Saturday, July 2, 2011

The End? Not a chance!


I’ve long been a fan of irony. Years ago I wrote an article about a competition sponsored by a local television company. I opened by disclosing that TV-viewing across BC had dropped as almost 800 people worked on their screenplays in the evening instead of turning on the tube.

“Don’t you think that’s kind of ironic?” the editor asked when I handed in the story. “Since the contest is being run by a TV station?”

Well yeah. I love it!

When I began this experiment, I wanted to lose weight without deprivation, to eat and drink whatever I pleased. Then I wanted to keep the weight off without thinking about it, eating and drinking…that’s right, whatever I wanted.

I’m willing to exercise, heaven knows. With a history of full-blown osteoporosis by the time I reached 40, I’ve known for more than ten years that dumbbells and I will be going steady for the rest of my life if I want to avoid broken hips, bedrest, and boredom.

I’ve also experienced the ephemeral joys of an endorphin rush, triggered by strenuous exercise and hilltop views.

So me and exercise…we’re tight.

But back to deprivation. Not interested. Even now that I’ve lost 30 pounds and know exactly how good it feels to walk lightly up stairs, truffle comfortably to the park, and even keep Miss Jean in high(ish) gear all the way to the top of a hill.

Feeling great, healthy and strong haven’t sapped my desire for a day-polishing glass of red, a soul-satisfying dinner (as well as breakfast, lunch and snacks).

I still don’t want to give up anything. I want what I want. Period.

And the weirdest thing of all is that I get it. Since Week One, when I went cold turkey on potatoes and pasta, I haven’t missed them. I keep a loaf of bread in the freezer and I take out a slice or two, toast it, and smear on the peanut butter whenever I want.

What’s new is that usually I only want it once a week or so. Sometimes less. The same loaf has been in the freezer for two weeks now and it’s only half gone.

And seriously, I don’t feel deprived. I don’t have to talk myself out of having a sandwich.

So I’ve achieved my goal of eating and drinking whatever I want. The irony is that I no longer want the same things. I reach for a Bartlett pear to accompany my Emmenthal. I’d rather drizzle a heady, herb-infused olive oil over my salad instead of ranch. And trust me, nobody finds this more strange than I do.

I was explaining my feelings to Fodder the other night and he said he’d noticed the same thing. After a lifetime of loving peanut butter, he had climbed out of his dietary crackerbox and discovered how much he adores hummus.

We raised our wineglasses in a toast. To us.