Raging Ambivalence

So, once again, I am attempting some kind of weight loss. Surprise!

Actually it is kind of a surprise. I wasn’t sure I would ever go down this road again, considering the trail of failure that drags behind me back to the age of 14. There’s always temporary success, yes, but ultimately failure. That, plus being on the “self-acceptance” track for a few years now has kept me from wanting to pay attention to my weight.

But if I’m being honest with myself I AM UNCOMFORTABLE at this weight. I don’t have much stamina. I start huffing & puffing after very little activity, and that’s going to be a problem if I want to go to Italy in the fall. I need to be able to do a lot of walking around.

So. This topic came up at my last visit to the rheumatologist, and he gave me a referral to the “Center for Lifestyle Management” at Northwestern. That’s a lovely euphemism, isn’t it? Couldn’t we all use some “lifestyle management?” I called in October and couldn’t get an appointment until JANUARY. Which means they’re either doing bang-up business or only see one person a day. I’m not sure which.

I am now living on 1400 calories a day, WHICH DOES NOT FEEL LIKE MUCH. I’m also keeping track of everything I eat, which is one of the things I always hated about being on a weight loss program. The constant evaluation and categorization of everything I eat or think about eating. How many calories does this have? How many calories do I have left today? How much of this is one serving? FIFTEEN tortilla chips is a serving? AAUUUUGGHHHHH. I just want to eat what I want to eat when I want to eat it and not think about it. But that’s no doubt part of the reason I weigh what I do, so I just have to get over the idea that I can’t do that anymore. The torturous task of food tracking is a bit easier now, thanks to the fancy phone apps that have practically every food known to humankind already analyzed and imported and all you have to do is click to add it to your diary. I’ve been doing it for about a week and a half now.

I weighed myself after the first week, and I’d lost eight pounds. I felt both good and “so what?” about it. There was very little of that past elation that came with weight loss. Because let’s be honest, you can’t weigh what I weigh, cut yourself back to 1400 calories a day and not lose at least five pounds in a week. Yes, I still had to actually do it, but this is the easy part. I know this. I have done this enough times to know that the first few months are easy. I can lose at least 20 pounds by Memorial Day, probably. But after six months, eight months, the weight loss starts to taper, every pound is hard-won, and the urge to eat 1400 calories worth of ice cream in one sitting will get harder to ignore. I HAVE DONE THIS ALL BEFORE. I’m having difficulty seeing how things will be different this time. But I’m going to do the work for as long as I can, and see what happens. I’m trying to take a page from the rehab world and narrow my focus to “one day at a time.” I’m very good at sending myself to the future and examining all the ways my failure was inevitable. I need to spend less time doing that. Be Here Now, and all those bullshit clichés that are actually really important.

I’m hesitant to even publish this, because I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want this to be the focal point of my life (that’s another thing I hate about doing this. It takes so much mental energy). And I don’t want to be a food martyr. “Oh, I can’t eat that!” “Oh, I wish I could have seconds!” “Oh, I miss eating pizza!” It’s such a tiresome topic.

So let’s not talk about it, okay? I just needed to get some of this out of my system.

Raging Ambivalence