Denny’s a long-time friend of ex-Larry, and they’d been on a “Sideways”-ish tour of the NY and Canada wine country over the weekend. Denny is also my friend, and the thing about friends when you get divorced, they either pick one side of the couple to side with or they throw their heads back and say, “I like you both. I’m not gonna choose or get in the middle.” Denny’s that friend.
When I walked into King’s, Denny was seated in a booth facing the entrance. When he saw me, he stood up, gave me a big hug, and said, “Hey, I was expecting that waif of a woman in a pink shirt! Your face is fuller. You look great!”
What I heard: “Damn, Lynn, you gained weight again!”
The last time Denny saw me I looked like this:
This is what I look like now:
My lowest weight was 125. I am now 145. Twenty pounds in two years. The gain has stopped, and I know why it happened (surgery, menopause, divorce, move, stress), but still…
I sometimes want to be that waif again.
At least I think I do.
1. When I gained 10 pounds last year after my knee surgery, my body felt better. I have severe osteoarthritis, and when my body-fat levels were low, I was in a lot of pain. I’ve not been in as much pain at 145. Hmmm….
2. I like my current food regimen and I don’t want to change or reduce amounts at this point. I eat healthy foods, I’m still a vegetarian, but I’m no longer a food Nazi. I police myself, don’t get me wrong, but I let a baguette or full-fat cream cheese or a piece of my daughter’s banana bread fall through the cracks sometimes. I confess: I’m human.
3. This gain has stopped (I’ve stayed the same weight for 3 months) and I’ve fell in love with exercise again. It was a rough summer. My brother’s seizures and my pending school schedule had my undies in such a bundle there was no way to detangle them. Now that things have settled down and I have a better understanding of what’s what, my exercise schedule and nutritional intake are front and center again.
I learned that in times of stress, that when I stay focused on my health, my principles will not fail me. In the last three months, I’ve made the best decisions I could and stayed conscious of everything I put in my mouth. My food plan – culled over the last six years – has become rote. And that is what I think is the key to success. When the diet you choose becomes second nature, and you allow for some latitude and yet reign yourself in when you go too far, you are there. You get it.
My body has a few more curves than before. I’m no longer a waif, and that sometimes makes me sad. But I feel better physically. I’m strong and I look…eh…well, I’m still working on that positive. I look OK. I fell in love with being skinny. Waifishly skinny. That’s a psychological thing I’m still working out.
Today I was driving down Route 28 on my way home from Claire’s taekwondo class. A man – who I’d guess was in his late 60s – driving a late model (1980s?) black Jaguar passed me, and he was wearing a safari hat like the Man in the Yellow Hat from the Curious George books. There was what looked like a book mark hanging from his rear view mirror. He was singing. I imagined the book markish thing was some kind of saying or verse that he liked that kept him grounded. I thought about what mantra I might hang on my rear view mirror, what words would remind me that I am OK here in this moment, at 145 pounds, happy to be alive and singing in my car.
I’m open to suggestions. What mantra do you live by? What words give you strength?