Mea Culpa

Due to my admittedly severely lacking vocabulary…and a stupid quiz on Facebook about a year ago that tested your word stock, I signed up for a daily word through Merriam-Webster in a small effort to help boost my knowledge. I’m happy to report there has been a small amount of words I didn’t know, so good for me for expanding my little world. One of the WoD this week was “mea culpa”: noun: an acknowledgment of one’s fault or error; Latin meaning “by my fault.” I wish to have this phrase inscribed in my tombstone, please and thank you.

I would like to mea culpa the fuck out of this post. I also apologize for not knowing how to use the phrase in context, apparently. Mea culpa…?

I would like to start off by confessing I have had a week. Not necessarily good, not exactly rotten, but that kind of week where you teeter precariously between the two. Why? Because I bought a scale shortly after Christmas and have been weighing myself daily, that’s why.

I’m not sure what happened exactly, but after Christmas, I lost weight. I lost a decent amount of weight, as in six pounds. I have no idea how I lost six pounds, but by golly, I lost six pounds. And then I lost two more pounds. At one point, I got to 194, which of course put me over the goddamn moon. Elated, I was. Thrilled.

Then, then I gained eight pounds last week somewhere. I’m participating in a clinic-wide weight loss challenge at work and we weigh in weekly. It was $5 to sign up and if you gain weight at the weighing in, you have to pony up $0.50. Imagine my utter dismay and feelings of betrayal and inadequacy when I hopped on the scale and found out I had gained. This obviously and clearly paved the way for my mood the rest of the week and boy howdy, was it ever a foul one. Enter the familiar thoughts of “you fucking suck,” “you’re always going to be fat,” and “give up now, you fat fuck.” You know, real positive, happy-feely shit like that.

What could have possibly caused me to gain eight motherfucking pounds in a week?! I haven’t eaten anything to constitute an eight pound gain! I’ve gone to the gym! I met with a friend of mine to ride our bikes in her basement on her trainers! What the motherFUCK?!

I had to try to talk myself off the proverbial ledge. I hadn’t been the best with drinking water, so most likely fluid retention because I would have had to gorge on over 3,500 calories a day in order to gain fat weight. Okay, that’s feasible. The trainer at the gym also kicked my butt fairly solidly, as well. I did the other days I went to the gym, too. This could be my body going “you know what? Fuck you,” and adjusting to this. I also know a person’s weight fluctuates naturally throughout the day, so okay, start tiptoeing away from the edge, woman. Be rational and logical here, for chrissakes (lollolol).

Despite my talking to myself about probable causes, I couldn’t shake it. I felt disgusting. I felt I looked like I still weighed almost 260 pounds. Ridiculous. I fell off the wagon slightly for about two days, too. I had the feeling of defeat and well, I wanted to give up. Might as well, right? You’ve proven you can’t maintain this, or make any more progress, so let me throw this towel in. Fuck it. We had a food day at work mid-week and I grazed off all the snacks all day long. In retrospect, I don’t think I ate as poorly as I certainly could have and used to frequently and daily, but after six months of changing my food habits, it definitely felt like I was eating nothing but pure garbage.

I think I finally snapped out of it Thursday. The friend I rode with Saturday sold me her old trainer for a song and a dance, so when I got home that night from work, I rode. I rode Friday morning and met with the trainer in the afternoon. I rode this morning and then went to the gym afterwards. I’ll ride tomorrow morning and hit the gym again. I’ll ride, I’ll ride, I’ll ride.

On a positive note, I am rather fond of the bike trainer and am so grateful my friend decided to sell it to me. It’s a simple gadget, but effective. I have not been that drenched while performing an exercise in a while, so to pretend my sweat was all the negative, nasty things I’ve said about myself this past week was pouring out of me as I pedaled? That was a good thing. I’m still fairly green when it comes to this cycling game, but that’s okay. I know enough to make it work, and you only get better by repetition, right? Right. I also somewhat foolishly signed up to do a 62 mile ride in May, in addition to the other long charitable rides I like to do, so hopefully this spring and summer is the one where I am efficient at cycling and don’t feel like dying after I ride…save the still smoking thing, which you know, but whatever.

Thank you for the trainer, Sandra. It might be my savior.

I was texting with my best friend earlier today and she mentioned that she would always be there for me if I needed to talk and I had to chuckle at that. This bitch has known me for fifteen years and I would think by now she knows getting to open up and be that dreaded vulnerable word is excruciating to me, but bless her heart for offering. I’m glad she hasn’t given up on me yet, despite having plenty of opportunities to do so. I’ve discovered I must be truly awful to be around because my friend base seems to be shrinking. Mea culpa…? Did I use that right this time? Probably not. Dang it!

Since PIC left, I’ve been isolating myself, even more than I usually do. I eat, I work, I go to the gym, and I go to the grocery store. Those are my three happenin’ hangouts. Truth be told, I’m mostly okay with this. I have learned I do actually enjoy being alone, but feeling lonely gets to me. I miss PIC, not that he and I were constantly together, but quality not quantity. I haven’t been right since he’s been gone and I suspect it’ll be a good, long time before I am.

When my dad’s last wife died (Jesus Christ, man) in 2009, I don’t know if I’ll ever forget him falling to his knees beside her hospital bed in the living room, clasping her cold, dead hands in his, and wailing about never loving anyone ever again, and by god, that stubborn fuck kept to his word. He spent the remainder of his life by himself. I remember thinking that so overly dramatic and attributed it to the intense grief and pain he felt at her unfair loss due to cancer, but I admit I kind of understand it now to an extent. PIC and I have/had a unique dynamic. I mean it when I say that he’s one of the very few people that I can tolerate for extended amounts of time and not feel like murdering him. Only a little bit. (Joke, mostly.) We have a tremendous rapport, or at least I think we do, and I love(d) being around him, even though I wasn’t always the best at showing it. He quieted my constantly thinking mind, and to find that kind of peace around someone is rare. But he’s gone now, and I feel empty. I use the gym as a way to preoccupy myself. I mean, the poor guy didn’t die, but some days it feels that way. I don’t mean to equate his moving away to how my father felt losing his wife because that’s a bit over the top, but I do understand it much better now.

The dramatic apple doesn’t fall far from the dramatic apple tree, I type as I flail my arm over my face, falling onto my velvet chaise lounge, waving my silk handkerchief, as I sob loudly. Kidding. My chaise lounge is more of a tweed fabric.

Sorry for the weirdness; I decided to imbibe in some wine this evening and apparently when you go from being a borderline alcoholic to drinking rarely now, this shit hits you a little harder. I’m also sleepy as heck, but that could also be because I get up at 3am. Or the wine. Or both. I’ve had a single glass and I’ve been nursing it for the last hour. Jesus wept over my intolerance to his sauce now! Not a bad thing, by any means.

Speaking of booze, the popular thing all the kids on Facebook have been sharing this week is the 10 year aging thing, aka “thanks for updating our facial recognition, schmucks!” I found a photo of myself from 2008 that truly horrified me for a lot of reasons. It was taken in the bar I used to frequent twice a week. I am at my absolute heaviest weight, almost pushing 270 pounds. My cheeks are red–guessing from the copious amounts of alcohol consumption I used to drink back then–and my skin looks awful. It’s pale save the cheeks, and I had a breakout. I saw that picture and gasped. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it and I did the side-by-side comparison and sweet lord have mercy on us all. It was quite stark in the contrast. Yikes.

That’s all for tonight. I’m tired. I’ve lost steam as I write, so no rambling on for over 3,000 words tonight. Consider it my gift, but thank you for reading, as always.

E

Thinner

Not to be confused with the Stephen King book of the same title. As far as I know, I haven’t hit a gypsy with my car and had a curse put on me to make me lose weight, but if this were a new fad diet, people would be out in the streets trying to hit folks with their vehicles because people are extremely fucking weird about wanting to lose weight quickly. I’m looking at you, pill that contained tapeworm eggs. No, really. Here.

Speaking of people being weird about weight loss, please allow me to point something out. People are very odd when it comes to weight loss and I’ve been noticing just how odd lately because it’s truly fascinating. In general, people are happy for you and offer their congratulations and say things like, “you’re an inspiration!” which is nice. Thank you for acknowledging how difficult it is, and thank you for the kind words and encouragement. This next bit seems cocky and I absolutely do not mean to be so, but a small percentage can’t hide their jealousy over significant weight loss well. They try to, but end up making backhanded comments instead and I get it, man, I do. It’s an admirable and daunting task to undertake and requires some major changes in a lot of personal areas in your life–dietary, emotional, physical, etc. It’s not necessarily willpower at play to keep on going, but your dedication to stay motivated, if that makes sense. For example, someone brings donuts to work and you just ate breakfast, but god-fucking-damn it, those donuts beat the pants off the oatmeal and yogurt you choked down earlier and a donut won’t kill ya. Right, it won’t. Donut murders have been on the decline in recent years, thank goodness. It was getting a little out of control there for a while.

