Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Living in Clip

I keep a chain of paperclips hanging from the corkboard at my desk, and every Tuesday morning I look at them in anticipation.
Each clip represents a lost pound.  I can't stop checking them out with some anxiety and excitement - will I add to them today?
I'm worried.  I've cut back on calories dramatically this week, mostly because I'm rarely hungry.  I've been eating 3 meals a day with no snacks.  I've had no desire for more.  Because I've consumed less than my Points allowance each day, will I still show a loss? 
I feel smaller.
I've been excercising regularly.
I know it sounds obvious that I'll lose, but I'm never sure.  The number on the scale is never low enough, so even if I lose, will I still be happy with myself?
I don't know the point of this post.  Much of what I think doesn't make sense these days.  I do know that I'm beginning to enter that mindframe that helped me lose 100 lbs a few years ago.  In a way that's good, but it's also very bad.  I easily feel guilty and resentful of the things on my plate, especially if I'm at a restaurant where I can't control my food.
A story:
When I worked in Yellowstone over the summer of 2003, my aunt and uncle and their kids came out for there vacation and to visit me.  I lost over 30 lbs at the time of their visit, and that was due to counting Points, a regimented eating schedule, and my work in a sweatshop.  They took me to dinner one night at one of the park's historic hotels.  I ordered pasta primavera.
Big mistake.
Pasta portions are out of control in restaurants, and I knew that, but I honestly thought it would be a pretty small plate.  This was a gourmet restaurant after all.  Instead I got a huge bowl of pasta - easily four servings - in an oily marinara sauce.  And?  It was wayyyyy overpriced at around 18 bucks.  So I spent my meal not fully invested in the conversation with the relatives I rarely see, but near tears as I tried to figure out how to politely clean my plate. 
I ate slowly, taking in what I considered to be one portion of pasta.  There was still close to a pound of food left, and I thought it would be rude to leave so much of a gratis meal behind.  I moved it around in the bowl, trying to make it look smaller.  I put some in my mouth, chewed, and spit it into my napkin.  I dropped the masticated wads on the floor to make room for more of them.
Crazy?  Yes.  A tad anorexy?  Uh-DOY!
Flash forward to this past Friday.  The work gals and I went over to Grand Lux to celebrate Shana's 27th birthday.  If you don't know about the Lux, it's known for it's outRAGEOUS portion sizes.  The only other time I went there I got Chicken Piccata, which was easily 6 portions of food: four whole chicken breasts over a full pound of angel hair pasta in a caper cream sauce.  It's insane.
I went to their online menu to make my plan of attack, deciding on an egg white omelet with asparagus, mushrooms, ham and a little cheese, alongside a green salad.  I ordered it with confidence, without looking back.  They brought out a whole-egg omelet, and like the picky customer I hate, I sent it back (praying that nobody put semen in it as revenge).  When I got what I wanted, I immediately microscoped in on its major fault:  GREASE.  The veggies were fresh, yet greasy.  The eggs were covered in grease.  When I moved the food around, the plate had droplets of yellow grease all over it.  I wanted to dab at it with a paper napkin, but I was in mixed company, and we only had cloth linens. 
I ate the veggies and the ham.  I had the small amount of cheese, which is the only thing they really got right.  I only ate half of the egg whites.  And there was the salad.  Afterward, we split beignets, which was my only splurge of the week.
The guilt, though, was what I left the table with.  I felt guilty over egg whites.  That's insane.
I can't change this mindset.  I have to commit to a downward trend.  I have to make this my final effort.  I have to live like this the rest of my life.
I have to get more paperclips.
So there's that,


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