Enough Said

Enough Said
A sampling of my columns and why the hell is my picture SO big?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Finally a loser

About five years ago I lost about 100 lbs. I’m using the word “about” because the start date, how long it took and actual amount are a bit murky. I went from a size 22 to a size 10. I even have a few size 8s in my closet. To be honest I wore single digits for about 5 minutes. Another murky “about.” My doctor wanted me to lose another 10 or so but gaunt was not what I was looking for. Healthy was my goal.

I was what was considered a sturdy kid, solid, meaty, a rough and tumble girl. I played hard, ran fast and far until the first dance of high school. I cried behind the bleachers because not one boy asked me to dance. My dad picked me up after the dance and drove us to my best friend’s home. On the way The Four Season’s hit Big Girls Don’t Cry played on the radio. My friends commented about how appropriate the song was for me at that moment. I never explained to my father what they meant.
I had been put on diets as a youngster because my mother did not approve of my plumpness. But it wasn’t until after the dance that I embraced the quest to lose weight like a drowning man grasps the gunnel of a sinking boat; it only saves you for a little while.

Until five years ago my entire life revolved around the loathing of fat cells. I tried almost every diet imaginable. They all worked for a little while but how can anyone commit to nothing but sauerkraut and hard boiled eggs without alienating those close to you. Jobs, marriage and children piled on the pounds and as I aged, losing weight became that thing I talked about and never succeeded at. So I stopped beating myself up over every single thing I ate and felt free, and yet, I felt like a failure.

Once my husband and I found ourselves fully immersed in the revelry of empty nest everything changed. In the space of a few weeks both girls were off to college, I started a new job, my father had a stroke and lay dying, and my mother, the strongest of us all, became a needy empty husk of a woman. It was indeed, the most stressful time of my life, a time when overload defined my days and nights. As I look back I realize it was a turning point, although at the time I did not know it. 
My dad died and seven months later my mom passed away. Adrift, I wandered around as an adult orphan wondering what all life’s effort were really for. And that is when my secret weapon presented itself. My job. My very physical, eight hours on my feet, lifting, stretching and working up a sweat job, became my talisman.

Walking 4 to 5 miles a day during my hours at work was the one thing I knew would consistently make the difference if I wanted to lose weight. So I headed to a weight loss group. I am convinced that no matter the plan I chose at the time, it would have worked because my mind set had changed. And, my secret weapon made all the difference. Not in a million years did I ever think I could reinvent the body I was born with. But, in a way I did.

To be truthful, within the first year of reaching goal, I gained back “about” 10 lbs. and have maintained that level ever since. So the question is, why am I so publicly sharing my achievement? Because at my age, actually at any age, attempting, achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important and not impossible. I don’t deny myself what I want, I just adjust. Feeling good “about” yourself is as important as just plain feeling good.


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