've been stuffing my face for no discernible reason. Except maybe it's a famine response -- I just want everything. And it's worse than it was before, because even though I theoretically understand it's the end of the restrictive diet I seem to be terrified of going back on it. Even though by eating all this shit? I'm ensuring I'll need to go back on it. So, I've been terrified by my lack of self-control. Except...tonight, I decided I would do a couple songs on the Zumba tone and sculpt DVD. I ended up doing the whole hour programme, and then I danced to my favourite songs for half an hour more. I even dug out my old bellydance belts, tied them on, and shook my groove thang. And this...oh, I can't even begin to explain it. It was like a lightbulb went on, somewhere, and flooded everything with some kind of understanding. My body is so confused by everything I've put it through. It doesn't know how to react. But when I dance...when I dance, it feels right.

So, I guess the answer right now? Is whenever I want something to eat, I need to dance. I'm not hungry for food, I'm hungry for motion. I'm hungry for purpose. My brain is satisfied with the writing and the reading, but my body needs something now too. Eating was what it used to get, but what it really wants? Is something to do. Which is why tomorrow, after work and before class, I will go for a walk. Then I'll have class, then I'll have dinner. It will be later than normal, but my stomach is all out of joint right now from the excess of calories I've given it the last two days. It will cope. Tomorrow...is a more sensible day. Omelette for breakfast, crackers for morning snack, wrap for lunch, apple for afternoon snack, then prawns and salad for dinner with a piece of fruit for dessert. No more, no less.

And if my body tells me it wants food, I'll just dance. Because in the end, this is what I got this body for...movement. I can dance upon the air. This is what I wanted. I just didn't realise it until now.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Abide With Me

So, it's another Sunday -- and I am still thoughtful. About my choices, and my life in general. I weighed in this morning at 60.5kg, and that? Is pretty much what I had been aiming for when I was still doing this properly. I wanted to be into the fifties by the end of March, which is on Thursday. So, to that end...I think I will keep to the plan until at least Thursday, if not until the end of Saturday. Which is, after all, just another week...and it gives me a bit more wriggle room when I do stop. Because I am going to stop.

I keep wondering if this is the right decision, but then as I said the other day commitment to anything isn't really my forte. I'm not a reliable person, to be perfectly frank. I overthink everything and then I get scared and can't follow through. It's likely as not my perfectionist streak coming through, because if I can't do something absolutely one hundred percent perfect, I tend to despair and think it's not worth doing at all. That sounds concerning in light of what I am doing now, but I did run across a phrase in my reading yesterday that resonated strongly with the aching strings of my heart: that which yields is not always weak.

I have made a promise to myself, after all. I've lost a lot of weight -- by the end of it, it will be over twenty-five kilograms. And I did it in seven months. That's a lot of work to throw away, so I am not planning to. And my issues with food have always stemmed not only from emotion, but from laziness and ignorance. And perfectionism, too; I hated cooking for other people, mostly because I was terrified that they wouldn't like what I'd made. I'm over that in a baking sense now, for sure; cooking-wise I have a ways to go, but it will come. I'm no longer willing to just eat junk for the sake of "fuelling" my body with crap. I want to experiment, I want to experience. But I want to know that in the end I'm giving my body what it needs to live.

I also keep wondering if it's been a mistake, making the plans to run back to Australia. My mother made the comment on the day I did "Is it TOM?" and I said no, as I'd just had a two-week period from hell ten days before, but it seems to have returned. So, my hormones could be part of this. But then...when I look back on the last four weeks, I can count my good days on one hand. And every day I was exhausted. My mental health is suffering, and being skinny isn't going to solve that. You'd think I would have realised that by now, between the fact I still haven't come to terms with my body image, or by the fact that being skinny still doesn't make me attractive to the opposite sex. I need to find my own way to accept me for who I am, and forcing myself to lose another ten kilograms isn't going to help that.

But the fact remains that I am so much lighter now, both in spirit and in body. And I do think my lightened mood can be explained by the fact that I know there is respite to come. If I wasn't going to Australia again I wouldn't be feeling like this. So, no more guilt, no more doubt. It's not worth it, really. I am doing this to dedicate time to myself and my journey, because it doesn't really end here. I'm just taking another road.

