The Weight Game.
We all know it. Those taunting scales that beckon to us at the most inopportune times; like when we’re retaining enough water to irrigate the entire state of Nevada, or when we’ve been wasting away again in Margaritaville for - well, the entire summer, or when we’ve just romanced several pints of Ben & Jerry because, frankly, they’re the only guys that DON’T wind up breaking our hearts. Why is it we always pick THOSE moments to step on the scale and watch the number climb higher than the combined total of our checking and savings accounts? And why do we let that number determine how we’re going to feel about ourselves? Just like age, shouldn’t weight be nothin’ but a number, too?
I have played the Weight Game in various forms for pretty much my entire life. When I was in high school, I was the painfully skinny, awkward teenager that gazed at the burgeoning boobs and bottoms of the rest of the female population with despair and longing – convinced I was doomed to live a life with skin and bones where my lovely lady lumps should be. You might say to yourself: “Oh, poor thing, she was too SKINNY?! What a rough life!” but believe me, the taunts from children about underweight girls are just as stinging and hurtful as those aimed at overweight girls. I had people ask me regularly: “Why do you look like that? Are you sick? Are you anorexic?” and it would shatter my self-esteem every time. Standing at 5’7” and weighing in at barely 100 pounds - not by choice - is not a fun place to be. I would make my mom take me for a Wendy’s Frosty and pair that with a peanut butter sandwich every night before bed, desperate to gain weight and fit in.
Those Frosties and PBJ’s did little to help; at least until my later years, when I learned that, likely as a result of my terrible eating habits, I suffered from high cholesterol; just like my grandma, my dad, my mom, and my sister. Some families pass down heirlooms; mine apparently pass down cholesterol-ridden veins. On top of that, at age 30, my metabolism screeched to a halt; right around the time that I went through a bad break-up and was eating everything in the house that wasn’t nailed down. It was around that time that someone recommended I try Nutrisystem. I was a bit of a skeptic at first, convinced the food would be gross and that I would feel deprived and miserable. I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that the food was actually good and I even got to have dessert every night! Hey! Have my cake and eat it, too?! SIGN ME UP! My first rendezvous with Nutrisystem, about a year ago, I lost about 15 pounds in 6 weeks, through the discipline of healthy eating, portion control, and incorporating exercise into my routine.
Unfortunately, my bad habits crept back in this summer (when laying out replaced working out and McDonald’s milkshakes were the only thing bringing this girl to the yard) and I put the weight back on (and then some)…PLUS my cholesterol started to climb again. So when Nutrisystem recently offered to sponsor me for two months so I could share my journey toward healthier living with you guys, I jumped at the chance! Now I’m getting back into shape, working on kicking my high cholesterol’s butt once and for all, and having a blast exploring fun and creative ways to add exercise to my routine. (For more about Nutrisystem, visit www.nutrisystem.com.)
Here’s the thing: it’s not about getting skinny. It’s about getting HEALTHY. And being healthy is not about being a size 2 - it's about giving the world the best version of YOU! Healthy foods and plenty of water and getting your blood pumping through regular exercise are the best makeover a girl could ask for! (And besides that, look at all the new avenues healthier living opens up to you to meet cute boys – at the gym, at the health food store, out running or walking in the park – the possibilities are ENDLESS!)
Taking charge of your diet and your life are empowering, affirming, and exhilarating. Last night I took a pole dance aerobics class for the first time ever as part of my new routine and I LOVED it! (Review coming soon). It makes a woman feel in control and powerful to decide that only positive words will cross her lips and only healthy food will cross her hips. It’s like you’re taking control of your destiny and deciding exactly WHO you want to be and steering your life in that direction with no room for compromise. As Jennifer Lopez once said: “Beauty is only skin deep. I think what's really important is finding a balance of mind, body, and spirit.” And look at girlfriend’s assets! J-Lo has sacrificed dessert without sacrificing any of her womanly curves! The goal in eating healthier and living healthier should not be to simply lose weight but to lose the dead weight that any bad habit is exerting on your spirit. There’s a quote by Robert Puller that says: “Good habits, once established, are just as hard to break as are bad habits.” I’m asking you to join forces with me in establishing those good habits through my “Respond to the Call: Get Fit This Fall” Campaign to Keep the Junk in Your Trunk, but Lose the Junk in Your Fridge! Join me as I commit to a healthier life in mind, body, and spirit. I’ll be blogging and tweeting about my experiences in healthy living over the next two months and I’d love to hear your stories, too!
At the end of the day, you are perfect AS IS. But the beauty of being a work in progress is that there’s always room for another level of fabulous. It might take climbing a few extra steps, but the view from the top is so much sweeter! So go ahead. It’s time. Leave your doubts and insecurities and excuses on the shelf and give the world your best self! Why? Because you’re worth it. You deserve it. And because looking, feeling, and BEING fabulous is the best revenge.
*Nutrisystem is providing their program free of charge for Mandy Hale‘s participation in their blogging program.