Thursday, August 01, 2013

Running off at the keyboard

Stop me if you['ve heard this one...

I'm sitting in my pjs consuming pop culture. And coffee. And everything I'm supposed to do, everything in the whole world, feels intimidating and overwhelming and impossible. Everything.

So, I'm in full avoidance mode. On my fifth episode of my first re-watch of TBBT, season one, and it's 31 degrees out and I'm pretty much hiding. Inside the flat, it's pretty good, temperature-wise. For some reason this flat doesn't really get too hot, even in the really worstest part of the summer.

(Also, I made an important neurological discovery the other night: if you have temporal lobe epilepsy and run a fan at full blast next to your head 24 hours a day for a couple of days, the constant white noise will trigger a seizure. Good to know. Don't let this alarm you. I was diagnosed when I was 12 and get them so rarely now that I sometimes forget I have it. TL seizures, moreover, aren't that big a deal. They can be scary when you're a kid and don't know what's going on, but as an adult it's just a kind of glitch and over pretty quickly. Sometimes it leaves a headache. But the new rule is to turn the fan off once in a while, no matter how hot it gets because it's hard to concentrate on work when someone switches off the universe and you can't tell the difference between here and there, near and far, up and down...)

Anyway, since getting back from Gardone, I've mostly been sitting about in my beloved cave apartment every day, mostly in my pjs, (or on really hot nights my linen beach dresses that double nicely as summer night gowns). I don't feel particularly depressed. I don't feel especially lonely (yay Facebook!). I just feel faintly disgusted with myself.

I did pretty well at Garda with not eating carbs or drinking too much hoochies, or eating any ice cream (yes, the whole two weeks and not a drop of gelato. Really!). I think I skipped the pasta dishes at dinners every time except once, and I only had about two cocktails the whole time at cocktail hour. For a Garda trip, it was positively abstemious.

And I played tennis a bunch and really loved it. Like, LOVED it. Man, tennis! Who knew? Really amazingly fun, even when you suck at it. Like fencing only with fewer bruises.

So, overall, I had a pretty great time at Garda, and didn't come back thinking I'd blown the diet and exercise thing. And when I got back, I was pretty eager to get back to the gym, which I did, when I first landed. It took a couple of days to get untired after the trip, but then I went straight back to the gym lady. For two days. Then last Monday, I told the gym lady I was coming back on Wednesday, (that's a week yesterday) and I didn't.

It's just too fricken hot to go outside the house in the day time. It's been 30-35 degrees every day, and it's getting to the stage where it doesn't cool off at night, so sleeping, not so much. Anyway, that's my stupid excuse.

And it's a bad one, because honestly it was every bit as hot at Garda, and every day after lunch, I would grab the tennis racket and go running down the hill to the other hotel and bug the guys until they would come and play with me. Seriously. Like I was eight years old. It was just so fun to play tennis with Chris and Mike. And they were nice about me being really bad at it, and didn't yell at me or anything... not like in school.

So, I feel kind of crappy for quitting everything. And playing tennis in the roaring Italian heat reminded me that when I was a child, I didn't care about the heat, at all. I would just go running around the world and the weather was just the background, no matter what it was. But then I guess I lived on the Island, where it never got to be more than 28 degrees, even in mid-summer... But still, as a kid I never let the weather stop me running around and having fun.

Maybe that's it. When I was a kid, it was running around and having fun. There wasn't any baggage or obligation or goal. The having fun was the goal. Now all I can think about is the fact that I'm (probably) creeping up to 90 kilos and don't fit into my clothes any more. Then I start thinking about the h-word and cancer and All That, and I start freaking out. All of which makes going to the gym not "fun" but something I'm reluctantly obliged to do. So I don't do it.

You can tell I've been drinking coffee and not having too much social interaction, since my brain is running off a the keyboard.

Also, I keep looking across the room at the painting I did in Jordan Sokol's class and wondering why I suddenly quit arting immediately after it was finished. I abruptly cancelled all the classes I was signed up for for the rest of the summer. Not really sure why, exactly (except that I ran out of money to pay for them, which is a pretty solid reason, but wasn't really the reason, you know?). Just cocooning up. Haven't so much as picked up a pencil in six weeks. Am I intimidated? I think maybe. It really is difficult being neurotic.

Aaaaaanyway. I feel like a big blob now that I've gone over a week without going to the gym, and really without going outside much at all. The more I sit, the worse I feel.

