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Welcome to Dalando's Personal Diet Dairy
For an introduction to this diary begin with the personal statistics page.

Return from a Holiday in America

Photos of Easter in Schoharie, New York, USA.

God, we Americans are big now. Not everyone is over weight, but surely everyone is conscious of the epidemic, and is somehow effected. But even with this, I had trouble finding my sizes in the stores. So denial is impossible now even in the good old USA.

The genealogical predisposition of my family to be fat was self-evident, when I saw my family up-close again, but one can only assume there is a heavy dose of life style and culture thrown into the mix of our obesity. One does not need to be heavy in America, it just is so darn easy to be over-weight in the USA if you are anything short of obsessively self-disciplined.

This is a fantastic economic opportunity, for an enterprising nutritionist health professional to be a champion, in this war between commercial taste seduction and survival of the unfit. It is also a colossal crisis in the making, as my baby-boom generation rounds the bend toward the dis-ease of dieing.

After a week back in Japan

I weigh myself fully dressed though I take out the change, wallet, and phone from my pocket. Curious little psychological games dieters perform, this tipping of the scale up or down. The whole world of dieting is this farce of a drama, played out by nearly everyone in the 'developed' world.

While much of the world population struggles for their food, water, and shelter daily, we fat fools in the 'advanced' nations quibble over excess calories and exercise routines. How embarrassing to be blessed. How humiliating to witness daily our pettiness in the face of world starvation and survival wars. How shameful that the remedying of symptoms, symptoms from my lustful greedy consumption and lethargic life patterns, should consume so much of my daily consciousness.

It is as if I am in a self perpetuating doomsday cycle, collectively perpetuating denial, while holding hands with the entire Western economy. We are, for example, perturbed about the price of gas. We are guilty of combusting precious energy wantonly, a direct result of our self-indulgence, and the direct cause of much of the world's military clashes, ecological delima, and our own personal fat issues. All for having a car, for the convenience of driving to the convenience store, for convenience foods that conveniently are killing our under exercised body with toxic preservatives and nutritionally-empty packets of sugar and fat.

We no longer hold much stock in sacrifice. Witness our general disdain for all philosophies of self moderation. We embrace consumer society as a birth right, and poke fun at anyone who advocates self-restraint as fanatical and out of sync with the times. We proudly confess to the sins of self indulgence and cower when we must admit to missing the party.

I too have convinced myself that a life of restrictions is contrary to some primary nature, a natural urge that must be expressed at every opportunity. To suppress any appetite is therapeutically a no-no and witness to some dark ulterior motive, rooted in my childhood toilet training or encounters with the Catholic Church. To be a modern person I must be prepared to express every sexual titillation and neurological stimulation with a pro-active attack on the nearest conquest, be it a sexually available stranger or a meat-patty surrogate.

In America at WalMart I bought the current diet book, catering I suppose to the New American Biblical Right, called the Maker's Diet. The author's dietary view being as extreme and hopeful as that of Atkins et al. How can the average American, shopping in WalMart and watching cable TV, find an equilibrium that could be anything more than a stop gap selection among symptom relievers?

Could we as a culture, or as an undercurrent of individuals making the right choices, ever live up to our responsibilities from a global perspective? Or are we on a treadmill of futility, fat rats on our little exercise machines, running for our lives until their is nothing left to run for.

After a week back at work

When I was on holiday, my job felt wonderful, and this week when the classes went well, well, I was high. But, inside every moment, for a very long time, since before my wife died, since further back than I can identify... there has been a commitment to despair, a secret assumption that I will fail... and as I crest on optimism and hope, a rebirth of this internal dieing takes hold of me and strangles my bliss.

My life, no different, by much, than yours, or his, or theirs, bobs and weaves on waves of emotions, that behaviorists tell me, on my sea of motivational recordings, is nothing more nor less than a state of mind. This tornado at sea is all of my own creation, my own seeding of clouds, on my very own Bermuda Triangle. This is all my drama, well cast, by yours truly, staring the one and only me.

So all I can do now is walk on to my stage and apologize. Dear imaginary audience, I am sorry, for all this over acting, or more pointedly, over-reacting.

As I peer now into this empty hall of dusty wooden theater seats, warn and weary each as the performer on stage, I proclaim in my false bravado, forgive me dear hearts, "O Kami-sama, O Kyaku-sama" (My God My Audience). "Gomen ne." (Sorry...).

