Where's Cindy Singing Next?

  • Stage Director, The Crucible, Spotlight on Opera, 2014
    www.SpotlightOnOpera.com July 2014
  • Prince Orlovsky, Die Fledermaus, Syracuse Opera, 2014
  • Gertrude, Romeo et Juliette, Austin Lyric Opera 2015
    January 24, 29; February 1 www.austinlyricopera.org

Cindy on Stage

  • Marcellina, The Marriage of Figaro, Jacksonville Symphony 2014
    I play dress-up for a living.
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January 12, 2013

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rc

I have followed this blog on and off since you were profiled in the NYT. At the time, I had also lost a significant amount of weight (about 90 pounds), had changed my eating and exercise habits dramatically (but slowly and sustainably, I believed), and now I have gained back to within about 15 pounds of my heaviest weight.

For me, I believe there were two problems. First, although my weight trended down, I reached a point on the downward trajectory (after a loss of about 60) when I was doing a lot of yo-yoing, 5 or 8 pounds up and then back down, during which I couldn't figure out how to go down consistently. During that time, I developed the habit of eating carelessly when I wanted to, and then more carefully later, which I think allowed me to become progressively more lax without even realizing it.

Then, over the summer, I received permission to use some vacation time to cut my work hours slightly to take a class. This left me with time in the mornings, before work, to go jogging. It was summer, and the days were long. By the end of the summer, I was jogging 5 miles in the mornings, walking in about 3.5 miles to work, and then walking home. Plus, I was eating carefully, and by August I had lost 90 pounds from my highest weight.

But then, the second problem: I changed my schedule dramatically. I took two classes the next semester, which meant I had no time to walk to work or home, or to jog. And the days were shorter. By the end of the semester, I had gained some weight and felt very discouraged, although I later realized it was only about 10-15 pounds. But then after the Christmas holidays, I started a new project at work that required me to be there virtually every day, from very early until about 9 pm every day in January - even holidays and weekends. By the time that was over, I was exhausted, the weather was cold (I lived in New England), the days were short, and I just couldn't bring myself to get restarted, mostly because of disappointment over my relapse (which, again, wasn't really that bad but felt that way).

I think that winter was two years ago. I live someplace else where the winters are mild but walking to work and back is impossible (by that I mean it's unsafe; there are no sidewalks). And I've started graduate school full-time, and (despite the stereotypes of grad students as slackers) I work far, far more than I did when I had a salaried position.

That was long. I share it only to say that this is hard in a way that people who haven't experienced it cannot know, because there are so many ways to get off-track. When you have spent a lifetime reinforcing unhealthful habits, they return when you're not looking, when you're just going about your business and taking a class or doing your job. I know you can figure this out, and I know that I can figure it out. It's taking time and trials, and it would be easier if I could set real life aside and just concentrate on my health. But I can't, and you probably can't either.

My goal is to get to a point where I'm attentive and diligent but not struggling. I believe it will come. Good luck to you!!

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