Austerity Measures

When I was at urgent care a few weeks ago, the nurse weighed me and as usual, I didn’t look at the number. It’s been years since I’ve looked at a number on a scale, mainly because I don’t want to know.  I go by the fit of my clothes.

As I was twiddling my thumbs in the exam room, I noticed a number written on a tiny Post-lt note on the counter.  With growing horror, I realized that number could only be my weight. I was appalled. I couldn’t stop thinking about that number the rest of the night.  While I won’t tell you the number, I’ll emphasize that I have never seen that number before or thought I was anywhere near that number.

I knew that I had gained weight over the past year.  All of my pants were tighter than I’d like, and I found myself avoiding certain pairs because they were too tight and uncomfortable.  I saw myself in pictures and saw fat, fat and more fat.  I have a belly roll.

And it’s not a great mystery of the universe how I gained weight.  When it’s easier to get takeout than cook and takeout consists of pizza, Chinese, etc., yeah, the pounds will pile on.  When your life feels like you are living in extended crisis mode,  you eat what is easiest and all-too-often that is crappy food. When before you might have skipped the rice with your Moo Goo Gai Pan or made spaghetti squash pasta for yourself, you say screw it and eat poorly.   My weight gain is a direct result of how we have tried to cope with a crappy year.

Of course I know better.  I know that my body likes carbs and low-carb diets have worked well for me in the past.  But the energy, the willpower hasn’t been there.  I’m also 35 now and eating habits I could get away with for many years are no longer possible as my body gives me the finger and tells me to suck it up.

I’m fortunate that I am tall and probably (hopefully?) don’t look like I weigh what that infuriating little piece of paper says I do.  My height and build can disguise a lot, and frankly, it could be worse.

I hate the weight, though.  I mentioned in my birthday post that 2012 has been a year full of self-loathing.  I hate how I look.  I hate how I think I look. I hate how I think others must perceive me.  I feel frumpy and middle aged.   I’ve been thinking a lot about the high school KeAnne who was scrawny and wore a size 6.  The high school KeAnne who worked out like crazy the summer after graduation and managed to fit into a size 4 pair of corduroys at Abercrombie.  The high school KeAnne who was able to eat anything and not gain weight.  The high school KeAnne who grew up with relatives constantly on diets and who knew fat = bad.  Fat = deprivation.  Fat = a lack of willpower.  Fat = humiliation and embarrassment.

And I know it is ridiculous to be thinking about a phase in my life that was 17 years ago.  God knows I wouldn’t want to return to high school for all the money in the world (even the $500 million Powerball which I did not win although I did win 30 cents).

This post isn’t meant to be a plea for anyone to tell me that I’m not fat, wah wah wah.  Truly. The bottom line is that I’ve got to do something.  I’ve got to change.  I want to lose 20 pounds.   It’s going to be hard and being honest with myself, I’m not sure how possible it will be during the holidays because there is a bag of homemade party mix calling me from my pantry.  I’m going to have to figure out how to fit in exercise.  Maybe at 5AM I can walk or jog (it’s going to take a LONG time for me to work up to anything resembling a run) instead of surfing on my iPhone.  Maybe I can talk walks at lunch.

I’m posting this because it’s been weighing (ha ha) on my mind for a few weeks and also because I hope that if I write it, it will keep me accountable.  I hate people who whine and bitch about a situation but never do anything about it, so I am determined to avoid that.

The bottom line, though, is that I must do this.  I want to be confident in my appearance.  I don’t want to frown when I look in a mirror.

It’s time to implement my own austerity measures.


  1. I did a 6:00AM boot camp for almost a year. Didn’t change my eating habits though. And I didn’t lose a pound. However, I did start Weight Watchers – just the online subscription in April, and by October, I had lost 30 pounds.

    Better than the weight loss – I relearned how to eat. As in how much I need to be full and where I could substitute things and skip others. It was very enlightening.

    Good luck. I know how you feel.

  2. Ooh! I agree with Marty… I did Weight Watchers online and I lost 30 pounds in 3 months… (in all fairness, i was still breastfeeding), but I did learn how to eat better, make better choices, and I learned portion control. Recently, I’ve also learned that being a mom of 2 kids under 3 and a med student studying for exams will make you lose weight fast, too. 😉 I would however, recommend weight watchers first… The latter may make you want to kill yourself even though you’re the skinniest you’ve been since… before you can remember…

    In all seriousness, though, I hope you figure something out that works for you and makes you feel better about yourself and your body.

  3. When I was working full time, I ran at lunch. It was great: broke up my day a bit, made me get out of the office, gave me some new perspective and left me refreshed, if not exactly smelling good. 😉 I have to stop night-eating, though. I hate to tell you how many cookies I put away tonight. And they didn’t go into the freezer. Going to bed earlier might help, but who has time for THAT?! (Seriously, though … we will cheer you on … and I bet you will inspire other people, too. Like me, maybe.)

  4. Exercise for better hair and skin, improved mood, a good night’s sleep and great pooping. Do NOT exercise to lose weight, or if you’re like me, you will quit. As noted by your friends here, the only way to lose weight is through a lifestyle diet change. Exercise may make the loss go a little faster, but unless you’re a true sofa lump — and you’re not with a 3-year-old boy — excercise alone won’t lead to significant weight lose. Believe me.

  5. I’ve always found that getting to the point where I’m ready to do something is half the battle… Exercise (and not eating take out) is always the biggest help for me – mental health-wise and weight-wise. I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination (are there rabid dogs behind me? I might amble faster.), but Couch to 5K really does work. Just pick a podcast – there are a million, so you can find one that doesn’t drive you batty – put some shoes on and go. I wish I lived closer – I’d make you do it with me 🙂 I’m feeling like a can of popped biscuits in my clothes lately, so this post came at the perfect time to give me a kick in the pants. Wanna be my accountability buddy?

  6. I’ve been trying to revamp my lifestyle these past few months, but I really blew it this month. All talk and no walk. Even when we know what we should do to stay healthy, it doesn’t mean it is easy to stick with it.
    Good luck!

  7. I’m right with you on that. I spent the first half of 2012 going by the fit of my clothes and was horrified when I learned my weight before surgery in June. It’s only gone up since then. Like you, I’m trying to think where I can possibly find the time to work out. I love food and just can’t go back to deprivation. Calorie counting, sure, but deprivation is an absolute NO. I want to rediscover the confidence and sexiness I once felt in (my perception of) my body.

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