Supersize v. Superskinny

Glory!

I’m late to the reality-TV party, but I recently discovered the UK show Supersize v. Superskinny, which is kinda reality-TV because they are real people taking part in a filmed interactive situation. But this show uses its shock value for a very constructive purpose rather than just for entertainment. Basically, Dr. Christian Jessen, often just called Dr. Christian, guides one obese and one near-anorexic person to learn from him and each other, in order to revampt their eating habits. Dr. C, with his sensible comments and caring voice, has taken up residence in my mind along with my favourite participants, and encourages me now.

Two different people each week meet and compare visual display of a week’s worth of food. They are each going to have to eat what the other one did in the past week, as recorded in a food diary. They enter the feeding clinic and the skinny person is presented with a vast dinner, often followed by unwanted snacks. The fat person gets some sad excuse for a meal, like a chocolate bar, a piece of toast and an energy drink, or if they’re really lucky, decent food, but a portion fit for a four-year old.

So this past week, I set up a “feeding clinic” for myself. No one else here, just the show participants and Dr. C to cheer me on. From the show, I learned that you can reset your appetite. I planned three sensible meals a day for myself, and a protein shake as an option if rushed or heading out for a long swim and the like. Currently the two key points for me are to do without snacking, and to make a plan and follow it. I already eat high quality food made from scratch, for the most part, and now that is exclusive. No more fast food burgers and other not-great stuff I’ve enjoyed in the past. Time and again the supersizers suffered through some hunger but pretty soon were okay with their tiny portions. I can only guess their bodies started burning a bit of fat.

Amazingly, most of these people started to look noticeably better after several days in the clinic, especially people who were there for a whole week, and especially the super-skinnies. Even though they were often eating takeaway food with lots of bad fats and carbs, just getting more calories put colour in their face and took away some gauntness, immediately. I also noticed after the first day on my feeding clinic, immediately my complexion looked clearer, just like most of the supersized folks on the show.

So, I got a bit of glory. I found something that I know will work. I saw it work for many others. Planning your meals is not a new thing, but it’s something I resisted till now. I like flexibility, but now I need control. I always cooked in bulk and saved it in the fridge and freezer for meal convenience, so I’m used to that level of planning, but the point is here is planning for portion control. Limit intake to three meal periods and a scoop of protein if necessary. So far I’m not defining the meal portion extremely. That will be the next step, once I have the 3 meals without snacks habit down pat. I’m quite sure this alone will make a decent difference, as I was quite the opportunistic grazer up till now.

It’s great to have a plan I can believe in, live by, and refine, and be free from emotional eating. Yes, I had a few thoughts of indulgence over the past few days, but I focused on my goal to get through to a new state of being, like the peiople in the show. They are sent off for a few weeks or months and come back to reveal their results. They are encouraged to continue beyond that. Unfortunately, I won’t have a feeding clinic buddy to keep in touch with, but I can at least remember a lot of the delightful and inspiring people who have been on that show.

Just one thing about me – I’ve never been a dieter. My life has been going through hell the past two years, due to my marriage breakdown. I did manage to lose some weight during the separation part of that, but gained more than half of it back. Yoyoing is not fun and I don’t want that pattern to repeat. I’m taking it slow, steady, and comfortable (except being willing to feel hungry while adjusting), so it can be a solid lifestyle change.

I know all the supersizers and superskinnies and Dr. C would wish me success.

 

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Glorious soil

Glorious soil

Spent some time reading up on something that is a genuine interest, soil. Picked some cukes from my garden, too. They’ve been slow coming this year. Was not a good garden year with the cold spring and overheated midsummer. My beans wouldn’t even set fruit for quite a while there during the heat wave. It just cooked the pollen before it could get down the tube, I understand.

I want to have a life, finally. I want a real job, something with some meaning and purpose. I want to be connected to people who share interests, like in soil and science and soil science. I’ll probably live another 30-40 years, given how healthy I am. In the pre-industrial era, 30-40 years is basically a lifetime, I tell myself, so there’s still time to start over. I’m not ready to retire and shutdown. I feel much younger than my years, anyway.

