ETL Friday! Oh The Places You’ll Go! Part III

Continued 😀 …

Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Part III

For three years, I shopped at a corner grocery in Greenwich Village, arriving everyday after work for a bag or two of ETL foodstuffs. I took what I could carry: maybe a can of beans, a head of lettuce, a bunch each of collards and kale, two oranges, a red bell pepper, green onions, carrots. I was such a dedicated buyer of fruits and veggies that the produce guy started to have a crush on me, and the clerks looked to me for prices. But my weight continued to swing along that small arc with its big psychological shadow.

Baffling, isn’t it? I was a serious consumer of vegetables; I was a non-consumer of junk. I was also a consistent exerciser: I ran daily along the greenway edge of Manhattan, up and down beside the Hudson and East Rivers. And, yes, I was pretty slim, even at my fattest. But why did I feel like I was struggling against an inevitable tide, one that dragged me out every time I reached shore?

I remember sitting with my husband one weekend in City Hall Park after we had moved to a new apartment near Wall Street. City Hall Park is a lovely little triangular space with a big central fountain, and we were sitting on a bench near this fountain, surrounded by birdsong. And my very patient husband (sigh; I’m sorry, honey) was listening to me cry. I was again frantic over my weight. Maybe I had stepped on the scale that morning, opening the floodgates to anguish. Maybe I had passed 140. “Don’t worry,” he said. “You’ll lose the weight again.” He was right. “But that’s the problem!” I said, stifling my voice to avoid a scene, but feeling the emotion grate in my throat. “Why can’t I stay steady? Why is this such a struggle?”

There were times of calm, when the tide let me go and I fell effortlessly back to my natural weight. These were always moments away from home: when I went to Puerto Rico with my family, to Florida for work, to Massachusetts with friends, to South America with my in-laws, to the Sierras with my husband. Away from home, I discovered bad habits by noticing their absence. Digging my toes into white sand in Puerto Rico or ensconced in a couch in the overstuffed living room of a B & B in Massachusetts, I noticed I was missing some familiar companions: restlessness, anxiety. These usually crouched on my shoulders, little gremlins goading me: What’s going on? Why aren’t you hungry? Did you overeat? Ah, when are going to learn?! At home, to drown out my voluble friends, I — you guessed it — ate. But on trips, my shoulders were lighter, and it seemed perfectly obvious that the thing to do when one isn’t hungry is to  . . .

go swimming in the ocean!

take a walk through mangroves!

swing in the porch rocker!

get out on deck!

go bouldering down the river!

When I traveled, I felt like a natural. To eat or not to eat: the answer was obvious — and fun. If only I could take the trick home.

To be continued . . .


Haha! Next week, the Finale! See Ya then 😉

sm row smiles

Note: Anyone interested in having your say, email me and be heard! Share your ETL experience with a guest blog, and help others. You do not have to be a member of Dr., you just have to be an Eat To Live’r ) And don’t we all have something to say? ;)



  1. Robin said,

    January 16, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Aw….I have to wait a whole week.

    Wow…..Argent, I applaud your eloquence. I’m really looking forward to the next installment.

  2. Argent said,

    January 16, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Awww, thanks, Robin!!

  3. xanaluna said,

    February 27, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Wow, maybe that is what my problem is. I have noticed the same thing. I guess I have to work on having too much fun to be hungry! Thanks for that inspiring post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: