Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

No Rhyme or Rhythm

My body has a mind of its own.

Seriously. It's always been this way. No matter what I do, what kinds of external interventions I attempt, my body does what it wants, when it wants, where it wants...and then turns on a dime to do the exact opposite.

I remember, as a kid, noticing this when it came to dental checkups. (A diatribe on my Nazi-like childhood dentist and the dental phobia that plagues me to this day--nearly 25 years without a full dental checkup, folks--will come one of these days.) I would have a mouthfull of cavities, endure a series of *unmedicated* fillings, and vow to be better about brushing twice, or even once, a day. And the next time I'd go back, I'd have another mouthfull of cavities. So I'd get annoyed, and stop being so vigilant about brushing, and six months later, I'd have no cavities at all.

That's not to say that brushing gave me cavities; there were times when I brushed well for a long time and had only a few, but there were also times when I brushed rarely and had only a few as well, or none at all...

It's the same thing with facial cleansing. I know you all won't believe me, but the best way to keep my face from breaking out--I skipped acne in adolescence, when it was expected, only to develop it as an adult, when it was much more mortifying--is not to do anything to it at all. That doesn't mean I won't break out--I still do, sometimes; I even have a nasty zit near the corner of my mouth right now--but applying astringents or moisturizers or even using the mildest of mild soaps dooms me to a full-blown breakout. Happens every time. Even Neutrogena, for crying out loud, makes me look like I've been deliberately plugging up about a quarter of the pores on my face.

But perhaps the place where this bizarre body behavior is most evident is with my weight. It's not that I don't sometimes struggle with my weight a little, it's that it just doesn't matter what I do in terms of diet and exercise; my body will do what it damned well pleases, when it damned well pleases.

For instance...I've been exercising seriously for the first time in...well, in my life. It's been about three months now. And what's happened? I've gained about 12 pounds in the last three months; I'm almost *25* pounds heavier than I was in May after my Stalker Girl-related 'breakdown'. I'm 5 feet and 1 inch tall, folks. That's a HUGE amount of weight. I weigh more today than I have at any time in my life when I wasn't pregnant. Do I look fat? No--and that's weird in itself. But yeah, my hips are unusually wide, and my belly is definitely popping out a bit.

When I started working out at the gym, I expected a bit of weight gain as fat or whatever turned to muscle. But then I expected to see it level off, or even drop. And it hasn't done that. I'm still steadily, if slowly, gaining weight. I'm running three times a week, I'm not eating any differently (I swear), and I'm gaining about a pound or two a week.

Of course, this is after more than six months on Zoloft, which was supposed to have a side effect of making me gain back some of the weight that I'd lost when I wasn't able to eat for weeks on end...and that didn't happen, either. Until I started to exercise, that is. In other words, I don't think the weight gain is related to either the Zoloft or the exercise; it's just me. It's just my body, and its perverse little mind.

I'd be more upset if I didn't know what happens next: At some point, completely unrelated to any change in diet or exercise, I'll start to drop pounds. Maybe not 25, but 10, or 15. And then, six or nine months later, I'll gain again. And then I'll lose. And then I'll gain. Hopefully not quite as much all at once in either direction, but I won't have any control over it.

And so I eat pretty much what I want, and don't even attempt to diet. And so I continue to run, because my goal wasn't to lose weight, but to keep my spirits up and my body strong. But I will never quite understand how it is that I wound up with a body so different from everyone else's. And I'll never quite understand what that means, in the grand scheme of things, other than that I get to continue going about my life without worrying about skin care and dieting and such.

Maybe some day, all this will come back to kick me in the ass somehow. But I can pretty much guarantee that when that day comes, I won't have any control over how big of a target that ass will be. It will simply be as big as it wants or needs to be.

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