And the neuropathy is back in my fingertips. It's ok after getting up in the morning, but by evening it gets really bad. Fingertips on fire, feet burning. Awful. Probably because of not enough exercise.

But in a week or so, I'll have to move. I have to go to Ontario, did I mention? I'm coming back to Canada next week. Like I promised myself I never would. Also awful. Leaving the house. Getting on trains and planes. Heaving luggage around. Not having my stuff around me. Being in crowds. Dealing with officials. Interacting with strangers. Waking up every day not at home. Being away from the cat. Having to act normal all the time.

Lawdy, but how I hate traveling!

But also been thinking lately how much I miss BC and want to go back to the Island again. Haven't been there since 1996 or so. And my Dad is out there somewhere. I want to see him.

What? Nothing. Just sharing too much. Sorry.



~

16 comments:

James C. said...

I am empathetic about the weight thing! I've found that I just don't have the willpower to give up carbs, but I've been successful in losing weight by keeping my carbs to a moderate amount earlier in the day and being a nazi about calories. It really works! I have an application on my iPhone with a massive nutritional database, and you punch in your current and desired weight (and age and sex)---and it gives you a daily calorie budget (mine is 1520). Each day I enter what I eat in the database. I can enjoy my food in smaller portions, and as long as I maintain the mild calorie deficit, the weight comes off like clockwork. Once you reach your desired weight, you just try to keep the calories at around maintenance level most days.

And if you are off to Gardone, you can splurge on the gelato and bread and pasta and just make it up for a couple of weeks when you get home.

Just curious, by the "Island", do you mean Victoria BC or Britain? Both are certainly delightfully cool in the summertime---though you wouldn't know it in the latter today, with temps up to 32.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Oh, I've totally given up all complex carbs and all processed foods. Sugar, and anything with added sugar, bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. It took some practice but in the end I didn't miss it. But all internet promises to the contrary, and against what the doctor said, it's doing nothing. The weight is supposed to be "melting off" me, but it's just there and not going anywhere. I guess it's the little bonus of the cancer treatments. Which is just an extra little bit of crap rained down from the universe.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

My metabolism is so slow (non-existent? is that even possible?) as a result of the surgery and the removal of the hormone-producing organs, that my daily caloric intake is down to about 1200 or less and I'm still the same.

I'm starting to contemplate surgery.

Anonymous said...

No wonder your weight is staying the same, you're starving yourself and your body is in the panics. When your calorie intake is too low your body will hold onto every single calorie you give it for fear of the dearth of food. Especially if you're a woman. Up your calorie intake and give your body a few weeks to get out of the panics that there's a famine. Then you will start feeling better and then start moving to lose weight.

When I was a fat teenager I lived with a French family and lost 16 kilos in 12 weeks eating like that book Frenchwomen Don't Get Fat. I moved a lot more and used exercise videos 4 days a week there while eating loads of carbs at 2 meals. Another lady I know lost forty odd kilos in her fifties over 3 years using Slimming World. Ten years later she's still about a UK size 12/14. You can get them online or the books on amazon. My sister's colleague lost 20 kilos by not eating carbs at dinner. It's calories and stagnation, not plain carbs that cause the problem for most of us. You will compound your thyroid problem if you carry on as you are.

I know from personal experience that bread and potatoes are not the problem for being fat. I think HFCS and weird processed carbs are the divil though because I had to go back and eat French style to lose the weight I gained while eating like my kin. Can you join a tennis club? Start eating at least 1500 a day and move more, no wonder you're feeling down, you're in starvation mode.

I hate the heat too and am counting down the days until autumn comes. Blessed rain and cold, I can hardly wait.

Sinéad.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Phooey. No one needs bread or pasta. It's a total myth.

And when you have a total hysterectomy, your metabolism slows to nearly nothing. The rules that apply to normal people, don't apply in my case.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

but yes, there happens to be a tennis club less than 300 yards away, and I'm going to go look into it as soon as I'm back from Canuckistan.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

I don't have a thyroid problem. I have a lack of ovaries problem. People who have been mutilated in the way that I have, on average put on between 25 and 40 pounds in the first year alone. Mainly because they keep eating according to their lifelong habits, or by the caloric standards applied to the non-ovarian-mutilated population.

Anonymous said...


I know, my sister had a radical hysterectomy and before that a thyroidectomy. She put on a fair bit of weight and had to do WW for a year. She loved it but they put lots of WW points for oily fish so I think they're cowboys.