I want all these things. What am I doing to get them, besides reading about biogeochemistry? Well, I researched jobs and applied to ones I thought I could do and would want to do. Didn’t get a job, though. I’m trying to sell my old truck and get moved out of here. I’m trying to buy my own place, either an apartment in the Fraser Valley somewhere or a house further afield. I need a change. This is a really good building, but I’m tired of renting and I want out of the building where my ex still lives and where I spent most of my ill-fated marriage.

I want connection. Friends. Community. Why is that so hard? I never had those. I thought my soil, my personal stock of attributes, was rich. But nothing’s growing, not those things I want and need, anyway.

Talk about – pop music

This won’t be an essay.

I love pop music. From the 1920s backward to folk music and early music of the Renaissance and beyond to classical times, and from the 1920s forward even to some rap music, I have taken great pleasure. But I’m also a word freak and I do hear the lyrics. I was an English teacher; when Paul McCartney said in one of his rare false moves, “world in which we live in,” it grated on my ear. But what really grates on my lately is objectification of humans.

In some shop today, the lovely Watching the detectives by Elvis Costello washed over me, causing me to start to twitch to the ska beat. He was writing ABOUT objectification in a clever way, as always. Sadly, the next song was Put a ring on it (I think that’s the title) by Beyonce. What a disgusting way to describe oneself. “I am an object; if you like IT put a ring on IT.” It’s right down there with, I’m in love with your body.  I have no idea who wrote or sang it, nor do I care, but I wish they had never existed to write such a vile lyric. But, I guess people really think this way. And, yes, the truth hurts.

Sexy

The title is wrong. Sexy means something that turns you on sexually, right? Or, maybe… maybe it’s just a feeling of being alive and fluid in your body, okay with it, enjoying it. My body ain’t perfect by far. Last post I called it FatBoringOld like the Monty Python sketch of Mr. and Mrs. Git.

Sexy is the sun on your back and a breeze on your sweaty lower back, cooling, despite the sun. Feeling free and comfortable in your body, despite its gross imperfections to those concerned with such things. It’s heat and cool in best proportions.

It’s fabric that hangs or clings comfortably, and I stumbled upon this the other day.

Ridiculously, we had an old piece of nightgown fabric to block the drafts from the door. It was the bottom half of a nightgown, the bodice cut out and thrown away. So, less than half a metre of cotton fabric, with a lettuce edge. After the separation and divorce, I inherited this scrap, which had been rolled up to block the door. I washed it, thinking it’d make a good cleaning rag, being cotton.

In some moment of whimsy I tied a knot in it and made a shoulder baring top out of it.  It’s my favourite cool summer top to wear. Should take a pic and post it. I actually walked around the mall in it, one day. I saw male eyes glancing at my shoulders or perhaps the audacity of Ms. FBO Git walking around half naked.

Cool cotton, and I love the way it drapes. The folds conceal the belly bulge. The knot enhances the chest. Despite being roly-poly, none of that is in my chest, proportionally. The knot does the trick, bulging outward, competing with the belly.  If I could make this into a product, I’d make millions.  Maybe I shouldn’t post this moneymaking secret!

But I sure enjoy it. I’m wearing it now. Gonna make more like it out of other fabric. It’ll be my uniform. Bare shoulders in the breeze. Mmm.

Bike lanes

Bike lanes

So, all the hullaballoo on the street the last few nights was about painting on these new bike lanes. The bike symbol, though is not new. I donno if you can see that it’s slightly yellowish or faded compared the other other white lines, but in person it’s more obvious than in my photo.

Now the bike symbol is in a place where people are actually supposed to park. The drivers of cars int he back of the picture haven’t figured that out yet. I see my neighbour’s old truck is there, too, on the opposite side of the street. Maybe it didn’t get towe “away” last night but just out of the way – across the street. So, yeah, my interference was not needed. Hmm!

