True confessions: I came back from my trip with a reinvigorated sweet tooth and have been eating the Evil 6 daily ever since I returned.

On the plus side, I have also been adding strength to my cardio, and I have sore muscles.

I like having sore muscles. I realize that this is weird. DMS, or delayed muscle soreness, is one of the most common reasons for giving up exercise. For me, it’s satisfying. I get up the day after a Lotte Berk weights session and have that twinge, and think, “Oh, it’ll be worse tomorrow.” With satisfaction, as though I’ve accomplished something. And maybe I have. I think that soreness is the result of small damages which the muscle repairs, getting stronger in the process.

As a young woman, I always had sore muscles. So maybe this is like getting back some part of my youthful identity. I also have collar bones. They’re not visible if I stand still, but I can feel them, and they’re visible when I move. I haven’t had visible collar bones for years, either.

I don’t have things like a flat stomach, and that may be impossible after four babies and all these years. In fact, #1 daughter, who used to work in a weight loss clinic, tells me that I will have hideous loose skin in certain places if I keep losing weight. I figured that losing in a healthy way and at a steady, reasonable rate would allow me to avoid that.

A blogger claims that you can avoid “that elephant-like look that you probably don’t want” by not just losing weight at a reasonable pace and exercising, but also by keeping hydrated and caring for your skin.

We’ll see.