THESE BOOTS WERE
MADE FOR WALKIN'
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
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
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
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.