Reality Bites with Gnashing Teeth

Week one of Weight Loss Revolution proves to be both painfully realistic, and amazingly uplifting


In the immortal words of the Isley Brothers, “You make me want to shout. Put my hands up and shout…” Now weight a minute! This can’t be real. This can’t be true. This is a dream. Who am I? Where is Meg?

On Wednesday, July 11, I turned a page in my “diary of a mad housewife in denial.” I stepped on the scales, and literally gasped. I didn’t burst into tears. I didn’t faint. I didn’t just walk away and say to hell with it – my life’s way past half over, so who cares. I simply went to the kitchen and got myself a cool glass of water. That would be the starting point of my Weight Loss Revolution.

Next, I stirred up some eggbeaters, toasted a whole wheat English muffin and sliced a fresh tomato from my farmette. I chased it with a can of Vemma Bode Burn, and faced the first day of the rest of my life. (Inner Monsters demands, “More water, please, ma’am.”)

Let’s assess the “givens.” A 64-year-old, fairly healthy, female – that would be the central character for this saga. Height: 5’3”. Hair color: grey-blonde. Eyes: blue. Dress size 14. Weight? Now hold on a minute, do I really have to be honest here? I mean, my driver’s license still reads 130 pounds, which was my all time limit way back when I got it renewed over three times ago. Well, I said I would be candid. So here’s the cold, hard, fat truth – 185 big ones! Enough to be a linebacker on the football field.  (IM: “Another glass of water, please.”)

So we’ve got the “givens.” Now let’s assess the “goals:” Need to lose 40 pounds. That could easily put me back in a size 10. Realistic. Can be done over a period of time for sure.  And what else? Well, of course, to build some muscle and tone my flab. That of course means the E word – exercise. Gag. It’s just not something I enjoy. But getting real with a problem means accepting the basic truths…in order to lose weight, you have to diet and exercise.

I’ve been a member of the YMCA for years. Pay my monthly dues. And even attended a senior citizens exercise group for a brief period of time. They have a lovely gym just for women, and I support their facility 100 percent. But for me, exercise had to have the caveat of location, location, location. (IM: “ Any chance we could just set up an IV of water?”)

I only had to look out my front door to realize that Fitness@Five was a brief three minutes from my garage. So I got in Roxy and headed up there. Walked in the door, and paid my first month’s dues. Asking about a personal trainer, I was introduced to Tony Gasparro, who was behind the front desk. He said he’d be happy to work with me, and the deal was done. He’s young and cheerful. Kind and tenacious. He won’t take no for an answer. And he is a pro. Just what I need.

I told him I would really like to drop 20 pounds by my 65th birthday in September. He didn’t blink an eye. Didn’t laugh. Just said, well, let’s get started. He mapped out a plan for phase one. Twice a week, one-hour workouts with gym apparatus and weights. Cardio is pretty much left to me on the other days, when I can find a sitter for my husband. And water is free. (IM: “I’m all for FREE – gulp, gulp gulp.”)

I love this gym. It’s bright, full of windows. Clean as a whistle. Friendly patrons and staff. Cute little maroon towels at your disposal. Water. Fruit. Kind of like Cheers for health-seekers. But so much better than a neighborhood bar!! (IM: “Instead of vodka – make that a double water on the rocks.”)

So recapping the first 7 days of my Weight Loss Revolution (WLR):

Hit the scales at 185. Got over the initial shock and horror.

Made commitment to diet AND exercise. Began low-cal, low-fat diet combined with Vemma Bode Burn dietary supplements. Began drinking more water than it would take to flood Cincinnati. Cut way back on alcohol. Like  -- going from 3 vodkas and a half a bottle of wine, to almost none at all. Not cold turkey, but just a splash while fixing dinner. Eating early. Going to bed and reading rather than drowning myself in pity. Attending gym workouts twice a week. Walking treadmill twice a week. And did I mention drinking water???

Dear Diary: (highlights from this week’s entries):

Losing weight is not rocket science. You simply exert more calories than you consume. And that means controlling intake and exercising.

Sweating is something I CAN do. And like it.

Tony Gasparro, my personal trainer, is hot!

I have friends like Barbara Hartman Howell who have been in my shoes and succeeded.

Waking up without bloodshot eyes is wonderful.

Yoyo results on the scale are both frustrating, and then rewarding.

Water consumption floats my boat.

Feeling the pain of exercise is a good thing.

My appetite can indeed be curbed.

Won’t beat myself up when I don’t shed a single pound after being sooooo good.

Sleep is necessary.

Staying busy instead of sitting and watching those babes on Fox news (who look like they’re dressed for cocktail parties) with my husband is critical. And so much more fun.

RESULTS (REWARDS?) FOR WEEK 1: immeasurable. After seven days I’ve gone from 185 to 179.9. That’s a loss of over 5 and a half pounds!!!

I’ve formed a cheerleading squad -- my personal support group.

And here are the charter members: Janie Bush (captain), Butch Bush, Angie Tillman, Phin Tillman, Nancy Zechella, Davis Worley, Missy Harris Hill, Oby Dupree, Leila Case, Betty Baskins, Karen Matthews Ehrhardt, Norma Warwick Patterson, Little Vacuum (official mascot), Tom Hodgson, Jan Lanier, Paula Clark Lavin, Barbara Hartman Howell, Nora Miller, Kathy Sears, Frances Harper, Susan Jones, Amy Cowsert, Rachel Mays, Carol Weaver Bennett, Kris Bakowski, Dave Brannen, Anita Beauregard, Elliott Moseman, Colton Coile, Helen Barrett Pinter, Andrew Pearson, Judy Schad, Susan Griffith Couch, Helen Mills, Arva Weinstein, Patsy Tripp, Saye Sutton, Rebecca McCarthy, Ethlyn Simpson, Carole Middlebrooks. That’s almost 40 strong. . Let me know if you wanna join!  You’ve got nothing to lose, but I sure do -- weight!

Next week, I’ll recap week two, and outline my dietary consumption so you can get an idea about how many calories it takes to keep the former Hungry Gal functioning. Praying for weight loss too. – we’ll see about that won’t we?

Be here, Thursday.

Meg Dure July 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM
I am so pumped to have so many with me in spirit Oby...it makes a world of difference. Everyday as I go through planning what I eat, I think about those who have expressed care and support. That makes me focus, and avoid any idea of temptation. Oddly enough, I don't miss the old ways...and I'm into my third week. Next Thursday I share a bit of the agony that comes with starting a new way of life! It's about time I took my health seriously.
Carole Yoho July 27, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Add me to your support team. You are so wise to be doing this now. On top of the temptations of the world in foods and "not exercising", our metabolism slows down with aging. Not fair! You will reach your goal in whatever time it takes - and we celebrate each step along the way. By having a 2 week lag from your column the chance of your having a challenging week when you had a challenging column is slim. Great to be cheering together again.
Meg Dure July 27, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Carole we always did lead a fabulous cheering squad! Means everything to me for you to be there as you always have.....READY. Pat, pat, snap, snap
Mark Ralston July 30, 2012 at 08:09 PM
You go, Meg! I remember your tenacity from our days at the Banner-Herald. Once you set your mind to something, you can do it. You've already got all the pieces of the puzzle in their right places, especially a good attitude and lots of support. Count me among those pulling for you!
Meg Dure July 30, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Oh Mark -- how wonderful to hear from you! And so glad to have your support! I have sent greetings to you via my darling neighbor Cress Johnson! All the best by treasured colleague...


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