Friday, January 7, 2011


I've always felt fat, even when I wasn't. My earliest fat memory was being in elementary school, in the toilet stall, wondering why there was a roll of fat on the inside of each bent knee... I was way too young to have been so fat aware--especially because that was long before the culture (pre-Twiggy) determined that bones+flesh=normal body weight.

So, by 7 or 8 years old I was embarrassed by my weight.

Now, I realize that I couldn't have been fat; just a typical 8 year old plumping up to sprout up. I believe that my body-consciousness/fat embarrassment launched me into a lifetime of yo-yo dieting. I know that I many times eat for comfort, and then diet at length. I've just about shot my metabolism after a lifetime of serial dieting.

Oh, I'm a good dieter. When I get started (and sometimes have many false starts) I am an all-or-nothing girl. In high school it was the fashion to stop eating, except for hard boiled eggs or some such nonsense. Sophomore or junior year I very successfully dieted, but then of course spiraled upwards again.

Let me state: I was never obese. I was never fat. I was just a bit plump. Yet, from my school years into adulthood weight-consciousness has been one of my most compelling worries.

I was on a bad track for awhile in my 20s. I was gaining 5+ pounds a year and eventually reached a weight that I have yet to ever attain again (until recently). A young woman at my work had mysteriously dropped big pounds and looked like an entirely different girl, so I asked, "How?" She'd joined Weight Watchers (her mother was a lifetime member), so I joined that week. This would have been 1977, so I was all of 27/28 years old.

I lost 9-3/4 lbs the first week. Yep! 9-3/4 lbs. It was a miracle. In three weeks I'd lost 15 lbs. Eventually, I lost 40 lbs. (At this point CA and I took our first trip to Hawaii and I remember being clueless as to how many calories there are in macadamia nuts--203 per ounce (10-12 nuts). Still, I didn't gain on the trip.) My goal loss would have been 42-1/2 lbs., but for some reason I stopped just a couple of pounds short and didn't do Maintenance. Still, I kept it off--fluctuating a few pounds either direction--for two years and then I had my second child.

I returned to WW when JE was a few months old, but between having two kids, working full time, etc., going to meetings soon fell by the wayside. I did lose my baby weight, but then began my 30s and decades of yo-yo dieting. Somewhere along the way I returned to WW and eventually reclaimed my goal weight and followed through Maintenance to become a Lifetime Member.

As I said, I was a successful dieter, but many  every times as soon as I attained my longed-for weight I would start baking and eating and snacking again. Deprivation is also a great motivator. For many years I stayed away from WW, trying lots of methods, and never actually getting my weight up as high as it had been in 1977.

I'd never been consistent with exercise until a bad back drove me in 1986 to begin stretching exercises, and eventually speed walking. My family hates Jane Fonda after years of listening to her videotape Light Aerobics as I worked out in our family room. After 5 or 6 years of Jane, I slid into the habit of just speed walking on the nature trail near our home. I'd walk 3-1/2 miles every morning before work--no matter the weather.

Then, in 1998 we took our second trip to Hawaii and I learned a bit of Yoga at the fitness center at the Marriott on Kalapaki Bay. A gorgeous place to learn Yoga. We'd practice on the deck overlooking the Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Bliss. It was a year or so later before I got up the nerve to get a punch card and begin taking Yoga at Health Bridge. I kept up the speed walking--a great stress reliever, and attended 2 to 3 hours of Yoga practice each week for many years.

When we moved to this house in 2001 I continued my exercise as before, though eventually I started walking at HB because the padded track was easier on my plantar fasciitis. The yo-yo dieting slowed down a bit because menopause slammed my metabolism and I just didn't lose weight like I always had. So, I eventually (2 to 3 years ago) topped my 1977 weight and decided I didn't care... I'm retired and a grandma.

But, we travel a lot and I don't like most photos of myself. A year ago I began a vigorous working-out schedule, which I've continued--scheduling walking dates with friends to keep me accountable. I walk either before or after a Yoga class, so that I've no excuses. Still, I lost no weight.

This Fall my long-time friend and past WW buddy successfully lost 15 lbs. at WW, and by late Fall I'd decided I could lose weight, too, but I waited to join until we returned from our Europe trip and got through Christmas.

We'll see how it goes. So far, so good. I'm very optimistic. I'd become bored with meal planning and dining out options prior to our trip, and knew that having a more structured food life would end run some of that frustration. I'm eating well, and enjoying my food. I've lost a few pounds, and plan to stick it out.

50+ years after that little girl decided she was fat.