I Am That Girl Now

Monday, December 04, 2006

Seriously WHOA there is too much of me today

I just have to say another few things.

My Hub. Oh man. He's trotting around the house in his workout gear, still sweaty and rumpled from his workout, and his shoulders look broader than I remember, possibly because the gut and tire lower down are disappearing, and oh, man. Hottie.

He has discovered a vein in his arm today, compliments of bigger muscles and less fat. Rather, I discovered the vein, and at first he didn't believe me because when he turned his arm to look at it, the vein went away. This is why there are mirrors in the world.

And as final proof of the fact that he has excellent taste, I have introduced him to Maggie's Caustic Musings and he's read about half the archives already. His reaction, upon seeing her workout plans: "Holy crow, she's stronger than I am! Oooh, what's the warm-up? I should totally do this." There is something so delicious about having a husband who's comfortable with female role models; that it's regarding fitness is even more awesome. Between this and his unabashed stealing from Get Ripped, I'm thinking that my next step really needs to be sending him over to Krista's Stumptuous. Hell, I should go there myself. Krista is a goddess.

I keep not getting to the point on my mini-rants about WeightWatchers and calorie counting and the like. [Also, full disclosure: I fully believe that WW's Core program is the best idea they've had in possibly forever.] I saw it put best over on Women to Women: Emotional attachment to ritualized denial — of food, of pleasure, of money, of rest, of sex — is anorexia in another guise. It is an effort to erase a part of yourself or your life that weakens your sense of control. That's it, exactly it; that's what I felt was my problem with WeightWatchers. I'm prone to obsessive behavior, and I have a ton of emotional buttons that get pushed when it comes to food (less now, I think, or at least I seem to have muted their effects), so it wasn't just that I was getting obsessive, but that I felt dependent on being obsessive.

I don't know if I can ever put into words how much I hate being out of control, which is odd because I do it so much. I am my own self-fulfilling prophesy. There's a lot of shame in it, so much wrapped up in not getting caught, but then there's such a thrill in getting away with it and a viscious, nasty feeling of entitlement. I'd sneak to the building next door to work in order to buy Halloween candy, and go through an insane amount of effort not to be spotted with candy; then I'd eat the stuff and likewise go to great lengths to conceal the wrappers from the cleaning lady. Every time I'd spend hours beforehand, sometimes days, working up to the sneaky trip; I'd look forward to work because I'd have that brief time of self-destructive freedom. It was the best part of my day. And I'd eat candy and feel... not better, exactly, but grimly satisfied. It was mine. Mine and mine alone, and none of those other fuckers were going to take it from me or tell me what to do or shame me or even know about it. Of course that made me feel like I had the flu (which apparently I wasn't imagining; that sort of thing can give a person systemic inflammation, so I was literally making myself sick), so I'd be miserable the rest of the day, if not longer.

Looking at that description, it strikes me that the binges were, in a weird way, also about control. It was like I went all split-personality on myself and was striving to take control away from my "captor", who was, of course, ME. Ah, the complex inner tapestry of a control freak. When I got to that stage, pretty much my only option was to let go of the whole thing before I went stark raving bonkers.

The point being, I don't think that WW is good for control-freak personalies like mine. Combined with the fact that I was just plain eating too little, and that too much of that was simple carbohydrates, I messed up my metabolism and my seratonin levels. I wasn't getting anything out of it, after a certain point; I was doing this stuff because I had to do it, but I wasn't getting enough calories, not enough nutrients, not enough protein, I didn't have the oomph to get much out of my exercise, I didn't have enough seratonin to muster enthusiasm for the simple joys in life. It felt like life was just this endless series of tasks. I control-freaked my way into a bad place and was trapped there by the side-effects of what I was doing.

It's all here, if you read back far enough: I was post-WW when I started this blog and so I ended up documenting my slow decent into madness, and the crawl out, thus far. I got burned badly by the whole thing and, yeah, still bitter. Trying to do stuff that will make me healthy without making me crazy is a tough balance to keep; thus far I seem to be managing it, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to go mental again soon. I'm keeping a careful eye on myself where my current projects are concerned, the sugar-free, low-caffeine thing; they're good things but if I start turning militant about them (and I can tell I'm already starting to; you can hear it in my posts lately, oy), I gotta step back and breathe for a while. The MY WAY IS THE ONLY GOOD WAY DOOOOD attitude is a big flashing red light: warning, wackiness will ensue if continuing on this path.

I may end up going to bed early tonight. All this thinking has worn me out.


  • WTF. I turn away for two minutes and you make ANOTHER post.

    So much of what you've written here resonates with me. I just finished typing my own post about why I am giving up my recent Plan, because it is based on counting things, and that feeds into my obsessive personality in a very negative way. I see a lot of us in the WL world say that we are obsessive or have OCD or whatnot, and usually I regard it as a sort of poetic license, but now I'm wondering how much that personality trait and weight problems go together. Must be some connection.

    I might be misreading this, but it sounds like you're saying you have fixed or improved your metabolism and serotonin levels; do you ascribe this to your diet, or are there other factors? I'm fairly convinced I have bad brain chemicals, but I also have a fantastic diet, very similar to yours. Just hoping there's some sort of Happy Button I can push...

    By Blogger M@rla, at 6:23 AM  

  • "brief time of self-destructive freedom"... whoa boy, that is the perfect description.

    and you hit the nail on the head re ww. every time i tried counting points i sacrificed nutrition and became obsessive... arrgh!

    another stunning post, dear meg! any chance of a photo of you and the buff hubster? ;)

    By Anonymous dg, at 9:28 AM  

  • M@rla, I don't think I have great brain chemicals at the moment, and considering that Zoloft is an SSRI I'm not sure I actually have more serotonin now than I did when I was on WW. Believe me when I say that this is making me very, very nervous about the idea of getting off the big Z. I'm really hoping that offloading the simple carbs/sugar and cutting out the caffeine will cut out some of the stresses on my body; beyond that, I don't know what else to do. Cross my fingers, I guess. It's entirely possible that I might be stuck on this damn drug for a long time.

    My metabolism is straightening out through the six-meals-per-day, protein/complex carb balance thing, and by adding muscle (not that I've got that much yet). I can actually stay warm in the wintertime now, whereas a few years ago I would be bundled up and just dying of the cold in merely moderate temperatures.

    I don't know. Mostly what I've figured out is what seriously DID NOT WORK for me. And, yeah, I suspect that a lot of us in the diet-blogosphere are a bit on the OCD side, but I've yet to figure out how that factors in.

    DG, no pics yet. I'll let you know. ;-)

    By Blogger Meg, at 12:22 PM  

  • Interesting that you should say that because I just read a study saying there is now thought that eating disorders and OCD have a connection. An article in January's Oprah magazine implies the same thing.

    By Blogger WifeMomChocoholic, at 2:25 PM  

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