Monday, August 22, 2011

One Step Forward

181.6 lbs. Okay, more like it.

And I just tuned into the Red Sox/Rangers game to hear Mike Napoli hit a 3 run homer. Mr. Napoli does not play for the Red Sox. I feel a twinge in my spleen....and its name is Eric Bedard (Red Sox pitcher who just gave up the 3 run homer. If you know me, you know I’d like to see John Lackey dropped off the Tobin Bridge in chains and cement. Or handed back to the Angels. He can take Bedard with him.

181.6  is infinitely preferable to 184.4 and, to get the big picture, even better than 224.6. However, I still want to get back below the 177 low point of early July. It’s not so much a matter of self-loathing (although the extra weight that I see does set off the Greek chorus of voices telling me how lazy and spoiled and useless I am and that my obesity is a reflection of my self-indulgence and irresponsibility). I did, in fact, take the end date off of My Net Diary and it’s a good thing because the last day that I had a goal date on there, the recommended maximum food intake was 811 calories. Remember what I said about the Nazis calculating they could keep the concentration camp slaves alive on 800 calories a day?  Danger, Danger, Will Robinson.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, he of the “You On A Diet” and various other books about our healt, beloved of the Great Goddess Oprah, was on the Mark & Brian radio show on Friday talking about (what else) better health (He hardly makes the rounds to talk about fashion). He was in LA to get people to root out and throw away anything with parabens in it (shampoo and such. It’s bad for you), but, of course, he had to get in a few words about excess weight. Okay, I am in favor of losing weight, obviously, but it is necessary to emotionally abuse people in the process? Dr. Oz doesn’t intend to be cruel just for the sake of hurting the feelings of strangers, but even over the radio, you can hear the head shaking in his voice. That kind of Ward Cleaver, “Well, boys, I’m just so disappointed in you” tone.  Dr. Oz reeled off all the risks that come from carrying excess weight in just that tone of voice.

Compare and contrast this to “Dances With Fat”, a blog written by Ragen Chastain that focuses on HAES (Health At Every Size). Ms. Chastain is, if I’m comprehending her point, pushing for people to focus more on how people feeling good about themselves regardless of waist circumference and focus more on things like blood pressure and cholesterol, etc. The kind of talk that Dr. Oz was putting forward was what she would call the “Vague future threat” of the consequences of not losing weight. Again, it’s that Ward Cleaver kind of disapproval. Of course, Ms. Chastain would probably chastise me for my “I want to get rid of this shit around my waist “ attitude as capitulating to an unreachable goal. (Bullshit, by the way). While she has an excellent point about how one should talk to oneself about these issues, she can be a bit shrill from time to time. Of course, so can Dr. Oz.

I might as well look upon all of this as an extension of the Presidential electoral process as it is practiced here in the US today. A little over here makes sense, a little over there makes sense, they’re all busy trashing one another (unless it’s trashing the newest guy on the scene or whoever is leading the pack at the moment) and so much screaming to be the one true path that one just goes deaf. And writes in Mickey Mouse.

This is what I know to be true: I want to be physically stronger. The process of getting there helps lessen the risk of things like osteoporosis and injuries from which it may be difficult to heal. I want greater endurance when I do physically active things. There are people, who are diabetic and far out of shape themselves, who feel it is their right to point out my shortness of breath after walking hard and fast and then launch into a sermon on how I need to drop weight. Not only do I want these people TO SHUT THE FUCK UP, but I’m also unhappy about it. It’s a limitation and I’m not a huge fan of limitations. I want better flexibility. Again, helps prevent injuries and removes limitations. Plus, it makes the chiropractor happy. I like my chiropractor.

I want to feel good about what I eat. Or don’t eat. I want to be satisfied (emotionally and physically) with better and less food. I want to feel energetic and healthy from eating the right stuff. While I’ve never had the experience of anyone (well, anyone outside of my immediate family) telling me “You don’t need to eat that” if I have something sweet or fried on my fork, I say it to myself. And that’s a tough one to beat.

I have been told, by more than one source, that it’s necessary to be at peace with oneself in the present in order to push forward and make it stick. There is a lot truth in that. It can be as easy as making up your mind to do so. It can also be as hard as Chinese algebra. If you have been taught (and self-taught) to be unhappy outside of certain parameters, it can be extremely difficult to overcome. The nail that stands up gets hammered down. I have 35- 39 solid years behind me of nagging, shaming and non-stop emotional, verbal pressure “because we love you and just want you to be happy and you can’t possibly be happy looking like that” affecting my attitudes. You can’t be happy with a bunch of people (whom you used to trust until you’ve spent your 10,000 night alone and had plenty of time to think about their motivations and maybe they don’t really have your best interests at heart) telling you that you shouldn’t be happy as you are. It’s a tough beat. Not impossible, but a tough beat. I think I’ll be breaking in my health insurance’s mental health benefits next.

 “Kill Bill, Vol. I” had the scene of The Bride, newly escaped from a 5 year coma and a hospital bed, lying in the back of a truck willing her big toe to move. It was a huge challenge because this woman’s body had not been obeying her brain or her will for years; why should it start now? She persisted in willing her toes to wiggle. Eventually, they did. And eventually, she walked and moved and was able to dispatch the Crazy 88s with a samurai sword. Since they were trying to kill her, the notion has its appeal.

The number between the toes today was the big toe wiggling for The Bride. Still quite a bit of wiggling to go before I can go after the Crazy 88s.

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