Monday, August 6, 2012

On The Road Again

Saturday Morning Summer Scene in My Hometown
August 4, 2012

One week has passed since my birthday and I suppose it's time to remove the cards covering the table in our breakfast nook and move on.  Bill says I've milked it for all it's worth and I can no longer begin any sentence with, "but it's my birthday........!"  So even though there are still two more birthday celebration dinners on the calendar, I'll concede that one week is enough.  No problem, I'll just find something else to celebrate.

This week, it's going to be the gift of lifelong friendships.   Bright and early Monday morning, we are heading across the mountains into western North Carolina to meet some dear friends for a few days in a cabin along the river near Franklin.   These are friends we met in college, reunited when our spouses ended up in grad school together and have stayed close since.  These are the kinds of friends that you can go two hours without seeing or two years with seeing, but the moment you are together, it's as if you'd never been apart.  We've gone to the shelter of each other when life became unbearable.  We've cried together, laughed uncontrollably together, loved their two children into mature adulthood, buried parents together and plan for this friendship to grow old together.  We've talked non-stop and we've sat holding hands when no words were adequate only silence was appropriate. 

We have three days with no agenda except to sit on the wraparound porch, gaze at the river and enjoy the company of each other.   I can't wait.   I hope with all of my heart that every one of you has at least one or more friends about whom you could write similar words.  I pray you never take the value of that for granted.

I've navigated successfully through the week of birthday celebrations and even had an extra surprise thrown in yesterday when friends invited us to lunch after church.  These are friend whose company we truly enjoy and with two teens and busy work schedules, their time is limited.  But the teens were on a youth outing and the invitation came unexpectedly.   We spent longer than we probably should have sitting at Cafe 4 laughing and enjoying the time together.  

I say that I've navigated successfully and I have, but not without cost.   My weight is up a tiny bit.   I'm viewing it as a early maintenance learning experience.   I've made good choices in every instance, but I don't believe (you may correct me if your experience is different) one can eat in a restaurant setting as many times as I have over the last seven days and it have no consequences.  If nothing else, the sodium intake is going to be higher.   I suspect that's where this pound has come from.  I also fully expect it to be gone in a day or so.  

The most valuable victory I'm celebrating is the one which reminds me that this past week has not been about the food.   The food has been secondary.   With the exception of Sunday's surprise invitation, my food decisions were made by checking out menus prior and sticking with my plan once seated in the restaurant.   Being so unconcerned about the food has brought a whole new level of appreciation for other people sitting with me at the table and the joy found when friendship and love is the primary focus and what I am eating is relegated to its proper place.  

These feelings are so new for me.   But I will fight with every fiber of my being to stay in this place.   I worked hard to get here, but I will work even harder to stay here.  Should you think for one moment this has been simple or without pain, please read this post and the two written prior to it (they are linked in that post).  As I was writing today's words, I remembered writing those posts a LONG time ago, but wondered if I'd be able to find them.  Ironic, isn't it, that they were written EXACTLY two years ago and are probably the most open, honest, yet difficult posts I've written.  Note that at that point, I was only 16.5 pounds from goal.  As you now know, I gained 16 more before turning it around.

If you are struggling or feel as if your personal journey is hopeless, please don't give up.  The mental work is sometimes harder than the physical act of eating less and moving more.  It may LOOK like I've accomplished a significant weight loss AND a mental turnaround in eight short months, but I believe with all my heart it began two years ago. 

You will most likely not hear from me for several days as I plan to spend very little, if any, time online while we are with our friends.   Once back at home, I promise a full report of our trip and the cool things we do and see.   

Tell me a little about a friendship that is very special to you.


  1. I spent the weekend with friends, too, and it's very restorative. Enjoy your visit!

    There will always be pound. It will go away if you continue your plan. At least that's been my experience for the past few years. (And you know I eat at restaurants a LOT. :))

    (I just noticed your book list. I only recently discovered Mary Jane Clark's Piper Donovan mysteries, and I am hooked! The woman knows how to pull a reader forward!)

  2. I just finished my first week rebooting my efforts, so it's nice to be reminded I CAN pull myself back from the brink. :) Have a wonderful trip!

  3. Have a great trip.

    Thanks for the encouraging words. Those of us still battling to get to goal need to hear that. At least, I know I did. I love reading about how food is relegated to the proper place in your life. I want that for myself one day too.

  4. Happy belated birthday!! I think it's OK to celebrate all month!! So enjoy! Sounds like you will have a blast with your friends!!

    I have a friend, who, without even talking to me, knows when somethings up. She always has time to hear my woes and she is very encouraging!! We have gone through a lot together and it's nice to have someone to talk to!!

    Take care and stay focused!

  5. Three days of sitting on a porch with good conversation sounds heavenly. I suppose I just got back from my version of this with my BF (our sitting always involves some kind of handwork!)

    "The mental work is sometimes harder than the physical act of eating less and moving more. "--AMEN.

  6. Have a wonderful trip! You know, if you still have scheduled birthday events, then you can still call it birthday time!

  7. I check out menus online all the time too. I love it when they have calorie info available but after so many years I can "eye" a meal up and come within 20 calories most of the time. I order from the appetizer section or side dishes mostly because the meals are just way too large and hard to find meatless options anyway. I'm planning a "what I eat" post soon on my blog. Restaurants are hard when you're a vegetarian who is lactose intolerant. I just skip it as often as possible because I'm usually just disappointed...unless it's coffee and dessert, but even then it's hard to find dairy-free offerings. My bigger maintenance problem seems to be consistently getting the right amount of exercise to keep the pounds from creeping back on. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  8. I'd love to be going on your trip tomorrow. I'm going over there soon. I had an aunt who lived in Franklin. I was called to a church in Franklin fresh out of Lo. Sem. , but did not take it. I am from Cullowhee which is such a short distance from there. In fact Dillsboro is only about 9 miles from my house in Cullowhee. WCTU was my colege and my grandfather was instrumental in helping establish that school. Now it has grown all over the hillsides. They even have a medical school there now. At the foot of the hill to our house is a dorm named the NORTON dorm after my grandfather Norton. All the land around it was a corn field where I actually hoed corn and then went swimming in the creek that runs by the highway leading to the University. From that highway you can look up on the hill to your left and see our house, that my brother now owns. OH well, have fun!! I know you will. Love to you "two". Ruth Fuson

  9. Have a wonderful time with your friends, Sharon! Sitting on the porch watching the river flow by while talking with good friends sounds peaceful and lovely.

  10. Restaurant eating is not the best choice for those of us with food 'issues' but I really enjoy those meals that I do not have to prepare.

    Lifelong friendships are wonderful. Cherish them (as I know you do.)

  11. I love that you got that time with your friends. Friends are great. I value OUR friendship--yours and mine. I love that we've gotten to know each other through our blogs and ratified that friendship with in-person meetings.
    Sorry to hear about your eye infection. Hope it's gone by know and that you're up and about again.
    Thanks to Cammy for pointing out your book list. What a good idea. I may copy that idea. I love seeing what others are reading.