54 161.5 0

54 years old, 161.5 lbs, zero prescription medications.

I didn’t have a say in the first and the last two seem impossible compared to a year ago.

(On the other hand, I didn’t expect to get derailed in ways that I hadn’t anticipated, either; this is probably a common human circumstance. We’re so busy watching the sidewalk for hazards that the falling anvil goes unnoticed. I failed on a personal level more than once in the last year, ridiculously so. And without therapy, I might have not only derailed my life but done so in the widest possible ravine.)

I still don’t take credit for the second, the weight loss, either. I knew on that day in October that I wasn’t going to be fat anymore. I think that idea of it has taken on a life of its own though, one not entirely anchored to reality. When I think back to it, I didn’t feel the ‘snap,’ but it echoed in me. And still does. The more I explain it to people now, the more they squint at me a bit – unless they’ve experienced something similar.

Although I wasn’t trying to lose more weight, I got on the scale after noticing my belt was wonky again. I weighed in at 161.5. In January, I wrote about the idea of reaching 160 lbs just once. It’s not sustainable, especially as I start doing pushups or anything that builds mass.

One of my favorite people asked if 160, or 155 would be ‘enough.’ I answered easily: “Yes.” 160 isn’t sustainable for me, not really. She was worried I might succumb to the idea that no amount of weight loss would be enough. Addressing that, I do admit that I got on the scale again this afternoon to weigh. And it just didn’t seem right – or even possible that I weigh 161.5. That’s about 90 lbs lighter than my heaviest. What balances my head out about all this is that I also know that I will never be fat again. That kind of confidence can be dangerous.

…which leads me to my next stupid fear. The more on track I stay in regard to eating better and staying the right weight, the more likely it feels like the other shoe might drop. Any of us at any moment can have a seemingly random event derail us. It’s one of the bitterest parts of life. All of us know people who’ve done everything right and still find themselves dealing with crazy health events, ones often impossible to see approaching.

Note: I am not saying I did everything right, not by a long shot.

Thanks to Blue Dress Project, I’ve also been doing push-ups. Although I have to be very careful due to my back and shoulder, it’s been interesting trying to incorporate them into my daily routine, whether in groups at the end of my work shift, or each time I go to the bathroom. (Which sounds misleading, I will admit.) It will be interesting to see whether such additional strength training will add weight. Or kill me. Haha.

Yes, I do know that muscle mass burns more calories. I’m just not sure I want to do pushups for the rest of my life. On the other hand, it seems a great percentage of adulthood is having to do things that we’d rather not. Or we’re doing it wrong, the adulthood thing, I mean.

Because Time Is Short II

“Because time is short” is a phrase that came to me in a song in a dream, one so dense and imaginative that I woke up still hearing the lyrics almost humming in my throat.


I’ve found myself to be using it as a preface in many conversations, especially when I find myself cutting across the normal social conventions that we politely adhere to instead of just stating our truth.

Now that I’ve found that I’m not quite as sane as I previously believed, it helps me to telegraph that I’m not just speaking tritely. Our days are stuffed with enough of that already.


A couple of times, it might have alarmed the other person, as if taken that way, it adds an ominous tone to the message.


Because time is always short; if not for me, then for thee.
*One of my favorite quotes, from “No Country For Old Men”“All the time you spend trying to get back what’s been took from you there’s more going out the door. After a while, you just try and get a tourniquet on it.”

Because Time Is Short

Minutes before, I endured a needlessly hateful experience at the retail level. I’d done my diligence and arrived with everything from the company itself to keep the process simple and without hitches. I should’ve known that would have disturbed the gods of Inner Peace & Tranquility. In response to being treated terribly, I gave my creative side permission to unleash a little hell on them. It was gloriously fun. I’ll write about it some other time. I admit that while I engaged in frivolous tomfoolery to repay their savagery, I was disappointed a bit at humanity in general, as if the rest of us were responsible for whatever that behavior was.

Proposed rule: “The greater your belief that you have dotted every ‘i’ and covered every base, the greater the likelihood that hell will rain down upon your head no matter what. And triply so if retail is involved or the word ‘service’ is literally in the job title of the person causing you grief.” I know the spirit of this is already contained in several Murphy’s Law. Nonetheless…

I ate lunch somewhere other than Mr. Taco Loco. (I wanted a lot of pico de gallo.) When asked for my order, I said, “Anything on special. Even cow hooves.” (Because I had no plans to eat it, anyway.) Two women were already seated closely nearby, to my right. Though I wasn’t eavesdropping, I could hear every word they said.

Something about the way they talked hinted at things that weren’t being said. I can’t put my finger on it – nor does it matter. I felt my mood flip to being grateful and for those in my life who could see past my stupidity and issues. It was Divine.

I told the waitress to bring me their check and asked her to say nothing to the two women. I spoke in Spanish, of course. The two women had carefully avoided speaking too loudly when they saw my little mountain of pico de gallo. I don’t know what they made of me. I ate quickly, too.

I paid for all three meals, tip included, and walked back to their table, placing one of my infamous index cards at the end of their table. “I included tip, too,” I said. I pirouetted quickly and marched quickly away from there before a torrent of thank-yous could envelop me. Near the front door sat a table full of construction workers. They looked up at me as I marched. The women behind me were excitedly commenting. I’m assuming the difference in pitch and enthusiasm, combined with me blazing across the floor after a dramatic pirouette confused the construction workers. I half-expected one of them to jump and prevent me from exiting. I laughed loudly and unexpectedly as I walked outside.

Behind me, as I left, I knew I’d surprised a couple of strangers. And that they had something to think about. All of us were a little more buoyant.

No matter who you are, take a moment and think about that sudden overwhelming flip of emotion I experienced at lunch, the one preceded by needless hatefulness and followed by sublime happiness. I hope you’re lucky enough to have people in your life for whom you can do the same.

A Day’s Work

Today, I climbed a tree and sat in it, probably higher than I should have. While I was there, I attached a surprise to one of the branches. Below, people ambled by, unaware that a middle-aged man observed them from above, half-laughing at the absurdity of it. Since losing weight, I’ve climbed several trees. When I climbed down, I wrote a message on a pink index card and propped it against a brick sign. A man walked over, curious. “That’s nice,” he said, as he read the card. In a lemon moment of overconfidence, I hugged him, and he laughed. I briefly told him that I put such cards all over. I also pointed a few feet away, to a rock that had a previous day’s message written on it. He laughed again. “Interesting. I never thought of that.” As he waved and walked away, I said, “You won’t be billed for the hug.”

PS Yesterday, I took a pristine new piece of thick chalk and wandered around, writing messages on the pavement. Some were cryptic, some were specific. A pair of women noted that I was writing. I watched them walk in an arc to read my musings. For my last one, I wrote, “Who is the guy in the green jacket following you?” I walked quickly away and turned once I was out of their line of sight. As they reached the last chalk message, they both immediately turned to scan the path behind them. No green jacket-clad man in sight, of course. And then they laughed. I wonder what they made of it.

A Second Of Your Time

Someone smart asked me in all seriousness, “If life is so short, why do you persist in doing so many things you don’t like? Is it that you don’t like life or that you don’t like yourself? You’re losing a little bit of both each time you do it.” Of course, I pithily answered back and received this barb: “An occasional compromise is totally normal, of course, because so much of life is doing exactly that, but why would you let another person frequently put you in the position of using the finite minutes you’ve been given doing things you don’t like to do.? That’s not their issue – it is yours. And the longer you wait to learn how to get out of this sort of thing is more of your life flying past. It’s gone forever.”