Well.

I'm about to get on an airplane tomorrow. I'm sitting in my hotel, in the bar, in London. I've been in the UK for just over a week, and in London since Monday. I've worked four days at my company's office in Soho, I've drunk with noders in Hackney Downs, I've been all over central London, I've smoked Cuban cigars in Hyde Park, and I've (OXFORD MOTHERFUCKIN' COMMA) bought suits in Fulham under the guidance of the inestimable Clockmaker. Oh, and I went to SURREAL CARNIVAL EXPERIMENT, Friday's live Underworld show. Yes, that's the main reason I came to London. Yes, I came here two years ago to see them. Yes, I saw them last year in New York City.

None of these things, which are each cool enough to make me jealous of my own life, are the most surprising and grin-inducing to me. What really blows my mind about this trip is how different it was from last time I was here, almost exactly two years ago.

Since then, even since last Underworld show in NYC, I've undergone bariatric surgery and had ten months to recover afterwards. I've documented some small part of that process elsewhere on the site. But how different my life is hadn't really sunk in until this week, and it can be expressed in one number.

51.4.

Since arriving in London on Monday afternoon earlier in the week (it's Saturday evening as I write this) I have walked, according to my devices, 51.4 miles. Twelve of those miles today.

I mean.

A year ago, it would have taken me probably two months to rack up 50 miles of walking. I'm pretty sure about these numbers, because I still have my tracker data. When I was here last time, I walked 1.5 miles home from a pub and felt pretty good about myself, as well as in a lot of pain in my feet, knees and hips.

Now? I'm in some pain, yes, but it's all muscle pain. Stretching makes it better. My feet hurt, sure. But not in a crazy way. Mostly muscles, again. No blisters (I have good walking shoes, recommended by JessicaJ).

I feel like this week means I really am truly 'better'. What's even more amazing - despite walking those miles this week, my eating hasn't varied much. I went up to 1400 calories a day for two days, but the other three I was between 1100 and 1200, like I've always been. I didn't start binging carbs. I didn't eat to overfull, not once. I snacked on a bunch of nuts at work, and was worried about it until I realized how much energy I was burning walking. Even then, I was only 150-200 cal/day higher than normal. Estimating how much energy I burned walking, I'm actually eating *less* than I was in NYC in terms of unburnt calories.

When I finished 10.5 of my 12 miles today, I had dinner. 5 ounces of crispy duck and a cup of hot and sour soup. Both super tasty. I skipped the pancakes. Protein and fat. That's what is good for me now, in that order. I'd had a yoghurt earlier in the day which had 20g of carbs in it, and that was pretty much my carb allowance - that and a couple of prunes at breakfast. Oh, and I had a single square of 90% Dark Lindt chocolate, that was 60 calories and 6g carbs. But now I think about that - that itself is amazing.

I had a single square. The rest of the bar is sitting on my desk in my room upstairs. I didn't even think about having a second one. I didn't want it. Also in my room are 24 Cadbury Flake bars, 5 Curly-Wurly bars and two bags of Mini Eggs. They are for my sister-in-law, who is pregnant and sent me a sternly-worded demand for Cadbury upon learning I was in England. I haven't raided those either. Haven't wanted to. And it's not just fear of her hormone-fuelled wrath.

Fuck me, I'm learning to eat when I'm (actually) hungry, and stop when I'm not.

Medical science, people. Even though what it proposes may sound scary as hell ("Don't worry, sir, we're just going to remove 90% of your stomach, but everything will be fine") sometimes? It works. And how.

Oh yeah. Clock and I went to the science museum. I stood in front of a goofy computer exhibit on facial recognition, and it (after asking me to take off my glasses) guessed that I was a 44 year old male. Not bad.

It also said I was "100% happy."

Allowing for (massive) margin of error, that's still pretty fucking amazing if you read my daylogs on this site going back a decade and a half.

Custo out.

