Again, I find myself in the "late-night lack of food spot". My plans to make low-carb chicken alfredo fell through when I realized I'd put a half-full, open can of alfredo in the cabinet rather than the fridge. So no alfredo. I could try to defrost some meat and make beef and broccoli, but I think that'd be rather a disaster considering I still haven't found any of my spatulas with which to approximate stir-frying. I've finally found all the rest of my kitchen stuff, but no spatulas.

I could have turkey and cheese, but that's just going to leave me wanting something else. I could go to the store, but seeing as I have $4 and I'm very lazy tonight I don't see that working out well.

Hey! I found a spatula! Apparently I found it ages ago and stuck it in a random drawer. Hmm. The meat defrosting isn't going so well--it's taken most of an hour to even get it defrosted enough to hack into bits. So now it's 11, which is when I was planning on going to bed, and I'm just now actually cooking. Blech.

And now it's 12:15. I've finished eating, and I have class at 8 in the morning, and I don't feel sleepy at all. This is why I've hardly been to class in the last month. Attendance has never been my strongest suit, let alone to ass-crack of dawn (for me, at least. Shut up.), ridiculously boring classes.

See, I made the mistake of choosing my classes according to two priorities: not too challenging for my first semester back, and at times that wouldn't limit my work much. Which means I have to get up at 7 to get to the first of two classes that consist basically of putting terminology to shit I already know about management and food service. Yippee skippee!

I was hoping that eating properly would facilitate me rolling out of bed in the morning, but alas, it has not. Ongoing battle.

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My restaurant had a particular pasta bowl that I really liked, although hadn't had in quite a while. I found out it was being taken off the menu, and yesterday was the last day it would exist. So ... yesterday, for lunch, I had said pasta bowl. OMFG, big mistake. Since about half an hour after eating it, my intestines have felt like they're trying to burst through my abdominal wall. Even sadder, it wasn't as delicious as I remembered. I'm assuming that's some sort of carb-fogged recollection.

After a day of not eating much, and what I did eat being mostly protein, I'm feeling better. But still like sleeping for about two days.

And startling my dog loudly by singing along:

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(To be clear, I do not have a problem with pro-life people in general. It's this specific display that raises my hackles.)

To get to my second class, I have to walk through my university's student center plaza. There's always something going on there--credit card companies trolling for debt victims, Greeks recruiting, local newspapers selling student subscriptions, blah blah blah. Every semester, though, one particular group sets up what I think is a really disturbing display. So I knew when I saw the sign saying "Graphic Photos Ahead" exactly what the photos were: the anti-abortion people were at it again. A few steps more, and I could see smears of blood-red through the trees.

These people set up billboard sized props, literally taller than the student center, with extremely graphic, gruesome photos. These are the people who compare abortion to the Holocaust, and try to drive that point home with bloody pictures of fetuses and fetal body parts. It's disgusting. I'm really not sure why it's allowed--freedom of speech is awesome, but there's a difference, in my mind, between freedom of speech and the sorts of images used here. I don't feel like this group is aiming for discussion or debate--they're going for shock value and disgust.

Around their construct, they have a series of metal crowd control barriers, and behind those are people participating. These people try to engage people passing by, sometimes by yelling into the crowd, sometimes by arguing at the top of their lungs with people in the crowd. I've seen them with bullhorns. I thought about giving them a piece of my mind one year, until I heard the most obnoxious person spouting bible verses in response to reasoned discussion. Another time, I heard something literally SCREAMING over the top of the person they were "debating". Basically, these people completely dominate the plaza with their huge, highly-visible structure; then they assault the ears in a variety of ways.

Every year I see this, it just pisses me off. If they had a booth, or were waving posters, or passing out literature, okay. But the graphic, screaming-for-attention nature of the photos seems beyond the bounds of good taste, and every year I question why my university allows this. If someone were protesting the war and wanted to use pictures of slaughtered soldiers, would that be allowed? Probably not. I've never seen PETA or any other group with building-sized slaughterhouse placards on campus. So why is this okay?

One year, this group also paid to put an insert in the school's daily paper. The insert, actually, was bigger than the paper. It contained all the typical propaganda--like the fact that Margaret Sanger was a follower of eugenics, as if that matters in the current context. There were a bunch of them, but I think my absolute favorite was the assertion that birth control pills are a form of abortion. Oh, apparently IUDs are too.

