Thursday, May 17, 2012

Closet Cleanse and All the Things I'll Swiss


I’m usually only nostalgic after tequila.  Yet to my surprise, I found myself weeping while preparing for our non-alcoholic garage sale.  Since the Swiss simpletons don’t appreciate square footage or walk-in closets like the Western world, I had to make a significant reduction in my shoe, clothing, and Britney Spears’ collections.  Our carton of wordly possessions left shore one week ago, and I struggled immensely with what to take, what to store, and what to sell to strangers. 

As I sat in our driveway and watched transients drive away with my belongings, I was overcome with a sense of sadness for all the glamour I am leaving behind---who will look after my smutty beach novels? My never-run-in running shoes?  Am I a light switch away from Amish?

I hate that old cliché “you never know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”  Well I knew I had a badass fedora hat collection, but they took it from me anyways.  My husband is thrilled with this closet cleanse, and assures me I won’t miss any of it once I gaze upon the scenic Swiss Alps and breathe in some of that fresh, mountain air.  I’ll get back to you all on that.  Until then, look for the peasant mourning in the shoe department.


Mother's Day Binge Cringe

In honor of the three cupcakes (two chocolate, one vanilla), four brownies, and two bowls of vanilla ice cream I so enthusiastically consumed on Mother's Day, I felt the need to dig up this old story I wrote after one of my binge eating episodes.  Indulge!

                                                 Non-Deter(gent)

Dish detergent does not deter the determined. Although it appears I can alliterate my problem with a mouthful of D’s, the real mouthful in this situation is the five-layer cake I just devoured. The fact it was laced with Dawn Direct Foam is quite irrelevant----it was, to my knowledge, a bleach-free product.

My lifelong issues with food started, oh let’s say, when my mom took me off her boob. I’ve always taken quite a liking to solid cuisine, so when she released me from her chest with enough baby teeth to take a real bite out of life, I finally discovered my passion. I like to eat. There’s really no poetic or better way to say it.

As I stare at the remaining morsels of the fifth layer of my deceased cake, I have to wonder how I got to this point in my life---surely I wasn’t raised this way. I don’t ever remember my mother encouraging me to bake an entire cake with more layers than a four-year-old sledding in Alaska, and I can’t imagine she ever sat me down and told me that eating the entire dessert in one sitting would make my stomach feel flat and chiseled.

Carbohydrates, oh how I love thee. The cute little meal devil who sits on my shoulder reasons that carbs provide energy. I need energy, right? I need it to live; I can’t make the world a better place without sufficient energy. I even need energy to eat my next meal. Then that stupid, anorexic angel on my other shoulder tells me “No, no, no, Stefanie. You’ll end up in another carb coma like yesterday. You can’t make the world a better place in the fetal position.”

I battle with these two ridiculous apparitions each and every meal. The celestial voice usually ends up in the consolation bracket, and that cute little devil and I wave our Clean Plate Club memberships victoriously in the air. Seldom things in this life provide happiness, I figure. Food is one of them. I can’t let them take my happiness.

Sometimes when I am driving past a gym on my way to McDonald's, I feel a sudden pang of guilt and shame. I think of all the treadmills without me on them, and how elated and renewed I would feel if I could only get myself to open the gym doors. Here lies the problem: I am hungry. I could work-out before I eat, but then I wouldn’t be receiving the full exercisable benefits because I would only be performing at 50 percent. However, if I were to wait and work-out after my Big Mac, then I would only be performing at 50 percent, as well. I do the math in my head and decide that both options would sell myself short. I do the only rational thing I can think of in my current position: I skip the gym and opt for a diet coke with my number one.

So here is where I find myself once again. I keep coming back to this low point in my life. I am standing in front of my five-layer chocolate cake. I have already eaten at least six times the normal serving size, my stomach is extended like one of those Ethiopian adoption commercials, and I am in the beginning stages of a sugar-induced migraine---however, cake still remains. I plan on sucking up my pain, taking it like a champ, and finishing the damn thing, but that ridiculous, angelic voice keeps whispering to “step away from the cake.” So I do, a good twenty feet at least, but inevitably I am back.

Plan B: throw away the cake. Easy, right? But unfortunately for me, the garbage has recently been emptied and the cake has a foil covering; it’s still edible inside that pristine garbage can and sterilized foil. I now do what any logical and reasonable individual would do. I remove the cake from the trash and reach for my nearest bottle of dish detergent. In a manic episode, I squirt Dawn Direct Foam all over my beautiful, beautiful creation, throw it back in the trash, and lock myself in my bedroom.

Although this should be the end of my story, let me remind you that dish detergent is used to wash dishes from which we directly eat---which means it is harmless; which means, actually, that it is quite safe if ingested. But I am going to be stronger this time: I lie on my bed, paint my toes, finish a book, watch two episodes of Iron Chef, and call three friends who I figure would make good sponsors. They don’t answer. This is not looking good.

A girl can't stay locked in her bedroom forever. I remember that I haven’t checked to see if I closed the silverware drawer, and I couldn’t possibly sleep knowing that it remained open….

So I’m back at the damn trash can once again, because it turns out the drawer was shut after all, and somehow the cake is levitating back onto the kitchen counter. Damn. Damn damn damn.

The problem with a five-layer cake and dish detergent is that it doesn’t penetrate every layer...

I will spare you the gory details.

********************************************************
There comes a point in life when you must make painful choices in order to better yourself. I felt I took a huge step in the right direction when I passed the cake mix aisle at Kroger and went directly to the shelves with cleaning supplies. Although it was hard to make the change because I like to think of myself as a loyal person, I lifted my arm, and with a slightly shaking hand (it was lunchtime and my blood-sugar was low) I snatched it off the shelf and dropped it in my cart.

Dish detergent…with bleach. I figure worse comes to worse, Poison Control is just a hop, skip, and a 1-800 number away.