Thursday, October 13, 2005
My run with the flu pushed me off track with my gym and weights routine, and screwed my eating habits. Well, no, that's not true. My eating had been getting out of hand again as I was swallowed by stress, most of it having to do with trying to get the rewrites on the fantasy saga done. I felt like Iwas caught up in a tornado and then dropped into a big pool of sludge and I was floundering around, sinking faster and faster with every pitiful stroke...
It's no wonder I was literally bedridden and starving for a week, dreaming of food and the day when I could once again read a book without feeling like I was puzzling out a physics equation written in ancient Egyptian.
My week post-flu was spent being hungry all the time, eating lots of bread, pasta, yogurt, and soup and worrying about how much I was eating.
Last weekend, B came into town and said, "You know, I hate to say this, but you really have lost weight. It's a little disturbing."
Well, yes, it is. Because secretly, I really don't mind the way I look. For all my wishing and hoping that I'd drop two fucking sizes, I really don't mind looking the way I do. I like being substantial. But... but...
Now that the book's gone out, the major stress is off. I'm still living too much with my credit card, but I'm hoping to take care of that by the end of the year. My eating this week has been reasonable and very filling. I feel terribly content. I've been eating a big breakfast, snacking on grapes and yogurt during the day, partaking of communal roommate dinners at night (usually consisting of pasta and salad or fish and salad and asparagus, or eggs and vegetables, and etc.).
I've had no binging stress at all.
And I worried about that.
I worried about my weight, worried that I hadn't been able to get back to the gym, worried about what pancakes for breakfast every morning would do to my waistline. Worry, worry. Not a big worry, just that little, nagging voice, "You're eating too much. You're enjoying yourself. You won't lose weight this way. You're going to be confined to buying clothes from the same 3 stores for the rest of your life."
But nonetheless, there I was, sneaking out of the house last night and going to Borders to look for a list of books about compulsive eating, overeating, and body image.
I spent an hour going from shelf to shelf to shelf. With no luck. I couldn't find any of them.
And as I perused the "Recovery" section of the bookstore, looking at books purporting to cure me of smoking, bulimia, alcoholism, anorexia, and drug addiction, I thought, "What the fuck am I doing here?"
I was struck again at how much time, energy, and effort I put into thinking about dieting, weight loss, body image. It's not on my mind all the time now, but when I get to being worried, when I'm uncertain of myself, this is where I go back to. I think, "If I could just fix this one thing, everything will be all right."
Which is horseshit. Utter, utter horseshit.
I'll still be me. I'm the same person at a size 12 as a size 16. There's no difference.
And the real kicker? The real fucking kicker is that there's nothing wrong with me. I'm totally healthy. I take the stairs everywhere. I walk over an hour every day. I eat reasonably. I have no health problems whatsoever except that I overstress about things. That's going to be the source of any of my ill health problems, not the fact that I weight 200 lbs (or whatever). No doctor has ever told me to lose weight. I don't have any strange aches and pains in my back or my knees. I don't have diabetes. I don't smoke.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with me, and here I'm standing in the "recovery" section like I'm slowly choking to death on whipped cream.
So I left the Recovery section and went to the "General Military History" section and picked up a ridiculous number of books for God's War.
Fuck this shit.
I have more important things to do with my time.
Yea, I'll get back to the gym and hopefully jogging next week, but I don't intend to lose one bloody pound doing it.
I'm so tired of hating myself over a number.
Oddly enough, I've still got God's War slated to be finished by year's end. Not sure how I'll pull that off, but I've got a strong beginning, a strong outline, and strong research. I've taken some downtime for research recently, but this weekened should get me back into the groove.
I'd also really like to get back on the short story route. I'd like to finish:
The Boxing Magicians of Faleen
A story about a boy who wants to be a boxing magician, set in the same world as God's War.
A dark little peice about madness, torture, flying women, and cannibalism. Yay!
I'd also like to send something to a couple of anthologies including Clash of Steel, and From the Trenches (war stories, baby!).
I had a depressing look over at Ralan at the current OK-paying SF/F zines out there, as I've been doing so much work on novels, I've ignored short markets. For good reason, it seems: they're mostly closed to submissions.
Seriously. Some people just suck at interviewing. Margaret Atwood takes her young interviewer to task.
Twisty, now uniboobal, is in recovery.
If you'd like to send her some stuff to peruse, go for it:
What I really need are mystery novels, or old movies, or even some good old patriarchy-affirming yet diverting SF. Email me.
In the eighth grade, I had a science teacher who decided he was going to teach us about health and nutrition and exercise. I really liked the guy, all told, but he really, really didn't like fat people. Well, no, I'll amend that: he didn't understand fat kids.
Let's call him Mr. H.
This made dealing with him kinda tough, because I'd just put on 30lbs of puberty weight, and I wasn't skinny to begin with. I would later lose 20lbs and grow a few inches, but looking back at some of my 8th grade photos, I was startled to see it was my second highest height/weight ratio.
