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Losing Weight. Yeah, Right. As If.

Losing Weight

Have you ever had a Monday morning that starts something like this:

“OK! Today is the day! I am going to do this thing! I am worth this weight loss. I deserve it. My thin self is still in there somewhere, and I’m going to let her come out! OK. How about oatmeal for breakfast! Awesome! I rule. I’m all over this. This is the beginning of the end. No more fat lady for me!”

Cut to: 2:30 that same day:

“Oh forget this! PUH-leze. Like a freaking bag of Doritos is going to hurt. I deserve this bag of Doritos. I need the energy. I’m tired. Who’s going to notice anyway? I look fine, especially when I wear this tent of a dress. My husband still loves me. I think…Oh of course he does! It’s fine.”

Then, you can follow that up on Wednesday with something like this: “I guess the $45 for this online weight service isn’t so bad. I need to pick up that book “French Women Don’t Get Fat.”

I mean, the $45 is better than a weight loss center or paying to go to meetings, right? Yeah, but they give me all the food, I won’t have to think. So maybe that’s better. Hmm.

Or a personal trainer! Yes! That would be awesome! Oh wait, can we afford that?

The book is cheapest. I should just get the book. Oh look! A muffin!”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost the same ten pounds probably a good fifteen times in my life.

That’s a whole person. In fact, that’s my current weight (please don’t tell).

I have had some incredibly successful runs with losing weight. Wait, umm, make that two. I’ve had two successful runs with weight loss in my life.

In my early 20s during the throes of new love, I realized I had gained quite a bit of weight. I was getting ready for work one morning, and I looked at myself in the mirror. I was wearing a white turtleneck (anyone who sells white turtlenecks to anyone other than Diane Keaton should be shot) and I was stunned at the reflection staring back at me.

Stunned I say.

I walked into one of those commercial weight loss centers and started that day. That was all there was to it. I was shocked, horrified even, and that was it. No waffling (had to use that word, now didn’t I), I just did it.

Three months later I had lost 30 pounds and kept it off for four years. I weighed a beautiful 122 pounds. Perfect for me.

The other time I successfully lost weight was in high school (scary and wrong, I know), when I lost ten pounds – to catch the eye of a boy, no less – and kept it off for two years.

Um, let’s scrap this one.

Losing weight when you have the metabolism of a small, very active animal isn’t quite as hard. So I guess that means there’s really only been that one time that I lost weight.

Great. Excuse me while I go get my secret stash of chocolate and cry in my slippers.

Enter motherhood.

Metabolism of small animal is no more. The determination and drive of the early 20s, gone. I remember walking into friends’ houses when I was younger, and thinking of their moms, “What is wrong with that woman? Why doesn’t she just lose the weight? I know she’s had four kids, but good grief. Put the muffin down, woman.”

Then there were the fit moms, of whom I was already jealous, “What? Does she want our boyfriends? Why does she have to look that good anyway? That’s not fair. And when I’m older, I’m going to look just like her.” (Um, I don’t by the way.)

I know it’s hard to lose weight. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. That’s just the way it is.

And I know for me, I will have to be hungry if I’m losing weight. I’m not someone who can skip dessert for a few weeks and lose weight. My body just doesn’t work that way. I’m OK with that (for the most part), but that doesn’t make the actual day-to-day battle with my weight any easier.

“Should I get dessert? No. Oh, but it looks good. The button on my pants is digging into my stomach, no dessert. Oh, but the cheese looks good! What button? What pants? This is cheese people!”

Which brings me back to watching Helen last night on the Biggest Loser (a testament to strong moms everywhere!). As I sat on the couch, my body swollen and pregnant, I found myself tearing up watching these people.

I wonder what their day-to-day was like before the show. Talk about a struggle. I compare what that must have been like in those 300 pound bodies to their current tears of joy, the clips of them sweating, crying and sometimes even vomiting in the gym.

They did it. They paid a huge price, and they did it. Fists flying in the air when they see how much they’ve lost; pure, real, honest joy. Some of them have even turned into true athletes. It’s incredibly moving to watch.

I’m jealous. I mean, I’m so happy for them too, and I’m in complete awe. How amazing is this?

Knowing that I have to experience hunger if I’m really going to lose weight, and how hard it is to exercise when we’re tired and have so many things to do, it’s just so inspiring.

Helen, our champion mom, is older than a lot of the contestants. She has spent her entire life eating and being heavy. And last night, most of this country watched her up there on the stage, weighing in at a tiny 117 pounds. I just shook my head. I could feel her pride, and the satisfaction she must have felt after all those excruciating hours of exercise and healthy eating.

Obviously, there is some serious motivation when all of America is watching you (note to self: figure out how to get on TV), or when you have an incredible personal trainer. We can see what a difference it makes to have someone pushing you 24/7. The contestants who were sent home early on in the game lost a little bit of weight, 30 pounds, some even 100 pounds.

But not the 150 to 200 that we saw from those who were able to have the coaching for so long. But what is consistent for all of them is that the hard work really does pay off.

So this means that we either need to find a Jillian to train us, get on TV, or get our mouths wired shut. Cool. I’m all over it.

I jest (sort of).

I read recently that American women would rather get plastic surgery than eat well and exercise. Can you stand it? T

he Golden Idol of thin is literally so important to us, that we would rather be put under, cut open with a knife, jabbed by a horrible tool, lose blood, be bruised and swollen for weeks, than we would cut back on our beloved food.

It’s pretty fascinating to me. And believe me, I’m right at the front lines of this. I have a baby coming in the heat of summer, and I’ll be aching to get in a pool. But I won’t. I know me. My body takes a good year to go back to where I like it after I have a kid.

And listen, it’s two years of my life so my kids can have healthy bodies. I completely respect that, and it’s just part of the deal.

I’m OK with that. My kids are completely worth it. But it’s hard.

So, wait I will.

I’m sure I’ll have many a Monday morning “false start,” and then one day I’ll remember that I still want to lose weight come 2:30 in the afternoon – Doritos or no.

I’ll think of the Helens of the world and remind myself that if she can do it, I can do it. Any of us can do it. But like so many things about womanhood and motherhood, I wish someone had told us just how hard it all really is.

Author: Sarah

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