Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thoughts On How Not Hungry I Am

Fourteen days remaining until the big 4-0. I have managed to reduce myself by six of the eight pounds I am gunning for. Okay, five. It WAS six, but then there was the Chinese Food For Dinner Debacle last night...merely the logical follow-up to the buffalo chicken mac and cheese I had eaten for lunch. Which I then topped off with a cocktail, failing to use lower calorie juice as the mixer. The Chinese Food for Dinner was topped off, I mean. Not the spicy pasta lunch. Because that would have been wrong.

So three pounds to go, with two weeks to make it happen. The great news is that I have achieved the desperately sought after "breaking of the range" that has been the bane of my weight management existence for the last five years. The bad news is that, with the exception of yesterday, I mostly feel like killing everyone in sight just so I can take their food. I'm not too picky about what the food is, either. I may have been tempted to pluck the partially eaten apple out of a complete stranger's hand in the elevator a few days ago, for instance.

My stomach is in a constant state of babble. I believe it is saying, "Seriously, woman. Get me that apple." Or "Would it be so hard for you to throw a cracker in this chicken and vegetable soup?" Or "I've had it up to HERE (stomach indicates dotted line slightly above thin layer of greek yogurt with fruit) with this yogurt. Where's the bacon? Where's my cheesy english muffin? Dammit, woman, this is NOT WHAT I ORDERED!"

I exaggerate. Really, it hasn't been so bad. I'm being very healthy about the whole thing. And I have some experience with this process, having repeated it in about twelve thousand variations since I was a teenager. Proper nutrition is a priority. Okay, reaching this completely superfluous goal by my birthday is actually the priority. But nutrition is right after that.

Let's talk about something else. Let's talk about the completely ridiculous statement that people keep uttering to me about 40 being "just a number". It's just a number! Really? I didn't think of that. Why isn't that comforting? Can anyone tell me? It's not that I'm exactly devastated over this pending birthday. No, not devastated. Angst-y and somewhat disappointed that so much is still undone. Also, curious about what lies ahead. Possibilities and surprises, certainly those lie ahead. Opportunity. Special moments. Also, menopause. Menopause lies ahead. Failing health. Death. So, some not so surprising things. If it's all the same to you, I think I will continue to regard this milestone as slightly more than "just a number." You don't have to play along. But the first person to utter that nonsensical platitude on my actual birthday will wear their slice of cake. Or pie. I'm hoping for key lime pie instead of cake. Now that I think about it, why don't you just go ahead and let that platitude rip - because honestly, I am really freaking hungry, and I don't necessarily want to share my 40th birthday key lime pie with any of you to begin with. Get your own pie.

...Sorry. That outburst was unnecessary. I blame it on low blood sugar. Okay, thanks for stopping by today. Fourteen days and counting.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Winning, Duh.

What a fantastic week I have been having! Simply beyond my wildest dreams. Really, the wonderfulness of each day has just compounded the cumulative joy coursing through my veins. Clearly, I am winning.

On Sunday morning, Future Husband and I managed to carve out a full two hours together. Seeing as I have barely laid eyes on him since that miraculous accomplishment, I remember those hours with a kind of nostalgic fondness. Looking back, I'd say it was foolish of us to squander our time lingering over a leisurely breakfast and talking about the future. What we should have been doing is drafting and running through a family haz mat plan , or boning up on our animal emergency triage skills. (It will be clear momentarily that I've just made an unfortunate pun; let's not get ahead of ourselves.). But no, we chose to devote two costly hours to speaking in full sentences, completing thoughts, and daring to dream. What can you do? What's done is done.

The weekend had gotten off to a bit of a rocky start, so I suppose we thought we deserved the break. We've been having some trouble with our washing machine, you see. About a week earlier, it went crazy and flooded a third of our newly finished basement. It seemed odd, since the washing machine does not even reside on the side of the basement that we finished, that it should deposit so much water onto the floor that it reached across the stairwell to be absorbed by the new carpet. Also, no soap. The final drain cycle, we supposed.

So we had begun the clean up process, called the washing machine repair people, missed being home in time to meet them during the appointed four hour window in the middle of the day, watched the laundry pile achieve the mountainous stage, banned all Tornado friends from visiting our house, and relocated Fifth Grader's chinchilla to higher ground in the first floor bathroom. Chinchilla did not care for her relocation. On Friday night, she decided to climb the side of her cage, possibly looking for a way out. She has very small toes. She lodged one of her very small toes in the corner of her cage, and hung there until Saturday morning when Fifth Grader came to say good morning. She then freaked out while Fifth Grader and I worked to free her. Which we did - free her - but not her toe. It broke off.

Cut to Fifth Grader, chinchilla and I rushing off to the animal hospital, chinchilla's wounded foot wrapped in a washcloth. Slow motion through three hours while chinchilla undergoes surgery to reconstruct her toe with what bone and flesh remains; vet explains painkiller and antibiotic administration requirements to an 11 year old girl; and three hundred dollars is extracted from my checking account. Fifth Grader also briefly complained during this experience that her knee was hurting her. "Huh," I think I said. Then I took them home, collected Seventh Grader, and sped off to spend some more money on lacrosse equipment.