So what caused me to label them douchebags rather just jerks I disagree with? Well, those signs warning people of what's ahead had an advertisement on the back ... for "Choices Medical Center". Seriously? "We're here trying to disgust you into giving up your right to control your body! Come talk to us about your 'choices'!"

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I logged into Myspace today, and this is the ad that popped up. Seriously--does anyone look at this and believe that this is really THE MIRACLE WEIGHT LOSS DRUG?

The women are both brunettes, and both in red bikinis. Other than that, zero similarities--oh wait, we can't tell that, because the fat woman's face is blurred. Because a woman who would be comfortable wearing a bikini at a very large size would clearly be shy of showing her fat FACE in an ad.

And a woman who went from being very fat to ridiculously skinny wouldn't have any stretch marks, or any loose skin, or any other sign, or any scars from cosmetic surgery to remove excess skin. Oh, wait, maybe that's a benefit of this acai berry stuff--it causes you to lose weight AND skin!

Basically, I saw this and laughed, because clearly some ad genius out there thought having two clearly different women in the same color bikini would fool people. And then I felt sad, because I know that there are women out there desperate enough over their weight that they WILL let themselves believe this.

I haven't read much about acai berry--anything touted as a weight loss magic bullet, I tend to blow off. After reading a couple of web pages, I will say this: acai berries appear to be a healthy substance, lots of antioxidants and even some omega-3 fats. There are definitely more dangerous and harmful "cures" for teh fatz!!!111! Still, I shudder to think how many women are going to jump on this latest miracle and end up more self-hating and despondent than before.

Then again, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the ad does picture the same woman, who actually did experience a weight loss miracle. But my natural skepticism just tells me, no.

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1) I suck at packing. Seriously. I had a few boxes that were clearly labeled .... but most have a random amalgamation of things. You know, a box of candles, one strappy shoe, a couple of purses, a lint roller, nail polish, and some CDs.

2) I also suck at unpacking. I moved on August 1st. I have unpacked a bare minimum of things. Most of my clothes are still in boxes. Most of my CDs and movies, all but three pair of shoes, etc. etc. My spare room is full of boxes, most of which I have opened and rifled through trying to find things, so they're not even stacked neatly.

3) I have a slight addiction of Bath and Bodyworks soaps. So far, in two different boxes, I've found twelve bottles of the stuff. WTF do I need to twelve bottles of soap at once?

4) Despite conquering my addiction of Bath and Bodyworks lotions (by which I mean, quit buying them), I've still got about fifteen bottles and tubes of lotions. I don't use lotion. I don't have time after showering to stand around waiting for stuff to sink in. I never have used lotion on a regular basis. Why did I buy it all? Well ... it smells pretty! This is ironic considering most of the time, I can't smell anything. Even post-sinus-surgery, my olfactory nerves aren't working so well.

5) I have a lot more candles than I realized, also. And bought more a couple of weeks ago. See above re: "irony".

6) My cooking utensils (stirring spoons, etc.) are not in any boxes labeled "kitchen".

7) I have three different types of deodorant and two bottles of identical facial moisturizer. I am, however, down to only two spare tubes of toothpaste.

8) Hey, I found my nose lube! Yeah, I said nose lube. My sinus doctor told me to coat the inside of my nose with KY Jelly to keep it from drying out. See? NOSE LUBE! HA HA HA!

9) Lack of packing skills can potentially lead to catastrophe. When my dad came to pick up my stuff when I moved, there was a picture of my mother and her new husband I hadn't packed yet. I stuffed it in the first box I found. I took my sewing kit to my dad's last night to repair something. Want to guess which box I'd stuck that picture in? (He didn't actually see it, despite the fact we later ended up screaming about my mom.)

10) I have Visine that expired in 2006. May of 2006, to be exact. Also Airborne that expired May of 2007.

11) My "vanilla" pudding tastes like banana. Hmm. Not moving related; more taking a break from my most strenuous unpacking.

12) Reading She Just Walks Around With It is much more entertaining than trying to find a place for all the random debris of my life.

