Friday, April 23, 2010

Blame Canada

I'm probably in the wrong frame of mind to write an entry, but too much time has elapsed since my last one, so now it is. The main reason that I'm about as upbeat as a Lars Von Trier film right now is not because I ate cold cauliflower for dinner, but because of Canada. 

That's right. Those maple syrup producing, eh saying, French speaking, Olympic hosting, milquetoasty neighbors to our north are the reason I am pissy. (Ordinarily I have no problems with Canucks, as they go peacefully about most things. But this time, a line's been crossed. Allow me to explain, eh?)

Since I'm an overweight female writer who's still unmarried at 33 and lives alone with my cat, I shouldn't have to tell you that I'm on anti-depressants, but for the sake of full disclosure, I will. So. I am. And for some unknown reason, those darling little pills -- which normalize my personality and stop me from saying to a kid who stared at me too long in Wal-Mart that the reason I have a scar on my face* is because a monster crawled out from under my bed and took a bite out of me in the middle of the night -- are mighty expensive. 

* Yes, I was in a totally ridonkulous accident 3 years ago that left a scar on my face. Probably as cosmic payback for taunting small children. 

 (still scares the bejeesus out of me)

And even though I have insurance, I have elected to save as much moolah as possible by ordering my goods from Canada, since it's markedly cheaper. So for well over a year, I've been getting my drugs from this one company. 

Has this company done shit that's gotten on my nerves over that year? Yes. Like requiring my doctor send in a script every time I re-order instead of allowing for normal click-n-ship refills. And like playing a four day long game of phone tag with a devilish French woman named Capucine who just wants to confirm my order, every single fucking time. (How about this. How about, if I see that I've accidentally placed an order for $300 worth of birth control instead of Zoloft, and accidentally given you the delivery address of a convent,  I'll call YOU to straighten it out. Otherwise, just assume that I know how to fucking order online and SEND. MY. SHIT.)

So back in late March, I placed an order with these turds, and -- long story short (lucky you) -- I still haven't received it. Even though my poor beleaguered doctor has faxed that shit to them two or three times -- the Canucks insist they haven't received it.  I mean, either they have a fax machine from the set of Office Space or some prankster on their end simply eats incoming faxes -- who knows. What I do know is that I feel punchy and anxious. And that is not the mindset you want to be in when you're restricting your carbs. That mindset allows you to go get tacos from Taco Bell (henceforth known as Toxic Hell) and then cry while eating them.

Not that I did. I'm just saying. 

And maybe it's tied to my yo-yo with the meds, but my weight loss has totally stalled. Why? I'm not eating one thing I enjoy, so therefore, I should lose weight! Dammit! 

In that vein, a friend of mine once said to me, "Have you ever eaten something and actually enjoyed it?" And after a long pause, my answer was -- and remains -- NO. I haven't. I learned about calories and fat grams and carbs at a young age, and so that information was always in the back of my head whenever I lifted something to my pie hole to take a bite. To me, truly enjoying something would mean eating it guilt-free. And I have no frame of reference for how to go about that. I'm too busy thinking I shouldn't have eaten it at all, I shouldn't have eaten so much, I should've made a smarter choice, gee I wish I could have more of that, gee I wish people weren't with me because I'd eat the whole thing...It's something I can't escape. I don't know how chill the fuck out about food.

Of course, having LapBand surgery a few years ago -- easily one of the biggest mistakes of my life, along with an ex boyfriend of mine who had more body hair than a full grown bear -- does fix the "nom-nom-nom, I'm going to eat the whole bag!" scenario. Because I can't. Most of the time, I have to choke down my food like a baby bird, lest my eyes glaze over and I sprint from the table, into the bathroom, to throw up. If I even look at something the wrong way, it might not go down just right. And yet. 

 (believe me, this was the least disgusting picture I could find)

Having LapBand never caused me to lose weight. It's a means, alright, but not a very effective one. (I'll have to write a blog entry about that another day. It deserves its own story.) Even using it as a tool (which is a very popular term in LapBand vernacular) hasn't helped me lose more than 20lbs or so. In fact, it makes me quite uncomfortable -- thinking about the steps I've taken in my entire life to actually like the way I look. I've gone to ridiculous, yet fruitless, lengths and I'm afraid that regardless of the results, I'll never be happy. 

