November 28, 2007
And here it is, my eternal struggle:
So, here’s the story of Dagny Taggart’s weight struggles…
Growing up, I had a wide variety of food allergies. Nuts, anything with citrus (including tomatoes, oranges, berries of any kind), and anything with cocoa at all (including, surprisingly, any cola product). My food choices, they were limited. And I’d sneak the things I wasn’t supposed to have, sometimes. Because how fun is a childhood without peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I was quite sure I didn’t want to find out.
These snacks started to catch up with me a little more when I was 12 or so, and the asthma got sufficiently bad so that exercise was more or less out of the question. I became, not to put too fine a point on it, large. By the summer between 8th and 9th grade, I was a size 14, pushing a 16. Which did not suit my 5’8″ frame well at ALL. Nor was it acceptable in a town 20 minutes from 5th Avenue, where my classmates were wearing designer size 2-4 and constantly dieting.
About 2/3 of the way through my freshman year of high school, I made a number of changes and started to move around a bit more. I lost about 40 pounds by the time school started up again, and pared off another 20-25 over the next couple of years. I didn’t do it the right way, exactly, but the right way doesn’t matter so much when you’re 15-18 years old and growing those last two inches.
My first year of college involved a glut of diet Coke, Marlboro Lights, and that slightly painful, yet somehow comforting, constant hunger. Half a muffin a day plus 3 or 4 Swedish Fish in the afternoon, and I was hovering around 100 lbs. Fortunately, my friends and this guy helped me rediscover the joys of 3 am hot subs from the delis and cheese fries (with gravy, duh).
So moderation has always been an issue for me. I can eat an entire jar of Nutella, or bag of candy corn, or chocolate cake, or pint of ice cream, in one sitting. To make up for such indulgences, I make sure that everything else I eat is very, very healthy, AND I go to the gym a LOT.
But it would be so much easier if I could just have, say, one spoonful of Nutella per “consumption instance.” Then, I might be able to sleep in an extra morning, or have a cheeseburger a little more often, without automatically calculating how many extra minutes/hours I’ll have to spend working it off.
And don’t even get me started on Black Friday shopping sprees. Though, I’m probably the only person who came away from that day happier with her twin-pack of 26 ounce jars of Nutella, than anything else she got that day.
40 servings * 200 calories per serving = 8,000 calories * 2 jars = 16,000 calories, = 18 hours of high-intensity cardio.
I’ll be at the gym if you need me. 😀
November 15, 2007
Just in time for a new season filled with weekly doses of Tim Gunn, I’ve discovered another infestation.
They’re in my closet, this time. And frankly, I’m not at all sure how they’re pulling this off.
Because I no longer own a scale, my clothes are generally the way I determine whether I’ve been eating/working out in an appropriate ratio. And the gnomes? Have clearly been messing with them.
My work pants all either fit perfectly well, or are slightly loose. Except for one pair that, when I bought it last year, was loose. Now? They are snug.
But they are the only pair. Every other pair, even those that were tight-ish last year? Loose or just right. And unless I have more concrete evidence, I’m not giving up nutella for a pair of pants that’s trying to defy the laws of physics.
Either my closet, or my drycleaner, has an infestation. I’d buy a wretched scale, but:
(1) What woman in her right mind sets herself up for her first weigh-in in 3 years, at Thanksgiving?
(2) Wouldn’t the gnomes just mess with that, too?
I think I might need to conduct an experiment, which of course would involve the purchase of new pants. In the name of science, and all…
November 14, 2007
I don’t believe in love at first sight. But within 10 minutes of talking to Webster, I was crushing, hard.
Nevermind that I was actually very much in love with my boyfriend, or that Webster was so very much not my type physically. It helped that he was a more attractive version of his type, but it was his brain that bowled me over. He was noticeably smarter/more knowledgeable than me, especially when it came to words and writing. When I found out he was engaged, a bizarre feeling crept over me. By the time he finished mentioning that she (“Belle”) was a bona fide pageant queen who competed successfully on the national level, in addition to being a student at our law school, I was an interesting shade of verdigris.
Fortunately, a severe allergy to the host’s pet rabbit gave me an obvious, if not attractively so, excuse for making my exit.
My crush on Webster soon faded, but for some reason, Belle’s very existence made me crazy. She was drop-dead gorgeous, petite and feminine with chestnut curls and perfectly tanned skin. She was a law student, and thus obviously fairly intelligent. I don’t know that she ever, once, showed the slightest hint of stress or strain – her clothing? Never. Wrinkled.
Obviously, I didn’t know this girl at all. But because I hadn’t fully absorbed the knowledge of how best to handle such situations, because I was in a really negative space, and I let the hypercompetitive surroundings drag me down rather than rising to meet them, I found myself… kind of… smug, when I heard a rumor that she’d clearly put on a few pounds (which she probably needed, let’s face it). When I heard she’d had some trouble with the bar exam? I might have smiled a little, if only on the inside. It was an ugly grimace, I’m sure.
No, I’m not proud. In fact, I’ll probably continue to feel guilty about this for quite a while. Because I realized that my envy stemmed from the fact that I didn’t think that I could compare – my insecurities kept me from trying to achieve the things she had that I admired, and I focused that negativity in precisely the wrong direction.
It’s an easy trap for me to fall into, still. I have to keep a close watch on myself, and remind myself that it’s okay to wish I’d done what someone else has. It’s okay, so long as I focus on figuring out how to, and believing that I can, do that for myself – instead of wishing they hadn’t.
November 7, 2007
I stumbled across this a little while ago, and mislabeled it “dignity”. Since then, it’s been nudging me whenever something didn’t portray me in the absolute best light possible.
I love learning new things, but hate doing so in front of people. This has been a problem in far too many situations – stage fright, it seems, is really little more than the mind’s allergic reaction to humiliation. Billiards, standard shift cars, eating with chopsticks. Being in a relationship where you actually let yourself trust and develop expectations.
Now, granted – the penultimate really only involves one witness – your dry cleaner. That last one, though – there’s a whole host of potential audience members. Every nosy person who’s ever asked you about your “love life”*, every ex who checks your myspace/friendster/blog (hi!) hoping for signs that your life sucks as much as theirs, and of course, anyone the other person shares their actual intentions with… the peanut gallery is full of possibilities.
Which is one of the reasons I’m so vague here, sometimes. No need to invite superfluous audience members.
So basically, right now, I’m in the mood to ignore anything I might have recently said on the subject and resume my militant breeziness. Pride and I are so in a fight, and right now, the pride’s winning. I’m just going to go with it. Knee-jerk reaction, indeed.
*For some reason, whenever Dr. Taggart utters this phrase, I am possessed by an absurdly strong compulsion to gouge out my eyes. I wonder why that is…