Weight, To Scale

I did a silly thing.  A really silly thing.  I used the gym scale wrong.

The gym scale is much like a doctor's office scale.  It's got two metal sliders: a little one and a big one.

Did you know the big slider is not just at intervals of fifty?  The little slider is by ones up to "50," with clearly marked halves and tenths.

But the big one, as it turns out, marks fifty pounds, then ninety pounds (signified by a "40"), then one hundred pounds, then one hundred fifty, then one hundred ninety, two hundred, etc.

Guess what I just noticed about the big slider this week?  Yeah.  In my defense, the notches for "40" and for "100" are really close together.

I am not a compulsive weigher (or at least, I'm not since the husband threw out my little digital scale in the winter).  Since June I've probably weighed myself sixish times.  The first of those, in mid-late June, was when I thought I'd gained a certain amount of weight all of a sudden.

I weighed myself as a reality check about four weeks ago, and my weight was low-ish.  (Well, okay, I call it "low-ish."  My therapist calls it "still a really low weight.")  I weighed myself Tuesday and it was all of a sudden healthy-ish, even though none of my clothes fit differently, and my bras were still too big.

"How odd," I thought. "Just like in June, only this time I don't feel like clawing off my own skin.  Yay!  I must be getting healthy!  I mean, I imagine I've put on some muscle as I've been jogging more quickly, but wow, I never imagined I'd get to that weight and not feel disgusted with myself at first!"

Then, on Wednesday, I looked at the scale again.

Then I said, ".... Oh."

Then I adjusted the big slider to the right.  Then I had to move the little slider to the left, left, left some more.

At a remove, I'm fascinated by my reaction in June (when I am pretty damn sure I was doing the exact damn thing with the stupid scale) versus my reaction on Tuesday.  In June I felt as if I were going to fly apart, so visceral was my feeling of engorgement.  Tuesday I felt.... good.

Wednesday I felt embarrassed, and not just because of the silly scale mistake, either.  I felt embarrassed because some larger part of me had finally wanted to gain that weight.  Tuesday I felt scared, but proud.

I am having such trouble taking enough food into my stomach at one time to allow for appreciable weight gain.  The feeling produces such unmatched anxiety that it is hard to hold on, and to remember that feelings are like waves, with peaks and lulls.  At the same time, I am embarrassed about my body.

It feels as though most of my mind is ready to move ahead, but my body has a humiliating hold over some little part of it still.  Hm.

Someone bring me the pliers.


Blog Love: Binge Eating Rats and Nutella

I'm in blog love.

This blog has been around for a while, but I only discovered it via Twitter this weekend*.

It's a PhD's brain blog, and she's talking about binge eating rats.  And Nutella.

It's basically the perfect blog post (for me).

Here she's describing how a study created binge eating behavior in female rats:

The female rats were exposed to this palatable food…but not permitted to eat it. They were allowed to smell it and ALMOST to touch it. This caused the rats a certain amount of frustration and stress, and when exposed to the actual nutella mixture, they will then binge eat on it, much more than animals seeing nutella for the first time.

Fascinating.  Truly.  I find that utterly fascinating -- and not at all surprising -- in the context of animal behavior (including human animals).

She essentially just described the restrict/binge cycle that fuels most eating disorders.  (In anorexia a binge is not an objective binge, but subjective binges occur more often than not.)

When I started reading this post, I thought, "Oh no.  She's talking about appetite?  Does she really not know that eating disorders, including binge eating, have nothing to do with physical appetite?"

I love having my wrong assumptions thrown in my face, times like these.

The post itself doesn't really acknowledge the eating disorder spectrum-wide presence of this same cycle, which is fine.  It's not an eating disorder blog, and the post is talking about binge eating rats, not generally about human eating disorder patients.

What she doesn't state and what I'd like to highlight is that reducing or eliminating the binge eating symptom (or whichever ED symptom) doesn't reduce or eliminate the disorder.  Rather, like in addiction, once you achieve a reduction in symptoms (or "uses" if you will), you then begin to work on the disorder itself.  The disorder isn't the symptoms, but you can't work on it in the midst of symptoms, not really.  And that, more or less, is the point of psychopharm treatment in eating disorders.

*Someone was dressing down Naomi Wolf's new book Vagina: A New Biography, and pointed here to argue that if the science Wolf describes were really as groundbreaking and yet sound as Wolf wants it to be, someone like Scicurious would've been going on about it for a while already.


NYC's New Large Drink Ban

Anyone who stumbles upon the li'l ol' blog here this week could be forgiven for assuming that we're all NYC, all the time here at Cynical Nymph headquarters.

But I figured this is on-topic, so it bears opining over.  Today NYC's Board of Health passed our mayor's proposed ban on "sugary drinks" over 16 ounces 

You already know how I feel about Bloomberg's "let's post all the calories at chain restaurants!" rule, which effectively prevents me from eating at any kind of chain unless I'm having a really super great day.  (Refresher: I think it sucks.)

Let's take a look at some of the specifics of the ban's coverages and exemptions:

- LOL.  "The restrictions would not affect... alcoholic beverages."  Well, fantastic then, I can definitely see that this is about health if I can still go down to the German biergarten and order a boot of beer.  Everyone needs boots of beer.  Thank goodness I can still buy it in two-litre servings.

- You'll still be able to buy Big Gulps the size of an infant's torso at 7-Eleven.  DOUBLE LOL.  Also exempt are fruit juices, dairy-based drinks (including milkshakes), and one presumes malts, egg cremes, etc.  So go on and get ya that extra large milkshake at McDonald's (assuming those are dairy-based?) or Frappuccino, because if it's 50% dairy, you're good.

- This article does answer one of the questions that the husband and I covered earlier this month: The movie theater (or Subway, etc.) won't be able to sell over 16 ounces of any fountain soda, even if sugar-free.   ... But I can still go right to a vending machine just down the stairs from my movie theater's concession stand, and buy numerous full-sugar sodas from THAT.  (Who drinks that much soda at the movies? It's the people I glare daggers at when they get up to pee in the middle of a compelling scene, isn't it?)

Which leads me to my knee-jerk reactions to the passage of this ban:

Personally, I don't get the appeal of a ginormous drink, sugary or not.  So this one, unlike the calorie-posting one, doesn't affect me much.  But that's just me.

I would not presume to tell someone what to consume or not consume, unless it were putting someone other than them in danger.  (See: NYC's ban on smoking in bars/restaurants, which is just dandy in my opinion.)

However, it's not the "freedom of choice" angle that I take issue with here.  I find the collective freakout of the soft drink industry silly, and transparent in its motivations.  I mean, come on.  

It's that the Bloomberg administration plays into "health, health, health!" in such limited, shame-based ways.

I'd have so much more respect for something like this ban if it went hand in hand with honest-to-goodness prioritizing of public health insofar as things like access to safe and healthy food and body spaces, quality healthcare, solid and up-to-date education, are concerned.

Especially that last part.  Especially.


Happy NYC

We could do with some happy NYC pictures today, yes?  Yes.

High Line Park, Chelsea, June

MoMA, August

88th Street, July (as improbable as that may seem for clematis)

The Chrysler Building... some time.  I don't know when.  It always looks this same, which is, of course, the point.