Thursday, July 27, 2006

big

Goal reached: 145, size 10.

How odd and unexpected and sneaky. My pants were snug, then perfect, then loose, now huge. I take at least two full rest days a week. For dinner tonight I polished off a huge salad, half a (cheese free) pizza, and a vegan cupcake. Washed down with a beer.

Yet when I stepped on my neurologist's scale, there it was: 144.5.

It feels like I don't really deserve this, because I didn't work for it. At all. I haven't been doing anything differently than I always do. What is it? Actually sleeping and enjoying life and not being constantly stressed out? The slow drag of worry and depression that haunt my days as I deal with the events of April? Hard to say.

And, because I didn't earn it, I worry that I won't be able to maintain it. Because it's not like I lost it by making specific concrete changes that I can now incorporate into my every day living. 145 just arrived, slowly, yet suddenly.

And it's not as good as I was hoping it would be. I'm not magically happy with my body. I really really miss my breasts and I think that my arms looked better with more weight on them and my stomach still has a substantial roll.

Despite all of this. I wanted to come here again to acknowledge that I achieved this goal, this goal of 145 and size 10. It's not a big deal. But, you know? It kind of is.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

clarify

It occurs to me that I should be a little more specific about my medical stuff because it really isn't that scary. Or it really doesn't have to be that scary. But it is a huge wake up call. I had optic neuritis and was hospitalized to treat it with massive amounts of steroids. While the optic neuritis was pretty bad at the start (with areas of complete blindness and loss of color) my recovery was, quite simply, fantastic. I have completely recovered my vision. Optic neuritis suggests a potential large health concern: multiple sclerosis. I'm learning that it is difficult to make an MS diagnosis, and I won't know for sure if I develop it for several years. That said, all my MRIs came back clean. I'll get the spinal tap results in a couple of weeks. And I have an appointment with a kick ass doctor who studies the connection between optic neuritis and MS. For now, I'm healing the eye trouble (with steroid tapers) and learning about MS (thank you google). The meds work me over good. But, considering, I'm feeling really good.

everything

Not dead. Though it seemed like it at times. Not dead. But a new start. Quite literally, everything in my world has changed over the past month.

School: dropped out, asked back
Love: hard and good, broke up, hard and good
Health: consistent yet shocking

School took me for such a ride these past months. One of the big reasons I stopped writing here was that I had no time or energy. School occupied all of my mind and energy. I hated it and hated it but hid from the hate until I couldn't hide any longer and walked into my advisor's office and dropped out.

Love blew my mind these past months. She's rocked me, challenged me, held me, asked me, begged me. I surrendered to her, lost her, found her, trusted her.

My body has confounded and impressed me these past months. Consistent exercise and diet. Maintaining a healthy weight. Feeling alive and strong. Healing the injuries, running 8 strong miles. That night, hospitalized. Loss of vision. Emergency admit for a week. I'm out now, recovering. I don't want to go into details because I'm not ready to start processing it all. I'm on a lot of medications. I'm weak. I get really, really winded from *walking*. Seriously, walking. I thought I was taking good care of myself. I thought I found peace with my body. But still, even though I looked good, I wasn't healthy. I was always fighting my body. I don't need to focus on dieting or exercising anymore. I need to focus on love and gentle care. I need to stop pushing myself. I'm looking at potential long term complications and problems. Some of which might be managed through better nutrition (think B vitamins and omegas. Please! Start eating them now!)

After getting out of the hospital, my advisor came and asked me back to the program. Saying they would do whatever they could to get me through. Saying they wanted me. But now the question is, do I want them? I'm on medical leave for the rest of the semester. I have the time and space to reconstruct my life. But how? Where? What do I want to do? Who do I want to be?

