We rent in Austin, TX, which – if not exactly a nomadic life – does mean that we’re never in one place quite enough to settle down. As renters go, we are moving up in the world – we now rent a nice little detached house in a fancy part of town. And we have a yard – which, for me, would be called “a garden”.

This yard has been life-changing. Gone are the four walks a day we had to give the pugs when we lived on the second floor of an apartment block. Three times a day now, we let them run around on grass, barking at any suspicious folk that pass by (which is everyone; pugs are apparently not a trusting breed). In the evening, we take them for an actual walk. They have both lost weight with this new system

I…well. I have not.

I have also gone from four walks a day down to one. But I am not running around my backyard shouting at strangers. But perhaps I should. On January 1, I did what millions of people all over the world do on New Year’s Day: I stood on a scale for the first time in months. I was not expecting good news; it’s been a long time since I expected to be happy based on what my scales tell me. But the bad news I got was 10lbs worse than I was expecting.

I have been down this road before. I have tried to cut out sugar before. But I always fall off the sweet-sweet-honey-wagon. And every time I climb back on, I’m farther and farther back with a longer journey ahead of me to something that could even start to look like a healthy lifestyle.

But here I go again.

My brother-in-law talks about two days of fasting. Which are really two days of eating food that makes you wish you hadn’t bothered. Anything that’s calorie-free – so, salads, essentially. And, as I prepare my first batch on a Monday evening, I feel that familiar misguided smug feeling of Finally Doing Something. This is going to be easy. I’ll eat salads on a Tuesday and a Thursday, which will go well with the exercising I’m doing Monday, Wednesday, Friday. 

I should have done this years ago.

But, of course, in a way, I did. More than once.

New Year’s Day, I’m looking at the rowing machines on Amazon. And I nearly buy one. And then I look at the exercise bike and the treadmill standing in the corner and I delay that purchase. I can just as easily walk/trot or pedal myself to semi-fitness. But that just reminds me that I, like so many others, am trapped in a hamster wheel of exercise-and-falling-off.

Why should this time be different? Because one time has to be.

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