I really should take up smoking

March 31, 2009

And then I thought, wait a minute, maybe I don’t have food or body image issues. What I have are compulsive behavior problems. I gave up nail biting and trichotillomania only to replace them with compulsive fasting and lying awake at night digging for my rib bones beneath the layers of flab. Brad Pilon totally called it in this post. A virtual bitch-slap, and I can’t say that I didn’t need it. I mean, I really do feel relieved. So, thanks to him!

It reminds me of that David Sedaris essay about giving up smoking (via going to Tokyo). Smoking was his compulsion of choice because (among other things), it finally gave him something to do with his hands. Once he took up smoking – presto! –his nervous tics just disappeared.

In related news, on mercola.com, there is a proven! remedy for all that ails you that consists of systematically tapping pressure points on your body throughout the day. I’m not saying this doesn’t work – hey, David Sedaris got rid of his twitching and tiny voices through the magic of nicotine – but how is this different from purposefully developing a nervous tic?

So, compulsion…It’s the behavioral equivalent of a ledge to a mountain climber, that thing that urges you forward and narrows your focus to a pinpoint while the winds die away to an urgent, all encompassing whisper that says Just do it. You feel a pressure building up to this point, so when the action hits, it feels like blowing off steam, like poking holes in yourself to let off the pressure along with the bad blood. You’re not necessarily thinking of anything, really. It’s a trance-like state, maybe akin to meditation in a way. The whole world is encompassed in the locked box of your compulsions. And you think to yourself Your mind is bigger than your prison. And then you feel like a chump for thinking anything so trite and Dr. Phil and unpoetic.

From what I’ve read, cognitive therapy presupposes that a (probably inaccurate) thought or belief precedes any such action. But compulsive over-grooming is also seen in animals. I’m not saying they don’t feel pain, but I doubt they have “thoughts” that they can swap out for “more positive thoughts.” So then you’re left with stress reduction and kitty Prozac.




March 28, 2009

This morning I woke up feeling for my ribs and really had to dig for them; I felt for the double chin and didn’t come up nil. Back fat, check. Sausage legs with huge damn thighs, check. Apologies for any friends who wrote to me and haven’t received a response. I’ve been too busy feeling the weight of my clothes on bits of flesh that have gotten bulgier. No really; it’s the first thing and last thing I think about every day, plus most points in between. I thought about developing a personality so that I wouldn’t have to keep obsessing about my physical self in such a boring fashion, but it turns out that no matter what I do 1) I’m not that interesting, 2) I’m not that smart, 3) I’m not that funny, and 4) I’m not that nice.

I waver on the cutting all dairy out of my diet. You can find all sorts of studies that say that unsweetened yogurt is 1) good, 2) bad, and 3) neutral at best/worse.

It’s funny how on Weight Watchers, the skin on my hands and face got inflamed, cracked and prone to bleeding, and how on low carb, I eventually lost the ability to menstruate. Hahaha. Okay, off to whip up an aloe juice shake.


March 27, 2009

Dieting works if you don’t fall off the wagon and eat FIVE PIECES OF BIRTHDAY ICE CREAM CAKE.


Like Butter

March 26, 2009

Butter is my favorite fat. I’ve tasted duck fat, extra virgin olive oil (I love the powerfully flavored varieties as a finishing touch on salad), coconut oil, organic red palm oil, and assorted others. (Sadly, I have yet to get my hands on lard.) But butter (I go for butter from pastured cows and sometimes the cultured butter) is just so…delicious. I also have a deep fondness for butterfat-rich heavy cream. I’m cool with ghee as a stable cooking fat, but something about the tasty milk solids just makes butter more satisfying to me. I love how it froths in the frying pan before settling down so you can scramble an egg. Was ever a fat made so perfect for frying eggs?

That said, I think tonight I might try my hand at homemade mayonnaise again. Just because I filed so spectacularly last time doesn’t mean this time can’t be a winner. I’m going to poke a hole in the bottom of a Poland Spring bottle for drizzling purposes and bring the egg yolk to room temperature before I start; maybe that will help.

March 25, 2009

Things to remember, definitely:
Bingeing on peanut butter or any nut butter will make you feel very, very sick, very, very fast, and it’s a long lasting sickness (over a week).

Protein powders, even those that purport to be the best tasting protein on the planet, taste disgusting, except for…

Show Me the Whey! – but every time you eat that, you generally feel guilt, because of the artificial ingredients. Although, for some reason, this brand does not taste as artificial as others.

Supreme Protein bars actually taste pretty good (like a cheap candy bar), but you obsess over them and binge on them. (Four in an hour? I mean, come on. No way that’s a good idea.) Same goes for nuts, especially if they are roasted and salted. Raw macadamia nuts might be okay.

Dieting is like playing video games. You can get some good flow going, but it’s a rat race kind of flow. Every milestone is met with relief, not actual happiness. Plus, if you ever reach your goal body fat percentage, it is not really meaningful to you. You are angry that this is what the world would seem to dictate that you be, because of the obsession/compulsions/pain/time sunk in the pursuit of something that doesn’t serve to make you happy.

Martial arts got to be a rat race at the end as well, because I couldn’t keep believing in it. Ditto cognitive science. It felt like the dopamine pathways just fell out of my brain.

How does one keep the faith?

“Oh, what a lucky wolf I am”

March 25, 2009

If Jay Robb’s protein powder is, as its tagline claims, the best tasting protein on the planet, then I am truly dismayed and scared to try the rest. Seriously? Steak has protein and is delicious. Eggs have protein, and I love eggs. Sardines are surprisingly tasty as are herring fillets in wine sauce. Roasted chicken. Shrimp. Bacon, pork, and ham!

My favorite protein powder is Westerly Natural Market’s house brand of chocolate “Show Me the Whey!” It’s totally not primal or paleo, but also doesn’t taste aggressively disgusting.


March 24, 2009

Tried the Atkins “fat fast” (which is pretty much the anti-Paleo/Primal, if you go the (organic) cream cheese route), because I read that it is better at fat burning than simply fasting.

OKAY…I really thought I was going to die. Nothing in my life has ever made me feel so gross and icky and sick on the inside. Oddly, I think my skin loved this brief interval into cream cheese hell, but my internal organs protested too much to go on. I felt like my insides were folding in on themselves, and that can’t be good.

I neither gained nor lost weight or (suspiciously) body fat percentage. On the other hand, I feel soft and squidgy, bloated and weird in all the wrong places, so I think my body composition has suffered. I worked the weight machines at the gym yesterday for all that I’m worth and am fasting (the real deal) today. Undecided as to whether I feel absolutely to unwell to run sprints today.