Monday, May 21, 2012

goodbye, old mimi

so... this weekend i binged. not in an obscene trip to the grocery store sort of way, but more in a this-is-the-last-time-i'll-be-having-buffalo-pretzel-crisps for a while sort of way. i enjoyed no less than 6 cans of cherry cola. i didn't sip an ounce of water. (i hate water. hopefully, this will be changing soon out of desperation.) i'm even thinking of having a bowl of butter pecan ice cream before bed. i wish i could just completely empty out the old cabinets, but sadly, i am not in the income bracket that wastes already-bought foods. furthermore, i am ok with allowing my children to have their natural relationship with food. they like ice cream like they like strawberries, and while one is obviously healthier than the other... i don't want my children to covet junk. i think of all the foods that were forbidden during my childhood, usually due to budget and not nutrition. i remember how, in my household, a day without cooking was a treat and that meant buckets of chicken or bags of greasy big boy burgers or sheet pizzas. those foods became a) associated with reward/treat and b) forbidden "fruit"... i remember my first job babysitting and how all those dollars earned toiling through tantrums and diapers and arguments about bedtime would dwindle away in front of the candy rack at the local convenience store. my relationship with food is co-dependent and toxic and completely illogical. 

any fat woman (and probably man) can tell you that no one knows as much as we do about nutrition. not because we're passionate about what's best for our bodies (clearly) and not because we're fascinated by the breaking down of complex carbohydrates. fat people know fat and calories and energy preservation and high-protein and low-glycemic-index like they are our own children. everyone likes an easy fix and we have read about them all... we have researched them... in my case, we have pondered and even prepared for them. we have drank cayenne lemon maple juice and in desperate cases, we have purged. many of us have crash dieted successfully, losing tens or even hundreds of pounds and anticipating that how great we feel will surely sustain us through this next bout of deprivation, only to find the scale betraying the truth that weeks later, we are worse off than we began. i have counted points. i have dealed meals. i have choked down plastic concoctions that claimed they would taste like the real thing. i have tofu'd and turkey-baconed by little heart out. but in the end, i don't work out. i lack the will or the ability to break myself of emotional eating. and frankly, i'm done.

this is where dear readers might find my thought process controversial. after all the dieting "tricks", each of us knows that losing weight comes down to 2 very basic changes. eat less, move more. and after a consultation today with a very kind clinician, i am preparing to do both... in a way that even i can't pretend is anything less than severe. The details exist but the beginning, the lighter fluid to get going, if you will, is this:


i hate it for sounding so simple. i really do. the nutritionist was a doll. i was educated on the danger of low-calorie plans (although in my case, such change on a temporary basis is indeed less risky than walking around putting 200 lbs of additional stress on my organs). then came the complicated part... the part where i was handed an 800-calorie-per-day menu to follow. 

i have to preface this part by saying, i am so far below the poverty line, i can't even see it. i make do. my children are well fed, cleanly dressed, and happy. they have grown up with dish-soap bubbles and craigslist bicycles and parks instead of chuck e cheese. and they smile and laugh and love life. i have a television and a computer and a netflix membership and amazing friends who, when i got divorced, didn't mind the transition from brunch and ladies night at the bar to homemade dinners and cheap cocktails while sitting in my bed watching Grey's Anatomy. (i don't have a bedroom of my own, so the main living space in my apartment looks like a decent-sized studio sans couch.) all of this being said... i took my new handy menu to the grocery store and began to price-check. i wandered the store with a notebook and my list and here is the sad truth... i can not afford a $7 loaf of bread. i can not afford an acai berry blend. i can not afford a vitamixer. i can not afford fresh leeks and brie and stilton cheese and fresh halibut. i do not know what swiss chard is. and try as i might, i can not find ways to make reasonable substitutions. if i don't buy the pricey egg substitute and tofu bacon, the multi-grain english muffins are rendered pointless. not pointless in the sense that they wouldn't be an improvement... but the bottom line is, bad food is cheaper. anyone who has ever purchased a $1 double cheeseburger or a $5 large pizza can tell you that. so even though i can feed my children chicken and broccoli with cheese on my budget, i can NOT feed myself according to the nutritionist's plan. (amusing note: this list is specifically for people with a 'more limited budget'). 

so... i'm cheating. already. 800 calories is 800 calories and i know what the basic food groups are. i know that fiber makes you feel fuller. i know that i need energy for my new workout routine. but i can not afford my menu and i can not afford variety. so in my refrigerator, you will now find:

7 Naked Juice smoothies
7 Lean Cuisine box meals
1 package chicken breast tenderloins
2 tomatoes
multi-grain tortillas

that's it. well, that's it as far as things i can actually eat. 

and to round off the plan, i purchased a used edition of Beach Body Insanity. a workout video program certainly more aimed at improving the physique of an already sort of fit person, and certainly not a 300+ pound waddler. 

so it begins... 

critics can comment on preservatives and the sense of deprivation that will undoubtedly send me running to the nearest bag of potato chips, but one thing is certain... i have never been this desperate. and all that business about losing and gaining back and how i can't possibly sustain this forever? i know all of that. of course i know. but why don't we talk about maintenance when there isn't a 3 on the front of the scale? desperate times. desperate measures. wish me luck. 

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