April 28, 2011

Losing the Last Ten Pounds

Losing those last ten pounds is about as possible as finding the end of the rainbow (although I managed to find the end of a rainbow last week driving home...there was no pot of gold...it's all a huge scam...but I digress). At any rate, my point is, no matter how much one loses, it never seems to be enough. I always hear "just five more or ten more pounds and I'll be happy.  I felt the urge to write about this topic  because of my good friend....let's call her......"Cookie" (for reasons you cannot understand - but she knows who she is). She was beating herself up the other day for gaining a couple of pounds during a time away.  I think her frustration is felt by so many others, including myself, I thought I would post a little something about it (hope you don't mind, Cookie). 

I have known Cookie for over 10 years now and since meeting her she has gone from someone desperately trying to stick to exercise (but secretly hating it) to someone who bounds out of bed in the morning excited about her 20k run (I know...magical right?).  Although I don't see her often anymore, I keep in touch through Facebook and just looking at her pictures I see a change in her physically and mentally.  She is my role model for exercise! In fact, it is her face that I see when I am falling out of bed at 5:45am to go out for my morning wog...she is now MY exercise motivator.

Unfortunately, Cookie may have fallen under the "last ten pounds" spell that usually happens around the same time one plateaus in fitness gains (and weight losses).  If this has happened to you, you know the frustration. You establish a weight loss goal, work towards it and see the pounds coming off until one day...it stops. You are doing the same things, but for some stupid reason, you are staying the same weight. Now it becomes a war between you and your fat cells. You wage it through increased intensity, more time in the gym, and (perhaps) less food in your stomach. This is where a really good thing like exercise and eating well...goes bad. I see it, more often than not, with people who have established new health behaviours. It slowly takes over their lives until one day all they are thinking about is when their next endorphin hit will be and what the scale will say in the morning.  That's not health, that's exercise addiction!

Today, our kids are more
weight obsessed than
any other generation....
When is it going to stop?
Here's the thing, Cookie. Your body doesn't give a crap what weight goal you have established or how you want to look in your jeans. It will hold on to whatever weight it feels best at ...even if it is more than you want it to be. It will become harder and harder to loose the weight and in the end you will win because you have eaten less and exercised more...but it won't be for life. Once your attention goes to something else for a brief second (like that cookie on the floor - sorry, private joke), that weight will climb back on and the war begins again. Obviously, this is something I know all too well in my own history with weight.

The secret to health, remember, is balance. Ten pounds does not a "weight problem" make. Keep in mind, more research suggests one can be healthy at any size IF one remains physically active and eats a balanced diet full of vegetables. Therefore, the goal to loose the last 10 pounds isn't about health...it is solely about looking good naked - and there's nothing wrong with that. Where it starts to go bad is when health takes a back seat to looking good naked and we lose site of what is important in life.

Cookie, you look gorgeous NOW and your dedication to running and eating well is absolutely inspiring to me (someone who knew you when). Just continue this healthy habit, enjoy the fun foods, get away from that stupid scale, and give yourself a pat on the back for how much you have accomplished....and don't kill me for bringing you into my little blog world...it was bound to happen sometime.


For all those women and men who are tormented by the scale, this is for you.  It's funny that most of us feel like the person above does, but we all play the same exhausting game anyway (if not actively, in our minds). Why? Are we ever going to truly rise up and say "enough"? If so, what will that look like? I mean, if everyone stopped buying fashion magazines and trashy mags that insulted women by commenting on their flabby butts at the beach, would it stop? If we said "enough" to the fitness trainers advertising fast weight loss for a "better" body, would that make a difference? I'm just asking....


  1. Kathy, as you know I luv to follow your posts and this one makes me laugh and cry! Thank you dear friend, thank you! This is so true to us all that keep trying and trying!

  2. Thanks A. I totally appreciate your post and am very happy it got you laughing
    And crying. Thanks for continually reading and posting your thoughts
    I truly appreciate it and you!