Friday, February 3, 2012

Excuses, Excuses

I've wrestled with weight ever since fifth grade when I first noticed there was more skin around my knees than there used to be. It didn't help to have parents who always made us clean our plates. (Excuse #1)

Just in case you didn't know, I had seven children. (Excuse #2)

I never got morning sickness so never lost my appetite. (Excuse #3)

We can't afford a gym membership. (Excuse #4)

If only I didn't have to cook for my family everyday. That's like asking an alcoholic to work in a bar. (Excuse #5)

Dern menopause slows down metabolism. All the research says so. Makes it difficult for ladies to keep their weight down. (Excuse #6)

I had many more excuses. Those are just the first that came to mind. Weight had slowly been taking up residence in my poor defenseless body. My knees and elbows ached. The knees made sense but why would being overweight affect your elbows?

I hated it. Hated seeing pictures of myself. Buttons strained. Clothes wouldn't fit. 

It's no fun to buy clothes because you've outgrown your old ones. Kiah went shopping with me last summer to buy new shorts. After trying on 10 pairs, none of which looked good, Kiah kindly suggested we try again another time. 

It just wasn't fair. I'm a sensible person. I don't like junk food except for Doritos and Captain Crunch. I don't like pop except for an occasional Root Beer. I don't like Fast Food except for Taco Bell. I have reasonable self-control except when it comes to waffles.

Frustrated, discouraged, and resigned to be a pudgy Pastor's wife, I almost gave up. 

Last year an overweight friend, my same age and also menopausal,  joined Weight Watchers. By the time I started paying attention she had lost 75 pounds!! When she first started she couldn't even walk from the front of her house to the back without resting. She couldn't even exercise and here she was dropping pounds left and right.

I'd always resisted Weight Watchers because of the cost. Seems a person should be able to lose weight without having to pay $40 a month. But it worked for her so I decided to give it a try.

I joined last July, not really thrilled about letting someone see how much I weigh. I lost 5 pounds the first week and three pounds the second. Oh boy, I was pleased. Easy breezy. Nothing to it. At that rate I could reach my goal by the end of November. 

Silly me. Apparently those first pounds are the easiest. The rest have been a struggle, but little by little it's going away, hopefully for good.

As of this week's weigh in, I've lost 27 pounds with 13 more to go. Last night I looked at my weight graph and sighed. It took 7 weeks to lose 2 pounds. I was minus 25 pounds on Dec. 15, then managed to gain three pounds over the holidays so had to relose those. At $40 a month, that's almost $40 a pound. Sigh!

The best thing about Weight Watchers is accountability. The weekly weigh in is a huge motivator to behave. The scale is just an objective bystander. It takes no excuses. Doesn't matter if it's a holiday or birthday or a rough week, the scale matter-of-factly monitors my progress. 

Yes, it's harder to lose weight after menopause but not impossible. My friend has now lost 125 pounds. I'm now friends with another sixty-five-year-old lady who's lost 135. When I see the obstacles my friends have overcome I realize I really have no excuse. Even though I didn't eat a lot of junk food, I was eating too much. Too much of a good thing was simply too much. 

I now weigh two pounds less than my Driver's License says. My knees and elbows stopped hurting. I feel better. I don't have that bursting at the seams feeling anymore. I can tuck my shirt in again. I can zip my coat. I have hope again now that I understand I'm not at the mercy of hormones and unfortunate circumstances. 

My friends and I had an epiphany. My single friend said maybe it would be easier to lose weight if she had more people to cook for. It was hard to be motivated to just cook for one person. I laughed as I always thought it would be easier if I didn't have so many people to cook for.

My friend who originally inspired me to join WW said she thought it would be easier if she didn't like to cook. My other friend who doesn't like to cook laughed and said she always thought it would be easier if she did like to cook.

We all had excuses and none of them were very good. Here's hoping it doesn't take another seven weeks to lose two pounds.


  1. Oh my goodness, 27 pounds is AWESOME! Wow!

  2. Good for you Angie! You just keep plugging along and those remaing pounds will be gotten rid of for good!!

    You have reason to be proud of yourself :-)

  3. Good for you. Keep it up...or keep it coming off! ;) Didn't know you were on this adventure...How fun. Now that I'm done nursing, I can't keep holding on to the baby weight. I'm afraid I'll have to go to the gym to get it off, but on the upside, I always have great writing ideas there and I've been in a slump lately!
    Hope I'll recognize you when I see you again...the new slim you that is.
    Keep up the God work.

  4. Epiphanies are the key to success! I had been a chain smoker for years and years. Then it just occurred to me, out of the blue, like a gentle understanding. I had the glimmer of a thought that it was possible. I thought for a moment that I could end my self destructive path. And that thought led to action and an initial struggle...once that first month was behind me, I knew I would keep going. It became more of a habit not to smoke than to smoke. I had support of Chantix and their online support which sent me a positive email every day. The one that was most effective was this message: "the only thing you have to do today is not smoke." Now I use that phrase during my weight loss journey...the only thing I have to do today is not over-eat. I find that if I can stop when my internal signals tell me to stop, I feel like I'm going to keep losing. I'm happy for you that you're taking control and caring for yourself. Pretty soon you'll be hiking it all off.

  5. I love weight watchers!! I truly believe the key to weight loss success is tracking intake and output! I now have an app on my phone that I use to track my calories. It's free and helps hold me accountable to just say no to that cheesecake. Or at least if I say yes, to go for a walk that night :)

  6. Love the saying. I have no intention of finding it again either.I love feeling healthy and having more energy. You keep going girl. The finish line is getting closer all the time. You can do it easy. Life is good and God is great. Cherylann

  7. What an awesome story! I am on my own struggle with weight. I am so proud of you for sticking with it. I love the pic on the refrigerator. Maybe that's what I need.

  8. It's wonderful and inspiring that you are sharing your weight loss story. I'm trying to lose weight myself. My goal is 25 pounds. It's just crept up on me these last 3 years and I hate it. Reading this is just the motivation I need, so thank you!

    FYI: I followed the link from your comment on An Army of Ermas. I wrote the "Romance on a Budget" article. Nice to meet you. :-)

  9. I finally got to the blogging page, & shared one of my struggles. Imagine my surprise when I bumped into your blog talking about the challenges of losing weight! Thank you for sharing, and congratulations on your success. I have been losing and then finding the same 5 pounds or so for more than a year. (It hurts too much to think about how much more than a year.) Having you say that your knees and elbows stopped hurting was very inspiring to me since I think ALL my parts usually hurt. So, again thank you. I hope I can follow in your losing footsteps--LOL