I woke up bloated and need to cancel.
I'm on a health journey that could be going better. So.
This evening, I have a book reading and signing at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines, IA. I woke up extremely bloated and would love to cancel, or actually, postpone, but I can’t because I’m a professional and “I’m so sorry to have to do this, but I woke up bloated and won’t be able to come to my book signing,” is a bad look.
I’m annoyed. I promised myself my forties would be my healthiest decade. I finally, for once, want to get my crap together. And at the very least, trust myself around cake. I wish I was indifferent about cake, but I’m the type of person who eats a small piece, then later returns to the kitchen to carve off thin, barely noticeable slices 1,379 more times.
It’s one of my cute little quirks.
I also promised myself that by the time I turn forty-one, my body would be at its ideal weight. I don’t care about the number on the scale, but I do only want a proper amount of fat that keeps my body pumping at optimal levels and I feel like the muffin top my five year old sits on while we read books really isn’t necessary for my overall health and well-being.
It’s weird to think that I’ve only been thin once in my life. For about two weeks, before I went back to nachos. And while my desire to be thin when I was younger was all about vanity, and nothing but vanity, I don’t feel the same anymore. Well, not as much, any more. It’s mostly because I had my daughters in my late thirties. My mom, the healthiest woman I’ve ever known who has always maintained a healthy weight, had me at thirty. I need her now more than ever, and as she enters her seventies, even the healthiest woman I know is encountering surprising health problems. I’ll be four to six years older than my mom when my girls are my age.
What kinda messed up health nonsense will I be wrestling?
With my sort-of-healthy-but-also-likes-to-party body that I’ve had my whole life except for those two weeks where I looked incredible in skinny jeans? Will I be able to chase my grandchildren? Will I be spry and active or dealing with some type of health issues that keep me limited? If I’m going to do something about it, I gotta do it now.
But I don’t want to be weird about it. Please, Lord, don’t let me get weird.
I’m too old to be obsessive about anything. I want to achieve my body’s ideal weight by eating only whole, organic foods like vegetables, fruit, meat and good fats. And then, simply, not over eat them. Be active, walk daily. Be normal.
So I started doing this health regimen about two months ago in earnest, and to my surprise, I’ve discovered my body doesn’t give a crap.
“I’m not impressed with your organic salad with it’s sad, sparse, oil and vinegar,” it seems to say to me, smug. “I like your hips big and fluffy in case we bump into things.”
And I’m like, “Yeah, but, making my hips big and fluffy makes me actually bump into things more than I would otherwise, so your logic is dumb. WORK WITH ME.”
And my body’s like, “I’m sorry, did you say something? I was busy preparing for an early period. You’ve got plenty of Super+ tampons, right?”
Anyway, my body hasn’t changed much at all and I find it all very boring. I maintained my moderately overweight body while eating cake before, so dedicating myself to health and yielding the same results makes me want to sigh deeply and stare sorrowfully out a window.
“Give your body time to adjust, I bet it falls off in a month,” Rob said to me this morning. I’m sorry, a month? Is that supposed to make me feel better?
Health. Impatience. Drowned vanity coming up to the surface and gasping for air.
I’m typically a light, jovial person, but I get so moody and dark with my body. I bark out demands, growing more hostile with each passing day my expectations aren’t met.
In I’m Not Ready for This, I wrote:
“I don’t think I’ve ever loved my body, respected my body, or even thanked my body. In fact, I’ve disrespected it my entire life. And the saddest part is that my body is a miracle. My eyes are a miracle. My hands, my feet. My heart. It pumps every single second— so I can pursue a joyful life. It works tirelessly so my spirit can live on earth. Have a family. Have fun. It seals my paper cuts, it fights the flu. It sweeps to protect an injury. Here I’ve neglected it, and still, it takes care of me. Yet all I see are laugh lines. Crepey knees. Hot dogs on my forehead. All I see is one curly hair on my chin and ignore the abundance of curly hair it creates for me on my head.
My body wants my respect.” (pg 201)
And yet, right now it’s on my last nerve and I can’t even look it in the eye. Why am I bloated? Why are my pants tight? “Babe,” Rob said gently, “You’re forty, your body is in the beginning of making changes. Hormones, all of it, are going to make this a journey, not a sprint.”
I’m sorry, who invited Ram Dass? I wanna vent, not sound advice!
I’m a fascinating braid of contradictions, deeply woven into one person. I’m strong and confident, yet often insecure. I can do anything I set my mind to, but can’t seem to do anything at all.
I’m ambitious and want to tour the US with my books, make people laugh, and meet new friends. I also like to lounge around on the couch like my back is out for most of the day.
I want to meet new people. I want to be alone.
A success, an utter failure. I’m so happy and content I could cry. And cry when it isn’t enough.
I have all I want and want something different.
I am so annoying.
So what do I do when I have another event, and I wake up bloated?
Well, I go a size up in pants, the pair I have lying around as back up. I drink some water, make myself some eggs.
Then I go to Des Moines, into a quaint, lovely little bookshop called Beaverdale Books and make people laugh at 6:30 PM on June 23rd, 2022. I laugh too - a lot. I sign my books, have fun. Make new friends. Contentedness, abounds.
That’s what I do. I don’t have a lot of options.
*See you tonight, Des Moines. I can’t wait to meet you.