NOW AND THEN
19 June 2002
Just look at those numbers -- 62.6 lbs gone. I lost another 3 today. I know I
said when I started this that I wasn't going to worry about numbers, and basically I'm
not. If I were, I'd be taking off my shoes before weighing each week. I figure as long as
I'm not gaining, I'm OK. In all the weeks since January, I've only gained one week,
and that only 0.4 lbs. But I have to admit that I really was hoping that I'd reached that
new number...up to 60 lbs lost. I was thrilled when I discovered that the total was now
I also have not particularly gotten into all the cheers for people for things
they've done during the week. "Bravo points" they are called. "What can I
give you a Bravo point for?" the leader will ask, handing out stars for things like
not eating chocolate cake or coming to a meeting, or remembering to write in the food
journal. Silly, I thought. But you better believe I asked for a "bravo"
for riding 30 miles on my bike this weekend!
She asked how it felt, how I felt about losing 60+ lbs. I used to stammer and turn all red in the face,
but I'm starting to feel more comfortable speaking up. My self confidence has risen with
the drop in pounds.
I also never thought I would willingly appear in public wearing shorts. It was a big
enough deal to put them on to bike, and then to wear them to the club to exercise, but to
wear them to a meeting? But I did. I just didn't get out of the biking outfit when time to
ride to WeightWatchers this morning.
"You're certainly looking good," Brian told me, as we waited for the meeting
to start. He's an older (like me) British guy--he is probably 10 years older than I,
because he told me about a cricket match he watched in the 30s. He seems to remember me
from the days when I worked at the Typing Company, many years ago. I don't remember him.
But he commented on how much better I'm looking.
At the meeting we talked about goals and goal-setting. The leader asked me if I had a
specific weight goal in mind, and in truth I don't. I started this program just wanting to
change my lifestyle. I think it's fairly safe to say I have totally changed that
lifestyle. My whole way of being has been turned upside down, and I'm very happy
about it. My "goal" is to stay here. I am feeling healthy. My body is feeling
good. My mind is feeling good. My goal is to stay in this place and to allow all these new
habits to become engrained and to become second nature.
I realize that if I were not to lose any more weight, I would be content, as long as I
was continuing to do the things I am now--living on healthy foods, exercising on a regular
basis, sleeping better. I also realize that if I continue to do these things, it is
inevitable that more weight will come off. But when I stabilize, or hit a plateau, I'm not
going to freak out.
"Happiness is a journey, not a destination," the leader said today. I'm on a
journey and I am happy at the moment. I'm not going to worry about what happens tomorrow.
I'm just going to continue doing what I'm doing.
But my life has signficantly changed. I was thinking about the things that are
different for me now --
- I can bend over to tie my shoes. When I think of the contortions I
used to go through to tie my shoes--and to avoid having people watch me either put on sox
or tie my shoes because it was such a struggle.
- I can cross my legs at the knee, something I haven't been able to do in 15 years.
- I can sit in my office chair and bend over to pick something up off the floor. It
was such a struggle before because my big gut got in the way. Now I just bend over. You
know--like a normal person.
- I can sit on the grass (or the floor) and get up without contortions or needing someone
to help me up.
- Here at home, when I get up from my chair, I don't have to push up from the desk any
more, I just get up. You know--like a normal person. (I'm also not afraid that
the chair is going to collapse under me any more.)
- When I walk into a room I don't immediately take inventory wondering which chair will support my weight and which won't.
- When we go to the theatre, my butt now fits in the seat; I don't spend 2 hours with metal arms digging painfully into my sides.
- I walk up and down the stairs here in the house without pulling on the bannister and
either hauling my body up to the next step or easing it down to the next step. I just walk
up--you know--like a normal person.
- I can drive David's car and not feel like I'm "wearing it." The seat belt fits
around me, which it has never done before.
- Airplane seatbelts fit and the tray table folds down in front of me.
- I now park a distance from my destination, instead of driving around looking for a place
in front of the door, and walk--and I don't get out of breath doing it.
- I bike to places that I used to drive to.
- When I take a shower, I can reach all parts of my body effortlessly.
- Best of all, when I'm in a crowd, I no longer feel that everybody is looking at me as
"the fat lady."
This is not to say that I'm not overweight. I'm significantly overweight--probably still medically classified as "morbidly obese." There are
people struggling with trying to lose weight whose starting weight is quite a bit below my
present weight. But it's my attitude that has changed. When I see the width of my body, I
know that it's significantly less wide than what it was before, and that it will be
smaller next month, and the month after that. I'm not looking to be any size or shape or
weight. I'm just trying to be healthy and to accept whatever weight/size/shape that
happens to be. I'm not worried about the rolls of fat that remain. They're
part of who I am.
A woman came into the office yesterday with her daughter, who was the patient. While
the patient was being seen, the mother sat in a chair opposite my desk. When I looked at
her, I saw myself six months ago. She was about the same size and weight and age, but the
difference that I saw was how depressed she looked. She was wearing an outfit that I might
have worn, and I saw what I looked like then.
Yesterday happened to be a "tuck-in" day for me. I was wearing tailored
slacks, which I got at Christmas, and which were too tight for me then. They are now too
loose. I tucked in the blouse because it helped take up the space around the waist!
I suddenly realized I care how I look again, for the first time in years. This is
an awkward interim period because I don't want to spend a lot of money on clothes, but I
am going to have to spend something pretty soon.
I'm discovering the real perk about having accepted WeightWatchers and all the things
that have come with it--it's not the weight loss, it's the gain in self esteem. It's a
very addictive feeling.