Monday, April 07, 2008

Lace me up!

I decided to try something today.

Back in the dark days of last year (which would be summer, which technically wasn't dark but as darker for me, for reasons I'm about to explain) I had gained so much weight that my corset no longer fit. My jeans really didn't fit--putting them on and buttoning them was akin to tightly belting the Stay-Puft marshmallow man--and big t-shirts were my only friend.

But...I have lost 22 pounds since then. I weigh almost as little I did when the hubs and I got together, almost as little as I did on our wedding day. Of course, thanks to having two babies the topography of that fat has moved--less up top, more in the middle, as it were--but still. I look in the mirror and am fairly pleased.

(Oooh, I am especially pleased since, remember that new moisturizer I bought a few weeks back? The, ah, anti-aging one? No more dry skin!!! My forehead is smooth again. It's a delight to behold.)

So I decided to get out my corset, the one that didn't fit anymore back in September.

It fits again. Not only does it fit, it fits a little too easily! I wasn't even that tightly laced and had pure black in back, baby. (This is a reference to the "modesty panel, which is a couple of inches of cloth the same color as the corset which goes under the laces to keep your skin from showing.) So I wore it out to the grocery store. Of course, the effect was ruined by the fact that it's freezing outside so I had to keep my coat on and buttoned (it snowed on and off all day yesterday, and some of it even stuck). But I knew it was there!

I'm very excited about this. Very excited indeed. I'm actually thinking it may be time soon to get a new, smaller corset. Wheee!

And I owe it all to calorie counting. I love calorie counting, which is odd considering how much I usually dislike math. But calorie counting is fun for me, really. I love figuring out how much I can eat and making little trade-offs with myself. Like, say, skipping dessert and having a vodka tonic instead. It feels very orderly, and I like orderly. It's also very easy. I don't have to follow some weirdo plan that's usually filled with foods I hate or am allergic to (like mushrooms or red peppers or, I don't know, fussy little salsas of every variation). I can cook for the whole family and just eat less than they do. I can still have candy and booze, which are both very important parts of my regular diet.

And it occurred to me, as I started tallying up my daily count in my head, that this is how I write as well. I keep it all in my head. I allocate certain places in the book for certain events to happen. I tick things off like a list, plant hints and clues like I'm laying in a supply of Jaffa cake bars for later (they're like 139 calories per bar, which is awesome.) They give me the same kind of in-control shivers of happiness, planning my books and planning my meals.

I'm not obsessed with food or anything. I realize that all my talk of planning meals and being in control can sound a little eating-disordery. But I assure you that's not the case. It's just something to do, something else (like writing) to help me plan my days.

And now I can lace my corset again, which is almost as good as finishing a book. Almost.

I've been thinking of doing metrics again...maybe I need the kick in the butt, because work on UG2 is going slooow.


Anonymous said...

Aha! So that's why I can' tlose weight -I hate math.

Congratulations, December. -V95

Charles Gramlich said...

Just the thought of a corset makes me gasp. And that could be taken in a couple of ways.

kirsten saell said...

I've always been good at math and science--which is why my body's ability to utterly ignore the laws of both mathematics and biochemistry to cling with a kung fu grip to its fat peeves me to no end.

Do the math: 280 calories/day x four days with the stomach flu = 0 pounds lost. ARRRGHHHH!

I can also only dream of what it might be like to wear a corset--alas, I'd be spilling out the top the moment I drew breath.


But none of this can stop me from being totally impressed, D--I think you ought to use your corset in your publicity photos. Add some fishnets and you'd be blammo, baby!

December/Stacia said...

Lol V95! Sure, I bet that's it. :-)

Hee hee, Charles! I feel all warm and giggle now.

See, I'm not good at math, kis--well, no, that's not entirely true. It is, but it isn't. I'm a geometry person. My theory is, you're either a geometry person or an algebra person. Algebra makes me feel like a total moron who can't even draw a number 5, but geometry was easy as, um, pie. Or pie graphs, rather.
Your body probably went into emergency starvation mode, where it grabs its extra fat and won't let go because it thinks the food has gone missing and it may be months before it gets more. That's another reason why I liked counting calories; I started slow, and made sure I ate something every few hours--a noodle pot (180 calories), or a Special K bar (83 calories) or a little yogurt (51 calories.) So since there was always food coming in my body didn't hoard fat. That's the theory anyway. And they make corsets in all sorts of sizes and styles.

I've thought of using it in photos, actually. The problem is, although in person it looks great, it's not as slimming in photos. I'm not sure why--maybe because the camera adds ten pounds, or maybe because it's black velvet? I dunno. I'm still thinking of it though. Now if only I had lovely breasts to spill over the top...

kirsten saell said...

Your body probably went into emergency starvation mode, where it grabs its extra fat and won't let go because it thinks the food has gone missing and it may be months before it gets more.

Evidently, my body's in emergency starvation mode all the time...

Michele Lee said...

Congrats. I hate calorie counting. I can't look at a plate and think numbers and still enjoy my meal. For me I've been using smaller dishes and cutting down sneaky foods, like cheese and soda, that add a lot of calories without you really noticing. I'm also quite unafraid of storing things now. I was raised a strict clean plater and it's taken years to break that habit.

Tupperware is your friend :D

cyn said...

i hate math, too. and portions are a huge problem for me. i've gotten better. but i don't think i'd ever be able to diet or calorie count. i've considered doing something similar to jenny craig just to get an idea of what a good portion should look like. i keep an exercise and food diary, so no, you are great for doing what you do.

and losing all that weight! it's amazing! can i ask you what your daily allowance is calorie wise? it's okay if it's too personal. and now that you've lost weight, can you increase intake again a little?


December/Stacia said...

Lol Kirsten!

See, Michele, it just seems fun to me, figuring out what and how much I can have. I get a kick out of it. It makes me feel like I'm Taking Charge, if you know what I mean. But really, it boils down to the same thing you're doing.

Sure, Cyn. But before I tell you, keep in mind I'm only 5 foot 2, and I do not have a really active lifestyle--I spend large portions of my day just sitting, so I don't burn a lot of energy. I usually go for about 1200-1500 calories per day. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. I take vitamins regularly and I always keep nutrition in mind--I don't snack much, I make sure I'm getting good foods in there. If I've had a really active day I let myself have more calories.
Actually, I don't really count much anymore. Because I've been doing it essentially since last September my stomach has shrunk so I just can't eat huge meals anyway. I keep track in my head of what I've eaten, and I usually don't allow myself seconds, but if I eat a bigger portion one day or have, like, half of a big Cadbury bar or something I just eat less the next day. So I'm maintaining pretty well, but I know if I want to get that last 5-10 pounds off I'm going to have to start exercising, sadly.

BernardL said...

I'm with you, D, skip the dessert, give me the Vodka. :)

Vicki said...

I like your plan. It's much easier to know that you can something if it fits with your count then to think it's off limits. At least for me it is. Once I think I can't have something then that's all I want.

Robyn said...

I want to see a picture!

December/Stacia said...

*nods* Yep, Bernard, it's the perfect diet. :-)

Exactly, Vicki. I like knowing nothing is off limits and it's up to me to decide what I'll eat. I don't have to buy anything special or spend a lot of time fiddling with different foods, and if I want dessert I just eat a smaller dinner--what our parents used to call "saving room". :-)

I'll see what I can do, Robyn. :-)