Friday, 27 June 2008

The First Cut is the Deepest, But the Rest Still Hurt Plenty

Yesterday BN2 was on a day-long sales trip in the West Country and sent several sweet texts. He said he’d be home close to midnight, and would ring me then.

About 11:30 p.m., I idly checked his profile, which I do from time to time. He was online. He was still online a half hour later.

I want to be with somebody who wants to call me first -- not after he checks out his options on and gets round to it. (Actually, I don't want to be with anybody who's constantly checking out his other options at all.) Tosser. I sent him a text saying I was falling asleep (not a lie, but frankly annoyed at thought of losing further sleep while he was on the pull online) and that I’d speak with him today.

Sigh. I know. I know.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The Musical Fruit

Note to self: Do not eat beans for lunch on days you plan to do yoga.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Belly up to the Barre

And so Monday night -- while BN2 was on a date (yes, thought I'd casually drop that in there) -- I tried ballet again.

Different class, at a proper dance studio instead of a gym. I was definitely the heaviest girl there, although the teacher (a guy with dreadlocks) appeared to have a bit of a tummy (and builders' crack, but never mind about that). He was still unbelievably graceful.

The class was clearly "proper" ballet. The instructions were all in balletese (port de bras, demi plie, ronde de jambe) and his corrections all had to do with how we'd need the muscles to work when we were dancing in the center of the room, away from the barre.

But the class wasn't especially difficult or strenuous -- only frustrating. The instructions came very quickly, and were predicated on a knowledge of various positions and moves, which I may well have had when I was five but certainly don't have now. (First position and second position just about exhausts my knowledge at this point.) By the time we put the barres away and were dancing combinations in the center of the room, I was thoroughly lost. Nor did it help that I didn't have ballet shoes -- pirouettes on bare feet are slightly difficult, not to mention painful.

I'm not sure whether I'd give this class another go. Quite possibly it's irrelevant at this point because it's held at a day and time I'm unlikely to make again for a very long time. Perhaps may try a ballet conditioning class I saw on the timetable, though it may be a while before I can make that one, either...

Scale hopped Monday morning to find myself at 11 stone 13 1/4 and then -- after the bathroom -- 11 13 3/4 (huh? that will teach me to question my results). Was quite pleased to be under the dreaded 12 stone (I weighed in at 12 2 1/4 on Sunday morning) and felt a bit better about everything.

The feeling that the clouds were parting a bit definitely helped me plan for yesterday, which I knew was going to involve dinner with BN2. Usually we just make a Waitrose stirfry, which frankly isn't particularly unhealthy, but nor is it that filling, and I have been hungry hungry hungry for the first couple of days (despite eating fruit by the greengrocers' stall-full.) So Monday night I spent a good half hour or so digging out old Slimming World magazines and recipes, and found a reasonably non-diet-sounding-yet-diet-friendly one: marinated spiced lamb. Made it last night with some roasted vegetables and it was delicious. I did have some red wine but hey, I skipped the rice and -- even better -- despite the fact that the recipe was "free" (meaning I could eat it in unlimited amounts), I managed to stop when full...

Monday, 23 June 2008

Postcard from the Edge

So I put on a stone in a month.

It started with a binge at a ball the night after my birthday, continued through Cannes and Devon and a weekend in Kent and another ball (the worst binge in recent memory) and finally ended – I hope – with a black tie dinner in Cambridge Saturday night, where I sunk so low as to finish someone else’s roll when she wasn’t looking. Really. Could I make this sort of thing up?

Last Wednesday I went to the doctor and asked for a referral back to the eating disorders unit, and tried not to burst into tears when I was told what I already knew: That it will be over a year before I can get treatment. I also called the place that treated me last year to see if they could recommend anyone private – I would happily pay for help at this point, especially if it means I can avoid going back to 233 pounds.

Saturday – sometime between fearing that my dress wouldn’t fit and the binge – I made a decision to do something I’ve been resisting for a couple of weeks now. Yesterday I went back to following Slimming World strictly, and it wasn’t easy. It’s not that I find the diet difficult – it’s not. It’s that having Bachelor No. 2 around provides much temptation – temptation to eat what he’s eating, and not to exercise, and to have a couple of drinks. It’s not that he isn’t supportive – he is. I’m trying to explain and he’s trying to understand, but he doesn’t. Not quite, not yet. Frankly, I’m not sure anyone who hasn’t been through it can understand it – the panic and the fear and the self-loathing and the wish that you could hide or go to work in exercise clothes or anything that would prevent you from having to put on your jeans and discover that they don’t fit. (Mine still do, but just barely.)

This morning I sat in a bakery with Bachelor No. 2, having eaten my healthy breakfast first. (I had tea; he had coffee and pain au chocolat.) I didn’t feel like not allowing myself to eat anything there was punishment – as I told him, I felt like it was something positive I was doing for myself. In a strange way, it feels like a relief.

* * *

In the middle of all this, I haven’t stopped exercising. It hasn’t been quite as frequent as it was, but I’m still running and doing Pilates and yoga and even some cycling. And last week I even had a session with Mad0nna and Gwyn3th’s personal trainer. Honestly, dare I say I thought it would be much harder than it was? The biggest challenge was to my mind – the usual fat girl freakouts about how surely I couldn’t do what I was being told to do (skip and gallop and run sideways on a moving treadmill).