Pop quiz, hot shot: do you reach for the donut and eat it, promising to atone for it later by going to the gym to work it off, or do you pass it by because seriously, you just ate and you know that if you eat it, you’ll have a sugar crash later and feel like dogshit? Surprisingly, both options are fine–eat the goddamn donut because YOLO, or not. What kicks people squarely in the pants is their attitude about what they chose to do and why they chose to do it. You eat the donut but you will then punish yourself for eating it by going to the gym. That’s a dangerous game to play, friends. Going to the gym should be rewarding and a stress reliever, not penance for eating and causing more stress. By choosing to pass on the donut, you’re practicing your dedication to stay on track and listening to your body by recognizing that you just ate, and you’re satisfied by what you ate, and by eating again so soon will push you to uncomfortable levels as well as make you feel the undesired effects of eating something so nutritionally empty. That’s called mindful eating, my dudes. It’s cool. Anyway, the folks who ate the donut then beat themselves up for it because they knew they shouldn’t have but gosh dang it, it was there and I wanted it and then they see the people who didn’t eat it and get a tinge of jealousy because they caved and ate it while Diety McDietface over here didn’t and she’s a bitch and I hate her and look at her losing weight, that cunt! See what I mean? People are weird about food and weight loss.

Another one I get often is comparison or competition. “You better not lose more weight than me!” Okay…? How about you worry about you and what you’re doing and I’ll be over here doing the same. The endgame here is getting to a healthy weight at a safe rate of time, not how quickly someone can lose it. Good lord, I swear.

I’m no dietitian, but I had a weird moment earlier today when that’s what I thought I wanted to be when I grow up, ditching the current course for nursing, which at the rate I’ve been going the last eighteen months, I should have my nursing degree in about six more years. If life were simple and linear and went exactly as a person wanted it to, I’d be starting the core classes for the nursing program when the winter quarter begins this coming Monday, but life is goddamn rough, acts like a drunken white girl after too many glasses of rosé, and never, ever, ever goes precisely as planned or desired. Thanks, life! I hate you, too!

Why did I have one of my patented “well heck, maybe I should try this instead” moments? Excellent question. Thank you for asking. Please let me expand on that. Because I think I maybe have reached a point in this weight loss road trip* where I am finally getting comfortable-ish with what’s happening to me and I had a brief thought this morning of “hey. The dietitian I saw was pretty dang helpful to me. I like to be helpful, and maybe I’d make a good dietitian, too.”

*Side note: I absolutely refuse to use the word “journey” to describe anything. Oh, what a journey it’s been! I’m on a weight loss journey! Look at me as I embark on this journey! No. Screw that. Journeys are for hobbits and women named Kathy/Kathie/Cathy/Cathie/Quathy/Quathie who sell Avon or MaryKay. It evokes images of bored housewives who decided to start food blogs called Two Peas and Their Pod or The Crumbly Cookie Mommy to escape the living hell their lives really are. “Hi! I’m Savannah and I’m the proud stay-at-home mommy of three beautiful–but exhausting–kids, wife, chauffeur to ballet and soccer practice, and amateur baker! I love my family, Jesus, and baking–not in that order, though! LOL!” I wish I had just made that up to be a snarky bitch, but one of my odd hobbies is browsing the internet for recipes where food blogs are prevalent and nearly every single personal bio in the top righthand corner of the blog is identical to that. Jesus wept, y’all.

Anyway, I had a momentary thought of potential career change earlier and went so far as to look at websites of schools offering a program in such and submitted my name and phone number to be called by a perky recruiter from the school. I blame it on the fact I’ve been sick the last two days and I was delirious. The shit of it is, I do actually think it would be a fun and rewarding career move. At the last day of fat class last month, the dietitian got a bit choked up and struggled to speak for a moment because she expressed how the last night is always her favorite because of seeing how far we’ve come on our journey. Snark aside, it was a touching moment and I admit I got a bit verklempt myself because gosh dang it, it was pretty dang neat, especially the slideshow she put together. At the start of class in July, we took our “before” pictures and a week before class ended, our “after” ones and she did the side-by-side comparison and man, it was wild. Being able to guide someone through a better eating plan, help them with meals and the hidden psychology behind eating, and hopefully being able to join them as they reach their goals and show them the results and say, “well, would ya look at what you did?” That’s some powerful stuff right there and honestly, I think that would be incredible. But then, because there’s always a but, I got to thinking about what insufferable a-holes some people can be to work with and the alarming level of ignorance people have regarding certain issues and I don’t know if I could hack it. My patience isn’t nearly as great as I like to think it is and I just know I’d end up calling some poor woman a fucking idiot for doing a keto diet and suddenly having high cholesterol. But then, how that differs from my current job where I work with college students and the asinine reasons they visit the health center (hangnails, wanting to get tested for cancer because their best friend’s grandpa has cancer and they were around them one time, etc…), I think I’d be able to manage. Maybe.

As mentioned, I’m verrrrrrrry slooooooowly coming to terms with the changes to my body. As it stands, I have what I affectionately refer to as “perpetual fat girl brain,” meaning despite the pounds I’ve lost, I still see myself weighing and looking exactly as I do now as I did back six months ago, even though I am now a snug size 12 from a snug size 20 and have finally finally broke out under 200 pounds. Finally. As of this morning, in my birthday suit, I clocked in at 197.6 pounds. Everyone, do you have any idea how long it has been since I’ve been under 200 pounds? Seventeen years, that’s how long. That was my very first attempt at weight loss, when I was the tender age of 20 and got talked into doing a program called Diet Center with my mom. We both lost a terrific amount of weight back then. I then got married and the old “well, I don’t have to make myself physically appealing anymore because I got a ring on it” mentality set in and oopies, hello all sixty-five pounds I lost! Welcome back!

I do need to reiterate that the process of getting rid of the PFGB is tedious. I still don’t know what size to buy in clothes, which is an achievement because I have been so anxious to replace clothes, I was avoiding it, but now I’m starting to buy a few items. While in Idaho for Christmas last week, my mom, sister-in-law, and I went to the mall and stopped in Victoria’s Secret and they were having an underpants sale and I was rummaging through the XLs and my mom was all, “you idiot. There’s no way you can fit in that size.” I was all, “oh shit, you’re right, they usually don’t fit me anyway,” but she meant that the XL size would be too big for me. Oh. Okay. I guess that makes sense.

Hey, ‘member in the movie “Shallow Hal” with Jack Black and Gwenyth Paltrow where Gwenyth was a morbidly obese woman and Jack Black got hypnotized to see the “real beauty” in people instead of the outward appearances of people and he was talking to his best friend (played by the always dazzling Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame) about some women they had met at the bar the night before and Jack Black said something along the lines of how girls who used to be fat chicks but lost weight and got really hot are the best because they still have the personalities of fat chicks but are actually attractive now? It’s a really terrible movie to be honest, and definitely one of the Farrelly Bros worst films, but that’s neither here nor there. The weird point I’m trying to make is that as incredibly awful and outright mean as it is, I have that same mindset. I’m by no means saying I am attractive, but there’s some hidden truth to that, in a fucked-up way. Having been overweight since I was 13 and getting picked on and bullied for my weight during high school, a person develops a certain defense mechanism against people. The old cliché is that fat chicks are hilarious because the good lord fucked them in the body department so we have to compensate for our lack of gorgeous bodies somehow and well, let’s just hone a wicked sense of humor instead. People love funny people! You may be fat but at least you’re funny! And ta da! I’m not entertaining naturally, friends. Oh, no. I’m funny because I goddamn had to learn to be to keep assholes off my back. I’m too long in the tooth to rectify that behavior now, and I secretly think I’m going to regain all the weight again, so let us not get too carried away with the self-esteem and body positivity here, Erin Elizabeth. Slow that horse down and don’t get cocky.

Have I mentioned I started seeing another dietitian? But this one specializes in disordered eating and the mindfuck involved in that. I only bring this up because of the last paragraph. If she knew I wrote that, I’m sure she’d want to delve further into that little wormhole. I’m already dreading our next meeting in two weeks thanks to her saying at our last, “how do you feel about tackling body image next time?” For those who know me, you’ll be nonplussed by me telling you I rolled my eyes and did that full-body cringe thing where highly sensitive and uncomfortable topics arise and I want to slide out of my chair and slither out of the room like the cowardly snake I am. I wanted to burst out my robust laugh and say, “body image? What fucking body image?” but this was only our second meeting and I didn’t want to frighten the poor dear. Not this soon, anyway.

