you are only coming through in waves (weight goal #3)

My schedule lately has dictated slightly later swims than I'd prefer. I love the serenity that comes from knowing that I am solely responsible for any and all of the waves in the pool, and I admit I find it a little funny to see the changing of the lifeguards knowing the only life they are guarding is mine.

Despite being the same people, the nine a.m. - ten a.m. guards are different than the noontime guards. Winter weekday mid-mornings discourage casual swimmers, and the only people likely to be seen jumping in the water are the regulars. Regularity brings chatter: they are the ones that come in every day, who know that Sam's wife just had a baby (and named her Megan Elizabeth) and that Tall Brian (as opposed to Dark Short Brian) is planning a road trip to Florida in a couple of weeks.

By eleven, the guards are all business again, eagle-eyeing the horde of lunch-hour swimmers who are frantically counting laps before driving back to work. They don't talk, because they don't have time. There are actual swimmers to guard.

But around ten, it's just me in the water, with Brian and Nina switching off with whoever doesn't have classes that day. I'm obnoxiously overprotected, and frankly, they're bored.

I kinda like it that way. It's hard to drown unnoticed when you're the only person in the water.

Still, forty minutes into my swim, I wasn't entirely certain of what my underwater ears were hearing. If I'm the only person in the water, and the guard has the radio turned up loud (as two of them in particular are wont to do), I can sometimes make out what song is being played, despite the wavering distortion of the water.

I finished my last lap and let my muscles rest by floating on my back, using just my fingertips to hold on to the edge of the pool.

I knew the lifeguard was sure I couldn't hear him when I realized he was singing along with Pink Floyd. Loudly. Very loudly. His voice came to me, distorted through the water, and it was funny enough that it was all I could do not to burst into random laughter while floating.

* * * * *

I reached a major goal today: thirty pounds down. As is the normal nature of weight loss, this was not surprising or unexpected. I'd been watching my weight creep slowly downward over the past four days and knew I would hit the goal, probably before Saturday. I knew it would happen, but I didn't know which day.

Thirty pounds gone. Before starting to lose weight myself I never understood how bloody difficult it is to make such a statement reality; how the pounds don't just vanish at the wave of a wand. They like where they are. It's warm and cozy, and the only way they're coming off is if you pry them off in tiny increments.

I took a long, long break in the middle of the year, and so it's been a long time since I've celebrated a major weight goal. The archive of weighty issues entries says I haven't hit a weight goal since June 17.

After I finished my elliptical workout, I walked to the weights section of the gym and picked up thirty pounds' worth of weights. They were heavy. Heavier than I expected. I cradled them in my arms and smiled a sweaty smile down on them, trying to imagine what it was like to carry those every moment of every day as part of me…because I did, for a long time, and they have come off so gradually that I do not mark their departure.

This weight goal marks what may well be the halfway point for this process of weight loss. 160 pounds will put me at a quite athletic 25% body fat. I've promised myself that I will take a step back and re-evaluate myself critically when I reach 170 pounds, in the hopes of determining if I think I can continue to lose weight past that point or if I should smile graciously, cry quits, and move on with my life.

170 is 28 pounds away.

For now, I've ordered my traditional ten-pounds-gone celebration: the next book in Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series.


Congratulations! Go you!

Even though you reached your last weight goal in June, just watching your progress, knowing that you consistently work out and eat carefully has been very inspirational. Way to go! You deserve so much more than a wee little book.:)

Oh, but the Sandman series are such GOOD books! I just wish I could get them a little closer together, is all. The celebratory ice cream was ... yum. Phish Food, how I love thee... Now if I could just get a shampoo to completely remove the chlorine gunk from my hair. Come to think of it, I just need a haircut, period...