At Sunday dinner last week, my seventy-two year old mother was about to pass on the fresh-from-the-oven brownies that I’d baked.

“I’m on a diet,” she said with a look of sheer determination. “I’m not wearing a dress to swim in the bay this summer. I’m getting into a bathing suit.”

“Come on, it’s Sunday,” I said. “You can have a little dessert.”

My mother turned to my father. “Do I look fat?”

The table silenced.

He answered slowly with a hint of a mischievous smile, “Only moderately so.”

We held our breath. My mother has been trying to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight for forty-six years.

“Screw it!” My mom smiled. “Pass the brownies.”

We laughed.

But.

You need to lose five more pounds.

Your stomach is not flat enough.

You can’t eat that!

When it comes to weight, most of us lie. We’re either delusional about our own weight or we’re less than truthful about others.

Recently, I read an article and I was amazed by the author’s honesty about her daughter’s weight. Click here to read how this mother told her daughter that she was overweight. If only I could be this forthright with myself.

For years, I didn’t get on the scale. I thought I was healthy, teaching aerobics, but I hated my muffin top and how tight my jeans felt.

The sad part is that I didn’t get into a bathing suit for most of my kids’ childhood. When I saw pictures on Facebook of overweight women comfortable at the beach in a bikini, I felt like a shallow, superficial fraud.

Why couldn’t I just be happy with the way I looked? Embrace middle age and the tire roll that comes with it?

When I finally forced myself onto the scale two years ago, I nearly had a heart attack. While I thought I’d probably put on ten pounds, in reality I’d packed on twenty-five!

Enough!

But, I knew I couldn’t diet. And I couldn’t exercise any more than I already did. I had a huge mental block. The moment I started a diet, I was famished. And I expected after two days of serious restraint that I’d step on the scale and be ten pounds lighter.

From small things, big things come, Bruce Springsteen sings.

I decided to change one small thing.

I stopped having Cheez-its and Coca Cola for lunch (read my blog about it here).

I learned to love tea and honey.

tea

Then I started to make homemade soups to take to work for lunch.

At Chick-fil-a I ordered a salad in place of a sandwich (still had the fried chicken on it).

I bought a FitBit.

For dessert, I only ate three bites (The Three Bite Rule).

I stopped riding the elliptical and started running instead.

Small things.

Slowly.

The weight dropped off.

I’m lighter now. But, I’m middle-aged, too. As friends get sick and complain about aches and pains, I’ve finally reached a point where I am grateful that my body is healthy. I’m learning to love myself and accept that I will never be stick thin. The unkind voices in my head have quieted.

Do I look fat? I ask myself whenI look in the mirror.

No.

You look just as you should.

Be happy. Put on a bathing suit. Soon your kids are going to be too big to care if you go in the water or not.

***

Here’s a super healthy soup that’s perfect for a hot summer evening. Click Alton Brown’s Healthy Gazpacho.

(I sprinkled Parmesan cheese and garlic salt on the slices of French bread to turn this cold soup into a meal)

IMG_8718

Thought For The Week:

Step away from Mean Girls . . . and say bye-bye to feeling bad about your looks. Are you ready to stop colluding with a culture that makes so many of us feel physically inadequate? Say goodbye to your inner critic, and take this pledge to be kinder to yourself and others. —Oprah Winfrey

***

My novel, What The Valley Knows, will be released January 25, 2018. Woohoo! Preorder now, using the code PREORDER2017 to save an additional 10%. Click HERE to purchase and enter to win a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card or a Kindle Paperwhite.

xoxo,
Heather

 

 

“This sensational novel is a moving, poignant story.” 

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