Time to walk the talk

I don’t know many people who are happy with their weight. Count me among those; while it’s true that I finally like the way I look, I am still not happy about my weight.

(And please, if you are one of those who love to tell me that ‘the doctor says I am xx pounds UNDERWEIGHT,’ please do know that I don’t want to hear it. Although I must say the one who used to say that to me whenever she knew I was attempting to lose weight again–and at no other time, so you figure it out–is no skinny-minnie anymore, herself. But I digress.)

I’ve had quite a time with my body image and I thought I was enormous even when I was a size 5–not in the cutesy ‘oh, I’m HUGE!’ when you know that you’re not, but because my shape was so curvaceous that I never looked as tiny as I was….when I truly was tiny.

I lobbied hard to get two different jobs in my younger days; one, as an aerobics instructor, when they had someone ‘smaller’ in mind. At that time I was a size 8, still curvy, and I said that any woman who was really struggling with her weight was not going to want an instructor who looked like Twiggy. But they could look at my shape and feel this was something they could achieve. And it was true that I had more students in all my classes than the ‘smaller’ instructors had. I was proud of that, then. I still feel good about it today.

After I got married, I got sick. (No. The two are not related. I was actually sick when I got married, I just didn’t know it.) And when that illness was finally removed (along with all the organs that had harbored it) I was bigger than I’d ever been, thanks to so much sickness, so many medications, and so much more. And that’s when I got the second job that took a lot of persuasion: as a Diet Center counselor.

You had to use their weight loss program to be hired, and they wanted one who needed to lose just ten pounds or so. Again, I said that anyone who was seriously overweight would look at a “I lost ten pounds on this diet! it WORKS!” kind of counselor and want to spit. ANYONE can lose ten pounds just by trying, but losing a significant amount–and some of my clients had hundreds of pounds to lose–would take someone who really knew how it felt to do it. And that was me. I promised to hang my charts on the wall for everyone to see, and all my pictures along the way. I lost every bit as much weight as I’d wanted to, and felt better than I had in years, and loved the way I looked.  And because of that, I had a lot of clients who really trusted me, who really let me work with them, who really believed we were in it together.

We really were, too. I taught a lot of them to cook. I did makeup and makeovers. Helped them choose clothes, and showed them how their too-big things could be made to fit differently. It was fun, and empowering, and I loved helping the ladies make the needed changes. Their victories were special to me. It is no small thing to help someone find themselves, believe in themselves.

Whenever I’ve really applied myself to doing something about my weight/health, I got good results. I knew what to do, after all those years of working that way. I knew what to eat, and what not to, how much and how often. I knew that my particular body responds well to daily exercise, and lots of water.

But, as is so easy to do, I didn’t stay with it.

Maybe you know how that is? You lose enough to fit into certain clothes, or in time for a certain party, or some other deadline you set. And that’s enough! and then you go back to your old habits. Yep. Happens even to people who used to make it their work to help others be healthy and fit.

Happened to me.

Well, last year was one of my worst, health-wise, in some time. So I decided that this year would be all about getting back to better health, no matter what it took.

Lose weight? You bet.

Get more exercise? Goes hand in hand.

Give up chemical sweeteners and return to mindful eating? I am there.

Today I got a wonderful thing in the mail. My husband’s company is all about employee wellness, with all sorts of incentives. He’s been consciously working toward increasing the number of steps he takes each day (so much so that he’s thinking of having a standing workstation, instead of sitting at a desk!) with a company provided pedometer. He has earned various prizes for meeting his goal each time he sets it, and I’ve seen him check to see if he’s on track; if he wasn’t, he’d clip the leash on the dog and off they would go for another walk. I really admired that.

This year, the company offers the same pedometer to the spouses. They made it clear that we don’t qualify for prizes; I don’t care. Good health is the prize I want most! Mine arrived today. The software is downloaded and my online profile is set up.

Tomorrow, it’s back to the gym.  We have a family membership that I haven’t ever used as much as I meant to. Time for measurements, so I can see, month by month, what kind of progress I am making. I have an entire stack of good books filled with wonderful recipes, ready to use. I have a scale. I have workout clothes, and brand new shoes.

Best of all….I have my mom, who needs someone to work with her as she continues to recover from knee replacement. I have a daughter who wants to get into better shape to run track in the spring. I’ve always been one who does better at whatever it is if I am encouraging others who are trying to do the same. Helping my mom, helping my daughter, is going to keep me moving, too. Walking the talk, not just talking it.

‘Cause we can do this. I know we can. We can do this, three generations of women, together.

Watch us. 

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