Sometimes taking the middle ground is a wussy place to be. We don't want to commit to one side or another of an issue because we don't want to rock to boat or we don't want to take the time to do the research to commit to one side.
However, when it comes to weight, I now stand firmly in the middle. After years of swinging from one end of the scale to the other, I've found my favorite weight, right in the middle; and its a strong, happy, peaceful place to be.
Joan Price, author of "Naked at Our Age", said that the body you have in your 20's is the result of your genes. The body you have after menopause is the result of the choices you make.
My body in my 20's definitely had some advantageous genes. I sometimes ate like a cross-road trucker and stayed rail thin. I would look back on that time fondly except for two things. One, even though I was thin, I lived in fear of gaining weight, so I added heaping helpings of guilt to all the fattening foods I ate. Second, I never learned any good habits. I was like the student who gets A's in high school without studying, then flunks out of college because she never learned to study. I thought I was lucky I got to skip over learning to manage my diet. . .
. . .Until I got to a body built by choices. Like many women my bad choices caught up with me after having kids. I blamed pregnancy weight, lack of time to exercise, etcetera, etcetera. In truth, I continued bad eating habits from my 20's, I became more sedentary and I leaned on excuses about pregnancy weight (when my children were toddlers) and muscle loss after 30. The result was my pudgy-mommy years. Again, not much fun. I would pass a mirror (never looking on purpose) and wonder who the marshmallow was in the ugly dress. I was never happy to realize that it was me.
Chapter three could be titled, "My Road to the Middle." My reaction to pudgy me was a desire to get back to rail-thin me, as quickly as possible. Like so many others I bought and followed every diet book that had "The Last Diet You'll Ever Need" on the cover. I tried low/no carb and found out I don't like meat as much as I thought I did and I discovered the depth of my love for sugar, all things chocolate and mashed potatoes. In truth, all the diets worked great, till I ran out of preplanned menus and had to fend for myself.
My salvation (in so many ways) was Weight Watchers (This is not a paid endorsement). In order to keep this post less than 10,000 words, I will save my ringing endorsement and praise for Weight Watchers for other posts (as well as lots of great tips I learned there). I lost weight and finally learned those lessons I should have back in my 20's. The two biggest lessons. First, I don't want my life to be ruled by food rules. I don't want any foods or restaurants on a "no" list. And (more importantly) second, I don't need to be rail thin to be happy.
I wasn't happy when I was overweight, but being super thin didn't make me happy either. Happy for me now is somewhere in the middle, somewhere between 120 and 180 lbs.(my low and high), and somewhere between rigid rules and gluttony. I have a range in the 150's where I am curvy and happy on my middle ground.
What's your favorite weight and why? Comment. Let's talk weight.
Labels: body image, weight