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Gravy: BLC 21 Weekend Challenge

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I've got a blog assignment: How will your life change when you reach your fitness/weight goal? How will you feel?

I don't have one precise goal: there is not magic number; no dress size; no goal beyond feeling better. I have 11 prescription medications; I was insidiously marching to my death and not doing anything to stop the speed. The doctors told me that I was killing myself and I remained passively acquiescent.

I was simply waiting for that day when a little blood clot might break free and kill me or the day when my heart would stop beating. But now I do have a goal: each day that I can get up, perambulate, remain continent, enjoy a good book, earn what I laughingly call a paycheck--well, it's gravy. Everyday that I enjoy my life and do not long for death: more gravy. If I reach a goal, I will probably continue to have more. Reaching goals is sometimes better than being there. The process is more intriguing than the accomplishment.

Poet (and short-story author) Raymond Carver expressed my feelings well. Just substitute "binging" for "drinking" and you've got a poem that applies to me:


No other word will do. For that's what it was.Gravy.
Gravy, these past ten years.
Alive, sober, working, loving, and
being loved by a good woman. Eleven years
ago he was told he had six months to live
at the rate he was going. And he was going
nowhere but down. So he changed his ways
somehow. He quit drinking! And the rest?
After that it was all gravy, every minute
of it, up to and including when he was told about,
well, some things that were breaking down and
building up inside his head. "Don't weep for me,"
he said to his friends. "I'm a lucky man.
I've had ten years longer than I or anyone
expected. Pure Gravy. And don't forget it."

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD13425678
    This is excellent encouragement and I will put a copy of this poem at my desk at work, where I can be reminded to be thankful. And I will post a blog pretty soon in response to the assignment. Gotta think about it some... Thanks!
    3051 days ago
    Starting sometime in her late 80s, my grandmother was often heard to respond to the question "How are you?" with "I woke up this morning; I figure that puts me ahead of the game."

    She lived to be nearly 100, active, involved, vital, right up to about the last two weeks of her life. That's my goal - to stay ahead of the game.

    There's a dance in the old dame yet...
    3057 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/29/2013 5:10:54 AM
    What a great perspective, both from your point of view and Mr. Carver's. Great stuff!
    3057 days ago
    Love it and, as always, I love the way you think. The poem was great. It is wonderful to have a second chance.
    3057 days ago
  • LISAMG1220
    It's all gravy baby! :) Great blog!
    3057 days ago
    gravy's the stuff that makes the world taste good!
    3057 days ago
    I love the poem! I will truly remember that! Thank you for sharing.
    3058 days ago
    great words to live by. I will never look at gravy the same again!
    3058 days ago
    Wonderful poem. I'm sure you can get off some of those meds if you lose even a little weight. It all counts.
    3058 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12648623
    Very well said, and I relate.
    3058 days ago
  • MLH148
    Thanks! We do forget how much is gravy.
    3058 days ago
  • OJ_2_OK
    You're so right! Every time someone asks me about my goals it takes me a moment because I feel that the process of reaching is the most important.
    3058 days ago
  • POPSY190
    Life isn't single-stranded so there's always something to work on as a goal. Even at goal weight I find I still have to work on maintenance . And the health goals are never reacheable emoticon . Now I have to do what I can to off set the osteoporosis, I can't alter the genetics that caused it! The key is, as the poem so poignantly states, to enjoy the benefits of what you can do along the never-ending way. emoticon
    3058 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/27/2013 2:57:45 PM
    I hope your gravy is a dark, rich, full body flavor that last a long time!
    3058 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12937866
    Thanks for sharing that poem. I remember reading it in one of my writing classes in college. It has always struck a chord with me.
    3058 days ago
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