Yesterday, I also started the hundred pushups challenge. (BN2 has decided to do it with me. He used to be quite the athlete – fencing and body building – so I took great pleasure in being able to knock out many more than he could…)

Monday, 2 June 2008

Back on the Wagon

My resolve after posting yesterday lasted all of about, oh, two hours. After consuming a Magnum bar during the Sex and the City movie (and yes, I don't even like Magnum bars that much), I returned to BN2's and had some Somerset brie on crackers. All was not ruined yet, but then I had a mini-binge of some bread and butter and cheese, plus a whole bunch of animal crackers. I did manage to run for 45 minutes, then came home to eat more bread and cheese (plus pate) for dinner. By the time I finished my glass of port, I was already worrying about whether the dress I planned to wear to court this morning would fit. (No, the court date isn't mine -- it's a certain Rehab singer's husband's.)

Today could have been a disaster, but I really dug my heels in in an attempt to turn this around. (For the record, yes, the dress fit, although not as nicely as it used to.) I slept through my alarm for the first time in months and had a mad dash to make it to the court on time (it's an hour and a half away). I grabbed a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast and stowed a snack in my bag for mid-morning. My lunchtime options were limited, but I didn't use that as an excuse to make poor choices. Nor did I give in to the temptation to just give in and start tomorrow when I was absolutely ravenous this afternoon. I even managed to get myself to yoga, and when I realized -- upon arriving at the studio -- that I'd left my wallet home, I convinced them to check my account on their computers.

Feeling slightly better, although shaky. Tomorrow is another long (and boring) day in court, followed by dinner out, so I'll need to be careful.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Reality Check

And so between my birthday, Cannes, and a few days at BN2’s parents in Devon (where I was fed – against my will, naturally – clotted cream at least once a day), I have put on 8 pounds. Eek!

Actually, “eek” isn’t really the right word, because “eek” implies that I see humor in this. I don’t. I binged twice the week of my birthday, at least twice in Cannes, and once in Devon. And now that I’m finally back in London, some truly challenging crises and a renewed taste for sugar have kept me from returning promptly to the straight and narrow. At least I have been exercising…

I alternate between being terrified of the eight pounds and wishing I were more terrified. (More terrified would mean, for example, that last night I wouldn’t have ordered the steamed pork dumplings along with my braised tofu and vegetables and steamed white rice, justifying that the dumplings were steamed and I was really hungry.) I have plans to be out every night this week (except tomorrow, which I’ve kept free so I can finally go back to yoga), have a big party this weekend, and a ball to attend the weekend after that, so I’m having minor freak outs about how, exactly, I’m going to prevent myself from gaining any more weight, let alone getting these pounds off.

My ever-helpful sister – to whom, in a weak moment yesterday, I confessed my sins – told me she’d tried the Master Cleanse, aka Beyonce’s crazy maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper diet.

I felt that familiar great rush of delight I used to love when starting a diet – the feeling that maybe, just this once, my problems were about to be solved. I opened my mouth to quiz her about the diet and then said calmly: “You know I can’t do something like that. It will just make me binge.”

“It’s not to lose weight. It’s to get rid of your junk food cravings,” she said.

“Yes, but not eating is going to make me want to binge before I get to that point,” I started to explain, then thought better of it and changed the subject.

* * *

The phrase “a few days at BN2’s parents” may suggest to you – you being normal people who conduct normal relationships, unlike the totally f**ked up one on which I seem to have embarked – that things are going swimmingly with BN2.

Would it explain things a bit – and by “things” I mean the relationship and no doubt some of the bingeing – if I told you that on the first evening at his parents he told me if this were 10 years ago (translation: before his marriage) he’d probably tell me he was in love with me, but he’s not sure he believes in love anymore?

For so many reasons, I need to get out. Because I’m letting him damage my food and exercise routines. Because being with him keeps me from meeting anyone else. Because he may not be ready (ever) for a relationship, but I am, and this is not enough.

I know these things, and yet I am still here, typing this in his office while he works on a court document that is the only reason I didn’t walk out of his life on Thursday morning, just after we returned from Devon. I was ready to go and I’d rehearsed what I was going to say, and then the police arrived. I know there is never a good time to leave someone, but trust me, these past couple of days have really not been the time. (I can’t write about what’s going on just now, but please know that I’m not in any danger.)

How did I get here? How did I become this person who knows perfectly well that this is not what she should be doing yet is doing it anyway? This person who knows perfectly well that if a friend were to come to me in this situation, I would say: “Don’t walk. Run!”

* * *

Friday night I went to a concert with a guy – let’s call him the Reporter (because he is one) – I’ve been out with a few times. He is nice, clever, Jewish and into me – he came all the way across London to bring me a birthday present a couple of weeks ago (and I have to say, honestly, that the one he got was more thoughtful than BN2’s.)

But I don’t fancy him, and it shows. I squeeze him in when I can (yes, that makes me feel guilty), and never regret that every time we meet up it turns out (by accident, not by design) that I have an early morning the next morning. Before Friday, we’d been out at least five times but had never even properly kissed.

On Friday we stood outside my (messy) flat and he kissed me – quite possibly one of the worst kisses since the one I got in sixth grade during some party game I can’t quite remember the name of. “Maybe we could go on a proper date sometime?” he said. To me, it sounded plaintive. Or maybe accusatory.

I deserve it. Another messy situation to sort. Sigh.

Going out for a run.