You see the pictures: one of me with my husband on the occasion of our marriage in 2010; the other of me on the occasion of our 5th anniversary trip together. The difference between my two, let’s just say, “selves” in these photos is about 13 pounds or the difference between 130 (now) and ~117 (then). That may not sound like a huge amount of weight to some, but I’m a small framed woman at a height of 5’4”. That amount of weight is the difference between the size 4 Shoji Tadashi gown you see in the one photo and those “relaxed-fit” (as they are tactfully labeled) jeans I’m sporting in the other. As is plainly evident from these images, 13 lbs. amounts to a rather substantial deposit of adipose (more commonly known as fat) on me.
Hi. I’m Janet. Welcome to my weight-loss blog. My goal is to lose 8 pounds. My projected time frame for achieving this goal is 8 weeks. I’m not in a hurry, but summer comes on fast in the south, and I’m soon going to want to bare my arms and perhaps a bit of leg just to be comfortable. (Don’t panic, I would not perpetrate such an egregious offense upon humanity as to expose the backs of my thighs to the public, or any individual, under any circumstance.)
Some of you may wonder, why just 8? Why not go after all excess 13 lbs.? After all, 117 was what I’d always considered my ideal weight, and I’d maintained that with barely any fluctuation throughout my entire adult life, well into my late 40s. Yeah, I was one of those who didn’t really struggle with weight…until that hormonal onslaught, which comes to all women of a certain age, known as menopause. That’s when the problem started.
But with the slowing metabolism of advancing age also comes a different attitude, one that’s easier and more forgiving of one’s imperfections. Make no mistake, I still want to look stunning in my clothes, at least occasionally. But I have neither the need nor desire to be perfect anymore. I’m over perfection. For me, it’s all about being comfortable inside and out, embracing maturity and experience and wisdom. It’s about gratitude and appreciation (for surviving 1/2 a century and more) and cutting oneself some slack. I’m cutting myself 5 lbs. of slack. That’s why I’m going for just 8. Eight is enough.
Eight lbs. in 8 weeks seems like an attainable goal. No transformational dietary changes are warranted, just a bit of cutting back and attention to overall nutrition. My approach to eating will be balance: balance between what’s nutritious and what’s pleasurable – I’m not going to deprive myself of life’s little pleasures such as chocolate; balance between quality and convenience – I’m not going to avoid fast food like the plague; balance between being hungry and being full – that happy place called satisfied. And I haven’t forgotten about exercise. I’m not aiming for a marathon, just 30-40 minutes of moderate physical activity 4-5 times a week, mostly walking, either outside or on the treadmill at my neighborhood Planet Fitness.
If you’d like to join me on this little weight-loss journey, then pick yourself an easy, attainable goal. Be kind to yourself. If you’re the type that needs more of a challenge, then by all means, push a little harder. Get out of your comfort zone if you’re motivated. Just don’t leave yourself comfortless. I’m talking about that cup of hot chocolate on a chilly evening or a bag of buttery popcorn with that late-night movie, or perhaps for you a loaded baked potato is the thing. For my mom, it was always a cup of cornbread and buttermilk, which I too relish with nostalgia whenever I’m with my mom. More often for me these days it’s a couple pieces of dark chocolate, and if accompanied by a glass of Amarone della Valpolicella, I’m in heaven. Whatever “it” is for you, it’s okay. Cut yourself some slack. Let go of perfection. Pick your pounds, and take whatever inspiration you find here to be helpful. Let the journey, and the journal, begin.