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I love my dad. Most of the time, I enjoy spending time with him. However, he's also the person who can most likely trigger me to dive head-first into a vat of something unhealthy. It used to be worse. I used to run for cookies every time he called me up drunk. Eventually, I learned not to answer my phone past a certain time of night, and to only call back if his message was sober. In addition to avoidance, I started separating out in my head his drinking from my long-programmed responses, and truly realized that eating didn't help.

However, when he shows up drunk, and continues drinking, and goes off on a rant about how my mother is a horrible person and "ruined" my life, and when he and I get into a two-hour long argument about things that we just plain will never agree on but he won't let go .... well, sometimes I'm still okay. Other times, like last night, I'm not.


I actually held off the urge for a couple of hours. I talked to a friend, I read a blog, I watched some television. But by 2 in the morning, even though I was consciously thinking "eating will not help, and I know it will not help", I ordered a pizza. It wasn't all that tasty. It was just pizza. I didn't binge on the whole thing, which is also progress. In fact, I feel fine today, not bloated or fuzzy-headed, so apparently I still came in under whatever my carb tolerance threshold is. So I'm not going to worry about it.

Basically, I don't think I'll ever be able to completely exile emotional eating from my life. It's worth trying, and it's not my first-line coping mechanism anymore (thank god), but I think it'll always be an option in my head, and sometimes, like last night, I'll take that option. And I'm not going to beat myself up for it, either.

Food's better than crack, right?

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I'm not sure why the birthday of one out of fifty-plus employees warranted a birthday cake--they don't do it for everyone. But when the chocolate cake with some sort of delicious creamy frosting was brought out ... well, it was 3 in the afternoon and I hadn't eaten all day and I chose to have a piece. And went back for a second about ten minutes later, which was much too sweet so I didn't eat it all. I don't know exactly how much I ate; no way to weigh or measure it there, and anyway that just smacks of Diet Behavior. But when I got home (after having a burrito for lunch too) I fell asleep for about five hours. Coincidence? Probably not.

Another thing that smacks of Diet Behavior? The all-or-nothing mentality that's now prodding me to go ahead and just have an entire unhealthy day--today is already "ruined" so why not go get some french fries or ice cream or something? Wouldn't it be better to have it now, today, rather than "ruining" another day?

I don't know. Part of me screams "DIET MENTALITY! This isn't a diet! I could have anything I want another day." And part of me is whispering .... "It is about health. And limiting unhealthy foods to a certain time period makes sense."

I don't know which voice to follow. If I had food in my house, it wouldn't really be an issue. I'd eat what I have. But the thing is .... I don't. I have lunch meat, and cheese, but I'm sort of craving a whole, real meal. Probably a side effect of my extremely sporadic eating over the last couple of days. I've basically been having one big meal and then sort of nibbling from there. Probably not the best approach.

It's ten minutes to midnight; I could go to the store or to McDonald's. Or just have lunch meat and cheese. Probably the best option. Saves money, saves time.

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I went to lunch with my mom today, and I keep catching myself occasionally thinking that I had too much junk. It's not like I'm obsessing about it non-stop; just when trying to decide what to have for dinner, or when entering it in to my tracking program, I would think "that's WAY too much carb". Then I think "No, dammit, it's not!"

I think this is exacerbated by the fact that I had to go jeans shopping today. I've had the same three pair of basic jeans for about two years. One pair developed a hole above the back pocket a few months ago, so I only wore those around the house. That hole split down the entire leg last week! The other two were holding up great ... until about two weeks ago I noticed holes where my thighs rub together in one pair. So I had to get a new pair then. Then my third, last pair of old jeans developed the same holes yesterday! Fuck!

Here's the problem with jeans: my waist is smaller than my hips, and my legs are MUCH smaller than either. And I have a flat ass. So basically, I have two choices: fitted-leg tapered jeans that make my hips and stomach look even more giant, or bootcut type jeans that are saggy in the ass. Add to that the restrictions on the details of jeans for work (no fancy pockets or embroidery, have to be standard jeans pockets--no slit pockets, pork chop pockets etc.--no pocket flaps, no fading, blah blah blah). Add to that I'm short. Add to that the general dearth of plus-sized clothing anyway. And basically it's a big problem.

