.journal 2001.03.10
Illnesses and weight loss.

Now listening to: Recoil, Unsound Methods
Now reading: Poppy Z. Brite, Exquisite Corpse
Now playing: Madden 2001 (Playstation 2)

Well, I finally found out what was stopping me from getting any sleep: I was coming down with a nasty, nasty case of the flu. Everyone else in the house was sick at the time, but I'd done a good job of escaping it by being my usual anti-social self. (If anything, the family's sickness gave me an excuse to stay away from them even more.) But in a house this cramped, it was only inevitable that I would get the flu bug sooner or later, and when it hit, it just about totally and completely wiped me out.

The good part about finally getting the flu in full force was that I was finally able to get some sleep. Of course, that relief came at a cost, and that cost was just about every part of my head deciding to wage war on me. So while I was able to sleep, I kept waking up coughing or super-stuffed or with my throat feeling like someone had jammed a giant dowel covered with sandpaper up and down its length for the whole night. As you could guess, this didn't exactly make me that happy a person to be around, and I decided to just pull a disappearing act from the rest of the world for about a week. It wasn't the first time I'd done something like that, and it certainly won't be the last, but you can't say I didn't have a reason for it this time.

Going to a doctor was out of the question because, like most of the self-employed, I don't have any insurance, and keep in mind I just came off of some big dental work last month, so I wasn't about to ask to be taken to the doctor to get over this. Besides which, the rest of the family seemed to have fought off the bug well enough on their own, and I figured I could do the same. Silly me, huh?

Actually, the bug in and of itself wasn't too bothersome to me; I'd been feeling stressed recently, and a few days of rest in bed did me good. What I hated, though, was my sore throat. For some reason throat sprays and lozenges just do nothing to soothe my throat when it gets bad. What I've found works for my throat, though, is soda, namely grape and orange soda. Chemically this actually makes a good deal of sense, as fruit-based sodas tend to have a lot more acid to them, and the acid helps ease discomfort in the throat. So I was drinking a lot of orange and grape soda this past week, and it did make my throat feel better.

I only wish I could say it made me feel better as a whole, though. Because as comforting as the soda was to my throat, I became real worried about what it was doing to my weight loss efforts. I've become obsessed with my weight loss recently, and knowing that my weight loss efforts were taking a big blow due to this illness really made me upset. I mean, I know there's nothing I could have done about it, but that doesn't really make it any easier to deal with. Especially when I was knocked out for so long, I started thinking about how many extra calories I was taking in (because fruit pop tends to have 50% more calories than regular pop), and I was like, "I have to get better now, I just have to!"

Of course, the double-whammy of this was that there was no way I could exercise with how I was feeling. Especially doing yoga, because yoga relies very heavily on breathing through the nose, and my nose was just too stuffed to even think about going through any of my workouts, even the light ones. Even though my throat is no longer sore, it still feels like someone turned on the mucus faucet inside of my head full-force and then ripped the handle off. And Sudafed isn't helping any. The worst part is that the mucus is still loose, so I can blow it out easily enough, but then my nose is stuffed again, like, a minute later. I have a wastebasket next to me that contains nothing but Nutri-Grain wrappers, empty plastic drink cups and my used tissues, and the thing must weigh close to forty pounds now. I can only hope all that snot getting out of my system will offset any weight I might have put on from drinking all that soda.

That's the problem with me losing all this weight, is that I've become aware of how much more I have to lose. It's not like I'm not proud of the fact that I've been able to lose over 100 pounds these past two and a half years, but at the same time I look at myself and I can't help but realize I'm still fat. I haven't been what could be termed "obese" in several months, but I still have a good deal of weight to lose and that just drives me totally insane. I think I'm close to my goal here, and that just pushes me more and more to do what I can to get these last however many pounds off and finally, for perhaps the first time in my life, be a reasonable weight.

It used to be that my appearance didn't really concern me; certainly I got picked on enough as a kid (and even as an adult) for being fat, but it's not like my weight wasn't the only thing people could pick on me for. I didn't mind being overweight because it didn't affect me much. I don't know if it was the realization that I weighed close to 325 pounds that caused me to finally do something about it, or if it was the fact that my shirts started fitting me tighter and tighter, or whatever, but ever since starting DietWatch I've been feeling a lot better about myself. In addition to regulating my fat and caloric intake, DietWatch has also helped me with my nutritional needs, and my skin and hair are healthier than I can ever remember them being.

I'm still not very concerned about my appearance; L. liked me as I was at Antioch, and I was about eighty pounds heavier then than I am now, and she certainly likes me at my current state. And while there is still fat on my body, I've been eating right for the past couple of years, so I know that inside I'm getting healthier. I never really built up much cardiovascular endurance in my life and I'd like to work on that eventually, but for a person of my size I'd say I'm pretty well off in terms of fitness, and I continue to get better.

And that's what bothers me, because even though I can recognize these facts, it's almost like it's not enough for me. The number on the scale keeps getting lower and lower, and I find more and more bones in my body when I lay down that I can't remember feeling before, but when I look at myself in the mirror I can't perceivably see any change. I have pictures of myself at around the high point of my weight, and looking at those I can certainly see the change I've made, but on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis, I can't see the change. All I can see is that I still have a ways to go in my weight loss struggles, and I just want the weight off now.

Perhaps it's my foolish ego driving me to want immediate results, but I still can't help but wish for this extra fat to disappear from my body sooner and not later. And when I have a setback like this illness, it just makes things that much harder for me to deal with. I mean, it's not like I'm ever going to be a waif, but I can be a lot better than I am now. And I don't think it's wrong for me to want to get better soon. Just so long as I don't starve myself or start sticking my finger down my throat, and I'm not about to do either of those things. But at the same time I can't help but feel unsatisfied with how my weight loss has progressed recently.

I don't know, maybe I'm just feeling cruddy in general because of this flu bug. Like I said, I'm not over it yet, I'm just over what was the hardest part for me. I have another weigh-in this next Thursday, and I can only hope that I'll see a lower number on it this next time than I saw last. But when you feel like I feel right now, both physically and mentally, it's hard to be much of an optimist. Please wish me to find the strength to deal with this dilemma, and I'll see you all back here soon.

- Sean