September 10, 2001
Defensive Lob


The news from the bathroom scale this morning wasn't good.

I've been engaged in a relentless game of *numerical ping-pong* with the same six stoopid pounds, ever since we came home from the honeymoon at the end of July. As of this morning, the six pounds are winning.

That's the bad news.

The good news is that I know precisely how -- and why -- this is happening: Because I've been eating more and exercising less. I mean, it's not exactly rocket science or anything.

More Food + Less Exercise = More Secra. although i would like to point out, in my own defense, that at THIS particular breakfast all i ordered was the low-fat/flavor-optional coffeecake and a glass of orange juice, whilst OTHER people at my table were eating OMELETTES ...

Week before last, it was out-of-town guests that threw us off our game. While Jaymi and Joel were visiting us, we forgot all about fat grams and bike-riding for five whole days. My little red Schwinn sat outside The Castle door, forlorn and forgotten (and sporting the flattest tire this side of "America's Scariest Police Chases").

"We'll ride again as soon as our guests go home," David and I reassured each other.

But then as soon as Jaymi and Joel went home to TicTac, David came down with one of those big, wet, gloppy, *If I Accidentally Hock A Loogy On You, Honey, It's Only Because I Love You* upper respiratory nightmares he comes down with, two or three times a year. As a result, almost all strenuous physical activity around The Castle has come to a screeching halt. The only real exercise I got last week was the staircase at work -- four flights twice a day: my new regimen -- plus walking to Sears on my lunch hour. And yes, I realize that I probably could have fixed my own flat tire and gone out riding alone after work, while David crawled into bed and quietly recuperated ... but I didn't. I opted instead to hang out with him at home, spoon-feeding him Robitussin and milk-toast, and putting hot mustard poultices on his chest, and singing him the traditional Celtic folk songs my grandmother used to sing to me when I was sick. *

* shut up! i did SO!

"We'll go riding again as soon as you're well," we reassured each other.

That was eight days ago.

and no, *i* didn't puncture the tire on purpose

The result? I'm losing the ping-pong game this week. And my Size 14 was pinchier around the waist, today, than I am comfy with.

The other good news, though, is that I'm not freaking out about this. Mind you, I'm not happy: I like it lots better when the little numbers on the bathroom scale are going down instead of up. I've grown quite dependent on the rush I get from weighing myself in the mornings ... not to mention watching those cheekbones emerge for the first time since Camp Firwood. But I'm not obsessing. I know that this is temporary. I know that all it's going to take, to turn things around again, is to get back on The Eating Plan, and to regain our motivation and our discipline, and to rein in our desire for deluxe bacon-avocado cheeseburgers and those little garlicky curly fries drowning in Ranch dressing ...

... and to put some AIR in my front tire.

I'm so confident that we'll be back on the right track soon, in fact, that I'm already lining up my goals -- and my rewards -- for the next twenty pounds or so. I think it's very important that I always have an identifiable goal in sight, especially when I'm trying to lose weight. After all, the goal of NOT looking like a Frigidaire Side-By-Side in my wedding dress was what enabled me to lose those first twentysomething pounds to begin with. These are some of the goals/rewards that will hopefully motivate me through the rest of it:

  • One pound: At the very first indication that the numbers are sliding back down again ... I'm going to reward myself with a lunch-hour walk to Sears! (And no, I'm not even going to LOOK at sweater-sets. I'm going to buy myself a decent pair of bike-riding socks.)

  • Three pounds: One *Elevator-Only* Day per week.

  • Four pounds: A one-year subscription to yet another junky pop-culture rag. I'm thinking "Us," maybe. Or "Them." Or "Us" AND "Them."

  • Six and three-quarters pounds: A really obnoxious fluorescent-yellow windbreaker, preferably with a similarly obnoxious logo printed on the back (like "Hagfish Rocks Your Lame Ass" or "Hello Kitty!" or "") Then I'm going to buy a matching one for David, so we can be twinsies.

  • Eight pounds: Groovy new bike seat ... the kind that's ribbed for *her* pleasure.

  • Eleven pounds: A "real" breakfast in the mornings again. Slim-Fast will be relegated to a once-a-day/lunchtime-only thing.

  • Thirteen pounds: Boots! I've decided that this is the year I'm going to realize the Angela Cartwright/*Lost in Space* fantasies of Little Secra's childhood ... and buy some BOOTS! The bigger/blacker/shinier, the better!

  • Fifteen pounds: A double order of tiramisu at Linguine's on Park Street. (I'll have to be airlifted home afterwards, but it'll be so worth it.)

  • Fifteen and a half pounds: Have my engagement and wedding rings resized. Again. For real this time.

  • Eighteen pounds: A semi-radical new 'do. I'll either cut my hair short, or else maybe dye it an interesting color. Or both. And yes, I realize that this is the female equivalent of the midlife-crisis-Corvette ... but I don't care. I'll have some honest-to-god facial structure by that point. I'm damn well going to show it off. (Although I'll probably chicken out at the last minute and just buy a baseball cap or something.)

  • Twenty pounds: Post a photo of myself -- wearing nothing but Spandex and a smile -- on

I imagine that it's going to take me at least a year to hit the bottom of the goals/rewards list -- and that the bathroom scale and I are going to continue our little ping-pong game until then -- but that's OK. I'm fine with that.

As long as I get in the occasional defensive lob, now and then.

one year ago: thish ish grmph

throw a rock