Three years ago on a crisp, fall day, I was feeling on top of my game in every area of life and as I pushed my daughter in her stroller and power walked the seawall, I practically dared anyone to tell me otherwise.
“Cheryl Butler, is that you?” came a familiar sing song voice from behind me. I turned in all my glory and what I heard next nearly knocked me off my high horse and straight into the ocean. “Wow, I can’t believe you’re a grandmother already!”
There’s always one killjoy in the crowd, isn’t there? I’m not sure who felt more uncomfortable, me or her. I sucked my stomach and extra chins in and cracked a smile explaining that this was my DAUGHTER, the youngest of eight, and at this time, I was thanking God I wasn’t a grandmother yet.
She backtracked quickly saying she had no idea I would still have a child in a stroller seeing that the last time she had seen me I had four kids already. Giggle, giggle.
After deciding that murder was not a wise choice, especially in front of my 2-year-old, I made a pact with myself that I would never be put in that situation again, until of course, some 15 years later when maybe I would be a grandmother.
There was no point in sharing this story with good friends, my husband or certainly my mother because I already knew that they would stroke my wounded ego and tell me that the acquaintance I encountered on the seawall that day obviously needed glasses. (Thanks, guys!)
Instead, I did what any devastated 40-something mother would do — I headed straight home to assess myself in the mirror.
To be honest, and please don’t think me vain, I truly didn’t see a grandmother looking back at me. What I saw was a former prom queen (okay, I have to get my plugs in every once in a while!) that looked like she took good care of everyone in her life, except for herself, and who had put on a few, well, let’s say 20 is being kind, pounds over the last 10 years.
Twenty pounds was nothing I couldn’t rectify with a little hard work and discipline!
Or so I thought.
Here we are three-plus years later, and for the first time since that jarring moment walking my daughter, I’m now well into the third month of seriously doing something about those 25 extra pounds.
I joined Weight Watchers on Sept. 14 and three months later I’ve finally busted through my plateau and lost 11 pounds. Still, with nearly 15 to go, I’m no fool and know that I’m not out of the woods yet.
The holidays are here and temptations are bigger than ever, but something finally struck a chord with me a few weeks ago and I think it’s going to get me over the finish line and help me maintain my efforts.
What’s this miracle incentive you ask? It’s actually quite simple, and I don’t know why it never resonated with me before, but it’s working like clockwork now. Somewhere in my dieting travels I heard the phrase “Skinny tastes better.” It finally clicked with me when I was looking at photographs of myself 10-plus years ago — it LOOKED better too!
I came up with a corny little way to remind myself that I don’t need an extra glass (or two) of wine, the bread with olive oil at dinner, and Nutella chocolate spread on everything I eat. I went on-line and created a business card with a photo of me when I looked healthy and non-grandmotherly and added the caption “Skinny Tastes Better.” On the flip side of the card, I put that glamorous “before” photo I shared with the world three months ago. (Ugh!)
Let’s just say this, I have a box of 500 of those cards and I keep them in my car, my purse, my bathroom, my fridge, next to my wine glasses (sigh!) and anywhere else I might need them.
A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, but in my case, it’s worth 25 pounds!
Wishing all of you, whether you're trying to lose weight or not, a very happy, healthy and SKINNY holiday season!
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