A Tale of Two Dresses

I have finally returned after nearly two weeks of visiting children, and I always return with a new determination to change my life after I see them. There is something about being around young people and their enthusiasm and determination that stirs up a little fire in me, too. Maybe spring, with its vibrancy and new growth, its feeling of promise and hope, makes me want to renew myself also. Or maybe it’s the fact that I have a wedding to go to in less than a month, and I can’t fit into either of the dresses I have to wear, one from my son’s wedding a year and a half ago, and one from my niece’s wedding less than a year ago. How does that happen so quickly?

When I was in Michigan recently visiting my daughter, I was amazed at the transformation that had taken place since the last time I saw her at Thanksgiving. She has been monitoring what she eats and running quite a few miles a week in preparation for a half marathon. She was back into clothes she hadn’t been able to wear in quite some time, and when we went shopping, everything she tried on looked great on her. She showed me an app she has on her smart phone called My Fitness Pal which tracks your calorie count and subtracts your calories burned from exercise to give you a total calorie count for each day. When my daughter and I went out to lunch, she showed me how the app has all the menu items listed for the most common chain restaurants so you can decide what is the best thing to order, calorie-wise. I put the app on my iPad and tried using it on the day we started our drive up to Boston. The first thing I entered were the calories for my Dunkin’ Donuts jelly doughnut, and did you know that sitting in a car for nine hours doesn’t burn any calories?

Last night we returned from our trip to the Boston kids, and thanks to my gorgeous daughter-in-law who also looked even more amazing than usual, I plan on implementing the Paleo diet at her suggestion. She told me to give it a try for thirty days and see if I don’t feel so much better. Feeling better is definitely a goal, but what will really make me feel so much better is to fit into one of those two dresses. The wedding is May 5. I’m already a couple of days short of a month. The pressure is on.

Yes, I know that one of these two young women is training for a half marathon and the other one is nearly forty years younger than me, but I can do this. Just keep those jelly donuts away from me. In the words of Buckwheat, “Get thee behind me Satan, and don’t push!”

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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39 Responses to A Tale of Two Dresses

  1. Susan, visiting my kids has the same effect on me! Just drove back 10 hours from seeing my daughter in DC, and just HAD to stop at Wendy’s…:) Let me know how Paleo goes; I’m going to install that app! Gotta love a Buckwheat quote!! I’ve seen every single Lil Rascals there is.

    • Coming East says:

      You are the first one who mentioned Li’l Rascals, Reeling. I watched every episode multiple times, too. Great wisdom in those shows! Actually, the Paleo diet is working great for us. My husband has lost twelve pounds and has kept it off, and I’ve lost four and kept it off. And I feel better. I didn’t really have a weight problem, but it was just that I had too much around my middle, and though it hasn’t disappeared, it definitely is greatly reduced. Clothes are fitting much better. And Paleo is fairly easy to follow. We cheat on weekends some because it helps us be really good during the week. Plus, life is too short not to enjoy FOOD!

  2. Dresses are sneaky things when you’re counting on wearing them. Now I don’t believe in counting calories, a system which penalises even lettuce is never going to win me over, and I have never even heard of a paleo diet, it’s sound like something the dinosaurs should know about! It’s the sweet stuff, the bread and the growing an unexpected extra inch at 22 which gets me. All the best! :)

  3. Wonderful post. Isn’t it terrible how dresses shrink by hanging in the closet? I don’t know what those hangers do, but man, they shrink sizes all the time on me! You make me smile. I, too, need to loose weight, not a whole lot, but some. I also am preparing for a family wedding in July and much more urgent, my daughter’s baby shower in May. Right now, I think people may think I am carrying the baby for my daughter! Hope all goes well for you and that the weight disappears by God’s grace. I will be thinking of you as I walk and get myself moving a bit more in the next few weeks. Thanks for the post. I am enjoying reading your posts.

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Anonymous Friend. We must buy our clothes from the same place since both of ours shrink. I want to see the weight just disappear overnight, but I have to remind myself that it didn’t get there overnight, so I need to be patient. Congratulations on the new baby coming! Do you have other grandchildren, or is this your first?

      • This is my very first and I am so excited I could spit!! Sorry, but my excitement does get the better of me sometimes.
        As for the weight, I got up this morning determined to do something about it, but as I sit here writing a response to you I am just finishing up a couple cookies and drinking a glass of sweet tea… now, why aren’t those pounds fleeing from me??? I think I need help!

      • Coming East says:

        You cracked me up, Friend! Actually, I started lusting after that cookie, though I would have opted for a big glass of milk instead of the sweet tea. Are you, by any chance, a Southerner? How exciting that this will be your first grandchild. I do hope you are one of the lucky ones who get to live near her grandchild. Mine are ten and fourteen, and they live so far away, I only get to see them two or three times a year for short visits.

      • I live in the south now, but through and through I am a yankee and very proud of it! I do love sweet tea, but have always loved it, unfortunately.
        My kids are a long way off, I have one in CA and the pregnant one is 9 hours away from me. I keep praying they will move closer, but so far I guess it will road trips for me! I love your blog, you brighten my day.

      • Coming East says:

        Then we are kindred spirits, Friend, because I live in the South, but I am a proud Connecticut Yankee, even though I haven’t lived there since 1978. I love my iced tea, but I like it u sweetened.

      • I will also drink it unsweetened and will most likely cut the sugar out of my diet again as I am feeling like it is not the way I should be eating.
        Connecticut is a beautiful state and I have been through there several times when we lived in Maine for a few years of our marriage. I am originally from NW Pennsylvania and although I have not lived there since 1975 it is still home to me. I understand, and yes, I think we may be kindred spirits.

      • Coming East says:

        My youngest son, Friend, was born in Bryn Mawr.