And before anyone gets in a twist about how I need to learn to exude confidence because it’s admirable and oft desirable in a person, let me just stop you right there. Pals, I know this. Trust me. The only thing I’m confident in is that I am not. In certain areas, sure, I know my shit. In others? I am shit. (That’s me being fat girl funny, by the way.) I know my faults and flaws well because I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about them. No confidence, no self-esteem. Why do I get rejected? I assume in part because I don’t have that radiating confidence people are goofy over. But you know how people always say that we shouldn’t look down on trade workers because everyone has a job to do? Maybe we should apply that same mentality to those of us who will always assume they are worthless. I’m only partially kidding about that, but think about it for a second. If we all walked around confident as fuck, it’d be a pretty annoying place to be. I think there needs to be people like me around to maintain equilibrium, if you will. And I have my confident moments…they’re few and far between, but they show up every now and again. But then it makes me feel gross and like I’m being an arrogant cunt, so back to the good ol’ Erin you’ve all come to know and tolerate. Also a huge fan of the self-deprecation, if you haven’t noticed. Part of my endearing charm. If I may be slightly (incredibly) defensive for a moment, maybe I’m just fine the way I am, with all my neuroses and all. If you don’t much care for it, perhaps you should see yourself out and quit wasting both our time. I don’t need people constantly pointing out my faults to me because like I said, no one knows them better than I do and you won’t be telling me something I don’t already know and have overthought to death, and why in the good-goddamn would I want someone around me who does nothing but always brings them to my attention? Oh right, I don’t. Get out of here with that garbage. I don’t point out petty shit to you, do I? No, I don’t. So don’t point out shit to me. Harrumph.

Hey! Let’s talk about PIC for a minute! Okay! I want to dispel a potential weight-related myth, I guess; a myth concocted purely by myself because as we are all painfully aware, my brain loves to crank up the anxiety and I enjoy creating scenarios in my mind. When people close to your heart leave for whatever reason, it is human nature to have an epiphany/revelation of sorts. Mine came in the way of wanting to lose weight, but not in the way that is typical. I am not losing weight because I want to put myself back on the market or whatever. I am losing weight because it’s keeping me preoccupied, which I guess doesn’t seem like a very good reason, but hear me out on this one: PIC left and I could envision myself drinking myself stupid and continuing to eat like absolute trash and gain more weight and generally be horribly unhealthy. Eat and drink my sadness away, if you will, and that sounded like a fairly solid plan to me, but heading down that trail was proving to be impossible to coexist with my bike riding. Instead, I decided to focus intently on getting healthier for myself and shed pounds so I didn’t feel like I was having a myocardial infarction every time I pedaled. This isn’t revenge weight loss. This isn’t “fuck you! You’re gone! Look at what you’re missing out on!” weight loss. This is “I’m heartbroken but don’t want to passively kill myself anymore and want to do better by myself” weight loss. I mean, a teensy bit of “fuck you for leaving,” but only in the “seriously, fuck you for leaving but I’m so proud of you for knowing you needed to make a change and I’m just melancholy and despondent and slightly melodramatic about the whole thing” way. There you have it. That’s how I feel. I sure love that goofy sonuvabitch and miss him like I miss eating a burrito every morning for breakfast, but he had to do what he felt was right. I have other feelings but you’ll have to break into my house and find my journal to be privy to that information. What’s this? I don’t spill my entire guts on my blog? It sure seems like it, doesn’t it! But no, I have an actual journal in which I actually write actual words with an actual pen. I know, right? Think of it as the dark web of Erin; you’re going to find some crazy shit there.

I think I’ll stop before I embarrass myself further. Thank you for reading this first post of the new year, and heck, reading this goofy blog in general. A friend of mine paid me one of the greatest compliments a person ever could the other day by saying she thinks I should write a book. That is honestly one of the most amazing things a person could ever say about me, but I confess I’ve gotten a bit big for my britches and thinking about how goddamn fantastic it would be if I did and people outside of my little bubble actually read it and liked it and yeah. It was a good daydream. As it stands, while I appreciate constructive criticism in the right situation, when it comes to my writing, if a person were to find fault in it–aside from the glaring grammatical and spelling errors, that is–I’d take great offense to it, as I view my writing as the voice I should be speaking with in person but don’t because I’m awful like that. Can you imagine if I was this open and candid in real life as opposed to just here behind the safety of my Mac? My god…what a world that would be. What I’m trying to say is, if someone were to critique my writing, it would be like they are somehow also critiquing me personally and I can’t handle that shit. I’d burst into tears and vow to never write again. It makes sense to me, anyway.

Okay, now I’m done. Golly sakes, woman!

As always, thank you for reading.

E

 

December 14, 2018

Friday? More like FriYAY, amiright?! Good evening, Gentle Readers; it’s ya girl, Erin.

My usual apologies for the windy post, lousy with typos and grammatical errors, as well as some incoherent thoughts. This is why you’ll never see me on the New York Times best-seller list, I’m afraid. Oh well.

Today was a busy one for me, which I loathe, but I had stuff to do, places to go, and people to see, and by golly, I did it.

I started my day at work until noon, then hit the gym for some training (I am finally housebroken! Yay! Still working on stay and shake, though), then had two doctor appointments. Let me talk about them! Okay!

First up was to see my new nurse practitioner since the physician assistant I had been seeing for about three years decided to move away, that bitch. The PA was a lovely gal but the office she worked in was kind of a shitshow in the way that they never contacted me about test results and I’d end up calling them to be all, “what’s up, yo?” so to lose the PA made the decision to leave that practice easy. Next! The new NP is nice and I like her well enough so far. Our visit today was to discuss anxiety and possibly starting a new daily medication for it. Ever since PIC left, the ol’ brain just hasn’t been well. It’s gotten better, but I still suffer those pesky anxiety attacks which begat lovely depressive episodes, and I’m getting real sick of that shit again, so off I went. I rattled off the laundry list of previous medications I’ve been on and I think her eyes glazed over after the 8th one, so she suggested I do GeneSight testing to help determine which medications I metabolize the best and which are no-nos. I’m morbidly curious about the results and will eagerly await them. Until then, I will live with my dumb unmedicated brain.

My favorite part of the visit and it made me laugh out loud was when I had to answer several questions regarding mental health. I ask these same questions of the students at work, so I knew what was coming for me. It’s called the PHQ-9, or personal health questionnaire. They start innocuously enough: in the last two weeks, have you felt down, hopeless, and depressed? Have you had little interest in doing things? If yes to those, how many days? Nearly every day? Most of the time? Half? Less than half? Each response is scored from 0 to 3, and an initial score of over 3 prompts more in-depth questions like how are you sleeping? Trouble sleeping? Getting too much sleep? Not enough? How’s your concentration level? Are you moving or speaking so slowly people have noticed, or the opposite and you’re hyper and talkative? Any thoughts of self-harm or harming others? All these again are scored and the highest is a 24, which sadly I’ve seen with some kids at work, the poor babies. I mean that with all sincerity, too. To get a 24 means your shit is fucked–yes, that’s an official ICD-10 diagnosis code. “Fucked shit” Z345.67.

I scored an 11. Yay! She started asking me more questions and the funny part is while talking, I had declined starting medications until we got the genetic testing back, but after I finished the little quiz, she looked at me with a look I’m all too familiar with: sad eyes and slightly furrowed eyebrows in a “you okay, hun?” expression. She then asked me, “…are you sure you don’t want anything now?” Nah, I’m good. I have my lorazepam for when the anxiety gets to be too cunty and I cannot stop my brain from going into overdrive no matter how hard I try to ground my thoughts or distract myself. Thanks, though. Plus, I still have like, 80 pill left from my very first prescription given to me by the PA back in 2016 because she had given me 120 of the goddamn things and here’s a quick lesson in benzos: that’s a lot of fucking pills to be handing out, especially for that type of medication, but whatever. I obviously am using them responsibly and I had actually misplaced the bottle for several weeks and just recently found it, so we can all rest easy that I’m not going to be on some street corner selling these things for $10 a pop to high school kids.

I will keep my options open, though…

Moving on to my next appointment and this one I’m going to probably lose you with rambling, so again, I’m very sorry and thank you for trying to muddle through the next words.

It’s no secret I have abysmal self-esteem and even worse body image. You’d think losing fifty-four pounds so far would turn that frown upside-down, but it just ain’t happenin’. In my mind, I look the exact same size and am the exact same weight now as I was five months ago, when I have concrete evidence to the contrary. Fifty-four pounds is nothing to slouch at, and you’d think I’d be brimming with pride and strutting my stuff around, but I am not proud yet. I realize it’s an accomplishment, but I know I can do better and lose more. I also know that if I am able to lose more, when/if I meet my goal weight, I won’t be proud then, either. Then it’ll be thoughts of “okay, asshole. Don’t fuck this up and gain all this back again like you have in the past.” I love my brain. It’s great.

I also have a rotten relationship with food. I don’t think I’m an emotional eater per se, meaning I don’t automatically reach for food when I’m feeling depressed or sad or angry, but I do have an emotional attachment to food in the way that when I really don’t give a fuck about myself, that’s when I tend to make poor nutritional choices. For example, before I started the program (more on that in a bit), I had no desire to cook for myself because that required effort that I just didn’t have. I would eat fast food for every meal and eat crap food for snacks during the day. A typical day for me would be to drive to my favorite fast food Mexican place in the morning on my way to work to get a breakfast burrito and some sort of sugar-dense drink, be it a large Coke or a caramel latte. Lunch would be more fast food, either a burger joint or back to the Mexican place. A snack would be another Coke and chips or candy from the vending machine at work. I’d be too exhausted after work to even think about cooking dinner, so I’d either drive thru again with Chinese food or I’d order a pizza and chicken wings and breadsticks. Oh! I’d also drink four to six beers on top of it. It’s no goddamn wonder I weighed what I did. Fuck me.

