After spending over three hours at an Equity I rushed home very, very, hungry. (By “rushed” home I mean I took the N Train – which is the express train except today it decided to go local, so it took over an hour, is that why it’s called “rush hour”?) I decided to make a turkey club sandwich for no other reason but that I needed to eat and I needed to eat bacon. I wanted the bacon so very much that while I was cooking it I was singing aloud “I love bacon!” Behavior that, I am sure, convinced my roommate’s cat that I am an idiot. Truth be told, I think she was on to me from the start.
Why am I writing about this? Mayhap because I decided to write a blog post every day and I’m feeling a bit thin. But I’m really writing about it because I’m not feeling thin, I started the day feeling pretty fat.
I started “watching my weight” in April of last year. And by watching my weight I mean actively doing something about it instead of just watching it and complaining about it. I’ve struggled (sometimes a playful struggle, sometimes a grapple to the death) with my weight most of my life: From being a chunky pre-teen forced to wear Husky sized Toughskins, through the Freshman 15 (or 25) in College, to the “holy shit, how did I get to be almost 200 lbs,” realization I came to last year.
Last April while I was working on a new show (“From Orchids to Octopi”) in Cambridge I woke with a puzzling thought: “I’ve been working out every day so why do I feel like a fat bastard?” I jumped on the scale to confirm that my feelings were more than feelings, they were correct – I weighed in at 189 lbs. 189 lbs is a lot for me, I’m 5’9 on a tall day, I’m part leprechaun. It was a sobering moment. Clearly my work-out plan wasn’t working out. Either that or the weight could have been connected to my regular post-show diet of 2 pints of IPA and a hamburger. Who can be sure? I’m no scientist. Regardless of the cause, one thing was clear, in the immortal words of our “never been fat a day in his life” President Obama, it was time for a change.
And change I did. With the help of the fantastic “Lose It” app on my I-Phone and my re-purposed type-A neurosis I began keeping track of all my calories – those eaten and those burned off. And I mean ALL OF MY CALORIES – thank you re-purposed neurosis. Within 3 months I had lost 16 lbs, weighing in at 170. I actually lost 19 lbs – while I started the program at 189, I was too embarrassed to enter “189” so I flipped around the last digit and entered “186.” Denial is an old friend.
Success! I was down to 170 and lost at least 3 inches off my waist. For the first time in many a year I was buying size 30 jeans and feeling pretty proud of myself. And then it happened, you know that thing you hear about after people lose weight? No, I didn’t start gaining it back – I decided that I should lose more weight. The truth is, keeping myself focused on the goal of losing weight was easier than maintaining my weight. And, thanks to my life-long struggle to be comfortable in my own skin, my new body only seemed great for a little while. It was time for more. So I set my goal for 165 lbs. Which I reached in about another month or two.
I fell off the “Lose It” wagon for a while, particularly over the holidays, but never went above 168. After a couple weeks I got myself back on target and down to 165. Again, I found it real difficult to maintain, I needed the focus that came with a concrete goal of losing more, so I set my target weight for 160. I could get to 160. I’d look real good at 160.
So I began again. Back on track with “Lose It” and a new workout program. Within the first two weeks I was down over 2 lbs – weighing in at 163.8. And then today, this morning, black friday I stepped on the scale and – 166.6. I gained nearly 3 lbs in a week. What the fat!?!?
It was bound to happen – I haven’t been watching my food intake as well as I had been: too much partying and not enough sleep. While I’m working out 6 days a week, I think the new program isn’t as taxing for me (though I do think I’m building more muscle – if I’m kind to myself I’ll say that’s the weight gain). And I will admit to giving into SAD – letting the blistering cold of the season put me in a down place. So, yeah, I have my excuses.
But here’s the thing, while I was disappointed, I didn’t freak out about my massive weight gain. No, I came home and sang to my bacon. Which, now that I think of it, isn’t particularly healthy – but that diagnosis has nothing to do with my weight.
So what does this all mean?
I am still not over my body issues, clearly.
I have an unnatural affinity for bacon.
I’ll get down to 160, or stick around 165, or burn off the fat and become leaner or stay the way I am. Either way, I think my focus on fitness has been good for me. But I think the “I can’t maintain, I need to work against a challenge” is a big deal for me. A really big deal. Not just with my weight, but with life, and strangely enough, I think, with love. I’ll need to look into that – and (this is a warning) I’ll probably write about that as well.
Look at that, I’m learning important things about myself, and all because of bacon. Is it any wonder that I love it?
Thanks for this therapy session reader(s). Go have some bacon, love who you are and where you are, and have a great weekend.