What size I wear is really not of any interest to anyone and yet I allow myself to be so judgmental of myself when I try on an outfit I think I can squeeze into and find that I can´t.
I once had a boyfriend who I loved very much. One day we were talking about this and that and the fantasy of a life together came up. We joked about getting older and I remember saying that I would absolutely balk if he ever became fat. He was shocked by that statement, my only excuse today is that I had worked so hard to have a lovely figure that the very idea of losing it was a very scary prospect. We eventually broke up, the timing was just not right for us.
We met up several years later. By that time both of us had married and divorced and I had put on a few pounds. He teased me gently and reminded me that the person he fell in love with was still the same, that it didn´t matter to him … instead of graciously and lovingly accepting his comment, I vowed to take off the weight…and I did. The timing again wasn´t right for us, indeed, it never would have worked out
I married a wonderful person, had a family and have an successful marriage. Somewhere along the line, both us of became complacent married folk and have gained a lot of weight during our 30 year marriage. I am tonight spending time at my dad´s house and as I do every time I am here, I look into my deceased mother´s closet just to familiarize myself with the clothes she left behind and try to make some decisions. Although our tastes were different, there are a couple of items that are nice and others that bring her immediately back to me. Tonight I tried on a couple of things (sizes 16, 18, 20)…too tight, okay, too big..I am horrified I am this fat, shocked I let myself go like this. And mind you, I am 20 lbs. lighter than I was at this time 2 years ago. It is hard to get my mind around it, I am trying to focus on the weight loss and I know I can still lose the 25 lbs. that would make me fit into a more acceptable 12-14. But my body has taken on an unusual shape…gravity and excess weight are not a good combination!
For today, I skipped the wine, the chocolates and the cookies. Tomorrow is another day, I started this blog feeling a bit down but expunging my feelings has allowed me to get a grip, it´s not the end of the world and nobody cares what size I wear!
Bing..com free to use image
Except for the ugly platter that this fruit is on, this is a mouth-watering variety of fruit, ready-made for a good start to the day.
In my clearing up of bookcases to prepare for painting my bedroom, I came across a copy of Harvey and Marilyn Diamond’s Fit for Life “program” that I had participated in almost 20 years ago. It is amazing how good advice never goes out of style. I also came across a Weight Watchers program guide that dates to 1976 when my mom and my sister were participating in the program. I was at a good weight at the time, they were getting ready for my upcoming wedding! It seems like a lifetime ago, and actually I have experienced many changes and have updated my body for many years. Right now, I am back on WW (they too have had many iterations!) and hoping that this final time will see me going into the final chapters of my life with a manageable weight and good health. So far, it has been slow going but that has its own rewards as my skin is not as wrinkled as it would be if the weight loss were too quick.
But going back to the Diamond’s plan. It makes sense. It’s kind of the advice one would give a friend one cares about: start the day with fruit, move, have good thoughts, keep yourself hydrated, etc. The problem is that we are all distracted by work, family obligations, the need for relaxation which usually involves fattening and delicious food…
I did the plan when I was just 10 lbs. over my goal. It was not something I wanted to do, trying my best to lose the weight naturally by eating healthily when hungry and avoiding binging and eating high calorie junk food. However, I had a friend who was about 25 lbs. overweight at the time and wanted to do something drastic about it. She had heard of a homeopath who was implementing meditation, inserting a tiny device in one’s ear (like acupuncture) and following the Diamond’s plan. The homeopath gave a group discount for three participants so my friend enlisted one other person and off we went. I don’t think I lost a single ounce but I did get to keep the meditation tape, and the book. The acupuncture thing came out of the ear after the three or four sessions, I can’t remember. Doing the program turned into one of my big mistakes, it seems to me that is when my modest but steady weight gain trend began. 20 years later, I had added almost 40 lbs. to my small frame! The instigator of the idea eventually went on to another commercial diet plan where her food intake was monitored (I think she wore a patch for a few months) daily but she did successfully take off the weight and has kept it off for more than 5 years. Our other friend remains the same weight more or less but has been trying to lose also as I have.
