Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beef, hair,and sexy boots

I am a dedicated carnivore, particularly when it comes to red meat--or I used to be. I attempted to have a few (what I considered very small and thoroughly chewed) bites of Mr. Salted's steak a few nights ago and paid for it for the next couple of days. Not in any terribly disgusting ways that would offend the sensibilities of others if I described them--it just felt like I had a board lodged horizontally across my chest cavity for a couple of days. Logic tells me this means that the steak got stuck in the pouch. It was an extremely uncomfortable feeling physically, so much so that sleep was impossible that night. As the next day or two wore on I stuck mostly to protein drinks and very soft things, thinking they might help everything move on through. It took a full 48 hours to feel okay again. It scared me a little--I was getting ready to call the surgeons, but thankfully giving it time to work itself out seems to have been the right thing to do.

I found out at my nutritionist appointment a few days that most post-operative hair loss occurs from month three to month seven. (For those keeping score at home, this is month four.) As if on a time release, I blow-dried my hair the next day, looked down and was coated in my own hair--I had to lint-roll my shirt. Having three cats, there are lint rollers aplenty chez moi, but I was a tad freaked out. However, I am a big believer in keeping perspective, and the patented SaltedWithShadows technique in this instance included a gentle reminder that several people I know--all my age or younger--have had cancer in the last couple of years. All of them lost their hair at some point during their treatment, and one of them eventually lost his battle with the disease. In the end, I'm grateful for not only the obvious, but that I have hair at all (I have never had much hair, or favorable hair genes).

Today was an interesting day. I had to see my ankle doctor, who did not clear me to start working out--he wants to give it another month, even though the x-rays and ankle look like they are healing very well. (I joked that he gets better-looking every time he says, "Don't exercise for another month", although not to his face! I didn't want to scare the poor man.) I had on a new black dress, brooch, leopard-print tights, and new-to-me black leather boots--they come up to mid-calf. I had completely forgotten how confident boots make me feel--I haven't had a pair in probably twenty years. The recent U2 song about sexy boots annoys me, but I today I remembered a song from high school days that the Jesus and Mary Chain did that had the line, "I feel so quick in my leather boots/there's nothing else but me." (I don't remember the song title, but it was on the "Psychocandy" album.)

I always personally found boots a lot sexier than heels (in part because uncomfortable does not spell sexy to Salted and boots have never made me think of foot-binding or gotten my feminist hackles in a twist, unless they are those thigh-high stripper things with the ridiculous heels, which are not sexy at all in my book). Boots feel--and can sound--pleasantly powerful when you walk in them. I don't find the power of a domineering nature, but more of a confident one--the sound says, "Here I am. I feel good, and I'm not hiding".

Hiding is a theme/battle/motif/albatross with me (and with a lot of people that have body image issues, I would imagine). I have spent most of my life actively hiding myself physically. I have always preferred my clothes to be a size or two too big--I liked feeling lost in them, never caring how it might look because it made me feel safer. Ultimately, I never got to be "pretty"--and if I was indeed ever "pretty" (some men do like their jelly to jiggle), I never got to really enjoy it. I think I was finally ready to have this surgery and go through this process because, for whatever reason, I was able to deem it safe--in part because of my age. I have done and am still doing the work mentally and emotionally to make this process a healthy and viable option for long-term health. The operative word here for me is work: I know in my bones that I will always be doing some work somewhere on some layer of my being when it comes to this; the work never stops. I am hit with the work aspect of this in some fashion every day now--it is not comfortable to have people remarking on how I look all the time when I spent the last forty years hoping no one would remark on how I looked, at all, EVER. Even though 98% of the people in my immediate orbit are--thus far--supportive and complimentary, I still steel myself and wait for stones to be thrown, hoping the inevitable accompanying wince isn't visible on the outside.

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other words...life.
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