Saturday, November 19, 2016


I'm down to the last three pounds. Not of Swiss chocolate in my pantry, nor fancy dates from the Turks, nor butter imported from New Zealand.

I'm speaking about the last three pounds on my body gained from twins of the above indulgences...and I feel like I'm chipping away at black ice on a North Dakota highway during a snowstorm. The last three pounds are like the heavy walnut bureau brought over from Italy in the 19th century, placed in the castle and never moved. These pounds are like the stone foundation of Notre Dame...and I'm eating so well; I'm so focused. I count my nuts, and I calculate water intake. If I eat light and don't lose weight, I eat more. I'm like the football coach trying different strategies to move the ball just five more yards. But my passes keep getting intercepted, my quarterback fake is detected, I'm sacked before the first step. The earthquake doesn't measure on the Richter scale. Even the four hour hike didn't make a difference.

Yesterday's activities included a walk in the wind chill, an interval workout with a twenty year old, in which I mostly kept up. My eating was calculated. I stepped on the scale this a.m. and I'd gained a half pound.

My routine includes stepping on the scale within the hour of waking up. With the same expectations as a Christmas morning, my anticipations are high! Just a half pound...please scale, please body...give me the gift of just a half pound.

Five Christmas mornings without a present under the tree or an orange in my stocking. The tree may be bare, but the tree is still standing--and this is how I'm making it through this dearth of weight loss. My body is the tree, standing straight, green and healthy. Gratitude is my lifeline.


My body's refusal to let it go, may really be a blessing in disguise. Previously, I would have arrived on the doorstep of Thanksgiving Day at the idolized weight. All the discipline, going to bed hungry, the denial of so many fluffy cupcakes, would have put me in the mood to overindulge on this holiday of gratitude; I would have been so grateful for my second piece of pie. Yet, this cutting-loose attitude is what got me here in the first place. It's what gets me here every year: overindulgence. Lack of balance. I consistently ignore the YOLO sign down the dark and dreary path and embrace the Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow I die. So, because of the stubborn three, this Thanksgiving, I'm going in with battle gear on. Can I keep some of it on for the rest of my life? Should I?

I used to think that weight control was an indulgence of youth, and I am disappointed, even shocked that it still matters in my middle age. It mattered to my grandmother in her eighties and my mother now in her seventies.

When will I learn?

A student sits down next to me with a whole box of fresh Krispy Kremes. "Mrs. Martinez, would you like a donut?"

"Thank you, but I've come to learn, if I sit next to a donut, I'll gain a pound; if I smell a donut, I'll gain two. If I eat a donut, I'll gain four! But thanks anyway."

The student nervously laughs and wonders if I'm grounded in truth or if I understand the laws of thermodynamics. Indeed I do!