November 1, 2006
Begin anywhere. John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.
— Bruce Mau, graphic designer
from An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth
The “III” in the title is a reference to the fact that this is the third post I’ve written today, and the third time I have used the same epigraph. In an intense flurry of productivity, I have updated Markings, the general section of this site, and Always Books In Your Room, Margaret, the reading and writing talk section. Why not go for the hat trick today?
My last post here was nearly four months ago. I was headed into my August gallivanting, a month when I typically live out of a suitcase, eat what’s available or provided for me, and stay fairly active but exercise in a formal way only sporadically. I was ready to quit the whole process. But then I came across postings by longtime weight loss journalers that expressed resolve to try this one more time, and I said, I can too.
I didn’t. I didn’t do the best I could, but neither I didn’t completely fall apart. I weigh the same today as I did on July 11 (as a friend at Weight Watchers used to say, we already have the Maintenance phase licked!). I still read others’ weight loss chronicles from time to time. Athena had some privacy issues and took her journal to password protection, so I can’t read that anymore, but Erin and Shauna and the gang at Pair Up, Pare Down are still posting..
When my membership to Weight Watchers ended in August I didn’t renew because the meetings just weren’t valuable for me and the effort it took to get there, weigh in, and leave seemed a waste both of the time and the money. I started putting the $40 a month fee into my Gallivanting Fund. I read Betsy Lerner’s Food and Loathing, which I thought was going to be a humorous look at weight loss and body image but turned out to be a frightening chronicle of a bout with depression unto suicide attempt. That left me reluctant to write chirpy posts about how much I miss Carr’s Wheatolo crackers, mysteriously absent from the supermarket for more than a year now.
Erin’s post today says a lot about what I believe about Weight Watchers. The food plan is sound and it works, but the constant need to calculate points and be aware of everything you’re consuming and balancing activity against consumption are wearying. Although the meetings are valuable for many people, they’re boring and predictable to some, especially people like me who have heard the same messages over and over again.
Erin’s not giving up, and neither am I. But, like Erin, I am trying to come to terms with what it means to adopt more healthful eating habits without necessarily losing a lot of weight and being able to transform my body into something it never actually was. Erin wanted to lose fifteen pounds before the holidays, and now says she’ll be happy with eight.
A few weeks ago I bought pants at Coldwater Creek that are made of woven, not knit, material and close with a zipper and button waistband. It is the first garment without elastic that I have bought in many years. I’m attending a wedding on December 30. I’d like to write 50,000 words of fiction and post somewhere on this site every day.
And I’d like to wear to that wedding a dress like the one pictured below. Something in me still wants a little red dress.