As of today, I have lost 40 pounds.
That’s a scary thing to share. Losing weight is like quitting smoking. It can take a lot of setbacks to reach the finish line. And I don’t have a finish line. I have no intention of being skinny or a certain body fat percentage. I just like the curves that I’m starting to see. I’m thrilled with what I’ve accomplished. I feel stronger and more confident than I ever have. But frankly, I attribute a lot of these feelings to my age. The Fuck-It Forties has commenced. All aboard!
On the medical side, I am grateful to a doctor who thought to do a series of blood tests. As it turns out, my thyroid is crap. It’s possible that it’s always been crap. And hypothyroidism, I’ve learned, isn’t solved entirely by taking a pill. So the rest of my success has been all on me. I’ve read a shiteload of books and made some painful modifications (painful = no sugar, dairy, gluten, soy, fun, alcohol, laughter, etc. 98% of the time). And the thyroid meds have given me an energy I never had before, which helps me get out of bed (so I wasn’t just lazy; it was a legitimate issue).
So that’s me, up in the early morning twilight, wearing reflective gear, listening to terrifically mind-numbing romance novels, and pounding the pavement around my little town every day. Since May, I’ve experienced the smell of lilacs turn to roses, and now to apples, as I push myself up hills. And I’ve watched awkward baby turkeys grow to become awkward adolescent turkeys and fawns lose their spots from week to week.
That’s also me just learning to kayak out on the sweet little river behind my mill. And it’s me who thought, after a three-mile walk this morning, that a quiet paddle out to the bay was the right thing to do. The tide table said low tide would hit in 90 minutes. I figured that was plenty of time to get my hiney out of the river and into the bay.
I was incredibly impressed, however, when I got soooo close to the mouth of the bay and felt my paddle hit sand. Huh? Then the same on the other side. I looked over the side and saw that I was in about four inches of water.
Like a bug on its back, I flailed around a bit, trying to find deeper water. Then I said screw it and got out and started walking my kayak toward the bay, a few yards away. How bad could that be, right? Hahahahahhaha. It was fucking awful. The water was up to my ankles. But my ankles quickly sank into a foot of mud. And I almost lost my shoes (no joke–I vainly puuuuuulled on my shoes in the deep mud and thought about how I was going to die right there, up to my neck in mud but holding one gross Keen in the air).
I had managed to beach myself in a mud flat.
So I did what any self-respecting nut job 40-year-old woman in a losing situation would do: I ate some dark chocolate-covered almonds and took a nap.
Eventually, I opened my eyes and saw that the water had risen and I had drifted. I was free! See–why stress about this stuff? So out to the bay I went, enjoying the early morning sun and the freedom that comes with propelling oneself around in the open water. I’m not a good kayaker, and my kayak is a slightly shameful inflatable beast (but I can fold it up and put it in a box at the end of the day a la George Jetson, so who’s laughing now?). But this is just one more thing I’m tackling as I feel stronger, physically and mentally.
This summer has been incredible for me in a personal way. And even though it’s 86 degrees outside, the leaves are starting to change and the nights are cooler. I think many of us are nervous about the change of season this year, last winter being so scarring. But I’ll just soak up every last drop of this while it’s here. May we all not sweat the tides, and yet have the strength to reach out for what we deserve.