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9 November 2002

There is a feeling you get...little jabs of pleasure...whenever a swordfish takes the hook, or a great bullfighter enters the ring....

It's a quote from my favorite movie, A Star Is Born (the Judy Garland version, of course). The alcoholic movie star, Norman Maine, is trying to explain to the young singer, Esther Blodgett, how he felt the first time he heard her sing--that special feeling that you get on rare occasions.

The phrase came back to me as I leaned down to pick up a piece of paper off the floor by my desk. Now that may not seem like an event worth of a little jab of pleasure, but I was remembering a year ago when I would have to go through all sorts of contortions to get past my huge belly to pick up a piece of paper on the floor while seated in my chair--often I just gave up, got up, held on to the desk, leaned over and picked it up.

There was a similar jab of pleasure when I needed to get something out of the back of a bookcase shelf and realized I could get down on my knees, remove the item, and then get back up again without feeling like a beached whale.

There was a jab of pleasure when I tried on some size 22 pants and realized that they were much too big. I remember only a year ago when I could barely squeeze into a size 26.

And there was a big jab of pleasure I felt during a patient's exam recently. When a woman is being examined I stand at the head of the exam table as a chaperon (required by law when a male doctor is examining a female). On the floor by the head of the table is the office scale. This isn't one of the balance scales that you see in most larger doctors' offices. It's a floor scale like you and I have in our bathrooms.

I stepped on the scale to verify the weight that had been recorded at WeightWatchers on Tuesday. They match, fortunately. But then I looked at the number where I had started. Holy cow (literally!) The pointer on that scale had moved halfway around the circle--and then some.

I know people tell you to go out and try to lift an item that is equivalent to the weight you've lost (I don't think I could lift 81 lbs, even in my new buff jockette condition) to get an appreciation of the weight you've been carrying around, but somehow seeing the dial on that scale was more meaningful to me. That was no little jab of pleasure--that was a huge jab of pleasure.

Perhaps the biggest jab of pleasure came at my doctor's appointment a week or so ago. First of all, it's a wonderful jab of pleasure to want to be weighed and to be unembarrassed by numbers which would have embarrassed me terribly 30 years ago. (I remember once feeling horrible when one of the kids developed a case of worms and the whole family had to be treated. In order to know how much medication to give each person, the (female) pediatrician had to know how much we each weighed. At that time I was about 200 lbs and hated to admit that to her. "No woman should have to admit that," she said to me, as she decided not to record my weight on paper, as a kindness to me. 200 lbs no longer sounds huge to fact, it sounds downright slim! It's all in your perspective.)

But the bigger jab of pleasure came when the doctor and I discussed putting me on some medication to lower my blood pressure (even though I'm doing all the right things, the pressure remains marginally elevated, because, he tells me, of the diabetes). Before writing the prescription, he checked my lab results on the computer--cholesterol, A1C (the test for blood sugar level), etc.

"Well, I certainly can't treat you for this," he exclaimed. "Your test results are great!!!"

I don't think any doctor has ever said that to me. There's always been some part of my lifestyle that needs changing (always having to do with exercise, usually having to do with diet). So it's a wonderful jab of pleasure to be told that I'm doing everything right.

It seems that there are a lot of jabs of pleasure these days, all of them having to do with embarking on this new lifestyle. On days when I might think wistfully of the time when I could eat a cube of butter and half a loaf of bread in an afternoon, I need to remember how much more pleasant today's jabs of pleasure are compared to the fleeting feel of some comfort food in my mouth.

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Quote of the Day

I've been on a constant diet for the last two decades. I've lost a total of 789 pounds. By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet."

~ Erma Bombeck

Photo of the Day

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The calm between the storms.


One Year Ago
Elephant - Elephant - Elephant
Of course, if Peggy's computer was up and running, we probably wouldn't discuss half of these, but the mere fact that we can't has all these thoughts zipping around in my head.

Two Years Ago
First, Take a Pumpkin
...on the count of three they started tossing pies at each other. At first they were kind of restrained. But then they got into it. They smeared it on each other’s faces, rubbed it on their stomachs. Someone dumped a pie on David’s head and smeared it into his hair. They had a marvelous time.

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Pounds Lost:  81
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

On the Odometer

URL 686.9 + 36
Blue Angel 299.5

> 1000 miles since February!

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Created 11/8/02