When The Captain left in mid-May, I don’t want to say I reached rock-bottom, but I could certainly feel the bottom get close. At that point, I knew I had to make a choice. Keep on as I was, slowly killing myself with food and drink, or knock it the fuck off and do something about it. Weight has always been hard for me. Gain, lose, gain, lose. I felt awful, I was having medical problems, and my knee was like, “what the fuck, bitch?” I decided to give a shit for once, recalling the conversation I had had with my father a few months before he died. I was at his house for the weekend and I must have given him his medication and getting him settled into bed when he was all emotional and shit and started yammering about how I need to start taking care of myself again and to promise him I would after he’s gone. Alright, old man. Humor the guy; he’s dying, after all. So I said I would. I did not. Sorry, Dad.

I don’t like to break promises, though, so with the sound of the old man’s voice repeating in my head, I decided enough was finally enough and enrolled in LifeTracks through Bryan Health. Another nail in the coffin was having just been to Las Vegas and trying to get jammed into a safety harness on a ride and having real fear that the latch on the lock didn’t catch thanks to my rotund belly and I’d meet my fate by falling many stories down from the top of the Stratosphere onto the pavement below.

Let me explain LifeTracks to you. It’s a 24 week program focused on “medically supervised, rapid weight loss.” Medically supervised?! Cool! That means it’s safe and effective and doctor approved! Sign me the fuck up! And I did. For the first 20 weeks, you’re required to purchase boxes of a protein supplement powder in four delicious flavors like vanilla! chocolate! strawberry! potato! and now pancake! You can mix this shit up as a shake, blend this shit into a smoothie, or use this shit to make “real food.” You’re to have four to five of these supplements a day and then eat fruits and vegetables and keep your caloric intake between 1,000 to 1,100. I’ll never forget the first day of  the program when sitting in a room with six other souls desperate to lose weight like I was and the dietitian was explaining the program and she brought up the calorie thing. To paraphrase, “if you were to see a dietitian, they wouldn’t recommend eating less than 1,300 calories a day for weight loss, and we know we’re only allowing you at the most 1,100, but it’s okay.” I remember sitting there thinking, “well, what the heck?” But I wanted this weight gone, so I accepted it.

I did fairly well with the restrictive diet and chugging the shakes down for about a month. Then, as I have written about before, I had the day where I was having a panic attack at my desk at work and almost crying over the fact I hadn’t planned my food for the day and I had to go out for lunch and ended up with a salad with grilled chicken on it. Animal proteins were forbidden! I’m failing at this diet already! When reason returned to me, I knew my anxiety over eating what is considered a very sensible and smart food choice was unfounded and something had to give. I decided to drastically cut back the supplements to one a day and just eat real goddamn food–healthy food, that is. Go me. I honestly should have humbly asked to back out of the program at that point as my mental status is far more important than freaking the hell out over goddamn grilled chicken, but I persisted. The head dietitian of the program is a very lovely gal and she’s quite helpful in motivating to maintain a better lifestyle and she reads my stupid weekly emails and replies, so she’s good in my book, but now, as I am nearly done with the program, I have some complaints about it. Let me tell you about them!

First, the calorie thing. It’s too damn low and to have a registered dietitian wholly admit that 1,000 to 1,100 calories is too damn low but literally do the shrug emoji about it is asinine. Lolz! Second, the eating plan with these infernal supplements and just fruits and vegetables. Y’all, to me, this program is perpetuating the dangerous business that is fad dieting. Just because you slap the term “medically supervised” to it doesn’t make it better than Atkins or Keto (FUCK KETO), or any other new it thing out there right now. And by “medically supervised,” I mean that before we started, we met with a doctor, he reviewed labs we had done, and then said, “okay see you in six months! Byeeeeee!” I mean, the dietitian did say that if any of us had questions or concerns that were diet related, we could contact this doctor and he’d be more than happy to help us which is nice, but it’s also misleading in a way. No me gusta. Another thought I had about this program is if it’s so dazzling wowee zowee, why the fuck are their people in my class that are just sucking butt at it? I don’t mean that to be rude and petty or a bitch, but there is a family of three involved–a mother, father, and adult son–and these people are absent half the time and when they are there, they complain about how difficult and unsustainable this wildly different eating program is just in the way that they had a birthday party for a grandkid. None of them were able to fully enjoy the day or felt like they could eat cake and ice cream because it’s “forbidden” food and come on, man. Any program worth its goddamn salt would focus on better eating choices for sure, but also not make any food “off limits” or encourage eliminating it totally. Food is food and it’s a matter of how much food and how often we eat that gets us. Having a piece of soggy cake that’s slowly disintegrating into a runny pool of melted ice cream isn’t going to kill a man. Zach De La Rocha of Rage Against The Machine has no problem with just killing a man, but cake has a strict no murder policy. Shit.

I wish we could have spent the last 24 weeks focusing on nutritionally dense food versus food that is empty filler instead of what we went through. I mean, it wasn’t awful by any means and I obviously took my happy ass there every Monday night, but still. I have the luxury of hindsight now and if I had known then what I know now? I’d have passed on the class and opted to try this on my own, or employed the help of the dietitian to guide me in wiser food options. Oh well. Live and learn, I guess.

I told you I’d derail this train! Let me circle back to my original thought: my second appointment of the day. After over five months of freaking out over what I eat, how I look, how I view myself physically, and the absolute dickish things I say to myself daily, and also by talking with one of the nurse practitioners I work with, I maybe kind of most likely have some sort of disordered eating going on and need some help breaking this awful chain of self-loathing regarding my body and weight. I went to a place called Sage Nutrition and they specialize in eating disorders and helping people establish a better way to view food and its hold on us.

The gal I met with seems nice, but it’s hard to fully gauge that after 30 minutes with a person, but as I was leaving her office, she mentioned she often brings her dog to work as it’s a certified therapy animal and she asked me if it was okay if its around next time I go and honestly, I was insulted I didn’t get to see a doggo today, but I guess I have something to look forward to in two weeks.

Anyway, she was asking me questions and trying to get a feel for my history with food and the bitch almost got me to cry but I held fast and weathered that potential storm. It’s too early to cry.

Basically, we both decided we love with food. I know my mother loves me with food. I love people with food. Food is often a language of love: it’s often labor-intensive, cooking for someone shows you care enough to prepare a meal for them, etc. We celebrate with food, we mourn with food, with both weddings and funerals offering the stuff. We grieve with food and I can absolutely attest to this as after Dad died, we were flooded with casseroles and crock pots full and ran out of room in the fridge to store it all. Sorry your loved one died. Here, have some meatballs. I’ll get the pan back from you later.

In the coming appointments, we’re going to focus on mindful eating and intuitive eating. Mindful being well…mind..ful…of what you’re stuffing in your gob and maybe think about why you’re doing so. Intuitive being–and this was fascinating to me–how when we’re infants, we cry to be fed because instinctively, we know we’re hungry. We eat and stop when we’re full, take a nice nap and repeat the process when we’re hungry again. She went on to say that as we get older and are introduced to solid foods, that instinct is replaced with eating because we can and she wants to work on getting back to that point, I assume by learning to check for hunger cues like an audibly growling stomach or getting that feeling that we were born with that lets us know “hey, maybe eat something?” I’m looking forward to this and think this gal will be highly beneficial to me in helping me kick this shit.

There’s also going to be some work in emotions (ew) and eating and we all know how I feel about that. Ew.

Having said all that, I’m giving serious thought to quitting using MyFitnessPal to track my calories and I’m assuming she’s going to want me to stop that eventually. If I’m honest, I don’t track everything I eat/drink anyway, so my current allotted calories of 1,300 is probably closer to 1,400, give or take a few. I am confident, however, that I do know what to eat now and actually prefer cooking for myself now as opposed to a few short months ago. I just need to get a handle on portion control and keep the exercise thing up and I think I’ll have this thing half-licked.

Before I go for the night, let me remind you all that I deeply and sorely miss Partner In Crime. I haven’t talked about that hardly at all and just had to get that in here because I’m adorable like that and it wouldn’t be a blog post from me without bringing that up, so here it is.

Again, I appreciate those of you who read this, for being patient with me as I dump these thoughts out of my head onto this silly blog. And thank you in general for just letting me write, goddamn it. It’s easier for me and I feel like less of a bother to people when I can write as compared to speaking about it. I know, I know…

Okay then. It’s goddang 11pm and I haven’t been up this late in like, a long time, so I have that giddy little kid feeling of when you’re parents let you stay up, but it’s time for bed now. Getting up at 3am is so stupid on my part but I do it anyway. Oy, woman.

