Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fast Forward to Zombies

It is a glorious day in Pacifica.  The weather back here in the valley is always different than the rest of the town.  While we benefit from the insulating coolness of a morning marine layer, we’re also just one mountain away from Millbrae, which is 20 degrees hotter than the rest of the Peninsula.  It’s a lazy Saturday, too, almost 4 p.m. as I write this, and no one is dressed.  We really need the downtime.  Since I’ve started a 40 hour work week, it feels like someone pushed the fast forward on my life.

Putting the Bart strike aside, it’s been good.  Despite being tired, we’re relaxing in a way that only financial security can provide.

Elizabeth’s schedule is crazy and demanding, and has been all junior year. She has college prep and honors classes, and college prep and honors homework, as well as rehearsals for the Fall play she’s in at school.  She has voice lessons on Tuesdays, and rehearsals on Monday, Wednesday and Friday until 6 p.m.  When she gets home in the early evening, she’s starving, and has two hours of homework that she can’t even look at until she’s had dinner. 

Elizabeth’s girlfriend called last night wanting to go to a football game.  Elizabeth finds them intensely boring and hasn’t been to one since her first as a freshman. She asked, “What do you do when you’re there?” to which her friend replied, “Oh just walk around and talk to people.”  When Elizabeth got off the phone, her secret answer, the one she shared with us was, “Why does she want to talk to a bunch of people she doesn’t care about?”

Leslie is doing well after weight loss surgery in September.  She had the same procedure I did by the same surgeon, and she’s doing much better than I ever did.  She takes in more than enough water, eats a wide variety of foods, and is more active than I was.  She finds the new schedule difficult, but no more than I do, and only because she’s in that awkward fatigued stage that comes right after surgery. Her body is adjusting to radically less calories (read about my experience here).  Still, she gets up early every morning to drive us to our destination.

My own perfect zombies!
Lately, the three of us spend much anticipated Friday evenings and other available evening time glued to the television and “The Walking Dead”. We didn’t know it existed until Elizabeth discovered a latent love for zombies watching “Warm Bodies” on Pay-per-View.  By then, however, “The Walking Dead” was three seasons in, much too far for us to catch up.  Suddenly, as a build-up to season four, there was a zombiepocalypse-a-thon, and I could tape all three seasons. 

“The Walking Dead” is a lot like “Downton Abbey”.  It’s one big soap opera gloriously punctuated by cleaved in and/or crushed skulls, severed limbs, gnashing teeth, and black oozing and suppurating undead brains.  We talk through most of it, express our disdain for certain characters, shriek our hope that the right person will be gruesomely assassinated, and holler “Eeeeewwww” as a steel bar or hunting knife is pushed through a walker’s forehead.  Leslie doesn’t typically watch any kind of horror of science fiction, but once she got beyond the gross parts, the drama pulled her right in.

“The Walking Dead” is perfectly disgusting, and we love it.  But, the best part is that Elizabeth doesn’t want us watching it without her.  After an exhausting 40 hour work week, getting up super early every day, and dealing with a ridiculously demanding junior year schedule, zombies are a soothing balm.

Watching them together, however, is the perfect prescription.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chubby Commuter

Fatty, fatty, two by four, couldn't get through the bathroom door.

Okay, so I never really heard this when I was heavy.  Not literally.  I am, however, surprised by the subtle ways I was discriminated against when I was heavy.  I didn’t fully appreciate it until I got on a BART train headed for my new job downtown at over 100 pounds thinner than I was the last time.

It is physically much easier to sit on the seats in BART, and I don’t have to worry about sitting next to someone as large as I was.  What really caught me off guard was how people aren’t hesitant to sit next to me.  When they do, our hips don’t touch, which is a huge personal relief.  I don’t feel the barely concealed sneers and judgments I used to feel.  Men look at me.  I suppose if I found that important, I’d be happy about it.  Now, it just feels like a weird sociological measuring device that I could easily do without.  I surprised myself most recently by hiking up BART stairs because of escalator repair and not having to rest at the top.

I was at my heaviest when we lived in Connecticut between 2006 and 2008.  I got up to 340 pounds, and back then I applied and interviewed for more than four good jobs in New York City, which is where you had to go to get decent pay.  I came very close on several of them.  Leslie is convinced my weight was a barrier, a thought I didn’t want to consider too seriously then for obvious reasons. Beyond that, had I been hired, my weight would have made commuting to the city extremely difficult. 

I’m convinced I wouldn’t have this job if I was heavy.  My client contact is a nice enough guy, but he is nervous, too.  He’s the kind of fellow who would be uncomfortable with a very heavy woman no matter how experienced she was.  In my interview, it took him less than five minutes to announce he loved me, a decision he made based on first impression. 

If I was fat?

I am working very hard to get used to working full time again.  I’m tired much of the time.  How much harder would this be if I was heavy?

Sure, it’s a person’s right to be fat. I felt that way when I was.  But back then I didn’t feel I had a choice.  Having a choice, and making a decision toward better health has made a positive impact in my life. 

I see that quite clearly.
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