Sunday, January 17, 2010

On Counting Calories

Diet Coke and pizza please

Kate Moss once said that "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels", and I had this concept in the back of my mind while on this Squish-loss quest. I kept mental tabs about my happiness re: appearance, physical exertion, and food choices. At the end of my fitness experiment I came to the conclusion that the only good part about semi-intense exercise was how good stretching felt at the end, and that following a Very Healthy diet make me intensely unhappy.

I had mixed feelings about the few physical changes I had. My face was almost imperceptibly thinner, which I think made me look more my age than like the high schooler I occasionally get mistaken for. I was slightly less depressed about the number the scale was showing me. My ab muscles were actually getting used, therefore my squishy abdomen was lifted up, making me look "effortlessly" better in some of my clothes. My arms were gaining definition, which I felt made them look bigger rather than less-flabby. I was sleeping less (which, in the grand scheme of sleeping 10+ hours a day is an improvement).

In essence: after time had passed and effort was made, I was happier about my body when I looked in the mirror. I also took more showers by virtue of sweating profusely 5-6 times a week.

Once personal training was over and I no longer had to create food logs to show to a judgmental PT, I was immensely relieved. I didn't have to eat food I found bland. I didn't have to stress over whether I was getting 30 billion grams of protein a day. I didn't have to feel guilty about ordering buffalo wings or having peanut butter toast for breakfast. And so my rapid descent into PTSD (post-training sloth disorder) began. My last training session was just about a month ago, and I think I've made it to the gym about once a week since. Surprisingly, I'm feeling guilty about it, as well as feeling pangs of guilt when contemplating unhealthy food choices.

So while it turns out that TGiFriday's green chile sauce and brownie obsession, Spicy Sweet Chile Doritos, and really good bleu cheese dressing do, in fact, taste better than being skinny feels, losing that good-skinny feeling due to relaxing ab muscles and increasing scale numbers feels worse than a 100% tasty but erratic diet and the guilt that goes along with staying on the couch watching crime drama instead of going to the gym. So it seems some sort of compromise is in order, because seriously; life is not worth living if Applebee's french onion soup is off-limits, but I really don't want to sabotage all of the hard work I put in over the last few months.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Two Thousand and Ten, Common Era

I like to make myself believe that planet Earth turns slowly

Well well well, if it isn't my old arch-nemesis: blogging in a timely manner.

I really, truly have no excuse. It's not like my life has been prohibitively busy or so filled with excitement and adventure that I simply cannot find the time. Mostly I've just lost inspiration, I think. Well, that, and sheer laziness. It's way easier just to click aimlessly around the Intertubes and occasionally use my scroll button than to hoist my keyboard onto my lap and wiggle my fingers in a meaningful way.

What this means is not only have I not written in almost 2 months, but I'm also 10 days late for my 2009 recap/2010 wish-list. I suppose in all fairness, I was in New York for the turn of the decade so an appropriately-dated entry was out of the question, but I could have been more prompt. Sorry.

I'm still at that stage in life where at the turn of every year I marvel at how long ago the last new year celebration seems. I've heard this vastly diminishes post-college, but I don't know, man. January 2009 feels very far away. It's no longer strange to say "President Obama", I paid off my student loans in full, I bought my car off mom (also in full), both The Boy and Seester finished college, I'm already halfway done being in a LDR, I moved, and took what seems to now be an annual winter road trip, this time to New York City (though I suppose both "last year's" winter road trip to D.C. for the inauguration was also in 2009).

But for now, let's review 2009.

2009 "Wish List" Recap
-Find a "real job" that will allow me to simply bartend as a supplement, not staple
Failure, though largely to a lack of trying. I sent out my resume a few times but I'll be honest--I've been too content with my current lot in life to try too hard.
-Get my own place
Success! 3 boys and I have a house together, which we take adequate care of.
-Keep the boyfriend (a task far less whimsical and much, much scarier this year)
Success! It seems that The Boy and I are doing so well together that everyone except for the two of us were convinced I'd come back from NYC with an engagement ring.
-Work on developing a healthier routine (improved diet, any exercise, better habits, etc...)
Believe it or not, success! Hiring a personal trainer was a good idea. I lost a little bit of weight, and learned how to eat well and developed an exercise ethic.
-Never carry a balance on my AmEx card
Success! Though I'm notoriously fiscally responsible, so this was more of a reminder to keep it up, rather than some sort of difficult quest.
-Dress more adult-like
Debatable success. I own more dresses and nice tops and jewelry, though my attire today would indicate nothing of the sort.
-Write almost every day, in some form
Faaaaaaiiiiiiillure. Big time. Unless writing down people's food orders counts (it doesn't).
-Listen to newer, better music
Also a debatable success. I definitely started listening to newer music. The jury's split on whether Lady Gaga and Jay Sean qualify as "better".

2010 is perturbing me on a number of levels. It's an unattractive number. There, I said it. It doesn't flow well when writing, and is especially difficult to type when using the top-row number keys (though almost delightful to type on the number pad). You can't make eyes out of the middle numbers anymore (and we can't wear those fun glasses for NYE anymore), and it marks the beginning of people commonly stating the date as "twenty-something" rather than "two-thousand-something", which my ears find irritating (ear-itating? Har har).

Additionally this year is really feeling like the year I have to Figure It Out. In April The Boy will be finished with his long-term volunteering. I'm sick and tired from being away from him for the majority of our relationship, so organizing our lives in some fashion where we can actually like, be together, is at the top of my priority list. This means, you know, living in the same town or nearly the same town which means we're going to have to Talk and we all know how much I hate Talking About Stuff. I'm also sick and tired of feeling like a professional/academic failure, brought about by doing nothing re: my BA for almost 2 years now. This means knuckling down and finding a "real job", which is scary, ya'll.

Things I Hope Come to Pass in '10
-Get out to Oregon to visit SB
-Move to Chicago with Seester
-Get a Real Job (I'd love NPR or Q101, but I'm not picky) Caveat: acceptable alternative--go to grad school
-Stick with The Boy
-Keep up the healthy habits
-Grow my hair all long(er) and sexy-like
-Go to at least one wedding. Everyone keeps getting married and no one ever invites me!
-Write more

So here's to a new decade, Interested Party. I'm feeling motivated and optimistic, albeit scared shitless, and I hope all your Two-thousand-and-Ten dreams come true.

IKEA Bed Set,