Well, since I’m up when I don’t want to be (like that’s anything new), I thought I’d whip off an entry since I slacked off last night. Then, I really must clean as we (by we, I mean I) are coming down to crunch time. The score is tied, and with 5 seconds left, a good point guard knows to drive the lane, weave back and forth a few times, and then let the time expire. Also.
Oh, sorry. Just channeling my inner Sarah Palin in tribute to the soon-to-be-ex governor of Alaska who is going out with a three-day picnic party bashy thingie instead of, you know, actually, gosh, working because she’s mavericky like that. Also.
As much as I loathe the woman (and believe me, I loathe her quite a bit), I have to admire her seemingly endless reservoir of unearned confidence. I really want that, but without the narcisstic personality. Hm. I just realized that Palin reminds me of my father in some ways (charm, charisma, ability to sway people), but unlike her, he actually excels at being the head of something (in his case, an economic research institute in Taiwan).
Ahem. I went waaaay around the bend on that one, but not really. I want to talk about weight again, and because it’s my blog, I can! God, I love being the mistress of my domain (name). Yes, I’m a control freak. What of it?
I know how to lose weight. Dry calculation: Less calories in than are expended. Exercise. Rinse, lather, repeat. It’s not as easy now that I am in my late thirties, of course, but it’s not impossible.
My personal experience: Eat the same thing every day. In the world of dieting, choices are the enemy. I love food. LOVE it. I love the smell, the look, the feel, the taste, and the sound of it. I love the textures that dazzle my tongue before sliding down my throat. Salty, sweet, tangy, spicy, sour–or a combination. I have said before that I’m a hedonist, and it definitely comes into play when I eat. Eating is a very sensual activity, so when I am dieting, the first thing I need to do is strip the food of its lure.
Thus, eating the same thing every day. Preferably at the same time. And, because I cannot live without chocolate, I would budget it into my daily allotment of calories while cutting out something nonessential, like protein. Hey, who needs to build muscles when there is chocolate to be had? I tried all the lowfat/nofat products, and they all taste like crap. I decided that I would rather eat real food and just have smaller portions.
Left over from the early days: I don’t use condiments except for mustard and salsa. I never liked catsup, and I cut out mayo entirely the first time I seriously dieted. I still don’t use it. I don’t add butter or salt to any food. When I drank milk, I drank fat-free. In that case, though, it was mostly because I preferred fat-free. “It tastes like water!” That was what a friend of mine said in mock horror. She only drinks whole milk. “That’s why I like it!” I retorted.
I did my regiment of stretching, aerobics, and weightlifting every day (weightlifting every other). I kept scrupulous count of every calorie I ate, every minute I exercised, every pound I dropped, and every inch I lost. In other words, I was fucking obsessed. When I read my journal from that time, it solely consisted of all the food I ate for the day and how many calories each item cost me, what kind of exercise I did, blah blah blah. BORING. I bored MYSELF, and that’s pretty hard for me to do. I mean, I may hate myself at times, but even I gotta admit that I am rarely boring.
I was obsessed with what the scale was telling me. I was obsessed with watching my clothes size shrink. By the way, let me rant again at the inanity that is the women’s clothing “system”, as it were. I was at CostCo. with my bro the other day, and he needed a pair of jean. He had me check the tag on his current jeans (same brand), and then bought a pair of jeans without even trying them on. All he needed to know was his waist and his inseam, and he could buy pretty much any pair of jeans he wanted. I, on the other hand, can try ten pairs of jeans in the same size by different manufacturers, and none of them will fit. It’s one reason I no longer wear jeans.
But I digress. While dieting, I would spend hours looking at pictures of food (online, of course), mostly chocolate. I would get obsessed with a certain food, such as trifles, and look up picture after picture of said food. Sometimes, I would even read the recipe and imagine making it (heavy emphasis on imagine). It’s common for someone dieting to become focused on food. It makes sense, too. If you are depriving yourself of something you need in order to live, well, your brain isn’t going to like it very much.
Why am I going down this particular memory lane? Well, first of all, because I can. Second, because I hear the siren song calling out my name. Do you see the picture at the top of the entry? That’s me. It’s old, but it’s still approximately what I look like (plus more poundage). I was sick as hell that day, but that’s not the point. The point is, it’s the best picture of me from the last five years or so, but I still cringe when I see it. All I can see is the fat in my face and in my body. Of course, in the boobs, too, but that never changes. As I told my friend, Marie, last night, no matter how much weight I lose, the girls never go away.
I don’t want to look like this any more. Yes, it’s pretty much about looks. I believe that losing weight (I think fifty pounds because it’s a nice round number, and, yes, I am aware of the irony of me using the word round in this context, thank you very much) will make me healthier, sure. Kinda. Shamefully, I don’t care.
A more valid point is that I want to whittle down my frame to increase my chances of getting good roles when I start auditioning again. As I’ve said, theatre is much more forgiving than Hollywood when it comes to the size of a woman’s body, but it’s still easier to get good parts with less flesh.
Here’s my dilemma. I think April Flores is totally hot. I get wet just looking at her, and I would love to get lost in her body. Margaret Cho? I want to be her and do her all at the same time. Queen Latifah? I would do her in a New York minute. On the other hand, women like this leave me cold. By the way, there are four links in the April Flores sentence, as well as four in the Margaret Cho section and in the Queen Latifah section. Each name contains two links. There are six links in the ‘leaves me cold’ sentence.
And yet, I want to look like the latter women–whom I do not find at all attractive.
Yes, welcome to my fucked up head where I can simultaneously hold two diametrically-opposing ideas! Even though I lust after the former women, I don’t want to look like them. I think they are real women with their lush, inviting curves. I don’t want to look like them. I love their full, rounded breasts, stomachs, and hips. I don’t want to look like them.
For many reasons. It’s never simple, especially not in my mind. First, I have to admit that even I am influenced by cultural expectations. I have managed to buck many of them, but not this one. To be fair to me, I get hit with it from both cultures in which I inhabit (Taiwanese and American). Not only am I tall (for a Taiwanese woman), I have a stocky body. No waif or wisp of a girl am I. I am earthy, hearty, and substantial. I guess that goes with my husky voice, bawdy sense of humor, and full-body laugh.
Major diversion: I mentioned my father in the beginning of this entry. I am much more like him than I care to admit. If you knew my father, you would think that he was the most charming, handsome, interesting man in the world. You would feel like a star as he trained his focus on you. His smile would light up your world. In addition, he can act, sing, speak eloquently, and write beautifully as well. He also left a trail of broken hearts in his wake when people realized that he actually didn’t care about them as individuals. If he actually cared about accruing power, he could have been a cult leader.
I have that in me. I can charm, sway, entice, enchant, and hypnotize with just a little bit of effort. I can also act, sing, write, and speak movingly. At performances, I have had people come up to me afterwards, wanting to bathe in my presence. After the performance in which I stripped to my skivvies, I was talking with some friends when a woman came up to us. She had stars in her eyes as she asked, “Is this the place where we worship at your feet?” Yes, I give people starbursts, apparently.
Uh, Minna, I hear you say. What the fuck does this have to do with weight?
I’m getting there! Sheesh, hold your horses. Oh, shit. I’m running the count up again. Sigh. I will continue this in the next entry. Stay tuned.