How shallow am I?

This morning, the Higgs Boson discovery was confirmed by additional data analysis. Pope Francis picked up his own bags at his hotel on the way back to the Vatican last night. Another eighteen people were blown up in Iraq for no particular reason. And what am I concerned about?

I just saw 137 pounds on the scale for the first time ever.

Having spent much of my adult life as a size 5, I find this horrifying but not a surprise, given the following facts.

1. Last year, our golden retriever Leo died and walking a dachshund takes about 30 seconds; plus: we recently moved to a house with one staircase instead of three and the yard is so big, I use a lawn tractor instead of a push mower. These changes have eliminated the last little bits of natural exercise I had in my day.

2. Having entered the Totally Obsessed phase of writing, all other activities have fallen away. I write until I’m so blitzed, I just slump on the recliner and push buttons on the TV remote.

3. I’ve eased off on hormone replacement therapy because two doctors were nagging me about that, and now there’s nothing but my normal little old lady metabolism left. Which sucks.

4. Don and I recently discovered that we like a drink before dinner. So we’ve both added a bunch of calories a day, but we don’t drink enough to not care that we’ve put on 10 pounds.

So. Here’s the plan. I am going to make a last-ditch effort to get a grip on things before I have to declare that I am officially Letting Myself Go. For the past few months, I’ve been posting my word count for the day on the Mary Doria Russell Facebook Page. This evening, I will start posting the number of minutes I do on the (dusty but operational) elliptical machine upstairs. I’ve never been one for consistent exercise, but I’ve never enlisted the power of public shame before.

I’m totally out of shape, so I’m going to start slow. Two minutes twice a day is four minutes more than I did yesterday.

Oh, and margaritas are out. Even the “skinny” ones. Really. I’m serious.



9 thoughts on “How shallow am I?”

  1. Good Luck Mary! Wish you were still down the street…I would go for a walk with you after dinner (once the weather changes!)

  2. Mary,
    I had the same exerience – moving up into a “decade” on the scale where you’ve never been before – horrors! I joined a gym, and I can tell you – the ellipital will work! I do it every day for 30 minutes, plus the treadmill for the same amount of time, and I have gone down to where I hadn’t been since before I had two kids. TCM helps out with diverting me, and I’m seeing lots of great old movies I had never seen before, so good things all around. Good luck with your program!

  3. Maybe you could get another big dog that takes longer to walk? Good luck with the elliptical though. It’s a struggle.

  4. How about walking? I’m trying it here in Austin, during SXSW. Some clubs and bookstores are close enough for healthy mile-in-one- direction hikes. And Austin has become a motorized nightmare, the locals insist. So I feel sane and vurtuous at the same time.

  5. We are not so alone. It’s good to know we all struggle with our shallow heart’s desires versus the “bigger picture” and greater good of mankind.

    I have never read your books (I bought one for my father–he declared it “the cat’s pajamas”). While researching your other books (again for my father), I happened upon your blog. Your writing is engaging. Right now I have to escape to the car or the park for a good read, so it’s slow going! But soon, spring will be here, the kids will be in sports and extracurriculars again, and I can settle in and give your books my attention.

    Thank you for your gifts of narrative. My father is a tough critic. You must be pretty special!

  6. I am going to “use” you for inspiration, Mary! I was on my treadmill for a couple of weeks, getting back into the habit of exercising, and then some “things” came up and I have slacked off – again! (I keep using the excuse that “Ellen” is on repeats, and she is my distraction while I”m working out!)
    I see you mention moving. I recently sent something to you by mail at the last address I have for you. I am assuming you got it, since it has not gotten back to me? It wasn’t anything important, just something that let you know we’re out there, trying to push your books! 🙂
    As for Sarah’s comments above – I hope she DOES get to your books! You certainly ARE something special!!! We all await your next masterpiece!!!
    God bless you and good luck with your exercise program!

  7. Mary, as a longtime fan of your writing, and an even longer fan (i.e., lifelong) of exercise, I say: GO!! With you in spirit. Nothing like a public proclamation to motivate!

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