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Suzanne Battles the Bulge

"Camille, do I look any thinner? I've been running in the morning."

My friend looks up from her desk, gives me the once over and then pauses, "Do you want the truth?"

No. I mean, yes. "Yes, of course."

"You look the same. Sorry."

This is my mid-life tussle with weight. I get up three mornings a week and go for a 30 minute walk/run around the neighborhood. On the odd days, I do a variety of things while laying on my back all of which are supposed to tighten my abs and slim my waist.

I still look like a succulent ripe apple. (yum-o! says Rachel Ray!)

Last winter dear friend gave me a gift of some lessons with a personal trainer and we trained and I ran a 5K to celebrate the culmination of our work together. That I managed to run the entire race was a sweet victory. That I didn't lose a single pound during our time together was a disappointment.

My trainer suggested that food, not exercise was the issue. My fondness for baking luscious chocolate cakes, monkey bread involving sticks of butter, or oatmeal cookies which mysteriously lose their ability to fight cholesterol when you add two kinds of chocolate chips, pecans, and a cup of sweetened flaked coconut might have been easy to cut out....but add in an addiction to potatoes and bread and their deadly combination in that All-American feast called a cheeseburger with french fries, and well perhaps she had a point.

So I called Jenny Craig. And I went for a visit and was assigned the most wonderful personal weight counselor. Wendy was everything I am not, petite, slim, and feisty. She had a wonderful sense of humor and was kind enough not to hit me when I said that we would have to factor the caloric content of a vodka tonic into my daily calorie count.

I lasted two weeks on Jenny Craig. It wasn't all bad, I lost 10 pounds the first week, though I believe much of that was water. The second week I made a valiant effort to stick to the plan, but my inquisitive mind, a bad habit of reading food labels, and one too many frozen 'breakfast sandwich' which tasted like cardboard sent me over the edge. Unfortunately for Jenny, the second week coincided with my waking up with a nasty bout of vertigo that lasted five days and caused me to have wretched flights of nausea. My mother insisted that I keep the remaining meals and she's been eating them, and says she likes them, so I think the problem isn't Jenny, it's my picky palate.

Though I couldn't continue with the frozen or prepackaged food plan, I did recognize that the valuable lesson of the program was that it taught portion control. I wanted to continue my weight loss, so I went to the Internet and looked for a fresh food alternative and selected one that is based on the Zone Diet.

Which is where I am now. The food is better, I'm eating healthy, my ubiquitous white jeans are looser, but the scale is not budging. I've decided to continue my morning run because I like the way it makes me feel for the rest of the day, it seems to be a great mood lifter. I'd like to do another one of those 5K runs when autumn comes (it's too damn hot now). I've even started wearing cute little running shorts.

I'm going to continue doing all of this, the diet, the exercise. I try not to get frustrated that the weight is not coming off as I'd like it to. I try to make peace with myself and say that it only matters that I am healthy. But truthfully, it's frustrating that it is more difficult to lose weight as we get older.

I would love to turn heads the way I did when I was thirty pounds lighter. The thirty pounds that have gradually crept on in the three years that I've been back from overseas. One of these days, one of two things will happen: I will accept myself as I am and live healthy at this weight, or I go on a drastic weight loss regimen and stay on it until I've whacked off the pounds that stand between me and the self I imagine (or going back overseas, preferably to a country where they don't have the plethora of Western food products I enjoy.)

Or maybe there is path between. I'll let you know.


Vodka Mom said…
I'm with you. I haven't QUITE given up yet.
LarramieG said…
Your metabolism is slowing down but stay the course and you'll jumpstart it again.
Heidi said…
I'm struggling with it too. I feel like I know the secret but can't seem to get myself started. Just found out my 30 year HS reunion is next year, so something's gotta give or we'll be too busy to attend that weekend!

By the way, you're still beautiful inside and out, sister.
bernthis said…
there is a path in between. I did the zone diet and absolutely loved it. When I lost the baby weight, I kept my carbs very low (not zero, just low) and started to do interval training and I've been slim ever since. Keep it up. The running is so great, i know, I did it for 28 years until I ran out of cartilage. LOL Your cholesterol your BP your overall health will benefit from it and add years to your life. You can do it.
JCK said…
I wish you luck in your quest. I know it is very hard. I'm cheering you on from the west coast!!
Jennifer H said…
Might have to look at The Zone - with your recommendation and Jessica's, it seems worth a look.

All of this sounds like you're reading my mind. This has to be the year I change things. It just has to.

Cheering you onward from here...
Keetha said…
Forget about that scale; pay attention to how your clothes are fitting. It sounds like you're doing great.

I like the Flat Belly Diet by Prevention Magazine. Not so much a diet as a lifestyle change. Oh and I highly recommend "French Women Don't Get Fat." Eye opening.

(I just finished The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - I loved it! How are you liking it?)

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