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Archive for December, 2009

Five pounds never used to bring tears. Five pounds was a small sack of flour, a little extra belly fat, and no big deal. That was in the olden days when playing with my children and skipping extra helpings could fade those few pounds away in days.

Over time I gained those five pounds and let them slide away many times without much effort. Yet slowly, with subtle slyness, a pound lingered with each five I gained and lost. Then, two remained anchored to my thighs, another three cushioned my derriere, and four more claimed to be love handles.

I didn’t pay much attention. I was living life, enjoying my family, and exploring new things. My body was working fine. I didn’t need to impress anyone. My husband and children loved me, soft curves and all.

I was content, until the day my granddaughter asked for a quarter for the weight machine in a public restroom. She was too light for the unit to register her, so I held her to get our combined weight. Of course, I had to weigh myself and subtract to get her weight. That done, my mind jumped ahead to subtract her weight twice more. That was how many pounds I had added since college.

That day, I decided those pounds looked a lot cuter on my granddaughter than on me. I considered how hard it was to carry her beyond ten minutes, and that each moment of every day, I lugged the equivalent of two small children as I did my daily tasks. I realized that if one of my grandchildren chased a ball toward a busy street, I was no longer fast enough to stop them.

I paid attention. No fad diets for me. No complicated system of counting calories or points fit into my life. I kept it simple. I eliminated the cappuccinos during my daily drive, paid attention to portion size and changed my evening snack from candy to popcorn. I walked more and joined my local Curves.

The first eleven pounds came off in less than a year. The next eight took about six months. I was in no hurry. The weight took years to add. I could chisel it off gradually. I had more to lose, but already my clothes fit better and I had more energy. Even a summer car accident that put me into a wheelchair with two broken ankles didn’t slow my progress much. I was determined to be a healthy person.

Thanksgiving was tough, but by skipping the Tom & Jerry and watching the portions, I maintained balance with the scale.

Just five pounds caused tears? Christmas cookies, irresistible fudge, and a few indulgent frothy beverages revealed their reward. I wiped my eyes, told myself it was late and I was tired. Best not to beat yourself up, I thought. I went to bed.

Today is another opportunity to be wise and chose health. This morning the scale showed that two of those pounds were mostly water. Since I don’t want to miss all the fun of Christmas food, I will just have to play more fitness games on my Wii, bring up the intensity of my Curves workout, and make sure I don’t let my schedule crowd out any sessions. And maybe, I can have one piece of fudge instead of two, or three, or five….

No measly five pounds will defeat me. Soon, the lack of thirty-two pounds on me will look pretty darn fine, even if I’ll never again be as cute as my granddaughter, at least I may be able to keep up with her.

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