May 5, 2019

pannicular aesthetics and apes

There's a direct ratio of how seldom I write about my gastric bypass to how much I ignore its presence in my life.  I recently thought about fixing the blog header up there to account for this, but I wouldn't know what to put in its place.  My life isn't really "about" anything most days other than mental illness and writing, and my day job, which does not appear in this film.  I could put "parenting" but that would make this a mom blog and I would rather chew shiny gum wrappers.

In North Carolina, we have Grandfather Mountain, which looks from a distance like the side profile of an old man's face.  Most of the mountain is a State park, which means the brochures are decent instead of pandering to corporate interest, and that it's cheap to enter the park and either drive or hike to the top.  For half-virtuous people like my family and me, there's a parking lot near the top and a tiny hike you can take so you can feel full-virtuous.

What you hike to at the pinnacle is something called the Mile-High Swinging Bridge.  It's all three.  You go all that way and step on a lot of rocks and tree roots to get there, and your calves are sore and you're out of breath, but eventually, you're standing there with a line of impatient, sweaty people behind you, trying to make yourself take the first step onto the bridge.  But the wind is blowing the bridge and it's swinging left and right and everything in your ape brain is screaming that this is a stupid thing to do, and everything in your more developed and rational brain is saying you hate conflict and you're about to have conflict in roughly three seconds with the lady behind you, who is pointing out loudly that she's on vacation, and you need to put your foot on the first plank and then put your other foot on the next plank, and keep going.  You need to get your ass onto that bridge.

That's where I'm standing right now on my "health journey".

I had the bypass and that fixed the acid problem, and I also lost a lot of weight and bought clothes that I love and I started to like my appearance for the first time in my life.  It was damn near to taking on a new identity.

Three years in, I've now reached the point where the weight is creeping back up again and I've regained just enough to put me here at this step forward I need to take, the one where I start exercising and taking better care of myself and lose what I've gained so that I can keep my health and not say goodbye to that wee era of not habitually looking down to see if my shirt shows my fat roll, to see if the shapewear is working.  I'm looking down more and more, and the shirts I wear are getting looser and looser to compensate.

It's not a huge amount of weight to lose, but if the number goes up even a few more pounds, it's going to tip my perception from "I can probably do this" to "I've fucked myself over".

I know this.  I am aware of it.  These days, I am perpetually aware of it.

But my inner ape is winning.  My inner ape doesn't give a rip-shit about what my stomach looks like or about crossing a chasm of despair on this unstable bridge before me.  My inner ape just thinks that those new banana-chocolate Belvita protein cookies make her happy, especially when I put heavy cream in the coffee I use to wash them down.  My inner ape keeps finding reasons to not go back to low-carb just yet, not this week, maybe next week, and those reasons are crackers and bagels and pesto tortellini.  She only knows that shoving food into my gob when I'm not even hungry is the key to real but temporary happiness, and she doesn't care what comes next.  Every, every moment.

It's called food addiction.  I'm not in recovery right now.

I've been meaning to put my sneakers on at the beginning of my lunch hour and go walking.  I've been meaning to do this for five weeks.  Twenty-five days.  Twenty-five chances and twenty-five excuses.  I haven't done it yet.

I will reiterate that there's a gym in my work building, one flight up, and last I heard, it doesn't rain in the gym, and it isn't too hot or too cold in the gym, and there aren't spider webs in the gym.  Mostly.

Fish or cut bait.  Piss or get off the pot.  Who are you going to be, Lille?  Are you going to turn back now before it's too late, or give up?  Are you going to have a loud lady in a fanny pack beat you verbally for the rest of your days, or are you going to explain to your ape that you can't deal with having to turn away from the mirror again every morning to keep from seeing your three-dimensional stomach, nor with the guilt of having taken such drastic measures and done the work and then sabotaged yourself, and step onto the scary, lonely, comfortless bridge and cross to safety?

p.s.  P.J. says it's more of a lizard brain.  I countered that lizards don't have panniculi and that someone in the room, not saying who, is probably the life of every party she goes to, and she said that the continued degradation of regard for scientific accuracy is dangerous, and I said we didn't come from lizards, and then we decided to have meatballs for dinner.


  1. Dearheart, you're going to stride across that bridge in your trainers (and possibly your Irish trousers) and win again. I have a load - a shit ton - of faith in you. love you loads

  2. Turn your rage against the food addiction! Kick its ass.
    It helps to think in terms of healthier lifestyle changes. A salad a day, twenty minutes of exercise a day, for the rest of your life... you can do it. WE can do it! *gnaws intensely on bunch of broccoli*