Monday, December 27, 2004


Of all the quiet, subliminal signals I listen for, there is one that will not be ignored. When my back starts to hurt, I know I have been neglecting regular exercise. Sure enough, the biannual switch of workout routines—another obligatory ritual of life in Vermont—has not yet become routine for me. And yet, intellectually I know that daily workouts are important to my physical and mental health. It’s all under the heading of fooling myself into doing what I need to do. You see, I know what I need, but caught up in each day’s new wonders, I forget.

Today it is back to the Nordictrak, with frolicking puppies safely shut out of the room. Soon I have the fun of a sample gym membership to look forward to. I won it at the Rotary auction: 10 visits for $40—cool! Maybe I will lose myself in the usual January crowd, maybe I will Nordictrak for a few weeks and let the crowds abate. They always do, you know. Either way, I have set up the game so that one day if I feel the wish to go over there and play, there is nothing to stop my good intentions.

And it is back to the diet. Like many women, I am perpetually worrying about my diet, and I have a pretty good regimen: whole grains, protein, vegetables though never quite enough vegetables. I like to cook, and good kitchen organization keeps me pretty much on track. My diet got an overhaul two years ago when I started thinking of moving to Vermont, and at that time I dropped forty pounds, about half of what I attribute to my stressful New York City lifestyle. I flirt with diet off an on, even tried the gruesome Atkins, but headaches and dangerous mood swings sent me back to my customized routine. This time I’m traveling with Dr. Phil, maybe with a cocktail of the soy products that worked for me the first time.

There it is. Even though I am almost always on a diet, I don’t talk about it unless I am really serious. Nobody can make me serious about it until some confluence of circumstances makes me serious, but when I see those strands come together, I leap to catch them and braid them into a new safety net. Wish me luck on the high wire?

Meanwhile, back in my kitchen, there is not a single Christmas cookie to tempt me. At one point, I thought of making a traditional stollen, but I relied on my inner laziness, and the impulse passed. Who says procrastination is a bad thing?

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