Never Mind the Tooth Fairy…….Beware of the Midnight Buffalo.
I made my list of New Years resolutions, not under the influence of alcohol…I am not a drinker, rather under the influence of wishful thinking or even in a delusional moment mixed in with a few high hopes. Either way, I had gracefully jotted down my intentions and hung them with a sense of pride and optimism on the notice board in the kitchen. It was almost like I was looking to the stroke of midnight to completely change my weight, income, purchasing power and vacation opportunities for the coming year!
I had also made a plan “B”, the belt and braces thing, to cover all possibilities ensuring success. I had a note to myself saying “look twice in the mirror before you look once in the fridge” and pinned it to the refrigerator door. Wow what big changes were about to await me? What wonderful transformation would 2012 have in store? I was really excited and very optimistic.
I didn’t manage to stay up to see in the actual New Year. Maybe that in itself is where this began to fall apart. I hadn’t planned to be up at midnight anyway, being high in the ranks of the world’s biggest party poopers; I have only ever really made it to midnight on New Years Eve when I have been working. My past life was in food service or the Hospitality Industry……if you want to take it up a notch…everything from chef to Director…still the goal was the same. It was mandatory to be in an upright position with your eyes wide open….however glazed (through alcohol or exhaustion) at the end of every function. The challenge then would be to get rid of all the drunken bodies and party folks in the nicest and quickest possible way while still maintaining that hostess smile. “Have a safe trip home” (please leave) “hope that you had a great time” (go home …now) “pleases come back and see us again” (but leave it for at least a few days before you do).
Since opting out of that groove after some twenty seven years, I am to be found in bed, before ten pm most evenings, weekends and times of celebration…that includes my own.
So, I awoke New Years day to the realization that writing down my wish list and placing it in a prominent place….really was not going to cut it. Unfortunately, success takes a little more personal involvement. As for looking in the mirror before glancing in the fridge, that wasn’t going to do it for me either. Even I can’t face myself in that state at that time of the day……especially before I eat! So, I dug deep into the fridge without a sideways glance in the mirror, reaching in to get my hands on the really wholesome and hearty breakfast items that are loved by my husband and daughter, who, whatever folks may try and have you believe, feel loved in every sense of the word when presented with crisp bacon, French toast, sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar that has a hint of cinnamon. That and a pot of steaming freshly ground coffee sets the stage for a good morning in our house on any weekend.
So, where does that leave me? Well, I am sure my husband would appreciate me being slimmer. I am sure that he would like to see me in something a little sexier now and again. While serving breakfast? Maybe not. That would not be a pretty sight. If I did that now he would either think had done something wrong or had gone completely nuts. He doesn’t appear to be overly concerned about what I wear in the mornings. Would he trade his hearty breakfast for half a bagel and some smoked salmon, just to see me in a negligee and a smile? Hell no.
He never seems fussed that I have pulled on some old jogging bottoms and an inherited over sized sweatshirt to wear first thing. Though he does draw the line when I wander over to my neighbours to check on them…still sporting the “someone slept on my head” hair do” Oh well. That is the joy of living in a rural setting. (Like I was any different when I lived elsewhere).
So, while the bacon cooks I cross out half of the new years list on the notice board, what remains now seems more attainable. I know Oprah tells me that I have to make a contract with myself and never waiver but she didn’t see the first list, and for sure she would have advised me not to set my sights too high in the first place.
What happened to the days of yesteryear when I would gain a few pounds and at the mention of an upcoming event or a new date, or the build up to vacation time I would just cut back, hold my breath and watch the pounds disappear? In my head, I am still that girl. In my thoughts, I am still thinking the same, in reality I am taking on more and more of my mothers shape by the day!
As my husband and daughter savour their breakfast, I play with my porridge and two lonely diced figs. There is no justice here. I talk to myself about being back in my size 8 jeans and still being able to tuck my sweater in the waistband. My little voice tells me it is just a matter of willpower. Do I want this chocolate in my hand or on my hips…whoever wrote that daft quote obviously doesn’t understand the power and calming effects of good chocolate…. I tell myself that I really need to address this stuff head on…no playing …get real. I can make this happen for me. Just focus on the task in hand and the world will be my oyster.
Treadmill hurts my knees if I do it too often for too long…I know you think I am looking for excuses now. Well, I am not. I just bought some new bras and I have got to a size where unless I flatten the offending breast with my hand… I can’t see my feet! Not while I am in an upright position anyway … the cups look big enough to sleep a new born baby in them…not good for my health or morale. My daughter is tall and slender and she continuously asks me if I think breasts skip a generation. I wouldn’t burden any one with these. Funny though that when you look at the photo advertising a 32A bra, the picture always shows some voluptuous female with large breasts, however in reality, when you are looking for something that minimizes in a 38, the photo is that of a rather flat chested individual…almost like my original wish list…unrealistic. Whatever the advertising would have me believe, one look in the mirror is when the harshness of my image bites hard and treadmill or no treadmill, this has to be the time to act.
I am a swimmer by passion. Maybe not a good one but it is something that comes naturally to me and that I find so much fun. When we arrived here some eighteen months ago, I was happily swimming a mile a day with no worries. For some reason I let go of that and hadn’t visited the pool since. The snow on the ground and a chill in the air is hardly an incentive to get back in the pool; but, if a size eight has any hopes on becoming my norm, the snow can’t stand in the way.
On my first visit I took reinforcements, worried that I would get there and then chicken out, I took my daughter and her pal. They played about while I did ten laps. I was surprised how easily I got back into the groove after feeling so negative about everything. The following day I squeezed an hour out of my work day and swam eighteen laps. I got out knowing I had done enough for the day but feeling tomorrow could be better, and it was. By the end of my first week, I was up to a mile. Not in the twenty eight minutes I used to do but a little under forty. My seventh day swim I did just over a mile and then came home and did forty minutes on the treadmill, not because I had to, just because I could. I was so up myself imagining how I was going to be my new self before I knew it. This is the stuff you read in the weight loss books …I am that success story.
I lay down to sleep that night feeling so full of myself. I dreamt of days gone by and of time to come when I would be sylph like and a bundle of glowing energy. I was going to be radiating vitality, a picture of health and a new me.
Sadly, when you are forty seven the tooth fairy no longer comes to visit, taking away your spent teeth and leaving you a gift of a gold pound coin. Instead the aftermath of overdoing your exercise comes in the shape of a herd of silent midnight buffalo and whatever your dreams and however quietly they approach, you will wake up knowing that they trampled you.
That is how I felt at the end of week one. I had gained a pound and had met up with the midnight buffalo.
My exercise book says that if you do this correctly after the first week you will feel sore but proud.
I am half way there. I think it is going to take me a little longer than planned!
Copyright Suzan Von Hor 2012