September 29th, 2009

krazy koati

I'm filling the cracks that ran through the door

Saturday brought my weight to a new local low, with a body mass index of a mere 24.26. And that was on waking up; after I did my exercise --- which, that day, came to twenty minutes of ``free run'' and a half-hour of step aerobics --- it plummeted down to 24.01, putting me not just in the Normal range but getting to within striking distance of what the WiiFit regards as ideal, a body mass index of 22. I did celebrate, I thought not excessively, including a six-piece fried mozzarella sticks, although come Sunday morning my weight had leapt up to 24.70. That actually only reflects a bit over a three-pound gain from day-to-day, but it's remarkable how little a fluctuation can be heartbreaking, particularly when at any time the past year up until a week ago I'd have thought 24.70 a great body mass index.

I don't mean to keep track of every single meaningless fluctuation, though, and what's really on my mind is: wow, it looks weird to walk past a mirror. I don't mean that I look particularly abnormal for a generic model human being; I just mean, I look at my reflection and it doesn't look like me. By body image has not caught up to where I am now. While it's not too much work to adjust to how my stomach looks --- the big change there is to realize I'm not sucking in my gut --- my arms and legs just look weird. Not quite spindly, but disturbingly close to the rubber-hose form that 1930s cartoon characters enjoyed.

The other weird part is that holding my arms out in the bicep-curl pose I find my upper arm is fairly thin, while my lower arm is fairly wide, maybe one and a half times the horizontal width of the upper arm. To put it more simply: they resemble Popeye arms. The urban legend of it is that Elzie Segar designed Popeye to subtly break all the rules of how humans are put together; it's unsettling to find my arms conforming to that construct.

I'm still curious how long it's going to take before I feel an un-delayed, instinctive recognition of my reflection again.

Trivia: The first New England ice shipped to Calcutta, India, in September 1833 was placed on sale at Brightman's Ghaut, Strand, ``at the rate of four annas per seer''. Source: The Frozen-Water Trade, Gavin Weightman.

Currently Reading: Carrying The Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys, Michael Collins.