About Me

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Atlanta, GA, United States
When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995 and have been music director at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation since 2011.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Fighting the Urge

In my last blog, I wrote that one of my goals is to weigh 185 pounds by the end of the year. Even after having to stop running due to a knee problem, I've been good about exercising. It's the diet the kills me. When I was training for half marathons, I could eat what I wanted without gaining weight. When I had to stop running, I still had a runner's appetite, and I kept on eating as if I were still burning through lots of calories.

My diet is back under control, but it's being sorely tested these first couple weeks of 2012. Like most dieters, my willpower is weakest at night. It gets even weaker after a gig or rehearsal. You can really work up an appetite performing. There's almost nothing that tastes better than Waffle House or Mexican food after a gig!

I've been rehearsing for a production of Xanadu. The next two weeks are filled with night after night of rehearsals and shows. There is an IHop, a Waffle House, Mexican restaurants, three grocery stores, and several convenience stores on the way home. The temptation to stop and grab a late night meal grows each night.

I know that I'm not alone in craving foods at night, and that, like me, some of you may also have unusual schedules and find yourself traveling in the evenings.

You may have your own strategies. The way I deal with it is to plan ahead. First of all, as I'm watching my diet, I plan my meals for the day. Rather than obsess about what I can't eat, I focus on what I'm going to eat. If I have an evening show, timing is a factor. I'll usually eat dinner about 60 minutes before a show (90 minutes if I'm singing). I'm still hungry after a show, but not as hungry as I would be if I had eaten dinner earlier.

I'm also diligent about choosing restaurants. I prefer to eat dinner near the theater to avoid rush hour traffic and the potential of being late (my biggest pet peeve). It's easy to blow your diet when you're eating out. I always choose a restaurant before I even leave, otherwise my stomach will steer me toward Mellow Mushroom Pizza or Five Guys. I'll usually go with Subway or someplace I can order soup and salad.

I steel myself before each rehearsal or show, knowing that someone usually bakes cookies or brings treats. Today I succumbed and accepted a cupcake (yum!). After the show, I do my best to resist the urge to stop for food. I'm not beating myself up over that cupcake, I resisted Waffle House on the way home, and I pedaled 60 minutes today, so I'd say it was a good day overall. Tomorrow is another day and another rehearsal, so I'll be doing this all again…minus the cupcake.

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