Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Dark and Terrible Discovery

In the dank, foul laboratory where I labor to produce elfin elixirs that will make me skinny, (ie..the kitchen), a most heinous realization occurred: if I dip my organically-sourced fair trade dark chocolate into my all-natural almond butter, a stunning treat emerges that tastes EXACTLY like a Reese's peanut butter cup, the one type of candy that I have never been able to resist.

Friends, this is why I stay out of the kitchen. Nothing good can happen there for a fatty like me (and I do use that term fairly lovingly, since I have learned to accept and even chuckle at my inner fatty, a harmless and happy-go-lucky creature that just adores to eat good and creamy things.

I don't want to *be* fat. But I don't hate my inner fatty).

It's been quiet of late in Ishland, and that's because I've been .. well, sort of figuring some things out. I did mention briefly that I'd switched jobs of late. Perhaps I didn't mention that this has set off an explosion of identity crisis and existentialist hand-wringing. (Yes, I am prone to that, aren't I?)

It's just that I'm one of "those" people who strongly identifies herself through work. It has been a surprise (not a pleasant one) to see just how much I have defined myself by my work label all these years. Now that it's been taken away, by my own choice, what am I? What are my new boundaries? What terms do I use to describe myself? None of the ones commonly used appeal to me. I liked the label I had, but not the lifestyle I was forced to follow with it.

This has produced much second-guessing, as you can image. Have I made the wrong choice? Is my career effectively over? Will I spend my days obsessing over the mythical "What might have been?" question and drive myself into a bitter, lonely and likely deranged dotage? (All of these have been answered with a resounding YES by my inner control freak, who throws a few cookies at my inner fatty to distract her and then takes command of my head space.)

To survive all this insanity, I've adopted an alcoholic's approach to work. I just get through one moment at a time, one day at a time. I remind myself this choice wasn't about a short-term gain but a long-term gain. I swapped a demanding, unsatisfying, fairly underpaid position -- that had bursts of adrenaline and fun and great colleagues -- for a slow, easy-going, overpaid position that doesn't challenge me, never will challenge me, and makes me feel like I'm working with dullards.

You see the problem there, don't you? It's in the "no challenge" perception I have of this job. So, ok, it's not a job that will last a lifetime (please God no).

I need to hang tough, and remember that I did this for my long-term choices (ie, being debt-free in the next three years).

What does this have to do with my weight-loss? Well, I am able to tell you that I have not drowned my fears and worries in the grease of potato chip bags, or the comfort of a good creamy custard.

Despite my inner tensions and worries, I still make my low-cal breakfast every day, pack my lunch of mini-kale salad with 5 oz of lean protein and lots of veggies, my snack of fruit and sometimes a small cottage cheese/yogurt, and I eat sensibly at night.

There has been a bit of an uptick in the Pinor Noir consumption, but really, is it my fault that there is a darned fine wine store right next to my office specializing in French wines? It's been my guilty pleasure, but now I need to acknowledge it may also be a bit of a coping mechanism as well.

The only thing lacking has been a commitment to exercise. I have walked the 3+ miles home several nights these past weeks, but my dedication to working out ebbs and flows. Some days I can, others I just can't muster up the will to make the right choice for myself.

Friends, all I can say to you is that I am aware of this, and I'm struggling to address it. I am no longer willing to try and shame myself into working out, nor am I going to try and falsely hype myself into it with forced cheer and bravado. It is what it is. At this moment, at least.

I'm ever-so-slightly depressed these days, but I'm coping. I'm coping.

Apropos of nothing, a friend sent me this video the other day. If you've got 20 mins to spare, take a look and then tell me what you think. I'd really like to know.


  1. Hmmm, this isn't really 14th Feb - is it?

    Sounds like you're doing well (despite what you think) and I hope the job grows on you.


  2. Miss you Ish. Hope all is well in Ishland!!!