Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hello? (tap, tap, tap) Is This Thing On?

Wow, I feel like a slug. It's been about half a lifetime since I posted anything here. And it wasn't that I was not eating anything but more that I was swamped with end-of-semester garbage and family stuff that needed to take a higher priority.

But the semester is almost done (classes end formally next Friday, and my last mandatory day to be on campus is Tuesday, May 15.)

I will be teaching some classes in June and again a short session in August, but none of those classes have any of the paperwork associated with my "normal" classes, so I will have much more time to post my mental wanderings and new recipes. And I WILL have a bunch new recipes over the next month or so, because my hike of the Mountain-Bay Trail begins in about 10 days. I will try to update the blog from the trail, with pictures of the food I will eat and a brief synopsis of the day's events. Be forewarned that the food I will be eating while hiking will not be as nicely plated and garnished as my usual pictures. This will be true one-pan-cooking, focusing on high caloric values with minimum carry weight. It will be interesting. I don't want to tell you about the meals yet (I can't ruin all the surprises!)

To prepare for the hike, I have been wearing my backpack, loaded with books and weight so that the load is 45 pounds, everytime we walk the dog. That helped me customize the fit and get used to the change in my center of gravity. The first time I walked with it, it was a little rough but subsequent walks has been much easier. This week, on one of my off days I will walk 14 mile trail that is near my home. My goal is to walk the length and return in less than 9.5 hours. That pace (approximately 3 mph) and that duration will guarantee that I will be able to hike long enough to make it to the various campgrounds sparsely scattered near the trail.

Why am I doing this hike? (Sometimes I don't really have an answer to that question.) I think I am doing to to prove something to myself, that I can do something that is so far outside my normal comfort zone and essentially foreign to my nature. I am doing it as a way of rebooting my mind after this very hectic year (school was not a lot of fun this year.)

And I am doing it to prove (mostly to myself) that my new physical nature is real and not imaginary. About a week ago, I took the profile picture that is here (some of the people on LoseIt were telling me that they were tried of seeing my look grimly at them.) Yesterday, I opened up LoseIt and was surprised when my profile pic popped up, because I wasn't sure who that was. I still am only just beginning to realize the changes that I have made. I still look in the mirror and do a double-take at the image looking back at me. I spent most of my nearly 49 years on this planet wearing clothes that were husky (as a child) or found in the big-and-tall department (as an adult--and NOT because I was tall!) This is first time I have ever worked my butt off to get to a healthy size, and I am still getting used to it.

To anyone out there who is making a journey toward greater health like I am, enjoy your successes, and work to correct any weeks that were challenging. Revel in the fact that your clothes fit looser than before. Hopefully you have some nice thrift shops near you to help replace your wardrobe without breaking your finances. Marvel at the fact that you are walking further than ever before and believing you need to walk a little more to get that "just exercised" feel in your muscles.

And find new goals as you reach your current goals. Even when you achieve a goal weight, don't stop setting goals. Find something new on which to focus your energies. I have been at (or under) my goal weight for more than 15 weeks, but it is only because I have new goals that I can make that maintenance claim. And I will continue to stay at my goal. I have worked hard to achieve this--I will not slacken and return to my old ways.

Now, because I have heard through the grapevine that people miss my recipes, I will post some food pictures (and the recipes, of course!)

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