Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm no angel

I'm not really one to get into TV programs. I got into Millionaire Matchmaker, some of the Real Housewives seasons, and of course The First 48. But I've never been one to get into, or even enjoy, watching the dramas on TV that everyone seems to love. I canceled cable 6 months ago and have never looked back. But there is one exception: Rescue Me, but only seasons 1 and 2. It then jumped the shark and became ludicrous, and I am content to watch my two seasons on the DVDs that I own.

There is one scene which stands out for me. Recovering, and often relapsing severe alcoholic Tommy Gavin (played by Denis Leary, who I had significant interaction with unexpectedly in the summer of 2007 at one of the hotels I managed at the time, I am so lucky), is standing outside a liquor store. He peers in at all of the whiskey, gin, and rum bottles lining the walls, as people come and go, as he stands there. He's contemplating what he should do: enter and purchase, or walk away.

It segways into a series of scenes in which he goes to a bar with a significant other, has a series of drinks, laughs the night away smartly, and ultimately ends up back at her apartment, and everything is fine and dandy. You think it's actually happening, until at the very end, it shoots back to him standing outside the liquor store, slowly and despondently walking away.

Today I had this moment.

As anyone who is reading this can clearly infer from my posts, is that I always have, and likely always will, have a sort of preoccupation with food.

Ironically, tonight is my day off from the gym, and even more ironic, is that I picked up a copy of Portia de Rossi's relatively new memoir, entitled Unbearable Lightness, from the library. I've been absorbed with this book since I got home super early sans gym commitment, and I've been reading about her battles with weight, self-esteem, self-worth, bulimia, exercise addiction, anorexia, laxative use, and of course, her bingeing.

Page 47: "I barely felt any anxiety as I pulled into the [7-Eleven] parking lot because I think I'd subconciously planned this stop from the first bite of nachos. As I'd already blown the diet, I figured I might as well keep going - I might as well eat all the things I'd denied myself for the last few weeks. And I had to get it all done in one sitting because if I allowed myself to do this again - to eat all this food - I'd get fat. " Portia De Rossi, from Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain.

Apparently, Portia De Rossi is in my head, and narrating virtually everything that has gone through my head in my moments of weakness.

After putting this book down for a brief respite to reload my Diet Coke supply at the corner store, this story could have become mine.

Before I left the apartment to walk to my corner store, I lifted up my t-shirt, flexed my abs in front of the mirror, and was actually quite impressed with what I was looking at. Clear muscles defined, under some fat that hopefully will get more noticeable closer to showtime.

As I get to my store, I very seriously contemplated a binge. Every single rationalization that anyone could every come up with, I came up with, none of which, of course, have any remote association with logic.

"You're getting too thin, you don't want to loose too much weight."
"Your pants were hanging really loosely today at work, you deserve it."
"You've been following your diet plan really closely, except for that one night you had some carbs, but that doesn't count."
"Get the Double Stuf because that way you can remove all of the icing and just eat all of the icing like you've done in the past."
"Should I skip being vegan for tonight and get some Snickers bars, or some Entemanns?"
"Come on, eating the icing out of the box of Oreos isn't really that bad, it's just one meal out of all the meals in the week."
"This will be the last free-for-all before your show, so just go with it, why not?"

I picked up a container of Double Stuf, walked around with it a bit. So much was going through my head. I thought about how much of a freaking liar I'd be on my blog if I came home and posted "I feel great, yay low carb!" or how sad I'd be about myself when I talked to my friend this weekend who also has a tendency to binge. Or if I got to show-time, and I had a spare tire and looked like a joke on stage. Or how I'd feel like a fool for bothering to pack my healthy food tonight for tomorrow knowing that I just consumed enough calories for a week in 10 minutes, with a distended stomach, an aching jaw, and the inability to sleep with an enormous food baby making any sleeping position possible.

I put the Oreos back. I grabbed my Diet Coke and got in line to pay.

Two people in front of me. As I waited, I stepped back out of line, went back to the Oreos, and picked them up. I cradled them in my arm because I had decided to commit. Hey, let's just do this, it'll be so good and so worth every moment. I did another lap around the perimeter of the store. Should I switch and get peanut butter instead? How about chips? Well, you don't really like chips all that much, so no. Or maybe you could get chips AND the Oreos? Or how about one of these Turkish treats this store has... [reading label] oh okay no, that has milk. I wonder if these 2-cupcakes in the plastic have milk... [reading label] oh they have eggs, so no to that one. Ooh, a new Chex-Mix with peanut butter and chocolate [reading label] okay milk, nevermind. Or how about Vegetable Thins, you always enjoy those... no, those will take up too much valuable stomach real estate, stick with the Double Stuf icing.

Then I went back to all the thoughts I had before. I'd be lying. I was afraid that I'd have to confess to my fellow first-time competitor that I met, who reads my blog and I hers. I knew she'd be disappointed in me. I knew everyone would, and I knew most of all, I'd be most disappointed in myself.

I put the Oreos back down, and resolved to get back in line with my diet sodas and be done with it.

Near the check-out was some single-serving cashews. I had to swear off nuts for my show-prep because 1 serving became 2 servings, became 10 servings. I picked up those cashews, thought about it. I mean, it's better than Oreos, right? Just this once. Held them in my hand, got back in line.

No, girl, you've had your 2nd serving of fat for the day. Put the cashews down and leave.

I left with my diet sodas and went home to confess here.

- - -
I was never a bad kid. I never drank until I was 21. Then I didn't drink at all until I was maybe 27 and I went out from time to time. I don't like to break rules and be bad. I don't like to steal pens from work, or leave early when no one is looking. I like to do things right.

But this insane defiance of myself, of society, I don't know why I continue to struggle with it, year after year. Why the self-sabotage? It's so stupid. I'm not afraid of getting up there on stage, I'm such a ham! I'm not afraid of anything, but I think I just want to rebel, and have it both ways. It's not all the time. It's some of the time. I follow the rules. Sometimes I struggle, sometimes I fail. I'm just doing the best that I can do.

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