Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word


I remember a time, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, when I would scoff at emails promoting fad diets. Younger and smug about my weight, I confidently deleted every one that came through my inbox promising fast weight loss, belly fat secrets and the latest fat burning gimmick.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Now I find myself searching the internet looking for anything that will help me lose weight. Twenty years ago I was pretty fat, nearly 200 pounds. Then, by the ironic grace of diabetes, lost weight and enjoyed a pretty easy maintenance weight of about 120. Let’s just say I’m not as big as I once was, but the memory of being fat is still clear in my mind, and fuels my fear of getting there again.

Now there are several factors at play. Age, a slower metabolism, a medication change and, by my own doing, several months of overindulgence and under-exercising. Having cleared all medical reasons for an unbudging weight, and sticking to an exercise routine for nearly 30 days, I was absolutely desperate to see a change in the scale. I could feel the effects of weight-lifting sessions, and I was almost certainly getting toner, but as women, and I guess as humans, we rely heavily on the opinion of inanimate objects—aka the almighty scale. How a small, metal object came to have such control over our lives I will never know, and I had even tried to banish it into a secret place where I would never look at it again. But alas, I found myself drawn to it, like a moth to a flame, yearning for its daily praise, only to be shattered when I stood upon it and faced its judgment of my failure to succeed.

Eager to please the judgmental little demon, I searched the internet for diets that promised quick results, and after reading dozens of reviews decided to try the Military Diet. Like all fad diets, the concept of burning more calories than you take in made sense, as well as the thought that certain foods, when eaten together can speed up your metabolism and hasten fat burning. There were the usual extreme reviews ranging from it’s not about calories its about carbs, or vegan only, or juices only, or organic only. Each I believe held a little truth, and certainly some were perfect for some people, but I wanted to see result fast.

The only way to know was to try it, so I printed out the routine and brought it home to Robert. He indulges me often, and since we’ve been on a weight loss journey together, he agreed to try it with me. Details aren’t necessary, but the next three days involved grapefruit, lots of tuna, eggs and a bit of ice cream. Amazingly I wasn’t often hungry, had plenty of energy and kept exercising, and actually lost five pounds. I found myself motivated once again, and no longer obssessed about the most satisfying way to destroy the demonic scale. Why, or how the diet worked I’m sure could be ripped apart and ridiculed by some experts, but I don’t really care. I feel better, and I learned a couple of things that will help me in my journey.

First, I learned what it felt like to feel hungry again. Not starving hungry, but to not have a full belly. I don’t remember the last time my stomach wasn’t full, believing that a snack was necessary, or eating because I was bored. I had had a full belly for years, and it turns out maybe the occasional hunger pain is good for me. It made me feel a little more alive, and a little more aware of what I was actually putting in my body.

Secondly, I learned that 300 calories of food, in the form of apples, tuna, salmon or vegetables is actually a crap-load of food. Several times we struggled to complete the entire meal, and were uncomfortably full after finishing.

And lastly, it was good to love food again. I don’t usually care for salmon, but by the end of the second day, as I walked on the treadmill and thought of my upcoming dinner, I found myself actually craving the salmon. Granted, had I not been on the diet I probably would have felt the same way about a big plate of fettuccine alfredo, but at that moment, and later as I sat down at the dinner table, I loved that 4 ounces of salmon as much as my favorite pasta.


January 21, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A not so righteous run…


               With cooler temperatures I resumed my daily run in the park near the office. It’s about three miles around the park on the dirt path, with a smaller concrete path below. I’ve been running, or rather walking mostly, for more than a year, and have come to see a lot of the same people exercising. Bike riding through in the morning on the way to work I run across the morning walkers, who are out with their dogs and/or friends and enjoying the start of a new day. Biking through the park in the evening on the way home, there are soccer moms killing time, and horribly annoying cyclists who think they’re riding in the Tour De France and own the pathway. Then there are the mid-day joggers, such as myself. Nobody’s really happy, we’re all red-faced and huffing in the mid-day sun, with looks of disgust and pain on our faces. The  nooners are there just to get our exercise out of the way. There are no smiles, nods, or small-talk as we pass each other. There is only the desperate look of determination to get it over with.

               When I first started jogging around the park last year, I came across a relatively young man, perhaps early 40’s, who was struggling at one of the workout stations surrounding the path. He was slowly working on doing sit-ups, and I thought he looked a little weak for such a young man. Then he got up and began walking, and it was obvious he was recovering from a stroke. He tediously drug his leg along behind the rest of his body, his arm hanging limply at his side. I had circled the park and was on my way back in the time it had taken him to drag himself to the next exercise station, where he was forcing himself to clutch the bar in front of him while he stretched. I watched him slowly get a little stronger each week, but haven’t seen him this summer, since I’ve mainly been riding my bike for exercise.

               But I saw him again today. And I barely recognized him. He still has a slight limp, and if you look closely you can tell one arm hangs lower than the other, but aside from being a little slow, you would never know he was the same broken man from a year ago. He jogged slowly from station to station, and even though I passed him on the trail, my little 30-minute jog seemed insignificant compared to the great lengths that stranger has gone to for his own health.

               I stepped up my pace slightly to assuage my guilty feelings of my inadequate workout, and was feeling pretty righteous again as I rounded the corner at the far end of the park. The exercise station there is one that’s used for upper body workouts, including a pull-up bar. I once made a goal of being able to do one chin-up, and actually exceeded it by doing two pull-ups, and I remembered my glory days fondly as I approached the station. After all, nor many 40-something-year-olds could even do one pull-up. Or so I thought. An older man, another regular I had seen circling the park for exercise, planted himself beneath the bar. What was left of his hair was gray, making me believe he was nearing 60. He reached up and grabbed the bar with both hands, and almost effortlessly, pulled himself up above the bar. Wow, I was impressed. Then he did it again. And again. And again. Twelve pull-ups he did, without shaking arms or struggling with his legs to kick himself up and over.

               He finished and caught me watching him. I applauded and gave him a thumbs up, and he smiled big and took off walking to the next station. Although my muscles thanked me for the meager workout, I didn’t feel as good as I had hoped after my jog, but am determined to run a little faster, do at least five sit ups and attempt the pull-up thing again tomorrow.

September 20, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment