Archive for March, 2009

I really should take up smoking

March 31, 2009 Leave a comment

And then I thought, wait a minute, maybe I don’t have food or body image issues. What I have are compulsive behavior problems. I gave up nail biting and trichotillomania only to replace them with compulsive fasting and lying awake at night digging for my rib bones beneath the layers of flab. Brad Pilon totally called it in this post. A virtual bitch-slap, and I can’t say that I didn’t need it. I mean, I really do feel relieved. So, thanks to him!

It reminds me of that David Sedaris essay about giving up smoking (via going to Tokyo). Smoking was his compulsion of choice because (among other things), it finally gave him something to do with his hands. Once he took up smoking – presto! –his nervous tics just disappeared.

In related news, on, there is a proven! remedy for all that ails you that consists of systematically tapping pressure points on your body throughout the day. I’m not saying this doesn’t work – hey, David Sedaris got rid of his twitching and tiny voices through the magic of nicotine – but how is this different from purposefully developing a nervous tic?

So, compulsion…It’s the behavioral equivalent of a ledge to a mountain climber, that thing that urges you forward and narrows your focus to a pinpoint while the winds die away to an urgent, all encompassing whisper that says Just do it. You feel a pressure building up to this point, so when the action hits, it feels like blowing off steam, like poking holes in yourself to let off the pressure along with the bad blood. You’re not necessarily thinking of anything, really. It’s a trance-like state, maybe akin to meditation in a way. The whole world is encompassed in the locked box of your compulsions. And you think to yourself Your mind is bigger than your prison. And then you feel like a chump for thinking anything so trite and Dr. Phil and unpoetic.

From what I’ve read, cognitive therapy presupposes that a (probably inaccurate) thought or belief precedes any such action. But compulsive over-grooming is also seen in animals. I’m not saying they don’t feel pain, but I doubt they have “thoughts” that they can swap out for “more positive thoughts.” So then you’re left with stress reduction and kitty Prozac.



March 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Strawberries with a splash of wine vinegar and some walnuts. And a krill oil pill. I’m trying to eat anti-inflammatory foods after all that ice cream cake on Friday. 🙂 I got a look at myself in the lobby mirrors, and damn, do I look matronly, even around the face. This will never do, as obviously I’m not a matron.

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March 28, 2009 Leave a comment

This morning I woke up feeling for my ribs and really had to dig for them; I felt for the double chin and didn’t come up nil. Back fat, check. Sausage legs with huge damn thighs, check. Apologies for any friends who wrote to me and haven’t received a response. I’ve been too busy feeling the weight of my clothes on bits of flesh that have gotten bulgier. No really; it’s the first thing and last thing I think about every day, plus most points in between. I thought about developing a personality so that I wouldn’t have to keep obsessing about my physical self in such a boring fashion, but it turns out that no matter what I do 1) I’m not that interesting, 2) I’m not that smart, 3) I’m not that funny, and 4) I’m not that nice.

I waver on the cutting all dairy out of my diet. You can find all sorts of studies that say that unsweetened yogurt is 1) good, 2) bad, and 3) neutral at best/worse.

It’s funny how on Weight Watchers, the skin on my hands and face got inflamed, cracked and prone to bleeding, and how on low carb, I eventually lost the ability to menstruate. Hahaha. Okay, off to whip up an aloe juice shake.

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The plan

March 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Hmm. I had meant to lose 5% of my body fat before Marc & Miyuki’s wedding, but I’ll put that one down to EPIC FAIL. Guess I’ll have to push that goal out to bathing suit season. And a full pull up by the end of the year. (Quin says I won’t be able to.)

The new plan is: weight training to fatigue/failure 3x a week + interval sprints 2x a week (plus whatever other ambient activity I’ve got going on), and either a 20 hour fast 2x a week, or a 16 hour fast 5x a week.

Wait a minute, that’s the old plan. D’oh!

My big problem is that it’s hard to really push myself in the weight training and intervals. “Rate of perceived exertion?” Come on. That’s just self reporting, which is, in scientific trials, the weakest effing measurement known to man. I always push myself to the “pretty damned unpleasant” stage, but even though perception is never the full reality, it’s everything when the only thing you’re counting is units of pure subjectivity. On the other hand, when I actually increase the weight, I’m uncertain if I really can’t lift it, or if my mind is telling me I can’t. Conundrum.

The trick to weight and interval training is to change it up so your returns don’t diminish, which I’m not sure if I’ve been able to do. Right now, I’m trying the “Body by Science” sort of slow routine once a week, some bodyweight exercises once a week, and some “normal” machine/dumbbell work once a week. But if I don’t keep focused, any one of these routines will become mindless and not as hard as it should be. I never really know how much weight I should be pushing/lifting. I had a personal trainer for a few months (years and years ago), but he really didn’t have a handle on my abilities.

I waver on the cutting all dairy out of my diet. You can find all sorts of studies that say that unsweetened yogurt is 1) good, 2) bad, and 3) neutral at best/worse. It’s funny how on Weight Watchers, the skin on my hands and face got inflamed, cracked and prone to bleeding, and how on low carb, I eventually lost the ability to menstruate. Hahaha. Okay, off to whip up an aloe juice shake.

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March 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Dieting works if you don’t fall off the wagon and eat FIVE PIECES OF BIRTHDAY ICE CREAM CAKE.


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Like Butter

March 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Butter is my favorite fat. I’ve tasted duck fat, extra virgin olive oil (I love the powerfully flavored varieties as a finishing touch on salad), coconut oil, organic red palm oil, and assorted others. (Sadly, I have yet to get my hands on lard.) But butter (I go for butter from pastured cows and sometimes the cultured butter) is just so…delicious. I also have a deep fondness for butterfat-rich heavy cream. I’m cool with ghee as a stable cooking fat, but something about the tasty milk solids just makes butter more satisfying to me. I love how it froths in the frying pan before settling down so you can scramble an egg. Was ever a fat made so perfect for frying eggs?

That said, I think tonight I might try my hand at homemade mayonnaise again. Just because I filed so spectacularly last time doesn’t mean this time can’t be a winner. I’m going to poke a hole in the bottom of a Poland Spring bottle for drizzling purposes and bring the egg yolk to room temperature before I start; maybe that will help.

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March 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Things to remember, definitely:
Bingeing on peanut butter or any nut butter will make you feel very, very sick, very, very fast, and it’s a long lasting sickness (over a week).

Protein powders, even those that purport to be the best tasting protein on the planet, taste disgusting, except for…

Show Me the Whey! – but every time you eat that, you generally feel guilt, because of the artificial ingredients. Although, for some reason, this brand does not taste as artificial as others.

Supreme Protein bars actually taste pretty good (like a cheap candy bar), but you obsess over them and binge on them. (Four in an hour? I mean, come on. No way that’s a good idea.) Same goes for nuts, especially if they are roasted and salted. Raw macadamia nuts might be okay.

Dieting is like playing video games. You can get some good flow going, but it’s a rat race kind of flow. Every milestone is met with relief, not actual happiness. Plus, if you ever reach your goal body fat percentage, it is not really meaningful to you. You are angry that this is what the world would seem to dictate that you be, because of the obsession/compulsions/pain/time sunk in the pursuit of something that doesn’t serve to make you happy.

Martial arts got to be a rat race at the end as well, because I couldn’t keep believing in it. Ditto cognitive science. It felt like the dopamine pathways just fell out of my brain.

How does one keep the faith?

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