As always, thank you for reading.

E

December 1, 2018

Good evening and happy last month of 2018, a year that started about 18 months ago. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I look forward to the time where I don’t have the usual thought of “fuck this year; I hope the next one is better,” but I’ve been saying that since 2009, so I guess it’s just how it be. At least I have my health amiright?!

I won’t mince words tonight and dive right in.

A super fun thought I had earlier today is one of my issues with losing weight is I’ve always been the fat one, meaning out of most people I know and in my small little friend group, I’ve been the token fat chick with a wacky sense of humor thanks to unresolved trauma. Too bad John Hughes isn’t alive because that guy should make a quirky comedy from this trope

I was overweight in junior high. I was overweight in high school. I was overweight after high school. I lost weight for the first time when I was 20, but thanks to getting married at 21 and being in that “happy and content” phase where the couple kind of realizes they don’t have to work as hard at being desirable to each other anymore, I (and he, for that matter) regained the weight I had lost. When I was 27, I lost it again thanks to joining Weight Watchers™️. In a plot twist that shocked no one, age 29 brought on the divorce and guess what? Gained the weight back. After having a hysterectomy at 34, I attempted my last effort of losing weight and admittedly did a fine job of it until I had those two blasted knee surgeries and then Dad had to go and decide to get colon cancer and die, and then whaaa happen? You got it: regained every bloody pound of what I had lost, plus a few more for good measure. And here we are now in the midst of my 4th and hopefully final attempt.

The fat class I’ve been attending since July ends in two weeks and I’ll lose the accountability portion of this go-round; being able to chat with the dietitian who runs the class weekly really has been extremely helpful and I’ll miss that aspect of it. I just signed up for another six weeks of training with the she-devil trainer at the gym which I’m looking forward to, but I’ll have to nix being able to do that when it’s done because it’s expensive as hell. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to utilize that service, of course, and she really isn’t Satan–I just say that because she gets paid to whip my butt into shape, so I feel a little gentle name-calling is included with the package I bought. However, when I think about how much it’s cost to lose weight, I shudder—not just the price of fat class and training, but eating healthy in general, which is a tirade for another day, but let me just ask why the FUCK buying heathy food is so goddamn expensive as compared to things that are not as nutritious. Fuck my life with that horseshit nonsense, but I digress.

I am worried—an emotion I’m new to because I never worry about anything ever (har har).

I’m worried that I’m going to gain the weight back again because historically speaking, it will happen. It’s just a matter of time, or circumstance, or knee surgery away. Although, the vast majority of why I decided to give this a try again was fueled by intense heartache and grief for Partner In Crime moving, so I think I slightly reverse psychology’ed myself this time, which is fun. Instead of continuing to sit around, drink myself stupid nightly, and eat nothing but fast food three times a day, I chose to not do any of that, which is wild. Go me, I guess.

I’m worried that I’m destined and doomed to be perpetually overweight, that it’s fate, baby. “You’re always going to be zaftig, Erin.” …Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I’m worried my mind will convince me to give up this fight I’ve been trying hard to win and fall back into dangerous ways of living. To start drinking again, to just quit bothering with this because it’s mind-bogglingly difficult, and just enjoy that half a large pizza and chicken wings, gal. You earned it.

I’m worried in general. It’s a hoot. 11/10, will worry again.

I don’t want to fall back into old habits because honestly, at the rate I was going and how rotten I felt physically, I probably wouldn’t have had to worry about it for too much longer.

I don’t want to let myself go back to what it was like almost six months ago, and I can’t because I barely have any goddamn clothes now to do so.

I don’t want to keep beating myself up over this nonsense, either. The awful, negative self-talk I tell myself daily has got to go. To date, I’ve lost 54 pounds, which is tremendous and again, go me. Am I proud and oozing self-confidence? Nope.

While not as common of an occurrence as before, I still stand in front of the mirror and scrutinize every inch of my body. I grab on to the fat around my belly and manipulate it so it looks like I’m smaller and think, “you’d be better if you didn’t have this shit.” I suck my gut in so my rib cage is more pronounced and think how much better I’d be if my ribs were visible without having to do that. I pinch the fat near my groin and say, “god, you’re still just so, so fat.”

I hate to sound arrogant and conceited here, but people have told me lately that I’m an inspiration to them and they want to also lose weight and my mind goes “…lol whut” at people looking at me as a source of stickwithitness. Y’all, it’s my brain telling me I’m worthless and disgusting, not some Cinderella story of a gal who got her collective shit together and got healthy and fit. I wish it was, but it’s far more sinister than that.

A friend shared that she was doing a program online and I was curious about it as maybe a way to help keep me on task when my own program ends, so I accepted the 14 day free trial to see what the fuss was all about. I lasted a whole 18 hours with it before I had the realization that it was not going to be a good thing for me, and I’ll tell you why: it encourages daily weighing.

If you haven’t caught on by now, eleven years of me writing my crazy heart out, that I am obsessive about certain (most) things. Music, the ongoing saga of smoking/trying to quit smoking, writing about my anxiety and depression, how lost and deeply sad I am here without the one I refer to as Partner In Crime…point is, I hyperfixate on things and I know for an absolute fact that I should not and will not weigh myself daily. I don’t have a scale at home for this very reason, but I’ll be goddamned if after having read about this program she’s doing and it saying to step on the scale every morning, I commend myself for having the good sense to understand that would be Very Bad For Me. Y’all, I was fixin’ to go out and buy a scale even though I know better, but because this site was all, “omg weigh yourself, like, every day k?” I, too, was *thisclose* to being all “k!”

It’s a helluva thing to be aware of the shit that is bad for you but feeling helpless against it still. Fuck.

And let’s not forget about how on Friday morning I was in a terrific state of anxiety because I had a fancy latte and was convinced that by drinking this small coffee drink that I was going to die because that’s obviously a super helpful thing. Fuck again.

A few weeks ago, I was talking with one of the nurse practitioners at work who just also happens to have an extensive background with eating disorders, and as we were talking, she said to me in a jokingly serious way, “it sounds like you have some disordered eating going on.” I poo-poo’ed it. I ain’t got no dang eating disorder! I don’t have bulimia! I don’t have anorexia! Get out of here with that garbage talk!

But as I hear myself in my head freaking out over a beverage, calling myself a fat, disgusting pig…she may be on to something here, which is why at the suggestion of an acquaintance of mine, I got into contact with a place here in town that deals with eating disorders/disordered eating. I haven’t heard from them yet, but if they can help me reverse years of me being an asshole to myself about my weight and also hearing it from my mother, both her being an asshole to herself about her own weight issues and in turn projecting that on to me, I’m all for it. Sign me up.

On that note, that is all for this cold, rainy December night. It’s after my bedtime anyway, the wild woman that I am.

I hope after reading this you aren’t overly concerned about me, or rather, any more concerned than you normally are. It’ll be okay.

Good night. Thank you for reading.

E

November 24, 2018

Good morning, Gentle Readers. I hope you’re all well and have had a relaxing holiday so far. Mine has been uneventful, save today, which finds me up at this ungodly hour.

I have apparently fucked my sleep schedule up something fierce and I woke up at 2:20am and instead of trying to lull myself back to sleep, decided to say, “fuck it!” and just stayed up. I was hoping the shower I took would tire me out enough to return to slumber land, but guess not. It’s far too early to be waxing philosophical but I can’t help it, and am thinking about how ten short years ago, I would still be awake at this hour thanks to drinking heavily. If you had told me that I’d be rising for the day, I’d probably stare at you in bewildered confusion, shake my damn head, and utter “…lame,” but here we are, aren’t we? Good times. I blame the three hour nap I took yesterday afternoon, but even that’s goofy because you’d have thunk it would have made it difficult to have fallen asleep at 9pm like I did. Oh well. The shit of it is, I can’t even head to the gym at asshole o’clock because it opens at 7am on the weekends, so I decided instead to write. I’ve been meaning to for several weeks anyway, so I guess everything came out Milhouse.

I don’t have anything earth-shattering to write about; just my usual silliness: weight loss, worrying about personal matters, a brief snippet about Partner In Crime, all with a dash of humor tossed in because I have to make a goddamn joke out of everything, don’t I. Yes, yes I do. Without further adieu, let’s get this incredibly lame party started! Yay!

Hey! Did you know I’m trying to lose weight? I rarely talk about it or post about it on Facebook, so I figured I’d write about it here! More yay! To date, I’ve lost fifty-one pounds, putting me at a weight I only remember being back in high school, which most people would murder beloved relatives to be able to say, but I was fat back in high school, too, so my only boast is that I can say I’m less fat than before. The real sense of accomplishment will come the day I hopefully fall below the two hundred pound mark, and then I’ll still have a fucked-up sense of body dysmorphia about and not think I’ve done anything special. I’m telling you–my brain throughout this process has been a real wild cunt…even more so than usual, mind you.

