I swore I wasn’t going to do this again. That I wouldn’t need to do it over and yet here I am faced again with the same issue as so many times in the past. I have struggled my adult life so you can guess what’s back that I need to get rid of. The extra 20 pounds that I’ve lost and gained a lot of times since I was 18. As a child and youth growing up on a farm we ate good food, lots of it and all loaded with real farm cream and sugar. Heck the left over porridge was feed to the dog with fresh cream and sugar applied before the bowl went down! I failed to learn about portion control as I worked in the fields, garden or barns before or after school. My first three years in the big city didn’t do much to kick start better habits. I skipped nutrition class in nursing in favour of going for a beer instead. We had no kitchen, no free food in the cafeteria and loads of fast food close to residence. I thought my jogging friend Peggi a bit of an anomaly — why would you run somewhere if you could drive. I gained lots of weight and only the fact that fortrel fabric (ghastly stuff) stretches could I fit my uniforms after three years. I graduated in 1980 and there haven’t been many years where my weight has been constant. I loved being pregnant when you could justify eating for two but somehow I was always left with more weight to lose after breast feeding stopped. The benefit to being in your 20’s and 30’s is that with some diligence and activity you can lose the weight. I really got derailed during my early 40’s and packed on WAY more than 20 pounds. It was beginning to affect my daily life and my back. At the strong suggestion of a colleague I decided to take charge of my choices. I worked hard with exercise and pretty decent dietary intake and lost 45 pounds which I kept off until my first sports injury. You guessed it — without that physical activity I wasn’t really in balance and 20 pounds crept back on as I rehabbed my achilles. That injury was followed by a torn MCL which wasn’t a fun rehab at all. I’d slowly get the weight off and increase the activity and be good for a while. Every sports injury (don’t ask — there have been a LOTS) would lead to 10 pounds. I’d forget to cut back on chocolate and beer and eat portions still suited to a man on the farm. So about 3 years ago I took a weight loss challenge that had a big educational component and learned why I keep jumping back up and down. For 30 years most of my protein has been eaten with the supper meal and the rest of my intake was “veggies” so that I could feel I was eating right. There are many problems with that but especially the always feeling hungry and having to “deprive” yourself of something. So I set about modifying my lunch soups and adding protein based snacks like almonds or a boiled egg to the morning or afternoon. I managed to lose 18 pounds and felt really good. I kept most of it off and finally had clothes that fit but much more importantly I felt good in my skin. This was all derailed by yet again another sports injury in July. I did ok for the first 6 weeks and then slowly it started climbing back on. Sadly enough I don’t have enough self will it seems to stop it at that point and have to let it get at least to the icky feeling before I decide enough is enough. I had hoped in September having spent some time with fitness guru Peggi who still runs and looks amazing all these years later that I would come home motivated and get back on board. Alas no. I wrote about 100 days to form a habit, I drank beer and enjoyed good food in larger than required volumes and have now reached the end point. I have a goal weight, a comfortable weight and an icky weight. Then I have the gross weight. The one where none of my clothes fit, the “handles” are every where and I’m not happy in my own skin. That’s the weight that got away from me once and it was a long road back. In your 50’s after menopause losing weight is really a bitch (there is no other word that fits here better than this one) and so once again I have backed myself into this corner again where I must record my food choices in the App on my phone and ask myself this question — do I need this or want this. Now I’d like to say “oh but it’s ok — it’s only 20 pounds” and life is short so you should have chocolate and beer. And I could go on that way but I see professionally what being overweight does to your life style and to your body. I know the statistics that for every BMI number after 30 you are taking years off your life. I know that I’m actually decently fit for 55 and that does count. But I also know that I’m happier when I weigh less so it’s time to start making the right choices all the time and become accountable to myself. I’m not going on a diet but I am going to return to better eating habits that include appropriate portion sizes, less alcohol during the week and a decrease in chocolate consumption. Heck maybe I’ll even have to go a month or so without chocolate as I did during the big weight loss. Perhaps I’ll start all this after the Dessert Club/Wars meets on Friday night but I’ve got to start it. More importantly I have to sustain it for the rest of my life. Bernie No chocolate was harmed during the writing of this post but some might have been consumed.