My weight had taken a drastic dip after I returned home from the DPRK. I always lose weight after a vacation, yet this trip saw the greatest personal weight loss. With a diet lacking in high protein, an unfortunate intestinal ailment that made the simple sight of Korean food enough to lose my appetite, plus having no opportunities to work out, it is no wonder I lost weight. When I flew from Pyongyang to China and commenced working out at the Swissôtel’s gym, I could see how much leaner I looked. When I got home I was afraid to step on the scale. I was avoiding the truth by denying it. After past vacations, I would usually drop five pounds after a trip to Switzerland but it was only a matter of a couple weeks–literally–to put the weight back on. This time, however, I could tell by looking at my leaner waistline and thinner arms that I had lost a lot more than five pounds. Still, I was in denial and did not want to step on the scale to see what it would read back to me.

When I finally did summon the courage to weigh myself–well over a month after I returned to Canada–I was just over 165 pounds. I was eight pounds less than what I weighed before I had left. I shuddered to think that I might have even dropped below 160 by the time my vacation was over in late September. It was going to be a long haul to get myself back up to my pre-vacation weight again.

In January I crept back to the 170’s and yesterday I hit a new peak weight: 174.2. I have a thin frame and a gain of ten pounds in upper body mass is more than obvious to me. It has been a long 4½ months to return to, then surpass, my summer weight. Mark and I will be taking a Scrabble holiday in Florida in late February-early March and I need my Miami Beach body back. The weight I regained is not all lean mass so I have to increase the cardio.

I have upped the cardio by skating on the new outdoor rink at Mississauga’s Celebration Square. I work across the street from this rink and can see how crowded it is–or isn’t. In the morning when school is in session I have at times seen no one there. And I do mean no one. I got up early today, finished my usual Tuesday-morning chores then headed for the rink. From 12.10 to 12.50 I shared the new ice with only five other skaters. The city had piped in hits of the eighties as skating music. I had a fantastic time skating to “(Keep Feeling) Fascination” by the Human League, “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes, and hits by Naked Eyes, the Police and Cyndi Lauper. On some evenings after work at 9 p.m. I head to the rink and skate till it closes at 10 o’clock.

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