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After 19 weeks of the 20 lb struggle eating healthy is becoming a way of  life. So hooray for me! But I’m not all the way there quite yet.  I still have 4 lbs. to go.  I have been able to navigate through the dangerous waters of X-mas parties, family gatherings and going out with friends. I accomplished my goal for the week.  I held my own and didn’t let my eating get out of control.  I haven’t lost any weight this week, but then, I didn’t really expect to.  The good news is that I didn’t GAIN any.

With  X-mas safely behind me I now face the daunting challenge of New Year’s Eve! It’s going to be more difficult than you think.  Tomorrow I will be going to Orlando to meet my daughter, Amy, at Gaylord Palms Hotel. We will spend two nights in luxury in the hotel  and a full day at Disney’s Epcot where we look forward to dining at Chefs de France, a casual restaurant nestled under the Eiffel Tower in the France Pavilion. Yum!  I hope all the walking around the theme park will help us to work off the calories that will be comsumed there.

Then we will travel about 40 minutes northeast to stay with my daughter, Laura, and her family until January 3rd. If you are a regular reader of this blog you probably already know about Laura. She is a professional party planner who is somehow able to make every meal and occassion sparkle with creativity and deliciousness. No matter how much I try, the magic that she cooks up is just about impossible to resist.

Whenever I visit them, my grandchildren insist that I go on Wii Fit which is a Nintendo game that uses a balance board to calculate your weight and body mass index. The first time I used it about a year ago, I was shocked and dismayed to see that the game placed me smack in the middle of the “overweight” category, just below “obese.” The last time I visited them I showed vast improvement. I was still in the  “overweight” category, but only three pounds from “normal weight.”

If you think that weighing in at Weight Watchers is stressful, you should see me when I have to weigh in with Wii Fit. I usually try to weigh in as soon as I get there, before the effects of all the good cooking by Laura and Rick can be felt. Five days of temptation will clearly test my will-power. So I have a back-up plan, just in case.  Just like millions of others who want to start the New Year on the right foot, I plan to reinvigorate my diet and exercise regimes.

For everything there is a season.  There is a time to enjoy good food and family.  There is a time to get serious and get in shape. I intend to do both, just not at the same time.

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September Issue_Day 58 of the 20 lb struggle

How do you spend your free time? I have been spending a lot of my free time watching TV. Today I realized that on a typical day I see about 4 or 6 murders (CSI, Law & Order, NCIS, Monk, Mentalist, etc.) and hear 3 or 4 scenarios about how the world might end (Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, N. Korea, financial collapse, etc.). I ask you.  Do you think this is a healthy diet for my mind and soul?

I saw two movies this weekend.  Both really made me think about my life and the choices I have made and continue to make. The first movie, The September Issue, was a biopic about Anna Wintour, the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine. The second was, Whip It, starring Ellen Page, directed by Drew Barrymore. What these two movies had in common is that they were both about women who knew their own minds and went after what they wanted, even though that meant having to make difficult choices at times.

Anna Wintour commented in the movie that her successful siblings “are amused” by what she does. Ellen Page fights her parents’ control to Whip Itpursue her passion for roller-derby. Very different women, growing up in very different times. Wintour, at 59, grew up during the women’s movement of the 1960s and 1970s. A child of wealth and privilege, she had the resources to pursue her dreams. Page’s character, at 17, takes her right to make her own choices as a matter of course.

How are you choosing to spend your free time? Are you spending your time watching the entertainment equivalent of potato chips, junk food, and sugary soda pop by watching fictional murders, fake doctors curing make-believe illnesses, and wrestle mania? Or are you making healthier choices that will bring you closer to your dreams and help you to experience more fully who you really are?

It’s your choice. It’s my choice, too. Gatekeepers control what enters their world. They keep the harmful stuff out and let the good stuff in. I want to be an alert gatekeeper, keeping out unnecessary noise and distress, and letting in opportunities and possibilities for a healthier, better life.

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