Thursday, December 14, 2006

Scales Belong on Fish

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Not too long ago I found a 2006 Good Housekeeping magazine featuring an interview with Wynonna Judd. This interested me because I had seen Wynonna on Oprah last year. She had shared her agony, shame and frustration over her inability to lose weight. And then (sorry Oprah), I missed the follow-up show. I wanted to know what happened. Did she lose the weight? What?

Turns out the magazine had all the answers. Yes, she lost some weight. She claimed about 20 pounds. Reportedly, her game plan was to focus on being a healthy person--not on how much she weighed.

Good for Wynonna!

Now what about me? Wah! When did I start sliding down the slippery slope? It all started about ten years ago. Yep, I got pregnant. Pre-pregnancy, I worked out regularly. I liked how my clothes looked on me.

Now I don't. Yuck! It all started because I found this book titled: Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy. Darn it! I believed the author when she said, "Girlfriend. Stop exercising! Don't worry about it. Hey, I'm your girlfriend and I've had babies. I know what I'm talking about. As soon as you get that little baby out of you, you can return to exercise. Really, I mean it."

That day I stopped. And I never returned to "it" like my girlfriend promised. Sorry, girlfriend, but buying your book destroyed my life. Okay, I'm exaggerating a little.

After dropping my fifteen-year-old habit, I couldn't find my way back to it. Not too long ago I picked up tennis again. Playing helped a little. But playing tennis two or three times a week (or less) will not do anything for weight loss or maintenance efforts. I know. I tried it for five years!

Did I tell you I threw out my scales last year? I decided NO MORE. Actually my dearly departed scales stopped working. Don't laugh. I never owned the digital kind. When they started to fail me, I could adjust the setting. "See, I still weigh what I did in high school. See?"

One day while stepping on my old scales I had an epiphany. Girlfriend here's what You should have been telling me ten years ago, "Why weigh? Who cares what you weigh?"

Weighing makes NO sense. None.

When you try on your clothes in the morning, aren't you more concerned with how they fit? Weight is such an arbitrary thing. Line up three women weighing 165 pounds and you'll have a range of sizes (height, width, muscle mass). It makes much more sense to focus on the size you are comfortable wearing. Doesn't it?

On throw-out-my-scale day, I asked myself when did I most enjoy wearing clothes? My answer...when I was two sizes smaller. My scale had no way of telling me what size I felt comfortable wearing. So, I chunked it and swore NOT to replace it. I haven't. It's been a year!

Just so you know, this tale does have a happy ending. At least I'm heading towards one. I still wear a size I don't like. Torture me NOW. But I am doing something about it. Besides continuing to play tennis two times weekly, I've added jogging to my routine. Why didn't I think of this sooner? It's easy to do. Cheap. And on the days I don't feel like running, I walk. I can't tell you why I suddenly decided to do more, but I did. I'm ready to take charge and make changes. Those changes involve regular exercise and attention to what I'm eating. Dieting doesn't work for me. It makes me mad and frustrated. I feel deprived. What possessed me to diet on and off again for ten years, if it made me feel so bad? I'll save that for another post.

Instead I'm focusing on making healthier choices--like Wynonna. There is nothing off limits--just a time, a place and a portion.

I have no idea if I'll ever return to my previous size. This time I'm not making myself empty promises. What I am promising myself is that I'll be in better shape and health. That's a promise I can keep.

While reading the Good Housekeeping article about Wynonna, I had to laugh. Turns out Wynonna chunked her scale too. She wants to start a scale-chunking movement. I like this woman. Mine is already gone. What about yours? Join me! We are not fish. Come on. Throw it out!