Not by much, but I can feel it in the way my clothes fit and I know exactly where it's coming from. I wish I could say it's just the excuse and abuse of a few irresistible restaurant menus from celebrating our birthdays earlier this month (both D and I had them). But really, it's days of an extra spoonful of this at lunch, an additional morsel of that at dinner, straight-up standing in the kitchen with one's head in the pantry in search of something to take the edge off all the stress, the kind that builds up in between those outings I wrote about last week. Salty or sweet, this girl has been going after snacks that sate her inner child who is long past tired of being told just one more page, hell, one more sentence ...
And I need to, um, scale that back.
But I also need alternatives. Because I still have a month to go before the defense -- Chapter 7 is heading off to my advisor tomorrow, after which we will do a broad assessment of the project for the purposes of revision -- and mental resources are running thin. I'm still five pages short. There are other unbloggable things going on that are making me crazy in my downtime. And my habit of medicating with food, while a tried-and-true (tried-and-false?) quick fix so I can get back to the so-called degree-finishing plan, is not working in my favor.
I'm holding myself to this by writing it here -- a plan to help me deal with my other plan. To wit, instead of sticking my head in the pantry, I will ...
- stick my head in a book, even if only for fifteen minutes. And if I don't like the one I have on hand, I'll go find another one. Who says you have to read books one at a time? Different moods, different texts. To make this work, I'd better pile a few choice items in one place. It's ridiculous, but the endgame of thesis writing increases personal inertia some thirty fold. Don't ask me about the laundry that hasn't been done.
- do something nice for somebody else. Small things that don't take a lot of time, like looking up and e-mailing a recipe that someone asked you about. Because if you're thinking about other people, you're not thinking about yourself, and that is EXACTLY what I need when I'm trying to get away from my own stress.
- work on plans to go to Hawaii. Yes, travel preparations come with their own stress, but what's fifteen minutes of reading about where I might stay/sunbathe/swim in a lagoon fed by a natural waterfall/forget I ever thought this degree was a good idea/reward myself for getting done?
- indulge in some TV via Hulu or Netflix. I usually save this exclusively for when I'm working out on the elliptical machine, but since January, I've been writing while on it (a funny picture, I'm sure, but it works). So I have a backlog of shows I keep telling myself I'll get to. Such entertainment without accompanying cardio may indeed lower my resting metabolism further, but at least it's not more calories in, just fewer calories out.
- look up potential bike trails in our area. Summer is coming, and D and I want to try a few local outings once all of this thesis business is out of the way. It's not skiing, but we need an outdoor physical activity during non-snowy months that we enjoy together. We've figured out it's one of the better ways we bond.
Okay, I think that's enough for now. Take that, thesis! I will get done with you yet.