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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Or What's a Heaven For?

Robert Browning wrote the poem "Andrea del Sarto" in the voice of an elderly, tired artist talking to his young, adulterous wife. While the tone is tired, wistful, and resigned, the work gave the world two extraordinary phrases: "Less is More" and "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" Both seem pertinent today.

You may realize I've been silent on the weight loss issue lately. (The subject has been addressed on other blogs for April 17, 2003; May 12, 2003; July 11, 2003; July 25, 2003; October 8, 2003, in New Years Resolutions for 2002 and 2004 -- 2003 is skipped for not doing the resolutions, not for excluding the weight issue -- and in retrospect remembering my long-ago 40th birthday.) If you know me, you know when I'm not talking about it, I'm backsliding, and that's what I've done. I lost from April 2003 to February just at thirty pounds net (gross was a great deal more, with the adding and subtracting.) I did not reach the goal of 235 by the 30th anniversary cruise, and I was honest and didn't buy the camera. I came back from the cruise sick, and between not feeling well, having blown the pattern, and having a series of medical exams, I totally lost the trend and gained back the whole bunch. I've lamented the loss of the loss for a few months, but it's time to take action. And I have.

Friday I joined the Metabolic Research Center (MRC) program. I spent the weekend flubbing through their preparatory period instructions then started in earnest on Monday. As of yesterday when I stopped back by, I had lost 7 pounds. Yes, I'm pleased. I just wish I was covering new ground and not that I tread over 16 months ago. This time, though, I will succeed. They told me my goal weight of 140 is probably too low. I imagine I could deal with weighing 10 to 20 pounds more than that. They say you can lose on average 3 to 5 pounds a week. That would be delightful. It might mean I get the camera for the next trip, one planned in November. Actually, the old one is in bad enough shape I probably will anyway, substituting something else for the prize when I reach 225. What will I do when I reach the goal weight, though? Wow! The possibilities are endless. Getting a really slick dress for the July 23, 2005, wedding of course is part of it. I cut out pictures of Mother of the Bride/Groom dresses and pasted my head on them to make a wallpaper for my computer. The results were amazing. The pictures predicted I would not only lose the weight and become slender but that I also would grow about 9 inches in height! I cut out a couple more pictures that were closer to 5'3" and stuck them on to make it more realistic. We'll certainly get there if I behave on this program, and behave I will. The initial commitment is 17 weeks, and that will take me through the November trip (Brussels, Bruges, and Amsterdam) and into a couple of weeks of getting back to business. Then I'll commit for the next 17 weeks, and by then I might have it down to whatever weight. Okay, okay, as I said before, "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"

Of course you now are thinking about the other quotation I mentioned to start, that being "Less is more." Amen. Okay. What do you think I should do when I reach the goal weight? I've got some things I want to get along the way, like the camera and a PDA with a keyboard. But the end goal has to be special. Once upon a time, I was going to go on a genealogical research trip to Devonshire, England, with Mike compliant and letting me do the stuff I want to do while he sits around looking at people, or without him. Maybe that will still be the goal, but it was a great deal more wonderful sounding when I'd never used a passport. What would be wonderful enough now? Comments and suggestions are welcome. More or less. Less is more.

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