Picture perfect

The challenge? Thirty health-related posts in 30 days, using prompts prepared by the folks at WEGO Health.

Day Five: Ekphrasis post Go to flicker.com/explore and write a post inspired by the image. Can you link it to your health focus? Don’t forget to post the image.

Being someone who works with words for a living, I like to think I have a decent vocabulary. Until today, the last word to stump me was “bifurcated,” included in a column for the newspaper I work for. When I looked it up, I had to wonder what was wrong with using “forked.”

“Ekphrasis” was a new one for me, too. A quick consultation with my friend Merriam-Webster told me it means “a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art” — and that made today’s post a heck of a lot easier to write.

It was not, however, easy to figure out how to get the photo from flickr to attach to my post. I ended up snagging a screen shot.

I saw this photo and fell in love with the colors — plus, it’s London. I spent a semester in England while I was in college and would have liked to spend every weekend there.

How can I relate it to my weight-loss journey?

I feel a lot like those buildings emerging from the fog.

For a long time, I was overweight. Scratch that. I was flat-out obese — still am, according to the BMI chart. I’d tried diet after diet, but nothing stuck.

Then I decided to give Atkins a try. I lost about 110 pounds over two years on the low-carb diet … and then met the Boyfriend and slowly, over the next two years, regained most of what I’d lost. I joined Weight Watchers, lost about 60 pounds, plateaued, got discouraged and gave up 11 pounds from my goal weight. It was back to regaining.

I waffled. I wavered. I gnashed my teeth and whined that I didn’t want to live without pasta, potatoes and sweet treats … and then, last May, I went back to Atkins again. It was — and still is — the only “diet” I can follow without feeling deprived.

The whole “everything in moderation” schtick doesn’t work for me because I never consume certain foods “in moderation.” One bite of cookie/cake/pasta leads to a giant serving or two … and cravings for more of the same. The only way to avoid such things is to not start in the first place.

Since my return to Atkins, I’ve lost a little more than 30 pounds (with another 50 or so to go). I’ve emerged from the fog to go back to the only plan that’s ever worked for me long-term.

I’m also emerging from the fog of inactivity. I’d discovered the joy of working out during my first stint with Atkins … and lost it as the weight came back. It was a vicious cycle — exercise was harder and didn’t give me the same pleasure, so I stopped doing it, which made the weight creep up even faster.

Recently, I joined an online bootcamp class, Tina Reale’s Best Body Bootcamp — mainly for the promise of a chance to win the cash prize for finishing, although in the back of my mind I knew I flat-out needed to move more. But we’re now in Week Five of the eight-week program and I’ve rediscovered the joy of working out.

The fog of laziness and misplaced trust in eating plans that don’t work has been swirling through my head for far too long. Now that it’s finally dissipating, I will reach my weight-loss and fitness goals.


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