fitness, fatness, dieting
I have just finished my first week back on Weight Watchers and I feel better. No, it wasn't my father's remark that sent me on this journey back to discover my hip bones but his comment about my weight probably tipped the Rube Goldberg mechanism so all the little bells and whistles whacked one another until I was ready.
So, weight watchers. Let me see-when I first got sober in New York in 1984 (I mean really sober) it was a fact that people tended to get a little chubby what with all the cake & coffee & candy& ice cream and deep cravings for sugar which I had since babyhood when my darling mother forbade any candy, creating a monster. (It's always the mom's fault). I loved to exercise. I was on one of the first girl's soccer team in the United States (!) and hiked and went to modern dance classes all through school even when I'd had so much to drink the night before there were two of me in the mirror. I climbed mountains and considered the Appalachian Trail and took yoga stoned out of my gourd.
After I got all skinny and scary when my sister died and then sort of bloated from drinking and then chubby from sobriety I decided to go to WW in Manhattan because all these 80s women I knew were going and singing the praises of Tastee Delight (1 point but maybe that was a lie) and getting weighed publicly. So I joined and I read the diet wrong and hardly ate anything for two weeks and dropped tons of weight so people didn't like me at all. But then I got help and slowed down. I was thin and men kept asking me out but I was still poor and underemployed and mad at my parents and in therapy so all the tastee delite in the world didn't make up for it.
Gradually I stopped writing down what i was eating and that seemed okay and I went back to finding complete bliss in a magazine, TV and something like cookies or candy or whatever. One day this really funny girl named Catherine Pellagrino who was in AA with me asked if I wanted to go to Weight Watchers with her and so I did but Catherine kept gaining weight because being on a diet made her eat more. She'd call me up at night when she was eating snickers & baby ruths and other miniature candy bars in bed and when we got weighed she was very cheerful and pissed off the leader by not caring about her weight gain.
I went to live in the Buddhist monastery and was pretty thin except I ate chocolate after sitting zazen which was sort of counter-intuitive in the sense that you were meant to maybe read Buddhist text and fast and I read COSMO and made coffee and ate Hershey bars.
My weight was fine until I was pregnant and the British weighing ladies told you kilos which sounded fine and also they thought fat mothers were totally cool unlike the skinny bitch doctors in Manhattan. I was close to 200 when i gave birth to my perfect Luke who unfortunately did not weight 50 pounds. I was, however, a sponge so 20 lbs dropped off without much effort. But that left a bunch more. We moved to Dallas and I drove everywhere and my beloved husband and I stopped talking much and I was bored and lonely. And Fat. Well, not really fat but not thin and he liked me thin. One day he inquired in a really polite tone as to whether I could provide a date for when I planned to get thin again. He was a journalist. He appreciated deadlines. So I handed him the baby and I left and I stormed around and swore I would fast until I was so thin he'd feel really, really bad. But I didn't. I went to the gym more and we went to couples therapy where we shouted at one another and it was very terrible.
Then he got the job in Chicago and I found myself driving alone one night and I started to drive faster and I started to head towards one of those concrete thingies. I thought about my best friend and my sister and then Luke. It had taken me 72 hours of labor to have him, 72 hours of back labor in a homeopathic hospital where the midwives kept offering me essential oils while I screamed for opiates, preferably heroin. Luke was my darling, my amazing love bunny boy and his mother wasn't going to crash at 80mph into a concrete thingie.
So, I called this writing place in Taos, New Mexico that had offered me a fellowship right when I got pregnant. I left my ex-husband to finish the house sale and took off for New Mexico. I made Luke a tape of me singing and my ex told me I was a bad mother but I figured better a bad mother than a dead one. I lost weight and wrote and fell madly in love with the most handsome Canadian artist in the world who didn't think I was a fat Texas housewife. But I didn't do anything really terrible.
Anyway, I lost 5.6 pounds this first week at WW and felt good. I have been doing this exercise program my trainer suggested that analyzes your fat and aerobic capacity and then comes up with workouts. I think when things are out of control (work, publishers, teens, old parents, mean sisters) it helps to feel your body is basically okay. I take the same yoga class I've been taking for years and it's always perfect even when I suck or when my teacher gets all didactic and yogic and makes us hold horrible poses.