Anti-depressants say what? And yes, folks, I've talked about all this with a therapist. A lot. Everyone should have a therapist -- they're great fun! Knowing and naming your issues is a big part of the process, yes. Indeedy. But taking actual steps to get right with yourself and make changes is undoubtedly the hardest part. And it's the part I haven't conquered yet. 

I'm sure once I get my meds in me, I'll quit snarling at everyone like a petulant possum, and go right back to being my usual cautiously upbeat yet snarkishly sarcastic soul. Let's hasten her return....I'm looking at you, Canada. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

On the first day, God created chicken salad

Well, I'm back on the wagon. Day 1. Just sitting here with a scoop of chicken salad and a toddy.

Oh yes...toddys. One of the reasons I love LC diets. As long as whatever you mix it with is sugar-free, hard liquor is just fine. Naturally, I have my drink o' choice down to a science: vodka, crystal light (special blend), Ocean Spray Diet Blueberry juice and Diet 7-Up. Sounds sort of pitiful, doesn't it? Or, as my boyfriend (henceforth known as John...exciting I know) said when I offered to make him one last weekend, "That's girly." Twenty minutes later, he was swigging one down, so whatever. Girly my ass.

I'm sitting here watching a documentary called: Fat -- What No One is Telling You. It features a variety of poor bastards who drew the short straw in the genetic pool (I include myself among them, so I'm not being tacky. Yet.) The one that makes me cringe the most is a couple -- both of whom are porkers -- and they're going to a gym together, worked out by thin people who seem to have the personality of a shit pie (which, I bet, is lo carb. Just saying.) The couple: they're trying to cook healthy. They're meeting with nutritionists and doctors to discuss their plan, to talk about what it's like to be fattys.

Are you suddenly getting the feeling that someone is looking at you? Well, you're right. It's me, and I am giving you the biggest fucking side-eye I can muster.

(thank you for demonstrating, Zahara Jolie-Pitt)

I just want to shout it from the rooftops: I've done all this! I've been there, with the listless trainers and the condescending nutritionists (who might, along with dietitians, be the most useless people on the planet), Fat Camp counselors and bored doctors. I've done the rotation in that world since I was a wee lass, and I can tell you: all that shit starts to sound the same after a while.

Being fat is not fun. Unless you're dating a fetishist, in which case, slip me his number would you? (Just kidding. John is the best.) Fattys are the last thing out there that it's still okay to make fun of. You can't say shit about anyone because of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, height (midgets, I'm looking at you), mental abilities or anything else. Except for fattys. It's totally okay to rake their cottage cheese asses over the coals (like I just did.) Oh, and Republicans. It's okay to bash them, too. So, don't even get me started on fat Republicans.

(for the record, I really like Chris Christie. and I kinda dig on his Tony Soprano thing, too. Holla.)

Thing is, I have a special contempt for the people associated with the weight-loss industry. Well, except Mr. Atkins, who slipped on the ice (WTF?!!!!) and died. That poor bastard -- he was like the kindly uncle I never had. Anyway, I have been around them all -- doctors, counselors, nutritionists, dietitians, motivational speakers, name it. And they can all go to hell as far as I'm concerned. Other than that, they seem like lovely people.

I guess my problem is -- and the reason it was important for me to start this blog while I'm tubbah-- is because there's a sharp degree of disingenuousness (it's a word, I double-checked) as far as they go. From the way they look and speak, to the idiotic fucking suggestions they make. And more often than not, none of them have ever had to squeeze into a pair of Spanx in order to zip a skirt closed, so they can shut their chocolate creme pie hole as far as I care. They, in my mind, have zero credibility. I was always more interested in picking the brains of the people who'd actually done it. Been a fatty and lost the weight. Whether they kept it off is immaterial to me -- invariably, they had their Oprah-1988-size 10-Calvin Klein jeans moment, so that's what I want to talk about: how in the eff did you get there and what did it feel like?

(I am so glad I wasn't an adult in the 80s)

I remember when I was 21, I went to Fat Camp on the east coast (I'm Southern; I refuse to capitalize that) for the summer. That experience is a post for another day, believe me. But I distinctly remember one of the mousy little counselors they had, giving us a talking-to in a food workshop we all attended. She stood up and squeaked something about putting a few Hershey kisses -- one or two -- in her lunch sack so that when she needed a little something sweet, she could have it. As she said that, I looked over at my best friend from that summer, a fat and sassy El Salvadorian prone to R-rated tirades, and I said, "Bitch, please. She's talking to a group of girls who aren't interested in a Hershey kiss or two. We're the ones who eat the whole bag." My friend rattled something in Spanish and I nodded vacantly. I -- and most of the others there -- definitely felt misunderstood.

