Bits and Pieces

Chewing the Fat

When They Were Young




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Some times good ideas backfire…

I am in LA at my friend, Ilene’s house.  It’s really pretty here.  There are huge trees outside my bedroom window.  Every once in a while I can hear the whoosh of traffic, the spin of tires in the distance, of people racing off to work, but the sound of bird song is the predominate morning noise.  How happy these birds are.

The day before yesterday, I heard a few quivering brave chirps from the few, foolish, feathered-friends that miscalculated, and returned to Toronto amid the still frigid weather.  I worried for them.

Actually,...I’m worried for me!

When Ilene asked if I’d be interested in going on a short hiking holiday with her, I was all for it.  Why not? I thought. I like hiking, Ilene likes hiking, we done this kind of thing before. 

“Sure!” I said.  “Sounds like fun.” 

We both signed up.  And that’s when the information package arrived.


We only had 2 1/2 weeks before touchdown.  Not only that, but I had pulled a muscle in my back 1 1/2 months before and had used that as an excuse to abstain from all exercise of any kind.  AND my sister Becky and I were heading off to England to see Will’s play, meet his lovely girlfriend and have a week of fun and feasting on wonderful food! 

I convinced myself that all the eating and shopping my sister and I did and tromping up and down cobblestone streets would have to suffice. 

Halfway into my week-with-Becky, I received a two week (they call it friendly- reminder, but to me it felt more like a stern, disapproving warning, like they had long distance binoculars and could see that my sister and I had splurged on a tasting menu with wine pairings the night before.)  And according to this friendly reminder, I was now supposed to be upping my hiking from two to two and a half hours daily, stopping every 30 minutes to do 3 three minute sessions of jumping jacks.  I also was supposed to be doing copious amounts of crunches and push-up. Along with other things like cutting out meat, sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, alcohol, etc.

I read the email and started sweating.

“Becky,” I squeaked.  “You’ve got to help me!  I need to exercise!” 

She agreed.  She would join in.  It would be good for both of us.

We barely got through the 3 minutes of jumping jacks.  It was HARD!  We did the crunches.  That was hard too.  The big French feast we had just ingested was NOT amused! We did the ten deep silent breathes in.  That was nice.  Both of us managed that no problem.  We were invigorated. Determined.  “We’ll do this every day,” we said.

Um… we didn’t. 

We didn’t do it again actually.

We did have a lovely time in England though!

Flew home and a day later the One Week Warning arrived.  Now I was suppose to up my hiking to 3 hours a day and on my off day do 1 hour.  All bad habits and foods were supposed to have been eradicated. 

Um…Nope.  Nope to all of the above.

Ilene called all happy and healthy having just returned from a spin class.  Johnathan had seen her in New York and she had taken him to a Vegan restaurant. 

That scared the h_ll out of me.  I hopped on my cross trainer, and managed to get my exercise quotient up to a 1 1/2 hours, but that is a poor excuse for what they are expecting… And today is the day. 

In an hour and a half Ilene and I hop in her car and pay the piper.

I can’t believe I agreed to do this, that I paid good money to come.  I can’t believe I allowed the old childhood knee-jerk reaction of, “you aren’t the boss of me!” take over.  I mean, what am I?  Five years old?  I can’t believe I gained 3lbs in two and a half weeks of prep.  It’s like I was thrown back to that little hungry girl that I used to be, picking through my mother’s leftover chicken bones to get all the barely there scraps of meat that she’d didn’t know were nestled between the little, tiny rib bones.  The more I’d get those emails telling me what I couldn’t have, the hungrier I got.