The Richmond Register

Viewpoints

January 2, 2013

The new year and the new you

From the time I was a teenager until I turned 40, I made the same New Year’s resolution every year. Not to get healthy or exercise regularly (I still make those) but to lose weight, plain and simple.

My mother had a thing about weight, but by the time you turn 40, it’s a little late to be blaming your mother for everything. So at 40, I just did it.

After having two children in three years, never losing the weight from the first before gaining even more with the second, I was, for want of a better term, fat.

It wasn’t a case of not being able to see my body clearly. I saw it clearly. I couldn’t fit into any of the regular sizes.

The irony, in retrospect, was that after failing for so many years, it actually wasn’t nearly as hard as I imagined. Find a regime that works for you – mine was pretty much the standard, lean protein, vegetables and some fruit; find some form of physical exercise that you can make yourself do four times a week – I rode an exercise bike and read catalogues (Friday was the day I ordered), and just keep doing it.

I’d lost 10 and even 20 pounds before, but I’d always stopped.

When I was 40, I kept going and have, not as religiously for sure, pretty much kept going since.

In the years since, I’ve gone up to a size 8 and down to a size 4, but I’ve never seen a size 14 again.

Some things did change. I like shopping more than I used to. I don’t stand in the shower and say, “I hate myself.” I don’t weigh myself every day. I made some money writing a book about the “head game” involved in dieting (the key to dieting is how you think) which, judging by my mail, actually helped a lot of other women. That was very satisfying. I stopped buying clothes that were too small for me and tugging at them all the time. I dress better, which is easy to do if you only have one wardrobe (as opposed to having your fat, fatter, and fattest clothes).

But the most important change was that losing weight and dieting and not dieting didn’t dominate my life the way it had for so many years. I lost an excuse, a reason to be insecure, an obstacle to being and seeing everything else, for better and worse.

When I quit smoking many years ago, I was amazed at the amount of time smoking took up. Buying cigarettes, finding your cigarettes, and waiting until you had a cigarette to go out or come home or go to bed or (very bad) get out of bed left all this time in the day.

Losing weight, no longer spending your day thinking about how much you hate yourself or how awful you look or how much better your life would be if you were just thin, leaves all this space in your head for other things.

It forces you to see both how important, and unimportant, your weight is, how much of a crutch and an excuse it is and how much energy gets wasted just thinking about it.

If your doctor tells you to lose weight, you should. I’m here to tell you that thinking about how hard it’s going to be and how deprived you’ll be and all the places you can’t go and the things you can’t do is actually a lot worse than just doing it.

Almost all of us should exercise more. We all know the reasons why.

But as for losing that last ten pounds, this is what I have learned.

Either do it or don’t.

If it matters to you, if you spend time thinking about it, if the only question you ask in the dressing room is, “Does it make me look fat?” then just do it.

And if you’re not going to do it, forget about it.

One or the other.

Happy New Year.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM

1
Text Only
Viewpoints
  • 06.29 CrystalFarewell.jpg Starting over at Head Start

    All I ever wanted to be was a journalist. Having worked on my high school and college newspapers, I knew it was the career for me.
    I love talking to people, listening to their stories, being creative every day and experiencing new things. But as you know, news happens outside the hours of 9 to 5, and my job here at the Register rarely stayed within that time frame.

    June 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ike Adams They don’t make strawberries as they did back in the old days

    I’m not inclined to go through my archives at the moment, but it almost feels like the column I’m about to write has almost become an annual thing over the years.
    At least I know for sure that that this is not the first time that memories of picking strawberries there on Blair Branch on hot days in June has triggered this keyboard about this time of year.
    I grew up on a little subsistence, hillside farm deep in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, among the coalfields near the Virginia line.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams Baby boomers have let technology rob their grandchildren of the joys of youth

    When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to see fathers and sons along creek banks fishing together or in the woods hunting squirrels or pitching horse shoes or even shooting marbles late in the afternoon in the cool hours before dark.
    Dads were teaching kids to play the games they grew up with. Little girls, learned from mothers,how to skip rope, play with jacks or play hopscotch.

    June 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg No Lincoln or Douglas in this debate

    Remember the famous slap-down in the 1988 vice presidential debate when Republican Dan Quayle compared his youth and limited government experience to those of John Kennedy’s when Kennedy ran for president?
    His Democratic opponent, Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, acidly replied: “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

    June 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Senate campaign already in full bloom

    Any hope for a respite in the U.S. Senate campaign following Tuesday’s primary disappeared immediately.
    Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes came out swinging in victory speeches which sounded like campaign kickoffs.
    McConnell commended Matt Bevin on “a tough (primary) race” and appealed to Bevin supporters to unite behind his re-election bid. That will be hard for Bevin and those who backed him.

    May 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Waters.JPG ‘Taxpayer-eaters’ meet ‘self-serving politician-eaters’

    What some candidates could gain in this year’s election – beyond just winning office – is a stark reminder of how wrong political leaders were when declaring last year they had adequately addressed Kentucky’s public-pension crisis.
    Instead, legislators with serious courage deficiencies failed to agree on reforms beyond what they believe are “politically feasible.”

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams Step Out, Step up for Diabetes Association

    Six weeks ago when I wrote here announcing the 2014 Edition of Team TKO’s American Diabetes Association, Step Out Walk Team, several dozen of you readers sent generous donations to sponsor grandson Tyler Kane Ochs (TKO) and me in the walk that takes place, rain or shine, in the mud or not, at Keeneland on the morning of May 31.
    Another several dozen of you either called, emailed or dropped a card in regular mail and asked that I remind you again “after the holidays” (Easter and Mother’s Day).

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Hitting the campaign trail

    The most watched race in the country ? the battle for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Mitch McConnell ? has so far produced a bevy of charges and not much substance.
    We haven’t seen that much of McConnell or his likely Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes out on the campaign trail.
    McConnell’s primary opponent Matt Bevin has been much more active and visible, but his performance hasn’t enhanced his chances.

    May 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • The case of the scary black cat

    If Margie didn’t believe that black cats were the harbinger of bad luck, she certainly believed it when a black cat brushed against her leg while she was leaning over a large trash can burning garbage one late afternoon.
    Startled by the sudden appearance of the feline, Margie opened her mouth wide and let out a blood-curdling scream that could have awakened Count Dracula himself.

    May 10, 2014

  • Ike Adams Basking in the spring sunshine

    If you had asked me, as recently as two weeks ago, to make a list of things I expected to see on the first Monday in May of 2014, two of the things that I actually did see would not have been on the list, even if you’d required that it contain at least 500 items.
    I’d have been a bit skeptical about Ralph’s purple asparagus and his gorgeous snowball bush, both of which came through most admirably. And I would have had my doubts about the poppies that have been in our back yard for several generations and the bearded German Iris that Jeanette Todd gave us more than two decades ago. It faithfully stuns us there at the corner of the front porch every spring, but there they were, basking in absolute glory as the sun set Monday afternoon.

    May 8, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

What county fair attraction do you like most?

Amusement rides
Beauty pageants
Flora Hall craft exhibits
Horse shows
Livestock, poultry shows
Truck, tractor pulls
Mud, dirt races
Gospel sing
I like them all
     View Results