Unexpected

I had a doctor’s appointment today, and I got weighed. I’d avoided my Monday weigh-in yesterday because over the weekend I had not one, but two croissants, the frozen kind from William Sonoma. I bought them back in October for the holidays, but plans changed and I ended up going home, instead of my family coming here. So I never ate them. They’ve been sitting in the freezer since then. My intention was to make only one, but they were frozen hard and the least number I could get out was two. And you know what? They were o.k.  They were good. No, really, they were quite good, but… They weren’t the taste explosion I expected them to be. There could be several reasons for this.

  1. They’ve been in my freezer since October, so they might be a little freezer burned. Whoops.
  2. They over-rose. My kitchen was probably closer to 80 degrees than the 72 they recommend and they looked like small pale balloons Saturday morning. And finally,
  3. I think I may have built them up way too much in my head.

Deciding to even bake them was a huge deal. Because if I baked them I’d eat them. What would it do to my stomach? What would it do to my blood sugar?  And the one that never goes away: what would it do to my weight?

These things are expensive: $40 for 15, plus shipping. That’s more than $2.60 each (it’s very sad I had to figure that out on the computer calculator; my lack of math skills is embarrassing). That’s a lot of money for a croissant I have to cook myself.  I’m at the point where I’ll order a sandwich and not eat the bread, but I’m not willing to throw out Williams-Sonoma croissant kind of money. Plus, I’d wanted to order those croissant for years. And finally I’d declared myself a true foodie and done it.  I wanted to taste them, to see what all the fuss was about.

And, they were good. They could have been flakier but that was probably because they rose at least twice as much as they were supposed to. They were like mutant grocery store “crescent rolls” instead of real buttery flaky French croissants.

Saturday morning I sat with the freshly baked croissant. Just one. No TV, no music. Just me and the croissant, and the cultured butter. (I’ve decided that if I’m going to eat carbs, they need to be buttery to keep the high fat ratio going. My carb intake might have been 25% that day but it wasn’t more than that.)

I took off a piece, still warm, buttered it and put it in my mouth. It did not overwhelm me. I did not swoon. I did not roll my eyes into the back of my head in ecstasy. It simply tasted good. And from that first bite I knew I would not eat the other croissant. At least not right then. I knew it was manageable. I knew I wouldn’t bake one every day until they were all gone. I felt calm in that knowledge.  I let the other one stay out and get stale. The next night, I dunked it into an egg and milk mixture and made French toast out of it, using the big bottom half to soak up the yokes of two fried eggs. YUM!! Now that was a taste sensation! The smaller top, I dotted with maple syrup. It seemed too sweet. Not as good as the eggy buttery bread with eggs on top.

I’m not really depriving myself by eating low carb, paleo, primal, whatever religion you want to call it. I don’t want it to be a religion, is what I’m saying. The less I think of it in absolutes, the happier I’ll be. Does this mean I’m going to make this a monthly thing? Maybe. It’s kind of turning out to be an every six weeks I splurge kind of thing. Is that bad? Considering I used to get something sweet with my coffee almost everyday in the afternoon, not counting candy and chips and anything to feed the constant hunger? Hell no that’s not bad!!!

This morning at the doctor’s office, I weighed in at 202.7 (I could be wrong on the .point). That’s almost two pounds down from last week 204 (no decimals). I’m down about 10bls since mid-january, if I’m counting from 215. If I’m counting from 220, which I may well have been it’s about 15. That’s not counting the epic carb binge in San Francisco (Tartine, Humphry Slocombe), or the croissants a mere two days ago. I’m going home next weekend. I’m going to eat my mother’s cooking. And I won’t feel bad about it. I’m in this for the long haul.

April 13, 2011. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Year of Denial

It’s time to begin again. Or stop again. Either way, there are several reasons:

  1. The holidays, in my case September through January really didn’t help my stomach. I suddenly remembered what it was like to always have a stomach ache and always feel bloated. The Year of Denial is over; my body can’t take eating carbs anymore. If it ever could.
  2. I’d gotten back up to about 215, maybe 217, maybe 220 when I wasn’t getting on the scale. That’s just uncomfortable. The Year of Denial really started about 18 months ago with the extreme stress of buying my house and then getting a new job, and other things that brought a great deal of stress into my life. Also, knee problems which made going to yoga impossible. Also, just found out I have sever vitamin D deficiency. Which may have something to do with the knee problems. Still a sucky feel sorry for myself period of time.
  3. Gary Taubes has come out with a new book, Why We Get Fat (buy it!). I read it, the whole time thinking, ‘I remember this. Why was I in denial about this?’ Oh yeah, it was the Year of Denial.

