planning: hold on loosely, but don’t let go

Week 1: always the hardest, in whatever new thing you’re doing. For us, more than once we have struck up a conversation about what we miss and what we can’t wait to eat or do again once this restart is over (lets just say that Bar La Grassa and Burch have come up more than once). At the same time we are trying to focus on what we want/like/enjoy (not what we don’t want, don’t like and don’t enjoy; good ol’ law of attraction stuff). It was out of one of these conversations that we were able to talk about the thing that we think is the key and the lock and the door—the whole dang shabang—of our success.

*You’ve got to make a plan and stick to it! 

On making a plan:  I will be the first to admit that I am swayed happily and easily with the weather patterns of life. I love a dramatic shift in plans (more than I should); the more dramatic the better actually. I am the one you want by your side in a crisis. I had to learn these skills early on in life. And though I didn’t choose this path, its what I’ve got and I really want to wield my powers for good.

Ratchet—from my vantage point—doesn’t share this trait. She is a list maker, a Taurus, strong and convicted, a planner and project manager. She is organized and things in her life have a place and reason for being there. In our marriage she and I have taught each other so much. This key to our success is something that comes to her naturally, and perhaps is obvious to most of you. For me, its revolutionary.

There are a lot of tools out there for making plans. Some do notebooks and food journals, for some myfitnesspal is a lifesaver. I won’t bore you with my opinion who has the right option or idea. I will simply share what works for us here. Like anything else, take it or leave it.

*unless you can’t

So day 1 for us this week. The weather and traffic coming home from work was a serious shit-show. Yes, we planned to go to circuit class at 6:15 Monday night, but the weather, two emergency vehicles, a 3 car spinout and some dumb neighbors crushed that dream. I was so damn crabby I could hardly be around me. I wanted to give up less than a day into the plan and order pizza, watch the West Wing and start over. But, we didn’t. I picked up Ratchet, we went to the damn gym with the rest of the post-resolution population of Minneapolis and ran. No, it wasn’t class as I had hoped, but it was something more than nothing.

Days 3 and 4 each had their fair share of surprises and whooops-a-daisey moments too. But we made this plan, and when a curveball was thrown, we just swung again. We kept swinging. And it wasn’t pretty. We both almost passed out at the new gym class on Wednesday, but we learned that next week we’ve got to up our carbs to be able to make that not happen again. You’ve got to just live and then learn, really learn.

Or better said, you’ve got to hold on–loosely. But don’t let go.


fear and possibility

photoRachel, late morning, a cup of coffee, a circuit class, 20 oz of water and some oat bran into the day

“A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us.”   Friedrich Nietzsche

Wake up, eyes dart open: panic. This is not something new; not for me anyway. Oh, its not constant or chronic, and I am certainly not complaining about it. I am very aware of my first world problems thankyouverymuch. However, the feeling & ruminating still totally suck. The feeling/questions/storyline: what if …?

What if all this work I have done doesn’t stick? What happens if I can’t get rid of my grandma flab arms? What if I forget all that I have learned, gain the weight back and have to start all over again? What if I get sick of chicken? What then? Honest to sweet baby Jesus, this is what has come over me lately.

I think I have reached the point of in this journey that fear has taken root, and I have to find a way to shake that bitch loose. So if you will indulge me, I think I am going to try and answer some of my own questions of “what if?”, maybe you’ve got some answers too?

So, what if all this work I’ve done doesn’t stick? What then? Well, what I can know for certain is that I will still be loved. My partner loved me as a smoker, and now as a non-smoker. Obese and now just clinically overweight. In sickness and in health is what she signed on for, and no matter what, I know she will love me. If this doesn’t stick, she will. I am loved.

What if I can’t get rid of my flabby arms? My grandmother Luella was a strong, beautiful woman. Her parents were both dead by the time she was 15. She raised her younger brother, then married an alcoholic. She raised two kids pretty much on her own. Later in life, her husband died, her daughter disowned her, her grand-kids got busy, and she lost her mind. She had her fair share of shit handed to her. She had flabby arms, and they smelled like BO. I loved her arms. She squeal with delight when seeing me, she’d hug me for all she was worth and the skin that hung beneath her limbs seemed to slap and cover all my sad parts. I have her arms. Suddenly, if I don’t lose them, maybe its not so bad.

What if I forget all that I have learned …? I have a shit-for-memory. I forget stuff all the time. To try and aid this issue I’ve tried apps, asked friends for best practices, bought pretty moleskine notebooks, and plain ol’ legal pads and all sorts of other tricks that are “guaranteed” to work. I have not been a pot smoker, and still I have the brain of one, or of someone who has undergone serious head trauma. This fear of forgetting, its real.  I have never been the person I am now, and this person is so new, so underpracticed in this new lifestyle, I am afraid I will forget, slip into my lowest common denominator, and go back to being a depressed couch potato who will get off my ass and sweat tomorrow, after a good nights sleep, when its not so hot/cold/perfect outside. Sheesh, sorry, I really thought I could turn myself around on all these questions, but apparently that isn’t entirely true. Also what is not entirely true is my fear of getting sick of chicken. (Damn I love me some chicken.)

BUT, and mine is currently still a big but(t), if I fail, if I somehow fall off this wagon, I know one thing to be true: I can get back up and do it again. It is possible. And because it is possible, today I will dwell in this possibility. Fear, back off, be gone you crazy-ass bitch, I’ve got some work to do. Lord have mercy, let it be so, amen.