Somewhere I melted together method acting, improvisational cliches, and a torrent of ad-libs, and came up with this patchy routine. I lacked the forbearance to get this funky Broadway-wanna-be production right. I needed to get it right. I needed to confirm success, further than one successful class, at a time. I needed to set the record strait in my head. I need to find a way to believe that I am not some charlatan hack, but the real McCoy, a teacher and friend to my audience.

What would it have took, what will it take, what would I be willing to do. The ship of tenure has sailed, as has further matriculation. There may be one more swan song of text, though one knows, only that, all this can be is a stepping off into one more shadowy set in search of the illusive lime light.

No amount of make-up can cake-over my physical decline into an actualization of my life's inactions. Parading on stage, my bully pulpit, scouring toward my captive audience, shielded under the self-delusion of high art, honesty now betrays me. I am naked on stage with a body that screams to be hid, a répétiteur not worth repeating.

So again I say "Gomen-nasai." And waddle back to bed to lie embraced by my sleeping disorder. Slipping on my night mask of angst, I script apologetic gestures for small town critiques. My small cadre of fans (satisfied students from classes past) and the tomato-throwing desecrators who now take aim, here I am. 'To act or not to act', if only I had the skill to say it was an option. Tomorrow will come and I will be there at my podium, thespian prat falling into oblivion.

After a week and a half back at work

It is only my second Monday. I am sleepless. Friends make friendly suggestions. I live as usual inside my busy head. Meals move me forward, and my chores as father. There is a loneliness in the air, though there is much opportunity for contact with my children, friends, coworkers, and such.

The sleeplessness followed by tiredness during the day. I didn't want to sleep during the day, but then something often gets me worked up from the job, my classes. And there is always a philosophical angst working its mojo on my subconscious. So now despite being very tired and having a challenging day tomorrow, I can not sleep.

Even though spring is beautiful, my kids so wonderful, my friends so kind, my situation such an advantageously rich environment... there is that shadow. I reach out to shield myself with self generated TLC, yet the sadness erupts like a pimple. I feel guilty for my lack of rejoicing, shame for my reoccurring inadequacies, embarrassment for the selfishness of despair in the face of bounty.

I have said it all once again. Looking for poetry within the weight of evening. I will have a glass of water and flush down the dust, perhaps another star will sweetly yank me up in its glare, like the planetary glow of last night.

Remember little Rosie, when I visited her home in the factory town, and infuriated her mother when I left the house in the wee hours, to lie back in the playground and stare at the stars. I have always infuriated those in charge with this spontaneous expression of awkward searching. My being myself seems inevitably to bring me to the wall.

Smelly truths, of banal stained undergarments. A man like so many others. Slightly off tilt, selectively annoying... a problematic friend, an irritating lover, the parent that leaves blemishes on the inner workings of those he loves most. Time to leave the florescent blue of incomplete thoughts, and make a daredevil attempt of wrapping around blankets in a simulated attempt at contentment. Perhaps to sleep.

Golden Week

I just registered that I have been in the wrong year, had to check what year this was... signs of senility at 53. My reflection are hideous because I dear parade around naked. Perhaps this summer I will stay on the lake for one month and exercise and fast. Not about to do that now... why? I am uncertain why I can not bring myself to care and try while I am working. Can't walk and chew at the same time? Can't diet and be busy at work simultaneously?

Third Week in May

Next Saturday I turn 54. My energy seems to drop radically after each meal. A feeling of complete exhaustion comes over me like a shroud soon after every meal. I often feel good, fairly relaxed and contented, despite the usual dramas that follow us about, just this predictable drop after eating. It is best I do not venture too much into these dramas but focus on what it might take to drop me 20 kilo. Having abandoned hope for one solution, I move now toward the unknown.

Birthday Week in May

There is no clear reason why my weight fluctuates as it does. But it is clear, when it measures less I feel encouraged, even radiant, ad when it is more I am saddened. Yet there is no real reason for the change in weight and no rational reason I should let myself be depressed over such trivia.

Clearly I am not a master of my own mind. Being a slave to such a brooding negativism is such a boring pass time. But positivism is not created in a day, particularly when the tire track ruts of reticent cynicism run so deep.

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