Saturday, January 29, 2011

Of hope and hysteria

My first week on The Program opened my eyes to a new world of power. Mine.
Sure the guru had set up the eating plan, the core-strength exercises, and the cardio requirements. She’d organized the meeting room and the weekly schedule, distributed handouts, explained, reassured. But I’m the one who had persevered, resisted temptation (“It’s only for a week, it’s only for a week…”) and forced down breakfast every day for the first time in almost 50 years. I’m the one who never got hungry and if I got peckish as I prepped the next meal’s vegetables, I slugged back some water to hold me until the carrots were cooked.
We were scheduled to get weighed again during the second meeting and as I waited in line at the front of the middle-school classroom, I had a vague idea that losing two pounds a week would be reasonable. After all, I had been pretty active already, so that put most of the pressure for change on my diet, which admittedly had altered a great honkin’ deal. I mean, I’d eaten fruit. To counter that, I’d also eaten breakfast.
I told myself to trust that the guru knew what she was doing.
“Remember Elpis,” I chided myself silently.
So when I handed over my food journal for one day and stepped on the scale during the second meeting, I sort of expected a drop of a couple of pounds. Thirty-two ounces, almost one kilogram, 7,000 calories. Crikey!
That number – huge! enormous! – drove my expectation into retreat. Suddenly, wary hope was the best I could come up with.
The guru recorded the number on the scale and gently congratulated me. She showed me the data, and I was astounded.
I had lost five freaking pounds. That was one-third of my total goal for the eight weeks.
Maybe, I mused, I’d have to readjust my sights.
Stunned, I made my way back to my seat.
Maybe I could lose the whole thirty pounds in eight weeks! Hey, maybe I’d lose it in six weeks! Wow, that would be…
The pragmatic part of my brain kicked in.
Thirty pounds in six weeks – or even eight – was probably unrealistic and possibly even unhealthy, considering that I wasn’t morbidly obese to start with. I quickly shut down that hysterically optimistic voice.
As I dropped into my seat again, I glanced at Fodder to see whether he’d had good news. Or not.
“How’d you do?” I asked as quietly as possible, given the buzz of conversation bouncing off the linoleum and chalkboards.
His grey eyes were glowing – or was that glistening?
I waited fearfully, hopefully.
“I lost five pounds,” he said, sounding as stunned as I’d felt.
However, we barely had time to beam at each other before the guru began to pass out printed sheets headed “Week Two,” and she hit us with the news.


  1. And then I'm sure the new mantra was, “It’s only for a week, it’s only for a week…”

    WTG! I'm feeling inspired!

  2. That five pounds was an eye-opener, Lee, and it renewed my trust that between us, me and the guru could really make a difference in my BMI!

  3. Carrots are a girls best friend....those, with a chaser of water, and you are good to go! Congratulations! keep it up! Lisa

  4. Yeah, that water…and we know where it chases me, don't we?