Confessions from someone just like you

I haven’t stepped on a scale since April. It was a necessary evil that I figured had become unnecessary after losing 16 pounds during a 12-week stint in “Boot Camp.”
After all, Oprah doesn’t use a scale anymore and she knows everything. She keeps track of her weight by how her clothes fit.
Sounded like a plan.
So I tried that rationale on for size and for seven months, I let dust and home decorating magazines collect atop the “supreme reality checker.”
I also took Dr. Phil’s advice and didn’t wear sweat pants. He claimed they encouraged an expanding waistline.
I spent the summer slipping in and out of dresses I hadn’t been able to wear in years, enjoyed the sunshine, shorts, and cold beer on a hot day. I really did swear off potatoes and rice, and bread eight times out of 10.
And all those times I ate a bun with my hamburger, stopped at the local coffee shop for a muffin or a doughnut, grabbed fries at the fast-food joint, or ate chips and dip on the weekends didn’t count.
I flew through it all—active in the story of my country life and not once did I exercise with purpose. I worked outside, often too much for my own good, but I never went for regular walks nor rode my bike.
Not once.
George Bernard Shaw once said, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” He was right. And slowly but surely, something happened.
I should have seen it coming. Once the cooler weather leading into fall dipped the temperature back to where jeans were in order, they didn’t fit right. Had the jeans shrunk from too many tosses into the dryer?
The part of my chemical make-up that overrides reason convinced me it was impending menopause, or the moon’s gravity that was hailing the return of “the Buddha” and his hippy sidekicks.
After all, I’d lost 16 pounds. How much could it hurt to have enjoyed a few small rewards and taken an extended holiday from a cardio workout? Besides, my fatness was a sign of aging ovaries, so what about the chocolates?
Logic and reality returned to correct my chemical imbalance theory last week when, on impulse one morning before breakfast, I stepped on the scale. Results begged two repeat readings before I was convinced this much was true.
But I still wasn’t convinced that this much was anything at all. In fact, the numbers stared back at me as being less than after my original weight loss this spring.
The only way to find out the truth was to come to work, check on my weight from a column I wrote April 20, and do a comparison. All the way to town, I gave kudos to myself on a job well-done while defying all the expert advice against eating and not exercising.
But for the love of Pete, I’d gained 10 pounds back and shoved a huge monkey wrench into the best laid plans of a woman who preaches intention.
Where went my resolve to be a loser, not a quitter? I was supposed to continue my losing streak, paring down to a weight in keeping with what this 5’3” frame is built for. I wasn’t supposed to quit paying attention.
But I did.
That perpetual bump in the road to a healthy weight is travelled over and revisited so often—without question—in the lives of so many women, including me. I’m still fighting it.
However, I remain an optimistic, determined 45-year old dynamo and I won’t be caught beating myself up, at least I didn’t retrace old weight like Oprah did in her past. I may not be where I want to be, but I’m sure as heck not where I was.
So I joined the gym because, baby, I’m still going to get where I want to be. I just need a little more energy and motivation, and everything will fall into place.
But that’s another story.

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