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Blog Posted in avatar   Greer Nicholson's Blog

Losing Weight

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By Greer Nicholson
Posted Dec 23, 2011 in Health
I keep forgetting that I have lost an awful lot of weight and that I have kept it off. Then, I forget what an achievement this is.
I now weigh 60 pounds less than I did in September 2008. I have never written about this before or, really, spoken about it.
There was a photo that was taken on my 54th birthday. September 2nd 2008. Okay, the flowery dress was doing me no favours. But I looked so fat and I went to the doctor thinking that this had become a bit more of an issue than I had previously thought it was.
The doc confirmed my fears and stated that I was obese, at 196 pounds and 5 feet 8 inches.
My whole life has been about being chubby.
At those ghastly Canadian class weigh-ins, I was always the shortest and the heaviest. Not hugely, but I do remember being 5ft 1in in 1965 and weighing 117 pounds.
Through university, I was around 154 pounds and 5foot 8 inches tall. My boyfriend was a wonderful cook and I really like to eat good food, so my weight drifted up to 165 by the time I graduated from McGill in 1977.
Marriage and baby pulled my weight to 177. I didn't lose the baby weight for some time, but starving myself pulled me back to 155 pounds.
Divorce and remarriage made it worse. By the time I hit 50, I weighed 180 and was pretending I was a US size 16. I was bigger than that and I - a fashion lover - just hated being fat.
Misery pushed me to 196 pounds. That weigh in at the doctor, just before my 54th birthday, was the worst ever. I remember taking off my earrings, hoping they were heavy. They weren't.
The week after my birthday, I went to the gym. I was working at a place that had a free gym but - hey - I am a totally unreconstructed intellectual and I have always sneered at gyms and that ilk.
I read Dostoevsky in Russian and Flaubert in French. I write, sing and paint. Nobody in my family was ever skinny. Life is about brains, right?
Wrong. Not just brains, apparently.
I found a personal trainer at the gym who said: "You're beautiful and you don't need to lose weight". Reader, I almost fell in love and he and I are still close friends.
We agreed a daily gym plan. He sent me to a nutritionist who looked at my food diary and said "great, but half as much".
I did what I was told, through some horrible life events. My mother lived for long enough to see me skinny which she said made her happy.
By December 2009, I weighed 136 and, apart from dropping to 126 when my mother died, that's where I have stayed ever since. I wear a US size 6.
I have a bust and God did not mean me to be a size 0.
I measure 38-25-35. I dreamed of this figure in adolescence.
My trainer has moved away and I don't go to the gym much now, but I know what I need to do to stay the size I am.
It feels absolutely amazing to be 57 and to wear sample sizes. I love my body.
I am described by newcomers to my life as "rangy" and "skinny". How cool is that?
Yesterday, I went to a party with a few old contacts who had not seen me for a while and they wondered where the rest of me had gone.
I drink whole milk, love butter and have it often and eat eggs and chocolate whan I want to.
But I am so very careful. If I do a buffet or a dinner party, I indulge myself and do penance the next day. I think about what I eat.
I still love food but, as Kate Moss said, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.
Christmas is a rotten time to be posting this, but you need to know that you can eat and drink what you want, so long as you work off the calories. Long walks do it for me.
Merry Christmas and look after yourself. It's very difficult to lose a lot of weight after the age of 50, but it's not impossible. I did it. You can too, if you are willing to change quite a lot of your habits.

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