Being calmer also helped me begin to catch up on some of my neglected studies yesterday, too -- and I also went back and reread the short story I forced myself to write through exhaustion and confusion last weekend and found it wasn't as terrible as I remembered. However, before I go back to working on that this rainy Sunday afternoon...I have to do something with everything I've acquired over the last week. I bought I cupcake book, as I mentioned on Monday, and since then? I've bought sugarpaste, gel food colourings, a palette knife, a mini silicone cupcake tray, a large cupcake tray with stand and carrier, cupcake cases of varying variety, and small cutters. And in the post yesterday I got an unexpected gift from my mother -- a silicone bunny mould, a cake tester, cupcake stencils and an apron. AN APRON. I've been thinking of buying one for ages, thinking I could hardly claim the mantle of "domestic goddess" without one, but I never got around to it. Thank God for mummies, yeah?

...and I will be seeing mine again very soon. And iTunes is reading my mind, playing to me as I read this GLaDOS and her eternally chirpy and terrifying advice: but there's no sense crying over every mistake -- you just keep trying until you run out of cake! Oh, dear. There will be cake, and you will be baked. That's just how it goes. But I will say I have managed to stand strong and not acquire any gem irons as of yet, though maybe I'll get some on trademe once I get back from Australia. It could be something to amuse myself with over the Easter holiday; I do know that I am planning on having a roast dinner on that Sunday. I know I can roast chicken well enough, but the only things I've ever roasted in my life? Are chicken and turkey. I should probably branch out and find a small piece of lamb, or pork. I could even make pumpkin pie. And no, this isn't going to be a regular thing. I spent Friday night going through my main cookbooks finding recipes for low-carb meals. I'm learning, and it'll be a steep curve. But I'm just about ready to do it.

I just...need to abide with myself. And learn to love myself, too. <3

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Right and Wrong

It's been a funny day or so, really. I had meant to update last night as per usual, but I ended up with such a headache and felt queasy as heck with it, so I decided to once again call it an early night. It still took me two hours to fall asleep. And this, I suppose, is the crux of the matter. I went into work yesterday and I felt so much better than I had on Thursday, and I started wondering if I hadn't made some sort of mistake. But then I talked to the retail manager and another staff member out the back and we all got weepy, and it's just...I don't know. It's hard.

I'm giving something up here and I can't be sure that it is the right choice. But then it's not as if I am convinced that staying on this diet and forcing myself through another seven or eight weeks? Is going to help me either. One of the reasons I couldn't fall asleep last night was because my stomach feels awful. My whole digestion system is rebelling against me, actually, and it's uncomfortable as hell. I'm also just in general concerned about myself. My hair is falling out in massive amounts. My skin is like paper. I have huge dark circles. Even though I am tired all the time -- tired to the point where I get into the shower and can't see how I'm going to manage to get out, tired to the point where I can't carry boxes -- I don't sleep properly or well. But what scares me more, I think, is that I get dressed or changed and see the bones beneath my skin and think: "Wow, imagine what I would see if I just kept going!" And this is even when I broke down in tears on Thursday multiple times because I can't sleep, because I can't study, because I can't work.

My aunt made the comment the other night about anorexia. I'm not sure how serious she was being, but the fact stands that she is a mental health worker and has been for longer than I've been alive. And while I would take exception to the "anorexia" label, I think it's entirely accurate to say that I have, or am developing, an eating disorder. Quite what this means, I am not sure, but I do not think it is sensible for me to continue on this diet. The fact that I am having such trouble letting it go is testament enough, I think. I mean, I spent most of yesterday daydreaming of my favourite restaurant -- which I have booked a table at for Monday next -- and while trying to sleep I contemplated buying some little things with which to augment the diet food over the coming week (baby carrots, avocado, bean sprouts, that sort of malarkey), but I got up this morning and had my diet breakfast and I honestly don't know if I can bring myself to break it. It's the bones-beneath-the-skin thing all over again. The desire to be thin isn't about being healthy anymore. It's tilting slowly towards some sort of obsession, even though it's destroying my mental and my physical health. For god's sake, I can't even get up from my bed these days without the world spinning around me.

