When I was young, I was skinny. I also had a big appetite; my mother would joke about my “hollow leg,” because where else was I putting the large amounts of food I consumed? I could eat whatever I wanted and however much I wanted and my metabolism promptly took care of it.
That. Was. Awesome. (Note the past tense).
Even into my twenties, I didn’t worry about my weight or even think about my weight. I might step on a scale once in a blue moon, just for fun, but it wasn’t an issue. I was just skinny. Yay, genetics! After my first daughter was born, my baby weight fell right off. No effort needed. Ahhh, those were the days.
Because I had it so set in my mind that I was skinny, it took me a loooong time to recognize that things had changed. Weight gain doesn’t happen overnight, of course—it’s a little at a time, then a little more, and a little more, until finally in my thirties I started to realize, hey, what the heck? I wasn’t slim, not anymore. So naturally, I promptly started eating less and exercising more.
Hahahaha! As if. Even as I became aware that I wasn’t thrilled with how much I’d gained, I kept right on with a lifetime of eating habits—did I mention I love food?—and, not surprisingly I gained more and more weight (what’s up with that slowing metabolism as you get older, anyway?). I’d try here and there to exercise and maybe I’d lose a few pounds, but then I’d gain it back. Or I’d try to eat less, but didn’t keep it up for long. I wanted to lose weight, but I didn’t want to work for it, or worse yet, suffer for it.
Then, maybe a year or so ago, my husband decided to lose weight (and if you ask me, he started out skinny). He was so disciplined about it—at dinner, he’d eat so little that it drove me CRAZY. When you feel bad about your own weight but don’t want to do anything about it because that sounds hard, the last thing you want to watch is someone else being super disciplined and getting super skinny—it’s one of those situations where you know if it bothers you that YOU are the one with the problem, but you still don’t want to fix it. Brilliant, I know.
Then we went to a family reunion last summer, and my sister-in-law, who is my age, walked in and she was . . . skinny. Looked fantastic. Oh golly. Oh jealousy! In the course of chatting while we were hanging out in the lake, we got to talking about weight, and she told me she’d used an app called Tap and Track to help her lose weight. You enter your stats (height, weight, etc.) and your weight loss goal—how much you want to lose and how fast—and it calculates how many calories you should eat per day. You enter in what you eat (it has a big database of foods), you can add your own recipes, or you can just enter calories, if you prefer. And when you exercise, you enter that in, and it adjusts your calorie allotment.
And . . . I actually got excited about trying this app. Me! Excited to try to lose weight! Who knew it could happen? But by this point, I was so frustrated with my weight and so tired of being dissatisfied with it (and tired of being jealous because my husband looked so good, and tired of the fact that I could have eaten him for lunch and still had room for dessert). I’d finally hit the point where I was ready to work on this, but I needed to do it in a way that worked for me.
So I bought the app, and when we got home, I tried it out. I knew if I tried to lose too fast, I’d be miserable, get frustrated, and quit—I don’t like suffering and I don’t like being hungry—so I set the goal of losing half a pound a week. This was just over three months ago, and so far so good—I’m halfway to my weight loss goal. Who knew I could actually do this? And succeed?? Some weeks it goes really well; other weeks my weight stalls and I get frustrated, but I’m determined to keep trying. One bonus is that I’ve never in my life been so motivated to exercise, because when I exercise, I can enter that info into the app and it gives me more calories. So exercise=more food, and I am highly motivated by food (and it’s a good thing those donuts we made for Family Home Evening the other week are gone, because goodness, those were perhaps a bit too tasty. I got lots of exercise while trying to compensate for those donuts).
I have a long silk dress that my mother-in-law made for me for a family wedding. I outgrew that dress many years and many pounds ago, but now my goal is to wear it to the Whitney Awards gala in May. Can I do it? I guess I’ll find out. If not, heck, I guess I wasted money on that dry-cleaning bill . . .