When my husband headed back east in 2008, I almost instantly dropped 10 pounds. Even though I certainly missed him, I was not wasting away from that. Rather, I was occupying myself at the gym, and eating what I call “girl food.” I also took the liberty of eating my main meal, which was frequently meatless, at lunch, and snacking at our traditional dinner time. I dropped a pants size without noticing.

The lease on our place expired, and I moved The Kid and myself into a smaller, less expensive apartment within walking distance of the train I took to work, the library, a park, two grocery stores and a lively little downtown with restaurants and a movie theater. I walked virtually everywhere. (Not only was it painless exercise, I never had to worry about parking, which has to be a health benefit.) The weight stayed off. I never really “dieted,” just ate what I wanted when I wanted it. I am fortunate to prefer lots of fresh produce, low-fat dairy and whole grains and beans. (And salmon and spinach, which TMIM has very little use for.)

Even though I reverted to our joint habits when Dr. T and I  were together, the  weight stayed off. Restaurant meals, bacon, even Satan’s Crisps (you may know them as Utz potato chips) don’t have much effect if you only indulge a few days a month. No, the trouble began when I came home for good.

It wasn’t just one thing, but a “perfect storm” of factors: my husband is an excellent cook, and doles out generous, man-sized portions. He favors heavier foods than I would make myself, including fried chicken that would turn a vegan into a raging carnivore. But it’s not all his fault. As I have mentioned, it was stinkin’ hot this summer, and I did not move much. I did not have to get dressed for work, so never had a chance to notice that my  pants were getting snug. Before I knew it, my ten pounds had returned, and stay with me to this day.

It’s a funny thing about weight: I weigh exactly the same as I did when I was six months pregnant, but I assure you it is not distributed the same way. Over the course of the last 10 years, I have spent enough time at the gym (off and on as it was) to actually develop some muscle, so even though I have weighed slightly more than I did in my 30s, my overall size did not change much. I am trying to shape up, but I will not be too concerned about what the scale says. Any pound that wants to stay is welcome, provided it shifts to a place that allows me to zip my pants and sit in them without fear. I am also resigned to the idea that I may never have the waistline of my youth, but I will fight for it anyway- at least to keep the jungle from encroaching further.

This may be my last post focusing on weight loss; I have a smart and funny friend (one among many) who deals with it better and in more detail here. I will probably touch on it from time to time, since  it does relate to the health portion of my five priorities, and affects what I can wear and how I feel about myself. In the meantime, I have reminded myself that I know what I need to do. The challenge, as always, is doing it.