How much me is too much?

Although my blog may leave the impression that nothing is sacred (poop seems to come up more often than it should), one topic I have purposely dodged lately is weight loss. Suffice it to say that I continue to fight the good fight, though I seem to lose more rounds than I win. Speaking of losing, may I share a pet peeve with you? It's the word itself. No one seems to know the difference between lose and loose. If you visit some of the message boards on the Weight Watchers site, everyone is crowing about how much weight they want to loose. These are the same people who bust out with, "I need advise!" Or even, "I should of . . . " Oh, it maketh me weep. I don't mean to be a language snob but criminy!

I haven't discussed my weight battle recently because, well, after a while the whole thing gets a tad embarrassing. I should've slain this demon a long time ago, right? Alas, no. I may stab it, tie it up, and throw it under my bed, but it lives on. It comes to me in quiet moments and says, "Hey, you remember that there are Girl Scout cookies in the pantry, right?" I ignore the demon but then it sidles up to me and hisses in my ear, "Don't forget - they're thinnnn minnnnntsssss!" I can eat an entire sleeve of the Girl Scout thin mints in one sitting. I have a male co-worker who has been trying to gain five pounds for all the years I've known him. I can accomplish this feat in a single weekend.

At the moment, and it is truly the briefest of moments, I am at my goal weight. Maintaining it is the hardest part of all (significantly more difficult than losing the weight in the first place). I should confess that when I selected my goal weight as part of the Weight Watchers program, I chose the highest possible weight in the range for my height, minus one pound. I've known this body for a while now (I'm an old, old, old, old, old lady, after all) and it's told me flat-out that it does not intend to be 120 pounds. If I were a sixth-grader or had lost my legs in a tragic accident - then maybe.

I wish I could travel back in time and pull myself aside at my wedding. No one ever gets back to their pre-wedding fighting weight, but I would at least warn myself not to let things get too out of hand. Or at least not to allow the denial to last quite so long if they did.

I have struggled with my weight for much of my adult life, but it got the better of me in the early years after P and I got married. My weight gain essentially followed a path through four miscarriages (from 1999 through 2003). With each loss, I cared just a little bit less about myself and this stupid, defective package that I came in. Brownies couldn't replace my babies, but it sure seemed worth a try.

By 2004, I was almost resigned to the idea that I would not be a mom. My mother said to me, "Claudia, you have to find a way to make it happen. You just have to find a way." I think I really needed that little nudge. My husband wanted children but isn't really the proactive type. He's more the "que sera sera" type. A close friend of mine became pregnant that summer and somehow, envisioning her as a mom helped me to formulate a vision like that for myself. I scheduled a meeting with a social worker at an adoption agency very soon thereafter.

I am not in any position to give weight loss advice, but I will say this. If you have a friend or family member who is overweight . . . whatever you do, do not take them aside and tell them that you are concerned about it. I know that may seem counter-intuitive, but trust me on this one. My husband was very wise not to say a word. If he had, I would not have changed my eating habits. I simply would have gone to greater lengths to hide them. For anyone who is overweight (and unhappy because of it), they must simply come to their own moment where they want change and are willing to work for it. I had my moment in July of 2005, when I saw some photos of myself with my beautiful new baby girl. I just couldn't deny it anymore. There I was with my elasticized waistband and my doughy appendages. I joined Weight Watchers in September of that year and have attended the meetings ever since. I currently weigh 67 pounds less than what I weighed that summer. I have been as much as 70 pounds under my starting weight, and as little as 50 pounds under.

My daughter was obviously a catalyst for my directional shift. I have often told my friends that I know I will be doing lots of things to embarrass A as she grows up, and I didn't want my weight to be one of those things. Singing in front of her friends, sitting behind her at the movie theater when she is on a date . . . ah, I can hardly wait.