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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Let Me Tell You All About It!

















My love, my nemesis, my heartache. It's not a gorgeous, ripped and straight thirty- fifty-something, super freak, wow of a phantasmic guy. My hunger for this beauty doesn't have me cozying up to a cutie Maltese or soft, cuddly Himalayan. Neither is my rapacity for fragrant gardenias or ravishing exotic orchids. Am I impassioned for the secret obsession of all women, Jacques Torres truffles or Godiva pecan crunchies?

No! Just pass me that yeasty, sometimes yellow, white or dark brown, always crusty, soft inner belly of a structure that ravishes my taste buds especially when plied with butter or peanut butter and thick, luscious, imported blueberry or cherry preserves. Heavenly, toasted, just out of the oven fresh BRRREEAD! My raison d-etre, my love, my soul mate. Of course about now, you are frowning at this wacky and wantonly stupid food confession. And I'm frowning with you, all the more because I'm a gluten hypersensitive. Bread is evil. Bread is hell and damnation. Bread is the maw of Satan.  It is my pal, my heroin. But it's anathema. All flour, wheat, rye, grains, pastas are forever verboten for me. Do you know how long forever is?

Why? Why? The why is the woe. Do you know what the treasured gloriousness that I prefer above all else does to me? Imagine the horrors and miseries of a lifetime of obesity and yo-yo dieting. Yes. The staff of life and grains and all flour products make me obese. On the happiness quotient, in case you haven't looked into our cultural mores about being fat, fat is at the bottom of the scale for power, beauty, grace and righteousness. For me obesity has been a living death.
Beef cheek ravioli at Babbo. Lip smacking good. My friend Emily ordered this; never me.
If you cannot empathize, well imagine miles and miles of journeying through self-loathing and self-hate minute by agonizing minute, year by loathing-filled year. Imagine that nothing and no one can really salve your self-disgust at being a whale as long as there are mirrors and clothes to wear and skinny images in magazines and sylph celebrities on every screen watched by geeks and voyeurs. Imagine the judgment rained down upon your head as you perceive you are belittled for your inferior, sinful, food gluttony and lack of will power. No amount of "Honey I love you, you look fine," can help, because you and you alone know you are a disgustingly overweight, obese, orca. Your type is not a media darling.You are not at a weight of BMI normal or BMI underweight to photograph well. You never photograph well. In fact you race away from family photos during the holidays. No angle of you whether sitting, standing or hiding behind others works, except the one that places you out of the picture.

This was my history until four years ago. It is no longer. The leviathan vanished, exploded by the blood of many tears and 120 pounds of gradual weight loss. Now, I am BMI normal, and though I'm not underweight (as most celebrities must be to photograph well) I am no longer demoralized by my image in photographs. I'm finally satisfied with my appearance in mirrors and storefront reflections.

It only took me a lifetime to get here. How did I do it? I discovered my gluten hypersensitivity was prompting my obesity after reading Wheat Belly by William Davis. It's a fabulous book about the impact of wheat (whose genetics have been so tweaked and refined as to make the grain addictive among other things) on one's metabolism.  After reading this book, I ended a long weight loss plateau when I cut out all gluten products. I felt a restoration of energy and vitality I had never experienced even when I was a pasta raised Italian kid. With fits and starts because of a dream, I had already disappeared 80 pounds of fat, but it was the discovery of my gluten problem that helped me with the last 40. So far, I have resisted weight gain, a miracle, after yo-yoing a total of 20 times.
Recent picture during Thanksgiving week, 11/12


The cravings for my bread passions? They are legion. Hungers are easier to control, but they are everpresent like tormenting spirits. I fantasize about croissants, cheese danish, challah, morning buns, artisinal rolls with pecans, cranberries or walnuts, fresh semolina, corn and seeded ryes like others fantasize about sex positions. If I could, I'd take it any way: just give me the crackers, rounds or French baguette, I'll supply the specialty cheeses, pinot noirs or chardonnays. Every time I stop in Starbucks for my Venti-nonfat-wet-cappuccino, I squash my ravenousness for a blueberry scone or slice of pumpkin bread with a silent mantra, "Death, death, death. Flour is death." Sigh!

"This is no way to live, " you are probably thinking. Others, both friend and enemy have said this to my face. They didn't understand the depth of my insanity for wheat flour products nor my porca miseria (translated as pig misery and interpreted as fat hell). Some part of me not exorcised from yeast sided with them. I thought, maybe they were right. Why deprive myself of what I adore, even it if it is a devil? Just one slice, one roll, one buttery bite can't hurt!
Like all addicts I know how to game my judicious, circumspect intentions. Become unconscious. In this noctambulistic state, I am able to throw caution and right thinking to the floor where I can spit on their admonitions with impunity. I shut down that part of myself that seeks life and embraces health. In this mode, I am capable of heartily enjoying fat suicide. Who cares? Not my friends, not my enemies, not myself. Do you judge me as weak? Well, of course, I'm weak. I never said I was anything but. Obesity is a weakness, a dis-ease. I am still obese, though I look skinny.

The game to hide my relapse into fat suicide has been elaborate. Once I spawned it, I've trawled my wily subterfuge over these last six months to "have my cake and eat it, too," yet remain thin. I suppose it's an experiment to gauge "once and for all," how bad my wheat/flour addiction, my gluten hypersensitivity is. On the other hand, I am riding a whirlwind of screaming fat cells that can strangle me at any moment if I don't counter them by pulling on a pair of skinny size 0 jeans after a feed to judge if my squeeze into them is a gripper or ripper.
I'll take it all. Home made breads, those baguettes, focaccia, cheesey rolls. OMG!  Yummy!
My MO? For one day of the week, I indulge in my bakery bread obsession and eat as many croissants, muffins, danishes I want. I also allow myself healthy food for lunch and dinner (organic veggies and fruit and free range meats, if I can). Then after the entire day's engorgement and I am stuffed like a turkey, I bed myself to sleep off the drunk.

The next day, I weigh myself noting my weight gain sometimes of five pounds. And you thought I wouldn't gain that much?  Get real! It is possible to gorge oneself for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and gain five pounds and then eat the leftovers the next day and the next. All of a sudden, you get on the scale a week later and you have apoplexia and anaphaletic shock. You've gained 10 pounds over the holidays (especially Christmas week toNew Years). And you wonder how it happened? Unconsciousness.
Fabulous ravioli at Eataly market that I can never have. Sigh!
 Of course, I ate like I normally would when I was obese and in a trance-like state. I overindulged to my heart's content. However, after one day, now, I weigh myself as a safety check and I try on a pair of skinny, skinny jeans. I immediately recognize I can barely button the waist and the zipper is ready to split. I have to get on the bed to pull up the pants where my legs have swelled. It's that bad.
These pastas sold at Eataly, NYC are so fresh, it's like me or my mom made them; I used to years ago. No more!
 This next day I am abstemious. I drink fluids and non fat milk for nutrition, but digest and digest expelling what I've eaten. I may do a Master Cleanse for the next three or four days. But I've indulged my passion and so far so good. I weigh myself after the fourth day and find I have lost weight but must continue to get back to the weight baseline where I began. So far so good, one would think, this treating oneself one day of the week like a holiday dinner. But how do I feel psychologically and physically? How do I feel overeating like it's a Super Bowl Party or birthday celebration, just eating what I know is my bet noir and knowing that the more I eat, the more I crave?

Well, Let me tell you...   

(To be continued...)

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