Happy Birthday to me

Today I am 56.  I tell you this because I use it as a baseline to measure how much one can change one’s life in a year.

The years 2009 and 2010 were a challenge for me.  My job and my home life were not-so-good.  And I was none too pleased with my physical body.  So during the early part of 2010 when it was getting really ugly, here I refer to my life not my figure, I thought about how I would change things if I could.  The first thing I needed to do was live alone.  My situation was unhealthy and it was getting harder and harder for me to maintain a positive outlook.  And my job was so bad that I didn’t want to get up in the morning and go to work and when the workday ended, I didn’t want to come home.  I also felt that a change had to be made in my eating and drinking habits.  I knew I couldn’t diet if I drank wine because every night about three sips into my second glass, I recommitted to embracing my fat.

So in August of 2010, I became officially single.  That was the first of the big steps.  Then I started considering the best way to clean up my physical act.  Since I felt I wanted to make a big commitment, a measurable landmark in my life and I needed to prepare, I started playing with the idea of turning over a new leaf on my 55th birthday on December 1.  Then in November, my boss decided to resolve my employment situation by firing me.  All the more reason to reconsider my eating and drinking habits because now I had the time and opportunity to be very much worse or very much better.

So December 1 came.  I stopped drinking alcohol and I thought about what I ate and I lost 17 pounds in two months.  I got a new job in January.  Then I gained 5 pounds back.  I sat there until the beginning of June and then went to Weight Watchers.

So now it is one year later and I have lost 40 pounds.  That thought really hit home as I lugged the 20 pound turkey into my kitchen last week.  I lost TWO 20 pounds turkeys worth of weight! That sucker was heavy!  I feel great physically and mentally.  Weight loss is very difficult and succeeding and lightening the physical load helps to lighten the mental/emotional load too.  At work two weeks ago when were rearranging our office space, I found myself running down the aisle pushing the wheeled moving boxes making vrrrrroooom vrrrrroooom noises.  The really odd/great thing about this is the running.  I have not run for at least 5 years.  I really couldn’t; I was too big.  When that thought struck me like the proverbial ton of bricks, I became teary-eyed.  I feel great.  I have always been a happy person, but I can honestly say I have never been in a better emotional place.

I am changing my life.  I am enjoying changing my life.  For now, I love living with my dog and no one else.  I love seeing and feeling the changes in my body.

I get up in the morning and I get ready to go to work to a job I like.  If I had my way, I would never work another day in my life, but I do not.  So I go to work.  But if I have to go, I am definitely going where I want.

I read every day.  I work on my writing almost every day.  I do exactly what I feel like doing.  Once in a while, someone tries to tell me what to do and I ignore them.  This blog has made me very happy.  Most peoples’ reactions have been encouraging and complimentary, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all again.  I am very proud of what I have written here.  It is very liberating to put it all out there.

I love my condo.  It is my favorite place I have ever lived.

I cook sometimes.  I enjoy that a lot.  Since I’ve been watching my calorie intake, my cooking has tapered off quite a bit.  I eat a lot of salads and cereal and fruit and whole wheat pasta and vegetables.  But every now and then, I have something naughty.  Almost every Saturday night I have ice cream.  I am trying very hard to eat right.  Good most of the time, bad only a little.  One time I read an interview with Elizabeth Taylor and she was asked how she kept her figure.  She said she was on a diet 6 days a week but on Saturday night she had pot roast and potatoes and gravy and dessert.  On Saturday around here, I have Ben and Jerry.  Every now and then I take on a big cooking project.  I made Thanksgiving dinner for my family.  Fried dough pizza and Peanut Butter cake for my friends Friday and Saturday.  It’s getting cold outside so soon I’ll be making soups and stews.  Love soups and stews.

I have a new goal.  I want to lose 88 pounds – I’m almost half way there!  I believe I can do it too.  I have a final weight in mind.  A number I liked a lot a few years back and when I get there, I’ll tell you all where I started.

My life is more than half over.  Very much more.  I want to live out the rest of my days in peace and happiness.  I want to travel and read and write and hang with my family and friends.  I want to go to Maine in the summer.  I want to go to Florida in the winter.  I want to save some money and go to Paris again.  My favorite place.  I want to be with a man who deserves and returns the passion and commitment I bring to my romantic relationships, to be in love again.  And stay that way.

And I want to do a cartwheel.  I used to do them all the time.  Need to lose a few more pounds.  Maybe by spring when the grass comes up green.

Wish me luck.  And Happy Birthday.


12 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to me

  1. LOVE IT, LOVE IT< LOVE IT!!!!!!!
    Happy Birthday to my dear friend. Hope you sped it doing exactly what you want to do!!!

    Love you Susan Bunn!!!!

  2. Susan…reconnected with you a little more than a year ago. You are truly a wonderful person and dear friend. We grow and learn something every day. You are learning so very much and I do love you. Happiest of birthdays. Love, Sally

  3. Our dearest Susan ~ I’m so proud of you and the the journey that you’ve chosen. Many others talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. May your enlightened spirit follow you not just for another year, but clear new paths for a lifetime of joys and wonder. You have so much of yourself to share and I’m proud to call you my friend. Happy Birthday sweetie!

  4. Happy Birthday dear friend. You asked me a long time ago how come we didn’t hang out in high school — how had we missed one another when as 56 year olds – we are a great friend match! I don’t know the answer to that. But I do thank my lucky stars every day that you are in my life now and I relish you humor, your humanity and your honor. Happiest of birthdays dear Susan. mwah!

  5. Happy Birthday. Je n’ai jamais pleinement reconnu que tu es plus intelligent que moi, mais tu es vraiment plus fort. Sans doute. I wish I could go to Paris with you and not drink wine.

    • Ahhhh mon petit chou. You can go and not drink wine. When I go again, I’m not drinking any. And thank you. I think I’d go anywhere with you and your big brain. I’ll pack Bartlett’s in case we can’t sleep. And have exhausted all other avenues. I crack me up. OXO.

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