Betty J. Slade
Call it a diet, eating right or just getting healthy; however you label it, it is that time of year. Neither habits nor pounds on the scale have changed since my son moved to Pagosa. His version of family dinner wouldn't be complete without ample heavy cream and butter.
I have decided that this will be the year to lose the weight. I will have to get tough on myself, but I'm resolved. No more jumping on a diet on Jan. 1, only to slip back to cookies and cakes by Jan. 15.
I read in Proverbs, "Consider carefully what is set before you, if you are given to appetite, it is like putting a knife to your throat." Well, I fit the bill. But, can it be that drastic? Yes, it can be. I am only a few days in and I already feel like my throat has been cut.
I as jolted into reality on Jan. 1. Day one of my diet was accompanied by frozen water pipes, a dead car battery and a daughter stuck in a ditch.
Fortunately, I have lived here long enough to work through the mountain-living hiccups while trying to stay focused on my diet.
Famous last words: "No matter what freezes, dies or sticks, I'm going to drop these extra pounds."
Recently, while filing through some old Artist's Lane articles, I found one titles, "A cookie is a quick fix - eat it and you have nothing!" The article was based on a fortune cookie and difficult winter moments in Pagosa.
I wrote the "quick fix" article after receiving a call from my daughter. She said that she had read a Chinese proverb in a fortune cookie that said, "Hungry is the man whose salvation is in a cookie."
I asked my Sweet Al what he thought the fortune meant. He said, "If your salvation is in a cookie and you eat it, you will have nothing to fill that need when you are hungry again."
I realized he was right as I stood in my kitchen on day two of my diet. While eyeing a package of cookies on the counter, I had to ask myself. "Can I live without that cookie? What will happen if I eat one, but don't have a second one?"
The cookie and winter article I wrote many years ago was just as insightful then as it is today. Below-freezing winters are all part of what makes beautiful Pagosa our home. When we reminisce, we have some great stories to tell, maybe even a new outlook or revelation about something as simple as a cookie.
Our family is better for having to tighten up our belts and suck it up to get through another winter. In the end, we have received something far greater than a cookie: understanding, substance.
Long is the saying, "One on the lips, forever on the hips." There is probably even truth to that when you personalize it. It is not the one cookie that puts pounds on the hips, but number two, then three and four. If we put our salvation in a cookie, we will never know anything but hunger. Clearly, what we want and what we need are two different things.
I visited our daughter in California several years ago. I was determined then to lose weight, and did. Our daughter had a great plan. I just needed to follow it. I lost the weight when I determined to push through. Then the pounds were back on over a short period of time. Apparently, I hadn't learned how to keep my focus off the cookies.
Final brushstroke: Here we are again, another winter, another diet and new hopes for a new year. May I stay determined to keep my eye off the cookie and on the goal of living healthier. After all, "Hungry is the man whose salvation is in a cookie." I already know how that cookie crumbles.
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