I have battled my weight (mostly unsuccessfully) for my entire adult life. It wasn’t always that way – when I was a child and a teenager I was pretty average, even thin at times. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted and never gave it a second thought. Ham sandwiches, chocolate cake, cheese….oh do I LOVE cheese. It never occurred to me to moderate my diet. I didn’t exercise. My motto was “when I run, I fall”, so I avoided most strenuous activity. I was a cheerleader and I did try a few sports. I swam on my high school swim team for two seasons and decided that almost drowning in a public forum was not at all attractive (besides – swimming is HARD!!). I have absolutely no eye/hand coordination, so any sport like basketball, softball or tennis is out for me. It stood to reason that a sedentary person like me would eventually become larger, but I really didn’t expect it.
My first real charge at weight loss was when I was in my early twenties. My upcoming wedding was motivation to get me started at losing those 25 pounds or so that I had gained in college. I started attending Weight Watchers meetings with a few of my mother’s friends. (I should note that my mother was always thin to the point of having a hard time GAINING weight. I will never understand that problem, and honestly I have a hard time being sympathetic, but she assured me for years that it WAS a real problem. I simply cannot understand why I did not inherit the “thin” gene.) I was successful with the program the first time, mostly because I lived alone and did not have a lot to lose. I was 21 years old when I became a “lifetime member”. The program served the purpose for me at the time, but I really did not change any of my habits.
My subsequent wedding and newlywed years as an inexperienced cook trying to prepare meals for my spouse (meat, potato and a vegetable every night-exactly what I had growing up in the 1970’s) started the road to gaining it all back – and then some. Those early years were followed by three pregnancies and then rejoining the world of full-time employment. I became a working mom surviving on “fast food” and easy dinners. This led to several additional pounds.
In my early forties I had a few health issues that led my doctors to insinuate that perhaps my weight had something to do with my problems, so I again joined Weight Watchers in 2002, this time doing the online program. It was a bit of a struggle, with a houseful of teenagers and a husband who was naturally thin, but amazingly (and with a lot of hard work) eighteen months later I again met my goal weight and even had my “success story” documented and printed online. They even flew me to NYC for an “after” photo shoot!
I really did learn something about nutrition that time and along the way I discovered the joy (no REALLY) of running. I was running 2.5 miles three to five times a week and loving it! It was a great feeling to actually be able to run this distance – non-stop – and I really loved the feeling of thin thighs. Who knew how great that felt…I can tell you that I never appreciated it when I was a teenager, trust me!
Unfortunately I started to have problems with pain in my back and side – an undiagnosed situation that still plagues me today – and I eventually had to give up running. Even walking much of a distance is a struggle for me today. Add to that some dramatic life changes; a change to a more stressful work situation, the loss of my mother, and my children all flying the coop, and here I am today. I am heavier than I was the last time I started.
My continuing health problems, along with my failing self-image have prompted me once again to begin the process, so I am now publicly declaring that two months ago I started the Weight Watchers program yet again. I have tried a few other things over the years, but this one actually works for me, and I believe in the program. I am doing it online again, and this time my spouse (yes, middle-age has finally caught up with him as well – Surprise!) is joining me in the process. To date I have lost 17.5 pounds (he, of course has lost a few more – would someone please tell me why it seems SO much easier for them??) This is no mean feat considering the fall that we had here on the hill. The loss of my father-in-law, immediately followed by the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays have made it a real challenge to keep it up this time, but I am determined to succeed.
I have set my goal weight a little higher than the past times because middle age and my inability to work out make the old goal seem unattainable at this time. Who knows, if I can figure out a way to get a work out in – without putting myself flat on my back for several days – I may lower it, but for now it seems like a good goal, though I still have a long ways to go.
I thought that since I now have this forum to vent share my thoughts and feelings, I would post from time to time about my journey. I hope that writing about it will serve to keep me honest and motivated. I am hoping that I will continue to be successful, and that my progress will help me with my other issues. If I survive the holidays and our youngest daughter’s winter break (which means cupboards and fridge full of things that I do not want to eat), I intend to start 2013 with a positive, healthy outlook.