I ended up with another pair of the Lane Bryant Right Fit jeans. They don't fit so right. I miss the old bootcut jeans. They were still sort of saggy, but the overall leg was narrower, I liked the feel of the fabric better, the rise didn't feel funky, and they were the perfect length instead of slightly too long. Plus, all this red/blue/yellow, flare/bootcut/classic, 1-8 sizing crap? Unnecesarily complicated. Seriously.

I did discover today that my local Old Navy carries up to a size 20. I could get them on and zip them, but they were trying to crawl up my ass. I might order a 22 online when I have the cash, and see how it works out.

Anyway, jeans almost always make me feel bad about myself and like I should lose weight. I know that just about every woman has trouble finding jeans that fit well. But I feel like if I could just lose weight in my stomach area, then I could get a smaller jean size, which would have smaller legs and thus be less baggy. The fatal flaw with that, of course, is that if I lost weight, it wouldn't be just in my stomach. My stupid skinnier legs would shrink too, so really it wouldn't solve anything.

Still, I'm doing alright not going into diet-mode. The thoughts come to me sometimes, but they're not the self-hating thoughts they used to be. I'm actually sort of impressed with myself, I'll admit. I'm going on two weeks here of reasonable, healthy eating, without daily weighing or hating myself for having more than exactly X many grams of carb or calories or whatever.

I just realized, actually, that lunch today was pretty incredible. My mom's lunch came with a giant chips and salsa appetizer. I had a few chips, but not more than ten. We shared boneless buffalo wings. I had a half a sandwich and a cup of baked potato soup, which also came with a full plate of fries. I had less than ten of those. Even when the food was sitting there while we talked for a long time, I didn't continue eating. I wasn't "stuffed"; I just wasn't hungry. And it was the first thing I'd eaten all day, too (at 3:30 in the afternoon).

Again, I wonder ... is this what it's like to be "normal" regarding food?

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This was SUCH a WTF day. In every way except nutritionally, I think. I really don't know what my fucking problem was today. The day started out pretty alright. I slept okay, and I woke up in plenty of time for work. Shortly before work, someone called and asked me if I'd like to work tonight for her. I was pissed at the beginning of the week because I didn't have enough shifts, so I thought, cool! I'll work my lunch shift, work through the dinner rush, and then get to head home.

Yeaaaaaaaah. People are douchehounds. I had one table leave me a 41 cent tip. The only thing "wrong" with their service? The chick didn't order the small salad, she ordered the large, but said she didn't. So she got the extra salad for the price of the smaller one. Another table left me 81 cents. There were a couple of things that took me a while to get them, but not that bad--not that warranted a two percent tip. Another table was a giant pain in the ass, insisted on jamming two adults and FIVE kids into a four person booth, and again didn't tip me well. Etc. etc.

Now, normally, this stuff doesn't bother me. Occasionally I get cranky. But most of the time it doesn't affect me for long. I can let it pass. Today, I ended up a basketcase, crying in the bathroom and struggling to hold it together. I don't know why.

On the plus side, I didn't emotionally eat. On the negative side, what the fuck? I'm not PMSing, I'm not off my Prozac, I'd eaten good meals so it wasn't like my blood sugar was wacked-out .... it was very frustrating.

I started feeling better toward the end of the night, but once I got home I started feeling extremely depressed, and following my typical Very Depressed pattern of moping around, wasting time, and staying up too late. I can even identify it as a pattern, yet I feel like my actions are moving along on their own, separate from my brain.

I hate these days.

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This is how my day unfolded:

2a.m.-7:35a.m.: restless sleep.
7:35-8: frantically dressing and bolting to class.
8-9:30: exams.
9:30-10:30: lazing around feeling sleepy.
10:30-3:30: restless sleep.
3:30-4:30: preparing for and heading to work.
4:30-11:30: work, slowly developing an eye-stabby headache due to paint fumes from restaurant remodel. Realized when I got there I hadn't eaten anything. Finally got to eat something at 9. Got home at midnight.

No wonder I feel miserable. I'm really not looking forward to tomorrow--they're doing more painting overnight, so I'm facing another day of nausea and headache from the smell (paint + food = barf). Of course, more sleep and actually eating might help ... but not that much. Had I known that they'd be painting, I'd've requested a couple of days off, because I know how the smell affects me. I felt sort of goofy and slow-witted all night too, like I'd been sniffing markers. In short, not the best day.

