Win Fabulous Prizes!

Nearly 25 years ago, I was in this very same predicament. Well, except that I was half my age, and I lived alone, so I could eat or not eat as I saw fit. Every day I weighed and every day I walked to the train and took the train to work and walked from the station to my job.

In the fall of 1988, I went to Europe, where I was very sad, and I walked all over. I wasn’t hiking or doing anything energetic like that, just meandering along cobbled streets for hours at a time. The silver lining to being sad in Europe is that I had no appetite and came back to the states 20 pounds lighter.

Along that journey, I rewarded myself with little treats for every ten pounds I lost. I remember three of them: fire-engine red lipstick at ten pounds. A trip to LL Bean to buy a Panama hat at thirty pounds, and a Trek Mountain bike at a hundred pounds.

I’d made a schedule of fabulous prizes for this one too, although it sits forlornly in my notebook like a too-long Christmas wish list detailed from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. Still, let’s be optimistic, shall we?  I thought if maybe I spent some time thinking about these fantastic rewards, I might feel renewed in my eagerness to acquire them.

Prizes one and two already sit in my closet, with eight left to go. After this morning’s weigh in, Fabulous Prize number three (my beautiful IKEA full-length mirror) is just six pounds away. Just. Six. Pounds. How hard can that be? It’s been decades since I had a full-length mirror in my house; I dare say that may have something to do with how I got this way.

Prize four at Forty Pounds is a new leather show lead for dog shows. Five is a decent pair of sunglasses. Maybe Ray-bans; not Wayfarers, possibly Vagabonds.  I bought my husband a pair of Bolles one year for his birthday, and you know they are different from the ten-dollar drugstore variety.

To mark the more than halfway point, I’d like my friend Jill Wright to make me a necklace.  We were going to do this for my 50th birthday, but that horse has long left the barn, so why not celebrate being more than halfway to the goal with some fantastic creation to hang around my neck? This is a bracelet she did, but imagine a whole necklace of that. 

When I’ve lost seventy pounds, I’m going to take a flying lesson. This is one of the things that made me embark on this quest to begin with. If you get on a very small plane they weigh you. If you weigh too much you can’t go. Maybe I’ll be terrified, and kiss the ground when it’s over. Maybe I’ll be exhilarated and want to do it again. I have no idea, and that’s part of the attraction.

With eighty pounds shed, I’ll feel like climbing on the back of a horse again. It’s not that I can’t ride horses at my current size, it’s just that I’d feel so terribly self-conscious about it. My husband is just relieved that I don’t want to actually buy another horse– really an afternoon or two meandering down a bridle path would be fine. It would be lovely to revisit that part of my life, if just for an hour or two.

Prize number 9 is a pair of long boots. Winter after winter I’ve been slogging around in ankle boots. Or duck boots. Or rubber clogs. Though they make boots with extra wide calves, I don’t want to go there. When my calves are small enough again that I’m no longer tempted to call them cows, I’ll go shopping. I’m already quite fond of these.

The grand prize, the quarter century marker for having lost another hundred pounds? I’d like a little sail boat. A Beetle cat like this one would be perfect, but unless I win the lottery while losing weight, that’s probably out of my reach. But regular perusals of the Cleveland area Craigslist show many little sailboats to be had for about the same as a new bicycle. It doesn’t have to be fast– just easy to bring to lakes, easy to launch, easy to spend a day in far from the madding crowd. And far from the refrigerator.


Today’s target 76. Steps 6561. 

Breakfast: hard-boiled egg, yogurt with blueberries and granola Lunch: six wheat thins, each with a small square of brie (maybe an ounce total) half a cup of frozen yogurt. Iced coffee and a maple donut while out with my husband. Dinner was a cup of beef stroganoff, two cups of watermelon. 

More hoofing around the WSU campus, plus a stroll along the Stillwater river. 



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