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Two Words: Fat Day

2004-08-12 - 10:30 a.m.

Okay, so last night I was all prepared to come in today and write a fabulous entry on how much I love and miss Austin. I went to sleep so ready to wake up this morning and do it. I did yoga last night and got my clothes up on newly bought hangers and everything was fine until I fell asleep.

I couldn't wake up this morning. I think that my subconscious was like, "No, don't do--no, you really don't want to wake up this morn--no, just go back to sleep, stay in bed, you don't have to get your license until tomo--no, just put your head back on the pillow . . . yes . . . yes . . . and don't wake up until Friday."

But I did wake up today. And I looked in the mirror.

You know what it's like. You put on your glasses and look in the mirror, and at first you can't register what you see, so you look again in disbelief, and then your hands slowly come up to your face, beginning to touch your neck, your jawline, your cheeks, beginning to push and pull the skin upwards and away from the center of the face, and then downwards and towards the center in disgust. You tilt your head, trying to find a good angle. You begin to shake your head, which makes things worse. Then your gaze is drawn inexorably downward, and the reality hits you like an ice cold shower after a night of heavy drinking.

Today . . . is going to be . . . a fat day.


I just UGH! I fucking GRRR! I UGH! UGH! UGH! I HATE FAT DAYS! Hell is nothing but a succession of fat days! If it were not for fat days, my life would be fucking perfect! FUCKING! FAT DAYS!

For those of you who don't know what a fat day is, go kill yourselves. I'm sorry, I didn't mean that. What I meant to say was congratulations. You are lucky enough to have grown up completely immune to the pressures of society, or to be an alien from another planet, in which case I bid you welcome and hope that you have been enjoying yourself thus far. I assume that there must be some people out there who have never had a fat day. I know it's not models or celebrities, because from every report EVERY day for them is a fat day. I have no doubt in my mind that Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta Jones and Tom Cruise all have fat days. There's are just a little different. Whereas I can actually mold the poundage into interesting shapes, they're crying because they can actually pinch a millimeter, at which point they no doubt call their personal trainers and their coke dealers, both of whom are on speed dial.

As for me, I have neither.

I actually had a personal trainer once. I went to this very relaxed neighborhood gym in high school, where I was the one of the youngest people there and therefore usually felt pretty healthy in comparison. I got a personal trainer at the gym named Nicole, who was a classic, upbeat, good-natured, athletic, big-haired Texas blonde. Nicole and I got along really well, which was actually kinda bad, because rather than saying, "Okay, you only get a 30 second break, and then we're going to do more reps with more weights," and thus doing a lot to improve my body, it was more a case of, "Oh, we'll get to that machine eventually; so tell me about this guy you have a crush on! Is he cute?" I think if I ever actually said, "Nicole, we need to actually do shit," things would have been fine, but the part of me that hates exercise of any kind won the day with the argument that any time spent WITH a personal trainer could TECHNICALLY be considered exercise.

No it totally could, hear me out: since she was a personal trainer, she would know exactly how much time I would remain in fat burning mode between exercises, so she would surely be optimizing my breaks for maximum fat burning with minimum effort. It was brilliant!

It was. Shut up. It's a fat day.

The other big difference between me and say, Ben Affleck on a fat day is that I have more to bitch about. I can make my belly fat do a little dance. I can look at my face and see a striking resemblance to a Mr. Potato Head. I can take off my shirt and watch things wiggle, a la Homer Simpson at the doctor's office, with his gleeful cry of, "Woo-hoo! Look at that blubber fly!" What's worse is that I DO all these things, and worse. I grab that adipose tissue and shape it and mold it and make vain attempts to physically rip it off, when the best thing for me to do would be to put on my clothes, brush my teeth, head out the door, and be about my day, especially when you consider the fact that I'm in Berkeley, where it's very easy to walk around, and the weather's almost always perfect.

In fact, that's the clincher. That is was sends me spiralling down deeper into the realm of the fat day. I have been walking. I have been eating very healthfully. I have started doing yoga again, which I hadn't done in the past couple of weeks due to the stress of moving. Dammit, if I'm going to walk around and eat vegan meals, I don't necessarily need to look like Orlando Bloom, but can I at least be immune from fat days. I know that I had a jawline yesterday. WHERE THE FUCK IS IT TODAY?!?!?!

This, of course, leads me to the realization that the fat day is in fact a result of exercise. You see, the muscles puff out before the fat goes away, so in effect there is more of me at the moment. It will take a while before the increase of muscle starts eating away at the fat, and until that happens I will be stuck in a fat day. The fat day could easily become a fat week! GODDAMIT, I AM IN ONE OF THE HEALTHIEST PARTS OF THE COUNTRY!!! I HAVE BEEN RUNNING AROUND THIS TOWN TRYING TO GET RESIDENCY!!! I SHOULD GET THIN DAYS AT LEAST UNTIL CLASSES START!!! WHY?!?!?!

At this point, I try to get myself out of the fat day by focusing on what I know to be the truth: the voice inside me that is saying I am fat and ugly and could very easily fry in my own grease provided the temperature was high enough is not my own voice. It is the voice of magazine covers, TV shows, films, commercials, "info-tainment," and the billions of dollars spent by the fashion, cosmetics, and weight-loss industries designed to make me feel like a piece of shit so I can give them all my money. I say, "I'm not having that! I am healthy and fabulous!" But it's not going to work, because their forces have already taken the outer wall, and it's only a matter of time before the castle keep falls. Tomorrow may be another story, but today, the corporate fuckers have won.

And that really pisses me off.

I should be able to focus on the way I feel. I should take one look in the fridge and be proud of all the organic, vitamin-rich stuff I have inside. I should think about all the walking around I've done and all the fresh air I've breathed. I should think about the fact that I am getting back on my exercise plan. I should remind myself that change takes time, and that as long as I'm eating good food and getting work outs and enjoying my life, then I am fine. I'm better than fine! I'm way the Hell ahead of the game!

And then I take a deep breath, and the sides of my stomach press into my arms, and I grab my belly as part of the interpretive dance portion of my battle with body dysmorphia, and I glare at the computer screen, listening to the tittering laugh of the Fairies of Famine that have sprung out of The Beauty Myth, and I remind myself that sometime this year, Angelina Jolie will look in the mirror, pinch her face like it's bread dough, and have a day as aggravating as mine.

For those of you who have been nauseated by this display of self-consciousness, I refer you over to, where you can read two brilliant articles, one by Ron Reagan, the other by Kurt Vonnegut. And if you're having a fat day, remember: we've all been there, and after the revolution, we'll dance in the light of the burning stairmasters, and toast our victory with chocolate martinis.

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