The holidays are over which can only mean one thing: the battle to drop those extra holiday pounds has begun.
This year carried the usual challenging parade of sweet and fatty foods which coerce a body to eat everything offered. My rationale is that if I don’t indulge and get hit by a truck and die sometime in the coming year, I’ve blown my last chance to gorge on English toffee and hollandaise sauce in some stupid diet-martyr ideal. Now dead, I quickly lose body fat from cremation or ground rot anyway. Was the sacrifice really worth it?
Plus, it’s just rude to decline a home made cookie. Consuming it is a Ministry of Edification to the baker.
To make matters worse, I was sick on and off from pre-Halloween to the present, and as all passionate women know, illness is a trigger for mindless eating. That and stress, exhaustion, sadness, boredom and Day 28 of our cycle (I’m sure I’m forgetting others. Feel free to let me know which ones).
So now I have to do the suck-in-hop maneuver to get my pants buttoned. This sends me to a dark place.
Growing up I always struggled with my weight. When born, my parents nicknamed me “Marshmallow.” All through school I was the chubby, bubbly friend of the pretty girl. Having four babies in 4.8 years didn’t help any, as my fetuses consistently craved Dove ice cream bars and deep fried tater tots which I categorized as two vegetables, dairy and protein. I still hold that chocolate should be a vegetable. Come on, it grows out of the ground on a stem with leaves on it. Work with me.
No surprise, by the age of 26 I was 5’3″ and just over 200 pounds. My babies suckled on breast butter you could fry an egg in.
One year later, God basically told me that, while he thought I was beautiful “as is,” he also wanted the best for me, and that meant being healthy. I joined Weight Watchers, went on brisk prayer walks almost every morning (noticed I was a much more fun and patient mom when I got exercise in), and dropped seventy pounds. Aside from an occasional 5 pound fluctuation, the weight has stayed off for 17 years.
Then I had a kidney transplant, which means I will be on Prednisone for the rest of my life. Yes, it keeps me alive and stuff, but also kills your weight. That sensor in your brain that tells you you’re full? Gone. Instead your mind constantly screams, “you’re hungry!” so all I can think about is food. Plus, this little harmless looking pill makes you retain fluids, so salt is deadly. Restaurants turn me into the Stay Puft Marshmallow Mom.
Ten…ish…pounds were packed on (no, the kidney doesn’t weigh anywhere near that much. Sigh!) and I’ve been fighting hard to shed them ever since.
Now it’s a new year; a time for resolutions. For 17 years I’ve enjoyed a break from my weight being the top of my “change my life” list, but now it’s back, and I’m trying not to be bitter about it.
So what should I do? It would be great to “accept the new me” as my supportive husband, friends, and doctors keep encouraging, but there are too many advertisements around with rail thin models for any hope of that. Still, I’m not panicked enough to go on some crazy crash diet, and I’ve already given up restaurants and anything white, sweet, or slaughtered; the best I can do is maintain.
I do have one thought, however. It has come to my attention that very, very rarely do I eat a meal without doing something else at the same time: work at the computer, read, watch TV, drive and so on. When you love something, you give it your full attention, right? Therefore, if I claim to love food (and I so do) then maybe I should try giving it my full attention? OK then, for three months I commit to eating everything sitting at an actual table, without any form of entertainment (Except for music. Let’s be reasonable).
Will it make any difference? Only time will tell but I will keep you informed.
How about you? Any goals for the New Year? Do you resent your goals?
Oh, and what’s your best (reasonable) weight loss tip that has actually worked for you – and lasted more than a few months?