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September 24, 2007

You Can't Have This: You're CR Girl!

That what my friend said somewhat ironically as he split a Starbucks macadamia nut cookie with our third friend. Ironically because he's split cookies with me several times: I just look up the calories online and count accordingly.

The fact is, there's no forbidden food on CR, but you do have to calculate how much you want x, y or z vs. how much you want to give up in other areas. It takes some decision making. Yes, taking responsibility for our own choices instead of having our diets dictated by the marketing we come into contact with. So radical, I know.

Anyhow, it's Monday and I'm not sure why I was surprised that Susie led a movement to go out to lunch. Luckily, Edward drove straight to Ruby Tuesday's, where we all got the salad bar and the two of them got a White Bean Chicken chili (210 cals, I think... it was on their old calorie-controlled menu.) I put about a cup of cottage cheese (there's is lowfat, I've asked) on my salad of romaine, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and broccoli, plus olives, chickpeas, and vinegar for dressing. Earlier in the day I'd had a MacIntosh apple from the stash on my conference table (my attempt to provide sweet treats to my co-workers that compete with the M&Ms in our accountant's office) and 12 g almonds.

After lunch we popped by Starbucks, and my co-workers got a cookie to go with their coffee, while I stuck with my coffee, black. I can honestly say I didn't feel deprived. Sometimes I crave sweets... not so much lately though. MR made me up some of my favorite jellos so if I crave sweet, I can have it at home.

I'll go home to my salad and yogurt and nice glass of French red. I'll hit the gym on the way home and do a good 30 minutes on the treadmill... that's in addition to my 45 min Pilates class this morning. I find the exercise keeps me sane in times of stress.

We're heading into a big time of stress. With two contracts to negotiate, and the holidays coming on, I think we're all on edge. I felt a little fit of sadness coming on late last week, and wondered if it might be the one year anniversary of that New York Mag piece coming up that had set me off. I'm very attuned to seasonal things, anniversaries, etc. But I worked out a ton over the weekend and felt better. I can't be responsible for other people's feelings, just my own. And I can work very hard to take responsibility for myself... a concept that is rather alien in our culture.

Funny how I sometimes find myself sounding like a Neo-con. All this talk of personal responsibility. Yet when by accident, not by design, you become a big screen onto which people project their own issues and insecurities, it makes you start to wonder. I don't have a lot of conclusions, and I try very hard to reserve judgement. It seems to me that 90% of the errors we make come from thinking we know what other people are thinking, when we don't. Most people can't truly empathize with others at all... so attempting to understand why someone says or does one thing or another is pointless at best, and harmful at worst. I have no idea, in the end, why the snarky journalists and negative or even threatening commeneters are the way they are. It's better not to wonder. I think it's time to put that year behind me, and go on with doing the things that matter most to me: organizing nurses and supporting MR as he works on a cure for aging and taking good care of the people and cats I love.

I don't really see myself doing any more media for a long, long time. I've developed a phobia of journalists, and these days can only talk to Allswellinhell and David Martin, the wonderful producer for Sanjay Gupta who stole my heart when he put a long shot of Kieffer the tabby cat in the Chasing Life documentary. Oh, and when he actually researched the science and knew what he was talking about.

I'm not going to say the media stuff was a waste of time or energy: all of you who came to healthier habits and/or became my friends because of it make it all more than worth the trials. But I seem to still feel very weary. I think it's anger mixed with resignation that eventually just turns you exhausted. Two ridiculous articles on the Rudd Center blog, home of my idol, Kelly Brownell, accusing us of having an eating disorder (by people who by their own admission have no training in diagnosing such disorders, and have never spoken to us.) Thanksgiving ruined by a nasty article in Salon.com by someone who's never met us. What would have I have done without Allswell and Robin and Lindsay and Deborah, and all my CR blogger friends... and of course MR? Crawled into a cave, no doubt.

I've got 50 nurses to call tonight, the house to finish vacuuming, groceries to buy, the treadmill to hit, dinner to cook, and a long life in front of me. Every time I look at the nurses I've helped to organize, I know it's worth it. I wish I got to see you healthy happy people more often: I need to see you with my own eyes, share a cup of tea with you, not just read about you or know you're probably out there somewhere. Meeting hkgrace was so much fun! I wish I could meet Sara and we could toast our old calico kitties over bottles of expensive red wine, and eat just enough kale to survive on for a couple of days. Hanging out with Allswell in NYC was one of the highlights of my year... that girl is just amazing. She appeared as though on cue when I was at my worst, and she continues to entertain me nearly every day with email messages that are more eloquent than your average novel.

Heck, even arguing online with those who report ridiculously low calorie levels cheers me up!

I'm sure there's a subsection of readers out there who will say, "Look, you're sad! You're not always happy! Obviously, you should eat more!"

That's just stupid. Even CR girls get the blues. If one could obliterate the American snark media, that would cheer me right up. Till then, it's kale and yogurt and cottage cheese and flax oil and toasting the hope of a better day with good French reds in cute little glasses.

Living well, they say, is the best revenge.

And in my defense, Julian Dibbell was really, really gorgeous, especially when he was skinny. Not as gorgeous as my Orange One, of course, but for a guy who makes his living trading in commodities that don't exist, he knows how to keep it looking good.

But there I go, flirting with the media again.

Posted by april at September 24, 2007 3:15 PM


"Living well, they say, is the best revenge."

Funny you should mention that. This is pinned above my desk every day!

BTW, don't forget the very positive Grazia article. It was read by tens of thousands of women, and was very well received. You did a lot of good here in the UK - I personally know of several folks who looked into CR as a result.

Hang in there and keep smiling :-)

Posted by: Lindsay at September 25, 2007 12:33 AM

If I ever make it over to the States again, which I very much hope I do, I'll see if I can take a side-trip to Philly and then I'll take you up on that plan, April! :-)

Posted by: Sara at September 25, 2007 3:09 AM

Gaw. Shucks. Wish I could channel some of that into writing my books.

Posted by: allswellinhell/ashley at September 25, 2007 12:12 PM

April - Just wanted to fill you in - thought it might cheer you a little. I've been looking into CRON after my hubby bought Beyond 120 years for himself, but never read it. I started reading it, but wanted some personal stories to read. I found the NYT article online and read that, and through that found your blog. I didn't see it as particularly biased in either direction, but obviously the diet is not a 'fit' with the author.

While I'm not particularly interested in living to 110, 120, or beyond, what I DO want is to make the years I do live (whatever number that is) be healthy, vigorous, rich in substance, and intellectually rewarding. I don't want to take 20 meds, use a cane, forget names, etc. I don't see anything wrong with those desires.


Posted by: Jill at September 27, 2007 2:53 PM

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