To gain or not to gain.


I joined Weight Watchers on Valentines Day of this year. One could say it was a valentine to myself. However, it was also a valentine from my husband. Mike. After listening to me complain, whine and cry about being fat for, oh lets say years. After trying to tell me to not give up and hear me respond, “What do you mean don’t give up. It’s hopeless. Don’t you know how old I am? For pity sake. I walk every day. I have been going to the Y to do weight training. I gave up sweets, soda and more recently potatoes. And nothing. I just keep getting bigger. Don’t you realize I am almost 190? And it’s a fact that the older you get the harder it is to lose weight. It is hopeless,” and of course at this point I burst into tears yet again. It was definitely hopeless for me, until…

Mike and I were watching the final countdown shows of Ophra. It was the show with Jennifer Hudson. Jennifer looked great. She explained how she joined weight watchers and was successful. She was fabulously thin. She was praising the program. It all sounded to good to be true for me.

I turned to Mike and said, “Sure she can lose weight. Look at her. She’s young.” But then some of her family came on and there was this woman who was fifty-six and the program was working for her. She pranced on the stage showing off her new body. I turned to Mike mouth open.

He looked at me and said, “Why don’t you join weight watchers.”

“Really,” I said. I am sure I had that dumb happy look on my face. This was a Friday. Monday, I was there when the weight watchers center opened at 8 am. In fact, I was early and had to sit in the car and wait a half an hour. I was determined and enthusiastic. I already made up my mind to do what ever they suggested. No second-guessing or yes, buts.

I followed that program. I weighed and measured my food, I tracked everything I ate. I read all the books studying the points plus values for the foods. It took me five months but I lost 27 pounds. My goal is 150 and I am three pounds away.

Now in my favorite book New Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way that I mentioned in my first two blogs talks about weight gain at this time of life. The book is divided into three sections corresponding to the different times of change. Chapter one is: Is this Menopause? Preparing for the Journey, Chapter two, This is Menopause: Journey into Change, with the third chapter being, Post-Menopause: She-Who-Holds-the-Wise-Blood-Inside.

The author discusses weight gain in the first chapter. She points out that weight gain is normal and necessary for health as women get older. Actually gaining 10 pounds of healthy fat (I’m not sure what that is) supported by healthy muscle and bone helps with balancing hormones and supporting bones. However, I was way over the extra ten pounds. Anyway, I choose the upper range of a healthy weight for my height. According to my weight watchers little weight record booklet where I record my “official, weigh in weight” the weight range for height is 128 to 160. The lower weight ranges was when I was young, those were the days. I don’t think I would even look good that thin any more. So, keeping in mind my age I chose 150 as the weight to shoot for.

I have to tell you when I lost the first ten pounds I noticed a difference right away. The weight came off my middle and I felt more comfortable in my body. After 15 pounds I gained more stamina. When I went to a meeting and weighed in 20 pounds lighter I shed a few tears of joy. I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was hopeless. I no longer feared the program wouldn’t work for me.

And now after more then 25 pounds and three pounds away from my goal weight I am overjoyed. I went to the doctor recently and for the first time is years my blood pressure was in a good range of 117/61. When I weight over 180 is was around 130/82. What a difference. I haven’t been this light since, well my 40’s. So, although Susun Ward the author of the book I mentioned feels weight gain is normal and even good for you and even dieting is not good I think gaining 40 to 50 pounds is not what she had in mind.

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One response to “To gain or not to gain.

  1. I can’t applaud you enough Janice for your determination! Even thought you had struggled, even though you had your doubts, you tried again with Weight watchers. And look at the success you’ve had! You look great. You’re living a healthy lifestyle. And you’re sharing your experience, wisdom and humor with all of us through your blog. We are all blessed through you!

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