I experienced this same amount of disconnect the last time I decided to shed pounds, as well. Roughly 80% of my clothes are too big now, but instead of me realizing I have gotten somewhat smaller, the grey mass betwixt my ears is convincing me I have actually stayed the same size body-wise and that my clothes got bigger, as in my clothes grew in size, not me going down in size. It’s the goddamnedest thing, especially after having bought a size of jeans I haven’t worn since the very first time I dropped a bunch of weight, which was back in 2001/2002. When I got married at the tenderly stupid and naive age of 21, I wore a size 14. Look at me! I’m average! Yippee! I know that doesn’t sound like much, but considering I started at a tight size 20, well, the proof is in the pudding…pudding I can’t quite wrap my brain around yet but can kinda. Again: wild cunt of a brain.

This process in and of itself is wild, too. The program I started back in July and ultimately mostly shunned, save attending the weekly meetings and weigh-ins is going to be wrapping up here in about four weeks. We have the option to enroll in a post-program maintenance program, which I’m heavily considering doing just to have that continued accountability piece. Ideally, I don’t want to be finished losing weight just because the program ended, because if I can manage to squeak out more pounds, by the time December 17 rolls around, I want to be able to say I have lost sixty pounds which means I have nine pounds to lose in just shy of a month, and based on the trend of things over the course of the past six months, that’s fairly accurate. Ultimately, I want to lose another twenty pounds off that, but we’ll see how that goes for me. The lowest I’ve weighed in my adult life has been 195 pounds but I’d like to try to shoot for 180 pounds when this is all said and done with. I haven’t weighed that since I was 13 years old and guess what? I have a bad memory about weighing that, as well. Shocking, I’m sure. Let me tell you all about it!

First, a little backstory for context. I used to attend a parochial school from kindergarten to eighth grade and every teacher I had until I was to start seventh grade had been a woman. Once I hit junior high, I would have a male teacher who was also the school principal, a lovely gentleman by the name of Greg Hasseldahl. Hi Greg. I actually really liked Mr. H but I guess my pubescent brain just couldn’t handle going from female teachers to male and I had the first major anxiety attack (that I’m able to recall, anyway). I freaked out so hard over this transition that I gained weight. A lot of weight. I remember at a school physical for sixth grade being told that I weighed 125 pounds and I was also the tallest person in my class at that time, so I think maybe 5’6″? I was proportionate in size and stature, I guess. Ah yes, but sixth grade is also when I fucked my knee up, so in conjunction with having this sudden and serious knee problem and my mother feeding me in an effort to soothe my troubled soul about both the knee thing and the teacher thing, I gained fifty pounds. No shit. But the kicker is I don’t really remember that being much of an issue for me? I mean, I wasn’t made to feel poorly for gaining weight…or if I was, I chose to ignore it. That is until…

So, parochial school and being in junior high meant that we were going to be taking confirmation classes for the church and these were taught by the pastor of our church, another lovely gentleman by the name of Pastor Moll. Hi Pastor Moll. He would come to our class, go through the catechism with us, try to prepare our minds to be officially accepted as a member of the church and to be good god-fearing young women and men. Ya done fucked that up, buddy! Anyway, I have no idea what the hell we were talking about one day, but this is the first time I remember being suddenly extremely self-conscious about how much I weighed and realizing my weight at that time was a Bad Thing and then it kind of took a header into the toilet from there. PM was telling us a story about his time as a junior high girls basketball coach in California and he mentioned a girl on his team weighed 175 pounds and he said something along the lines of, “I mean, she was a big, big, big girl!” At that moment, I understood that I was also a Big Big Big Girl and being a Big Big Big Girl at my age meant that adults are going to talk about me in a negative way for being a Big Big Big Girl like that as it’s surely unnatural a Bad Thing. Cool, Pastor Moll, cool. And it was pretty much all downhill from there. The knee thing coupled with being acutely aware I am fat and only will continue to get more fat by the time I reached high school just really whacked my self-esteem up the head with a lead pipe. Toss in that rotten motherfucker who would end up calling me a cow and mooing every time we passed each other in the halls? Well, I hope that paints a picture of why I am the way I am. You’d think after 25 years I learned to forgive and forget, but as the saying goes, elephants never forget. Thank you for reading about Why Erin Is The Way She Is About Her Weight: A Memoir. I hope you walk away from this post with heightened clarity and understanding. Ell oh fuckin’ ell.

Keeping on the weight loss topic, because of course I am, allow me to discuss some health issues I’ve been having; nothing major, I don’t think, but still noteworthy, I suppose. My guts. My guts have decided to hate me now, which honestly, the feeling is almost completely mutual at this point. Back in May when Partner In Crime left, I had a minor come to Jesus moment-ish and decided that in an effort to combat my heartache, I was going to start taking care of myself. Plus, I was having some issues that I had noticed and I was due for a physical anyway, so when making the appointment to get the once-over, I mentioned these issues. My guts, as mentioned, had begun to hate me, and me being me, I assumed I was dying of colon cancer like my father before me, or the bastard ovaries left over from the hysterectomy were rebelling again. I have having a nearly constant pain in my lower right side and my pooping habits were erratic (sorry). My physician’s assistant suggested two things: go back to the gynecologist who did the hysterectomy because it could be the bastard ovaries, and go see a gastroenterologist given my dazzling family history of colon problems. I did both, and I was given a clean bill of health from the gyn kinda–the ovaries and hollow spot where my uterus once lay were fine, but the pain could maybe probably sorta be from endometriosis or I have adhesions from the hysterectomy but we just can’t be certain and the only way to be certain would be to have an exploratory surgery to see what the fuck is going on. She suggested we hold off on that and see what the gastro doc had to say, so off I went to see him.

I had a colonoscopy in late July and I have ulcers in my colon in a place that is suspicious of Crohn’s disease but he kind of poo-poo’ed (pun somewhat intended) that idea in favor of that being from taking too much ibuprofen. I didn’t really buy that because while I was taking the stuff prior to and post surgery, I wasn’t relying on it nearly as much as before and well, again, family history suggests we perhaps delve a bit further into the cause. I had a blood test done to check for out of whack antibodies that suggest Crohn’s and that was actually “inconclusive,” but the pain was and is still there, as well as the weird pooping thing. Plus, you’d think that radically changing my eating habits would resolve both issues due to the fact I’m actually consuming fruits and vegetables and fiber daily, but wouldn’t cha fuckin’ know it, the problems persist. The gastro said I should do some hydrogen breath tests to check for food intolerances like fructose and lactose, or a condition called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which means gut bacteria are being naughty and getting into my small intestine where they don’t belong and causing trouble.

I’ve done one test so far and have no idea what the result is because the gastro guy is kind of a dick and won’t tell me what’s up until I finish the other two tests, which I’m pissed off about because I got sick after the first test and really just don’t want to do the other tests. I highly doubt I have lactose intolerance because cheese has always been my friend, but I do question fructose, though. I’ll suck it up and do that test, but I’m nervous because for real, how I felt after doing the bacterial overgrowth test was many shades of unpleasant. You have to eat a weird diet the day before the test: zero vegetables, only peeled apples or pears, white bread and rice, and chicken or turkey. Compared to how I eat now, even for a day this diet is vile. Then, the next morning, you mix up a package of sucrose and Jesus fucking Christ. It’s not as repulsive as the prep for the colonoscopy but it’s real close. You sit around for a bit, then you blow air into a plastic bag that has a needle attached to it and puncture glass test tubes to collect your breath at a set interval of time. It’s annoying and I hated it and like I said, after the first test, I felt miserable for two goddamn days: nauseous and exhausted, so having to do that two more times really cheeses me off something awful, but whatever, I guess. FEEL SORRY FOR ME, GODDAMN IT.

What happens if these are positive? Well, I get to really fuck shit up with an elimination diet called FODMAP which I’ve been reading about online and it sounds awful. The idea is to eat only the approved foods for a spell, then slowly introduce suspected foods back in and if your symptoms return, well, goddamn it, looks like you shouldn’t eat that shit anymore. To me, I say let’s cut the horseshit and try that diet first and then go from there, but whatever. I’m just a dumdum girl and don’t know shit about dick. Annoying. But I want to feel better, so I need to shut the fuck up and just do it but I don’t wanna. Waa. Waa, I say, waa. I’m such a baby.

