As of yesterday morning (and minus half of the French Dip sandwich I ate last night, when neither Mom or I felt like cooking so we went out for dinner), I’ve officially lost 15 pounds.
Yep, 15. I’m dropping the excess baggage I’ve been carrying around for a while, now. It’s happening incredibly slowly, but it is happening.
Five pounds a month. Yes, I know. Slow is good when it comes to weight loss. At least, that’s what all the scholarly science-noodles say. Lose weight slowly and it will stay off.
Well, I beg to differ. I’ve slowly lost, then slowly re-gained and slowly lost again a total of about 100 pounds since I hit my mid-30s. It’s a frustrating, aggravating and endless cycle, but it’s mine, dammit.
A week ago Mom and I started walking every morning. A mile a day. It’s good to see her feeling well enough to do this. In the nearly three years since she got sciatica, then had miserable gastric and heart problems, she’s lost a lot of physical strength and stamina. For example, she loves to shop, but these days she usually poops out after an hour or so of wandering around a store.
This is striking, because Mom used to be able to shop all day long. Literally. She shopped her way through entire malls, from one end to the other and back, then back to the other end again (because, as we all know, when we finally finish our shopping at the mall, our car will be parked at the opposite end. It has to be a named natural phenomenon, like Murphy’s Law or Schroedinger’s Something).
Anyway, we’ve walked
five six miles this week.
Mom’s doing it because she wants to be able to shop like she used to. I’m doing it so maybe, just maybe it will give my somnolent metabolism a kick-start. You know: “Hey, Body-o-mine! Yes, YOU! I’m only feeding you 1, 100 calories a day! How ‘bout burning more than 50? Come on! Off your duff!”
While I’d like to reach my goal weight by Christmas, I know I can’t—and I shouldn’t. Thirty-five pounds, lost that fast, would be really unhealthy. I’d probably get rickets or something. Besides, the only way I could do it would be to go on a strict water-and-celery-only diet. I wouldn’t even last a day.
Even if I did manage it, I’d have to eat the Christmas feast with the family: mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread dressing, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, Christmas cookies…
I’d gain it all back overnight.
I also want to lose that weight because of my ol’ buddy, the rheuma-dragon. The more poundage I carry on my smallish skeleton, the more stress I’m putting on my weight-bearing joints: my hips, my knees, my ankles and every tiny joint in both feet.
And walking—exercise—helps strengthen the muscles that support those joints. Or so they say.
Finally, there’s the Vanity Factor. When I’m fat, my face is like a long, puffy, vertical oval with eyes, nose and mouth all close together in the middle. If I don’t smile, I look like Mitch McConnell . Thankfully, the 15 pounds I’ve lost gave me my cheekbones back and erased the double chin(s). Whew!
And it is nice to find myself fitting into smaller clothing sizes. I don’t have to grunt and sort of launch myself out of the living room recliner. When I look down in the shower, I can see my feet. I don’t cut my own breath off when I tie my shoes, and I can walk between the parked cars in the garage without sidling along sideways with my belly sucked in.
Yes, 15 pounds is a very good start. And if I can lose the other 35 by oh, say, April, I’ll be happy.
And now, it’s time to take a walk.