But why am I writing this here? I don't want this journal to die an unkept death. I want to put it to rest. But, like everything else in my life right now, I'm not sure that I'm ready to let it go. I'm learning to dwell in indeterminacy. Let's start here. This journal is not focused on what I am now focused on. But that doesn't mean I have to close it forever. It doesn't mean it was worthless and a waste of time. To the contrary, looking back through my posts, I see my progress and the usefulness of what sometimes felt like a "I can't stop eating" broken record." Maybe I'll be back when my appetite returns and I can walk around without worrying about a heart attack. Maybe I'll change focus. Maybe this will stand as quiet testimony to how far I came and offer some tiny glimpses into how far I will go.

Monday, March 06, 2006

wish

Oh girl, I am such a cliche. My girlfriend is out of town, and suddenly I am seeing all my friends again, feeling lonely, staying up late watching teevee, not exercising, and eating junk. I am such a cliche. Monday morning I declare, today I will change my behavior! And I will, and I already have.

This weekend was a hedonistic glow of good friends, spring break, alcohol, and kicking food (homemade tofu pad thai with fresh, fresh lime, amazing soba noodles with a coarsely ground peanut sauce, cookies, cake, hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, homemade pizza with the softest crust I have ever made). There has been no significant exercise. A lot of walking, but not full out cardio sessions. I also got a lot of homework done. But these things are neither here nor there. I'm committing to an exercise plan for the week.

Monday: spinning, lifting, yoga
Tuesday: easy short run (my foot has been doing great. It's all about birkenstocks.) Pilates, maybe in the evening. Walk to town in the afternoon.
Wednesday: lifting and spinning
Thursday: easy short run, walk in the afternoon
Friday: lifting, spinning, yoga
Saturday: off!
Sunday: spinning

I made it to yoga once last week. Not my goal, but improvement nonetheless. I've been to the gym for spinning. I didn't lift there because they are redoing the floor of my gym. But I did lift at home after class. And I've eaten a healthy breakfast of oatmeal, apple, and soymilk. I will also eat a nice lunch. I have dinner/beer plans after yoga class, but, come on, it's spring break.

*************

I can't believe Brokeback Mountain didn't win. I loved that movie. It made me cry, think, love, and be grateful. Grateful that I can walk down the street holding my girlfriends hand without fear...oh, wait a minute, I can do that in certain sections of town, of my very liberal northeastern city. But I couldn't do that in many parts of the country. I've been called every name imaginable. I've survived homophobic violence. I've been ignored, fixed up with men, an listened to some really gross propositions from straight men. I listen to arguments about why I should and can change. It is against the law for me to marry. My mother stiffens every time I've mentioned love. What hit me most about the 2004 election was the outright hate directed towards the queers. Before the election, I thought of homophobia as a sort of visceral, knee-jerk, ignorant reaction to something people didn't understand because they had never known gay people. But that isn't what's happening here. What happening is systematic hate. Some people want to deny me basic civil rights. They really think I, I, the girl who donates an afternoon every week to the homeless shelter across the street, who cries for cats in animal shelters, whose heart breaks over for who suffer, am evil. I can't believe Brokeback Mountain didn't win.

Edited to add:

It's not really Brokeback that got me so upset. I've been thinking and reading a lot this weekend, and all of it seems to be piling up on me. South Dakota, the woman killed and raped in NYC, the rape victim down south who was going to have to watch the tape of her attack, the rape victims in Libya are jailed, the history behind us, the way philosophy and theory upholds dominant power structures, the road ahead, all seemed to come down in one big disappointment when Brokeback didn't win. I haven't seen crash, but it makes me feel better to know it dealt with racism.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

wrong

I can't believe how much I eat and still maintain my weight. To recap, I'm not trying to lose weight anymore. I'm trying to live in balance and accept my body for what it is. I've lost around 35lbs and weigh around 155, on a good day, after a good workout, first thing in the morning, stark naked. My goal weight was 145 but I stopped trying to reach that number when it became clear to me that I just didn't want to lose the last 10 pounds. I didn't want to live constantly in a gym, constantly feeling guilty about food. I still battle bad body image and still have rough days accepting myself for not being my goal size 10. But I'm working on it.