So, in the end...maybe it's not about right or wrong. I've always had lifelong problems with commitment, because I tend to see decisions as black and white when they're in fact myriad shades of grey. I live in terror of making the wrong decision, and thus often never make the decision at all. This time I need to take the bull by the horns and just do it. Admittedly it's been very very fast -- perhaps too quick, and maybe that's why I've scared myself. But the truth of the matter is that normal people do not start crying for no reason. They don't sleepwalk through their lives the way I have for the last four weeks.

I have also got to trust myself. I'm not ditching the diet to go back to the way things were. Since December I have collected books and knowledge and I understand so much more about food and my body than I ever did. I also have learned that I enjoy exercise when I am not treating it as the be-all and end-all of a weightloss regime, and with a bit of luck and a hell of a lot of work...I should be able to maintain a sensible weight. It's a lifelong goal, but then this was never just a diet. It was a lifestyle change. And in the end, the fact remains that I never wanted to weigh fifty kilograms while living my life in fear of every single carbohydrate that passed my lips.

I could be wrong -- but then in some way, I know I'm right. And in the end it's all about the living, anyway.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Break Point

I've been off and on about this diet ever since I went back on it almost four weeks ago, but today? Is turning into a bit of a crisis negotiation. I'm really not quite sure what to do. I haven't broken the diet as of yet, but I am turning around in circles tonight.

Today started out fine, but for some reason after lunch...I drove back to work in something of a haze, and once I parked I just sat there in my car staring into space listening to Death Is The Road To Awe and not wanting to go anywhere. I just wanted to cry. I had no energy, and couldn't understand how I'd driven back to work, let alone how I could then get out of the car and go back to it. I did, after a fashion -- but I only lasted an hour. I couldn't concentrate. And a couple of times I had to go and sit down because I just couldn't bring myself to do anything. What disturbed me most, however, was when I went to the bathroom and started crying. It was for no reason that I could discern. The tears just started.

When I left, I went and sat in my car. I was too tired to drive, to begin with. And then I put on Abide With Me (it's a long story, somewhat, as to why I have a version of this on a CD in my car) and I just sat there with tears running down my face. I had more of an idea why that time -- it was simply because I was tired, and scared, and confused, and frustrated...and there was no-one there to care about it. I do live with my brother, but because of the shitstorm of problems he's having and the hand I played in turning my parents onto them over the weekend, he's not speaking with me. It reminds me of when I was in England and had no-one to turn to. Just...nobody who could just sit with me. I'm not a great talker, when it comes to my more confused states of mind, nor am I one for hugs and tears and small words of comfort. I'm more apt to respond to just sitting in the same room as another person while reading or watching television together. Just...silence, but not solitude. Peace, maybe. That's what calms me. Not having to be anything but myself, but not having to suffer to be alone to do it.

This is where the diet crisis comes in, although in the end it's larger than that anyway. I made a comment on facebook that I was home from work poorly and crying for no reason, and my mother ended up saying that I should come back to Australia and stay with her. And that hit me hard. Ever since I've arrived back in New Zealand, every time I've been upset I've thought back to Bunbury. I found that week to be so very soothing, after all that had happened at work and at home. Just...getting up. Zumba. Breakfast. Long, long walks in the warm seven o'clock air. Driving semi-aimlessly through lower Western Australia. Swimming in the ocean. Not caring about what was happening at work. Just...letting go. And doing it again...oh, God. I want to do it.

But there is the small matter of getting time off work. April is the cruellest month, when it comes to this; one pharmacist is away for a good chunk before and during Easter, and my boss is also gone after Easter for at least two weeks. But I started looking at flights and I keep thinking...

...okay, there's now a significant time delay in this post as I took note of the time and the fact that the cheapest flights I was finding in April sat uncomfortably well with what I knew of people's comings and goings in April. It's also Thursday night, meaning my boss would still be at work, so...I spoke to my mother briefly, then drove into work and spoke to my boss. I'm flying to Perth of the fifth of April and not coming back until the sixteenth. Effectively this means that my diet ends on the fourth. This...distresses me, but then it doesn't. When I drove home from work, I drove past the turnoff to my house and followed the road to its end. There, I drove onto the beach, parked, and walked down to the waterline.