Technically, I’ve been doing it (not eating carbs), or not doing it (eating carbs), since mid-to-late January. This does not include however, an epic carb binge on a trip to San Francisco around my birthday in February. My belly was so bloated, someone could have easily  mistaken me for pregnant. I wasn’t. It was the carbs. And they were delicious. And I don’t really regret it.

I’m not exercising that much now. I’ve got about a 20 minute walk both ways from the garage to the office, and I still practice yoga, though it’s yin yoga, because the knee prevents me from doing anything too rigorous.  That’s enough for now. I’ll crank it up when I’m under 200 again, in a couple of months I hope.

I’m down to about 206. I was 208 last week. It looks to be about a pound a week when I’m on it. And I’m on it. How long will I be on it? I honestly don’t know, but there won’t be another year(s) long detour from it. I’m too old and too damaged and there are still so many things I want to do. And I need this body to do them.

March 23, 2011. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

fat yogi

I’m coming late to this article, but as a fat yogini I feel I have to comment. It’s a post by Sadie Nardini referring to another post by a 300 lbs yogini who doesn’t feel like she fits in but keeps trying anyway.

I am always the fattest person in the yoga studio. I didn’t say biggest, because some of the men are bigger. Some. But whenever I go to a new yoga studio, I always assume I’ll be the fattest person there, and I always assume any new teacher is thinking either “what is she doing here?” or “oh she’s finally going to get some exercise!”  It’s the latter attitude that pisses me off the most. “Training for triathlons and biking 50 miles a week and doing Cathe videos is a lot more strenuous than your little yoga class,” I want to yell. “I’ve been exercising my ass off for 20 years. And oh yeah.  I’m a yoga teacher!” Of course I never say this. I keep it all in. And maybe that’s why I’m fat. Not.

I’m a big fan of Sadie Nardini’s core yoga, but her post just confirmed what I’d suspected for most:

“And, I have to admit, I do view obesity (I’m not talking about a healthy, curvy woman, mind you, but clinical obesity) as an imbalance that that originates in the ego’s shadow looming too large in front of the spirit’s light, but ultimately reflects in avoidable heart attacks, cancer, and strokes.

To be fair, I also see imbalances in myself and my students that manifest in other ways.”

The whole idea of fat people having issues, but thin people are somehow issue free drives me insane, and to be fair, Sadie explicitly recognizes that. However the idea that you can define what’s “wrong” with a person simply by the way they look is absolutely ridiculous. “The ego’s shadow looming too large in front of the spirit’s light.” Whahhh?  When feel they can say something like that for everyone who some other physical characteristic, then I’ll, maybe, consider it.

So let me be clear: There’s absolutely no issue that fat people has that thin people don’t have. Stop pretending they do.

January 11, 2010. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

getting fatter, getting better

I’m in the middle of a move, so I haven’t had time to go to yoga, only stretching some at home, mostly in bed, trying to figure my way around the new place, letting go of the old.  When I finally did go to a yoga class, I was shocked that my chaturangas were solid and strong, and my Vasisthasana was two-legged instead of my usual top leg forward for support. I was amazed. Again. In terms of asana, I’m a better yogi now than when I was smaller and practiced harder.

I’ve been amazed at my practice in the past few months because I’ve gained about 30lbs in the last nine months (honestly, much of that weight came between November and January. The holidays were fun!). But my practice has improved, a lot, since last summer when I was practicing pretty vigorously 5-6 times a week during teacher training. And I was 30lbs lighter.

I want to make sure everyone understands this is not “muscle weight”. I gained fat. My breasts are huge, my belly doughy, my hips and thighs can’t get into favorite skirts and jeans. I always think: “My practice would be so much better if I were smaller. If I were skinnier I’d be able to wrap myself around… myself, better.”  Would binds be easier if I had less to go around? Yes. No doubt. You can’t wrap 2 feet around 3 feet.

