Think Again! About Losing Weight
After a lifetime of being ‘the big girl’ in the room, I’m closing in on a weight-loss goal I never thought I’d see. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes more than 30 percent of all Americans adults as obese. Who’d have thought it possible that I’d weigh less at age 60 than I did at age 14?
Now that I’ve lost more than 90 pounds, the stakes seem higher than ever before. Seven more pounds remain between me and my goal. Even with the end in sight, it’s easy for me to find new bad habits to pursue. Will I make it? And what happens after I reach my goal? Can I maintain it? If you have any tips, comments and stories that might help, please share them here. Your input may help me and someone else.
It’s taken me more than five years to lose the weight. Looking back, I can see that my journey has not been about dieting, but about changing my diet. It’s not been about exercising, but about discovering how much fun I can have being active. And mostly, it has been about changing my mind.
What kind of changes am I talking about? Mine started small.
- Pick a plan and decide you can do it.
Even when life intervenes in your weight loss plans – and it will – remember that you can always start again with the next bite. There will always be ice cream, cookies, French fries, barbeque ribs (my weakness) and chocolate. Have some. Then, get back on the plan the next day at the latest.
- Don’t go hungry.
Eat something, like fruit, half a sandwich or 100 calorie snacks, for example, before you leave the house. Keep ‘legal’ goodies available at all times, stocked in the kitchen cabinets, in your purse, in the car, in your desk at work. Having guilt-free food on hand eliminates excuses.
- Start moving.
If exercise is a dirty word to you, think back. When you were a kid running around on the playground, riding your bike (my favorite), ice skating or playing with the dog, exercise was about having fun. Find an activity that speaks to your heart and try it again. You may move more slowly now, or you may tone it down several notches. That’s O.K. Moving is what matters.
My father’s corner grocery store was next door to my grandfather’s ice cream parlor and across the street from my aunt’s restaurant. From the time I could walk, I went from door to door for love, attention and loads of calories in the small Missouri community where I grew up. By middle age, however, my knees finally tipped the scale (so to speak) in a different direction. One morning as I headed downstairs to make coffee, they screamed out in pain. My orthopedic surgeon gave me a choice; replace your knees or lose the weight.
Even with those choices, it took a while to find a path that worked for me. I bounced from diet to diet. I jogged and played racquetball before discovering that cycling makes me feel like a kid again. I lost 60 pounds and gained back 30, all within a year. The number of diets I tried almost defies counting. But I always came back to what worked for me: Weight Watchers.
This blog is not a commercial for Weight Watchers, although I obviously think it’s a fine plan. I’m convinced that just about any weight loss program or diet will work – if you stay on them. Therein the battle lies. The race is not to the swift, but to the committed.
Of course I think still think about food all the time: French fries with ketchup on the side. Great big cheese burgers. Pizza. Ice cream.
Sometimes I indulge. But more frequently now, fries are cooked in the oven, turkey burgers are served on reduced fat buns and the ice cream is low calorie. I think about what I’m going to eat next and make sure that the right things are in the refrigerator. Ninety pounds gone. I’m thinking that if I can do this, you can too.