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I wonder if is helpful to not be in a hurry when trying to lose weight release a chocolate habit. It’s been many weeks since I first conceived of sharing my journey in a blog, and I can’t say any pounds have yet been shed. However, there has been progress.

I have printed one copy of the bookmark that reminds me what is good about changing my chocolate habits. I have not yet placed it in a book. Instead, it floats irritatingly around the living room, not put away and also not put to use. I’m waiting to print more copies and laminate them. The printer is not working. I don’t want to take the time to fiddle with it and I don’t want to spend money on a new one (though my consumerist self notices that petite wireless printers are a good price and would fit my décor much better than the existing model). I appear to be at a dead end at the moment. How interesting to share this with you: it helps me notice what needs to happen next, i.e., e-mail it to myself and print it at the library, take it to be laminated. These are the kinds of details that stop me. They get lost in all the other crazy details of a day of mothering.

I did the Race for Life in May. A young neighbour, daughter of a good friend, floated the idea on the Facebook group for our neighbourhood, and I immediately signed up. It’s not the kind of thing I normally do. Normally, I think about these things for ages and then it’s too late. This time, I knew it was just the thing to help get to know the neighbours, get fit and even contribute to a good cause (I’m not enthusiastic about fundraising). The clincher was that both of my parents survived cancer, and doing this race and raising funds for cancer research was a good way to honour them.

My new friend and I met more or less (less rather than more) once a week for a few months to prepare. Our intention was to jog the race, but when the day came, we realised that walking was a better idea. It gave me a shock: I had truly believed that with a few weeks’ training, I’d be able to jog 5 kilometres. It’s the distance I used to jog semi-regularly for decades. By the time the day came, I actually weighed more than when I started, as a result of eating biscuits for solace and treats, and had zero interest in jogging. Nonetheless, the event was a good experience and (after a break of several weeks) my neighbour and I are continuing to meet for a good stomp and chat on (most) Saturdays.

I love to cycle, and another neighbour offered to resuscitate my decrepit bicycle. I’m really looking forward to cycling around our local villages with my daughter. I hope I can still outrun her on a bike! But I doubt it, shame of shames.

With the long, light nights and decent weather, my daughter has been clamouring to cycle around the neighbourhood on her own (gasp, panic, release breath, say yes to this new independence). It has just occurred to me to use the time for a brisk walk around the neighbourhood myself. Apart from the exercise benefits, it will allow me to see what my daughter is up to when she’s out of my sight. One hates to spy, but one also has a responsibility to do some sort of monitoring – right? I’m a first-time parent and I have no idea.

Recently I started to home-educate my daughter. This will have radical effects on our routines and includes me re-thinking all sorts of things in our lives, including diet choices.

Gradually life is moving in the direction of me drastically reducing the chocolate habit and at least slightly increasing the exercise habit. By what I think of as ordinary standards, I’ve made no progress. But I can feel the changes taking place below the surface, in conjunction with other changes in life. Eating and exercise patterns can only occur in the context of a whole life.

Am I just kidding myself?? I don’t think so, but it takes faith to continue believing that.

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