Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
Three years ago (wow, has it really been that long?) I lost about 30 pounds. Over time, I gained back 10 of them and held there for two years until about a month ago, when I decided it was about time to take some more off. This sudden burst of motivation was mostly due to two looming events:
1. My high school reunion. Dun-dun-dun. (That was my attempt at that uh-oh-disaster music.) While I don’t have time to get back to bikini-wearing weight (where – let’s face it – I only hovered for about 10 minutes in the summer of 1997 anyway), I figured I could lose 15 pounds, enough to drop a size and look somewhat less blobby.
When I rhapsodized about my weight loss a bit too much, D got jealous and sniffed, “You just want to look hot for those guys you went to high school with.” I laughed and assured him the guys have nothing to do with it. The women are the ones who will be whispering behind their hands about who got fat, skinny, or tanning-bed-frazzled in the past 10 years.
While I feel much more comfortable in my own skin (and fat) than I did when I was a more slender youth, and I’m fairly proud of the person I turned out to be – especially compared with my simultaneously self-conscious and egotistical high school self – it’s hard to get around the fact that I’m carrying around a few million extra pounds than I was the last time I saw most of these people. I’m hoping the little boost of confidence I’ll get from dropping 15 of those pounds will be enough to keep me from reverting to the wimpy wallflower I sometimes became in large groups. (And if all else fails, there will be alcohol.)
2. Impending parenthood. I read somewhere that being pregnant for nine months strengthens and prepares a woman for the task of carrying around a baby all day. Makes sense. For us adoptive moms, there is no such built-in preparation. So it’s up to me! I’ve been doing strength training and yoga (love!) in addition to walking/jogging on the treadmill. And today, while I was doing bicep curls, I actually felt strong for the first time in a long, long time. I also noticed that when I helped D rehang the heavy wood doors on the water heater closet, I could hold them up with no problem, and just now when I had to haul out some massive boxes to look for photos for the reunion slideshow, it was easy-peasy.
So I’m very proud of myself and feel firmly on my way to baby-wearing and stroller-loading and car seat-buckling with ease. And even if we get an older child instead of a baby, being stronger and lighter would be immensely useful for all those kid things – toting a rebellious tot to the time-out chair, playing that chase-and-tickle game, lugging an enormous amount of gear everywhere we go.
And I’m told you get kinda busy after having a child, so it’s a good idea to devote all this time, energy and effort to myself now, while I still can. Besides which, time and energy are things I have great stores of while we’re doing all this infernal waiting.
Of course, I also want to lose weight for the usual reasons – looking better, feeling better, and the indescribable joy of fitting into a smaller size jeans (yay, I already did it!).
In the past few weeks, I’ve lost 10 pounds, and I hope to lose five more in the two weeks or so before the reunion, then keep going and lose 15 more. Eventually, I’d like to lose another 20 or so, but I usually run out of juice around 30 pounds, so I’ll just see how it goes. I often spend my time on the treadmill calculating exactly how many pounds I could lose in X amount of days if I keep up at the same pace, just like I used to do in high school when I’d make elaborate plans to get down to the elusive 119 pounds of my dreams. Now, though, I know myself better, and I also have more realistic goals.
During my quest for reunion photos, I couldn’t resist perusing old photographs of myself for motivation, saying things like “Wow, I really was skinny for that 10 minutes in 1997,” “Okay, so I could look like that again if I lost X pounds,” or the less-encouraging “Hmmm, I didn’t look as skinny as I thought I did when I weighed X.” But then I pointed out to myself that perhaps I would’ve looked better if I wasn’t wearing extremely tall artfully scrunched white socks and baggy gray sweat shorts. Oh, 1999 Me, what were you thinking?
See, these days I have 10 more years of experience in dressing myself, and I have learned, when having my photo taken, not to tip back my head and grin big enough to show every tooth in my head. Also, my hair isn’t bleached blonde, I no longer have braces, I can say naughty words without blushing, and I do not drive 110 mph. I embrace my dorkiness instead of trying to suppress it, I don’t like mean boys just because they’re cute, I have a permanent prom date who is better than anyone I ever daydreamed about, oh … and I can do my own laundry.
So, million extra pounds or no, I’m way better now. I’ll just keep telling myself that up till the reunion …
P.S. I would’ve said “I no longer oversleep, sass my mother, or bite my fingernails,” but I’m not that mature yet.