I thought I’d beat the New Year’s rush and get started on a weight-loss program before the holidays. I’m not one of those people who tries every diet that comes along. No – I know exactly what works. It’s as simple as less calories in, more energy out. So what a rude awakening it was to discover that knowing what works isn’t enough – apparently one has to actually do what works. Ugh!
I am a grown woman – I can “just do it,” right? Well, that is what I kept telling myself. The mantra works in so many other areas of my life, but no matter how much I mentally beat myself up for not having more “willpower,” I could not “just do it.” It was quite humbling to have to admit that I need external assistance if I’m going to change things. So I mentally reviewed my distant past, when I looked my best, and asked myself what was different back then. It didn’t take me long to figure it out. Accountability. The buddy system. Having someone who counted on me as much as I counted on them to keep heading toward the goal. But I don’t have close friends nearby, I no longer live in a neighborhood where I can recruit a neighbor to walk, nor do I have a schedule that allows for driving to a gym 2-3 times a week. By necessity, I got a little creative. I called a professional friend who had recently had a total knee replacement and worked in an office a few blocks from my own office. Having had two total-knee replacements myself in the past couple of years, I pitched the idea of doing something to protect our new knees.
I am a life-time member of Weight Watchers – a feat achieved three decades ago while in my twenties. Not that the organization would claim me as a spokesperson at this point, mind you. One of the reasons the habits learned back then may not have really taken is because I had a bad attitude. Well, maybe more arrogant than bad. My twisted logic included premises such as on weigh-in day I could splurge because I had six days left to “fix it” before the next weigh-in.
But I’m older and wiser now, with a new and improved attitude! I know the program really boils down to making wise food choices that include variety and moving more. It has the built-in accountable-to-self component with the weekly weigh-in and I had found somebody who had a common goal, thus creating that mutual accountability component. So now I am ready to head, once again, toward the feeling-my-best coveted “goal weight.” I remember well the excitement felt as clothes became loose, energy increased and I closed in on that reasonable number that both my body and wallet (no more payments when you maintain goal weight) would thank me for. I also remember how those last few ounces seemed to mockingly hang around, delaying the big day, and the weigh-in-day creativity of members who were mere breaths away from “goal weight.” So I’m already planning ahead for success. Here are twelve ways you will know that I am ounces away from the magic number:
- My eyebrows are plucked into commas;
- My legs are shaved despite the fact that there’s snow on the ground;
- My short hair just got shorter;
- I turn down coffee on weigh-in day;
- There’s only a white stripe where the wedding ring I hadn’t taken off for 38 years used to be;
- My skin is hot pink from having the top layer loofahed off;
- My fingernails have been trimmed to almost nonexistence;
- I seem to be flossing my teeth excessively;
- My face is make-up free;
- I’m going sockless in spite of my mother’s lifetime warnings about how doing so ruins your shoes;
- I refuse to put a band-aid on a profusely bleeding papercut;
- I’m pulling lint out of my pockets.
So if you run across me and I’ve got a smile and a swagger, don’t let the pink skin and the funky eyebrows fool you – it will mean that I’m enjoying some sweet success!