Friday, June 27, 2014


I blame David Sedaris. His recent post about his Fitbit, combined with the recent start of my determination to be healthier as I age, catapulted me into purchasing my own Fitbit. The box arrived yesterday just as I was leaving for work. I didn't have time to go back to my computer and set up my account, but I still strapped that puppy on, just to get used to wearing it.

This morning, when I took my walk, I was dismayed to find that I had walked less than a mile and logged only a little over 1500 steps. The goal is 10,000 steps per day. With the summer heat here in Arizona, this is going to take some thought. I can't just pace within the confines of my small home. I know because I tried. No, I'm going to have to walk further in the morning. And I'm going to have to ... no, I can't face it yet!

I'll think about it tomorrow.

Friday, June 20, 2014

ms. cat

For the last five years, I've been picturing a slightly older, much fitter version of myself. In my mind, I see her as trim and energetic. She has all natural (gray) hair, usually in a short but feminine cut. Her eyes are bright and full of life. She is warm and loving. I call her Ms. Cat. I've often thought about what I needed to do to become that woman. It is simple, really. Exercise and eat a healthier diet. Simple?

About six weeks ago, something clicked in me and I just decided to do it. I started walking most mornings and doing some beginner Yoga in the afternoons/evenings. I've dropped over 20 pounds. This morning, at the conclusion of my morning walk, I SPRINTED up four flights of stairs to my front door. What??? Who is this? Well, she resembles that woman in my imagination! I look more like Ms. Cat every day.

While I've been going through this process, I've noticed a very angry voice in my head. I'm going to call her Fatty McPhatty. She is in a constant struggle to try to assert herself over the will of Ms. Cat. On my twenty minute ride home from work, she calls out in a loud sing-song voice EVERY fast food establishment I pass. "BURGER KING!", she shouts and sends a few pictures of menu items through my brain. With each one I pass, she sounds more desperate. "ARBY'S", Fatty McPhatty sings out and sends me a visual of some curly fries. I keep driving. "TACO BELL", she shrieks, and I picture the perfect combination of items. As I drive past, Fatty lets out a mournful howl, "Nooooooo!!!"

This morning, as I walked the long way around the entire complex, Fatty McPhatty helpfully pointed out each shortcut that would get me back home without walking quite as far. "If you turn here," she would suggest, "you can skip the back part and get straight to your door." When I walked past the turn, she crossed her arms in front of her chest and slumped to the ground in a raging pout. I picked her up and carried her! Ms. Cat doesn't mind carrying a little extra weight when she's burning her way through something physical.

I wrote out an affirmation and taped it to my bathroom mirror. When I see it, it spurs me to do something good for myself, whether it is choosing nutritious meals or doing something physical. I chose it because it is the opposite of how I have ever thought of myself. Never once, in all my years, did I ever describe myself this way. But Ms. Cat knew better. (She is older and wiser than I am today.) My affirmation says:


It's interesting how powerful words can be. I'm actually starting to believe it! I suspect this process is different for every person who makes up their mind to change a bad habit. But any time I feel weak, I remind myself that I successfully quit smoking almost 30 years ago. If I can do that, I can do anything! Well, at least Ms. Cat can!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

cherry pie

Fate is a beast. The world seems to separate everyone into categories that, at first glance, reek of the stink of unfairness. Losers feel that everything goes wrong, no matter what they do. Champions feel that nothing can ever go wrong and even bad situations morph into wins for them. Losers wait for the other shoe to drop. Champions know that victory is just around the corner. Fate maintains a Mona Lisa smile and continues to direct traffic, often without paying careful attention, but usually managing to do the job with few operational errors.

But if you're a Loser, take heart. Because every now and then, Fate takes a break, perhaps to sample that cherry pie that's been cooling on the window sill. Fate is a sucker for cherry pie. And in that moment, when Fate is distracted, Losers can become Champions. But don't just wait for it to happen, passively accepting Fate's assignment of your category. No, go bake a cherry pie instead. For there is nothing quite as tempting as a cherry pie. Make sure you have a can of whipped cream standing by, just to make the temptation that much stronger. Can you control Fate? Maybe you can. It never hurts to try. And Champions always try.