How to Lose Weight Without Even Trying
November 17, 2007
It’s simple, really:
- Decide to move house four months in advance; ask honey to begin packing that day. Draw up a list of all the tasks that need to be completed, and review list with sweetie so you can each pick key tasks and assign due dates. Smile with self-satisfaction when the list is done.
- Ask honey to begin packing three months in advance. Remind honey that wooden moldings need to be repaired, 60-plus boxes in basement need to be reviewed and re-sealed (since last move, 6 years ago), garage needs to be emptied and cleaned, yard needs to be tidied up and mowed, and personal items all still need to be packed.
- Ask honey to begin packing two months in advance. Stress the importance of sticking to our list, packing our least-needed items, doing the minor repairs to the house.
- Ask honey to begin packing one month in advance. Tersely comment that the list seems to have been ignored, none of the growing pile of packing has been accomplished by him, moving day looms, new packing boxes are required, and all of the repairs to the house still need to be undertaken.
- Two weeks in advance, frantically implore honey to begin packing. Anxiously remind him that the movers are coming in fourteen days, the kitchen and bedroom and TV room and most of the office have not been packed, and the minor repairs to the house still need to be completed.
- Three days in advance, scream like a deranged harpy at honey that we need to begin packing NOW. Run like a maniac from room to room, haphazardly tossing miscellaneous and sundry items into packing boxes, dash around the house stuffing everything and anything into boxes, bags, cartons, plastic bins, etc. Lift and push aside and disassemble and wrap and fold and untie and unhook and unscrew and unplug and layer and tape and cram and stack more items and boxes and bins than you ever thought possible in 72 hours.
- Two days in advance, glance about you and realize that you are never going to finish it all before the movers arrive. Redouble your efforts to lift and push aside and disassemble. . . . after midnight, fall into bed exhausted.
- One day in advance, expend most of your energy shrieking at honey that this is all his fault, if only he’d listened to you and been organized and followed the list, you’d be ready to move now, instead of throwing things with abandon into bags, stuffing things with neither rhyme nor reasons into boxes, blindly shoving items into bins and cartons, while he works frantically on the minor repairs to the house.
- Moving day, spend the wee hours still futilely attempting to pack items while waiting for the movers to arrive. Continue as they undertake the monumental task of displacing and replacing your entire life’s meaning as it’s packed into various containers, ignoring the few directives written on the cardboard with black magic marker. Watch, helplessly, as they stack all of the 60-plus boxes that used to contain untouched books, kitchen gadgets, grandmother’s possessions and other unwanted items in the same haphazard pile (four deep and five high) of boxes that contain all of your current, essential, just-packed possessions.
- On moving day, run back and forth between old and new residences, attempting to direct the movers so they don’t wreck your beloved antique sewing machine, lifting and moving boxes they’ve already stacked because you notice they belong upstairs in the office instead of way down in the basement, carrying oddly shaped and as-yet unpacked items (such as your honey’s grandfather’s massive umbrella, your mother’s silver 3-tier cake serving platter, your dogs’ four pillows [pre-LL Bean], your barber’s mirror for the wall in the bathroom, your sneakers, your jar of sauerkraut and other fridge-related items, and more) into the house as you vainly attempt to find a place for them that won’t have to be changed within the next few hours.
- On moving day, help the movers with the heavier and more awkward items, such as the treadmill, the plants, the box of spices, the lawn chairs, the chest freezer, the pail of agave nectar, the box of shoe boxes, or the brooms and mops. Almost drop several boxes, trip several times, bang into walls and bookcases and stair bannisters over and over, so that eventually (and by the time you notice, three days later), your arms and legs are awash in bruises, vaguely resembling a Jackson Pollock painting.
- At 10:15 on moving day, begin to search desperately for at least one of the boxes you’d marked “Open First.” When this appears futile, use your last few ounces of energy to begin slitting open sealed boxes, searching desperately for anything you could use at this late date to cover your bed so you can fall into it in a crumpled heap.
- At 10:30 PM, unable to find anything to put on your bed, drive in a catatonic state to the local Wal-Mart, arriving just as they’re about to close, to purchase new sheets. Pick any old thing just to get something. Arrive home and somehow manage to place your new, shades-of-vomited-salmon sheets on the bed.
- Brush your teeth with your index finger in the only bathroom with no windows (since there are no blinds or curtains in any of the rooms), then feel your way in the dark (since you’re naked–you couldn’t find any boxes of clothes, either) to the bed and sleep like a dead person for 6 hours until your excited dogs poke their wet, cold noses into your cheek to wake you.
- Spend every waking moment since then unpacking, replacing, stocking, shelving, unwrapping, folding, cleaning, organizing, assembling, purchasing, setting up, refilling, and howling like a banshee at your honey that if only you had listened to me and gotten started early and been organized and done what I said we would not be in this horrible mess now and I could find my *&#@$!! underwear and we’d have our house set up and we’d be able to start our life instead of having to wade through a chaotic mass of cardboard and paper and plastic and twine and cloth and wool and dog hair and food and every other single thing we own in a jumbled mass that’s going to take weeks just to go through, let alone set up properly and you make me crazy and I want to break something and I am so stressed that I’m eating pounds of chocolate over the past few days and I have no idea how I’m going to get through this ordeal without cracking up.
- A couple of days after moving, weigh yourself and nearly faint to see that you have not gained an ounce, not a gram, not a wee line on the scale, even though you’ve been gorging on chocolate at every possible opportunity (between unpacking, organizing, assembling, etc.).
- Write about it all in your blog. Heave a heavy sigh. It’s gone. It’s out. It’s over.
- Get back to the task at hand: 462 boxes that need to be unpacked, methodically, one box at a time.
(“Mum? Are you okay, Mum? . . . . . um. . . . will we still be able to go on our walk today?”)