I know lots of women post hysterectomy with work and I'm still not convinced that carbs are the problem. Your skin looks clear and healthy. That's unusual after chemo. Your diet pre-C must have been great.

If you think carbs are not for you, fine, but please consider upping your calorie intake somehow. Your calories are so low, how many calories will you be eating 10 years from now to maintain weight loss? Is 1200 sustainable for years? Munch more cheese, olive oil on salade, whatever. Just consider upping the calories though.

Interestingly overweight women on TPN or NG feeds for months/years after a stroke never seems to lose weight. Even though the calories are bang on and take into account their lack of movement they still remain big. It's bizarre. Activity must be the key.

Moving in a way you love is great and sustainable, good luck with the tennis.

Sinéad.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

My diet has always been good. I was raised by a hippie food-freak. I grew up eating fresh fruit and veg, sardines and liver, yogurt and green tea. It was all "normal" for me, which was all considered quite odd in the 70s. Sugar however, had always been my downfall, and having cut it out, I feel thousands better. Now I've even stopped having honey and am learning to like even espresso without sweetening. Sugar and the hoochies.

I spent a bad fall/winter last year, and spent most of it on the sofa, drinking prosecco and looking at the internet. Didn't get off the sofa again until April when art classes started again. Started with the gym thing just in May or June, (can't remember) so really still waiting for results, and am not surprised. I knew going in that weight would be come an issue after ____, so I'm not really as bitter and discouraged as I sound.

I know what to do. You just cut crap out, eat a little less and get the hell off the sofa. It's really not rocket science. Everything I've read tells me that I'm doing it right. Just need to get used to exercising for fun, and stop struggling with it.

I do need to drop though. Being even a little overweight and with no _____, means a huge risk of diabetes.

(Try to use fewer acronyms in future. I had to really work to understand what you were saying).

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

... for example, I still have no idea what this sentence means: "overweight women on TPN or NG feeds for months/years after a stroke never seems to lose weight". Can't even manage a guess.

And you should do a little research into the health gains of low calorie diets long term. Much, much higher life expectancy, and lower rates of all manner of systemic diseases. The myth that we all need 2000 calories a day comes from the same source as the people who tell you "whole grains" are the key to health.

The key to diabetes, you mean.

James C. said...

Being Italian, I consider bread and pasta to be matters of survival! But I compromise by avoiding them at night.

As for the metabolism issue, that's certainly a problem. Have you asked your doctor about post-ovary metabolism-firing solutions? Exercise will certainly help, but perhaps there are additional options.

Anonymous said...


Ah, I beg your pardon, sometimes I forget and it's very rude. For other readers WW is weight watchers, TPN is total parenteral nutrition where food goes into your veins. NG feed is a nasogastric feed where packets/bottles of liquid food bypass part of your gastric system in order to get you fed.

Food habits in childhood are key, sometimes I still crave Smash and cheap steak and kidney (horse/cat meat?) pie. Kind of like muscle memory, the body doesn't forget. On the food part you were lucky to have a hippie mother.

Staying up late also screws up metabolism so I will take some of my own advice and go to bed.

Sinéad.

Anonymous said...

Ok sorry, just read that last comment from you. Have you ever been in a nursing home and seen little old ladies barely able to move following a stroke? Their swallow system is compromised so they have to bypass that somehow to feed them. A feeding tube bypasses the swallow apparatus by going down their nose directly to the stomach or by using a PEG feed that just goes directly into the stomach. The feed they receive is in liquid form and calculated by the hospital dietician to take into account their activity, BMR and so forth. Even still, these ladies are the same size as when they come in. They look paler, floppier, more ill really. They don't seem to lose weight though even though they are probably eating 500/1000 calories less than they were eating to get that size. It's bizarre, I don't understand it. I should look into that or ask a dietician.

I have heard of the low calorie diets but I wonder how much the rest of their lifestyle impacts them and also whether the lack of weird processed carbs and HFCS influences it. Either way, I look at French friends with their tiny waists eating cheese on bread and potatoes daily and think Paleo shmaleo. If you have research links on low calorie I'd be interested to see them.

In short, I just don't know the answer about carbs. I do think moving more is a huge part of it.

Sinéad.

Teresa B. said...

I don't know how I could survive in the summers without the bread on my hamburgers and sausages.

Hey! You're coming to Ontario!
I'm guessing for work.
Maybe your visit may motivate you when you get home.

Our weather is below average!
And in my area - for the next 7 days it should be about 20-21C.
Last year we had a heatwave that felt like it lasted the entire summer!


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