Monday, February 21, 2011

Days 224 - 229

I think as I move forward through time it becomes easier to see that people love me.

My cat, Good Girl, is skinny. She was a stray. Her neck is long and she reminds me of a big furry snake with extra bits like legs and ears. C once told me that cats are psychic. Not that they're really psychic, but that their minds are so quiet it becomes easier for them to know you. This makes sense to me - As I get older and I become better at making my mind quiet I feel like it becomes easier to see people, and to know them. To listen to a person's story and to know a little bit more than what they have told you and to know it with warm, comfortable certainty (this is handy in a job where your clients do not want to tell you everything you need to know to help them).

Good Girl comes to my window in the morning and wakes me up to let her in and then she lays in bed with me. If I leave her inside when I leave the house she will be there, sitting on the edge of the couch, waiting for me when I return. When I hang out the washing she follows me outside and then comes back inside with me when I am done. She sits on my bathmat and sings her worry to me while I'm in the shower. She knows I go to the bathroom just before bed and when she sees me in there she jumps into bed to wait for me. She loves me.

There was a time in my life where my mind was so noisy. I was so preoccupied with my concerns that it was hard for me to understand what was going on around me. I was worried about uni, and work, and the gym, and a boy, and my relationship with my housemates, and my relationship with my friends, and getting work experience, and whether I would get a job when I finished my degree, and whether my doctor would prescribe me more duromine, and whether the weight would come back, and whether I looked any good, and whether I was any good, and whether something terrible would happen and I would have to quit uni and go back to Caboolture. I wasn't able to name this anxiety at the time. I think I just really thought everything was on the brink of falling apart and that I was holding everything together by tenuous threads. I was racing towards the end of my degree because I thought education and a good job would keep me safe from all the things I was afraid of. With a good job I could buy all the duromine in the world and I wouldn't have to worry about my fat either.

I got a call from the clinical nurse. Out of the blue, so my mind is racing.

They're sending me for an MRI. The clinical nurse doesn't tell me why and I don't ask. But I understand that she is worried by a throwaway comment I made a fortnight ago about having a cramp while sitting in a movie theatre. It didn't go away straight away and by the time I went to bed I had intellectualised it as the implant moving around in my body, pushing on my organs. I lay, and meditated and told myself that if I relaxed enough everything would rearrange itself into the correct configuration by morning. I woke up feeling fine.

I know they hope that this is why I haven't been losing that much weight - if the implant is simply in the wrong spot then they can put it back in the right place and lash it down with occy straps and I will start losing 3 kilos each week and 5 every third. Not really. I'm sure it works out slightly different as they imagine it. I would be at goal weight in 9 weeks, imagine that.

I will go, after fasting for 6 hours, and I will eat creamed rice out of a tin before I insert myself into the machine. So they can see the shape of my stomach with the implant sitting on top. Or maybe it's somewhere else.

Do you remember those terrible fucking kids' shows? Old mate wants to ice skate but he can't, he's too scared and also he's shit. But then someone gives him magic sunglasses that help you skate. But really they don't. And everyone learns the value of friendship? Maybe that's what the implant is like. It's really just chilling on top of my ovaries and not doing a goddamn thing but I think it's there and it is so I can get to the end of the day with a balance of 1100 - 1300 calories whereas I had trouble keeping it down around 1700 before.

If it has detached am I willing to let them go back in and reattach it and continue on with the trial? Or do I make them take it out and go back to begging GPs for duromine? Or do I take money out of my savings and get some other surgery? I'll have been with my health fund for 12 months and be covered for obesity surgery this March. Maybe the timing of all of this is serendipitous. Or do I take it out and just see what happens. If you suspect that I'm not going to take the last option, I'd say you know me pretty well already.

What is life if not an adventure?

I should meditate more.

You can ask me anything.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Days 215 - 223

The last week has been kind of shitty. I didn’t count all my calories and over the weekend I didn’t want to exercise. I’ve felt unfocused. I wonder if I’m sabotaging myself.

