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22 April 2003

I've just come in from a nice walk. I'm not sure how long a walk it was. But in the B.D. (before diet) days, even if I decided to make the walk (highly unlikely), I would have planned on it taking at least 20, if not 30 minutes. I did it in 10-15 tonight.

B.D. I would have sauntered. I would have found reasons/excuses to stop--a particularly interesting bug that I had to investigate, a nice flower to smell and, had it not been after dark, a garden that needed to be photographed.

None of those were the real reasons, of course. The real reason would have been that I needed a break from the walk and had been looking around desperately for any excuse to stop for a bit. Tonight I walked it without even thinking of stopping.  And I walked at a brisk pace.

B.D. I would have been praying for the light to turn red so I'd have an excuse to stand at the corner and catch my breath. Tonight when I hit red, I crossed the street and immediately hit the crossing button to turn the light green so I wouldn't have to stop. I was thinking that I've become like those joggers who jog in place when they come to a red light.

When I got home, my lungs were burning and I was sweating and I felt great.

Not only did I feel great about the walk, but I felt good about deciding to take it.

I had left work a bit early so I could get home and change into suitable attire to go to church. We were attending the memorial service of an acquaintance who died of liver failure two weeks ago. We knew her a long time ago--not well, but passingly--but she was very good friends of good friends of ours and we would see her from time to time, or hear bits and pieces about her. When we saw the obituary, we knew that we had to go.

It was a lovely service (like Mass, only episcopal) which ended with one of my favorite hymns, "Jesus Christ is Risen Today," which I insisted we sing at Jeri's baptism, 37 years ago, even though nobody in the group really knew it.

When the service was over, we were all invited back to Larry & Steve's house for a reception.

We walked in the door and were greeted with a smorgasbord of desserts. Cakes and tarts and chocolate chip cookies and brownies and you name it.

"This is delicious," someone said to me, handing me a plate with a big piece of some cake-like concoction that was covered with whipped cream and strawberries. I took it. I also grabbed a fancy looking tart-like thing and then I moved away from the table.

I sat with a friend who is on crutches and thus couldn't stand around. I discovered I was sitting in front of a coffee table covered with mini pecan pies--one of my favoritest things. I took two. I had to move, so I moved to the far side of the kitchen away from the food and talked with a friend about Curves, letting her know how much I enjoyed it and encouraging her to give it a try. We had been doing WeightWatchers together and she, too, was eyeing the desserts. "I'll journal after I've hit the dessert table," she said, as she walked away.

I stood there with my glass of water, in conversation with Walt and another friend. But my head wasn't in the conversation. Despite the fact that guests were by now 3-deep at the table and I couldn't get there if I wanted, without knocking down some little old lady, I couldn't concentrate on anything but how I could sneak another one of those desserts. Maybe the fudgy-looking brownies that someone just brought in and ran past my nose on her way to the table.

There was only one thing to do--I had to get out of there. I didn't want to make a fuss, but just told Walt that I was going to walk home and explained to our friend that I couldn't deal with the temptation of the desserts any more. When I got out into the night air, I felt so good. Our Weight Watchers meeting this morning had been on stopping problematic behaviors when they get started, and it's one of the things I'm very definitely not good at. But I'd done it. I'd started a "to hell with it" feed at this dessert trough and I'd managed to find a way to stop it. What's more, it was a healthy way. Plus it gave me more exercise for the day (I'd already done Curves this morning).

I am sadly coming to the realization that this is never going to be second nature for me. I am never going to be able to walk into a room filled with desserts or whatever other trigger food there is for me and act sensibly. Even if I don't go whole hog and start nonstop eating, it's always going to bother me. My leader today talked about how she had specifically requested no Easter candy this year (her 12th after losing 100 lbs) because she was going through a difficult period with candy and she didn't think she could handle even a little.

If she could still be struggling with this 12 years later.... if the "life timer" in the back of the room who lost her weight 20 years ago and still had to come back for a refresher to get her through the holidays... if they are still struggling with this, I might as well admit to myself that it's going to be a lifelong thing for me.

I've said it before and I'll say it again--there are people who eat to live and people who live to eat and those of us in the latter category are just going to have to work harder. So the task ahead of me is to do more of what I did tonight...only hopefully the next time stop sooner than I did tonight. Find things to do that will distract from that glowing bowl/plate/table full of "whatever" that I simply must have...can't live without... until I can either walk away or ignore it. It's going to be a day by day struggle. Some days are going to be easier, some days are going to be harder, but I'm never going to get to where it becomes second nature because all it takes is a croissant (or a donut--at least I still haven't had a donut in over a year) to start that whole downward spiral again. I know that all too well. Been there done that so often I've worn a smooth path on that road.

The nice thing about my discovery tonight is that it really was a lovely evening to walk. The jasmine is blossoming and it all smelled so good. Definitely better than a chocolate chip cookie loaded with guilt would have smelled, at least in retrospect.

It was also encouraging that despite a few slips and "Easter" to contend with, I lost weight again this week. Like last week, it's nothing spectacular--only 0.4 lbs (but heck... that's twice what I lost last week!) but a loss is a loss is a loss. The scale is headed in the right direction and if I can keep these feet moving away from dessert tables and onto the streets and paths to get some movement going, I should continue to make progress. And that's better than any dessert--because it lasts a heck of a lot longer.

Quote of the Day

All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Today's Photo

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This is a 49er rose (it's yellow and red) growing in our front yard (I bought 2 bushes, one for Tom and one for David,
the first year the 49ers
won the SuperBowl)


One Year Ago
Hang it up, James Bond
(Going thru Airport Security)

Two Years Ago
Affair to Remember
(I force Diane to watch a movie)

Three Years Ago
Here Comes Mr. Misery
(Dedication of "Paul Plaza")

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Pounds Lost:  68.6
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

On the Odometer

Blue Angel Total 920.6
2003 YTD Cumulative:  422.2

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