Fighting the battle of weight gain and loss begins with a declaration of independence.
| My Resolution Revolution
By Donna Lowich
Happy New Year! It was New Year's Day, 1991. In the midst of celebrating the beginning of a new year, I was mentally making a list of my New Year's resolutions, many of which were left unresolved from last year.
A perennial resolution was to lose weight. Somehow, though, it never made it beyond that generalized wish. I never quite got around to being more specific about that goal.
This time, it was different. I wrote it down, weighed myself and then decided how much weight to lose, and wanted to join a diet group. Now, I had a plan. This was more than just a resolution. This was now a promise to myself! This was the beginning of the revolution that would change my life.
One day in February, while at work, I experienced a serendipitous event. While on my way to lunch, tacked up on a hallway bulletin board was a notice that Weight Watchers meetings would soon be held in my building! I marveled at the coincidence of seeing that notice just when my resolve was starting to waver.
I signed up for the first six-week session, relieved to know that getting to the meetings was going to be easy. This was a potential problem for me because I had undergone two spinal cord surgeries six years earlier, and I now walked with a walker. Getting to the meetings was going to present its own special set of problems, or so I had thought Now, those problems evaporated!
Finally, the day arrived: Wednesday, March 6,1991.
I entered the designated room for the "At Work" program. I don't know about anybody else, but I was secretly trying to determine if I could be successful in my weight loss efforts. I guess you could say I was “sizing” everyone up.
The weight loss leader described the program. It seemed easy to follow. She told her story of seeing herself on television that set her on the course to weight loss, and a new career as a weight-loss leader. Hearing such a terrific personal story of victory gave me a little more confidence, but still the shadow of defeat was stalking me.
Even though the program was easy enough, it was going to take some getting used to, just like any other behavior modification. I was going to have to combat all of my bad habits that had long since become a part of me. On top of that, I was not going to be able to exercise like everyone else. Would I be able to win this battle? Only time would tell. I'd have to do my best and wait until the first weigh-in.
To my surprise, at the weigh-in at the next meeting, I lost three pounds, which was equal to what everyone else had lost that week! Hooray! I had the needed incentive; I knew I could do it. I was on my way to achieving my goal! My life was being “resolutionized”!
Over the course of the next two years, the weight-loss leader changed several times, but thankfully, my resolve never did. I ended up losing a total of thirty-five pounds. In the intervening years, I have kept most of the thirty-five pounds off although I still have minor skirmishes with extra pounds gained from time to time.
I still have to fight off temptation every day in the form of chips, doughnuts, and cookies. I now watch what I eat, and I pursue the idea of persuading my husband, Walter, and my son, Jeff, to monitor their intake of junk food, with the fervor of a converted zealot. It's like throwing a handful of sand against the tides but that doesn’t deter me.
You can fully realize the futility of my situation with the following story. When planning meals and cooking, I try to “push” salads, fresh vegetables and fruits. To counteract that, Walter avoids the produce aisle like the plague, working under the assumption that anything that once was a part of a plant just can’t be as good for you as something that has a "Best If Used By" date stamped on a cellophane wrapper.
For example, after a recent jaunt to the supermarket, Walter bought a box of assorted doughnuts: powdered, cinnamon and plain. Walter claims the powdered for his own, while Jeff prefers the cinnamon, leaving the plain doughnuts uneaten. Until, that is, they gave Lucky, our cat, a piece of a plain doughnut. This otherwise finicky feline went crazy over the taste.
At this rate, it won't be long before he's sitting in front of the TV, lapping up soda, with an open bag of chips next to him. With this as a likely future scenario, I'm wondering who will end up with possession of the remote control!! Perhaps a resolution for each of them would help.
I know that the written resolution helped me. Without it, I would still be thinking about losing weight but not doing anything about it. By writing down the resolution, I declared my intention. That became my personal "Declaration of Independence" and started the fight against the extra pounds that continues to this day.