So I'm maintaining. And living. This is what a typical living diet looks like:

breakfast: smoothie(two fruits, soymilk, green veggie powder), Lara bar, or oatmeal and Lara bar
snack: cashews, or latte, or vegan cookie of some sort
lunch: sometimes skipped, sometimes salad, sometimes latte, sometimes tofu stir-fry
snack: latte, or carrots and humos, or apple and almond butter, or cashews
dinner: salad with lots of veggies and tofu, or portebello mushroom sandwich at a bar, or soup and salad and bread, or frozen cheeseless pizza
dessert: never missed
add a couple of alcoholic beverages of sometimes, and you have yourself a day in the life of my caloric intake.

Crazy! When I was trying to lose the last 10 pounds, this is what I would eat

breakfast: scant amount of oatmeal, fruit, coffee, soymilk
snack: hah!
lunch: salad, bean salad
snack: hah!
dinner: salad, tofu
dessert: hah! alcohol: hah!

How is it possible to go from these two extremes? And, please note that I went down 5 pounds once I started eating more. I hovered at 160 for the goddamned longest time before giving up. I have also been exercising much less due to my injury and girlfriend.

Speaking of girlfriend, she is out of town for two weeks and I am on Spring Break so I will be updating much more frequently than usual. I miss her. Is this wrong? We've been seeing each other for only a couple of months and I miss her. She's become a regular at my apartment, especially on Saturday afternoons.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

control

Oh, how I am avoiding writing about diet and exercise. Everything in my life feels out of control. Including sticking with a reasonable diet and exercise program.

Oddly, not-running has become like starting a diet used to be--"I'll not run tomorrow," I think to myself as I lace up my sneakers. I haven't been running ever day, for sure, but I did run two days again last week and I ran yesterday. To be honest, my foot feels pretty ok. I've kept the runs short and spend time every morning and evening soaking (in Epsom salt), stretching, and massaging my feet. I took two full days off entirely last week and feel ok about that too. As I think back over the week, I recognize that it was all pretty good. My exercise schedule isn't what it used to be, it is much more relaxed, but I am still healthy and still maintaining my weight. I did not do any yoga last week. This week, I would like to practice yoga twice.

Speaking of weight, my girlfriend now knows how much I weigh. We went to the health clinic a couple of weeks ago to get STI tests (for the record, yes, we are adorable little lesbians). I went first and things were moving fast and chaoticly, and I was stuck with a needle for blood, then pushed onto a scale and before I had time to take off my heavy blazer and say "don't say my weight out loud" the nurse announced it:

160

My girlfriend mock covered her ears and we laughed. I brought it up later--how does she feel having a girlfriend with 30 pounds on her? (she weighs 130). We had a good conversation and I got a lot of my issues out there. Bottom line: I am happy with how I look and the shape of my body, I think I'm attractive, and so does my girlfriend. She has been alerted to my sometimes sensitivity around body issues and has not made negative remarks since then.

Plus, I was secretly delighted with the 160 reading. In the middle of the day! With lots of water and food in me and heavy clothes on me! Not too shabby.

I guess everything IS okay diet and exercise wise. My life just doesn't look like what it used to look like. Between a new relationship and re-evaluating graduate school (yep, you read that right. That's another post.), there have been a lot of changes. I'm trying to take it all in stride.

And, not so secretly, I am pleased with the changes. I like not obsessing over working out every day and pushing, pushing, pushing myself with each workout. It's nice to scale back a little and let my body heal.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

react

Forgive me, runner-injury-gods, for I have sinned.

Though I swore off running for a month, though I dredged through two souless weeks without running, though I thought I could do it because I was not doing it so good....

I ran. I ran this week. OK, ok, I ran TWICE this week.

