“Are you concerned because the world is full of big dogs and bullies?” –Sheldon Cooper, Big Bang Theory
We’re about two weeks away from Thanksgiving, and I’ve gotta tell ya, I’m a little tiny bit on the “scared out of my gourd and considering staying home with the blankets over my head” side.
Here’s why: I’m just getting into the swing of things. I did my jogwalking three times this week, as scheduled; I ate healthful, nutritious foods in reasonable quantities (for the most part–there was a minor incident last night in which my husband took me out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I looked at the menu, decided on the grilled chicken tacos so I could continue my status as an Absolute Dietary Saint Thank You Very Much, and when the waiter asked what I wanted, somehow my mind said “grilled chicken tacos” but my mouth said “Enchiladas San Jose”, which, for the record, are smothered in cheese dip and have lovely avocado slices on top. They were delicious. As was the ice cream I had later. And the no-bake cookies. But I digress). I did a Very Good Job with the exercise all week, though, and awarded myself gold stars appropriately. (Literally. I have stickers that I put on my calendar.)
But I’m still a neophyte. I don’t have all the answers, and my newfangled habits aren’t set in stone. So what the heck am I supposed to do during the Great Turkey Day Road Trip of 2011?!? More specifically, the concerns on the plate include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
1. There is a good chance my BFF, River Fox Woman, will be coming with us, and our first few days will be spent at her family homestead in southeastern Ohio. Ohio, if you’ve not been there, is all full of hills and rivers and things. How, I ask you, am I supposed to go out jogwalking when there’s a chance that I will trip on a rock and roll down a hill and fall into a river and be swept slowly but inexorably out to sea?!? I swim modestly well–I can more or less propel myself through the water, and lord knows my body fat is enough flotation for two or three people–but what if my cell phone gets wet and I can’t call for help and nobody notices that I’m gone until I’m 50 miles away, clinging to a piece of driftwood and trying to dodge barges? This does not motivate me to want to get out of bed and go buffaloing around the hills of Ohio, lemme tell ya.
2. Also, Ohio has this: http://www.treehugger.com/endangered-species/dozens-of-exotic-animals-escape-from-ohio-wildlife-farm.html . Granted, that was pretty much resolved last month (I won’t go into much detail here, because the whole thing just breaks my heart). But what if I’m out jogwalking and have used up the last of my energy on one of the vaguely mountainous hills and am just trying to get home and am suddenly charged by, say, an escaped rhinoceros? I don’t know what to do when confronted with a rampaging rhino! C25k does not, I should note, have any tips on what to do in that situation. Perhaps I should send them an email.
3. River Fox Woman’s mother shows love via a combination of aggressive nurturing (“here’s where the blankets are. If you get cold, you can get a blanket. You just wrap it around yourself. Or here’s how to use the heater. You can use both! Here, I’ll put the blanket in the dryer for you so it’s warm”) and delicious food. The last time RFW and I went to visit, her mom had bought enough food to feed everyone we know for three weeks; we were going to be there for 5 days. How can I possibly be asked to resist tasty treats, especially when there’s a risk that I will inadvertently send the message that I don’t appreciate RFW’s mom’s love?
4. After Ohio, we’re heading up to hubby’s (aka Moon Man’s) parents’ house in Michigan. You know what they have in Michigan? Moose and wolves and bears and feral swine, that’s what: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10370_12145—,00.html . I’m used to jogwalking in suburbia; the closest thing to wildlife that I’m likely to encounter around here is the occasional squirrel. In a worst-case scenario, a bird poops on me. No wolves, though. No bears. And sweet baby Jesus, no feral swine. Granted, his parents live about a mile from a super-busy section of Grand Rapids. But they’re out just far enough that there are trees everywhere. And you know what lives in wooded areas? Moose. And wolves. And they will trample me and devour my body and that will just absolutely wreck Thanksgiving for everyone.
5. Or more realistically, what if I go out and exercise like a good little gal but my knees start acting up due to a combination of strain and cold damp air? The guest bedroom is in the basement–what if I can’t make it up all those stairs to come interact with the family in the morning? Am I supposed to just sit down there and shout until someone either comes to rescue me or the entire family moves the Thanksgiving festivities to the bleepin’-bloopin’ basement?!? I suppose I could always go out the sliding door in the basement and crawl up the hill to the front door (the house is set into a hill) and ring the bell and hope someone takes pity on my sad self, but seriously, how embarrassing would that be?
6. And what about the Thanksgiving meal itself? I’ve done pretty well with making good choices (last night notwithstanding, but I give myself permission to “oops” every so often–a good rule of thumb is “Make the best choices you can 80-90% of the time”, because I am not a rabbit and will not be eating rabbit food for the rest of my life, and if you try to tell me I can never have another enchilada on this new diet then you can take the diet and fold it until it’s all corners and stick it wherever you want), but do I really think I can stay sensible when confronted with Moon Man’s dad’s amazing mashed potatoes? Or his mom’s oh-so-juicy turkey? Or his SIL’s sweet potatoes of the gods? And we all know there’s going to be pie–I’ll probably make my famous pecan pie, because duhhhh. Can I actually be trusted with whipped cream and unlimited access to delicious desserts?!?
So that’s what’s rattling around inside my brain today. Sure, I probably won’t have to get fished out of any rivers or fight my way out of a wolf pack, and I’ll probably do just fine with taking reasonable helpings of food without offending anyone by refusing to try their sinful delectables (suuuure I will). I’ll get my exercise without anyone thinking I’m antisocial or weird or doomed to fail, and I’ll come back feeling triumphant and loved. This is my chance to prove that I really am making lifestyle changes, not just trying on a fun new hobby. This is my chance to practice the shape of the rest of my life.
But just in case I don’t make it back from the wilderness, I tell you now that I have loved you all.
EDIT: I talked with Mom just now, and explained to her about the rampaging rhinos of Ohio. She suggested that I should befriend any rhino that comes my way and take him with me to Michigan, where he can help scare away wolves. Also, we can attach a sled to him, and he can pull me up the hill to the front door when my knees give out. Frankly, I think this plan is brilliant, and I’ve decided to call him George (you know, as in “I will love him and pet him and call him George”). Yay for George the Rhino! Maybe he should have a superhero cape.