Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Many Happy Returns

Well, time's up.

And I've still got 37 pounds to go.

By the numbers, this was a total bust.  There are a hell of a lot of stones still in that jar, and I'm still wearing my stretchy pants.  Per the scale this morning, I shed an average of 0.56 ounces per day*, which is not exactly going to have people clamoring for my weight loss secrets.  If I was being graded, even on a curve, 26% progress would be an "F" for sure.

But I'm not going by the numbers.  I'm going by the results.  

Thanks to this project:
And best of all, I eat well. 

Not just in the way my husband meant when he said it.  I truly eat deliberately these days.  I choose the bread and butter when it's really good bread and butter.  Otherwise, I choose the salad.  I enjoy a cocktail or glass of great wine and skip the Skittles and the caramel corn.  I'm just as avid to try new restaurants, a fabulous blue cheese and bacon burger, or a noted hot spot in a city I visit for work. But I pack almonds and fruit for my flight instead of cheese and crackers, and hit the gym in the hotel.  I bake cakes and cookies and pie and sample them all happily, but then I tote the rest across the street to work or ship a package off in the mail.  I feel, at last, in control.

For example, I chose to enjoy a nice big piece of this cake today, because it was awesome. I mean, Chocolate fudge cake with cream cheese frosting? No way I wasn't diving in.

Food and me.
We are in a healthy (well, healthy-er) relationship now.

I still want to be stronger, and slimmer, and in much better shape, so I'm giving myself an extension on my project, and my grade is...incomplete.  

After all, I am going to be 50 for a little while longer.  

* The equivalent of getting rid of 16 paper clips or six pennies every 24 hours.  Honestly, my cat sheds more than that.
** I carry my own "vat" around, and am roundly ridiculed for it by my family.
*** Especially my family. When they are not making fun of me, that is.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Going out swinging

It was March 1st today. We woke up to one of those mornings in between rain storms when LA is at its absolute best.  My husband usually goes for a long run on Sunday mornings, and I decided to go with him and walk the hills while he ran.  As we got out of the car, we could smell the fresh wet leaves on the breeze.  Early bright yellow wildflowers popped up on the side of the fire road, and the sky was full of great, puffy clouds moving swiftly across the valley below.  Some were edged a deep menacing gray, others were a brilliant white.  I couldn't stop stopping to look at the view. Soon enough, we arrived at the trailhead.

Bye honey, I called, as he took off down the path. I put in my headphones and set off on my own. The slope went down steeply in places, rose gently in others, but was mostly downhill all the way. The sun shone and I was sometimes hot in my oversized sweatshirt but there was plenty of shade and the air was still refreshingly cool.

There were mountain bikers and couples with dogs and runners and girlfriends out walking and talking with big hats and sunglasses.  I nodded and smiled at them all. The chapters flew by in my audiobook and the ocean appeared behind impossibly green hills.

Almost three miles in, I saw my husband, at first a small moving figure far below me, growing closer as I followed the trail down towards him.  He wordlessly signaled to a side path that lead up to a crest, and we met at the top, grinning.

It was glorious. We took photos and he looked at my sweat-covered face with a hint of concern. It's a long uphill from here, he said. I'll run to the end and come back and get you, he said.

I'm fine, I said.
And,  this time, so unlike last time, I meant it.

Off went the book. On went the music. And back up the hill went me, arms swinging in time to the beat.


Thursday, January 29, 2015


I've been avoiding this post.

Months of work, nearly erased in the span of a few weeks.
My lofty goal now so far away, and time so short, that it is, for all practical purposes, impossible.

What happened?

I chose to celebrate the holidays with my whole heart. I threw open the house and filled it with extraordinarily treats made from real butter and chocolate.  I spoiled my kids and my niece.  We had our traditional Christmas meals and tried new recipes. I said yes to dinners out at brilliant restaurants with friends and cheerfully toasted them with cocktails.

I travelled for work to a city full of outstanding places to eat, and I didn't hold back.

But I also made it to the gym. I logged tens of thousands of steps every week on my Fitbit. I drank gallons of water and stayed off of caffeine.  I never cleaned my plate, snacked on vegetables, skipped the fries and sent dozens of cookies out of the door.  I knew I wouldn't make progress, but I was mindful of not going backwards. Yes, I ate, but what I ate was far from junk.  It was delicious, wonderful food.

It didn't matter. Being partially good was obviously not good enough.

I am ashamed. I am sad. And I am mad.

I rage at the unfairness of feeling punished for letting myself relax and savor eating for just a little while. All that happiness wiped away because the scale makes me miserable*.  I feel caught right back in my original trap.

I am so tempted to give up. To recast my objective as unrealistic and silly. I could give myself permission to claim this ten pound victory.  I can, after all, take pride in my healthier heart and stronger legs and hydration habit.  The pull of acquiescence is unbelievably strong.

Then I read this:

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it is the little voice at the end of the day that says 'I’ll try again tomorrow.'”**

Sometimes, courage does roar.

So here I am. Trying again tomorrow.

Not to do the impossible. Just to be brave enough to keep going down this road a little longer, and to be satisfied with wherever I wind up, whenever I get there.

* Step 1:  Bought a new scale. Happier already.
** From this link.