How to Gain 20 lbs in 10 Days

This is the title of a book one of my friends and I were think of writing after we spent 10 days eating and drinking our way around Houston and surrounding area. We both agree that it was worth it, and i regret nothing. As Julia Roberts says in “Eat, Pray, Love,” we will not regret enjoying life, we’ll just buy bigger pants.

And that is the thing about life, and about when a friend comes to visit, you must roll up your sleeves and have a good time. You must have fun while, when and where you can.

But in this day and age of protests, racial tension, quarantine and masks, is fun actually possible? Absolutely. If you are willing to adapt a bit.

My friend C and I wore our masks when needed, practiced social distancing while choosing places and activities that would be both fun and not crowded. The result was pure fun and adventure. and the need for bigger pants. The two of us found the best and strongest margaritas, the tastiest crawfish, the fantastic gumbo, great ice cream places, and more. No kind of food was off limits in our tasting of Houston.

We now know first hand why this wonderful city in Texas is said to have some of the best food int he country…because it does. And we tried to eat it all. OR as much as we could. Which is more than we both thought physically possible. But we laughed as the buttons on our pants got tight, and ordered another round of drinks.

Life is short and you only live once. Let’s face it, we can always lose the weight, or just stay in the larger pants. Either way we are happy. And you can never be too happy or have too much fun or make too many great memories. And that is how you gain 20 lbs in 10 days. Now excuse me while I change into my stretchy yoga pants.

Beta Blockers

I have been told and praised many times for having the strength and the courage to leave Atlanta – to just pick up and move 1,000 miles away to this little suburb in Texas. Indeed, many have said that they could not do it and admire that I could. But for me it was more about survival than courage or strength. And there is a time in life when need surpasses fear.

Beta blockers are defines as a class of medications that are predominantly used to manage abnormal heart rhythms, and to protect the heart from a second heart attack after a first heart attack. For me though, I think it goes a bit further, at least in the figurative sense of the word.

Figuratively I say that a broken heart can cause abnormal rhythms and heart attacks. Indeed the continuity of our lives is completely interrupted when we suffer a broken heart. We could say that the heart attacks in the waves of heartbreak that wash over us, as tears flow down our cheeks and noses. So who is to say that the things we do to mend that broken heart and heal ourselves are not, relatively speaking, beta blockers?

My move was a beta blocker, in the vernacular. I moved because of a broken heart. I moved to get away from all the bad that had happened over the last few years. I moved to get a fresh start and be someplace new, with new people, with new places, with new possibilities, in order to put myself back together again. And in doing so, I found the magic elixir that healed my heart and soul. It is amazing what a new address can do for you – when it is not just across town but across the country to a place where you fit.

There is a saying that everything you want is on the other side of fear. I found this to be true. I was terrified to leave Georgia, where I have spent most of my life, and Atlanta where I lived for almost 20 years. That is 20 years of memories and places and thoughts and dreams, and actions…all packed up in boxes. And it was glorious and scary and terrifying and exhilarating and exciting and exhausting. And worth it.

Being brave or strong or having courage doesn’t mean that you aren’t scared. It just means that you do it in spite of the fear. For me I had to do it, despite the fear because I inherently understood that I needed to be away to heal. And I had planned to move away for two years, just not that completely alone when previous plans fell through.

Life is short. Forget the fear. Do what you need to do to heal. Find your Beta blockers and follow through. Take the medicine needed to heal, when it is a change of address or career or relationship. Do it. You won’t regret it.