Becoming Charlize Theron
Monday October 30, 2017
My late uncle used to say:
“If you had written just one sentence a day, your novel would have been finished years ago.”
It would take another eight years for me to publish Mango. Although in my defense, the delay wasn’t due to not writing. The writing had already been done. But it was because I had not pushed through in the editing and publishing phase, and due to total lack of vision on where I wanted to go with publishing, that nearly killed my career as an author.
Not lack of writing.
Although I admit that I have finalized a number of diaries, way sooner than I intended to, because more pressing matters emerged or a new theme (read; man) came up. It deserved a fresh start. But I never abandoned the old diary and I never abandoned a book either. I just wrote some sort of satisfying ending and moved on.
But that’s not what I want for Reboot.
Reboot is my journey to becoming Charlize Theron in the movie Atomic Blonde. Or, should that prove to be unattainable, to become the 2009, 1991, 1989 version of me. Because those are years I was closest to being Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde.
In 2009 I was a yoga teacher who practiced yoga every day or twice day. I had a booming business, a flat belly and I dated men half my age.
I was totally rocking adulthood. Something I feel I ve been failing at ever since.
In 1991 I was a lean size 8, and I had a pale and rock hard size 8 body that could have doubled for Madonna, should she have needed a decoy body double to run through Hide Park. Which she didn’t, because her Blonde Ambition tour was one year earlier, but you get the gist.
I looked fab.
In 1989 I still owned my petite size 6, pre-gym body. I had a gorgeous rack, and I feel tempted to include a picture of my sixteen year old boobs here, because boy! That was something. I was a bit early in developing them, but by the time I was 16 I had gotten past feeling awkward and I was fully aware that God had not been shy in the boobs department. They were not so big they would give me back pains either.
They were truly perfect and I really was a sweet sixteen.
“Reboot” is a diary that is supposed to document my journey of becoming any of those leaner, sexier versions of me. Which I know I can be! If only I got around to it. If I would focus, visualize, live, the true new version of me – BE HER- I know it would be a matter of months, weeks even.
I know that once I started living this from inside out, and not by imposing diets or exercise regimes onto myself, the weight that I gained in all those years I didn’t publish, didn’t do yoga at home, didn’t date men half my age even though I have no intention of getting that back thank you very much, that the weight will melt off, my body will tone, and that I can just pick whatever I want.
To be in 2009, in 1991, in 1989.
Or even to be Charlize Theron if I fucking want to.
And this time?
I know how.
Tuesday October 31, 2017
One of the aspects of the movie Atomic Blonde, that inspired me the most, was that the sexy MI6 agent played by Charlize Theron, was a striking example of what is commonly referred to as;
A high-functioning alcoholic.
She belts down her wodka like … I don’t know! What’s the comparison here? Do we even know of an action hero, that crams in so much Stoli on ice between assassinating, collaborating and just merely trying to stay alive as a spy in Berlin 1989? Not a situation where you would want your judgement or aim failing on you. And this all got me thinking about alcohol in general and here’s what I found.
On one hand I knew a lot of people who drank too much, slept too little, were overweight, and seemed to fail at every resolution to get healthy. Yet, they held good jobs, got married, raised children. They were doing everything you shouldn’t be doing, but had pretty good results!
On the other hand I knew people who were struggling with health problems as well as having a hard time holding on to their jobs or even to function in pretty average social situations.
And they were not drinking any alcohol, made sure they slept as much as possible, and strained themselves as little as possible, in an attempt to heal from their anxiety, physical ailments and so on. A situation that didn’t show any or very little improvement over time.
I had question after question.
Were high-functioning alcoholics so successful, by worldly standards, despite of their drinking?
Or were they in fact so successful because of it?
Was it possible to deploy alcohol in order to become high-functioning? Had I, we as a society, been looking at the wrong side of the coin all along?
Was it possible to achieve my goal, of becoming a high-functioning size 8 hard body, by making strategic use of Stoli on ice?
I seriously started considering this option, and the evidence was piling up. Next to spy-work during the cold war, other stressful professions – lawyers and surgeons – had the highest rates of alcoholism. Alcohol was named as number one coping meganism. Studies showed that if alcohol would be tested against modern day standards for drugs it wouldn’t even pass: That’s how dangerous it was. But to me, it was only more proof of how potent this drug was.
After a week, of toying with the thought, I investigated what the implications would be for my own situation. How much would I need to drink and when? What would be the optimum consumption taking into account the energy I would lose, from having to break down the alcohol, to the productivity or output I would gain from being able to work more because I could relax more quickly?
I did everything I could in order to plan how I could reach my goal of becoming a thin, high-functioning writer slash yoga-teacher, by becoming the world’s first alcoholic by choice. Much like an athlete who will use doping drugs in order to accelerate his performance.
So everything was in place. It was just a matter of getting the details right, and setting up a proper system to finetune and monitor my lifestyle choice.
And then something happened.
I started estimating the sleep I would need to compensate, or the less productive hours or days I would not be able to work, and suddenly I realized I was sleeping two hours more than a few months ago.