  4. tuesday2 says:

    I’m curious about the Paleo diet; going to Google it~

    Any downside to the diet? (Except for the fact that DD is not a part of it?) :D

    • Coming East says:

      What is DD, Tuesday? Yes, of course there is a downside—-I WANT MY BREAD! (Sorry for screaming.) Seriously, I don’t think any “diet” is a good thing to stay on for a long time. I think sensible eating is the way to go. That being said, sometimes you just need an extra nudge to get you started, and once you see results, you stick with better eating for awhile longer. I have lost two pounds since I started this past Tuesday and I don’t feel so bloated. I plan on keeping this up for another few weeks until I can look better in that dress I need to wear, and then I’m going to reward myself by enjoying the wedding.

  5. Rufina says:

    You write with a humorous voice and your post was interesting to read. I must try that App you mentioned…thanks for the tip! :)

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Rufina. I hope you come back because I’ve been idle for awhile but plan on being more focused. I hope.

      • Rufina says:

        I downloaded My Fitness Pal and I have been using it for a week! I love it. It is really making me more aware of everything that I put into my mouth, and it is making me exercise more (in order to be able to eat more, haha). It tracks net calories on a daily and weekly basis on a chart. It applauds you with positive comments for making data entries. I made my husband sign on to it to, so that I can have a “Friend” so that we see each other’s activity news/posts, and also for me to have some accountability when I am travelling for work. What a great tool! Thanks again.

      • Coming East says:

        Glad you like it, Rufina. My daughter is very good about keeping up with it. I’m not, but maybe I’ll try a little harder. Tomorrow is a new week.

  6. Robin says:

    Good luck with your goal. I’m ready to make some changes too. There must be something in the air. Spring, I bet. :)

    • Coming East says:

      I’ve lost two pounds this past week and kept it off, so I feel good about that, Robin. I just need to exercise more. Hubby has lost two pounds also. So, we’ll see.

  7. yen says:

    Oh, I would like that app on my phone, too! I envy your daughter’s progress! lol! I keep wishing and hoping to jog and watch what I eat but unfortunately stress and lack of time can pose quite a challenge. Excuses, excuses! I’m so encouraged to continue to brisk-walk/jog after reading this. Now if I could only find that thing called T-I-M-E. :)

    • Coming East says:

      Time is the killer, especially for people who work. Even my daughter has a hard time being able to fit in her runs because of all the stuff she does for the kids and volunteering. We can always find excuses, and I’m the best for that, but I need to do a better job of managing my time and what I do with it.

  8. I’ve heard good things about the Paleo diet. I’d be interested to hear a progress report! But oh how the weight yo-yos as we move along in life. Sigh. But you CAN do it! You will!

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Melissa. I’ve done a pretty good job of sticking with it for nearly six days now and have lost two pounds and kept it off. I even had a glass of wine Friday night and Saturday night. Cutting out the cheese was not hard, but I really miss my plain Greek yogurt in the morning and my toast. Besides helping me, I’m hoping this will help my husband because he carries his extra weight around his middle, too. I’m hoping that once I get to where I want to be, I can cheat on the weekends so I can enjoy my life.

  9. Dor says:

    Good luck Susan on the Paleo Diet… I just joined Curves and have high hopes that 30 min of movement will move mountains of pounds around. :)

  10. Al says:

    I can’t believe a mere wisp of a gal like you is worried about weight but I guess we have all collected a pound or two over the years. Your jelly donut and sitting in the car comment was a hoot. I have frequented that very same DD. In fact, you might want to visit an old post of mine http://thecvillean.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/polyunsaturated-trans-fat-crime/ if you want to know what a real DD addict is like.

  11. pattisj says:

    My doctor mentioned that, too, via Marks’ daily apple blog. I liked his ideas on exercise, and may try to incorporate that in with the South Beach Diet I started yesterday. Here’s to lost pounds and dresses that fit!

  12. Amy says:

    I found out some my spring and summer clothes which I bought last year have shrunk. Then, last week my daughter was excited about she could fit in her wedding dress… It’s a lot of work to count every thing you eat.

    • Coming East says:

      They don’t make quality clothes like they used to, Amy. I find it appalling at how many of my nice clothes have shrunk, too. My daughter-in-law just called me to ask how my first day on the Paleo diet has been so far. I told her I’ve already lost ten pounds in half a day, so tomorrow I should be able to celebrate at Dunkin’ Donuts.

  13. I think your app is broken. Sitting in the car totally burns calories. Good luck!

  14. Welcome back! Now let me get this paleo diet correct, you can eat plants and anything you can catch while you manifest the hunter/gatherer within… Whatever… good luck. I’ve no doubt you will reach your goal, fit into both dresses and drive yourself crazy deciding between them!

    • Coming East says:

      yes, Carol, I think I have to actually capture my food for this to work. Running after my meals is the exercise portion of this health plan. The light at the end of this tunnel, besides being able to fit into those dresses, is to once again have my Dunkin’ Donuts jelly doughnut. It will be a long month!

  15. I love Buckwheat’s quote. I must use it.
    Funny, I just talked to my Mom about weight loss this morning. Isn’t it ironic that we spend our young lives working hard to have enough to eat and have time to relax. Then we spend our money trying to look like we work all day and don’t get enough to eat (i.e. going to the gym and dieting.)
    Yes, bathing suit weather is fast upon us, I just returned from FL with some younguns. I must tone my arms and get my legs thin enough not to rub against each other.

    • Coming East says:

      Oh, no, I haven’t even given a thought to bathing suit season, Adela! Since we’re renting a house on Cape Cod for a week this summer with the whole family, including those two amazing-looking young women, I may have to stay on this Paleo thing longer than I expected. Groan…

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