Back in January I got on our bathroom scale and nearly fell off it. Not because I'm a klutz, but because it read 184.9 lbs. This was the heaviest I've been since my last pregnancy (22 years ago), and it explained why none of my clothes were fitting anymore, why my knees felt awful all day, the lack of energy, etc.
I'm not obsessive about my weight, but I knew I had to do something about it. At my age it's just not a good idea to carry so many extra pounds. So I resolved to use this year to lose the weight.
Ideally I needed to lose 50 lbs., but that didn't seem like a realistic goal. I'm 55 years old, and everything about me is slowing down. My arthritis makes it difficult to exercise, and I've been on a sugar-free and low-fat diet for the last ten years. There are only so many calories I can cut. Also, I'm not a fan of diet products and plans. I needed to make changes, but my options were limited. I thought if I got creative, and worked really hard, I might be able to lose 30 lbs. in a year.
I started the work by walking more, and changed my lunch to salads only. I was tired and hungry all the time, but now and then I'd get on the scale and be a pound or two lighter. I love bread a little too much, so I cut that way back, and gave up salty chips and snacks. But the weight didn't magically melt off me, and it was depressing. After six months I'd lost twenty-six pounds, but that was where I plateaued.
Four pounds aren't a big deal. I'd done very well. I was fitting back into my clothes, my knees stopped hurting and I had lots of energy. I could have put off losing more weight until next year.
Those are the bargains you make with yourself when the finish line seems impossible to reach. You tell yourself it's okay to quit, that you did most of it, and the rest is too hard. And then one morning you climb on the scale and you've gained a pound or two. I did, in August, after I'd been flirting with giving up.
I didn't much care for that, especially after all the work and sacrifice it took for me to lose a pound or two. I went back to work. I watched my portions. I walked twice as much. I walked the dogs, and went out and walked around town and the malls and the markets. I worked outside to help my guy with some yard stuff. He took me to a big flea market on weekends so I could walk there. I stopped sitting around so much, and I also stopped weighing myself so much.
The extra pounds went away, but the four remaining to make my goal stuck with me. I figured by the time Halloween rolled around and the winter holidays loomed that I probably wasn't going to lose them, but I kept at it anyway. You see, after I lost these thirty pounds, I planned to try for twenty more next year. To do that, the changes I'd made to my exercising and diet had to become permanent.
Yesterday I got on the scale, and this is what I weighed:
So I've lost thirty and a half pounds* in eleven and a half months. I fought hard for every pound that came off. And next year, I'm going to try to lose twenty more. I think I'll be successful, too, but even if I'm not, I'm going to work at it every day and get healthier.
*Added: I put the wrong weight at the beginning of the post, which I've now corrected -- I started at 184.9 lbs. in January.