When I was in grade school, there was a kid who always played Four Square with me and my “friends.” I use quotation marks because I was arguably the most socially inept, chubby, awkward kid at St. Dymphna’s Elementary School and I’m pretty sure the kids that allowed me to sits at their lunch table and glom on to them at recess did so purely because somebody has to be the biggest loser in any social group and I dutifully filled that role. “St. Dymphna” wasn’t the actual name of the school, by the way, but Conor Oberst used the name in one of his song titles and I love the song, so I borrowed it. St. Dymphna, if you were wondering (I’m betting you weren’t) was the daughter of a pagan Irish king who eventually murdered her. This stands in the face of everything I thought I knew about the Irish, who I remain convinced were Catholic even before Christ and were just waiting around for thousands of years for a viable excuse to saddle themselves with guilt and drunken rage. St. Dymphna is the patron saint of mental disorders, neurological disorders, runaways, depression and anxiety, which makes her my kind of girl (the mental disorders, neurological disorders, depression and anxiety devotions anyway. Although who knows, even at 42 years old I guess it’s possible I could still run away from home, although Kim would probably tell me to just make sure I come back with the type of milk she likes and chicken egg rolls). This one kid, we’ll call him Brett, singled me out every single time I stepped into the first square in Four Square and devoted himself to either scooping the rubber ball ever so slightly into my square so I couldn’t play it or hammering down the ball so hard that I would stagger back and play it from the cheap seats where the girls had their jump-ropes going (I have no idea if this thought is really accurate. I suspect the girls were up to something and my brain goes to the things school girls do like hopscotch or jump-rope of some other such thing. They may very well have been performing Shakespeare or welding for all I know. It’s not important for the purposes of this excruciating childhood memory.) Brett also called me “Lard Ass” all the time. I wasn’t too heavy and there were kids at the school who were fatter, but Brett singled me out and even told me he only called me “Lard Ass” because he knew it bothered me. Well, Brett, it did. So much so that when in high school, when I heard that your dad died of a heart attack, I was secretly gleeful. Then I proceeded to feel horrible about feeling gleeful and have carried that dark shameful secret into adulthood. Anyway, I carried the scars of Brett and others’ fat-shaming into my 37th year when, after I got sober, I started running and going to the gym religiously, and on into my 41st year when I ran a half-marathon and on into this week.
What’s happening this week you ask? I have always been good at fitness and exercise on the front end. It’s the eating right and not indulging in all the crap that’s terrible for me on the back end. I’m almost done with Genius Foods, a book about the evils of the typical Western diet and its obsession with refined sugar and refined carbs and “healthy” grains that aren’t in fact that healthy for you. Because of decades of indulging in this diet, I have chronically high blood sugar. It usually ranges between 115-140 but has been known to spike higher than that on a particular junk food-y day. So, this week, I am embarking on a fast. My goal is to string together a full 3-day fast. That’s precisely 72 hours. I had my last bite of ice cream last night at about 10 PM, so by the 72-hour marker, I am due to eat again at 10 PM on Wednesday. But since I go to bed at 9 PM, that sets the next window I can eat at Thursday morning, which means at around 6 AM on that day, I will be ending an 80-hour fast by, presumably, frying up a spinach/sharp cheddar cheese/sausage/peanut butter/Oreo/Quarter Pounder with Cheese omelet with a healthy dollop of guacamole because its on the Genius Foods list. Extra virgin olive oil is also on the Genius Foods list, so I’ll probably drench the omelet with oil and throw some chocolate chips on that bitch too because with the advent of chocolate chip pancakes, it is now somehow a breakfast food.
I am half-way through the 20th hour of my first day of the fast as I write this and I’m doing pretty well. I have yet to have a hunger pang, I assume because my body is telling my brain, “Well yeah, dipstick. We got 21 pounds of stockpiled chewed bubble gum down here to try to make some fuel out of.” I guess that’s why I have never understood and kind of resent the whole “hangry” phenomenon. In the back of my mind, I remain convinced that even the term “hangry” is a stupid concept invented by overfed Americans who happen to get a little testy when they don’t get their Cheetos.
Alright, maybe I’m getting a little testy.
I imagine the first real test will be tomorrow at noon when I take my lunch break. I can get a free lunch at work, and I hear their having grilled steak fajitas.
So, if you’re the praying sort, put in a good word that I don’t Hulk out and cast wheelchairs asunder to get to the front of the line and don’t suffocate drowning my face in an aluminum serving tray of brown rice,