The good thing was, when I finally did eat, I didn't go overboard. I had chicken and broccoli, although in retrospect perhaps chicken swimming in hot sauce wasn't the best idea. Then I had a small thing of cheesecake filling, about a third cup. I'm not sure why--it sounded good, but not like I had to have it. I guess it was sort of a challenge to myself, to see if I could have it and not go totally bonkers. I didn't tonight, hopefully tomorrow will be good too. I really do think that any time now I'm going to start craving the most unhealthy things possible. Considering how little I've eaten today, I might wake up tomorrow wanting to consume the world. FAT GIRL MUST FEED!

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At work today I kept getting dizzy spells. The first one was really bad, probably a good 30 seconds long. It felt like when you're underwater and sort of floating, where under your eyes feels kind of weird, you know? Or maybe you don't. Maybe I'm nuts.

Anyway, they kept up for a couple of hours--during the lunch rush, of course--which made things interesting. I don't know what it was about; I'm pretty sure I was decently hydrated. I'd had a bit of an omelette (how the hell do you spell that?), and my protein shake. It was just random.

Eventually I started feeling better. I did feel sleepy after work--I usually do in the afternoons--but I didn't fall asleep even though I watched an episode of "House" and stretched out on my bed for about fifteen minutes. A couple of weeks ago, I'd've passed out until about eight o'clock, woken up still tired, and accomplished nothing. Instead, I stayed awake. I've done a sinkful of dishes and studied for my exams tomorrow, fairly successfully I think. Time will tell, I suppose.

Although not if I don't go to bed soon, Big Trouble will ensue if I sleep through my exams tomorrow. I may actually sleep on my couch with the television on so it's harder for me to fall back asleep when my alarm goes off. I hate having to play tricks like that with myself, but I've slept through my alarm/turned it off in my sleep/blatantly been a dumbass about it too many times in the past not to worry. If I just hop into bed and try to trust I'll wake up, I won't sleep at all. There's a part of me that's tempted to just stay up for the next five hours killing time and then go to my exams ... but if I do that I'll be so ridiculously brain dead I needn't have bothered studying at all.

To get back to anything food or fat related ... I did briefly entertain the idea of having something carb-o-riffic for lunch, namely citrus teriyaki boneless "wings" and fries, or maybe a sandwich .... but it wasn't all that tempting, really. I did snag one French fry from someone, and it was good, but I didn't feel the need for more. It's very interesting, this experience of not constantly craving one thing or another. I don't want to poke at it, for fear of breaking it ... I already feel like I'm going to wake up one day and it'll just be gone. I'm hoping not. I'm hoping a combination of taking almost whole year off from any thought of restriction, and truly accepting myself as a Fatty McFatterson and being happy that way, and not trying to adhere to some strict "Diet" regulation .... I'm hoping all of that will allow me to continue, for the most part, not wanting the insulin-raising junk I used to crave all the time.

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Yes, in the rigorous scientific setting of my home, I have determined that proper eating makes you feel better. Shocking, right? I'm basing this on the fact that, although I did sleep a large portion of my day away, after that I did Useful Things.

Granted, I'm still not able to nail my ass to a chair and study for hours at a time without moving. Rather I'll force myself through one chapter (with a couple of 30 second breaks for more water, squishing a kitten, etc.), then I'll let myself read a couple of blog entries or whatever before moving on to the next chapter. I'm just one of those fidgety people. A couple of weeks ago while filling up on junk, I wouldn't have had the mental focus for even that amount of studius interruptus. Yes, I'm a nerd, shut up.

I've always looked at other people and wondered how they get so much done in a day. My dad does more before I get up than I usually do all day. Other people sprint about on errands, etc., before work. I don't think I'll ever truly be one of those people--I just have a certain procrastinating slackitude to my personality. But at least when eating properly I feel like I can fake it when I need to. :) What really mystifies me though ... people who go 100 miles an hour while eating a) next to nothing or b) utter crap. How do they do it? Are they just possessed of some self-flagellating gene I don't have?

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I read about foot binding when forced to read the book "The Good Earth" in ninth grade, but I never really understood how drastic the results can be. These photographs are pretty disturbing.

