Sunday, July 19, 2015

How I Became Matronly

An Illustrated History.

I've started a series on my blog where I share stuff about losing weight and maintaining that weight loss for a long time.

This series is for people who are interested in maintaining a healthy weight.

This series is for people who ask me how I do it. It will tell you how I do it.

Every time I share something about successfully maintaining a healthy weight, I link to a previous post called Disclaimers. I still got myself into a little bit of hot water for then subsequently sharing the post titled You Can Get Good And Fat On GoodFats.

One person felt I was saying that everyone should be slim.

One person did not like the misinformation I was spreading.

If you are going to have a blog, you are going to ruffle a few feathers. I didn't think it was going to be over Good Fats. But sometimes hot water comes where you least expect it.

The second most frequent question people ask me while we are on the subject of maintaining a healthy weight is how I gained the weight in the first place.

Here is what happened. There is no controversy to be had here, because this is my story.

I was a skinny kid. I never wanted to eat anything.

Slowly, I began to accept more and more foods. By the time I was an adult, I ate many, many foods. From my teens until my 40s I was able to eat whatever I wanted without gaining weight. I ate a great deal during this time.

This was my Camelot of eating.

Things changed. I had children. I lost most of the baby weight quickly but kept some of it. Then more pounds crept on.

I wasn't exactly fat. But I was a bit thick around the middle. I was getting flabby. I have a very tiny bone structure. I was still on the edge of the healthy weight chart. But I was carrying too much weight for this delicate and sparrow- like frame.

I looked in the mirror one day. I struggled to find the word for what I was starting to look like. Fat wasn't quite right.  Matronly popped into my head. It fit.

Soon after that, I devised an eating plan of my own invention. I lost weight. But I didn't keep it off. It turns out that I am a person who needs more structure. I realize that Weight Watchers doesn't work for everyone. It works for me. I've kept the 30 pounds I lost off and no longer look matronly.

Here is an illustrated explanation of how I became matronly. This is more about awareness than advice. But if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight, you could always employ the opposite of some of the behaviors listed here.

And so the story begins.

My metabolism slowed down. I could no longer eat everything with abandon. The party was over.

I did no formal exercise. My doctor was unimpressed when I mentioned the combined weight of Hannah and Noah loaded into a double stroller and pushed around NYC. He later backtracked and conceded it was weight-bearing exercise that was good for bone health. Truthfully, what I call incidental exercise is not the same as carving out time to do targeted cardio and strength training.

I ate many healthy meals but my portion sizes were enormous.

There is a point in the day when your kids leftover pizza crusts and uneaten macaroni and cheese are just unbelievably delicious.

I packed beautiful lunches and snacks for my children when going to the playground, but forgot about myself. Goldfish crackers and half a string cheese are not a proper lunch for a grown woman. I smartened up and included me in the food prep.

I used juices, candy and chocolate to get me though my afternoon slump.

After a hard day of work, I'd order in some delicious chicken wings, dip them in blue cheese dressing and top it all off with mashed potatoes on the side. This was my reward for shouldering the dinner and bedtime routine alone when Jeremy worked late.

After the kids were in bed, I loved watching HGTV, Bravo and, ironically, FitTV while eating Pringles.

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