Last Friday Dr. Bob and I had a really good talk: Part I.

The first time I met Dr. Bob he said, "there is no such thing as a bad food." Now we've all heard this before. It's Eating Well 101. But he explained it by saying, "when the body is starving a twinkie might just be the thing to save your life."

Well on Friday we leveled. 

I said, "I want to lose weight." 

He smiled and said, "I know." 

I said, "Help me. How do I do it?" 

And he smiled again and said, "You have to eat at least 1,800 calories a day. Eating 1,800 calories creates a deficit of 200 calories a day and that along with exercise will allow you to lose weight."

"Okay," I said slowly, eyeing him carefully. "How long will it take me to lose ten pounds?"

He did the math in his head, "About three months." 

Ah, three months. Long sigh. So long. Wait a second, silly (the italicized words represent the sane part of me) three months is nothing in the grand scheme of things. And you've been trying to lose weight for years with no success. This guy is actually telling you to eat more. More food! How exciting!

Eat more. 

Dr. Bob explained that (and I think this is what he was saying, but don't quote me or him via me on it) eating less than 1,800 calories changes how the brain defines pleasure when it comes to food. Example: sweet food becomes more pleasurable. The body adapts to starvation by becoming increasingly sensitive to rewarding foods like sweets and butters. The body literally prioritizes food by calories. Foods that are "bad" for you become more pleasurable not necessarily because they are off limits, but because you get a large calorie count for not a lot of consumption. 

So I'm going to try. To eat more. Turns out 1,800 calories is a fair amount. And I'm going to enjoy every single one of them, allowing myself indulgences as well as the pleasure of fruits and veggies (homemade guacamole--oh my!). 

I know it seems scary. And I know the question becomes, how can I lose weight when I'm actually taking in more food? Well, by taking in more food (but not too much) you increase your metabolism and allow your body to become more efficient with calories, so that even if you slip up and eat that whole chocolate cake, the body says, no worries--I don't need these calories, I'll just get rid of them. Because not every calorie carries an equal weight. And when you're not starving yourself then your body doesn't feel the need to hoard calories. The body becomes more forgiving. So while it may seem counterintuitive: eating more can help you lose weight. But more importantly it will get you to the weight where your body wants to live.

Part II of my conversation with Dr. Bob has to do with cooking. That will come tomorrow. For some reason I've been putting off writing this post. I'm not sure why that is, but I'm gonna end it here for now in an effort to not push my luck. Part II to come...tomorrow (as well as an explanation of my new sidebar feature).

Baby got back.

I'll never forget one of my very first days at school here in New York when a girl by the name of Gina (who was of African American descent) clicked her pen on my butt and said, "Girl, you got a black girl's booty." I was mortified. I used to just be this skinny, little bean pole from Texas. And I liked that. Well, somewhere along the way I developed an ample (not too ample, but nice and shapely) behind and I've never fully embraced it. 


It's a new day indeed.

I saw this picture of Michelle Obama in Vogue and  thought, if the first lady is gonna rock out her derriere then it's practically a presidential edict and thus my responsibility as the good, true American I am to embrace my God given asset. 

I mean...look at her...she's divine.

Putting Ned to bed. For good.

I was watching The Biggest Loser when it happened. 

Angela turned to me and asked, "What would Dr. Bob think about this show?".

"Well," I replied, "I don't think he would like it very much." And I started to think about just what Dr. Bob would say. He would say that anytime weight loss becomes the ultimate goal then you set yourself up for failure. He would say it has to be about the process. About changing your lifestyle. 

And it was then that it hit me. What he, what others have been saying all along. Essentially it boils down to this...

If you're not willing to do it everyday for the rest of your life then it just won't work. 

Do you know what that means? It means there is no such thing as a jump start--no cookie diet, or 1,000 calorie diet, or carb-free diet that will catapult me into a place where weight loss becomes a reality. 

And then if you think, okay--so everyday for the rest of my life--that kind of eliminates the idea of losing weight altogether and replaces it with one of your body figuring out where it likes to live--at what weight it feels the healthiest.

Does this make sense?

Everyday for the rest of your life. It sounds scary doesn't it? If it does then you're thinking with a diet mentality. Because in truth, I think it's actually quite freeing. I can't go without carbs everyday, which means I never again have to. Oh, feel that...I'm starting to breathe again.

The whole point is small changes over time. Dr. Bob had me set "going to the gym" as a priority for one week. And that one week blossomed into an almost everyday (but not obsessive) habit. This past week I was meant to up my fruit and veggie count. Thit endeavor has been slightly less successful. Not to worry, I'll try again.

Last year when things got really bad in October my mom flew to New York to stay with me for a week. As sad as I was, it was in many ways the best week of my life. I felt so enveloped in love. We ate lunch in the park everyday. And we saw the Grace Kelly exhibit at Sotheby's. We shopped and bought silly pictures off the men on the sidewalks. After the first day--I remember she made a really good chicken salad with almonds and grapes for lunch--she said, "See you got through one day. And tomorrow will be two days. And then three. And we'll just keep going from there."

I've begun the count again. After my biggest loser revelation it was as if I pulled the sword from the sorcerer's stone (remember that great Disney film? oh, it was so good). It was as though I now had the tool to slay my greatest nemesis. And with the weight of that sword in my hand I became afraid. They tell you to name your eating disorder so that you distinguish it from yourself. But in truth Ned is a product of some part of me. He is of me. And can I kill that part of myself? Well, you all (yes you blogdom lovies (as Micaela would say)), you all are right. I don't need Ned anymore. He is something I will carry with me as part of my past, but he sure as hell doesn't need to be my present or future any longer.

I've just finished day two. I haven't been perfect. Far from it. But I've got the rest of my life to figure out what perfect means to me. 

Day one down. Day two. Let's just keep going from here and see what happens.

In the interest of full disclosure...

The end of Ned has come. I can feel it. Any day now I'll wake to find my bed empty once more. 

I should be celebrating. Should be.

Instead I'm afraid. Any doctor will tell you that an eating disorder sticks around because there is something positive you're extracting from it. I rebelled against this idea for a long time. Nothing good, I would shout. Nothing good has come from him. 

But this is not true. 

Ned makes me feel safe. Think about it...he literally built a second skin for me--a layer of insulation. He is my form of protection from a world that seems overwhelming and unnavigable. He has been my constant companion these past three, almost four years.

And so while I pray for his departure, I also fear it. Letting go of him feels like leaping off a cliff. What will the world look like if I'm not looking through his eyes? 

In some ways my body is rebelling now. Trying to cling to a dying a relationship. Purging him up and out in convulsive spurts. 

I've been bingeing more of late. Like I used to. In the old days. But these worse days lead to better days and I can feel my system cleaning itself. 

But in the interest of full disclosure...sometimes I feel Ned so strongly. Moving inside of me. So strong is he that I can barely breathe. And I wonder if I allow that to happen--if I stop breathing--what will happen? Will my body learn to take air in in a new and different way? A better way? 

Perhaps my skin will break open and my heart will learn to breathe.