The moral of the story for me is this: everyone who is or has been overweight has an individual story to tell. Some people are fat because they love to eat. Some people are fat because they eat in response to emotional triggers. Some people focus so much attention on dieting, their body rebels and hangs on to the weight just in case it ever finds itself stranded on some desert island with nothing to eat…it is protection. In my case, I was a fat kid because bad habits begun when I was a baby (my mom adding sugar to the milk to make up for her absence) continued to my teenage years and I never learned to eat properly and healthily until I was an adult and decided to lose weight for me. I am a veteran dieter. I know any plan will work if you stick with it long enough and although I am a very big fan of WW, I can accept that everyone has the ability to make choices. My choice for today is to stay away from the scale this week until Friday which is my weekly weigh in. I will mindfully plan, prepare and eat my way into health and a good weight for me. I am grateful that my internal panic button did not allow me to add hundreds of pounds to my body. People who have that much weight to lose inspire me and have my heartfelt solidarity and compassion during their journey.
bing.com public domain picture
I am not a vegetarian but the picture of this happy one made me smile and I thought I would add it to today’s blog post.
I have made my way through almost a week of successful healthy eating. I find myself away from home with many fruits, vegetables and single-serve options at my fingertips. This availability of variety makes it so much easier to stay focused and on plan. It has long been my contention that if one has a chef and people to do the every day tasks so one can devote oneself to creating, painting, writing, thinking, there would be no need for dieting. Alas how many of us can really do that? How many of us would really want to? I suppose the novelty would wear off just as it does for everything. That’s life.
My current geographical location is somewhere in the U.S. I know where I am but since I am not sharing that information with every person in my life, I would rather be low key. Suffice it to say that I am enjoying being a bit off the grid for a while while I devote myself to the long-neglected novel I began last November. I am currently procrastinating getting back to it by writing blog entries and reading lots of colorful, entertaining fashion magazines. Who would really wear these outrageous clothes? Let’s be real, who in my circle could really afford them?
I have been examining that whole “secondary gains” idea. I think that one of the secondary gains is that I can now find stylish clothing that fits me whereas in my younger days, anything that fit me was designed for frumpy older women who were not coquettish the way I have always been. In my youth, I had to re-design and sew my own stuff. Now, there are plenty of designers who are smart enough not to turn their noses up at the buying power of that demographic. Not having to spend my time sewing is a secondary gain. Yesterday I went shopping and found a nice pair of (extra-stretchy) jeans that I only had to hem. They were a “perfect” size 16! I chuckle as I write that, what’s “perfect” about a size 16, old me would ask sarcastically? These days, it feels perfect to me. I hemmed them this morning, ironed a complimentary blouse and voila, ready for the day and night. It feels good and if I don’t look great, at least I look presentable and that is no small thing.
bing.com public domain image
Mondays are crazy days for me. I am one of those people who thrives on routine so this
is the weekday that I choose to wash my hair (long, lots, curly), to do the laundry, change
the sheets and generally make a plan for what the rest of the week will be like. I try not
to schedule any outside errands so that I can just concentrate on staying in and tidying up
the house from the relaxing clutter that builds up during the weekend.
Yesterday it took me three tries before I found a blouse that fit me properly. I’ve shared
my weight challenges so we won’t revisit that subject. Suffice it to say that I found myself
in a kind of bad mood yesterday, something I notice happens to me when I reach for
something in the close that I haven’t worn in a very long time. I miss the years when I could
reach for anything and it fit me. But the reason I was upset yesterday is really because the
clothes that are snug (and I hate that snug feeling) are not S or M …they are XL!
After a few hours of mentally bashing myself, I decided to just get on with my day and do
what needed to get done, which included a trip to the supermarket. While at the supermarket
I disciplined myself and DID NOT pick up my favorite cookies or candies. Instead I went for
the veggies and the cottage cheese. I know me, I do so much better these days when the tasty
high calorie items stay outside the house. It wasn’t always so, I could have a cookie and that
would be that, but lately, I am not happy until the package is gone. What’s with that?
This morning, my husband offered me a croissant with butter and jam. I thought about it
for a micro-second, then heard myself replying that I was having green beans and cottage
cheese for my breakfast. He chuckled as he spread a generous amount of jam on his lovely
lightly toasted croissant. I served myself my cottage cheese and green beans and thought
about how lovely it will be when the XL blouse buttons properly. I love starting a busy
day on a good note, it makes every single thing that much nicer. As Tony Robbins once
quipped “Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.” I paraphrase, but it went something
like that and I totally concur.
cottage cheese wikipedia image
I had another excellent week, completing my goal of eating no sugar or junk food for
an entire 30 days! Now that I have begun to add the odd chocolate piece of cake or
candy, I feel I don’t really need to consume as much of that kind of food as I did
prior to making this personal challenge!
I feel great and look forward to continuing my journey back to my normal weight. The
goal is closer than it was a month ago and it makes me feel good because I have found
respect for myself and my resolve!
picture from Bing.com