One more thing about the weight and then I’ll move on. This is totally a thing I’m anxious/overthinking but I feel the need to address it, so here we go: why did I decide to lose weight? Well, it’s a combination of things. One, shit was getting ridiculous weight-wise. I was only five pounds away from weighing as much as I ever had and that was terrifying. 265 pounds is too much for me and so unhealthy. All that excess weight was putting far too much stress on my robot knee and I just didn’t feel good, mentally or physically. Plus, the weight was put on due to heavy amounts of alcohol consumption and a general don’t give a fuck attitude I adopted after Dad died. I’m sad, I’m going to drink booze to make myself feel better! Weee! Ironically, the other reason I decided to lose weight was because I was/am devastated about Partner In Crime leaving. I knew that I was just going to sit around and drink to help make myself feel better that he was gone and I guess I should pat myself on the back for deciding that continuing on the path to a slow death probably wasn’t the best option, so hey, let’s do something constructive with the grief and sense of loss instead of drinking myself to an early grave. Cool. Good idea, Erin. You can be pretty goddamn smart sometimes. Plus, I mean, this has given me something new to obsess over, so hey, that is totally cool and helps feed my mental illness, to boot! Win-win! Disordered eating is way cooler than alcoholism, amiright? Sorry, that’s not really a thing I should be joking about, but I’ve never shied away from making chuckles about topics that probably shouldn’t be chuckled over. Part of my charm…?

In all seriousness for once, to say I miss the guy is an understatement. I know my feelings for the man have always been more intense than he for I, and not to be overly dramatic but again, it’s me, so just go with it, but I truly felt a part of me leave with him that day back in May. I was convinced I would never feel like this for another person after my divorce, even though that marriage wasn’t ideal, I still loved the fool despite all the cards stacked against the relationship and all the wild shit that happened during the last few years of it. Anyway, so when PIC left, well…yeah. I mean, I don’t fail two quarters of school for just anyone, for chrissakes!

I really should consider getting in touch with Therapist again, but I’m terrified to do so because there’s just too much to unpack at this point and I’m scared the bitch’ll charge me extra.

Speaking of money, I still hate it and still running out of the stuff, much to my wild-eyed bewilderment. Like, what do you mean if you spend it it goes away? How is that fair? It isn’t! I demand to speak to someone about this! In an effort to save myself some cash, I’ve been thinking about moving out of this townhouse–a place I probably shouldn’t have even moved into in the first place, but typical me was so anxious to get out on my own finally that I didn’t really put too much thought into it and well, here we are. Plus, Neighbor Gail is honestly the loudest woman ever. The old bitch slams her kitchen cabinets all the goddamn time, which is wild considering she used to gripe at me for my music. I realize now she got so testy about the tunes because she couldn’t fully enjoy the sound of her slamming her doors. It’s truly incredible. One of these days, my cabinets are going to fall off the goddamn walls because Gail has unresolved anger issues. I also don’t much care for my landlords, either. Who does really, but still. I just want to find a cheaper place to hang my hat but the idea of looking for a new place to live really puckers my butthole. I half-assed browsed some sites the other day and quickly remembered how horrible looking for decent living accommodations is. Everything is wildly overpriced or in shady parts of town and all the places I’d feel safe in and meet my requirements are either the same amount of rent or higher than I’m already paying, so I just don’t know what to do. No, I won’t move to Idaho. Maybe. No, I won’t. Maybe. No…?

Golly, I must have really wanted to write because the word count ticker in the bottom right corner tells me I’m over 3,100 words already. Goodness gracious. I guess that’s what happens when you’re a person who doesn’t like to talk in favor or writing this shit out. Dang, woman.

On that note, I’ll wrap it up. Thank you as always for taking a trip with me and my neuroses. It’s always a wild time. I sure do appreciate it, though. Peace and love, peace and love.

E

October 27, 2018

Greetings, gentle readers. It’s a gorgeous day here in The Good Life and it’s been a day well spent.

In a surprise to no one who reads this, I’m going to prattle on about my usual things I prattle on about.

I’ve been avoiding buying some clothes that fit me, namely jeans and a bra or two, as both are current items that are too big for me, much to my delight and dismay. Delighted because well, clothes that are too big means I must be doing something right in regards to this weight loss thing. Dismay because goddamn it. I’m still sore my boobs are shrinking, a fact thrown in my face every day when I try to put a bra on and my tiny breasts now wade around inside the cups. Why must boobs shrink? Why? It shouldn’t be a big deal because I’m the only person who sees them now, but still. It’s irritating and disheartening to have once fairly substantial knockers be deflated, especially since my tummy is still rotund. Thanks a lot, body, you fuck.

I did decide to go out and shop a little bit this afternoon, a task I rarely enjoy performing. I don’t much care for shopping. I’m all for it when I know exactly what I want and where to find it. I don’t like it when I have to try multiple stores to find something. That can go eff itself. But I have been putting this off for a few weeks and am getting tired of wearing baggy pants and my tits flopping around inside my bras, so off I went.

Bras were up first. I had zero clue what size I am now, but I can tell you it ain’t 42DD anymore. A nice lady measured me and lo and behold, I’m now a 38C. That’s two danged cups smaller. The band size is cool, like way to lose four inches around your rib cage, you sexy beast! But the cups size…fucking ridiculous, I swear. I’m going to get a boob job after all this is over. I swear it. I know it’s a silly thing to be so concerned with, but I’m also silly, so it’s okay. I can be silly and also have glorious fake cans later and all will be well again.

Shocking enough, the bra thing went well, aside from the size drop, but I guess you’ll have that. I’ll get over it. I’ll bitch about it but I’ll get over it eventually. I found two that I like and didn’t cost me a stupid amount as bras often tend to do, so bye-bye, floppy tits! You’re safe and sound once again.

Next up was the dreaded jeans. Dun dun dunnnnnn.

Again, no idea what size I am now. The jeans I have on in the picture below are 18 and it pisses me off they’re too big because I never wore them because why? Because they were too tight in the tummy and thighs, that’s why. Because if I’m honest with myself, I wasn’t wearing the proper size of clothes to begin with as I was in denial about gaining as much weight as I had. Most of my clothes were snug, which is why I’d opt for leggings and t-shirts as compared to “normal” clothes like jeans or more fitted tops in a vain attempt to mask the girth. Needless to say, I have many, many pairs of leggings now. Good times. However, I ended up buying a pair in a size I haven’t been able to squeeze my buns in since 2003, so that bolstered the ol’ confidence a bit, even though I was doing the jump/hop/wiggle buns maneuver to try to get another pair on.

Sadly not Apple Bottom jeans with the furrrrr.

I need to interrupt my writing for a moment to say that I don’t want to write about this anymore. I was imputing my food for the day in MyFitnessPal and saw an old friend of mine whom I follow and their update of their pounds lost. They’re doing so goddamn great but not bragging–unlike me, who can’t shut the fuck up about it–and I had that “…oh. She’s not flaunting her success. She should! But she isn’t. Why the shit am I bragging about mine any chance I get and writing about it now? Delete the post and go about the day and don’t ever post anything about this ever again.”

But oopsies, here I am regardless because I shouldn’t diminish this. I know, you know, they know what it takes to get going and stay going with an undertaking such as this. Just because they aren’t vocal about their story doesn’t mean I can’t be with mine because lord knows I love to writes about this shit. And what if it’s helpful to someone who is struggling with weight, too? Knowing another person is out there being candid and open with their struggles with the scale is sometimes all it takes for them to keep going. I urge you to keep going. If I have to, so do you.

I digress.

I’m really having a hard time with accepting I’m smaller than I was three months ago. I don’t see it in myself even though I have physical evidence I am. I look down at my tummy and see my giant belly and truly feel it’s the same size as it was. I touch my thighs and butt and they still feel the same to me, despite knowing I’ve lost six inches around my waist and hips. I just…feel the same and that’s cheesing me off something awful. What the hell, brain?

That in conjunction with just kind of having a bad brain week has made the last several days tedious. And from here I’ll segue into my second favorite writing topic! Partner In Crime! You know it had to be coming! Here it is! Yay!

Last Sunday, I and some members of the atheist group I belong to did our semiannual trash pick-up. PIC has been a staple for these for the last six years but was obviously absent from this one. I didn’t really want to go because of that, but I also wanted to go to keep the tradition alive and try to feel the connection with him again. I’m glad I went but goddamn it if I didn’t wish he was there. It wasn’t the same and most likely never will be. Knowing that really brought me down and made me think about everything that’s changed since he’s been gone. He’s missed deeply, and if you were to ask me what specifically I miss, I will just say nothing in particular but also a thousand different little things.

Well then. Sorry this one isn’t very good tonight…but are they ever really? I would like to wish this little blog a happy 11th birthday, which is friggin’ wild. Eleven long years. The evolution of the writing and topics is kind of a trip to read, so that’s good for a chuckle. I started out trying to be funny, went to short fiction, then had a mental breakdown somewhere between the years of 2009 to about 2012, then slowly crept back into fiction but found I couldn’t hack it anymore, so went to doing journal writing and here we are today. Thank you for coming along on this weird and wild trip. We’ll stop for snacks and a potty break soon, I promise.

As always, thank you for reading.

E

September 21, 2018

“It’s Friday night, and I feel alright, there’s a party here on the west side! So I reach for my 40 and I turn it up!”