Guess it goes to show that our society is certainly not the only one to embrace damaging ideals. If the Chinese could "grow out of it", so to speak, maybe our culture can eventually grow out of anorexic, fake-boobed ideals.

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But this isn't a tragedy, or even a comedy of errors. I said in my earlier post that if I'm going to eat sugary, carby stuff, shouldn't it be something better than Country Buffet? Well, damn right! It was even ickier than I remembered.

Oh, it wasn't all bad. Their salad bar has improved--there was actually a mixed greens salad, rather than just plain iceberg lettuce. There were two kind of melon; there was grilled chicken, ham, and steak.

But, there were breaded and friend clam strips and shrimp; stuffed baked potatoes; a big gooey vat of macaroni and cheese; "buttery" rolls; mashed potatoes and gravy; etc. etc. I had one popcorn shrimp--it was very chewy. I had two bites of half a stuffed potato--it was really dry. I had about a 1/4 cup of macaroni and cheese, which wasn't bad. But generally ... ick!

I did have about a 1/3 c of peach cobbler, because my grandma's friend had had it and said it was good. It wasn't terrible, but it did make my tongue feel fuzzy and in retrospect it was just sort of sweet and vaguely peachy. I had no desire to eat any more of it. I feel no craving for anything else along those lines. I did have an inclination toward stopping at Qdoba on my way home hours later, but that's less to do with carbs and more to do with being addicted to their three cheese queso. :) Is this how "normal" people feel, not drawn toward different foods inexplicably, merely having the thoughts pass through the brain and move on?

Watch--tomorrow I'm going to be gagging for chocolate, just because I had the temerity to say I wasn't craving things. :)

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I'm having dinner with my grandma and a friend of hers tonight, and the first words out of my grandmother's mouth were "Do you like Country Buffet?" At least I managed to steer her away from a Chinese buffet. At least the old AllYouCanPack Buffet will have salad and hopefully some unbreaded meat. Of course, if I do eat something I "shouldn't", it's not the end of the world--but if I'm going to put something high sugary or high starchy in my body, and suffer the crappy feelings afterward, shouldn't it be something of better quality than Country Buffet?

I haven't been to one of those places in years. Well, I have been to this abso-fucking-lutely amazing all you can eat Italian place, but I consider that high quality. Anyway, my dad used to like to go to the all you can eat places, and he encouraged me to engage in competitive eating. When we went to regular restaurants, I rarely ordered off the children's menu--he would encourage me to order a full-sized steak and eat it all. We'd have milk drinking contests at home. No, really! He'd sit us each down with a half gallon of milk and see who could drink more during dinner. And then later, when I was a teenager, he tried to blame my weight on my mother, I suppose because she was fat and he wasn't.

At any rate, buffets just trigger my impulse to eat more than I should. I have to "get my money's worth", and all that stuff is just there for the grabbing, and that's what I did for years. Add into that the fact that my company today is going to make me want to spend as much time as possible away from the table (not my grandma! her friend.), and I'm not sure how this meal is going to wind up. You'd think that getting all that laid out in my head would be helpful, but you know how it is when you're confronted with a hot, delicious bowl of something terrible. :)

Interestingly, Country Buffet has nutritional information for everything on their website! Can someone please explain to me why a gross all you can eat place like that has the info up, but most regular restaurants don't? Honestly! Although I just discovered that Chili's does. But the place I work doesn't, which drives me MAD! I eat there five days a week, it would be nice to be able to eat something other than plain chicken and broccoli without wondering how many extra carbs are snuck into sauces, etc.

Apparently a law is being pushed to make restaurants print calorie counts on menus in Colorado, which was recently done in NYC. I'm not down with that, actually. Our society is waaaaaay too obsessed with looks and weight, and I think printing calorie counts on menus is only going to make people more obsessive. However, I do think the info should be available on request--but all of it, not just calories, because calories alone is pretty useless.

How'd I get off on this subject? :)

In other news, my cat only likes Jell-O brand sugar free pudding! The little brat always tries to climb on my head and lick my spoon. But I bought Hunt's brand and offered it to her, and she sniffed it and walked away. Snob. :)

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I have a bad habit of sticking my head in the sand about certain things. Generally financial things, really. For a few months now, I've been getting calls anywhere from 2-15 times a day about the things I'm behind on--two credit cards, a store account that wasn't really my fault (long story), and one other thing. They never called when I had time to talk--I was asleep, or at work, or in class, or maybe sometimes I did have time but I didn't have money. So I put my phone on silent and ignored it.

