Monday, December 11

Bad Relationships and Tea Time

It all started when I (don't faint) ate Pizza on Saturday night. Note the capital: pizza is a holiday for me. I love pizza more than any other food on earth except quality milk chocolate. Of course, chocolate does not make me swell up (gluten response), get asthma and other issues, like 5-10 lbs overnight weight gain (one assumes 'water'). Pizza does. But I love it. Damn it.

And had I not been overcarbing just a tad the few days prior I would never have made that decision -- I would have eaten just toppings, or made something at home -- but carb-sins are cumulative and they are not forgiven by your body until you have some time and water to put them behind you. A few extra carbs often won't hurt you (as long as you're not in induction), but a few carbs a few days in a row will start seducing your appetite and taste buds in subtle, insidious ways.

Somebody's knockin; should I let him in?
Lord it's the devil, would you look at him?
I'd heard about him, but I never dreamed
He'd have blue eyes and blue jeans
-- Terry Gibbs (who is blind)

I backslid right past the greasy thick pan crust all the way into two cups of Southern Comfort eggnog. Amazing how hard you can hit something when moving backward.

By the time I was well into Sunday, I had almost every "carb-life" symptom that I lost when I went low carb, all the way down to exhaustion, short of breath, and aching feet. By the time it was Sunday evening, I was just laughing about it. It was like some guilty conscience on my part was totally exaggerating every effect just so I could be a real drama queen about it!

But it got me thinking.

I used to ALWAYS feel that way.

Before low carb de-possessed me of all the foods it turns out I've been mildly allergic to all my life and never knew it.

Before low carb made me drop the massive water that the body held to process the carbs my "normal" eating habits involved.

Before low carb made me pay attention to protein and carb loads so I wouldn't all but pass out from the blood sugar drop awhile after eating.


So, on a seemingly separate subject, my personal life continues to be a real dilemma. I suppose it is perfectly normal for people to live in misery and non-relationships with their spouses for whole lifetimes, with not much more than whining to their girlfriends or buddies about it. But I am learning the stark reality of what obesity has really done with the last 15 years of my life.

I haven't lived the life of "quiet desperation" -- thanks to severe obesity, I've lived the life of "quiet exhaustion."

Like: I won't notice if you won't work for a living, if you'll carry in the groceries, because I'm so exhausted after shopping I want to cry. Most people would have to run a marathon and starve for 3 days to be as exhausted as one walmart visit can make someone who weighs over 400lbs. But don't let it show. Smile at the neighbors. Don't hobble on the aching feet. Try to stay up with the kid, who being a kid will smell your weakness and push her advantage when she knows you haven't the energy to argue.

Like: I won't mind that we don't have a relationship and haven't for 11 of 12 years because at least my kid has a dad. Sort of. Even if you don't contribute to the family. Even if you don't pay any real attention to the kid. Even if despite a weekly maid you make the living environment a cluttered pig sty I'm too exhausted to clean, and too busy working anyway, and so just live in the unhappiness of not wanting even to eat (let alone cook) because the place grosses me out. Men are pigs. Not all men. But definitely this one.

Like: I won't expect more from my life. My parents make it clear that at my weight I should almost be grateful that some useless SOB is willing to leech off me as an intentionally underemployed roommate who at this point occupies 50%+ of the space in a house of three people. Doesn't drive so I get to be taxi service on moments off work, or even give up my lunch hour to be taxi. Doesn't work so never, ever, ever leaves. I crave solitude to the degree of envying the indian monks in their caves. I haven't the energy to even think about doing anything besides "surviving another day" anyway, so what difference does a detail like "a relationship" make?

Now that Low Carb has given me some of "me" back, by clearing my mind and energizing my body and giving me hope for my future, I find that my perspective on life, and what I deserve in life, is changing.

You can see where this is going already can't you.


So in thinking about these two subjects together, it occurred to me that when you think about it, eating foods that are wrong for you is rather like a dysfunctional relationship.

You are really drawn to it. You think you really enjoy it at first. Then you pay the price for it... and it just goes ON and ON.

We are the CEOs of our bodies, and of our lives. It is up to us to make executive decisions that are the most productive and healthy for the corporal entity. It doesn't matter if it is food, hobby, or relationships: it's all the same question: what is good for me? What contributes to my present and my future?

Until one day you say, I refuse to be cowed by guilt over whether or not certain foods "should" be okay to eat. I don't give a damn if whole-grain bread and corn "should" be healthy. It is not some kind of moral judgement day -- it is just about how I feel when I interact with that. Maybe there isn't even a good or bad, and that kind of thinking distracts us from the real point of it all: that we must measure our lives by "what works for us," and if we are unable to recognize when something is an abysmal failure for us and get it out of our lives, then who should?

We are the CEOs of our bodies, and of our lives. It is up to us to make executive decisions that are the most productive and healthy for the corporal entity. It doesn't matter if it is food, hobby, or relationships: it's all the same question: what is good for me? What contributes to my present and my future?


I was reading this woman's journal and she says, "I've dated a little recently, and..." and I look at her profile.

She weighs 385 pounds.

I've been bred to a world of performers (in music), where if you weren't perfect by hollywood or at least rock&roll standards, you were pond scum. Women over 30lbs overweight were The Untouchables. Men would date a skanky disease-ridden bleached groupie before they would date a truly beautiful and intelligent woman who "needed to lose a little weight." And that's a LITTLE weight, mind you. Not hundreds of pounds. Obviously, my upbringing has severely skewed my beliefs about women, appearance, and myself. I hadn't really thought about that much before now.

But suddenly I am realizing that it is true. My beliefs about myself have been totally distorted. And maybe that is part of why I have continued to live in a relationship that has no respect or positive contribution to me whatsoever.

I don't know that I want to have a full time relationship with anybody right now. Hell, I've been married a dozen years and I haven't had even a part-time relationship for the last 11. I'm used to being alone emotionally and overcrowded physically. I don't mind it, I tell myself. But then I realize that not all women feel hideous when they are fat. Maybe they feel really fat, maybe they feel badly about it, but probably not to the degree I always have. I didn't just have a complex about it. I literally dismissed myself from the entire gene and social pool as a "given" and just didn't think about it again. Some women question themselves or their worthiness and come up short. I dismissed mine as even being worth questioning a long time ago.

Low carb has become therapy.

I know this is a little heavier than most my blog posts, no pun intended. But that is what I'm feeling today.


Meanwhile back at the... small tract home in Oklahoma, I splurged and bought myself a christmas gift: tea. Seriously!

I bought two nice ceramic mugs with infusers, and several kinds of tea (Earl Grey, Chai, and some samplers). I have a little chinese-style altar table in my room (I have a room of my own, and though it's the smallest in the house, it's my sanctuary). There is no reason why I couldn't make a habit of getting up a bit early, making some hot tea, and then just sitting and meditating, praying or whatever for awhile.

Before I gotta get the kid up, and repeatedly harrass her until she is ready for school. Before I gotta get the husband up, because his interminable eBay boxes are coming in for delivery in our warehouse-slash-living room. Before I have to work, with the like 150 emails per day I'm getting lately so I can't even stay afloat let alone catch up.

Just some hot tea... and eyes closed... and a little time for me.

So I can think about how my life is changing from the life of Quiet Exhaustion, to the life of Cautious But Growing Optimism.

So I can think about how "if only I had the energy to do XYZ and felt good, I would--" oh... wait! It turns out, I DO!

I feel as if I am re-sculpting my life, and not just my body.

I don't know what next week will bring. First things first. It's tea time.

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