Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Thanks in large part to Sir Spark-A-Lot, my bitch tits shrank, I left the suburbs in 2011 (thank Christ for that one), exited my toxic relationship at the end of 2010 and knocked out a couple of half-marathons. I never quite reached my goal weight and I never was able to get below a sub two hour run, but best of all, I didn't faint when I bent over to tie my shoes.
Sadly or pathetically or something, the weight slowly crept back up. I think a partial reason was I didn't make running the priority I used to and also was lucky enough to fall in looooooooooooooooooooove (wretch, gag) which created a sense of comfort and my own vanity shrank a bit as I wasn't in the game. Not to mention, one of our favorite weekly rituals was eating about nine pounds of cheese and washing it down with a bottle of wine which has long-lasting repercussions.
This weekend my gal and I reviewed the numbers on the poor bent, sagging and struggling scale and realized it was time to shape up. We both packed on the weight over the winter when the climes are more conducive to snuggling under a blanket and eating a box of Girl Scout cookies instead of splashing through slushy puddles and skidding on the ice. She is working her program, I'm working mine thus back to the Spark I come.
Day One is under my belt, Day Two is upon me. The Bowflex not-so-quietly beckons, time to lace on my shoes and go for a waddle.
Thursday, May 05, 2011
I have a friend who is working his steps, and when he's not trying to recruit me to go to a meeting with him he says he is striving for "progress not perfection."
Losing weight is very similar. One can't stop eating in the same way he or she could (should) stop an addictive substance. You need to eat. Daily. Multiple times daily even. Further, eating twigs and bark for every meal isn't very practical. Sure we can make better decisions and have a salad for lunch and not get the bacon cheeseburger with French fries but often times the most ideal nutrition isn't attainable. Are you going to go to your mother-in-law's house for Easter, push her ham to the floor and ask for some celery?
So I seek progress. My progress since the end of February has included roughly twenty pounds. There have been two weeks where I gained but the overall trajectory is in the right direction. Progress. I exercise daily in some shape or form and pack my alimentary canal with fruits and vegetables. As I'm a fan of fresh salads that hasn't been too difficult.
My biggest challenge has been on Sunday. They've been sort of my cheat days if you will, I usually have a long run that day and feel itís justified, it's the day after weigh-in, and I typically hit the market then. As a reward, I cook something...shall we say less than diet friendly. Grill something. Mr. Potato comes out. That asshole butter appears from nowhere (I really hate that dick), and I do something really diabolical like drink a beer or have glass of wine. Once I even had both! Forgive me, Jesus!
This is an area where I need to progress a little more, and I need to shift my thinking about rewarding myself. I haven't sabotaged myself (yet!), but the weeks I gained were definitely due to my Sunday calorie overrun. As I analyze it, I effectively negate the benefits of my long-run with my ecclesiastical chow down. By the way, you canít have ecclesiastical without testicle tickle.
So I can fine-tune by skipping the dinner roll, keeping butter in the fridge, limit the starch intake to a cup of whatever it is, use a dry rub on the protein instead of a sauce, take the nuts and blue cheese out of the salad and stay away completely from the beer. THAT would be progress.
Saturday, April 09, 2011
...and with the weight loss came an unexpected relationship and the strange and new phenomenon of consistency. Wake up, go to work, return home, make dinner, go to bed, lather, rinse, repeat. And more or less for better or worse, richer or poorer thatís been the long boring tale for the past eleven years. Itís much like eating meatloaf every night. Oh wait, I get to do the EXACT SAME THING, I did yesterday? Again? Already? AWESOME!
Cooking became my go to place to exercise a little creativity and to shake things up. I may go to bed with the same person AGAIN (zzzzzzzzzzZZZzzZZZZZzzz) but goddamit Iím not eating meatloaf 400 times in a row. It was a natural evolutionary process that began with just mixing my own salad dressings and experimenting with different kinds of pastas and sauces. I began to roast and braise, grill more difficult and complex proteins, researched marinades, brines and rubs, bought locally, cooked seasonally, explored regionally, paired wines, developed a signature dish, befriended cooks and restaurateurs, planned my vacations around restaurants I wanted to patronize, hosted raucous, boozy dinner parties and steadfastly pursued the culinary arts. Iíd spend my Friday evenings with a bottle of wine (or several) researching recipes and making grocery lists, Saturday morning Iíd hit the Farmerís Market, the bakery, my favorite wine purveyor, the cheesemonger and then cook the whole day. My guests and I would eat and drink as soon as the doorbell rang and wouldnít stop until I passed out with purple teeth, my hand still on my glass. Sunday Iíd nurse my hangover and clean the dishes and scrape the pans.
And the khakis would get tighter, the belt would grow longer, my breath shorterÖmy shirt would stay on longer, my summer tan lessÖfood, my sweetest downfall, I loved you first.*
Four two years, Iíve paid Weight Watchers 40 bucks a month. Iíve lost the same set ten pounds and gained them back probably five or six times. As part of New Years inventory, I stepped on the scale, it screamed and strained under my mass before a spring shot out from the side of it and killed the dog. Never punctual, I began journey in earnest on Monday, February 28th after my last boozy, raucous dinner party. Iíve lost 15 pounds, dropped two inches on my waist and just today ran my first competitive race.