That story is exactly why I love LC. (Again, not Lauren Conrad. Or Liz Claiborne.) I can't have two Hershey kisses. I will plot your murder if I think you're withholding the bag from me. I mean it. So my solution is to have NONE. Zero. Nada. I can, however, have as much cream cheese as I can handle, so...I can hardly contain my excitement.

I'm about to keep gulping sipping my toddy and watching this depressing-ass documentary -- and sweet Jesus knows, one is incumbent upon the other. Maybe these poor fat assholes will get to the end of the program and decide that they can stand being fat a lot more than they can stand seeing that sanctimonious trainer every day and sit down with their Zebra Cakes and call it a day.

(I would literally slap a baby for one of these right now.)

As for me, I am trolling through LC casserole recipes to make for John and me this weekend. Poor thing, he might waste away or something while I'm trying to do this. I'll have to fix him a potato or something so he can keep up his energy. Bless his heart.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The White Zone is for Carb Loading and Unloading Only

On my drive to Taco Bell at 11pm tonight, I thought, "Wouldn't it be a good idea to blog about this?"

By "this" I'm talking about my lo-carb lifestyle. Now, I see you: you just squinted your eyes, and thought, "But wait. Taco Bell has loads of carby shit on their menu [emphasis on shit], so why in the .....?"

It's because I slipped, kids. I'd been lo-carbbing it for 6 days and I tip-toed back over to the dark side, just for a minute. And it wasn't even a very *good* minute. Believe me, I'm back on the lo-carb train tomorrow morning.

This isn't my first trip around the carousel, either. I did lo-carb about 7 years ago, and lost -- as we say here in Texas -- a shit-pot full of weight. 11o pounds, to be precise. And then, in 2005, I moved to a big city and thought I had my metabolism whipped into shape. Thought I had straightened myself right up -- that I had been magically transformed into the chick who could now responsibly eat carbs. Well, someone forgot to give my ass the memo, because I gained a substantial amount of my weight back over a period of years.

Which brings me to today. Enter grumpy, bloated, fat (but still cute) me. When I started my first round of Atkins back in 2002, it was still a novelty. Believe me, starting Round 2 is much, much harder. Because the first two weeks? I pretty much feel like gnawing someone's face off, either because I'm pissy or hungry. Or both.

Well, I really shouldn't say that. I'm rarely hungry when lo-carbbing it (henceforth known as LC, and no, I am not talking about Lauren Conrad.) It's hard to be hungry after 2 eggs, 4 pieces of bacon and cheese. Of course, it also helps that I had LapBand surgery a few years ago -- which, as an aside, was the most useless thing I have ever done, but that's a story for another day -- so it doesn't take AS MUCH to fill me up as it once did. Still. I don't like chocolate chip cookies because they fill me up. I like chocolate chip cookies because I just really fucking like chocolate chip cookies. They're yummy.

But for me, chocolate chip anything pretty much came fresh out of Satan's oven, because nothing puts weight on me like carbs. Hell, even fruit. Can. Not. Have. It.

Now, believe me, I've heard everyone's opinions. And as we Southerners like to say: opinions are like assholes -- everyone got 'em, and they all stink.

Some people do miraculously well on Weight Watchers, or by calorie counting or just exercising or whatever. You can always find someone who will tell you what you need to be doing. I, however, will not be that person. I'm just telling you what works for me.

It's not without its ups and downs, though, which is why this blog is being started -- Mama needs an outlet. I'm a saucy little shit -- prone to cursing and dark bits of humor (don't let the layout fool you -- I am feminine and genteel and yet I also find myself saying the word "fuck" a lot, so take it all in.)

I just thought blogging about it might a) help me hold myself responsible and b) give a helping hand to others who find themselves in my position. I've always wanted an honest voice about body image and weight and diets, but I wanted it to be real, and on-going. Not a success story, not some "I shed the old horrible me!" story. There are plenty of those. Go to Barnes and Nobles -- the shelves runneth over.

The only thing runnething (yes, that's a word now) over on me are the cups of my bra and the top of my Spanx, so. I hope you enjoy this journey a helluva lot more than I enjoy waving goodbye to anything in my pantry that's white. Except for heavy cream. I can have the hell out of that.