Puppy poop

It’s hard to fault a day in which a kitty shares her lunch chipmunk. Even a day when the air is like wet bread. Puppy and I walked 2.5 20-minute miles this morning. For her, that’s not even stretching her paws. For me, it’s faster than lightning, and I was soaked at the end of those 50 panting minutes. Then I tackled the wisteria and some other garden issues for two hours.

This is the final push: 4 weeks and 2 days until My White Knight and I walk into my h.s. classmate Barb’s house to stay for 3 nights. I want to lose 6 pounds in these 4 weeks+. Yesterday I told livestrong.com I want to lose 1.5 pounds per week (instead of 1) and upped my daily exercise to 2 hours. (Meanwhile, My White Knight will lose that much, damn his eyes, by giving up his second cookie on his second work break.)

The problem isn’t the two hours — it’s doing anything else afterward, not to mention house/crate-breaking said puppy. We haven’t had a puppy in 14 years or so and I’m remembering why. If dogs are good at being dogs, puppies are absolute geniuses at being puppies with puppy teeth and puppy poop!

I’m either going to eat from the garden or eat 300-calorie frozen suppers until August. I’m going to eat Italian ices instead of ice cream at night, and I’m going to sleep. (This is not difficult after 3 hours of exercise and walking a puppy about 20 times.)

I am proud of myself for not falling face-forward onto the groaning board on July Fourth, for having just a bite of the fresh peach pound cake and half a chocolate chip cookie while savoring a piece of Hungry Girl’s Banana Split Pie (under 200 calories).

You can enjoy a holiday meal without eating so much you want to throw up. Put down your fork between bites, drink a lot of water and talk to others. Ask them questions because you’re interested in people besides yourself. By the time you and your friends  move to the deck to watch 7 different municipal fireworks displays on the horizon, you’ll be able to pack up those  second helpings as leftovers for the next several days.

Haven’t had a pig-out since April 17 and reading Holy Hunger. Two months of saying to myself, “Really? Why, exactly, do you need that?” is some sort of record for me, and it feels really good. And all this exercise, combined with a good chiropractor, means — I just noticed this — that my joints feel better which, in turn, means I’m inclined to move more. And — this is odd — my hips and waist feel smaller when I move.

Jane Brody’s column on joint replacement in Tuesday’s New York Times says when we walk, we burden each knee with 1.5 times our body weight. That means with every step I take , I slam each knee with 275 pounds. And if I run (!), I can multiply that by 7 or 8, which means around a ton of avoirdupois on each of those old knees. No wonder they hurt after I run!

For a woman who’s spent her life in search of instant gratification, this has been a long, strange trip — two years in October — that should last for the rest of my life. If you’d told me in October 2010 that it would take me this long to lose 42 pounds (seems so trifling in light of “Biggest Loser” and “Extreme Makeover — Weight Loss Edition”), would I have cheerfully skipped down the yellow brick road of gradual fitness? I doubt it. Would I have believed you if you’d told me it would take this long to feel this much better? Yes, and then I’d have eaten a pound of salted nuts!

So it’s kind of a glorious accident that I’ve lasted on the (relatively) straight and narrow. In church we call it grace. Another word for a blessing I did nothing to deserve. Just like the puppy who’ll need at least 18 months to calm the heck down!

To use the vernacular, Black Pearl is both “a hot Southern mess” and “wide open all the time.”

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