Irreverent Mama

Monday, July 30, 2007

I have a confession. Few people know this of me - Matthew, my kids, Sophie. That's about it. Nothing I'm ashamed of, but I fear the reaction. But now I'm about to tell you all...

I joined Weight Watchers.

Almost three months ago.

I'm self-conscious about it because I am not fat. Never have been. I fear the ridicule. In fact, I got it, indirectly, when a neighbour heard from one of my kids (thanks, kiddo) that I'd joined. Then the neighbour told a friend. The friend, apparently, said,

"WHAT? She's a STICK!"

Which, given that I was, at 154 pounds on my 5'5" frame, juuust barely into the 'overweight' category, is simply not true. That I carry my weight well is not in question: I know how to dress and I have decent posture. But "stick"? When I'm a 34D (lately, 36D), and hips to match? Um, no...

(Said friend is gay. Perhaps he doesn't look at women overmuch?)

But I've never been heavily overweight. Most of my life I've been slim.

And that's just it. Most of my life I've been slim. Most of my life, without any effort at all, I have maintained an easy 120 - 123 pounds. Most of my life, I have had a body mass index of 20-ish. Without any effort, without any thought.

When, about 10 years ago, I noticed a few pounds sliding on, I didn't worry overmuch. I was in my late thirties, a little weight gain is to be expected, and I was far from overweight. Except that the weight just kept slipping on. And on. And on some more.

Until I kinda wanted it to stop, you know?

I may have mentioned my family before, but every last one of'em is fat. Not just fat, obese. Most of them are not just obese, they're morbidly obese.

Morbidly. As in, so overweight it's a serious threat to their health. My sister cannot walk across a room without wheezing, and, at only 45, has arthritis in her poor overburdened knees. My brother has to sleep with a CPAP machine lest he stop breathing entirely in the night, entirely due to excessive weight pressing on airways. My mother has had two heart attacks, my uncle has had one. My grandmother suffered high blood pressure for years before her death.

It's not pretty, this kind of obesity.

And the pounds kept sliding on to me, despite my efforts to prevent it. Until, at 154 pounds, a mere 3 or so pounds into the official 'overweight', I had to do something.

And just as I'd reached that decision, a neighbour told me she'd begun attending Weight Watchers - and that the meetings were held only three or four blocks from my house.

I recognize Destiny when it hits me on the head with a brick.

Off I went. In three months, I have lost close to 15 pounds. I want to lose another 10 or so. I'll be heavier than I was at 24, but that's okay. Because I'm not 24 any more. But neither will I be following the rest of my gene pool, submerged at the bottom of the deep end and wondering why they're having trouble breathing...

What this program has done is give me a liveable framework by which to evaluate and structure my eating. I want that glass of wine? Sure - but not those cookies, too. I don't wonder, I know how much is too much. It takes a little more thought than in my thoughtless youth, but not a whole lot. It takes a little self-discipline, and I'm discovering I had more than I thought.

I am, once again, just about the size and shape I like to be. And I know that in another couple of months, I'll be there. And I'll stay there.

Phew.

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12 Comments:

  • I can so identify with this.

    I am not fat either. But, I am podgy. Definitely into the overweight zone.

    I have put on about 12kg in the last year - lots of reasons.....suddenly it was just there. And I absolutely hate it. Normally, I am thin. Very thin - so this new me is a nightmare and I avoid photos and even looking at myself.

    I cannot join a Weight Watchers - much as I'd love to - as it doesn't exist around these parts. Losing weight is up to me and only me. And that is SO hard.

    But this post has touched something in me and I am going to take myself in hand now and do it.

    Ta!

    By Blogger Wendz, at 4:22 AM  

  • Well done you. But why the need for weightwatchers?
    Surely you just eat less?

    By Blogger john.g., at 12:03 PM  

  • Wendz - Best wishes with this. I can't promise you you'll never feel hungry - which is weird: I never felt hungry before, when I was 20 pounds lighter! Why do I get hungry now??

    But it provides, as I say, a framework for evaluating stuff before popping it into your mouth. And often I'm pleasantly surprised at what I can put in my mouth.

    John - You know, that's exactly what I would have said five years ago. Eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight; eat fewer, you lose weight. It's not rocket science.

    But, strangely, knowing the theory and putting it into practice effectively have proven to be two quite different things.

    Until now. HA!

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 1:14 PM  

  • Oh, John. It's one thing to understand the principles. It's entirely another to HAVE to track them. With only a few days of tracking my intake on SparkPeople.com, I discovered (much to my dismay) why I'd gained weight in the past couple of months. I might have been exercising more, but boy was I ever making up for it with food!

    Laura, I both envy you (for your heretofore natural thinness) and pity you (for the shock that a sudden gain can cause). I suppose that's the upside of being naturally stocky...at least gaining weight isn't a huge shock to me. It's just one more "notch" that I have to kick up my activity level, sigh. Been on that roller coaster ever since I was about 20!

    These days, I'm another 10 pounds up, but it's the early pregnancy (!) bloat. Baby 2 is anticipated sometime mid-March.

    By Anonymous Allison, at 3:00 PM  

  • Bwah-ha. There, Allison. All fixed. Good thing you pointed it out - I didn't even notice. I'd have made a rotten spy!!

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 3:02 PM  

  • BABY # 2?? Congratulations!! I have to chuckle over just how very different your way of leaning into life is to mine. I take ten years to decide to marry a man who is so obviously right for me - you find your man, move in, marry him, and start a baby in what? Ten months??

    Wheee! You go!

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 3:03 PM  

  • Congratulations! I did WW for awhile, and really liked it. My husband's tastes kind of made it difficult to continue. I'm really heavy right now, but we'd like to get pregnant again soon. I'm kind of in this, "Why bother?" mode. Hopefully I'll figure out what's more important quickly. I think I know the answer.

    By Anonymous Undercover Mutha, at 9:35 AM  

  • UM - what matters most is your health, especially if you plan to start another baby soon. Which is not a news flash for you, of course. Having (at long last) actually to work to maintain what always used to be normal has given me a lot more compassion for people who must always struggle to achieve and maintain a healthier weight.

    The theory is clear and simple. The application, not so much!

    Good luck to you (and your soon-to-be growing family!)

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 3:10 PM  

  • I think it is always a better idea to be proactive, although most of the time I am not. If if helps you...who cares what people think.

    Sorry...I just came by to get your address for Fun Monday and read the post and then put my two cents worth in.

    Have a good day!

    By Blogger Beckie, at 7:57 PM  

  • beckie - I am learning to be proactive, and I don't much care anhy more what people think. I used to, much more. Well, I still care enough that I don't flaunt controversial stuff, but that doesn't prevent me from doing it! Heh.

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 9:55 PM  

  • Horses for courses, you've got to find what works for you. I would say though that thin is in the mind as well as on the bone, so look inside too.

    By Blogger The Boy, at 8:18 AM  

  • "Thin is in the mind"? I've never heard the expression. While my mind is not 'thick', I don't think I'd like to think of it as 'thin', either. Rich. Yes, that'll do nicely. My mind is rich. Would that my bank account was.

    My mind is rich, my hips are thinning.

    This makes me happy.

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 8:49 AM  

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