But, but, it's not my fault! I tried to spin. But the classes were full!* I tried to do a cardio machine, but I forgot my IPOD and I absolutely refuse to listen to the crap my gym pawns off as "music." I tried to rest, but I kept eating chocolate and bread and needed to work it off. I tried to reduce my stress, but life happens.

I ran twice this week. This will not happen again. I'm back to hobbling around my apartment. I will call the night before spinning to sign up for class. I will bring my IPOD. I will pull my diet together.

Speaking of diet, I've been kicking ass these past couple days. Gone are morning muffins. Welcome are all fruit and dried green-machine smoothies. I already feel leaner.

******

Work-out rundown (last week. previous week is too far gone). If you are looking for athletic inspiration, you won't find it here. Don't laugh, please.

Monday: um, no lifting. 45 minutes random and boring cardio
Tuesday: um, no lifting...or cardio
Wednesday: jeesh, overslept, again, missed spinning. Repentance 6 mile run (with great time...still got it)
Thursday: got it? like major muscle woes. No cardio, but lots of yoga.
Friday: spinning, lifting, walking, whew
Saturday: lots of walking, all over town
Sunday: 5 mile run. Ouch.

*******

What did I tell you? It ain't pretty. This week will be better. Much.

Next up: letting it all hang out, or, how my girl found out how much I way and my reaction.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

change

I am so sick of myself that I need to take Liz anti-biotics. I am sick of overeating. Sick of not running. Sick of not going to the gym to get some exercise, ANY exercise, just because I'm too busy pouting over not running and overeating. I am sick of worrying about my girl and wondering if she thinks I am fat. I am sick of worrying about school and feeling stuck and wanting to change but sitting here, looking at everything in my life and in the world that I want to change and feeling so overwhelmed that I just go back to bed and watch another episode of Fat Actress.

Sick of it, I tell you.

My self-indulgent, woe-is-me, attitude and behavior has GOT TO STOP. I miss routine. I miss running every morning and eating whole grains and salads and feeling healthy and fit and in control of my world. I want that back, now.

And an ex-girlfriend is coming to visit tomorrow and I'm feeling bloated and fat and out of shape and sad.

Whining will stop. Feeling sorry for myself will stop. I will live the way I want to, I will make these changes happen.

Thank you all for your thoughts on my girl and me. I want to address a couple of points.

1) Waiting till things are "better": this still makes sense to me. I'm trying to think through my responses to perceived problems before addressing them with her. I want things with her to be good. And I've found that by holding back a little of my criticism, things blow over, and actually aren't a big deal, and we are better because of it. You know? We can choose to have a good evening or a bad one. I choose good.

And I really don't want to decide how I feel about myself based on someone else's perception of me. I want my feelings of awesomeness to come from within, not from my, gulp, girlfriend.

2) This issue is her issue: You all are right on, for two reason. 1) She lost a lot of weight over the past year, and is currently losing more because of an illness. I think she is worried that when she puts on weight after getting better, I won't like her anymore. Which, of course, isn't true. I'm looking forward to her getting stronger and better. 2) She is butch. She typically likes femmes. I am neither butch or femme. By commenting on my strength, I think she is trying to make sense of me, like: ok, this girl is stronger than me, but I can still objectify her and maybe it's kinda hot that she can hold me down??. Ahem. I challenge her in many ways, one of which is my physical prowess. Your comments got it: she's trying to figure me out by putting us both in specific roles.

We've hung out the past couple of days, and there was no negative commenting about my body. We had a great anti-valentines day celebration. Full of homemade pumpkin pasta with basil and pine-nut pesto, arugala salad with pears, pecans, and homemade raspberry dressing, and homemade vanilla cookies with chocolate icing and a chocolate chip on top...to imitate a breast, of course. All cooked by me.

She gave me a card with a picture of Wittgenstein on the front, and inside she wrote, "will you be my Wittgenstein?" Get it?
***********
Gym report will be coming, someday. I don't want to face that music. My foot is feeling better, sort of. I don't want to face that music either.