55 by 55: Losing Weight and Moving Forward


Jeff and I hiking at Panther Creek Falls, November 2018

There comes a time when a person realizes that it's time to make some changes. By the end of 2017, I had reached over 200 pounds and had torn my meniscus in my knee, probably because I weighed over 200 pounds. At 54, I knew that something had to give.


At school, several colleagues, were absolutely killing their weight loss journey by doing Weight Watchers. Every time I saw them I said, "Wow! You look great! I need to lose some weight." That was an understatement; I needed to lose a quarter of my body weight. "Weight Watchers won't work for me," I stubbornly thought. All that counting points. It sounded a lot like math--I hate math!


Part of my wonderful Weight Watchers group

Everyone assured me it worked; it could be done. "You keep up with it on your app," they said. Finally, they got me. "We're going to have a Weight Watchers group at work. We'll meet before school on Monday mornings and weigh in." How much easier can it be than to lose weight with your friends at work without even having to leave the school? So, I signed up. I figured the money to sign up with Weight Watchers was less than what I'd be spending on obesity-related healthcare costs.


With Addie Jo, my Weight Watchers leader, September 2018

It was money well spent, and there was no math involved. I met Addie Jo, our wonderful leader, faced the dreaded weigh-in, a painful but necessary step, set up my web tools, and started my journey. Friends in my group have been wonderful. They've given support, commiseration, and recipes. I have received constant encouragement, which has been instrumental. The Weight Watchers system has provided tools, support, and information that have done a great deal of the work for me. This journey has changed how I am experiencing this stage of my life.


December 2017 before my weight loss journey began


This all began March 19, 2018. By the time I turned 55 in December of 2018, I had lost 54 pounds. Today at weigh-in, I was at 54.6 pounds lost. If you round up, there's the math thing again, I've lost 55 pounds at 55 years of age. In the last year, I've been able to hike, rock climb, rappel, lift weights, try new exercise methods, and, this week, I began to add jogging. (It's more like shuffling my feet faster than I would walk, but, hey, it's a start.)


According to Dabo Sweeney, football coach for Clemson University, "There ain't nothin' less important than the score at halftime." That's a good word for me. My goal is to lose 65 pounds total and then comes the hard part--keeping it off. The score at the halftime of my journey, though encouraging, isn't as important as where I will be a year, two years, ten years from now.



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