Thursday, August 27, 2015

Whole 30, Day 5

My angry busker isn't angry or busking anymore. I guess it must be true that nicotine only lives for three days in the body and after it passes, the cravings are emotional. I, on the other hand, am still living with a sugar monster on my back, especially at my morning coffee.

Coffee is something I've been drinking my whole life. I used to spend a lot of time with my Puerto Rican grandparents when I was a little girl and coffee was part of our morning rituals. I'd sit on the high, wicker-backed chair at the counter while my grandmother brewed coffee and my grandfather sliced French bread. I loved our mornings together, they're some of my favorite memories from childhood. My grandparents had a chicken coop out back and my sister and I would go out in the mornings to find the shit-covered eggs, still feather-warm, and bring them int the house. While the coffee was brewing my grandmother would put a small, enamel pot filled with milk on and watch it carefully to make sure it didn't bubble over. I remember her sticking her finger into the pot to catch the skin on the top of milk and licking it off her finer. I tasted it once and hated it. She'd pour coffee into a mug for me, stir in heated milk and then pour in coffee. Heaven. My grandfather would sit next to me and dip pieces of bread into my sugary coffee and feed them to me. I loved the taste of sweet, milky coffee. Even as an adult, that first sip of coffee, the acid balanced out with sugar, reminds me of being deeply loved.

So emotional attachment to sugar. My parents didn't really have a lot of sugar in the house, because my sisters and I would attack and destroy it, we weren't allowed soda or candy. It didn't matter too much because we lived in such a Mexican neighborhood and Mexican candy isn't too sweet. It is spicy and salty and that was, and probably is, my favorite flavor. Even now, at 36, I have bags of Mexican candy squirreled away here at the apartment. 

Last night I was what H and I called "Roam-y." I was restless, un-still. All I wanted was to roam, in my thoughts, in my body. I wanted dark chocolate, something artisan, probably salty. Instead I munched on cashews and self-hated. I'm still having trouble falling asleep. The weather has been stupidly hot and humid and I have hated the feeling of my own skin touching my own skin. Yeah, not normal. I've been spreading out like a starfish so my legs don't touch each other, so my arms don't touch my body. Showering multiple times a day. I'm tired a lot, physically, even though I feel mentally sharp. My body still aches.

Eh, it'll pass. I know this first week is supposed to be the most challenging as my body adjusts to the shifts in my consumption. Next week will be better. I'm heading to Chicago for a few days to see a friend and will have to plan my meals while traveling, and have no deep dish pizza, which doesn't sound that appealing anyway. As long as I can have a Jibarito  (without cheese or mayo) I'll be ok.

Also, H is amazing at this. He is so damn good, to me, as always. Making me breakfast, coffee with coconut milk, packing my lunch every day. Now, even over three years into our relationship I look at him sometimes and think "Who ARE you and why are you so incredible?" 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Whole 30 Day 3

(haven't blogged in a while for various reasons but here, this is something.)

Day 3: That lovely just hit by a bus feeling is all up in me today. Second night of tossing and turning, turbulent dreams filled with ex-lovers and the ex-lovers of former friends leading me through the deserted streets of places we used to live. Everyone else who writes about this Whole 30 writes about meals and bloating, food prep and energy levels, I am engorged with metaphors, of course.


H and I decided to W30 after seeing my parents, sister and bro-in-law complete it last month. They were all dewy, flat-bellied and bright and we too wanted that self-righteous glow in our eyes as we turned down the offered brownies. Yes, we are (were?) ridden by the beasts of grain, sugar, dairy and alcohol but also, we smoke. Yuck! Ew! Nasty! Yes, all of that. But we’ve justified our relationship with tobacco by weaving it into our love story, long nights on our balcony surrounded by smoke and poetry, wine stained mouths. Cigarettes smoked on rooftops, rebel postured, all last-century glam; we hang in the green smoking section of our local bar where the really interesting conversations happen. But I want to live a long life composed of deep breaths and I want the same for H. We’re struggling.


The first day was okay. I’m not as addicted to the smoke as H is, I‘ve gone for long periods without any butts in my life. H, on the other hand, smokes like a film noir sad guy. He decided he needed something to distract himself when the cravings hit, he chose juggling. It’s like living with a busker on the edge of a breakdown. He juggles a tennis ball and two lacrosse balls in our living room while clenching a popsicle stick between his teeth for the oral fixation. I sit on the sofa and plan imaginary vacations and brood while he drops balls and yells.


The first night was hellish. We always enjoy an evening libation and both tossed and turned all night, sheets got twisty. We growled at each other several times in the night, not the good kind of growls. We woke up droopy, exhausted but determined to go it another day. Lots of juggling. Lots of deep breaths and avocados. Lots of me peeking at the “before” pics on my phone and wondering when I allowed myself to make the decision to only buy pants with elastic waistbands.


God, we’re eating a lot of eggs. And this whole no dairy or sugar in our coffee is for the birds, but I get it. The other meals are easy enough, I happen to be a great cook so I’ve whipped up spiralized zucchini noodles, ghee and caper whitefish, frittatas that would made Martha wink and other edible things that don’t taste like Pinterest. I know the food is supposed to be the focus but everything I read talks about the food hardly anyone talks about the FEELINGS. I’m experiencing motherfucking turmoil.


Last night, the end of Day 2, we were beasts. We ate. H settled in to get his teaching notes finalized, he starts teaching today, a lit class and a creative writing class, plus he starts the last year of his MFA. I brooded, I have discovered I am exceptional at brooding. I am also exceptional at draping myself all over the sofa in various positions that convey malaise. Very 19th century heroine of me. When we tried to go to bed all of our small aggressions coalesced and we were snappy with each other. My body was aching, H threw out his neck. We decided to sleep in separate rooms so our various physical maladies wouldn’t collide in the night. I kept rearranging my pillows like a frantic gerbil in a new cage. I was angry at my sheets for wrinkling beneath my body, didn’t they know how fragile I was? Then into dreaming, another night of all my cravings showing up as specters from my past. I bellowed at my alarm when it went off, like a baby mastodon watching it’s mama get sucked into a tar pit.


Another day. Yay veggies. I want a thick cup of honeyed yogurt, but I’ll settle for coconut milk and chia pudding with raspberries. I want to devour a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips but I’ll crunch my teeth on jicama instead. I want to swirl mouthful after mouthful of dark, red wine but I’ll squeeze lemon into hot water instead and think about letting go. I want to put my legs up on our balcony railing and light an American Spirit, inhale that first delicious lungful and exhale it as a prayer to the stars, watching the smoke shape itself into disappearing faces as it makes its way up to the heavens, but instead I’ll just breathe. Letting go sucks, but I’m pretty sure holding on is worse.