It's 12:18am and I am awake. Wanna know why I'm awake? Because the machine that's supposed to help me get better quality sleep was choking me with the air it was forcing into my nose and down my throat. And because every time I turned over to try to get into a more comfortable position, the vacuum hose that connects my face to the machine would pull taut and yank me back like a dog on a leash. Think those old Tom and Jerry cartoons where Spike would try to chase Tom when he was still chained to his dog house.
This is the second mask I've tried. The first one made me look like a rebel fighter from Star Wars. While that may have piqued my husband's interest in me, it didn't do much for my sleep habits. So I switched to a smaller, nose-only mask that, if I open my mouth, makes me sound like Darth Vader breathing. Again with the Star Wars similarities. I wonder if George Lucas has money in these things?
Wanna know why I torture myself with this crazy machine? Because I'm fat, so fat that I stop breathing momentarily during the night. It's really just for a nanosecond or so, but long enough that my brain wakes me up and says, "Hey chubby, breathe." After all that waking and falling asleep and not breathing and waking again, I can emerge from a "full" night's sleep feeling like I haven't gotten any sleep at all. I understand the argument behind the concept of sleep apnea. But part of me can't help but think it's just the latest socially acceptable ailment to have. Like everyone whose anyone has sleep apnea and a cpap machine to go with it.
My doctor told me that once I got my cpap machine, I'd probably begin to lose weight because I (theoretically) would be sleeping better, which would mean more energy for exercise and less desire for caffeine and sugar to pull myself out of exhaustion every few hours of the day. Nice theory, but so far, the only thing I've lost is the ability to sleep in a comfortable position. So here I am -- awake and fat.
I've been fat for nearly 30 years, if memory serves me correctly. And I don't mind saying it because what's the point of denying it when it's right there in front of -- and behind -- me. It's not that I haven't tried to lose weight. Like many people of ample size, I've tried a million diets:
* The one-bowl diet. Eat whatever you want, but you can only use one bowl. Guess they should have specified the size of the bowl.
* The cabbage soup diet. It's not my fault that my great-grandmother's cabbage soup recipe calls for potatoes, butter and sausage.
* Nutri-system. They actually pay me not to tell anyone I was ever associated with them (Oops. There goes this month's check.)
* The grapfruit diet. Virtually impossible for anyone with severe acid reflux, which is aggravated by citrus fruits, and which is often a side effect of -- c'mon, say it with me -- being fat.
* Weight Watchers. Anyone who tells you "nothing tastes as good as being thin feels" has never tried a double scoop of Maggie Moo's dark chocolate and cinnamoo ice cream mixed with almonds on a waffle cone.
* South Beach Diet. This one might have worked, except it wasn't in my budget to buy a side of beef every two weeks.
I've considered weight loss surgery. But I like food and hate expulsive bodily functions too much.
I even spent four months getting up insanely early to go to a fitness bootcamp. I thought for sure that would be the key to shedding a few pounds. I enjoyed it, though I did notice after I started coming to class regularly, the instructor started toting one of those portable defibrillators along with her. At the end of four months, my big transformation? I gained 3 pounds -- I guess must be true that muscle weighs more than fat.
So here I am. Still fat -- and still awake. Think I'll go see if there's a Richard Simmons infommercial on.