The tide was out, but it was coming in. The sun was setting, the sky was clear, and it was pale orange and gold and a reddened blue against darkening shadow. It was an ending, a very clear one. But I am sitting here now with darkness outside my window and I know -- I know -- that the sun will rise tomorrow. And life will go on.

This diet has done some very good things for me, I can't deny it. I've learned a lot. But I think the time has finally come for me to accept that I can't go on like this anymore. I can't work, I can't sleep, I can't study. I have nothing left to me. The exhaustion of the last two weeks in particular...it's not sustainable. So, in the end? I will stay on the diet until the night before I leave. I've already booked a table for my brother and me at my favourite restaurant. Call it a late birthday dinner -- for him, for me. It's also on the road to the beach. But I've already let it go. The tide's coming in, and it will go out again. But we'll still be here.

I think that's just the way life is.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Never Be Afraid Of Change

One of the more amusing threads on the forum I belong to relating to this diet begins with "You know you're on Cohens when..." I'd list some of the ones that made me laugh the hardest, but they would likely as not just make you think I was insane. Instead I'll just go with one of mine -- because I know I'm on Cohens when I go Lara Crofting in the barn looking for gem irons, when I have absolutely no intention of eating anything I bake in them myself. And let it be known, too, that I actually own a Lara Croft costume thanks to this diet (although for those of you in the peanut gallery, no, I didn't feel the urge to dress in costume before I went cat-walking around the shelves twelve feet off the concrete floor...well, not enough to actually put it on, anyway!).

Incidentally, I didn't find the gem irons. I'm not entirely sure they're anything but mythical, although my father is fairly certain they didn't get rid of them while my mother suspects that we did. They belonged to my father's mother and to be honest, I never saw anyone use them -- including her! I don't have any particular urge to buy any myself, as they're useful really only for one thing, but I just really want to make some ginger gems at least once. Huh.

During my explorations I also discovered I own a popcorn machine. Which is hilarious, really, as I don't really like popcorn. Actually, last night I bought using my credit card rewards points yet another appliance -- a George Foreman grill with griddle. My mother has a grill, but while poking on the hotpoints website I saw this other thing and figured "Why not?" I'll need one of my own eventually, and if I have a griddle it saves on having to use both grill and stovetop to make my dinner of steak and mushrooms, so...yeah. I never would have pegged me for becoming obsessed with homeware, let me tell you. I've been to Briscoes twice after work this week already, and am torn about going back tomorrow for a storewide forty percent off sale because oh, yes, I still have my eye on a stand mixer. Er.

Still, what was I buying? Stuff for cupcake experiments, mostly. I've got silicone single cups and a single mini-mould, and I also acquired a silicone pastry brush and a fabric piping set. I'm planning on getting a tray/carrier/stand thing from Spotlight come Saturday, and I've also acquired from a speciality cake shop in the Hawke's Bay a set of colouring gels, a palette knife and a tub of sugarpaste. Seriously, I must be losing the plot here. Actually, my aunt was over this evening while I was out Lara Crofting in the barn talking to my brother, and when I was chatting to my mother on the phone about the failed mission for the gem irons, she came up to see me. She ended up seeing the books I have scattered everywhere -- they're all either Japanese dictionaries/textbooks or recipe books -- and announced that people who are anorexic love baking. She also commented that I was getting skinnier by the day. Oops. I was somewhat taken aback because my aunt's not saying this as a rank amateur; she's a mental health nurse who worked for a considerable length of time with the crisis intervention team (hence why she was talking to my brother tonight). But then again, she doesn't know how forward I am looking to being off this highly restrictive phase of the diet, so...

But yeah, it's all about change, and not being afraid of it, for me. Because I am afraid of change, even though I used to claim I loved that line from a Smashing Pumpkins song: the more you change the less you feel. Because usually if I hated something in my life? I'd change it. Or at least, I'd say I was changing it -- nine times out of ten, I was just running away. This diet, though...it's more about facing up to my issues with food and dealing with them. I want every meal to count, now. I want it to be good and tasty and special and worth eating and enjoying. No more empty calories, no more eating for the sake of it. That's what I want, and that's why I am obsessed with cookbooks.

