No one understands the ins and outs (or ups and downs) of yoyo dieting better than I do. I have been up and down that scale so much, that if it were a piano, I’d have written an opera by now.
I have had the problem of being a little on the heavy side since I was a child. My grandmother used to say I was “pleasingly plump,” but there was never anything pleasing about being plump in my mind. It took me a while, but I eventually equated my love of anything loaded with sugar with gaining weight. So I learned to cut down on the sweet stuff and I was a lot less pleasing and a lot more trim for most of my teens.
I blamed my children for my weight gain as I got older. It was because I had children, that I sacrificed my beautiful figure, I told myself. However, I knew the real culprit was sugar. Add to that the fact that I love my carbs and I’ve never met a hamburger I didn’t like, and my weight added up.
Oh, I would get the flu or something and shed a few pounds, but it always came back. I had the typical yoyo dieter closet: on one end, the clothes for when I had trimmed off a few pounds…building up to the other end, which held the clothes for my ballooning days of high poundage. Of course, in between that were clothes in every size I had ever reached.
Then, my daughter announced she was getting married. Well, what could I do? There was no way I could be at the top of my weight gain when she married, could I? As it turned out, I found a unique way to scale my weight down: I sewed six bridesmaid’s dresses in a nightmare of silky teal material and countless, endless black flounces. I was so busy cutting, sewing, worrying, panicking, etc., that I had no time to eat.
I slid into my daughter’s wedding at the trimmest point I had been in years and was able to get the requisite fancy dress in a smaller size — that’s right, I didn’t sew it! I was so proud of that dress—that dress that I didn’t sew, but that was a significantly smaller size!
But, the years rolled on and the yoyo slowly crept back up. Then, my younger daughter announced she was getting married. The good news was that I didn’t have to enter sewing hell, since she bought the attendant’s dresses. The bad news was that I had reached that point on the scale between heavy and “take the tank off the scale, for the love of of heaven!”
I bought a dress for that wedding, equally fancy, but several sizes larger than my first one. It was shortly after that when my doctor said, “It’s now or never, time to let go of your potatoes, bread and sugar.” I was distraught. He had just described my entire diet!
I buckled down. I exercised, I gave up potatoes, bread and fish sticks. I stopped having my five candy bars a day and started walking instead. Slowly, I began the climb down the scale once more.
That was three years ago and since then I have been locked in my own house in a pandemic and after a while, I renewed my acquaintance with bread and potatoes. I may have started eating a lot of candy bars as well…but I kept on walking and exercising. I avoided the yoyo dieting problem by refusing to step on a scale. Then I wouldn’t know if I was getting heavier again.
Today, I was cleaning closets and I came across the dress of my slim memories from Stefanie’s wedding and I decided to see just how hard it would be to get into it. I shut my eyes, tried not to think of the Twinkies and Pepsi I had for lunch and slipped on my “skinny” wedding outfit. The picture with this article tells you that I proudly and surprisingly found out that it still fits! I didn’t even have to unzip it…it was perfect. It gave me the courage to step on the scale. I am right back to that pre-Stefanie’s wedding weight! What a kick!
I celebrated by not taking a walk today and having a half a box of cheese crackers washed down with a couple of Pepsis. I think the yoyo might be on the way back up?