eventually someday

The drive was 13 hours, more or less, and while it was
(astonishingly) a good time, almost all of it, it was also 13 hours and
seemingly endless. Even endless fun can make you want to put a tuning fork in
your eye and go sproing. Part of the
endless fun, and thanks to the endlessness, in fact, we junk-food ate our way
all across California, up over
the mountains and through Nevada.
Road trip! You have to buy crap! You have to eat crap! Hooray for crap! Hooray
for road trips! Hooray for crap on road trips!

We started at McDonald’s, and I enjoyed a bacon egg and
cheese thing on two pancakes that was disgusting and yet so delicious. We hit
I-80, driving a 10-foot truck with a sandwich in one hand and bad coffee with
creamers in the other, listening to our hearts wheeze. Right before the big
mountain thing on I-80 that was supposed to be terrifying and involve big
chains and snow and death (thank you for the lack of big chains and snow and
death, Universe!), we had to fortify ourselves. By fortify, I mean purchase
Nutter Butters and Red Vines and a Kit-Kat and a Butterfinger and a moonpie and
some soda, with some beef jerky and peanuts to round it out with a little
protein. Not all for me—but I had a bite here and there. And there and there
and there and there again.

We made it over the mountain, and decided we needed some
real food. I believe it was Jack in the Box. I slowly ate my way through a
sourdough bacon cheeseburger and a handful of fries, all the way across the
desert. By the Nevada-Utah border, I wanted to die a little. By then, E. wanted
to die a little bit too, because my stomach was reacting poorly, and we could
not roll the windows down because it was minus one million degrees. We stopped
for gas, water, Pepto Bismol and Burger King for E., because he is of a
cast-iron belly and I am not jealous at all. I took the Pepto, felt better, and
started eating some of his fries. I do not learn my lessons! I maybe never
will.

It’s a year and three months out from surgery, and you’d
think I’d have learned my lessons by now. It feels like that is so far away. I run into pictures of how I used to
look, and I am startled by the difference, and can’t believe that was me—it
just does not look like the person I am still trying to recognize in the
mirror, who is becoming more familiar every day. I am getting closer to feeling
ordinary and unremarkable as a person who is not fat, and the nearer I get, the
more I seem to try and forget what got me here—the more I try to eat like a
normal person, push the boundaries of my belly, forget that I can’t eat
anything I want, but in fact, I am where I am right now precisely because I
can’t.

This is a special circumstance, sure, this road trip. I ate
badly because that is what you’re supposed to do—but that’s just the problem.
People without gastric bypass surgery are allowed to say hey, cool, a holiday,
a special adventure, my birthday, it’s a Tuesday! and now I will eat every cake
in the world. I am not part of that club any more. I am not feeling sorry for
myself, or regretting the fact that I can’t eat fries all the way through Nevada—mostly,
I am frustrated with myself for not getting it. For not fully and totally
accepting that this is how life is going to be for me, from now on. Sometimes I
get it. I eat protein and stay away from the sugar and the breads, look for good
and reasonable carb-to-protein ratios in my food, and feel good in my body,
without the aching and the moaning and the terrible social embarrassment. And
then, I forget that that’s not the way it just is for me.

I figure that’ll change eventually. I have always counted on
eventually. Eventually, everything will be okay! And I forget that there’s a
path between now and someday, and I have to figure out the directions and try
not to get lost. That’s something I have to work on, along with trying to not
decide that everything is ruined and I might as well turn around and head home
and eat nachos in my underpants. That’s
the definition of a vicious cycle, right there. So eventually, I will figure it
out, and eventually, I will do better at this whole surgery patient thing, and
eventually, candy will rain down from winged diamond ponies flying through a
pink sky! And I totally won’t eat the candy.

  4 comments for “eventually someday

  1. sally
    January 22, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Don’t feel bad, not everybody who’s over 30 can eat that stuff anyway–even people without gastric bypass! I used to be able to eat White Castle, KFC, Burger King and Taco Bell all in one day with no ill effects. HA! Now, at 44, it takes me 3 days to recover from 2 double cheeseburgers at White Castle, which I get maybe twice a year. And that’s with a pretty good stomach. My problem is migraine. So don’t feel bad, it was bound to happen anyway!

  2. January 22, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Oh honey, I feel your pain! I am 13 months out from GBP surgery, and while I usually remember, there ARE those times that I forget, and the bathroom becomes my home for a few hours…

  3. anon
    January 22, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    “I forget that that’s not the way it just is for me. I figure that’ll change eventually.”

    You know what, my friend? Probably not. Or what I mean is, not completely. But before I see a comment saying, “Why can’t you be supportive of her??” I have to say that I don’t intend this as negative or mean. At all. Because, you know, I love you. But I’m also realistic.

    And I’m just saying, Look, you’re human, and sometimes you tempt the fates a bit or conveniently forget something you know to be true, because, hey, sometimes you just have to eat junk while road tripping to Utah, you know?

    And it’s ok. I mean, the pain and gastrointestinal distress you felt isn’t fun, but the slip-up is, well, just that. No biggie.

    I certainly would like to hope and believe that you WILL someday figure it all out and never misstep again.

    But if that happens then I will have to stop loving you.

  4. January 22, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    My new MySpace headline:

    “I have always counted on eventually. Eventually, everything will be okay! And I forget that there’s a path between now and someday, and I have to figure out the directions and try not to get lost. -Anne, http://www.elasticwaist.com

    Awesome quote; so appropriate for me (and aslo my brother, actually) that it kinda hurts. Thanks!

    Side note: the automatic MySpace headline quotation marks really bother me. Because I’m anal like that. I need control.

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