Thursday, November 18, 2004

Worth the Weight

Bad blogger! Going so long without posting anything. In my defense, though, the last two posts were long enough to rate as a week's worth of posts, each. And this last week has been strangely busy... not unbearably busy, but just busy enough that I don't have time to sit and think and write. I've been enormously productive in the other corners of my life, and this diary just had to hold its horses.

So what have you been doing? I hear you ask.


To start with, I have committed myself to my diet (though I had to hedge a little when Grandmother cooked dinner, she simply cannot grasp the concept of a diet without starch, and really can't grasp that corn and carrots and peas are not actually vegetables) and, with the exception of last night when I had my GSR meeting, I've been going to the gym for my forty minutes of cardio every day. And not only do I feel a lot better, more physically energetic and mentally agile and emotionally positive, I have also lost three whole pounds! Just twelve more to go, and I will have reached my short-term goal of fifteen pounds before New Year's... and I'm already one-fifth of the way there!

It's been a bit of a struggle to stick to the diet, though. It's not a hard diet in and of itself, it's just a matter of eschewing all sugary and starchy foods, avoiding fatty foods when convenient, sharply limiting my bread intake (only in the morning, and then something whole-grain), loading up instead on meat, vegetables, and dairy, and drinking lots and lots and lots of water. But it's mid-November, and my mostly-Nordic-blooded body is telling me to put the fat on for winter, and is rather irritated that I am trying to take the fat off... as a result, I feel terribly hungry a lot of the time, even when I've just eaten.

At first, I found it helpful to drink a bottle of water instead of eating something, it deadened the feeling a bit and did my body some good. But the real issue was that it takes a while to reorient my grocery priorities to the new diet; there were loads of cookies and candies and crackers all around me, and little or nothing good that was on my diet. But now I have assembled a stock of lean lunch-meats and fruits and vegetables and yogurt and cheese to keep at the office and at home, so when I crave a snack, there is something allowable at hand to munch on (not forgetting, of course, to drink lots of water anyway). And in just one week, I've gotten results! Not big results, it's not like my pants are suddenly sagging, but results nonetheless.

My goal after the fat-loss is to discover and redefine the abdominal muscles that I know are lurking under those extra pounds... though I am too much a realist to consider a six-pack as something attainable, or even desirable, I do want to actually see the bones and muscles of my pelvis moving under the skin. I am also working a little on my pecs, trying to isolate with isometrics the upper pectoral muscles (and once isolated and understood, I will weight-train them at the gym), which when built up will drag the loose skin out from under my arms and around my waist without altering my suit or bra sizes.

Soon I will be learning how to strengthen my back so that I don't have a repeat of the injuries I've suffered lately, and then will consider some more intense body-sculpting exercises. I am going to start Pilates lessons, too, as soon as I feel comfortable on the cardio machines again; to prepare, I am trying to stretch my hamstrings so I can touch my toes (an important feature needed for Pilates moves), something I haven't been able to do since I was twelve, and which made Pilates very difficult for me before.

It feels great to simply be doing something about my body again, instead of just passively loathing it. And surprisingly, I am finding myself quite inspired by the acres of gorgeous muscle-boys I've been ogling online all day every day... Most Sexy Guys is my new favorite website, it is constantly being updated, and it's a great site to sort of run in the background and rest my eyes there in between work chores. And while I am fully aware that I shall never, no matter how hard I work, manage to look like a twenty-year-old physique model, and while I understand that even having a nice body is not going to miraculously resolve my body-image issues, I nevertheless find that the dizzying splendors of their bodies spur me to make my own body as close to perfect as I can (without giving up my entire life to the quest, of course).


At work, things are going extremely well... Grandmother suggested to me, when I told her that I find myself dreading going to work in the mornings, that I might try to make my office more pleasant to be in by hanging pictures or moving my desk to where I can see out the windows better. Of course, Grandmother hasn't seen my new office and has no idea why it looks depressing to me, but I did adapt and take her advice... I hung up a couple of posters to add color, and I unpacked all of my framed photographs and put them on my desk; I also opened all the blinds in the atrium next door to my office so I can see out from my desk without having to move it. The results have been remarkable; my office is still a little crowded and depressing, but it is a lot less crowded and depressing after these three little changes.

With the slightly more cheerful atmosphere and my own increasing energy, I was able to get a lot of really big tasks started (and in some cases finished), major and minor-but-no-less-important projects that should have been done in May but which had been put off by unnumbered emergencies, catastrophes, other people's priorities and other people's failures, and of course my own forgetfulness, over and over again all summer; these undone tasks were weighing on my mind more than I had realized, and now having them all in process or finished, I feel that an enormous weight I didn't even know I was carrying has been lifted off of me. The idea of going to work tomorrow doesn't put a sour taste in my mouth.


There are other things I could talk about, a show I did on Sunday and enjoyed and a talk I had with Grandmother that I didn't enjoy but which was nonetheless helpful (from which came her advice on the office), and how now that I am not eating sugary and salty snacks, all of the food I do eat tastes absolutely fantastic... but I am too tired right now.

All in all, things are looking up. I am getting Out From Under the grim weight of unhappiness that I was suffering as recently as last week, and these small changes have brought a ray of sunshine into my life. It is quite refreshing.

Sleeeeeeepy! I am going to go read a book for a while (I'm still on the Anne Rice vampires, of course, and I've moved through Vittorio the Vampire, which isn't very good, and have started on Merrick since last we spoke), and then go to sleepy-byes. I will hopefully be talking to you again soon.


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