Just kidding. While it is indeed Friday night, I feel okay, and I live on the southeast side, there’s no party, nor do I have a 40 nor will I be turnt. Being 37 is wild, y’all. Ten years ago, yes, I would have been turning it up, but I’m old and tired now and have slid into a hermit stage. Such is life, I guess. Instead, I’m sitting in the darkened living room with only the glow of my laptop screen offering any light and listening to my music at a somewhat respectable level. I wonder if Gail thinks I’m dying; I haven’t had a noise complaint from her in months. It also helps that I’m usually in bed or on my way to bed at this time.

Ah…were to begin tonight! There’s just so much to write about!

My classes are over with for the quarter and good god almighty, I am glad for that. I did not do well this quarter, much like last quarter and I’m kicking myself in the ass for that, as I’m often wont to do. The spring quarter was a shitshow towards the end when Partner In Crime moved. I stopped caring. I quit going to class. I didn’t take my final and shock of shocks, I failed anatomy and will have to take it over again. Please know that I do not blame PIC at all for this, and I accept full responsibility for my actions.

This quarter was marginally better, save the whole “wait to the last possible minute to do my online homework” thing, which was a gas. I did well with homework assignments despite that, but it was the goddamn fucking tests that did me in. I am a horrible test taker and my grade reflects that. I hate being tested on shit. If I could offer an explanation for how things work instead of be faced with multiple choice questions that are all very similarly worded and then cause me to second-guess myself, ultimately changing my mind from the correct answer to the wrong one, I’d be golden but that’s not how this crap works. I don’t know what to do now. Of course I’m doubting I can even keep trying to become a nurse and just give up on it because blowing two quarters and roughly $2000 (motherFUCKER) is not good. It’s not good at all. It’s the opposite of good.

I have also been highly distracted by this weight loss thing, which sounds dumb as fuck, but it’s true. For example, I work full-time and have been deemed the “late stay bitch,” which means I close the joint down at night. I get home at either 6:30 or 7:30pm, depending on the day, and I’m focused on getting dinner made, which now that I actually take time to make myself food instead of grabbing fast food on the way home, it’s a bit time consuming. I am also usually too tired when I get home to exercise, so I have taken to going to the gym or riding my bike in the early buttcrack hours of the morning before work. When I get home, that means I’ve been up for a good 14 hours already and doing homework is the absolute last thing I want to do, so I don’t do it, which means I wait until the day it’s due and good times ensue. I know it’s a piss-poor excuse, but goddamn it.

I’ve decided to not register for classes this coming quarter, which fuck me, but I can’t keep wasting money like that–which incidentally has also been anxiety-inducing as of late (more on that in a bit). I’m going to skip this quarter, try to regroup my thoughts, do some soul-searching (have I looked under the couch?), and hopefully emerge with a firmer grasp of what the fuck I want to do. Wish me luck.

Money, money, money, money, MON-AY! I hate it. Always have, always will. For those unaware, when PD died, he left some farmland to my brother and myself. Not being overly keen on being landowners, we sold that bitch off and thanks to tremendous forethought from my dying father, he left the land in a trust which spared us huge taxes on it. It was a good chunk of dough and that goofy sonuvabitch knew how much it was going to help me dig myself out of a financial hole that I had been digging, and boy howdy, was it ever welcomed. I still don’t think I’m worthy of having that inheritance, and those feelings are crashing back.

There’s an old sketch comedy program called “Mr. Show” and it was on HBO back in the late ’90s/early ’00s and starred David Cross and Bob Odenkirk. It was hilarious. They did a skit about a child actor who ended up blowing his fortune on stupid shit and then this kid tried to sue Hollywood for not telling him that by giving him this money that it would eventually be gone. It’s way funnier than I am describing it, trust me. Anyway, I kind of feel this way. I mean, I haven’t bought anything outlandish or totally frivolous. It’s just…running out. It’s causing me panic attacks lately because of that. I was hellbent on paying for school out-of-pocket and not having to rely on student loans, but if I keep going to school, I may need to bite that bullet and take out some loans, which just pisses me the fuck off because I’m still goddamn paying off the loans from 12 years ago, goddamn motherfucking cocksucking dammit. I chose not to pay them off in full because thanks to years of horrible financial mistakes on my end, my credit was like, -4. By paying monthly, I’ve been able to raise my credit, so is that a definition of silver lining? Sure?

If I keep paying for school, my living situation needs to change. I pay way too goddamn much in rent. I tried to buy a house earlier this year but between the market also being a cocksucker and PIC leaving town, I didn’t and still don’t want to be tied to something like that. I need to look for a cheaper place to rent, but I have been avoiding doing so because I absolutely fucking hate looking for places to live. Who does, right? No one, that’s who.

I could get a roommate but that idea makes my asshole pucker. I may not like living alone, but I am real goddamn used to being alone now and the thought of having to share my space with someone who will surely annoy me to tears is not cool. But if I don’t figure something out soon, I’m scared to death I’ll end up like I was before and having to rely on the otherworldly kindness of my friends and live in someones basement again and that terrifies me for a lot of reasons: it’ll confirm my failure. I’ll feel like I’ve let literally everyone in my life down. I can’t be in that place again. I can’t. It won’t end well for me. So that’s been a load of stressful fun! Yay!

And what do I do with stress? I ignore it, that’s what! Good plan, Erin! I don’t know what to do, and thinking about options fuckin’ cranks my anxiety to 11, so I stop thinking about it until I’m forced to think about it again and what a vicious goddamn cycle of suck. I hate it. Hate. It. I thought this week to get another job maybe but I can see that failing me because I’ll be too busy working to have time for school and I’ll really never finish this goddamn degree. If anyone has any brilliant solutions, I’m all ears.

One more thing about the money issue and I’ll shut up. I don’t know how to say this without seeming like I’m being a braggart, but I’ve been plenty generous with the cash and helping people out. Again, that makes me feel so gross to even bring up, but it’s also factoring into why I’m running low on dough. My mentality about giving is this: I had been helped out to ridiculous levels in the past and by returning that favor to people or causes, I feel like I’m atoning for my past money transgressions. Plus, it’s so freaking great to lend a hand. If I ever win the lottery and have millions of dollars, I want to spend my time helping other people out. It’s a cool feeling, yo. I dig it. But I’m doing too much, I think. Fuck. I hate that, too. Insert heavy, resigned sigh here.

Now, on to this weight loss thing. I enjoy that I’m more active again. I truly like sweating and pushing myself to physical limits to see if I can outdo myself, which I can report that I have been able to do. Now, if I can only get my brain to fucking cooperate with me while doing this, that would be fan-fucking-tastic. What do I mean? To date, I’m down 30-ish pounds. Good for me! Way to go! But I still feel like I look the exact same physically and that leads to “why the hell are you even bothering doing this?” Like, I know that by losing weight, I’m not going to suddenly be gorgeous or that my entire body structure and frame will change, but I also still expect that? Does that make sense? Thirty pounds, sixty pounds, eighty pounds…I’m still going to be 5’11” and be built like a tank. I have broad shoulders and hips, a long torso and legs, and a big German head. I’ll still also have stretch marks and loose skin, but I somehow magically think my skeleton will also shrink? Like…? Erin? You okay, hon? That’s not how that works, sweetie. Body dysmorphia is a real fuckface.

I’m still crying about my boobs, too. Although I tried to buy smaller sports bras tonight and thought I could shove myself into size large bras and I guess I’m happy to report that I haven’t lost that much tit and spent a hilarious few minutes wrestling myself in and out of these things. I’ve lost enough mammary though, that I now think I’m a slug of a woman. I’ve always been kind of obsessed with boobs and it’s even more so now. I see ads for bras and all these lovely women with lovelier boobs and I get mad that I don’t have smooth skin around mine or that they’re full or even in the same spot as they once were and goddamn it, boobs. You were the one (well, two) thing(s) that I actually was proud of on my body–I don’t look like much in the face department, I am overweight, I have the aforementioned stretch marks, but goddamn it, I had big tits and everyone likes a nice big set of tits. Not anymore! So that means no one likes me. Isn’t my brain just the freaking best?! Sakes alive! I’m suddenly less worthy of a person because my breasts have shrunk a cup size. For the love of fuck, woman.

On to another topic: that goddamn guy who moved. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop missing that goofy sumbitch. Some days it’s okay, some days are not. It’s wild to me he’s been gone for four months already, and I secretly wish he’s going to pull an Erin and in two months be all, “yeah so, this didn’t work out like I wanted and I’m moving back to Nebraska.” I know that isn’t going to happen, but still. And like things would go back to what they used to be is also a fool’s wish. There were a series of concerts these past few weeks that he and I were to attend and obviously only one of us could and that got to me hard. I wish with all my might he could have been here, but it just didn’t work out that way.

But hey, I got to see Live perform, so that was neat. Take THAT, silver lining! You take it! I just listen to my music and hope he’s okay…not that he would ever tell me he wasn’t because we’re awfully goddamn similar that way, which is both great and also slightly maddening, but all the best things in life are, I wager.

That’s going to be it for today. I, for whatever stupid reason, have gotten up at 3am for the last two days and I’m real tired!

As I always say, thanks for reading. I appreciate you all–all three of you. 😛

Erin