Monday, November 2, 2009

‘Drea Minus 60 (Allowances Included)

It took me two years plus six and half months to do it but I finally reached my 60 pound weight loss goal.

My aunt Al, cousin and I were sitting around talking about weight loss. My cousin has recently gotten back in the gym and wants to lose a significant amount of weight to which my Aunt Al said, If I lost 50 pounds, I wouldn’t tell anyone.

At first, I thought it was the usual tactic of not airing one’s dirty laundry but I see my Aunt Al’s point of view.

Sixty pounds is a lot and it signals excess but I’m glad that I’m letting the excess skeleton out of the closet.

When the Bernie Madoff scandal hit, there was a great deal of commentary but only one essay, Geneen Roth’s I was fleeced by Madoff stuck with me.

In the essay, Roth talks about how 30 years of retirement savings went down the drain. She also talks about her decision to be a waitress and maid in order to buy time to write poetry.

Over and over again, I've asked myself: Why didn't I secure the most basic of all things -- shelter itself? Why didn't I pay off my mortgage? And if I don't engage in blame, I see the answer clearly: because I believed in something else more -- I believed in accumulating. And when you believe in accumulating, you see what you don't have, not what you have. My relationship to money was no different from my relationship to food, to love, to fabulous sweaters: I never felt as if I had enough. I was always focused on the bite that was yet to come, not the one in my mouth. I was focused on the way my husband wasn't perfect, not the way he was. And on the sweater I saw in the window, not the one in my closet that I hadn't worn for a year.
Roth’s essay moved me in so many ways but it was also a reminder not to excessively consume food or worry.

In trying to reach my 60 pound milestone during the past two months, I became aggravated because the scale would head north then south then north -- always one pound or two shy of 60. I couldn’t believe my tactics of exercising longer and drinking more water weren’t working. I knew that I had more weight to lose. So, why wasn’t it coming off? In addition, I was literally counting what I was putting in my mouth while making allowances for my recurrent snacking.

What I lost sight of in the last few months was the fact that I’m in great shape. I can tell by my 40 minute stints on the StairMaster. Before, I had to stop the machine and, now, I don’t need to take a break. I’m swimming more laps and I’m better at rock climbing.

I forgot that my body works superbly and has supported me with the excess weight and it has supported me as I’ve gone through the process of shedding the excess weight too. I have practically been on a non-stop regimen for over 800 days.

I forgot about the simple joy of being in motion and reacquainting myself with the athlete that I left behind so long ago.

I was also reminded to be grateful by several bloggers’ Love Your Body Day posts:

FAT!Fat!FAT!—it’s all talk

Exposed: Why I Love My Body

Hopefully, as I continue this journey, I won’t lose sight of the fact that I feel healthier and I’m in a good place – even when the scale is teetering back and forth.


    - ANITA-

  2. Andrea!!! You have done a phenomenal job of pushing yourself and making a long-term goal come true! The discipline you have shown and the commitment you have demonstrated to being healthy and active are admirable. Keep up the good work, and I can't wait 'til we go rock climbing together again!

    xoxo - Jessica

  3. I can hear through your writing how incredible you feel, Andrea. I am extremely proud of you and I envy your tenacity. You should go out and be a speaker as an inspiration to so many that just can't find the inner strength to do what you have done. Good job and congrats. And your writing is wonderful, by the way.

  4. @Anita, Jessica & Marcia,

    You ladies move me. And I'm hoping to move with you all in the water, on land or up a wall. Soon. ;)