I didn’t understand the new bike lanes at first either. I thought, wow, that looks like a good way to be doored, if you cycle on the new paint. But that’s because people are parked in the bike lane.

I think this’ll function as traffic calming, too, because the road has been greatly narrowed and it’ll be less easy to go speeding through at 60 kmh, which is not uncommon. Or faster. Or maybe there’ll be more accidents now.

I’m a cyclist, and it seems like a bizarre way to make a bike lane, but maybe it’ll work. I donno.

Parking has been decreased on the street now. Since parking was already tight here much of the time, I’m sure drivers will complain, possibly blaming it on cyclists.

 

Anxiety

Anxiety

Well, I done good as my old high school principal used to say. “Ya done good,” a verbal backslap.

I’m cultivating my own peace within, on top of maintaining the body connection. Sure, I just screamed aloud at the Nth irritation here, someone who keeps walking past my window with a crying brat, which happened half a dozen times today. But other than that, I’m doing great with this hyper-alertness that has plagued me.  I recently realized it’s a form of anxiety.

There was a selfish elephant at the swimming pool this morning that joined my lane and hit and kicked me every time he passed. And other annoying behaviours, including when I confronted him on it. There was a selfish neighbour emptying her dust pan several floors up. Her balcony is the source of the sunflower seed shells I get daily, and now apparently this filth that coats my plants, also. And now apparently a boomcar parked outside my apartment. But, no! No, it was over 2 blocks away, believe it or not, a deejay at the outdoor pool. Why and WTF ever for? It was an amazingly long walk, with the ground reverberating through my shoes. And they have turned it down quite a bit. And I left a note for the landlord about the dirt-neighbour and talked to the lifeguard about the elephant-swimmer (someone who takes more than half the area within the lanes) and the swim-slob kept the lane and I got a big lane to myself over in the deep end. Didn’t know there was a lane there! Fine. I’m not scared of the deep end and no more elephants or other nonsharing selfish people joined.

But the main thing is writing that didn’t make me hotter under the collar. After confronting the boom-bass at the swimming outdoor pool, my body was not in a high state of alert, like it always has been in the past. I wasn’t trembling with anger. Apparently my week of cultivating calm, no matter what, is working. And the shitty things I’ve dredged up just now seem relatively far away, even though they all happened today. Today I focused on getting things done and not wasting time in rage and amazement at how shitty people can be.

Triumph and glory. Despite those people.

 

Gratitude

Lately, I’ve realized that despite feeling quite alone and unsupported, actually my various friends have given me quite a lot of support. One gave me a big monitor, bigger than the one I have. It’s nice, makes work easier and play a little richer. Two others let me stay at their homes while I travelled to a conference. They appreciated talking to me. They fed me. Thay had time for me! Even my ex wanted to help me.

One of them even dumped out three days of my urine and toilet paper from a chemical toilet in the camper. Now, that’s a true friend, no? Last time I made sure to empty that toilet myself. I had to ask for help how to do it. I bet usually she does it for everyone, but I felt like I should take care of my own bodily fluids, ya know?

And then today I got a chunk of good luck, a bit of freedom. My divorce papers came through. There was some technical glitch with the format, so they were refused last month, but the kind registry clerk took pity on me and resubmitted it to another judge, who ended up approving it. Whew! I’ve been hoping and hoping for that all month, because my ex got into blaming mode and didn’t want to redo the papers, even though it was all by consent. Even though I redid the papers and printed it for him. But now it’s done, and I feel numb. I never wanted to be divorced, but since that’s what he wanted, I’m glad it’s finished.

So what about gratitude? Yes, I’m grateful for the luck today and when the clerk took pity on me, but I’ve talked to people who say gratitude changed their lives. I need my life to change! I don’t want my life the way it’s been. I tried to practice gratitude, but it didn’t do much for me. I read a lot about it. I tried the exercises repeatedly. So… anyone of the very few rarified people reading here have the solution? I don’t know. Life ain’t worth living, and I’m trying to change that.