I’m still trying to find my sweet spot. The place where everything butch and everything transgender fits together and feels right. I’m not there yet, but I am closer than I was last year. I’m still evolving. I need to eat an ice cream cone.
The sweet spot may sound like a pathway to either gastronomic pleasure or sexual pleasure, but it is actually a music and a sports metaphor. In the analog era, audiophiles tweaked the sweet spot. It was the place where you got the best sound in the room. The complete stereo effect. A different kind of non-binary; the precise balance between the left channel and the right channel. In baseball, the sweet spot is the perfect place of contact on the bat. The home-run spot. I’m still looking for it.
My sweet spot is elusive. It is inside me. I need to find it.
I’ve read that what I enjoyed as a ten-year old is probably what I would enjoy now. I’m going to find out if this is true. My list is short: eat an ice cream cone, swim in the ocean, go ice skating in Central Park, go to a folk music festival, go to a Mets game. All of these are things I have done as an adult, but not in the last year. It was a busy year; I didn’t have time. I did have a couple of bites of ice cream from a shared dessert in a restaurant. I never ordered my own cone.
“Don’t wait until you have free time. You may never have any free time.” – Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. Good advice.
I’ve been following Weight Watchers for 18 months. I lost my baby fat. I reached my goal (140 pounds) and I’ve struggled to stay there. Losing the weight was no picnic. Staying within two pounds of my goal is a Herculean effort. I’ve stopped binge eating (I no longer find myself standing in front of an open refrigerator with random food stuffed in my mouth). I’ve cut down on my drinking. I have not stopped obsessing about my body and my weight. I have not reached nirvana.
I promised myself last year, that when I hit goal I would treat myself to a cone at The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck or at L’Arte del Gelato. I imagined sitting on a bench with Gracie and enjoying my cone, lick by lick. But when I hit goal, I realized that I had to maintain the new weight. I re-promised myself that when I had remained at my goal for 8 weeks, I would celebrate and get an ice cream.
The weeks passed. Donna and I went to Mexico on vacation. We came back and started planning for Thanksgiving. I was still barely within goal, but I didn’t let myself get the ice cream. I kept coming up with excuses for why I should wait. I didn’t want to sabotage my progress. I didn’t have enough time to enjoy it. It was too cold outside.
On Weight Watchers you can eat anything you want as long as you make room for it in your weekly regimen. One ice cream cone, no matter how large, does not take up a lot of space in the program. It takes up space in my head.
The ice cream scares me. Eating it means that I accept my body where it is. That I am no longer “trying to lose weight”. That I am willing to eat something “fat” and it is not the end of the world. I can put a pound on. It doesn’t mean I’m a recidivist. I know how to take it back off. I’d like the ice cream to just be an ice cream.
My sweet spot has to include being at peace with my current middle-aged butch body. My sweet spot has to include being at peace with my transgender nature. My sweet spot has to make room for my ten-year old self in all my chubby, awkward, tomboy glory. Unconstrained, unsuppressed, and eating a big drippy ice cream cone. With gusto.