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The Body Department

I am finding myself increasingly fascinated with the biology of fitness, nutrition, and weight loss.

This reminds me of back when I was pregnant and eager to immerse myself in all things pregnancy. (I had a foot-high stack of pregnancy books on my night table. I lived and breathed pregnancy 24/7.)

Now that I have let go of the shame, guilt, and fear associated with being overweight, my natural curiosity has emerged and I find myself hungering for information to guide me through this new chapter in my life: my fitness journey.

Something major has shifted in my thinking and outlook -- and it feels great.

Another Happy Milestone

I just figured out something amazing this morning. (I am easily amazed these days, so I hope you'll bear with me.)

My treadmill measures distance in miles, not kilometres!

This means the 1.34 "distance" reading on my treadmill actually equals 2.1 km.

This is a big deal to me because, a year or two ago, I could not have walked this distance in any amount of time. I know this because I participated in a 2 km walk for one of my favourite charities and it left me feeling totally winded.

Now I can cover more than that distance -- and I can do so in 30 minutes, with a significant incline on my treadmill -- and think nothing of it.

Yes, I'm feeling pretty pumped.

In other happy news:

Wardrobe Malfunction

Apparently, I'm going to have to put a bit more thought into packing for a trip, now that I'm losing weight.

I can't simply assume that the clothes that I wore the last time I travelled on business are going to be suitable this time around.

I learned this lesson the hard way on Friday morning when I put on a pair of pinstriped dress pants I had packed for an out-of-town meeting.

They gaped so much around my waist and hips that they were dragging on the ground.

I ended up having to hike my pants up dozens of time while I was at the meeting. It was awkward, to say the least. So, after the meeting wrapped up, I spent the afternoon shopping for some clothes that actually fit. That's when I discovered that I have dropped three pant sizes over the past two months.

The scale may not be going down at a huge rate these days (I'm losing about a pound a week right now), but this is further evidence that the weight is coming off, particularly around my waist and hips.

I'm also feeling a lot "fitter." This past week, I managed to squeeze in five workouts: four on the treadmill plus a walk with my Dad. Working out has actually become something I enjoy and look forward to.

Losing a relatively small amount of weight (23 pounds as of last Monday's weigh-in) has made a huge difference in terms of how I feel, both inside and out.

Flying the Happy Skies

I experienced a major breakthrough this week -- one that had me so happy that I had to share my joy with a total stranger who, quite frankly, was a little freaked out by my exuberance. (Hey, it happens.)

To understand what happened and why this was a big deal for me, I have to take you back to this time last year.

I had been doing a lot of speaking across the country -- travel that necessitated hoping on and off quite a few airplanes.

During one of these trips, I discovered, to my horror, that I couldn't get the two halves of the seatbelt to meet across my belly.

I had heard about the dreaded seatbelt extender. But knowing that such a thing exists and having to actually ask the flight attendant to let you borrow one are two different matters entirely.

I felt like every single person on the airplane was staring at me when I was forced to make that request.

Now fast-forward to this week. I needed to take a flight to a journalism conference in Nashville. For days before my flight, I kept thinking about the seatbelt extender -- wondering if I would need one when I took my seat onboard the plane.

I need not have worried. The three inches I have lost off my hips since the beginning of the year made all the difference: I was able to snap the two halves of the seatbelt together.

I have to tell you: that click made a beautiful sound. 

I Told My Husband My Weight And The World Did Not End

I told my husband my weight this morning -- and the world did not end.

In the entire time we have been together (8 years of dating plus 26 1/2 years of marriage), I had never told him my weight.

This lovely man has been with me through thick and through thin(ner), and yet I have always carried this secret dread that, if I divulged the number on the scale, he would look at me; repeat the number, pack his bags, and be out the door in a flash.

Guess what? it didn't happen that way at all.

We were out for breakfast at our favourite local diner when the subject of my weight loss came up. He asked me how much weight I was planning to lose. I told him I was hoping to reach about 175 lbs. -- the weight I had been on our wedding day.

The moment the number exited my mouth, I realized the gig was up.

My weight was no longer a secret.

He simply had to add two and two together. Well, to be more precise, he simply had to add 175 lbs. (the weight I hope to achieve) to 111 lb (the amount I am trying to lose) to calculate my starting weight.

Then, if he subtracted how much weight I have lost to date (21 lbs.) he would know what I weigh right now.

I'm not sure he was even aware that any of this information was available to him (clearly there was a certain amount of paranoia at work on my part), but I figured I might as well put the numbers on the table so that dreaded number on the scale would no longer have the same control over me.

What happened next did not play out like the horror movie script in my head.

The world did not end.

My husband did not run screaming from the diner.

He simply told me what I have always known, but refused to believe (until now):

"Your weight has never mattered to me."

We continued on with our meal. And everything was good.

This marks the achievement of a major milestone for me.

One of my biggest fears no longer has hold of me by the throat.

What will I do with this heady new freedom -- the freedom to live my life without being in fear of being judged unlovable by the person I handed my heart to oh-so-many years ago?

It feels great to luxuriate in the possibilities and to feel calm and at peace with myself because I have allowed myself to accept the gift of unconditional love.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
— Lao Tzu