Still. Change. I had an orange for dessert instead of an apple today, and that scared me. No, really -- I'm having a similar debate about breakfast, as I decided last night I'd quite like to have blanched asparagus with a poached egg for breakfast one morning, but I am scared it won't be as tasty as my current usual breakfast of a fluffy omelette, mushrooms, and tomato. It's all because I don't get a second chance if I don't like it -- I just have to eat it. And I want to enjoy every meal I have, because I just don't get that much food anymore! Which does continue to exhaust me, I have to say; Lara Crofting through the barn has left me ragged. But I went to bed early last night and woke up at four in the morning, so go figure?

Day Ten - Do you feel like you have given anything up over the course of this process? If yes, what is it, and how do you feel about making the sacrifice? 

I have given up quite a lot of things -- some I have come to understand will be permanent losses, others will be able to be returned if I treat them with respect. Carbohydrates are not my friends, basically, although I refuse to cut them out of my diet entirely. I just have to use them a lot less, although with that said I have discovered that in general? This won't be a hardship.

Some things, as I said, will be gone forever. Lift Plus, for one. Potato chips are another. Both of these are things I do not need and things that are full of empty calories I can't control my intake of. So...gone. How does this make me feel? Sad, in a way -- but then again, I am replacing my blind intake with an educated and curious eye, through my new interest in cooking and baking. So...it's a huge change for me. But it's an important one, and I'm not afraid of it anymore. I might occasionally doubt my ability to keep to it, but I'll never know until I try. And I am almost ready to do just that. <3

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Artist's Impression

Although I am by nature first and foremost a writer, I can actually draw. I'm not particularly good at it, although that's not why I rarely do it these days. It's more that while I can manipulate words to say exactly what I want them to, I can't render a picture with the same skill. It always falls short of what I want it to be, so I don't tend to draw unless I'm in a headspace where a mere shadow is acceptable. But I was thinking of drawing today, and that was just because the last few days I've been really noticing the change in my body shape.

I have a decent knowledge of anatomy for a couple of reasons -- partly it's because I have drawn since I was small, but it's also because of my training as a pharmacist. But I haven't seen the shape of the bones beneath my skin in a very, very long time. This is interesting mostly because when I drew people before, I knew all the little tricks for showing musculature and the definition of tendons and all that sort of thing, when it was necessary, and for the first time? I'm starting to see these things in myself. Like, my collar bones are becoming prominent. I can see the major tendons of my neck when I turn my head in profile. My hips are starting to look...well, not square, exactly. Never that. But I can see the actual shape of my hipbones and pelvis. Even my infamous thighs are picking up the line of the quadriceps. There's an actual skeleton, overlain with muscle and tendon and ligament, underneath all this skin. And now that the fat is leaving, I'm starting to really see myself in a way I haven't since I was very young. It's like coming out of hibernation, perhaps?

Or maybe it's more like the false colours being stripped from a canvas, revealing the simple initial sketch beneath. Sometimes, that's where the true beauty is -- in the simple things.

Day Nine - What are your co-workers’/friends’/family’s reactions to your weight loss? Positive or negative?

Again, this is a hard one for me to accurately gauge. I mean, I can tell you stories, but...I don't really know. I get both positive and negative feedback, certainly. I'm still quite confused about my parents' reaction to it all, to be honest. My father left the country before I'd started and my mother several weeks later, and they never really said much about it. My mother said the diet was not giving me enough food, although in her defense in those first few weeks? I was eating...not very well. I couldn't quite work out what to do with what I had. It was a couple of months before I really settled into a decent routine with really good food to eat. But she was shocked at Christmas when I told her I was a size twelve.

Still, right before I went to Australia on holiday in February, everyone at work kept saying my parents wouldn't recognise me -- I'd lost almost twenty kilograms, after all. "They'll be so shocked!" And yet when I stepped out of the customs area, I...didn't get much of a reaction at all. There was a time when I was trying on togs in a store that my mother actually said to me: "God, you're skinny!" but aside from that? They didn't say much. My parents both agreed that losing weight made me look much more like my sister, but...yeah. I don't know. Other members of my family generally agree that it's a good thing -- particularly at Christmas, one of my aunts was proud -- but a month ago my mother and her two sisters were making comments about getting too skinny and gaunt and whatnot when I said I was going back on-plan for a couple more months. But it's not as if any of them have told me to stop. And I was amused by my uncle's manner of looking at my pecan pie that one lunchtime before eyeballing me and saying: "Don't they say, never trust a skinny cook?" <3