Was I horribly unhealthy? Well, I sure could have used some exercise, and I probably ate too many sweets. But my diet was just as shitty when I was thinner as I hit highschool as it was in the 8th grade - I just didn't eat *as much* shit food. But I sure did *look* "healthier," I'm sure.
In any case, Mr. H. decided it was time to do something about all the fat, unhealthy kids in the class. We did a 2 or 3 month "course" in the class on health and nutrition. So in addition to PE classes, we came to science class and did circuit training and kept food journals. People got to marvel at how much or how little other people ate. I discovered I could do just as many exercises as some of the skinny girls who ate less. And of course, I got my ass kicked by everybody who exercised regularly.
Mr. H. arrived on campus at 6:30 am every morning and went jogging. It's just what he did. He invited other students to join him in these morning jogs. Which was a great thing if you were already in shape and could keep up. People like me would have to work into doing something like that. And, of course, I have. I can jog three miles now. Not a fast three miles, mind you, but I can jog it nonetheless. I can more-or-less find clothes that fit me, though I've got a narrower range of stores to go to than my size 4 roommate, who can shop anywhere.
What I appreciated about Mr. H. is that he did seem to care. What he didn't seem to get, though, is where all the fat kids were coming from. I don't think he got that we didn't feel we could go jogging with him at 6:30 am without feeling like fat lazy slobs because we couldn't keep up. Being harrassed or feeling like a slothful moron at 6:30 am isn't anything anybody wants to experience.
Keeping food journals and then sharing them with your teacher (binge sessions included) and having other kids comment on them isn't fun either. Nor is being compared to an athlete in how many circuit exercises you can do.
Being an overweight kid who's been made fun of everytime you try to do something active (which gets worse, particularly for women, at puberty when you've got all sorts of things jiggling all of the sudden) is pretty off-putting. I'd rather go home and read books.
So it was with in mind that I read this article by a Canadian high school chemistry teacher commenting on the health risks to her "Super Fatty" students:
Another problem is that its a taboo to make fun of fat people. We make fun and harass smokers regularly, but we think its rude to make fun of fat/obese people.
And yet how else will fat/obese people gain the willpower to exercise/eat properly if they don't get negative feedback/concern about their weight.
I MAKE FUN OF YOUR FLABBY BODY BECAUSE I CARE! THAT'S RIGHT JABBA THE HUTT! GET OFF YOUR FAT ASS AND EXERCISE! PUT AWAY THE COCA-COLA AND THE GREASY FOOD! GO WALK IT OFF!
For the record, I can't think of anyone in high school who made fun of smokers.
I can think of a whole hell of a fuck of a lot who made fun of me and others for being chunky, tubby, fat, slothful, ugly, lazy, overweight, obese, bovine-like.
Hear that? Nobody makes fun of fat people enough. That's why high school students don't exercise. That's why they're not keen on understanding nutrition. They's why we never went out running when our uber-friendly science teachers at 6:30 am.
If we just make fun of fat people more often, they'll be thin. It won't depress us and send us into our rooms to binge on cake and ice cream for three days and watch Titanic and cry. And absolutely nothing of our weight has anything to do with genetics, as researched, scientifically and everything, below.
No, we'll be invigorated if we're made fun of! Just like in the Marines! We'll want to go out and get thin!
You want to know what invigorates me to exercise? I want to be strong so I can kick the shit out of assholes like this fucktard.
Those Pesky "Fat Storage" Genes! Just Think How Well the White Folks Would Have Populated the West Without Them
DURHAM, N.C., Oct. 12 - A gene that programs muscle tissue to store fat is over-expressed in obese women, researchers here say, and may be a key reason why dieting fails...
For now the take-home message for clinicians treating obese people is that diet alone is unlikely to have much effect, Dr. Muoio said.
Well, first of all:
2) Why is it always *women* only who get put into these studies? Because fat women are scarier than fat men? Why can't you look at both in the same study? Or do dual studies of men and women?
3) Does it worry anyone else that if we start trying to mess with something like a "fat storage" gene, the more at risk we are of living in a society that looks a lot like Stephen King's novel Thinner?
Though I must say, I'd like to see the girl-gamer version of this. Any takers?
Nerd Porn Auteur
But I don't wanna watch this misogynist he-man woman-hater porn.
I want porno movies that are made with guys like me in mind:
Guys who know that the sexiest thing in the world
is a woman who is smarter than you are...
My porn starlets will come in all shapes and sizes.
My porn starlets will be too busy working on their PhD to go to the gym.
In my kind of porno movies the girls wouldn't even have to get naked.
They'd just take the guys down to the rec room and
beat them repeatedly at chess
and then talk to them for hours about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle
or the underlying social metaphors in the Aliens movies.