Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Revelations

Last week, my Cheerful Teaching Assistant arrived in the classroom with the saddest of expressions and informed me that her doctor had put her on a low-carb diet.  Although it is a short term period of restriction, the very thought of it made me sad.  Carbs?  Well, they are just gifts from heaven above, I do declare!

(Yeah...I get a southern accent when I talk about carbs.  What of it????)

However, I realized that a little of the solidarity might be in order in this situation.  I'm a veteran of the Battle Of The Bulge and I know how hard it can be.  So I offered to join her in this endeavor.  I solemnly vowed that, during the school day, I would walk the low-carb path with her.  No more sneaking pretzels from the school snack cupboard.  No dipping into the "emergency" peanut butter cup supply in the fridge.  ("emergency" is in quotes because my definition of a crisis seems to have become far more flexible of late...)  No little candies from the student rewards drawer.  I would observe the dietary rules just as she must now do.  

And I've stuck with it.  There has been some experimentation involved.  The Day Of Naught But Meat resulted in lethargy and weird-tasting burps.  We won't be doing that again.  Just having the hour long discussion about Why I Can No Longer Digest Meat Like A Youngster was enough to put me off the animal protein.  I've had better luck with the cottage cheese.  And the cheddar cheese.  Dairy seems to be my friend.  With a little spinach salad and some of that spray dressing that makes the students ask if you are now using window cleaner as a condiment, I've got something I can work with.

I never really got on board with the whole low carb craze, if the truth be told.  I saw too many people who read one article, half a book or heard about it from a friend successfully lose a great deal of weight, only to gain it back quickly.  I have learned from painful experience that the only way to lose weight is to eat a balanced and sensible diet and to burn more calories than you consume.  No one wants to hear that, really.  They want to hear that they can eat pickles and fudge and that the pounds will magically fall off.  But, unless there are medical issues that make for a different kind of dieting experience, the only real trick is to eat less.  And if you are eating less, you have to eat smarter.  

I know enough about human anatomy and nutrition to know that I don't know enough to mess with my blood sugar and whatnot.  However, I have to admit that going low carb for a week has resulted in my buttoning my jeans this morning without uttering phrases like, "You are a circus freak!"  Or, "Why oh why has my waist forsaken me????"  And the fatigue which seemed to be plaguing both the CTA and myself appears to be dissipating day by day.  

I'm not saying I'm a convert.  But I will say that I am a bit more conscious of what is going in my mouth these days and that is a good thing.  Besides, I only have to do this during the day.  Once home, I can sneak a carb or two (or forty...) in without anyone being the wiser.  

With that little bit of self-reflection behind me, it was certain that others would follow.  Take the Invisibility Shawl, for example.  I have developed a love/hate relationship with it.  I adore the yarn.  I find joy in how the fabric drapes.  It is a lovely thing.  And yet I am starting to feel shackled to it.  It is clingy and needy.  It won't let me breathe.  It doesn't understand that I need some space, time with my own friends...just some me-time, you know?  This is the perfect set-up for cheating.  I just know it.  So here's the deal:

Wherever I am with this project come Friday, is where I be.  It is the end of the line.  It will be cast off and blocked.  I may not like the length, but I will live with it.  It is time.  This relationship is no longer healthy.  It is time for me to have a little fling with something of a short term nature.  Maybe another pair of Maine Morning Mitts.  Or a hat of some sort.  Anything that I can just date casually then send on its way.  Call me fickle.  Say that I'm what's wrong with society these days.  I don't care.  I am who I am.  I'm like a lone wolf.  Or the wind.  Or anything else you can't tie down, baby.  I was born to run.

Except on that day I ate all that meat.  I didn't run at all.  I just napped.  And burped...

SA

14 comments:

kmkat said...

I'm thinking that instead of casting off the Invisibility Shawl you should just cast it into the depths of the closet and forget about it for awhile, say, six months. Or a year. Whatevs. After that time you might be delighted to give it another 12 inches or whatever it would take to make it perfect.

Or you set it afire. That might be fun.

Ronni said...

I'm glad the low carb thing is working for you and the CTA. My doctor put me on one and I followed it faithfully for about two weeks. At the end of which anyone and everyone who had had to have any kind of interaction with me all pleaded for deliverance from the evil psycho (w)itch from hell. Apparently, I am not one of those who can go without her carbs. Well, I can, but no one, not even me, wants to be around me then.

trek said...

Today is not the day to deny a trek her carbs - no matter what the benefits. I shall resume my frosted animal crackers snack and hope that the cyclical raising of the 'strogens will soon subside.

grump

Kath said...

I'm with kmkat on this one. Bury it in the closet with a copy of the pattern and notes on where you left off, (Don't ask me why this step is important.) and go knit some cute spring/summer weight socks, a fetching beret, lots of fun stuff. Resume the relationship in a few months, after you've had a chance to sow your wild oats and have meaningless dalliances with other knits.

But I'd pass on the fire thing - that sounds dangerous.

Julie said...

I tried the low carb thing for a couple of weeks a while back. It went well at first, but when I finally caved and had my beloved carbs, I couldn't stop.

Mouse said...

I am also with KmKat and the suggestions on how to best "cast off" the shawl..
I also have no idea what I would eat if I wasn't allowed to have carbs. I live on rice, pasta, and bread. I would be very very grouchy.. that's for sure.

Knitting Linguist said...

Yup, I am with you about both the necessity of, and disappointment in, the need to reduce calorie input relative to output in order to lose weight. Grr... I'm with you also on moving on from the invisibility shawl and on to new and exciting horizons -- of course, then there's the pressure of trying to figure out the perfect project to have a fling with...

Leigh said...

I agree with kmkat too. If, after the end of it's 6 month ban in the closet, you still want to cast off, then go for it.

I agree with you wholeheartedly about dieting. It's a matter of lifestyle. I never went for the no/lo carb thing either. I'm just not crazy enough about meat to have to eat too much of it. I love my whole grains and am happy with them.

catsmum said...

with kmkat on this one
send it to Coventry for a while
separation will do the both of you good

Mia said...

But Sheepie, aran't you already about a size 2? If you cut back anymore on carbs you'll disappear completely!

Karen said...

I agree with everyone who said give the shawl a vacation. Let it rest. Knit something else. Return to it renewed and maybe you will want another dozen inches.
I feel a little badly that I am nibbling on a Oreo while reading about cutting back on carbs. I'm planning to have a difficult afternoon so I'm just taking the Oreo medicinally. Really.

Donna Lee said...

My brother (who is the ultimate carnivore) thought he would love the Atkins (no carb) diet so he tried it. He lost some weight, ate a lot of meat, had some rather unpleasant emanations from his body and decided he needed some carbs in his life after all. We were all pleased. My mother tried every (and I mean EVERY) weight loss scheme known to man and was never successful. When I suggested she was not supposed to be wasp thin at 60 and that eating healthy was more important she got mad and told me I could "stand to lose a few pounds". Oh well, I am healthy. And I love my carbs in moderation.

Cursing Mama said...

I am now craving a nice juicy steak - and all I brought for lunch is a potato.

debsnm said...

A time out is always good for knits who won't do what you want. I'd put it somewhere close, where it can see you 'flinging' with a lovely pair of socks or gloves, or whatever. You'd be surprised how quickly bad knitting can straighten up and fly right.