On this morning after the finale of the whatever-th season of the show, I am sad to report that I am, in fact, not The Biggest Loser. I didn’t completely win over your hearts with my hard work, charm and cunning game play during my transformation from giant, lost, aimless person who once upon a time had to sleep with scuba gear, into a svelte, appropriately muscular bombshell whose legs are now so thin that they do not touch and the stage lights shine all the way through them and even hideous bike tights look good on me. I did not have an emotional reveal when Jillian broke me down with her repeated screams in my face that I was lazy or dumb and would never amount to anything if I didn’t follow through on something. I did not train to box like Sylvester Stallone did in Rocky IV, in a barn using only railroad ties and farm equipment. I did not fall off of the back of a treadmill and then have to endure watching the clip in slow motion along with a Ka-Boom! sound effect over and over on promos for the show throughout the season. No, none of that happened to me.
But I did watch the show. And I did occasionally eat cookies while watching (don’t we all?). One time I think I ate a cupcake or two, which made me feel all bad-ass and rebellious. I wondered if trainer Bob had a girlfriend or a boyfriend or both (no matter to me… just wondering). And I was conflicted by Jillian’s angry motivation techniques and weirded out by her forced facial expressions. And I decided that I didn’t, then I did, then I again didn’t like the two new trainers. And that Allison looked tired all season, so maybe she’s pregnant again. Imagine the stress of losing your post-baby weight while working on that show! And I also felt bad for not working out enough and for not feeding my family with all-natural, whole foods all the time. I mean how do people do it?
I have struggled with my weight throughout my adult life. I was active and fit as a kid and maintained that all the way through high school. I was residually muscular and fit through most of college, but years of a steady diet of cheap beer and 2 a.m. cheese steaks will eventually take a toll. My wedding dress (aside from the hideous 80’s New Jersey mafia princess theme) was not a size to cry over, but I certainly wasn’t wearing the tag on the outside to brag about it. I had Kid A almost three years later and took pregnancy as a license to do my best impersonation of the Michelin Man. Over the years (and after the pregnancies) I would go up and down on the scale, which (I know) is the worst possible thing for your body.
I have read so many books and tried so many things… Stop the Insanity, The Cabbage Soup Diet, Atkins, gym memberships, body typing, yoga, boot camps, P90X, personal trainers, food diaries, juicers, Weight Watchers, Windsor Pilates. I won’t ever take “magic” diet pills, but if there is some sort of well-produced infomercial that shows me how eating tree bark or jumping up and down on a trampoline every day will help me lose weight, then you can probably count me in! It is absolutely no wonder that the diet and exercise industry is a kajillion-dollar one. A few years ago I finally figured out that my body was not meant to be stick-figure thin, and that wacko diets and crazy exercise routines did not lead to long-term weight loss and overall good health. Duh, right? It is easier said than done.
Nevertheless, I keep on fighting the good fight. I got frustrated recently when, shortly after turning forty, I was working out more than ever and eating fairly well, but I kept gaining weight. Are you kidding me? This just sucks. So now I am following my doctor’s advice to cut out carbs temporarily and keep on working out. He made me stand up and gave me the once-over. Then he said that my body did a very good job of distributing my weight evenly. Then he added, “On the plus side, if you ever had to endure a temporary famine, you would certainly make it through.” Nice.
Keep my eyes on the prize and my hands on the plow. That is what I want my kids to see me doing instead of some kooky food plan or unrealistic workout routine. And I know that they are always watching and learning from me. I’ll keep cutting up fresh veggies and serving fish for dinner, but sometimes we will have pizza or mexi-food or cupcakes. And today I am going back on the treadmill, both literally and figuratively. I may never be mistaken for a runway model, but someday soon I could be a big loser.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…