Art Progress

I was warming up for some design work and I drew a self portrait. It took me most of the night, but after two months of not really drawing, I feel ready to take on anything! I’m really pleased with this picture, but I know I still have a lot to learn. The nose is a nightmare and the eyes, especially the eye lashes and the eye brows, were really hard to draw and paint The hair looks sloppy and something is off in the stare. I also blurred away the eye shadow by mistake on the right eye and didn’t catch it. The lips look rediculous, lol. But its still the best I’ve ever done. I feel like I’m good enough to be in a sort of uncanny vally. Some parts of it look real enough, but the others are just a bit off and it looks weird, lol. I need to keep working, but I’m very pleased!

What is your number?

   I’m feeling stagnant in the worst way right now. It feels as if nothing has happened, or is happening, or will happen anytime in the foreseeable future. I must do something. I must cut away the entanglement, burn away the grabbing roots that are not my own. I must do something.  Lets take a look at what I’ve really been up to and reevaluate the situation.

   Well, for starters I’ve been focusing on weight loss.  300 was my number. I can’t remember a time when I was under 200, but 300 was the dreaded number. 300 was the “as big as Mom number.” 300 was the “to heavy to ride number.” 300 was the “I’ll kill myself before I get that fat number.” It sounds melodramatic, but its true. I would not let myself live with the shame and humiliation of being that fat. Of letting myself become that miserable (for I was already feeling fat and miserable.) These thoughts are how I felt about myself.

   It never occurred to me how depressing and backwards that way of thinking was. I was viewing it more like seppuku. At least I could die with what little honor I had before growing up to be one of those miserable people. (Like my Grandfather on my Dad’s side, who was so big I don’t ever remember seeing him move around. Who got terrible diabetes and whose foot rotted away from it. Who died because he fell in his apartment and couldn’t get up for three days while he slowly contracted pneumonia and suffered laying in his own filth til someone came to check on him.) I never thought that I was harming myself, that the very way I was thinking was unhealthy. I was clearly fat and therefore needed to suck it up and deal with the fat sack of skin I alone had built.

   300 was my number and I reached it last Summer. I remember staring at the scale in shock, I knew I’d gained a little weight, but I couldn’t fathom gaining enough to come near The Number. And then I burst into tears, the little red 302 stared back at me neutrally.  The small nasty and mean spirited part of my mind said, “It is time.”

   Fortunately, the rational part of my mind was much stronger. Strong enough to repel the dark thoughts and feelings of my childhood and yet, not quite strong enough to reverse the momentum. In fact, maybe I ignored The Number all together for a while, because by Spring this year, I’d gained up to 320.

   I tried various thing all of them failing, but I constantly kept trying. I didn’t let defeat keep my still for more than a few days. I looked at people I knew who had lost dramatic amounts of weight. I stopped listening to “experts” who didn’t seem to be making much ground on their own. Over and over I’ve come back to the same conclusion.

   Diet and exercise.

   I don’t mean diet as in, “You need to eat or not eat this to lose weight.” I mean diet as in, “Find out what my body actually needs calorie wise and then find out how much I can safely cut out of that.” There is no magic trick people. Losing weight is not hard. Self control, is hard, but we live with those decisions everyday. For a lot of people, just staying within their clories would help them get to a much healthier weight. It would add time to their lives, the quality of their life would improve so much.

   Exercise does all kinds of wonderful things for your body and while I make it a point to move around more, it hasn’t officially made an entrance into my plans yet (and probably won’t til I weigh around 250.) I’m too heavy for exercise equipment and its waaaay to hot for me to be walking around outside. But I still turn on the music full blast and bust a move every now and then to burn some calories.

   I no longer worry about the 300 number. I’ve changed my way of thinking about weight loss and more importantly about food. I’ve changed my diet. I’ve sprinkled in some very mild exercise to start off. A hard core attempt over the last five weeks, but over the last seven I’ve lost around 22 lbs. I’m on track to be at my goal weight of 170 lbs by June 20th next year. Lets see where I’ll be.

   I’m loosing my “muchness”. Someday, I will have been “muchier.”