Work was tough today. Long day with things to do that I avoided doing. Could have cleaned, could have shifted products around, could have placed orders, did none of those things and I feel guilty because of it. For whatever reason my anxiety was sky high today. I put on my new pink sweater, got dolled up to go into work since I knew I wouldn't get as grungy as I do during the week and failed to do that job I was hired to do. I'm not sure why I avoided doing any work. Part of me wonders if I don't even realize how absolutely fried I am. The other part says that is no excuse since I actually have a fairly cushy life compared to many others. 

Rash update: after several days without eggs I broke down and made two. My upper arms are now itchy and I'm wondering if there's a connection. Going to be frustrated and upset if eggs are the new culprit, but I've lived without them before and can do so again. Read the elimination diet protocol at work and realized I don't eat more than I realized. Still haven't had a smoothie, proud of myself for that, but bought these sticky rice treats in addition to a chocolate bar that I wolfed down. I don't drink coffee, but I probably have more caffeine that I should be due to chocolate in various forms. A woman I spoke with today who has eczema on her cracked, raw, and wounded hands told me sugar was likely to blame. Should probably give that up too, stress has to be part of the mix as well.

Girls are at home and occupied by their devices. Jane has spring break this week. I just hate this. I hate being a single parent. I hate feeling like I sweated, slaved, ground myself into dust, and sacrificed so my kids could sit at home eating junk while glued to their electronics. I hate the fact that their father cares so little for their health and wellness that he ignores the food allergies and intolerances they have. I hate that every Friday my youngest comes home and sleeps until it's time for me to go to bed, gets up for a short period of time, and then goes back to bed. That is some pretty unhealthy behavior and I'm tired of it. I'm tired of a lot of things. It doesn't seem fair that parenting is so hard, yeah, I know I chose to have kids, but it's not fair that my ex undermined my authority and power while we were married.

I hate that I feel so disconnected from my children and that most of my waking moments are harassing, scolding, avoiding, neglecting, or retreating from them. Going down to four days at work may not be the answer since that means I'll have even more time with them. I'm stuck or at least that's how I feel. Trapped in a web of my own creation with escapes like work that are trading one form of entrapment and imprisonment for another. I got my tax return and now I'm frustrated that I spent so much at the mall. I want to go on a date. I want to be able to have someone else to share these moments with, I want someone else to cook with me, clean the kitchen after a good meal, put dishes away while we laugh or sing together, hold hands, pay bills together, plan vacations, that sort of thing.

I want to break down and sob until I have no tears left. I'm sure I'm just tired, but this is more than that. This is a bone deep weariness that I need a break from. I'm tired of being in pain, feeling lousy, not in control of my moods, of putting more and more into these people who don't give a fuck about me other than someone to buy them food that they don't even eat. I'm tired of pulling KFC wrappers and other junk foods out of suitcases. I'm furious that they simply don't care and get treated better than they should because I can't seem to figure out this stupid parenting thing.

I have to find some way to deal with this, on Monday I'm going to talk to my therapist. This has gone on long enough. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. I don't know what the answers are, but this is crap. I didn't come this far to have two spoiled brats walk all over me. It's time to stand up to the abuse, identify it for what it is, and lay down some ground rules to protect myself the way I didn't when I was married. Screw this. I have my own life to live and I'm going to start living it. Not looking forward to going into work tomorrow, but at least I won't have to stare at this disgusting mess on the countertops and floors.

Hope you're having a better day than I am...

J

P.S. I can tell I need to cry and get it out, but I feel blocked. I did some money stuff today, but I didn't make any real progress. I think the thing that triggered this is finding a condo in my price range that I really want that will be long gone by the time my lease is up, for so many years I lived in a place that could have been beautiful, but had so many projects that were left undone. I'm being self pitying and I hate that too, I don't indulge too often, there are many good things in my life, but I needed to get this off of my chest and I don't feel too badly about it either. Must find some peace within...

j

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