The time has come to lose weight & get fit. Really!

By Molly Ingram

Where to begin? When I moved to Beaufort, I had a plan. The plan was to walk the dogs early. Feed them. Go to the gym and workout, shower and run errands. That was the plan. It was time to get back in shape and maybe, lose some of the weight I have put on over the last couple of years. You ask “How’s the plan working?” Great, except for two things. I have yet to go to the gym and I haven’t lost a pound since I arrived in shrimp and grits country.

I was sitting at my desk about two weeks ago reading all the press releases that come into the paper and one of them caught my eye. It was about a new program developed by the trainers at Beaufort Memorial’s LifeFit Wellness Center. They were announcing a new program called Body Makeover. I could do with one of those I thought. It is a combination of nutrition advice from a Registered Dietician about how to develop a sustainable eating plan and an exercise program selected and monitored by a personal trainer. All of this is accomplished in a small group setting working with a group leader who is dedicated to helping you reach to your goals.

As I read the release a small voice in my head started with a litany of why this might work—moving to Beaufort was a new beginning for me, I was working part-time, and I was really tired of wearing clothes that were just “fine” rather than fabulous. I know I can’t do the weight/fitness thing alone. I have tried that and it just doesn’t work for me. And by nature, I am kind of a loner when it comes to this stuff. I hate asking for help but I know I need to ask for help with this.

A little background. I have always battled my weight. As soon as I lose some weight, I put it back on plus 10 lbs. just for good measure. I would kid with people that if I walked past a bakery I would put on 5 lbs. It probably doesn’t help that McDonalds is my favorite restaurant in the whole world. No, I clearly don’t have a sophisticated palate. Food basically bores me silly. And I don’t mind cooking but doing it for one person (I’m single) is just a waste of time and energy.

I come from a family of tall people. Dad was 6’1”, Mom was about 5’8”, my younger brother is 6’ on the nose and my younger sister is about 5’7”. I got my grandmother’s genes and hit my tallest point of 5’4½” in 8th grade and I have been shrinking ever since to a height today of 5’3”. My grandmother was a wonderful lady we called Mimi. And she was short and round which is how I tend to describe myself. And to add insult to injury, my niece and nephews call me Aunt Short Stuff up until about one month before Christmas when they move into “suck up” mode.

I have been thin (by popular definition) a couple of times in my life. One time before I was in my best friend’s wedding in Richmond (where I grew up); I went on a very successful diet of Vienna Finger cookies and Diet Pepsi. I would ration out the cookies throughout the day. That probably makes nutritionists roll over in their graves.

When I was a lot older, I went to a very famous and fancy doctor in New York who put me on his special plan which included specific foods and a smattering of drugs, one of which was a serious hunger suppressant. I doubt if it was FDA approved, but this guy got results. I lost 80 lbs. in 6 months and I looked and felt great. Unfortunately, I had to have some emergency surgery unrelated to the weight issue and afterwards I just stopped losing weight even though I was still on his plan. My doctor said that my metabolism had stopped because of the anesthesia which I guess is fairly common and he would work with me to get it going again. Phew. Disaster averted for me. But, unfortunately he had a heart attack and died…definitely bad for him but way worse for me, or so I thought. And I put the weigh back on again.

I go up in weight and then I go down. Then I go up and then I go down. I know many of you can relate to this phenomenon which is called yo-yoing. It is just so hard to keep the motivation going all the time even when you aren’t seeing any results. And I don’t particularly care about food. So why do I eat? Boredom mostly. Or I think I should eat something so I won’t be hungry…at night…during a meeting…before I go to the grocery store. Fill in the blank.

So why am I sharing all of this personal history with you? Because I decided the time had finally come when I had to be a grown-up and deal with being overweight once and for all. And it is a grown-up thing. Intellectually I know what the issues are, what my triggers are, and all the excuses I have used for years. I have read about weight loss for all my adult years and I know how much better my health will be with a few pounds off this old body of mine. I am sure I must be close to diabetes and I have had asthma and high blood pressure all my life. All of those things would become a non-issue if I could figure out a way to live a healthier lifestyle. I currently have the time to devote to this endeavor and I think I now have the determination to see it through.

So I called up the Beaufort Memorial’s LifeFit Wellness Center, set up an interview and went over to see what this program was all about. What a beautiful facility they offer right across the street from the hospital. After meeting some of the trainers and administrators I decided to take the plunge and sign up. Then, I honestly thought I would have a panic attack. What had I just done? Am I totally nuts? But I can’t think of a reason not to do it. So off I go. It begins on August 20th and I decided to add a little incentive for myself as I will write a kind of a travel blog for the paper once a month. My plan is to share the good, the bad, and the totally disastrous with you. Because, honestly, if I can do this, so can you. If my journey can inspire just one other person to make a commitment and take the plunge, then I have done a good job.

My goals are twofold: to lose some weight (not tons) and to get fitter than I am right now – which, since I am totally and completely unfit right now, should provide lots of room for improvement. I am going to have realistic expectations for a change and try to be ”in the moment” when it comes to eating. And no, there will be no public before and after pictures published in the paper. When you run into me at the hardware store you can decide for yourself if my plan worked.

So wish me luck and determination to make this successful. By Christmas, I plan to have a Body Made-over. And this year Santa is getting sugar free cookies. They’ll be good for both of us!

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