Although the yellow radioactive cloud still yaws and lingers over me, it is dissipating and sometimes I think I can see blue sky beyond it. Today as I was running through the rubble, navigating the killing field and trying to leave my demon behinds, I had to stop. Through the busted concrete and twisted metal was a blade of grass. Through the cataclysm was a glimpse of beauty and I know that I can become the person that I want to be and not the person that I became.
*with thanks to Regina Spektor
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
...but a strange thing happened as I became squishier and squishier. My career finally took off. It put me in a worse situation actually because instead of just filling my body with marginally prepared food that was convenient and handed to you in a bag through a window, I'd go out to eat at a nice restaurant every night not because that's how I chose to blow my money but becaues I felt I DESERVED it. Just like when I was a kid and got a Ho-Ho for not lighting the living room on fire, I felt I DESERVED the double martini with the roquefort stuffed olives. Salad? No, send over the fried calamari. Hmmm...grilled vegetable platter or the ribeye? Can't have red meat without red wine! Better get that bottle of California Zin. Wellllll, what's a little creme brulee...it's so light and fluffy...what could it possilby hurt?
So heart-broken skinny mini cartwheeled into brash jiggly-wiggly. Although things were looking up and up professionally with each caloric counterpunch my personal life became less and less satisfying. I can remember being baffled that despite being secure, solvent and sprightly, I was becoming invisible as I sat on the sidelines of the Sadie Hawkins Dance. How could that be, I applied four squirts of Axe daily? How was it possible, I always spoke very loudly and crudely wherever I went so people knew I was important? And if I was out for dinner, I laughed the loudest at the restaurant because IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII was having fun and I wanted everyone to know it.
After having to bribe my date with designer drugs and new pair of stilettos in order for her to attend my company Christmas party, I knew a serious adjustment was in the works. So I did what any over-entitled American would do and I enrolled in a medical weight loss program and hired a personal trainer. The results were astounding right out of the gate; I dropped ten pounds the first week. What's more, since it was an all liquid diet I found that instead of mixing my chocolate, vanilla or strawberry meal replacement with water I could mix it with vodka. Bam! Two in one! It was very efficient.
My workouts sucked though. I could barely make it through a set because my metabolism was cannibalizing the protein in my muscles, and my energies levels were scant and erratic after subsisting on 800 kilocalories. My breath was also on par to the smokestack of a rendering plant because I was in a constant state of ketosis and dehydration. In addition, the nutritional supplements smelled like burning sweat socks and anything that I digested whether it was black coffee, liquid nutrition or vodka came steaming out of my pores because my body immediately soaked up anything that I stuck into it.
But again, I became thin. And who doesn't like that?
Friday, March 25, 2011
My family is fat. My father has a gut that has many wonder if he has a conjoined twin under his shirt. My mother is so large she rocks back and forth and to-and-fro like a tugboat. My sister has been blessed with an ass that looks like two Great Danes fighting under a blanket. My grandfather's heart exploded and he croaked on the spot. My other grandfather blew a vessel in his brain and checked out three days later. And we all eat like it's a spectator sport, spend lots of time talking about our next meal while we're still finishing the one in front of us and spend an inordinate amount of time discussing, planning, preparing, fantasizing, researching and negotiating the very next time something edible can be placed in our mouths.
I'm no exception. I was a chunky kid who had the physique of a fire hydrant. I was a piss poor athlete but affable, mostly kind and a joker. I was on the heavy end of the bleachers, but there was always a fatter kid than me. Luckily, my social life progressed normally and my physical limitations didn't really hold me back. Although I showed little promise, I'd made half-hearted attempts at organized sports from time to time, ran track but didn't letter and was once told I ran the hurdles so slowly it looked like I was setting them back up after I knocked them over. And like all fat kids, I loathed the swimming pool. My shimmering corpulence ashamed me to the core, I spent more time sitting alone in the shade with a towel over my shoulders artfully splayed over my girth than I did in the pool. Normally outgoing my nakedness muted me in the hopes that I'd fade into the background.
I had two great slimdowns. In my very early twenties, I studied abroad. Poverty compressed my torso. There was very little food I could afford and didn't have much of a recreation budget to do anything other than exercise. I also found, the more weight I lost the more I got laid. I wager few mortals will find a greater motivator. With a 30" waist, broad shoulders and hard-won aerobic stamina, I met my first big love who was a professional athlete and former Olympic trainee. For years, we stayed toned and made exercise and nutrition a priority.
Heartbreak was also good for my waistline. Already in pretty good shape, I went down to 140 pounds at 5'10" and bought the smallest pair of jeans of my adult life. My behavior became destructive though and as my heart healed gym time was exchanged for bar time. Inch by inch, pound by pound my body began to swell like a corpse in the desert sun. Beer by beer, my ass became jigglier, wing by wing my gut became softer, pizza by pizza my face became rounder...
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