Why? Why do I do that? I know, from having gone down this road before, that the companies are willing to make payment arrangements I can handle, and that I feel MUCH better when I just take care of things already. I reminded myself of this a week ago, and today I finally made the last call I needed to to straighten all this baloney out! I also came to the dreadful realization that cutting back my large credit card payment by $86 a month would extend the miserable life of that payment plan by something like six months. Bwah! Must not. Four years of massive monthly payments is enough!

So what does this have to do with healthy eating and fat? Not a damn thing. Okay, maybe one damn thing: when I physically feel better, I'm more likely to take care of the things I need to. Rocket science? Hardly. Something I seem to forget over and over? Yep. I forget that what I call "normal" would be torturous hell for most people. I've taken steps toward fixing that--sinus surgery, allergy shots, next on my list is checking into orthotic inserts for my shoes--but if I don't get the basics right, none of that is going to matter. If I don't get the basics right, I'll continue feeling shitty and letting everything fall by the wayside. And it has nothing to do with my body size, but what I fuel my body with. Which I've known for a long time. Let's see if I can keep that going instead of forgetting in two months.

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So I should be asleep, but instead I'm still up, reading blogs and watching tv and enjoying having my windows open and my new "bella luna" scented candle lit.

On another blog I'm reading, the writer mentions a trip to her doctor. The doctor said she must work out, because, essentially, "no one that fat could have blood pressure that good" unless they exercise. This blogger's BMI is 36 (not that I place that much stock in BMIs, but anyway).

My BMI is 44. And my blood pressure is always perfect. Well, ONE time, when I was late and had literally run the half mile to the appointment, it was high.

Oh wait. I'm fat, I must be lying. I can't possibly have normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol, normal blood sugar, normal everything.

Stupid judgemental doctors.

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Every five minutes, it seems, I see a commercial about HFCS. There are two different ones, two different scenarios where someone is horrified about HFCS but stammers stupidly and can't think of a reason why. The person they're talking to then informs them that it's made from corn, has the same calories as sugar, and is "fine in moderation". They also say it "has no artificial ingredients". No shit--IT IS an artificial ingredient. Just because it starts out as starch doesn't mean it's natural. The amount of processing that goes into that crap is astounding!

As far as the rest of it ... blech. That shit will basically caramelize your arteries by damaging a certain type of cholesterol in your blood. It raises insulin, although it can enter your cells on its own (doesn't have to go through the insulin transport mechanism like sucrose). I think plain fructose does that, like the kind in fruit, but the problem with HFCS is the amount of fructose it dumps into your system. There are some other problems with it, but I haven't read about it in a couple of years and can't put my hands on the book the info is in right now.

Does that mean I scrupulously avoid HFCS? No. When I'm not paying attention to what I eat, I'm sure I eat plenty of it. Especially since I do a little too much fast food at those times. And I work in a commercial restaurant. But even when I am paying attention, I don't scruitinize labels that closely.

So why do these HFCS commercials piss me off, if I'm not militant about it? Because in NO WAY is it natural or healthy. "Fine in moderation"? Yeah, okay, whatever. But calling it a "sweet surprise" and implying it's all sunshine and roses pisses me off. Portraying people with concerns as rude or idiotic pisses me off too.

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I've been on my scale more in the last week than in a couple of months. Which is to say twice. :) This is the problem with any measure than affects my eating--I start over thinking. And I know that if I continue eating properly and see no change in weight, I might end up giving it up and chowing chocolate and crud daily again. Because unfortunately, it's easy to forget how shitty I feel when I eat those things. A few weeks or months of feeling better, and I forget it's so easy to disrupt that feeling. Feeling better starts to be the norm, and ceases to be incentive.

I wish I was one of those people who loves vegetables, who doesn't crave sugar and starch. Although I think those people are pretty rare. I'm realizing that a vast majority of the slender people I know struggle as much as I do--they just either are naturally thin, or deny themselves the things they want on a daily basis. I'm amazed how much I hear the "skinny girls" I work with complaining about how "fat" they are, and how they "shouldn't have eaten that!" There's one girl who looks like her bones are about to burst through the skin of her face, who has been trying to gain weight after an illness, and I heard HER saying it the other day! She's trying to gain weight, and yet she still "shouldn't" have eaten? Insane.

