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Measuring Success


            Since I persuaded my spouse that it would be wise for us to exercise at the gym each day— for two hours— nearly a month has passed. Well okay, twenty-three days if you want to nit-pick. Yesterday my husband crowed that he’d already dropped 14 pounds, then he had the audacity to ask what the scales reported as my progress. To humor him, I promptly stepped onto the Healthometer full of confidence. The scale gave a satisfying flicker of red electronic digits and finally came to rest.

            I stared at the read out. My smug smile disappeared; I was ticked off and shocked into silence. My spouse roared—well perhaps it wasn’t a roar but it certainly did give him altogether too much pleasure as we both studied the luminous digits. The evil red-eyed machine flashed a weight gain of 1 pound. Numbers don’t lie. There it was in liquid crystal reality: he’d lost fourteen pounds and I had gained one. “How the heck is that possible?” I protested with self-righteous indignation.

            My husband bravely offered an observation, “You have been hungrier than usual when we get back from the gym.”

            I wanted to be able to deny his comments; unfortunately they were true and I had the digital read out to prove it. Exercising had awakened a ravenous appetite. Previously my interest in food was casual; I ate to live and focused on small portions of a healthy well-balanced menu. However, after our forays to the gym our kitchen became the stage for satisfying a hunger that was a replay of our adolescent son’s as he erupted into a 6’6” young man. I plowed through a platter of carrot sticks and fresh fruit with the speed of army ants stripping a carcass to the bones.

            Our personal trainer reassures me that it’s a normal response as I build up muscle and increase bone density, both of which are desirable for a petite female over 60. But let’s face it; no woman likes to see the scale creep up, even by just a single pound. Toned muscles and stronger bones rank high on my list of pluses, so I am placing my trust in her expertise. I’ll use the tape measure instead of the scale to track my progress. I can tell from the way my clothes are fitting that metric will bring a smile to my face and reinforce my commitment to a healthy life-style.


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