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This Day in My History


Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page.  Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past. 

~Henry Ward Beecher

Yesterday's Entries

2000:  The New Millennium
2001:  The Word of the Lord
2002:  The Guest of Honor Wasn't There


Actually last night's.  We watched the Best in Show DVD with commentary.  The commentary by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy is almost as hysterical as the movie itself


Again, this is really yesterday's, but we went to see Bad Santa--getting in all the movies we can before Jeri leaves (which she did today).  I haven't figured out what I think about this movie.  Overall, it was kind of good (and predictable), but midway through I was sure tired of the falling-down drunk Billy Bob Thornton.


Blah.  Grey.



31 December 2003

As I was sitting there at Weight Watchers yesterday, kicking myself for my bad choices and for the inevitable weight gain (2 lbs), Chris began the meeting talking about taking stock of ourselves and not looking at what we gained (there were several gains this week, not surprisingly), but to look back over the whole year.

She talked about her difficulties with food at the holidays (after 14 years at her goal weight), and how she had gained this week, but not much.

She also talked about her attitude being different this year, and instead of kicking herself for losing control, she went back to her old journals and checked how it was last year. To her surprise, she found that she had done much worse last year, so overall, she was pleased that even though she gained weight it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

I really didn’t think that would work for me. I mean–it was my mother’s stuffing, which I love too much. It was all those other things and yeah, I’d fixed some Weight Watchers recipes that I could eat guilt-free, but surely I had done just terribly over the holidays.

Well, to my surprise–no astonishment–I checked what had happened at this time last year, and I had gained twelve pounds in a 3 week period of time. I have not done that this year.

I will admit that this year has not been as good for me, health-wise, as last year was. I started this plan in January two years ago determined to make it a lifestyle change and I really kept with it for 11 months, losing 85 lbs from January until Thanksgiving. Then came stuffing and pumpkin pie...and then Christmas...and from January to the end of the year it’s been an off-again, on-again road with far too many "let’s get back on the program again" moments.

There were mitigating circumstances (read: excuses) at some points along the way. That little accident, for one thing. It brought my to-that-point pretty good exercise program to a skreetching halt. I had good intentions of getting on the exercise bike immediately, but found that I couldn’t climb on it and my knee prevented me from pedaling it (and the doctor suggested I not try).

Well, as a person who has not made exercise "routine" in her life until two years ago, it was far too easy to slip back into the slothful habits. When I could begin to exercise, in limited fashion, again, it was like starting all over again from scratch building up those molecules that realized exercise could be enjoyable. At the same time, my morning exercise group had broken up. The gym had closed and though I went right out and joined a new one, the new one was exactly what I hated about gyms all along–a bunch of jocks who never talk to each other, who are all physically fit, who run on the treadmill. There was a wall of mirrors so I could compare my plodding pace with the cuties jogging beside me, watching my flab flap up and down and afraid that people were giggling at me. I decided the best thing to do was to take advantage of their free training session and made an appointment to meet with a trainer. It took a lot to drag myself to that meeting and after sitting around for 2 hours waiting for the trainer to arrive, I never did make another appointment (the accident happened shortly after that).

When I finally could get back on my bike, I found I was afraid of it. I can ride, but my shoulder hurts (she whimpers, pathetically). I’m also afraid to get on and off of it. I’ve ridden to work and that was OK, but I know I’m woefully out of shape and I don’t think my arm will handle any uphill, dreaded or otherwise.

So having fallen back into couch potato mode, and having struggled with food for this entire year, and having gained back half of the weight I lost, what are the pluses of this year.

Well, for one thing, I discovered what a difference it made, even being down only 40+ lbs, when I went to Australia. I huffed and puffed some of the time, but I did things I would never have considered two years ago. Peggy took a photo of me, dripping sweat, when we emerged from the limestone cave, where we had to climb up and down 100 steps in the underground heat. I was exhausted, but I was also thrilled. Thrilled that I hadn’t backed out on hearing what was involved in exploring the cave, thrilled at all the things we saw, thrilled that I didn’t ask to stop to rest (though we did stop once), and thrilled that I did it.

I was happy to take my very first "back in the saddle" bike ride with Monty and Carolynn along the Indian Ocean. My arm reminded me several times that it needed some coddling and I didn’t ride as far, by any stretch of the imagination, as I would have a year before, but I wanted to go riding. That was a good thing.

Before the accident, Walt and I went for an 18 mile bike ride and when someone said "C’mon–go the full 30 miles" I unhesitatingly said "sure." Of course we all know how that ended–but I did it. And I didn’t think twice about it. And, until I sailed over the handlebars of the bike, I had a great time doing it. Me. Active. Whoda thunk?

There were periods when I was really very good about journaling my food, planning my meals, and enjoying what I was eating. Those were the times when it became a "lifestyle" and not a "diet."

Medically, all of my report for the first half of the year were glowing. The doctor was pleased with my weight, Dr. G monitored my blood pressure, my cholesterol was down. These are good report cards for the first time in recorded memory, since adulthood. The second half wasn’t quite so good, for obvious reasons.

So here we are on the eve of the start of 2004. My friend Joan sent me a wonderful thing on "fighting the half-way there blues," about the discouragement that sets in when you have a lot of weight to lose and have been working at it for a very long time.

The half-way-there blues comes when you've been working hard, seeing results, but then one day, you're struck by how much farther you have to go. Maybe you hit a long plateau, and you lose heart. Or you catch a bad angle in a fun-house mirror while trying on interim-sized clothes in a badly-lit dressing room. You don't like your body. You don't like your new way of eating. You don't want to go to the gym again. You don't want to write down what you ate today. It's been hard for a long time, and you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Somewhere, deep inside you, there is a realization dawning: There IS no light at the end of the tunnel. Baby, there is no end. There is no tunnel. This watching what you eat and exercising? This is your new life. What you're feeling, these blues, is the death-struggle of the old you, the birth of the new you. You are crossing over, and you're scared.

I wonder how much of this applies to me. I have never, ever, in all of my adult life followed a "new lifestyle"/diet/whatever through to its completion. I have not been at my goal weight since 1965. How’s that for a scary thought? I’ve been a lot closer than I am now, but fat is just such a part of who I am and have most of my life, since childhood, that who knows what psychological factors are at work here to prevent me from becoming a "normal" person.

Or maybe I just like to eat too much! Who knows?

Joan has suggested she and I agree to lose at least 40 lbs this year, which is certainly do-able. I want to lose at least 50 before I go back to Australia in 2005 (and I want to keep it off). So, with the vast majority of Americans, I’m going to re-dedicate myself to getting/staying healthy in 2004. I’m going to faithfully journal. I’m going to keep going to Weight Watchers, even when I don’t want to. I’m going to work at getting past this fear of riding my bike again. And I’m going to start doing more moving.

I may not do all of these things all at once, but the time for being at the midpoint is over and it’s time to start rededicating myself to all of those goals that I had in mind when I started this program two years ago.

May all of you have a safe New Year’s Eve (unless it’s already past for you), and may we all be happ(ier) and health(ier) in 2004.


Indy.jpg (73518 bytes)

The highlight of 2003 was going to Australia.
One of my favorite parts of that trip was our week
on the farm, and this picture of Indy was one of the
best pictures from that week....also, our hosts
will be visiting Peggy tomorrow, so this is to say "hi" to them too!

For more photos, please visit My Fotolog and My FoodLog

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Weight Lost to date:  46.6 lbs

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Created 12/28/03