Friends...have been by and large supportive. Again, I do tend to get the odd comment about "Surely you're thin enough now?" but it's not accusatory. It's curious, mostly. And given the fact that most of my "regular" deviations have been cake at my monthly spec writers' group meetings, they've been quite blasé about my not eating a thing at the most recent games and meeting nights. That helps keep me strong; it's much harder for me to accept that I don't need to eat to be "normal" or to "fit in" if people are making me feel that by not eating, I'm not being one of them. I suppose it helps, however, that I make the cakes. I'm not insulting anyone by not eating them, although I do think everyone is always a little suspicious that I don't. But that's human nature! ^_~

As for workmates...well, one of my workmates had a beautiful shout at work today, and I wished I could eat it...not because it looked delicious, although it did. I just felt terrible because she'd gone to so much trouble and I couldn't show my appreciation! The best I could do was thank her profusely for making it for us, and I discussed the recipe of the cornflake/Kremelta slice with her. Because yes, I have turned into the kind of person who loves talking recipes. But overall, my workmates? Have generally been supportive. There's been the odd moment where they've obviously lost patience with the strict nature of it, but when I explain that "one little treat" is actually one big drawback, they tend to accept it. I think it's helped, though, by the fact that one of my workmates (who has recently moved North) had started doing body challenges a year and a half back, and then last year spent most of it getting ready for a body sculpting competition. It was her dedication that inspired me most in the beginning, actually, but because of her trail-blazing? People were already used to having someone around who didn't eat sweets or cakes or everything on offer. So, it made it much easier for me to do the same thing.

They do have some trouble working out my headspace sometimes, I think -- the baking thing weirds them out slightly, because although they like what I make, they do find it strange that I can make these things and then not eat them myself. I also feel bad sometimes because one of my workmates is quitting smoking and she's eating more because of that, and I don't want to feel like I'm enabling that when I myself have the ability to say "NO" and not do the same when I am stressed. But...yeah. They do occasionally ask me when I am stopping, although now that I've given them a solid end date they've quietened down on that front. They're also very good for putting up with me in that I do get tired and frustrated more quickly than ever before, but...yeah.

Speaking of that, I had such a hungry day today. I was also exhausted by the end of it...well, actually I was exhausted well before the end of the day. Oops. We had a massive order in first thing that took hours to sort, and it sort of sapped all my energy for the day. Really looking forward to my bed, even though I do need to do some study tonight. Balls. But yeah, it's probably just another sign that I am getting to the end of things, so...

Oh, I am reminded of one thing about my workmates -- most of them are very good, but there's one I have a personality clash with at the best of times. He really pissed me off the other day, though; I came back from lunch, and he says: "Good lunch?" and I was all: "Yeah, it was fine." He then said: "Oh, did you bake a batch of biscuits and eat them all?" I just...um. Yeah. He guilts me about taking my lunchbreaks as it is, but to make a tasteless joke like that?

Well, in the end, some people just aren't worth it. I'm doing this for me. It's my self-portrait, and I like what I am seeing. And that's that.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Ugh, I have a headache tonight, which is a bit unusual for me. I think I need to find some Panadol and then give up on any thought of studying Japanese for the evening. I'm distracted by something else anyway, which I'll explain in a minute, but I suppose I should concentrate on the diet first! I'm feeling quite hungry now, actually, but overall I've actually had a fairly non-hungry day. Which is nice. It's just difficult to stay on track and concentrate on work when you're hungry all the time, so it's all good?

I had an odd experience this morning, mind you. Like most overweight people, particularly those who have lost sudden amounts of weight, I have a very disordered body image. I've found that since starting this diet I stare at people a lot. I try to gauge their weights, or I compare their body shape to how I perceive my own in order to work out how I look to other people. The BMI obsession I've had of late likely doesn't help, as I am still quite gobsmacked at how low I needed to be in mass before I was actually rated "normal," at least in that sense. One of my workmates didn't believe that I'd only become normal the other day, in fact. But yes, I tend to think of myself as "fat" even though nowadays, I'm clearly not. Occasionally I catch a glimpse of myself in a shop window and am struck by how slim I am, but by and large? I still feel large.

