One year ago today, my doctor gave me a prescription for thyroid medication. The obligatory prescription warning fell out….and as it fell, it unfolded and billowed to the floor like the giant parachute on one of those toy green army men. That got my attention. I called the doctor’s office, asked for ninety days to lose some weight and do followup bloodwork.
That first day, I gave away any food in the house that might have been a temptation, or that I perceived as “bad for me”.
I am blessed. I should have been morbidly obese. I was easily eating 7000-10,000+ calories a day. Normal would include a family size bag of M&Ms for breakfast, supplemented with half a dozen chocolate covered donuts, half a box of Little Debbies, fast food for lunch, a bag of cookies, a fresh bag of candy when I got home, and maybe a quarter of a pie or cake after dinner. I craved carbs, sugar, texture. I exercised regularly - and could never understand why I couldn’t lost weight.
I started at age 56, 222 pounds, 5’7”. I faithfully followed the IFM.org Elimination Diet recommended by my doctor. I enjoyed it and found it so simple, I just stayed on it. Two weeks in, my debilitating GERD vanished. By the time of my return visit to the doc, I was down thirty pounds, and no longer needed thyroid medication.
My dietician made helpful suggestions, but most importantly, suggested MFP. I signed up, got a food scale, and spent hours pouring over MFP community posts. I am retired. “I” became my full-time job. I added Pilates, running, brisk walks, weights & machine training to my yoga practice. My lovely neighbors walked me in shifts like you’d walk a dog. I got a trainer in February. The weight continued to fall off - ten pounds a month for the first six months.
The “rewards” of the first few months, moving my goal weight lower, lower, and lower again had become addictive. Ten months in, I became frustrated I wasn’t continuing to lose weight as fast as before, even though I knew it gets harder as it goes. “Only” fifteen net pounds after April (a month long “foodie’ vacation didn’t help). But then I reviewed some photos my trainer had sent, and realized, I had slimmed down and toned up.
I am currently 146, current goal 145. My trainer is encouraging me to stop where I am now. She claims there’s no spare fat. My right brain is frustrated over my Play-Doh belly, the left brain is like “well damn girl, you’re 57, there’s no need to kill yourself for abs of steel”. So, in a couple of weeks I am treating myself to a DexaScan to see what my % is, and then I’ll consider mainetenance.
Has it been hard? Yes. No one can be harder on us than ourselves. I’d like to back off some of the exercise before I hurt myself, but I enjoy them all so much, it’s like choosing a favorite child. I feel like Pavlov’s dog trying to make my self imposed step and ring goals. I have a hard time sitting still. Body Dysmorphia? Check. Although it’s improving, I still focus on the belly in the mirror, and have to remind myself to look again and appreciate newfound collarbones, jawline, slender arms. Some days I feel like I gotz all da caloreez in da world, some days I scramble and bargain with myself to stay under. Some days I just have to simply do the best I can and know I can not repeat it the next and risk breaking new habits. Replacement clothes were a guilty but necessary waste of money. The first time I couldn’t imagine myself getting smaller, so overbought and overspent. The second time I knew it was a passing size and I hit clearance racks and limited myself. The third time, I went for broke and rewarded myself.
Has it been easy? Yes. Worst possibly analogy for a weight loss group, but how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I enjoyed those small victories as they added up. The belly rolls and bingo wings (that was a big one!) disappearing. The triumph of giving big clothes to Goodwill. Little muscles starting to peek out. The inexhaustible thrill of folding laundry or packing for a trip, realizing those little doll-sized clothes are (*gasp*) mine?!!! The peace and organization that comes with planning meals a week in advance, having a plan both in the grocery store and at mealtime. The addictive compliments. The respect from those who know where I’ve come from. The pertinent discussions here, sometimes funny, often heartbreaking. I feel like I know so many of the posters here pretty well- who’s snarky, knowledgeable, fulla BS, just a nice person. Buying an entire new final wardrobe from undies up was fun, then exhausting. I’ve become more confident and friendly, and also, for whatever reason, more forgiving, maybe because I’m having to learn to forgive myself? I’ve been to more social events in the past six months than in the past twenty five years.
Regrets? Yes. Not doing this twenty five years ago. I regret that I spent half my life underweight (not an eating disorder, btw), and the other half overweight, and that it took this long to have my WTF moment. I regret allowing myself to become a slob with my appearance and not take care of myself because “I” didn’t matter. My husband and family did. I regret forgetting that they did and were entitled to a wife and mom they could be proud of. I regret the years I could have been having fun making friends or volunteering but was so judgmental of myself, I assumed everyone else was- which made me a horribly judgmental beyotch myself. I regret those many days I didn’t keep to my calorie allowance, but I also regret bothering to regret that, because we all need moments of kindness to ourselves.
In classic diva fashion, i would like to thank my husband for putting up with me through (literally) thick and thin, my much loved yoga studio for welcoming me with open arms and modifications,and not judging, and my lovely, lovely personal trainer. I sincerely hope that if you’ve read this far, and have had a PT or thought of using one, that you find someone you click with as well as I have with mine. She has been life changing. Everyone should have someone that positive, motivating, and fun in their life. And finally, the people at UnderArmour for producing the MFP app and providing it to the public for free. FREE.
August 2018, two weeks before my doctors visit
Covered Wagon trip in June. I’m wearing a dress we had made for our daughter when we took the trip when she was 10, and had lengthened when she was 13. Yes, prairies dresses are very forgiving, but I’m wearing a ten year olds dress, and I still can’t get over it.
With the worlds greatest trainer, Miss Jean
You can’t see Miss Jean, she’s taking the picture, but the woman’s lungs are so strong I bet if you listen hard you can hear her
Big improvement over the cruise picture