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So it’s been awhile since I’ve gotten any regular exercise. This is unfortunate on any number of levels. For starters, I know if I could make myself do it it would probably help alleviate some of my stress, and might even help with my depression. It would also hasten my weight loss goals….

A note on that last part. Last May, I finally decided to get rid of some of that baby weight that had been frustrating me (my daughter will be two this August). Since I already know it works, it was a no-brainer to go back to Weight Watchers. It’s the sanest, easiest way I know to lose weight. What had worked in the past worked once again, and by November I was down 35 pounds. But then a whole bunch of things happened at once. First, the Holiday Season kicked in. More important, though, my 16 year-old dog died that same month. He was my first baby, and while I certainly knew it was coming, his loss hit me hard.

I’d been struggling against the constant depression that comes hand in hand with our financial situation, and Thurston’s death pushed me over the edge. At that point, I didn’t care what my body looked like, or counting points, or making continuing progress. I only knew that I hurt, and in the moment, a cookie (or six) would make it better. There were a lot of moments. Our financial situation got even worse, and it became difficult to focus on anything else. Then all of a sudden, I started having horrible pain in my hip and leg… pain so bad it was hard to walk without limping. That was in December. I saw a doctor and was given heavy-duty pain reliever and anti-inflammatories, and was eventually sent for x-rays. It turned out I had arthritis in my spine. That was kind of a mind fuck, to be honest. I’m only in my early 40’s… arthritis hadn’t really been on my radar. It had arrived, though, and in a big way. I was suddenly struggling with chronic pain. My leg would feel as if it had fallen asleep from mid-calf down, and then I’d get shocked with awful, shooting pain, as if someone had shoved a piece of metal into my bone. I was sent to physical therapy, which over time has improved almost all of my symptoms. I know the problem hasn’t technically gone away, as arthritis doesn’t really vanish, but I am incredibly grateful to have experienced such a dramatic improvement.

So here we are at the beginning of summer, and I’ve definitely fallen off the Weight Watchers wagon. There has been some backsliding… my clothes still fit, which is to say they still go on. Things that were comfortable in November are now snug, and there are some clothes I just choose not to wear. Just because you can get the pants buttoned doesn’t mean you should be wearing them in public, you know? I’m hoping some of you do.

So here I am, and I’m thinking about walking, because it’s the one form of exercise that has helped me in the past. True, I haven’t gotten off my growing butt and done it yet, but experience has taught me that if I write about it, I’ll usually do it. That started a long time ago when I was losing weight for a cruise, then again while I was keeping my Myspace blog. Also, if/when I can manage to make myself walk regularly, it encourages me to keep my food in check. No one wants to undo their hard work, right? Harder to eat those cookies if you just walked for over an hour to make your jeans fit better. Here’s hoping.

Of course there are new challenges now. When Avery was a baby, she would fall asleep in the stroller when I walked. Later, though, she started to complain about being stuck, loudly. The path I walk is a straight line, and she’d usually start freaking out about the halfway point, when there was nothing I could do but grit my teeth and walk the almost two miles home through her screams. Not fun, and definitely not a stress reliever. This was before she could walk, too. There’s no telling how much drama will ensue if I try to stick her in a stroller and she doesn’t feel like being there. Ugh. I need to try, though. I actually talked to other moms and suggested trying to walk in groups. Maybe it will work… time will tell. It’s sometimes difficult to get schedules to mesh. At least I’m trying. You heard it here first.

P.S. Chris isn’t working again tomorrow, which sucks. Instead he’ll be heading to his parents’ to do some work there, and then possibly to another relative’s place, too. Trying to pick up the slack wherever possible. There’s just so much slack, you know?