If I shed eight more pounds, I’ll weigh exactly what I did the day after my daughter was born almost 29 years ago.
This has become a significant milestone for me all these years later.
I weighed 130 pounds when I got pregnant. My doctor told me that I should try not to gain more than 25 pounds during the pregnancy, so I was careful during those nine months about what I ate. Nevertheless, inn the end I gained 30. (Those cravings! I loved eating cottage cheese as a dip for Fritos at lunchtime every day …!)
After giving birth, I perceived myself as gargantuan. I was mortified at the extra weight I was still carrying around (somehow, having a 6 lb., 3 oz. infant didn’t melt all that excess away! Wahhh!), so I started being very careful about what I was eating. The motivation to do so went beyond vanity: I was in the Air Force at the time and had to drop that weight to avoid being stuck on what was called (by those unfortunate enough to find themselves on it after the annual weigh-in and fitness tests) the “Fat Boy” program. If you got put on it, you were weighed monthly, vigorously counseled on nutrition and weight loss and, if you didn’t show a drop in poundage each month, put on a mandatory exercise program as well.
That involved daily running and calisthenics comparable to boot camp.
Well, there was no “Fat Boy” program for this girl. In the end, I lost the extra weight and got back to 130 pounds, 10 below AF standards for my height and build. It took me nine long months – exactly the amount of time it had taken me to gain. I was pretty pleased.
So. Here’s what I’m looking at: Eight pounds will bring me down to 160, my top weight all those years ago. Then, I’ll drop 30 more to weigh the same as I did when I was 26 years old.
Yes, I know I’m 29 years older now. I know my body has changed over the years. My metabolism has slowed. I have osteopenia and I’m post-menopausal. I have rheumatoid arthritis, which can put a real damper on regular exercise. Give me a few more minutes and I can come up with many more reasons that I can’t do this now.
But I know better, don’t I.
I know a lot more about proper nutrition and how weight loss works than I did when I was 26. I’m a lot smarter. Wiser. Frankly, I have more will-power now and more patience. And I cannot tell you what a huge triumph reaching that goal will be for me.
So I’ll give myself 10 months, rather than the nine it took back then since I need to lose 38 pounds rather than 30. I think that’s realistic: it works out to 3.8 pounds to lose each month. If it happens faster than that, I’ll be delighted, but (keeping my head out of the clouds) the slower loss will be healthier and, as an added benefit, more permanent. And as I shed that weight I’ll be reinforcing the healthy eating lifestyle that will allow me to maintain that lower weight in the end.
There are plenty of benefits to weighing 130 vs 168, just as I’ve seen plenty of benefits to weighing 168 vs my heaviest weight of 220 in 2005. I can move much more easily. I don’t tire out so fast doing everyday things like walking up my long, steep driveway, pushing a vacuum cleaner or even standing at the kitchen counter chopping vegetables. I can lean down and tie my shoes without cutting my own breath off. (!) I can get out of bed easier in the morning, even when I’m stiff from rheuma. I wear a much smaller clothing size and have been able to donate all my ugly, hated “fat clothes” to the local hospice thrift store. I can walk two miles without feeling like I’ve walked 10. My blood pressure is good. I have ankles rather than cankles. There’s a lot more room on my lap these days for my small beasties. PIB and Finny both like snoozing there in the evening. They have to take turns, though.
And this is a biggie: If losing 52 pounds has helped save my hip, knee, ankle and foot joints from increased stress over the last 18 months, then imagine what losing 38 more will do for them? As far as RA and hip bursitis is concerned, this can be nothing but good.
I’m on my own “Fat Boy” program – and you know, I like it.