Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Here we go again

I thought when I started writing this blog that it would provide me with inspiration and a public venue which would add the "shame" incentive -- I would somehow be more accountable to unkown strangers than I am to myself. The good news? I've discovered that I'm not as "other directed" as I might have thought. I guess the hell of middle school, when I craved the approval of the "crowd" and didn't get it, burned that desire right out of me for life. The bad news? I'm not as other directed as I might have thought. So, the idea that unkown others might be saying to themselves, "What a loser" (and not in the way I would have hoped) didn't really have much of an impact on me.

So, I'm starting again, rethinking this blog, and trying to salvage some good things out of this experience.

Here are the good things:

For the past few months, I've been seeing a nutrition counselor. Emphasis on the counselor. She is really nice, although the fact that she highly could be my sister-in-law's long lost twin kind of freaks me out. She thinks I am too negative (true), that I don't eat in the right way (true), and that I don't do things for myself (true). All of these factors contribute to the plateau I've been on for several years now.

After a longish hiatus, I thought I should sign up for Weight Watchers Online. I can't stand the meetings, which always seem to devolve into tips (if you only do x (usually involving buying WW products), the weight will just FALL OFF) or complaint sessions ("I just CAN'T figure out why I gained last week), or loving recitations of the wonderful, low cal concoction that tastes "exactly the same as pumpkin pie, I swear"). But WW Online has some useful tools and their concept of eating anything, in moderation, seems reasonable to me. I have always thought that the latest diet fad, whether it's low-fat, low-carb, no-meat, no wheat, no this, no that, is unreasonable. Human beings are omnivores and should be able to eat any kind of food. Eliminating whole food groups seems very counterproductive to me. I also know that a lifestyle that doesn't include buttered toast or mashed potates is not one I would willingly choose or sustain.

I've been working with my sister and my aunt on something called Made to Crave, which takes a spiritual approach to losing weight. As the author, Lysa TerKeurst says, it's about finding your "want to", not about "how to" lose weight. There are a series of video lectures she gives, then we work through daily assignments (which are tough, in that they require you to really be conscious of what you are thinking and believing about yourself and what you want), and then we meet weekly (lately it's been monthly) to discuss. It's been a really rewarding experience in many ways, especially since it has allowed me to grow closer to two phenomenal women, both of whom are so beautiful inside and out. The only dark spot is that my mother, who had been joining us before Christmas, is now in Florida for the winter, so we are deprived of her gentle and loving presence.

I took a walk this morning, after doing drop off. It was a small walk, but it was a walk. I went twice around the track at a local park. My goal is to do this every morning, and to build up to ten times around the track by the end of March. Then I'll go looking for more interesting walks.

This walking mania came about because, over President's Day weekend, a friend and I went to New York for a "mom's weekend away" minibreak. It was so much fun, and I walked and walked and walked. And I was in horrible pain. All the muscles in the backs of my legs were so tight and really painful, to the point that I had to stop my friend during our 8 block walk to Penn Station at the end of the weekend and ask her to hail a cab. It was awful. But, as I told my friend, if I can walk in New York because I want to see the 9/11 memorial or the Irish Hunger memorial or the Met, I sure as heck can walk at home, even if the scenery is not as interesting.

As I was walking this morning, I was thinking of all the walking I used to do when I was younger and healthier. I walked all over Rome, all over Dublin, all over Baltimore, and all over the District of Columbia. It occurred to me that, when I was in graduate school, there were times that I was so poor that I couln't afford the 85 cent metro fare from Ballston to Foggy Bottom. On those days, I'd get up an hour earlier than normal and walk the 6.5 miles from my apartment to school. It wasn't easy or fun, but I remember not giving it too much thought -- it was just something I had to do. I want to get back to that stage, when I don't have to think about the pain that walking any distance will cause me.

Now off to do 20 minutes of Free Step on the Wii. Whee!
Pray for me!


  1. Col, I love the way you write! Your words flow seamlessly and they captivate the attention! As for their meaning, go go go girl!

  2. Your writing is wonderful - and thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations with us! I enjoyed walking with you in NY - and admired so much how you pushed through it! Keep going!

  3. I have all the faith in the world that you can do this.