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What Goes Down…

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Blogger's still at it. I have the most adorable pictures of Nurse Polka-Dot that it refuses to upload. Got this one uploaded fine and then Blogger opted to cut it in half for good measure. Went back and tried again four more times. That's got it. Maybe it's Blogger's way of making me paint with words. Well, it's working. %$#$*^%*^(&(&^+_))()(& Oh--I'm in my blue period.

Uh-oh, food again. Those of you who are with me daily might have surmised that I’m a pretty careful eater. There’s algae involved, and a lot of soy protein powder. There's thought about each darn thing that goes into my gob. At one time I was 24 pounds heavier than I am now, and I crashed on the Atkins diet to get rid of the excess. It worked like magic for me. Got it off and kept it off, but only by radically changing the way I eat. In retrospect (that was about 6 years ago), I think that there’s a lot about the Atkins diet that’s sound, and a lot of it that’s just downright scary. I mean, bacon, eggs and sausage every morning for breakfast? Here’s your nitrates and bad cholesterol, dear! (plate hits table). That part of the Atkins plan, I think, is dangerous hoo-hah.

The good nutshell I took away from Atkins, and that I employ to this day, is to stay away from white food. Pasta, bread, chips, processed snacks, baked goods, soda, juices and most importantly sugar. Sugar does nobody any good. It makes my joints ache when I get up out of a chair, and it bloats a body, and it makes me rev and crash in crazy sinusoids instead of puttering along steadily like a well-tuned engine.

So how in the chocolate-covered hell could I be a good girl for week after week, dutifully drinking my vegetarian, non GMO-soy based wallpaper paste for breakfast and lunch, and then have ONE DAY (The Big Sit) of splurgation, and gain EIGHT POUNDS? I stared at the scale. This has to be a mistake. I rolled the little zeroing wheel back and forth. Jumped on and off the scale, uttered an Amazonian ritual chant. Nothing doing. Bill came in, looking spooked. The day of indulgence (mostly white foods, not surprisingly, crispy orange foods, with some dark brown foods and a half-pound of sugar) had upped him by ten.

I waited, figuring I was just retaining water. Two, three days. And it did not come off. Why, in the name of all that is good and holy, why (tearing hair, hands lifted in supplication)?

I dunno. But there it was. So here’s what I did. This is another crash diet that I do not recommend.

Yesterday, for lunch, I pulled out some hummus and crackers and butternut soup left over from the Sit. Chowing down, I noticed that the roasted red pepper hummus tasted odd. A bit moldy. A lot moldy. But being of generally cast-iron constitution and fastidious nature, I swallowed it, rather than spitting it out in front of Bill, and moved on to the other things on my plate. That was my first mistake. There were more to follow.

We had a rich—make that superrich—dinner. Bill got hold of the mashed potatoes while I was out puttering with plants, and introduced half and half, cream cheese and an unknown amount of butter, enough to make this usually forbidden white food taste preternaturally good, in the grand tradition of the Thompson family. Gravy on top of that. I gorged.

Went to bed feeling odd. Tummyache doesn’t quite describe it. Spent the rest of the night hugging the porcelain throne, unsure which end of myself to point at it. Utter, abject, moaning, hands -and -knees- crawling purging. There was a lengthy session at 1:30 AM, and another at 4:15. I slept not a single wink, despite being mostly horizontal for eight hours. It was like being on a nocturnal pelagic trip that just wouldn't end.

I am sitting here in jammies; it is noon. Make that 7 p.m. I am useless, raked out like a butternut squash skin, unable to even look at food, knowing that Bill’s superrich mashed potatoes and roasted red pepper hummus may forever take their place on the Zick no-no list. The body has an almost eerie capacity to remember what it thinks made it sick. For me, it had always been red licorice and cheesey poofs. Now there are a couple more.

Good news: the pounds are coming off. Another day of fasting ought to do it. But please, don’t try this yourself.

Through it all, Chet Baker has never left my side. He’ll sit, ears flat back, gazing at me, then look off into the distance in his doggy way, as if to say, “That’s OK. Go ahead and moan and writhe. I’ll be here.” Other than periodically planting both paws on my stomach (blaaaa!) to have a better look at me and wash my face, he's the perfect sickbed companion. Dogs know that just staying with someone who’s suffering is the greatest gift of all. Bill looked at the tableau and commented that Chet has the wrong markings to be a candy-striper; that he’s more of a polka-dotter. So his name for today is Nurse Polka-Dot.

Woozily, and hoping for a better tomorrow,


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