People Vs. Character

How many of you bought the People issue that features folks who lost a ton of weight? I did. I always do. The stories inspire me, but that doesn’t mean when I read them I am made over into a totally new woman who has a fail-proof weight loss plan and the willpower to go with it.

I started my last weight loss effort in May. I lost 17 lbs. in 5 months. I even lost weight on vacation. My diet was simple but not easy. I bought an app for my phone to track my daily calories, what I ate and when I went over. That worked really well for awhile. Then it didn’t. I gained back 9 pounds over the holidays, which for all yo-yo dieters starts with the candy on Halloween and ends after the Rose Bowl.

It was like I had turned off a switch. I stopped recording my daily intake because I felt bad that I kept going over. I still checked in with my weight loss group, who supported me through a series of gain a pound one week, lose a pound the next, gain three the next…everyone who has been on the diet-go-round has experienced this. Some people plateau, I ping pong.

Finally turned my app back on and am recording every bite again. It’s the only way I lose. It’s not about working out harder or trying a juice detox. Yoga is my preferred exercise, and it’s not known, at least in the gentle form I practice, as a huge weight loss boost. I just bought a juicer but I’m not counting on a quick fix detox. It’s about the daily menu, what I choose to eat, how much of it, and what I refuse.

Trying to get back to lots of good habits, not just with eating. Slacked off on the novel-in-progress too during the holidays. Can’t quite push myself into the book again although yesterday I bought a necessary research book (a real book! at an actual bookstore!). As I grapple with my 25 year struggle to keep the weight off, I realize that my novels (I have one due out soon and another for sale for a buck on Kindle and Nook) always have at least one character who is overweight. We are real. We exist in the world. Although I don’t see many overweight folks in fiction, I need to keep it real, so I channel all my own diet woes onto these characters.

And every once in a while, my characters teach me something about how to be better-at dieting and at life.

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