This is the story of my life on the scale, in the dressing room while clutching a tape measure….
In high school, I was little but ate a ton. Double lunches, big macs after school and dinner with the folks. I never struggled with my weight. My huge appetite and ability to maintain my weight was due to the three hours of Baldwin Bears tennis practice every day including sprinting drills and two mile runs.
My first year of college in Hilo included torrential rain, parties and midnight runs to Mung Chung Lau for lemon chicken or 7-11 for nachos and an easy peasy aerobics class a few times a week. I returned to Maui that summer thirty pounds heavier than when I left. I lost it all over the summer without much effort by working a lot of hours on my feet at Liberty House.
I transferred to UH Manoa where getting to class was a workout in itself. My memory is fuzzy but I’d say about 30 minutes to get from the towers (dorms) to the college of business. I’d do this walk sometimes several times a day. Maintaining my weight was no problem even with regular happy hours at Moose’s downing $1.50 Long Islands and half price wings.
Then…I graduated. Drum roll please… Enter sixty hour work weeks as an auditor and being more familiar with hotel rooms in another city then my own home. I played tennis but mostly doubles and exercised here and there but I wasn’t consistent. Suddenly I was sedentary for most weekdays but with the same diet I’d always had. The pounds began to pile on and eventually I was forty pounds heavier and five dress sizes bigger.
I joined weight watchers, went to my first meeting, I felt awkward and out of place. But I pressed on and used the online site. I was far from perfect the first week, the second week, the third week (you get the picture, right?). But rather than give up, I’d try to make a positive change each week, one little habit change at a time. By the time one year had gone by, I was eating healthy food, toning up at curves, hiking, running at exertennis, stretching at yoga and had lost thirty pounds. I still had goodies now and then but in an amount and frequency my body could handle. I maintained my loss for five years pretty easily.
One morning I was walking to buy coffee in Waikiki before work. A strange man was making goo goo eyes at me so I cut across the street and took a shortcut thru the DFS parking lot. I stepped on one of those black mats (ironically for walking…), didn’t see the puddle of motor oil and went down in a blink of an eye. I got up and managed to get over to a bench right before I blacked out. My ankle hurt like hell. After a trip to the hot ortho (ya heard me…hot!), he confirmed I had torn two ankle tendons. For the first month, I was good, I was still eating healthily. Then in the second month, with no endorphins and feeling a little bored and still on crutches, I began to drown my sorrows in Smirnoff Ice and Chili’s triple play. I gained twenty five pounds back.
It took me a few years to get motivated again (self loathing and disappointment in oneself is the hardest hurdle to clear). With a combination of spinning, tennis, strength training, running with the furbaby and a healthy diet, I worked my way back to a healthy weight, losing thirty pounds, which I maintained for hmm, five minutes? Well, actually maybe a few months. To be fair, I did maintain during a torn calf muscle injury and physical therapy (good thing I still had my crutches!) but right as my injury was healing, my year of change began.
I got separated and then divorced. I moved twice, changed jobs twice and suspect a medication I was taking wasn’t doing my appetite any favors. The second of those moves was back to Maui which in many ways is wonderful but involved a tremendous amount of change. From new doctors to living with the folks until my construction was done (the last time I lived with them I was rocking a spiral perm, shoulder pads and acid wash jeans). But the hardest change of all was being away from my sister and all the friends I had made on Oahu, some of who I used to see on a weekly basis. So, here I am again, almost thirty pounds heavier. Some would say it was the stress but I know the truth. I got out of my routine, plain and simple. Regardless of the reasons behind it, my routine got messed up, I stopped prioritizing my health. I eat too much sweets, heavily processed food and I don’t exercise enough. I know what I have to do, it’s not rocket science and it’s not hard. I just need to be patient, not beat myself up and take things one little step at a time.
My main goal is to be healthy but damn…my class reunion is in two weeks in Vegas and I admit it’s a bummer not to look my best. But, I’m gonna just squeeze myself into a black dress (with some stretch), throw on some cute shoes and dance like nobody’s watching.