The New Normal

Have you read Tara Parker-Pope’s latest feature in the NY Times Magazine, The Fat Trap?  It’s fascinating stuff.

I already knew, to some degree, that the odds are stacked against us when it comes to keeping off any weight we lose.  Heck, I knew it from personal experience; in college, after I lost 40 pounds using Slim Fast, I gained it all back and more as soon as I stopped drinking the shakes.  At the time, I chalked it up to the fact that Slim Fast doesn’t teach you how to maintain weight loss eating real food (of course it doesn’t, because then you wouldn’t have to buy any more shakes).  But science seems to be telling me more and more that it might have been more than that.

I’ve lost about 20 pounds since re-joining Weight Watchers in July about six weeks after the birth of my daughter.  I’m right at, or just a little under, my pre-pregnancy weight.  And there I have stalled.  Some of it I will chalk up to the holidays, because believe me, they haven’t helped.  But I wonder if my body is less willing to give up the weight I have been carrying around longer than the nine+ months or so it took me to create and nourish a new life.

I’ve got about 20 pounds more to go to put me into a healthy BMI number.  I really, really want to get there and achieve “lifetime” status as a Weight Watchers member.  But part of that desire now is because I’m realizing how hard it’s going to be to stay there—and I’d much rather stay there with Weight Watchers’ help for FREE, than pay for it!

I used to go through diets longing for the time when I could go back to “normal;” in the beginning, normal meant eating the foods I liked, rather than the foods I was supposed to have, or not having to count every mouthful.  But now, especially after reading that article, I’m pretty sure there is no back to normal, there’s just a new normal.

I’m committed to achieving my weight loss without giving up anything I love—or my food reviewing job, for that matter.  But it may be a long row to hoe.  I gave up on my ideal weight of 135 long ago.  I’ve never seen that number in my adult lifetime, and I almost certainly never will (without giving up way more than I choose to).  So my new ideal is health.  My new goal is balance.  And I’m going to just keep plugging along, enjoying myself, indulging when I feel like it, and counting those points.

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