Let’s start with the good news.
Since I started using MyPlate on July 20, I’ve lost four pounds.
(It was, on August 11, six point five pounds. But then I went to Napa and ate my weight in deliciousness and wine.)
But there is also bad news. Or, if not bad, simply realistic.
I still have 25 pounds to go before I reach my ideal weight.
I could write a whole novel on this topic, but I’ll spare you the self-indulgent monotony and just list the basics:
* I was very naturally thin as a child and high school student.
* In college, I put on about 15 pounds and looked less like a stick figure and more like a woman.
* In grad school, I put on about 15 more pounds, made up mostly of microwave popcorn drenched in butter and many many spoonfuls of cookie dough. Not surprisingly, I went up a clothing size.
* The year after grad school, I tried Weight Watchers for the first time, lost 10 pounds, and dropped a clothing size.
* I put on maybe five pounds in the next couple of years, but then dropped down to my skinniest since college for my wedding. (Not intentionally; months of personal training didn’t make my weight budge. Instead, it was three weeks of travel, holidays, a horrible cold, and wedding stress that ripped the weight right off.)
* Since my wedding, I’ve put on – wait for it – about 25 pounds. I am officially one clothing size bigger than I’ve ever worn in my life. (And – let’s face it – that’s just in the forgiving brands. Banana Republic? If I try on their pants in my new size, I can barely get them over my thighs.)
I have super-scientifically ascertained that my weight gain has three causes:
1. I suck at portion control and I love to eat.
2. Freelance writing leads to a pretty sedentary lifestyle – a routine that I haven’t been all that great about breaking.
3. I am nearing 30, and my metabolism hates me.
But I can’t keep going this way. I feel bloated. I feel jiggly. I have noticeable cellulite in places where cellulite shouldn’t exist. I am getting stretch marks on my giant ass, for Pete’s sake. Stretch marks! I’m 29 and NOT PREGNANT.
I love clothes and shopping… But now trying on lovely outfits makes me miserable and ashamed.
Part of me – the part that loves cheese and bread and nachos – certainly sometimes wonders if this is just the size I am and maybe I should just leave it be, even if I don’t feel that great about myself. I mean, I’m not unhealthy. That should be the goal, right? Health, not vanity?
But the other part of me just wants to be thin and toned and pretty… and to feel good when I look in the mirror.
I mean, happiness does not come solely from jeans that fit well… or fitting into a size four. I know that. I also know that happiness does not come from giving into the siren song of bubbling pot of spaghetti. Nor does it come from resigning yourself to being This Size And This Weight without giving The Other Size And The Lower Weight your all.
I’m a long way from being thin, Internet. I’m an even longer way from being toned. (Pretty? That’s another matter entirely.)
But I can’t tell you how great it felt to look at the scale on August 11 and see that six-pounds-lighter weight looking back at me. A number I hadn’t seen in months.
I’m going to keep it up.