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10:35 p.m. - 2004-11-23
Planning is for Losers?
Daily, I am confronted with evidence that I am basically, in the immortal words of Green Day, "a walking contradiction."

Let me back up a little, instead of starting in the middle. I seem to do that a lot....especially with things like toothpaste and Neosporin and lotion....

I was watching my new favorite show, "America's Biggest Loser." I had conveniently planned my gym workout so that I could lift weights and be starting on the cardio part (which involves either music or TV) at precisely the time the show came on. So I did 55 minutes on the bike, and the show wasn't over yet. So I call BFRB, ask her if she's watching it, and if so, can she please make mental notes about what happens, because I cannot possibly pedal any more. I promptly hang up the phone, toss my shit in the gym bag, and run out of the building like it's on fire. I'm all road-raging at the three other cars on the road on the five-minute drive to my apartment. BFRB ushers me quickly inside for the conclusion of the show, wherein Dave was eliminated. I can't decide how I feel about that. (For those of you who don't watch, you could probably skim a little here and not miss much.) At first, he really seemed like a Class-A dick-munch. However, as the show went on, I started to see that maybe he had some things to offer...he was instrumental in the Red Team winning the challenge. Towards the end of the show, too, Ryan started acting like a manipulative freak and pissing everyone off, even though you'd almost liked him at the beginning. (End boring reality-show-plot talk.)

Watching this show is engrossing. On some levels, I think there is no better show for the moment. I think that it's a good opportunity for the non-overweight folks to start understanding that losing weight is not easy. These contestants have trainers, supervised dieting, enforced workouts, the potential for monetary rewards, and they still struggle. At some level, I hope that this will reduce some of the hatred and ignorance I see toward fat people.

On another level, though, I'm afraid that this will make people who are trying to lose weight, lose hope. If people with nothing else to do can't do it, can they? When they are dealing with the stress of life, with family and friends and jobs and money worries and all of the other things that make up their day?

It IS hard. Tonight, FuckStick, BFRB, and KG were all talking. BFRB and KG were done with their workouts. I was starving when I went to the gym, as were they. And they're talking about pizza. And I still have at least 30 more minutes (55, as it ended up). And even with that added time, I can't go home and chow on some greasy pizza, because that will just undo everything I've been working toward.

I think that's been my problem lately. I've been using the workouts to justify bad eating habits. They touched on this subject on the show, too. The trainer sat them all down with a selection of restaurant menus and made them pick things to order that were healthy. Ryan then commented that this exercise really drove home that the weight loss was a lifestyle change...that they would have to make these decisions for the rest of their lives. God, that just seems so know that, not only do you have to work your ass off, you can't reward yourself with food. I think that's the root of my problem. I'm trying to food-reward train myself....and that doesn't work.

So, you may ask, how does this make me contradictory? I am trying to lose weight, not just to be healthy, but to be normal. To not have my inner conflict reflected so obviously on the outside. But at the same time, this quest to be normal almost ensures that I will never be normal. I will never just be able to eat what I want, when I want, and how much I want. I will have to redefine my relationship with food.

See, exercising isn't as hard as the food thing. Exercise causes enough cool changes in your body, and makes you feel empowered enough, that you want to keep doing it (once you get past the initial fear and the initial being completely sore phase, that is). However, food has been a constant your whole life. The changes inflicted by food are even more gradual. And while exercise is usually tied to more positive the feeling of accomplishment, of success, of knowing you can meet a is tied (at least in the minds of a lot of overweight people) with all the bad feelings. Being lonely. Being scared. Being depressed. Being stressed out. Being ridiculed. And so food is a love-hate relationship. Food is where you have gone to stave off the demons, and in the process, has become the biggest demon. The lure of the demon, though, is that it promises instantly giving you what you want. It promises that you will feel better RIGHT NOW, not three years from now. The demon does not make you fact, it promises that you won't have to. You won't have to work through what is making you unhappy. You can just slap a band-aid on that mortal wound and pretend it's soaking up all the blood, when in reality all it does is cause the blood to be forced down deeper where it can do more damage.

I think that's what I'm doing. Peeling off the band-aid and trying to muster up the courage to face what's underneath, to poke and prod and stop the wound from getting any deeper.

BFRB was laughing at me when I came to her house. She said that if, a year ago, she had told me that I would be calling her from the gym asking her for updates on a reality TV show, I would have died laughing. She's right. You can't predict the future. But (and here's the other part of the contradiction thing) you sure as hell try. You plan everything from vacations to career paths to what you want for dinner tomorrow. And you get told to plan for your financial future and your romantic future and your health future. But no matter how intricately you plot the route on the map, you can't know what detours lie ahead.

Shit, I could go on for days and days, but seeing as how the insomnia fairy has visited this week, and I've been busting ass at the gym, and I've been dealing with all sorts of other crap, I'm afraid that any further mental meanderings could lead to dead ends, or bottomless pits, or something. Well, that's just not in the plan for this evening.



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