I was feeling so positive in the last month before my appointment. Maybe I'm disappointed that I only lost 2kg. Maybe I'm having trouble accepting that 2kg per month is the most I can lose without making weight loss an obsession.

There's other stuff. I keep on thinking about stats I've seen on lapband - average total loss plotted on a graph month by month, rising tantalisingly higher but with n reducing each month. What happened to the people who dropped out of the study? 812 participants down to 12 over 48 months and THAT is information they use to sell you a surgical device?. When I hear about people dropping out of this study I wonder about n. I don't want to think too hard because I'm scared I'll break the spell and next month that 2.1kg will be right back there where I left it.

There might not be any answers.

The dietitian was really happy. The clinical nurse hugged me. The psychologist seemed concerned. He was pleased but it seemed like he was worried I wouldn't do it again next month. Maybe I'm the one who is worried.

16 units of exercise – 4 per week, at least 45 minutes each.

Clear spirits and diet mixers. Only once a week. Keep it under 6 standards.

Minimum weed.

Avoid takeaway excepting salads, clear soups, asian vegetables, rice paper rolls, subway. If a steak, no chips. But the salad is better.


Cook at home.

Feel good. Feel safe. Feel beautiful. Feel positive. Breath.

Exercise to feel good. Eat what you want, make up for occasional foods with extra exercise. Zumba! Maybe some stretching. Gym.

You’ve done this. You can do this.

Cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch. Red bull when peckish. Consider whether it is better to save the calories at breakfast. Don't eat stupid shit for breakfast on a whim.

You are afraid of consistent success because it will place an expectation on you to continue to take responsibility for your own freedom. Choice is terrifying.

You are the lead guitarist sinking drink after drink before the show and no one will ever know if it was the booze or if you actually just sucked at guitar.

You are terrified that trying and failing will be harder than failing and failing.

It’s so ok. It is your life. Fuck everyone else.

Sleep 8 hours. Don’t be in a rush if you can help it.

There are some things you don’t recover from, they just change you. It’s ok.

You can ask me anything.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Days 209 - 214

So, to recap, this month has involved the following:
• The rejoining of my preferred gym
• Attendance at the gym 4 days a week for at least 40 minutes each visit
• The throwing out of my scales
• Visits to the hypnotherapist and engaging in trance work each day
• The partaking of 1 x joint and 2 x half cone
• The eating of 1100, 1300 or 1600 calories each day. There was one day where I lost my rhythm and ate 2000 calories.

I did not abstain completely from alcohol as originally planned. I engaged in the following boozing:
• Barbecue at L’s house – 1 x vodka, lime and soda UDL
• Australia Day – 6 x sugar free cruiser
• Some other day, I don’t remember why, whatevs – 2 x sugar free cruiser
• Drinks out with L – 6 x gin, lime and soda
• N’s going away party – 2 x frozen margarita
• H’s birthday – 6 x sugar free cruiser
• Flood party with N and Br - half a bottle of gin with diet mixers + 2 glasses of mango wine

All of the above was accounted for in my daily calorie limits aside from the flood party drinks. I was taking a bit of an eyes wide shut approach to the calories in alcohol previously. I guess I just assumed that what I was eating was going to be far more problematic. This could have been incredibly naive.

Tomorrow they’ll weigh me and I’ll know.

Earlier in the month I told my hypno that I was feeling guilty that I’d fallen down on my commitment not to drink this month – that I’d essentially promised I wouldn’t drink at all to see if I would lose weight as a result. ‘What will that prove?’, she asked me. Even if I do lose weight by not drinking at all, do I plan on never drinking again? No. Probably not a valuable strategy then.

I have mixed feelings about tomorrow. My jeans feel a little looser. Maybe I’ve lost weight. Maybe.

For 3 weeks I was feeling very positive and it was simple to keep my calories down.

Then they started to creep up again.

a) There is a large backlog at work after Christmas and the floods. The senior solicitor is going on leave and the other solicitor who was going to fill his position is on sick leave for at least another 2 weeks. This leaves only me and another solicitor who works 2 days per week.

b) I have a number of large, grown up, financial demands at the moment – getting the cat desexed, and the car fixed, rego renewal and new glasses.

c) I recently discovered that a number of people have exited the trial due to lack of results. Some of these people are getting sleeves or bypasses done.

d) Weigh in is getting closer and I’m terrified that I won’t have lost.

