There it was. A '4'...right there on the scale. Smack-dab in the middle of two ones.
That’s what I weighed last night when I stepped on the scale. 141 pounds.
Aside from any weight I gained during two healthy pregnancies, I'd never seen a '4' in the middle of my weight. Not after freshman year in college. Not during periods of my life when I'd been depressed. Not ever.
I don't really like to fixate on weight as an indicator of good or bad. I really don’t believe that there should be judgment that goes along with what anyone weighs. Weight is just a number. Especially as a mom to a daughter, I try to be aware of how I look at and talk about weight. For women especially, the concept of how much one weighs can carry a lot of additional emotional and psychological baggage. Body image is too important a topic to boil down to just what we weigh.
However, by the age of 44, I've got a pretty good idea of how my body functions when it's healthy and when it's not. For me, 141 pounds is an indication that I'm not as healthy as I could be.
In fact, I actually don't weigh myself all that frequently. The battery of our scale died sometime in 2011 and we didn't replace it for over a year, until recently. But all of a sudden, (but really not so suddenly), I can’t button my pants anymore. Not even my 'fat pants.'
I remember a time in my life where I regularly went to a gym; that’s not so true anymore. I have noticed that my energy has decreased. I’m not sleeping well. My body isn’t functioning as well as it once did. It’s no wonder, really, as my eating habits have deteriorated over the last year too—or really over the last decade.
It’s funny the kinds of conversations I’ve realized I started to have with people when I raise the issue. “You look great! What are you talking about?” someone will say. “Oh, I just know how to layer really well,” I’ll reply. “This is thanks to my Eastern European, zaftig genes, I got great birthing hips from my ancestors,” I’ll say to myself when I look in the mirror.
Truthfully, I’ve started to avoid looking in the mirror altogether.
I’m about to turn 45 in a couple months, and I think I need to get my now-141-pound butt in gear and approach my health in a better way.
Some of my friends recently took part in something called the “Game On Diet,” which basically sounds like a team weight-loss, behavior-change, and get healthier in body-mind-and-spirit competition. They formed teams and earned points for things like eliminating bad habits and adding good ones daily; performing a minimum of 20 minutes of daily exercise; sleeping a minimum of seven hours a night; and following a diet of five small meals and a recommended food plan. At the end of a pre-set period, there was a winning team who won a prize.
They all loved it—and said it worked.
For many of us, it seems the secret to making these kinds of healthier changes involves working in the company of others, be it for motivation, competition, companionship or camaraderie. Given that I’m acknowledging the need for some major lifestyle changes for myself, I think I’d like to give this a try.
And I’m asking you to join me.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be organizing the team play. But I need people to take part and join the teams. If you’re interested, read up on the Game On Diet and send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re willing to be identified in future columns I write about “Game On Wilton” tracking our progress and our play, let me know. I hope people take part with their real names (I think it will encourage staying committed), but if you’d prefer to be known by your Patch user name, that’s fine too. You will need to be a registered user on Patch to take part though.
Send me an email by Friday, December 21—that’s the deadline to take part. We’ll start on Monday, January 7, 2013, because that will be my first “From the Driver’s Seat” column of the New Year, and because I am sure getting through the holidays just starting something like this could be tricky for everyone, especially me.
I included one of those Glamour magazine-type ‘before’ pictures of myself, just to give me a bit of encouragement, in the form of public embarrassment. If I’m willing to go to such lengths for my health, I’d better commit to getting in better shape. I’ve got nothing to lose, right?
Except enough pounds to maybe see a ‘3’ where the ‘4’ is now.