Measuring Up

“23 inches,” I announced.

I can’t believe my waist was only 23 inches. Even more amazing, I can’t believe I actually measured my waist in front of one of the most adorable boys ever (yes, Di, he really was adorable), and his even more adorable older sister. Looking back, I can’t help wonder why she had a measuring tape in her purse at church, and how we ended up measuring our waists. (Maybe she was pregnant? I can’t remember). But who cares? My waist was 23 inches and I felt great.

I’d worked hard to get there. The day my waist was 23 inches (that one day), I was probably just 16 or 17 years old. I’d struggled with weight my entire young life. When I was about 6 years old, a friend’s mother said to me, “You’re a chubby little girl, aren’t you, Suzie?” What does a 6-year-old say to that? (You don’t have to say a thing. Just simply bide your time until you’re 24, and you notice she’s got the front of her dress unknowingly unbuttoned below the waist, and she’s wearing no slip. And as I said, you don’t have to say a thing).

I was a Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers by the time I was 12. I was the girl with the “sweet spirit” and “lovely smile,” wearing a dress that was always “a pretty color on me.” As I lost weight through the years, I remember my mom saying to me, “You have more ease of movement, more fluidity of motion.” What does that even mean? And another time, “You’ve lost that cellulite look in your rear end.” Why couldn’t she just say I looked great? And once, during one of my thin phases, my sister said to me, as I was lying on the couch with the flu, “Doesn’t it feel better to be sick when you’re thin?” Huh? Oh, and my personal favorite, don’t you just love it when someone looks at your wedding pictures and says, “Oh, my gosh! Look how thin you were!” What the heck is wrong with people?

I’ve gained and lost (and gained and lost) a lot of weight over the years. I’ve blamed my weight gain on so many things… having kids, my mother (who doesn’t blame stuff on their mother?), having a miscarriage, moving to Boston with it’s terrible winters, moving back to California (and living with my mother for awhile), the death of my father, and my mother (see?). If I sound a bit bitter, I’m really not. In all reality, I’m the only one responsible for my weight. I control what I eat and what I don’t.

I’ve not been on as many diets as Dianna (I’ll leave the weight loss candles to her), but I’ve had the most success with fasting diets like Medifast. For some reason it works for me. Food becomes more of an obsession for me when I’m fasting. I love to smell it and touch it.

I live vicariously through others while I’m fasting. Poor Di. We’ve been in NYC a few times together and I make her eat everything I can’t, and describe it to me. Pastries on 5th Avenue. Bagels and lox. Hot dogs and hot roasted almonds from vendor carts. NY cheesecake and pizza from Ray’s. The last time we were there together, she gained 7 pounds, and I lost 5!

Losing weight has never been a problem for me (once I’ve finally decided “today’s the day”). It’s keeping it off that I’m really bad at. So I’m at it again. My plan this time is to stay between 1000-1200 cal a day, super low carb/high protein (think Atkins), and substitute a few meals with protein shakes. And tomorrow’s a Thursday. That’s a very good day to start.

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I'm a Professional dieter. Losing and gaining weight has been a life-long career. I've lost and gained a gazillion pounds, and can eat 6 saltine crackers in under a minute without drinking water. I was also an elementary school librarian for 16 years. I was sneezed on 6,720 times, had 3,460 colds, convinced 2,132 kids to read Harry Potter, wrote one children's book about birds, and fit 32 kindergarteners in a tent.

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