If we leap from Spendthrift Saturday to just after our leisurely breakfast on Sunday, we will see Fifth Grader lovingly doling out chinchilla meds while slightly whimpering, "My knee hurts more than yesterday." If we then skip ahead slightly more, to about an hour after I (again) discounted her complaints of pain, we will begin to notice a very unpleasant aroma wafting up from the just dried basement. If we investigate this horrid smell, we find that incredibly stinky water is gushing into the basement through a hole in the wall, once again flooding both sides and this time getting the job done with finality.

Turns out, the washing machine is fine.

The septic tank? Not so much.

It's all pretty much a blur since then. Moments of awesomeness have included an evening at the laundromat, more money spent on more lacrosse equipment, the appearance and advancement of fever and cough in Seventh Grader, spilling Rodent Motrin on the sleeve of my "dry clean only" blouse, and...I know I'm forgetting something...oh! I did finally get fed up with Fifth Grader walking like Frankenstein's monster and simpering about what was OBVIOUSLY growing pains. To prove my point, I took her to see her doctor on Tuesday after dinner. After examining the little hypochondriac, the doctor bandied about comforting words like "MRI" and "orthopedic doctor", something about "possibly going in with a scope and cleaning out" her knee.

"SEE?" Fifth Grader practically screamed at me.

So right now I have to go check Seventh Grader's temperature. It was down to 100 this morning. Then I guess I better schedule that orthopedic appointment.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How Many Calories in Tiger Blood?

This morning I made a regretful decision. For three months, I have adamantly refused to have anything at all to do with a scale; yet, at 6 a.m. today, for reasons unexplainable, I decided to prove how smart I am by finally stepping aboard.

Oh, man. I am a big dummy.

I think Charlie Sheen must be partially to blame for this misstep. Watching his flagrant dismissal of reality - and clear descent into Cuckoo Land - play out on every available media outlet, I guess I caught a germ of his bravado. Momentarily forgetting that his brand of bravado is largely chemically induced. At any rate, his blameability is highly accessible right now. So I will take my own flagrant dismissal of the reality that one cannot claim her means of estimating her current weight to be the way her jeans fit on any given day, then presume that the reason these jeans are no longer fitting so well is because they must have shrunk in the wash - when, in fact, she wore them multiple times before washing again and this did not make them fit any better - I will point it in the direction of Mr. Tiger Blood In His Veins. He won't even notice.

More likely responsible is the fact that I just finished reading Bridget Jones's Diary. Yes, about fifteen years behind schedule, and long after having seen the movie. Naturally the book is much better; additionally hilarious knowing how the movie version was ultimately cast. Clever, clever casting. Yes, everybody already knew that by now. Shut up. My point: it is written in diary form, with a daily header featuring Ms. Jones's weight and various caloric intakes over the course of an eventful year. I couldn't help but notice that her weight range is basically my own weight range. I also couldn't help but notice how very range-y she was across this range, which caused me to contemplate how narrow my own range has become. Specifically, I seem to have lingered at the higher end of said range for the better part of five years now; most steadily at the low point of the higher range, occasionally ticking up to the high point, and practically never breaking through the low point to visit the middle range. In other words, I have spent five years losing and gaining the exact same five pounds, when what I wanted was to lose that plus maybe another three to five. You know, reach the lower range and then stay there. Three months had passed since I last tortured myself by checking my "progress". Reading this fictitious diary was thoroughly entertaining. Charlie Sheen is crazy. Let's step on that scale.

High point. High range. Nice.

Marry this information to the inescapable facts that in 38 days I will turn 40, and have NOT yet written my own blockbuster debut novel, and have NOT yet married the love of my life, and have NOT yet travelled outside this continent...Ladies and Gentlemen, I now present Me Careening Off the Self Esteem Cliff. You may kiss my ass.

Cue the crazed woman mentally assembling plan to at least reach high end of middle weight range by 40th birthday (in 38 DAYS). See crazed woman veer into CVS on way to work to buy bright yellow notebook for food journal and newest Clean Eating magazine in hopes of finding clean eating versions of edible foods (read: things full of cheese and potatoes and cream sauces). Tread lightly near snarling crazed woman who forced herself to eat fiber rich bar and orange for breakfast and has already written "green salad with chicken breast" in pen under Lunch, therefore having absolutely nothing to look forward to for the rest of the day. She is not to be toyed with, kiddies.

I take consolation in the following:

1. This yellow notebook is very cute, and perhaps will inspire my food journal writing
2. The love of my life has, in fact, put a ring on it
3. Quite a few of my girlfriends have already turned 40 and it does not seem to be end of the world for them
4. There is some scrumptious-looking manicotti on the cover of Clean Eating

Maybe this won't completely suck. Maybe I will write all about it over the next 38 days. Maybe if I buy a lottery ticket I will win millions, which I can spend on an extended stay at a luxurious European health spa - in EUROPE - where I will write freely all day while purifying myself with cucumber and melon-infused delectables.

God, I'm hungry.