more lessons from the Y

So I weighed in today. The number is going down, steadily, which is really nice. In March, I weighed 191.2, and today, I weighed in at 186.2, which is five pounds in two months! Huzzah for me.

So, in the past, I would “make a resolution” to lose weight, but then not do anything about it. This amounts to wishing. I would do the body hatred thing – hating my body for its shape and size, and how heavy I was. Remembering the past traumas located in my body, and shaming myself for not being thinner. Then, applying feminist principles, I would shame myself for wanting to take up less space. I should want to take up the exact amount of space required for one so fabulous. But it all amounted to a whole lot of wishing. I never got into anorexia or bulimia. I like to eat. Girl gotta eat.

Anyway, I didn’t do any of that this time. No shame – no blame – no wishing. I started working out. Then I went to a personal trainer and got some insight on how to use weight machines. It turns out that weight machines are just that – machines. Not Cylons out to destroy my soul. It turns out that I can lift, and leg press and gain muscle mass and increase my resting metabolic heart rate.

Anyway, what lit the fire under my ass was having knee surgery this past January. There is no cartilage in part of my knee, and eventually, I’m looking at a total knee replacement. My whole family has bad knees to go with our excellent smarts and beautiful olive skin, but still… “Not everyone has our brains, Ann…” said my mom. The doctor said these pithy instructions: “Lose weight. Avoid stairs.” Then added, “Lose weight. Avoid stairs. Build muscle mass.” So that was when I made the appointment to go to the personal trainer.

That was at least 10 pounds ago. Now I need to think of myself as a person whose weight is closer to 185, rather than closer to 200. My goal was 160 – 180, and I’m close to the top end of that goal. I’m really close. I’m not obsessed with the numbers, though. I’m impressed with the downward trajectory of the numbers, but not obsessed. I feel healthy and strong, and I’m even grateful for my workouts.

It has made a difference in what I eat, as well. How many milkshakes, that is. I still have them. Some days call for milkshakes. But now I get to ask myself, “Would I rather have the milkshake, or would I rather keep losing weight?” It becomes a choice to eat healthier, even salad. Now if they could just make salads that tasted like milkshakes, I’d be so golden.