I don't want to end up obsessing, counting every gram of food I eat, obsessing over the things I want to eat and "can't". There has to be a middle ground between obsession and complete non-restriction, which is what I've been doing for the last year to try to heal my guilt and twisted feelings about food. I don't want to go back there. What to do?

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I've given up on The Fantasy of Being Thin. I've written about it before, but I'm thinking about it again tonight because yesterday, I discovered that apparently my father hasn't given up on the it, for me.

Both of my parents are very social people. My father knows an enormous network of people who can help him get just about anything accomplished--you have to leave the state to avoid running in to someone he knows. And sometimes that doesn't even work. But I have just never been that way. I could point to a dozen different reasons for this in my upbringing, the point is, I am just not a social butterfly. I feel out of place at parties, out of my depth when expected to converse with strangers for any length of time. I enjoy time alone, reading and such. I always have.

A long time ago, it seems, I attributed this to my fat. When I got thin, I'd have millions of friends and a full social calendar. Except .... if all my extra fat disappeared tomorrow, I'd still not know what to say to strangers at parties, I'd still lack confidence in conversation. But the thing is, and I know this now ... it's just how I am. I'm not anti-social, I'm just not super-social. I'm quiet and a little shy. I suffer from depression and a horrible tendency toward procrastination. I'm not good at saving money. I'm a little scatter-brained. All of these personality "flaws" are just how I am, and losing weight would fix none of them.

My dad doesn't believe that. He thinks if I lose all my spare weight, I'll have more confidence and I'll interact with people more. He didn't come right out and say it, but basically he's afraid I'm going to end up a fat old crazy cat lady with no friends or husband. And he attributes this not to my shyness, or my fear of betrayal in relationships (although I haven't discussed that with him, it's too rooted in his behavior during my childhood and I don't have the stomach for it), or anything else .... but to my weight. To him, if I were thin, I'd stop worrying about money, I'd have lots of friends, and a husband (and no doubt kids), I wouldn't want my cats anymore (he hates cats), I wouldn't be 20 minutes late all the time and I wouldn't need my happy pills. He sees it as a cure-all, and I don't think I can possibly dissuade him.

I tried asking him, yesterday, what losing weight would solve. He said I'd interact with people more. Why, I said, I'd still be shy and generally think most people are idiots. He brushed it off. I know he just wants me to be happy, he just wants me to be healthy, he's feeling his own mortality and is afraid I won't be okay after he dies (he's all of 48 this year), and he is trying to help me with what he sees as the straightest path to my happiness. A perverse part of my wants to lose weight just so I can show him--"See! I'm skinny and I'm still bad with money and depressed and can count my friends on one hand! Pfffft!" :)

The worst part is that I've been struggling over a related issue for a couple of months now. I really want to start exercising, I want to feel strong again. I want to start eating properly (cut out junk food, etc.). But I know that those things will result in weight loss, at least to a degree, and I am afraid of what that will trigger. I can see myself ending up chase weight loss, obsessing over every bite of food, and allowing the scale to rule my moods. And I'm afraid of flirting with that, because there were times I could feel myself edging toward an eating disorder, and because even short of an eating disorder it's not a healthy way to live.

How does that fit into the conversation with my dad? Well, partially I'm afraid of falling back into the "when I'm thin ..." mindset. But mostly, I know that any weight loss will be widely, ridiculously commented on by every well-meaning member of my family. They've been watching/waiting/expecting me to lose weight my entire life, and any time they see a sign of slimming, they all pile on the wagon to compliment me, tell me how good I look, what am I doing, tell me I finally have a waist, blahblahblahblah. And that will send me headfirst down one slope or another: unhealthy binging to undo it because I don't want to deal with it, or further obsession about it. I've tried in the past asking not to discuss it, but then people just get butt hurt and tell me I'm being rude and I "hurt Grandma's feelings!" and to just take a compliment.

So what to do? I don't know. I continue to mull it over, rolling the concepts around in my head, trying to decide if I can deal with the consequences of eating well.

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