I also seem to improve when I limit my vigorous practices to maybe 2 to 3 times a week. I always have this desire to exercise hard, all the time, truth be told hoping to lose weight, even though I know from years of experience now, I won’t.  But maybe my body just needs more time to repair itself, to grow stronger. I’m starting to think that’s not really uncommon, especially the older you get. The older I get.

According to conventional wisdom, my practice should be getting worse. I should be getting weaker not stronger, less flexible not more. But I’m not. I notice my palm finding the floor in twists, not just my finger tips, not on a block. My core is stronger than I think it is. I try to trust my breath to lift me up when I think my muscles can’t. And I can tell you for a fact that I couldn’t do more than one chaturanga last summer, but now I can. And I can push up from it too. Well a few at least.

In terms of asana, I’m a better yogi now than when I was smaller and practiced harder.

September 4, 2009. Tags: , , . yoga. Leave a comment.

Fat and Order

Paul Campos’ article Fat Judges Need Not Apply makes me want to cry.  Why am I surprised? I knew this.  I know this. Women are only worth what they look, like nothing else. I should only be surprised that it looks like most of the comments, so far, are from men and not women.

Most people are talking about the men’s desire quote or creepy old Rehnquist, but it’s this quote that gets me: “for average-height women, no increased mortality risk correlating with weight begins to appear until weights above 200 pounds”.

Why doesn’t anyone EVER says that?!  No amount of fat is acceptable for women.  They make you think you have to be a size 2 to be healthy.  So women who wear a size 14 think they’re headed toward imminent death!

And god forbid if you’re a size 16!  Newly fat Brit author Tanya Gold put on weight and discovered there’s no amount of money that can get you a designer frock if you’re that size. None!

Is this a tipping point? Every obsession has it’s end?  Suddenly tulips are no longer that necessary.  With Campos using the science, and fat women with a lot of money to spend during the New Great Depression, and the fact that models can’t possibly get any thinner (unless designers start to use corpses in their ads; they’d all consider it modern and edgy), could we be seeing the beginning of the end of the reign of fat terror?  Can I have some butter now?

May 5, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Can’t I be just a little attractive?

I read this article, When Medicine Makes You Fat, in the New York Times.

Is it me? Or is there absolutely no consideration that it’s possible to be attractive and fat?  And she was really upset to be a size 8? Really?

I’m not saying she has no right to complain about side effects. I’ve been on enough medications to know that they are real and sometimes as bad as the disease itself. What I am saying is that a young woman who assumes that if she gains weight she should hole up in her apartment because her life is over. What?!?

She may be “more than her disease” but she certainly doesn’t think she’s not more than her waistline.

April 6, 2009. Tags: , . diet, weight. Leave a comment.

The Oprah Thing

The Oprah Thing has been raging for almost a month now and I’m wondering why no one has mentioned race?

I know that we’re supposed to be all post racial in this new Age of Obama, but I find it really interesting that authors and articles haven’t picked up on one of the most disturbing elements of this debate: The most powerful black woman in the world surrounds herself with white men who tell her she’s not good enough.

How fucked up is that?

Two really good articles have come out recently: The Oprah Syndrome in the NY Post and Spanking Oprah on Salon. They both mention that Bob, Dr. Oz, and “Dr.” Phil as the strong paternal types who keep her in line. But the article don’t seem to “make the connection”.

There are so many socio-racial-sexual things going on here I’m not sure where to begin.  The standard of beauty in the west has not included the black woman. That may be changing.  I’ve been shocked by the media singing of Michelle Obama’s beauty.  I don’t disagree. I’m just not used to the world seeing a black woman who’s not really light or with white features, as beautiful.

I remember once reading in O (I have no idea which issue) that Bob said to Oprah when she was gaining weight something like “Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately?”  Tell me what was she supposed to see in the mirror, Bob?

But this pretty white man has the nerve to tell this powerful black woman who made his career, “you’re disgusting”.  And she let’s him.  And she reported it in her own magazine, not in outrage, and with an eye toward banishment or shunning, but in gratitude as if to say, “Finally. Someone is being honest with me and telling me I’m worthless.”

Oprah’s weight is the least of her problems.

January 29, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.