The year I turned 59, my body went to hell. In about six weeks, I gained 15 pounds, and it was all in my midsection. You've heard body types being described as apples or pears? After a life of being a pear, I suddenly morphed into an apple. My clothes didn't fit. I hated what I saw in the mirror when I turned sideways. I was mortified.
No matter what I did, no matter how I tried to increase exercise and decrease food intake, nothing changed. The scale display sat on 175 each morning. True, I'm 5'8", so 175 isn't a terrible thing. But when I examined BMI charts, I was in the "overweight" category. I had never been anything approaching overweight.
When I was in high school, people would tell me that when I turned sideways, I disappeared. That high school image is what we maintain of ourselves, right? How could this have happened?
The very worst was looking at this new body when trying to buy clothes. I'm sorry, but with a hormone-induced post-menopausal bulging belly, Spanx can only do so much. And it's not enough! I put on my black elastic-waist skirt and my white shirt to sing at Blossom and looked in the mirror as I walked out of the dressing room. Who-who-who was that very round older woman? Certainly not me!!!!!
After watching the scale go back and forth between 174 and 179 for several years—and during the same period suffering several knee injuries that impeded efforts to take more walks—I slowly started changing.
The Jazzman needed to take in more fiber to fight his diverticulosis. The Jazzman was told by his doctor that he needed to cut down his sugar to avoid adult-onset diabetes. The Jazzman decided to take more salads for his lunches. And since I'm the designated kitchen staff, I just started doing those things along with him. Then I heard Dr. Oz talk about green coffee pills. It may be a bunch of hooey, but there were guests on the show who had real and actual weight loss results, so buying one bottle of the pills couldn't hurt that much, could it?
Slow and steady, ounce upon ounce, day by day, five trips up and down the stairs each day. This morning I got on the scale and it said 169. One Hundred Sixty-Nine Pounds!!!!
Now to you skinny minnies and petite pollies and sweet young non-hormone-affected things, that may not seem like a big deal. But for me, who has wanted to cry for THREE YEARS each time I looked at the scale and it read 17x, 169 is One Great Big Deal!
And so I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. I go to Cleveland Clinic in three weeks to get a second opinion on my knees. Less weight means less stress on my aching knees, means greater ability to walk without pain, means easier access to exercise, means greater ability to lose weight.
At even one pound per month, by next summer I will be able to look at myself sideways in the black skirt and white blouse and not shudder.
And once I reach the "Normal weight" category on the BMI calculator, you can bet I'm going to feel like a winner. Hell, I might even spring the $70 for a new CleveOrchChorus dress that will actually fit me!
(And an enormous salute to PianoLady and to my daughter-in-law, both of whom have lost a Whole Lotta Weight this year. You inspire me.)