In May 2016 I quit drinking, but I started again this summer because I wasn’t impressed with what it was doing for me. For one thing; not drinking was making me fat. In order to compensate for not drinking two glasses of Chardonnay, I would have one or two alcohol-free beers; a bowl of nachos enough to feed three people; hot chocolate with whipped cream if I constrained myself or tea with a tile-sized brownie if I didn’t.
I could easily ate a thousand calories in order to compensate the hundred and fifty two glasses of white wine would have cost me.
At the end of fifteen months of drought I was seriously done being fat and sober.
I needed a drink.
So, this thought of becoming a high-functioning alcoholic was simply a plan to optimize this new situation. I wanted to expand my recreational four to six drinks a week, to a killer mix of totally nailing my productivity and my waistline. I was going to seriously kick some butt here.
Until I saw my sleep stats.
That’s when i realized I was already sleeping two hours more, every night, since I had started drinking. I had only needed four to five hours of sleep a night before. Now it was six or seven, sometimes even more.
When I saw the hard facts – that alcohol had already put me behind two hours a day, that’s twelve a week! – I immediately gave up drinking. First just for my “Reboot” months, the time I had set aside to sculpt my new life. But soon enough I knew I was never going back.
Right now it’s November. My waistline and the number of hours I sleep have not changed yet. Nor has my frustration over how few hours there are in a week, got any less.
But I m positive that will change soon, because I found a new drug, and it is working. That was a sentence that can be interpreted in two different ways, and they’re both true.
More about my new dope tomorrow.
Wednesday November 1
NaNoWriMo means National Novel Writing Month, and it’s a challenge to write a novel in November. I checked my timeline today and saw no NaNoWriMo hashtags, and even the official NaNoWriMo Twitter account seemed to have gone to bed for a few hours. Writers in Europe would be hitting their desk this November first, without the support of a global community. Although admittedly most participants would have made different choices on which accounts to follow in the first place.
I follow sex workers and comedians.
But still! I do follow bloggers, and although I may have been one of the first to know about NaNoWriMo, it has a huge international following by now. It’s just that, well, not someone I followed apparently.
And that bugged me.
Not that I didn’t follow more writers but it bugged me that it was so quiet. In past years I had used the uplifting energy of NaNoWriMo to publish my manuscripts in November. Not that I was ever successful – publishing my ten books would take until this summer – but nevertheless! I loved the anticipation that I could accomplish something too.
I had fond memories of this month but my supply of NaNoWriMo energy on Twitter was dangerously low. If I wanted it, I would have to create it myself.
So I did. I have.
I have decided that I m going to commit to writing a book that I ve started, in several different forms and languages, but that I dropped out of an equal number of times. It’s called White Tigress, and it’s about a revolutionary path for single women.
The full title of the book I will be writing this NaNoWriMo is;
YOGA & LIFESTYLE guide for solitary women who want an amazing SEX LIFE and plenty of energy
It will be a lot of work. But that shouldn’t be a problem because one of the things I learned about myself the past couple of months, is that I m a flat out work addict. Or write addict, to be exact. There have been a couple of things I wanted to change in my life.
I wanted to stop having a racing heartbeat and anxiety attacks, the moment I fell asleep.
I wanted to lose 15 kilo and look like Charlize Theron in Atomic Blond.
I wanted an athletic body, instead of the current one which is used to writing marathons not one month, but twelve months a year. I could vividly remember how good it felt before I was a writer and still had a home yoga practice! Spending one or two hours a day on self-practice not only gives you a new body, but a totally different outlook on life.
I spent September and October trying to figure out how to get my yogic life and my old body back, assuming that restraining myself in writing had to be an important component. I was convinced that once I had that contained, I would be back to my youthful self.
And I still think that.
Just that it’s not feasible. I can’t stop writing any more than I can stop breathing.
I used to think that writing served a purpose to process my emotions of falling in love, meeting new men. If I would stop having sex, I would stop writing. But now I know better. Because I haven’t had (intercourse/) sex in four months, I have no idea if my lover and me are still “on” and my period has stopped – indicating I m one of the few for whom menopause will be over with swiftly.
I m 45 with no man and no signs of fertility and I feel more creative than ever. It is absolutely impossible to stop writing. I don’t even want to. Even if I wouldn’t have my family, my friends, my work, and all I had were writing and an internet connection, I would still be completely fulfilled.
Take that in.
Read that again.
Reminds you of something? Perhaps of people who stick needles in their arms, snort thousands of euros up their nose? Of people who show compulsive behavior that affects everything from their social life to their financial situation?
I am one of those people.
I am a work addict.
And I basically have the choice between doing something about it and live a normal life. Or to take this addiction as a given, work around it. See if my addiction to writing and my desire to stay alive can coexist.
In September and October I tried option 1.
And failed miserably.
In November I m going for option 2: I m taking my desire to work myself into exhaustion as a given.
Let’s go write that book.
An Unexamined Life is not worth living
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Another thing I ll be doing in November, is to straighten out the distribution of my books.
They are still not available in other (web)shops and that bugs me.
Once that’s done you will be able to order them at bol.com, Amazon, or at your local retailer.
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