So, this morning on my break I needed to go to the supermarket to get Diet Coke for me, and also I needed some chocolates to put in the birthday parcel I then had to send to my mother. As I walked out of the pharmacy the lights were about to change in my favour before I could hit the button, so I basically just raced to the lights and then across the street. And I could not believe how easy it was to go from a casual walk to a sprint across the road. I was so very light. ...this isn't an entirely new sensation, I have to admit -- I picked up on this while re-engaging with Zumba in Australia last month -- but it still surprises me. It's just...I don't always see my weightloss, so it follows that I don't necessarily feel it, either. But I am carrying almost twenty-five kilograms less than six months ago, so I suppose it stands to reason that moving? Would be a damn sight easier now than it was then. Actually, as my current work "uniform" consists of tights, a loose dress with a belt, boots and a long flowing cardigan, I often feel like dancing. Something about what I wear and the way I move now makes me think of French ballet teachers. No, really! It's rather odd. But I do miss my Zumba, actually; I always enjoyed it, but stopped it when I commenced on the diet. I only did it while I was away because I had the energy, but...I do miss it a lot. I'm no good at sports or dancing or anything of the sort, but I do love to move to music.

The other odd experience of today? I was taking in a prescription and a patient says to me: "Oh, what have you done to yourself?!" I figured she was shocked because I wasn't wearing my cardigan, which tends to actually camoflague my size somewhat. I kind of grinned half-heartedly and was gearing up for a defense when she said: "You're beautiful!"

...yeah. Well. Um. I have no words for this one, actually, but suffice it to say I am not the kind of girl who gets told she is beautiful. It just doesn't happen. So this...saying it "made my day" is understating things, really. In fact I don't recall ever having been told I was beautiful ever before.

In other news, my distraction of the evening? Cupcakes! I bought a cupcake recipe book at the Post Office on a whim, and after my workmates and I examined it, we've pronounced it MORE THAN AWESOME. I rather like the idea of making cupcakes, you see, mostly because they're elaborate. The trickier something is, the more entertaining it is as a task rather than a treat, and hilariously? The longer it takes me to make something, the less I want to eat it. Ha. So, in that respect, it's probably a huge surprise that I never attempted cupcakes earlier. So, we'll see. I need to acquire sugarpaste icing and whatnot in order to have some real fun with this. And I also seem to have developed the oddest desire to make Punschkrapfen. It's a crazy rum-soaked Austrian petit-four, basically; I think it appealed to me because it's a) rum b) gluten free (I think, unless cornflour counts?) and c) the glaze is some seriously crazy shit. I think my workmates WILL murder me if I bring this in to them, but then again...I'm likely to get bored over Easter, as I won't be finished the diet and can't eat interesting stuff myself. Hmm.

Speaking of Easter...I am also plotting stuff for that. Simnel cookies, Easter cupcakes...I have an evil desire to make Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies with mini Creme eggs instead of Oreos, actually. But what I really would like to do is make up the dough for hot cross buns on Good Friday and then get up and bake them on Saturday morning before taking them to my workmates, hot and fresh from the oven. Knowing my luck, mind you, I'll probably be working that Saturday anyway. Ha ha ha. Work is still being a real pain in the ass right now, actually, but fortunately this time? It's not interfering with the diet. So far. But then I'm into week four of nine and I'm seeing such good results that I don't even want to contemplate spinning this out any longer, so...it's all good? And it's also meme!time...

Day Eight - Your workout routine. 

As you can infer from the Zumba comments above, I don't currently have one. This diet is way too low-calorie to sustain any exercise programme; it's working on the principle of pushing the body into ketosis without going overboard, in order to burn fat preferentially over carbohydrate. Exercising would tend to push the body into full fasting mode, where it desperately tries to hold onto fat even though it thinks it is starving. So, exercise? Makes me hungry and tired. Or even more so, depending on the day I'm having! I do occasionally go for long walks, but I can't do Zumba or similar things because I just couldn't handle the jandal. But now that my body is lighter, something like that crazy angel's food cake I just made, I just...want to float away. I want to move. But there's work to be done yet, and so...feet firmly on the ground, head's not in clouds just yet.

But...one day. One day soon.