Weight is THE Number, But Not the Only Number

The downside of the forty plus decade age is that you start to notice your body does not quite operate the way it used to or the way you think it should. In my younger days, I heard those ‘older’ folks complain and frankly, I could not relate. I had no sense or worry that this would ever happen to me. Ah, the joys of being young and ignorant! But whether you have something sagging in one area, creaks in another, aches and pains that never used to exist, less energy, performance issues (I’m just saying..it can happen) or you are staring at a mid-life crisis, the 40+ decade seems to have some pitfalls around health. And if you aren’t paying attention, they sneak up on you and attack like a bat out of hell!

I’ve never been skinny. I have struggled with my weight most of my life actually, so maybe it shouldn’t have come as a big surprise to me when some lab results in January proclaimed problems with my cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides and thyroid. The previous six months I hadn’t been working out and was  living under very stressful work conditions (ok, who are we kidding – that was true for the last 18 months really!). I didn’t feel excessively tired or sickly. I felt ok. I was getting by. I was surviving. Quitting my job late last year was one step in the right direction for change and I began to enjoy some well-deserved relaxation.  But lab results like these and the term ‘pre-diabetic’ jolted me back into a different sort of action. This combined with the fact that it’s difficult to get pregnant with a high thyroid and all that other stuff creates a not-so-swell baby environment. It has been nothing if not a challenge to bring the baby dream into reality (insert groan here).

So I was off like a firecracker with the P90X and weight watchers.  Lost about 10 pounds in 7 weeks, but felt myself plateauing. And for those of you that can relate to emotional eating….well, if I’m not losing and seeing a difference then ‘what the hell am I doing all this for??  Might as well enjoy that beer or those M&Ms after all.’ I am well-versed with this pitfall, so I signed up with a dietician and a trainer for some serious one-on-one behavior change therapy. And this was just what I needed even though I have developed strong, unkindly feelings of dislike towards my dietician. My dietician, Janelle, is the nicest person, but she is also in the position to tell me things that I don’t want to hear  and often, don’t want to do. (Lucky gal!) I don’t protest to her face (that would be rude after all…gotta suck it up), but after our sessions I’m usually cussing her out under my breathe or to my trainer (where not surprisingly, I get NO sympathy). I have learned that it takes me a couple of days to process her comments and suggestions. And don’t get me wrong, she’s not an ogre. She is just doing her job. So every week she reviews my food journal and comments, tweaks, sighs and offers advice. Last week she talked about starting to wean off processed foods. Say what? Sounds bloody impossible. And I always have homework for the next week, which usually involves doing something else I don’t like, i.e. cutting out something else from my diet.  And so it goes.

After 3 weeks with my dietician and my trainer, I was complaining bitterly that I had not lost a single pound. Instead the scale seemed to go up and back down again. Utter frustration. I resisted covering my ears with my hands as they counseled about how it takes time for a body to adjust and change, and weight is not the only number in play here; its about changes on multiple fronts. I tried to remember why I was really doing all this and keeping up the effort of 6 days a week, sweat your balls off, workouts – searching deep down for the motivation. Yeah, blah, blah, blah. Ultimately, I have come to realize how fixated I can be on the number. You know, THE number – my weight. It has become such a focus for me. For most of my life, my weight has often determined how I felt on a certain day. Talk about giving up your power to some non-existing entity. Geez! So, as you can imagine, it was driving me crazy not to see a result. Then, I noticed I was pulling my belt tighter another notch and I felt a little more energized.  Hmm…this is interesting. Next I got some new lab results which showed my thyroid had returned to normal levels (thank you drugs), sugars had decreased and my blood pressure was also normal.Of course I had to refrain from running to the scale to see what THE number had to say. I lasted a week. But, hey, that’s good for me 🙂 When I finally jumped on, I had only lost one additional pound from my previous plateau. I had an instance of feeling disappointed, but then I thought NO! I’m not going to let this tamper with my day. I’m doing good! So I mentally patted myself on the back and went on my way.  Maybe some of what my dietician and trainer are preaching is finally getting through. I do have a thick skull and a real bitch of a voice inside my head. I feel I have made some progress, even though it’s all happening much slower than I would like. But what do I expect after 25+ years of dieting and poor eating habits and yo-yo weight gain; that’s it’s all going to change in a matter of months? Yes, I’m impatient. But now I’m also committed. The hardest part may be marrying the two so that I can make the difference in myself that I want to make. Ugh! (insert another groan)


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Caroline
    Apr 03, 2012 @ 08:10:31

    I am 39 on the verge of 40. I did a full medical in December. My weight is okay and always has been. Well results showed a high level of bad cholesterol (what?) and a kidney infection (another what?). And after 22 years of smoking and making all kinds of excuses I quit on Feb 2nd 2012 at my doctors request. It was a bottom line issue. Now I’m trying to get back into my exercise program and deal with all these aches and pains creeping up on me. So Maggie good for you … I’ll fill you in on my progress as I follow yours. All the best.


  2. Beth
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 21:13:20

    You can give yourself a mental pat on the back….and we can shout out a little love….”Go Maggie Go!”


  3. ro
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 20:25:24

    I totally feel ya…my thoughts exactly…ditto…all in favor…anyway, get my drift:) Hang in there girly! You’re worth every bit of ball sweat, lol! LOVE IT!


  4. L @ Trying Not to be Fat
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 17:16:01

    Don’t forget muscle weighs more than fat, too!


    • maggieat40
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 17:21:43

      You are so right! That’s something else my trainer and dietician are always mentioning…that I drown out in my focus for THE number. But it’s a good thing to be reminded of!


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