Thursday, 25 June 2009

New York State of Mind (and Body)

I can’t decide if I’d be incredibly fat if I lived in New York – or incredibly thin. Everything in the world is available for sale here, much of in 100-calorie packages. Alongside cheesecake, crumb cake, bagels, black-and-white cookies and all the delights of my childhood (Combos! Little Debbie snack cakes! Reddi-Wip! Fig Newtons!), there are carb-free, fat-free (and often, taste-free) versions of everything.

Today for lunch I had cheesecake (the real version), a fat-free oatmeal cookie, and Zabar’s frozen yogurt (85 calories for four ounces). I am not making this up.

But back to the hypothetical posed in the first sentence: if I lived in New York.

I just might get the chance.

Today I was asked – actually encouraged -- to apply for a job at one of my very favourite magazines. It’s to be – wait for it – fitness editor. (Take that, former fat girl!) Among the things the editor – someone, for the record, I’ve never met in my life – said to me was: “I’m not giving you the hard sell because I know this would be a very big decision for you...” She also said if I were at all interested I should start the application process and she would not feel I’d done a “bait and switch” (her words) if I decided I couldn’t leave London.

My mind is racing. Could I live in New York? Could I do this job? Do I want either of these things?

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Bingeing, Again

Saturday I found out something very disturbing about BN2 -- namely, that he had slept with his "friend" A. one day in the two hours between when I left the house and when we were meeting for lunch. (He'd arrived late to the lunch, breathless, with his daughter wearing an outfit that was half pajamas. Besides the appalling behavior on his part, I can't help wondering what he'd done with his daughter while he was otherwise engaged. She couldn't have been napping since she needed a nap as soon as she arrived at lunch.)

So I agreed to a last-minute date with a guy we'll call Andrew. We had a couple of drinks at a pub -- something I know I said I wasn't going to do -- and then suddenly it was nearly 9 pm, and I was starving. It's still difficult for me to say I'm hungry -- a vestige, I'm sure, of my fat girl days. But I did. Of course it was Saturday night in a popular neighborhood and we couldn't find anywhere with a table. We were right by his flat and he offered to cook. And I figured: Oh, why not?

We had what seemed to me to be awfully small bowls of pasta, and I ate a ton of garlic bread. Then I left his flat and binged: two flapjacks, two slices of banana cake with frosting, two slices of carrot cake with frosting, a Yorkie bar (which I never ever eat), and an ice cream. It was a desperate binge -- it was late at night, my options were limited, and the man in one shop even commented on what I was buying. So shameful; so embarrassing.

The binge has weighed on me today, quite literally. I've felt sick and sluggish -- not to mention a bit hopeless. My goal has been to get to 30 days without bingeing (something I haven't managed for a while), and I'd hit 21 days. Sigh. I'm so very tired of starting over, and so very scared as the bingeing becomes more frequent. I'm scared that one day very soon I'm going to start eating and not be able to stop and in a few weeks -- and really, it wouldn't take me very long -- I'll be a size 20 again. It's happened before. True, I've never gotten to my current size before, and true, I seem to pick myself up after a binge pretty well. But today I found myself thinking: Hmmm, maybe I could eat this and that and have a huge Chinese or Indian takeaway and gorge myself and just start again tomorrow. That's a way of thinking I haven't had since before I started this diet -- a very old way of thinking that is so very terrifying. I haven't given in to it, but today it's been awfully tempting.

* * *

Despite the binge, I was slightly shocked by my own size today. I haven't been shopping in a while thanks to finances, and most of the shopping is of the idle variety, meaning I don't try anything on. I need a couple of t-shirts and things so I found myself poking through the sales today. I tried on a pair of shorts, size 10, and my friend suggested I try the 8 (a US 4). They fit. In the Gap I took an XS. An XS?! The shorts were of the stretchy running variety, and I do think Gap sizes are generous, not that I've shopped there in years (I refuse to buy American products at English prices). Still, it was surprise. I held up the items and tried to reconcile their size and my own and couldn't. And yet, there they were on my body. Will my head ever catch up?

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Love in the Modern Age

"The following message is more than four minutes long," said the computerized female voice on my voicemail.

I glanced down and saw that BN2 had been the last caller. What could he want from me at nearly 10 pm on a night when I know he's on a date? (And on a date with a woman who I also know despises me?)

At first the voice was muffled, but with loud background sounds -- his phone often accidentally dials people, and this must have been one of those times. Before I could hit delete his voice came through, nearly crystal clear. I could hear a Kiwi female voice asking questions and laughing.

He was telling her about a place I'd taken him last year -- a place we loved so much we went back again. Only in this version I was edited out, and he was using it to seduce her. It was punctuated by what I can only describe as the sound of kissing.

I texted him to tell him to turn his phone off; that I'd just received four minutes of voicemail from him.

He must have known immediately what sort of thing I'd heard, and for the only time in recent memory I can think of, actually apologized. "I'm so so sorry you heard that. I'm speechless. I wish you hadn't listened to it."

Me too, pal. Me too.