Twenty Four Days

One of the inadvertent benefits of becoming a vegetarian is that I lost 3 pounds in a month. If I lose another 3 pounds this month than I will reach my goal weight by my birthday.

Once a woman reaches a certain age, weight loss can be tricky. It is so easy to put on weight and so difficult to get rid of it. The funny thing is, in my wildest dreams I never would have thought that I would have an issue with my weight.

Let me start off by saying that I am not overweight. I don’t have an unhealthy view of my weight. It’s just that the number that I see on the scale is sometimes shocking – which is why I recommend to my clients to stay off the scale! The scale is not an accurate representation of body composition. Logically, I know this – however, every once in a while, I’ll hop on, just to see, and it sends me into a tailspin.

I was always the skinny girl. Too skinny in my mind. In college the guys called me “Olive Oil”. It was not a good look. With my first pregnancy I gained between 25 - 30 pounds and after my son was born, I lost all the weight plus an extra 15. It was crazy. No matter what I did I could not gain weight. Everyone kept telling me, “Wait until you hit 30.” I guess my metabolism was supposed to slow down and I would start to put on some weight. That did not happen. I had my daughter when I was 30 and afterward, I went back to my pre-pregnancy weight and stayed there. I remember drinking milkshakes on a regular basis trying to gain weight, but nothing worked.

In my mid-40s, I noticed that my waistline was beginning to slowly disappear, and I started buying shirts to camouflage my mid-section. At that moment, I decided to do something. Th

ere was no way that I was going to be the person who says, “I don’t know what happened … I woke up one day and I had gained 40 pounds!” (Sidenote: People have actually said that to me.)

I joined a gym and started running on the treadmill which led to running outside which eventually led to registering for my first 5k in 2011. I’ve been a runner ever since.

Running solved my weight issue but during the process I discovered that weight (the number on the scale) wasn’t what was bugging me. It was how my weight was distributed. I was “skinny-fat”. I had a small frame but a high percentage of body fat. Again, not a good look. So, I hired a personal trainer who taught me how to eat for the body that I wanted and how to lift weights to add muscle to my frame and to help me get stronger. It worked and I eventually became a professional figure competitor.

That was five years ago, and I am no longer competing or training like a competitor. I’m a middle-aged woman struggling with the number on the scale. Before deciding to become a vegetarian, I did a few things to try and move the scale. I tried increasing my weight training. I tried intermittent fasting. The number did not move, and I decided to just accept the number and maintain my cardio so at least the number wouldn’t go up. That seemed to work.

Then I stopped eating meat and now I’m losing weight. Go figure. As I journey to 56, I am realizing that I should continue to expect the unexpected. I never planned to be a vegetarian, but those giant turkey wings scared the heck out of me. I never planned to lose weight because of it, and yet here we are.

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