On this Indulge Friday (the day I weigh in at work and then spend the rest of the day not worrying about what I eat), here is the bulk of an e-mail I sent in reply to my sweet friend who wants to hold my hand during my journey to health and fitness. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, and sections have been edited to protect me from others who might take offense at the reason I stopped sharing my breakfast! (I hope he’s not reading this):
“You’re so sweet to want to help [me]. It really is about a journey, and if we can’t help each other we might as well not be on the planet sucking up other people’s oxygen.
“One way for you to help is to keep asking me how I’m doing (hold my feet to the fire). I think I’m going to start blogging what I eat so I won’t be tempted to overdo, even on my Indulge Fridays. For instance, when the Biggest Loser weigh-ins [at work] started in March, I started going by McDonald’s on Fridays because I didn’t want to eat breakfast at home before weighing in. It started with two Sausage and Egg McMuffins (or whatever was 2 for $2.50 at the time – a marketing tool that makes people fat!). When I would do that before, I would give one McMuffin to ‘Joe,’ but eventually I stopped … sharing.
“I stopped sharing but didn’t stop ordering the 2 for $2.50, so I started eating both items, and about three weeks ago I started throwing half of the second one away. Today, I ate one and a half McMuffins and was full until lunchtime (not just satisfied, but full). This leads me to think my body is already adjusting to less food.
“I’ve tried a lot of the healthy foods and methods you use, but lately I have veered off the path toward convenience, and convenience will get you every time. This week I’ve been bringing a turkey sandwich from home, and that has helped me not overdo with fast foods or at restaurants.
“[As you observed,] I do think I’m more serious about it than most people – finally. I toyed with the idea of ‘going public’ for over a year. That’s when I had Bruce take my ‘before’ picture, but I have been too chicken to post it. I was at the same weight then as I was a month ago, but I look bigger in the pic because I was wearing stretch pants and a tank top. I can hide the weight pretty well most of the time.
“Anyway, maybe we can continue this conversation over the weekend. Feel free to post comments on my blog (even ones that challenge me to do better). One thing I’ve learned over the years is that I need good mentors to hold me accountable, and I’m now able to be open about my shortcomings (at least most of them).”
My friend had gingerly told me she wanted to help, but she had been rebuffed in the past (by someone else who originally said she wanted her help), and she was afraid to step on my toes. But, hey, I think my toes need stepping on – at least for a while – don’t you? Just be sure to wear your ballerina shoes and not your army boots.
My big victory today was that I broke through the 200-pound barrier for the first time in so long I can’t remember: I weighed in at 197.6!
(I guess I should have mentioned that exciting news at the beginning. As we would say in the journalism biz, I “buried the lead.”)
Thank you, my nameless friend, for boldly offering yourself as my fitness mentor. And thank you, my other friends, for reading along and being bold enough to take steps toward your own mental, physical and spiritual fitness.
Please post a comment letting me know what challenges you face in your journey to healthy living.