The year is all but gone, and this is my final post on this blog. I dropped (and kept off) 12 of the 15 pounds I hoped to lose. Now my goal for 2012 is to convince myself that the ancient Mayan calendar is accurate and Armageddon is around the corner, so it won't make any difference if I eat cakes by the carload. No, wait -- I mean, to lose 10 more pounds. Yeah, that's it. Ten pounds.
Thanks to all of you who made comments or wrote me personally. I was grateful for the supportive folks and willing to let the trolls have their say; my skin is thick, and I know insecure people need to put others down to feel better about themselves.
What did I learn? That I feel better if I exercise at least 30 minutes a day and break a sweat. (In fact, that I feel incomplete if I don't. Who knew?) That I don't have to eat a substantial dessert every day. That "full" means "satisfied," not "stuffed." That it's OK to leave food uneaten on a restaurant plate; I now carry wax paper and aluminum foil in my car to take leftovers home, because they're better for the environment than styrofoam boxes.
Best of all, I learned that it's never to do late do something positive about your body. Fifty-plus years of laziness can't be eradicated by one year of exercise, but I've got decades ahead of me (I hope)
to improve my habits. And as I've said, if I can drag my butt onto a treadmill every weekday morning and push away the occasional cookie, anyone can do it. Best of luck with your own quests, my friends.
Elizabeth Templin McCamic is interested in finding fun ways to be fit. She would like to lose those last couple of pounds and become stronger and healthier. She's willing to try new activities and is always looking for healthy recipes to test. Elizabeth works in production for the Observer's community newspapers.
Ellyn Ritterskamp has worked in production and the newsroom at The Observer since 1988. She teaches practical ethics part-time at UNCC. She is interested in fitness topics as a path to making herself and others stronger.
Lawrence Toppman has written about culture in Charlotte for 31 years and been mildly overweight most of that time. In fact, he's been chunky since eating modeling clay as a pre-schooler. Photos taken during a growth spurt in college prove he briefly had a normal-sized frame; he aspires to regain some semblance of that look by the end of 2011.