I guess the beginning of my story is unlike anyone else on the team. I was a slender kid. I would have been skinny, we're it not for a relatively large derrière. I hated how it always made clothes shopping so hard, and I hate clothes shopping to this day. I don't know what I'd do if it weren't for the "uniform" I've found from Lands' End. And now I buy sunscreen clothing online from Sun Precautions, again getting the same four pieces. Just different colors, and now -
- smaller sizes.
But I digress. Back to the story. My mother was almost always "dieting." She was never large, but she'd eat what she wanted until she got to about 135-138 pounds (5' even), and then she would announce that she was going on a diet and would get back under 130. Sure enough, at 128-129, she quit her diet until the next time. So even though her weight swings were quite tightly controlled,
I still learned the pattern by observing her.
I also got tormented about my shape by my oldest brother, the one I blogged about
(June 13, 2013) and no longer have in my life. I remember being maybe 9 or 10 when he first started calling me the Crisco Kid, because I was fat in the can. My mother thought it was cute; he was always her favored one. Since he got away with that one, it wasn't long before he also would repeatedly tell me that my weight was like sugar in a teacup: it all sinks to the bottom.
I also remember (in retrospect) that I had one other high risk factor. I remember telling my mother when I was around 15 that, especially in the afternoon, I often came home from school "not hungry, but I feel like eating."
Her response was one of total confusion; she simply could not understand what I meant. I also remember that my after-school snack almost every day was two pieces of toast topped with butter and brown sugar.
I weighed 117 pounds when I graduated from high school. I just looked up my weight range on a web site, and it's 115-154 depending on frame. So I was fine - young, and at the low end of what I'm guessing would be 120-135 now. (I'm aiming at 135). I went off to college at the age of 17, and I began spiraling downhill in every area of my life.
I'll stick to health and weight issues today, though. Two months into my freshman year, I contracted a near-fatal case of salmonella.
I lost 12 pounds in four days. I'm convinced that this permanently affected my metabolism, because it took me most of a year to gain that weight back. I was eating meals and snacks. I even took a milkshake break almost every evening. But once the weight came back, the bad habits were established.
By what would have been Christmas of my junior year (but I'd dropped out), I weighed 150. And that's when I began the cycles of dieting and regaining that would take me into my 60's. I weighed anywhere from 135-195 during those decades, generally 160-170.
I'd been active as a kid, walking 1.4999...miles to and from school every day. We were the last house that couldn't take the bus; you had to live at least 1.5 miles from school. I biked, I did marching band, I hiked in the woods, I did hurdles and shot put in high school. But once I went to college, just outside of Boston, I did next to no activity for all those decades, either.
Finally, at 190 yet again, after left ankle and right knee surgeries, and with left hip arthritis affecting my sleep and mobility, I decided that this was IT. In a year, I'd lost 10-12 pounds and then plateaued and become discouraged. It was then, September 10, 2012, that I found SparkPeople.
My weight has come off slowly, but consistently. I began walking just about a year ago, late September or early October. I walked the first section of the trail near our house, 0.37 miles, so 0.74 round trip; and it took me almost 25 exhausting minutes. You've probably already read references to the walks I take now.
This is the first time in my adult life that I've had 2 years of gradually diminishing weight. It's also the last time, because when I reach my goal weight (whatever I finally determine it to be), I'm NOT going back.