I’m not sure if I can do much more exercise than this or eat much less than this without forgoing a social life altogether. I’m not sure where there is to go after this without drugs.

A work colleague has suggested going and consulting an outside dietician. That could be a goer.

N says what she’s read says 1100 calories per day is too low. I managed this probably 3 out of 4 days for 3 weeks this month before things got heavy and the cals went up a bit.

So I've been aiming for 1300 per day.

Last time I lost anything substantial I think I was on 300 a day. That’s Portia de Rossi style. It was also drug assisted. I'm ambivalent about going back to this.

Not doing anything but weight loss for 6 months or a year might be possible. It might be something that can be done. But I worry about what would happen to me if I did that.

I read a nice piece by John Birmingham the other day that touched on some issues around fat politics. I made the mistake of reading the comments. I stopped after the first one:

‘...I'll say it, Obesity[sic] is disgusting, unhealthy and almost without exception the result of someone who did not know when to say no. I am 37 and recently looked over some old primary and high school photos, the fatties where a slim (boom tish) minority, now they are everywhere. Sorry, but there has not been some mysterious illness that has stuck[sic] the population in the last 30 years that has lead to the condition, nothing more than idleness and complacency.

Stop whining, eat some vegies, step away from the burger and get some bloody exercise, it is not difficult. When there are millions of people every day not knowing where their next meal is coming from it is revolting and selfish to sit on your fat acre cramming garbage down your neck and moaning about being so fat.

Go on, skip a meal, know what it feels like to be hungry, remember what it feels like to be hungry; it is not something to be feared, once your body looses[sic] the ability to gauge hunger and fullness obesity is luring around the corner. Try not eating until you really feel you need to, then have some veggies and wholegrains and lean protein, walk away before you feel like you want to spew, in fact go for a walk!!!!

Time for the gloves to come off, softly softly isn't working.’

Em - February 01, 2011, 7:01AM

I don’t think this is necessarily a troll because I think this is a relatively widespread belief – that my fat communicates to you in no uncertain terms that I am greedy, lazy, undisciplined. That I am smelly in summer. That I am unattractive. That I am weak. That my sexuality is distasteful. That I have a poor relationship with food and exercise. That I cannot create, pursue and achieve goals.

If hateful, judgmental people on the internet or IRL had the power to shame you thin, there wouldn’t be any obese people in the community.

Shit like this makes me wonder how long I have to eat 1100 calories a day before I can start calling myself the ‘Immaculate Fatty’.

When I was 14, I was 74kg and 165cm tall, placing me 5 kilograms into the ‘overweight’ bracket of the BMI. It was probably a good weight for me at that age – hips, boobs and ass is what my Mother’s side of the family is all about and those things don’t weigh nothing. But that’s hard for you to appreciate when a good chunk of your friends haven’t started developing yet. I felt like a behemoth.

I dated a boy for 3 weeks. It was his idea and I reluctantly agreed. On this basis I can only assume that he quite liked me. He would sing to me. I would have to take my retainer out after class and keep it in my pocket during lunch because he would always wanted to kiss down behind the school swimming pool.

So I felt terrible because I didn’t really like him that much. So I ended it. ‘Let’s be friends’ all the usual garbage. He was quite hurt.

A month or two later, a boy from my grade, a bit of a lad, pulled me aside. He wanted to tell me about a rumour that was going around because he felt like I had a right to know. I guess this meant that he understood it to be unfounded.

In the story we are about to have sex for the first time. I take off my clothes and there are rolls and rolls of fat. They are disgusting and he loses his erection. There is a terrible smell and he realises it is my vagina.

I don’t want to deconstruct this today.

I’ll just show you a photo of me from that time.

I’m skipping dinner tonight, in honour of Em. To her, and her gloves.

You can ask me anything.