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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Two hundred thirty seven and a half.

Two hundred thirty seven and a half. Nope, not the number of pages I’ve written in my memoirs or the number of pages left to read in Infinite Jest. Not the balance of my checking account and not the payment on my mortgage. Not the average number of days I oversleep in a year, although I bet it is close. Not the number of ounces that my cat weighs or the number of ounces of water I drink in a day.

It is the weight I am starting the year at. Remember the good old days, when I was at two hundred twenty five? When I returned from London? When I’d carefully lost 40 pounds over the course of six months and then kept it off for another year. Then I bought a condo and got an office job and gained 17 pounds in the space between closing (April 27) and Rosh Hashanah (October 4).


The proof was in the pants. It is easy not to notice weight gain in the summer–I wore skirts at least three times a week and wide legged trousers. But then yesterday, the first real fall day of the year, I put on my cords. Cords that were falling off of me last spring, that indecently showed my undies. Cords that now make my thighs look a bit too much like Jimmy Dean breakfast sausages and don’t fasten at the waist. Then I tried on those khakis, same problem. When did it happen? When did those 17 pounds creep back onto my body?

Probably had something to do with my inability to let the snack cart go buy on Tuesdays and Thursdays without buying a cookie. Or the reintroduction of snickers bars and regular soda into my snack routine. Or the shabbat dinners consisting of Tostidos and Queso. Or the pounds of challah I’ve eaten. Or, or, or, or.

The difference is that over the last few months, when I’ve sat down with a bag of chips or a regular soda, I did so knowing, thinking, “This is seven points. This is 20 points.” Every snickers bar I ate anyway, I would think, “seven points.” and then sigh and eat it anyway.

Teshuva. Turning.

This year, I will go back to counting points, eating veggies, banning Snickers & regular soda. I will remember the healthful habit I cultivated in London. I will be mindful of what I eat–an attempt to remember that the food is a miracle, but that I need a responsible relationship with the miracle of food. I don’t have to enjoy all the miracles in one setting.

This morning I weighed in, something I haven’t done since February. I entered my weight and entered the points for my bagel and coffee. Now I’m going to hop on my bike and head to Borders to get the Writer’s Market for 2006 (or 2007). I will be a writer who is responsible for the food she eats and the words she writes. I will write this year and I will treat my body with more respect than I did this summer.

Two hundred thirty seven and a half? I’m done with you, unless it IS the number of pages in my memoirs.

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