Friday, June 20, 2014

Rebel Yell: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

The head injury has facilitated a full rebellion, a coup, against who I thought I was: industrious, adventurer, moderation-ater moderated by rashness.  All of it has become verboten.

At Turnbull Wildlife Refuge
I watch TV (less and less now), my house has gone to crap (Huck and I are finally working as a team again to put it back together, slowly), and Adventuresome Me is now a homebody shy of unfamiliar faces and places where I might get lost (although I fly today for Seattle... familiar but further afield than I've been recently), and I've experienced a horrifying and extreme medically necessary laziness where my typical impetuousness and sudden bursts of energy and decisiveness are all ultimately destructive under these conditions.  Even moderation is too much.  I've required a consisted level of torpor that's driven me nearly insane.

And what has lifted me from this near-death ennui?  What makes no demands on my so-easily-exhausted eyes and ears?

Food. Glorious Food!

Mixed with an inability to exercise... well, the inevitable is happening.  I failed to calculate or care all that much about reconfiguring my caloric intake to match my new and reduced daily needs.  I have no idea what the numbers are because I have never owned a scale and I have never owned a scale because I have been, largley, the same weitght my entire adult life, I think. All I know is that my pants don't fit, along with most of my shirts and skirts and unders.  Shoes all seem fine still.  The practical problem is that I don't care to buy a whole new wardrobe.  So I picked up a few sweat pant versions of skirts and there we have it.

I worried this would happen right from the beginning.  Immediately, I could see that even if this lasted the mere 3 months that it does in 85% of cases, I would come out much softer than before.  So I developed a regime of low stress, low dizzy factor, reclining yoga poses to at least preserve flexibility. They were the sort of exercises (think savasana) where I would forget I was doing them or fall asleep and I'd be no worse for the wear.  But then when my brain began to awaken from it's deep freeze, even those exercises became overwhelming.  And anyway, they weren't about caloric burn, but rather flexibility, and clinging to old routines to keep from feeling like I was just drifting in space without a tether.

The gains were stayed for a while because my hunger hormones were off line.  I had no way to gauge when to eat, so I ate by the clock and eye-balled my stomach size.  Unfortunately, I still don't have a good way to tell when I'm full.  So I eat until I am bored with the flavor.  But in this here little life of mine, the boredom threshold has gotten a little high.

Mother's Day in a camas field.
I've been mostly the same weight my whole life, except for a few notable issues. Nearly twenty years ago I stress-ate entire pies in a sitting, but then I stress-digested them too and ended up so thin my underwear wouldn't stay up and my doctor threatened to hospitalize me.  I was also super sick during my first trimester with Blue and then got sick again in India during my third trimester.  After that semi-large girl was born, I weighed less than I had in high school.  But with Coyote, I gained a good amount, as one should, and had no problem loosing it and felt comfortable and maternal in my soft body.

A friend of mine with similar health issues has also experienced a muscle-to-adipose conversion over the course of her convalescence.  I confessed to her that I have never dieted and had no idea how to go about getting into my clothes again.  "Well don't ask me!" She said. "I have a history of dieting a little to well.  If we follow my plan, we'll lose more than we want, in very little time. And then they will hospitalize us."  Ok.  Well, that's not what we need.  I think it would be terrible to have a fraught history of dieting, either in excess or yo-yo-ing.

Once, an acquaintance asked me how I stayed thin.  I have never thought of myself as thin, rather, average. I told her I had no idea, it was likely genetic and I was probably the wrong person to ask.  But she insisted that I was probably doing something very different that she was and she watched me closely for an afternoon, pointing out all the things I did different.  Now, I'd like to remember what she said.  What did I used to do...

She said something about how we don't do fast food.  We still don't. It's not hard to do when you can't have wheat.  And there was the portion control and the vast difference between her bowl of ice cream and mine.  So maybe I could start there, with the ice cream.

Yeah, that's it.  Better portion control.  Less ice cream. I decided.

Then I went grocery shopping, and the good kind of ice cream was on a great sale.  So I bought a few tubs.  And when I got home, I unloaded all the groceries and was tired and it was lunch time.  So I had a large portion-uncontrolled bowl of ice cream and then a smaller bowl of a different variety for dessert.  And then I threw in a few radishes from the garden at the end.

So... that's dieting by Sarajoy, in a nutshell.

There is something deliciously rebellious in considering a healthy, good-for-you plan and then not really adhering to it all. The more I think about diets, the more I want a giant bowl of ice cream.  I finally read the label (not for ingredients, which I do all the time, but for calories).  Holy Shit.  Ice cream has a lot of calories! Did you know that?!  I did not.  And it's really too bad.  Ice cream should not have any calories.  That would be fair.  Do you hear me, Universe?!  And also wine.  Wine has calories too.  I never thought of it that way.

But you know what, I kind of feel like I deserve these things and that they shouldn't have consequences and fuck you, Sarajoy, for trying to take it away, or even dole it out.  You and your stupid Libra moderation.  My life has really sucked lately, you don't even now the half of it.  Everything that has fueled me and made my life fun and pleasurable has been taken from me.  Luckily, I have found pleasure in the curiosity and explorations of life in this new state, but it hasn't been easy.  And now my stupid jeans come around and say: looks like you need moderation, girlie!  But ice cream IS moderation, if you look at the big picture.  Ice cream and it's calorie rich friends (home made mayo! hollandaise sauce!) are here to balance out the suckage of this homebody life I did not choose. We haven't even gotten to go out to eat much because of the noise and people and all that.  Not only is it the head injury, it's also my allergy to gluten. I mean, I can't even have cream cheese danishes already because of  the wheat and danishes are Dutch for "love."  (When I was 15 and staying with my uber-stoic maternal grandmother while my parents were out of town, she packed my lunch one day with only an entire six pack of cream cheese danishes.  On the way to school, I peaked and asked her if this was a mistake.  And that super-self-controlled woman glanced at me with a devilish look in her eyes and she GIGGLED.  She giggled.  She said, "Well, if you don't want them, I can take them."  And whenever I bring it up, she still giggles, and shrugs her shoulders.  And I guess I just discovered the food-rebellion gene.)

Anyway, fat and our culture have big issues.  And it confuses me.  Fat isn't any kind of moral statement about a person. What's so bad about extra adipose?  But then, who wants to be fat?  (Not that I'm saying I am, I'm just a few sizes bigger than I used to be).  It's a complicate topic that's well addressed from many different angles all over the internet.  And I worry that by talking about it I'll gross some people out and offend others, especially my friends with more to love and/or are more fat-literate than I.  I don't expect I'll be figuring this all out today.  For now, I'm just confused on what about this issue is me and what is my internalized culture.

At any rate, I'm sure I'll get exercising again soon. It will be a tricky endeavor to burn calories while catering to my shattered vestibular system and light/noise restrictions.  And until then, I'm looking around for painless ways to cut.  For instance, I recently cut out the gobs of honey and cream I was dumping in my morning cup-o-hojicha.  So I like my green tea the British way, what of it?  I'm a woman a the world, it's only natural to combine cultural norms.  But I'm sure there are many prisoners of purity that are happy to hear I'm back on the straight-n-narrow green tea-wise.

I haven't noticed a difference with that, however.  In fact, I may be getting bigger.  So far my diet consists simply of thinking about the calories in what I've eaten (and trying not to mention that out loud around my 13 yo daughter, who's may be at that sensitive stage, or not, it's hard to tell with her, she inherited my recessive stoic genes).  I don't think I'm technically overweight, yet, but I can see it from my back porch.


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