Weight Loss; Good, Bad and Evil

This morning, I went for a regular physical. Waiting in the doctor’s office, I felt an old familiar thrill. I know I’ve lost a few pounds recently and got a little excited to see that reflected on the scale. Bending over, I started to unzip my boots – gotta get those babies off before getting weighed, right?

Then I remembered yesterday. Yesterday, I took my dear friend, Laura for chemo. Before treatment, she gets her vitals taken in a separate area. Well, she came flying out of that room, beaming from ear to ear. Yippee, she’d finally, finally gained some weight – 5 whole pounds from the week before. We high fived. Then I looked at her feet. Laura was wearing full-on heavy-duty hiking boots.

“You took those off when you got on the scale, right?”, I asked

“Absolutely not”, she responded. “I need all the help I can get. I’d put lead in my pockets if no one would notice.”


Sitting at my own doctor’s, I started to think about my current 5 pound weight loss and how it’s become just a little too interesting. And has gained too much space in my brain.

I love how my clothes fit now, and I’m having more fun getting dressed. Sometimes, I’ll catch glimpses of myself in a mirror and think, “wow, I look really thin. Cool.”

The weight came off pretty naturally – I run around at my job all day and night, as opposed to previous positions, where I sat all day. Also, there’s a salad bar at work, and I love salad. So I’m eating lots of greens and lean proteins.

BUT, I’ve noticed some old tricks moving back in. Why have salad dressing when plain vinegar’s fine? Why order a hamburger, when there’s turkey on the salad bar? Why have a small scoop of ice cream….if the scale might inch up?

Whoops. Not a good path. I’m course- correcting. But man – the lure of weight loss is surprisingly still strong. I need to be more vigilant than I thought!

What’s the big excitement about a five pound weight loss? To Laura, it’s terrifying.

Before writing this post, I called Laura to get her permission to tell this story. She was home making herself eat pop-tarts.

We had a laugh. Several years back, before Laura got sick, she and I battled middle-aged weight gain together. We complained bitterly about gaining weight even though we weren’t eating more. “Nothing fits”, we’d wail.

Today, Laura chuckled ironically at the prospect of now making herself eat anything and everything she could manage to keep down. In fact, even though she was exhausted this afternoon, she wouldn’t let herself sleep until she consumed as many calories as possible.

When I was seriously anorexic, I’d take Ambien to make myself sleep so I wouldn’t want to eat.

Back in the day, a 5 pound weight loss would make me thank God and jump for joy.

Today, I am so very, very grateful to have Laura as my dear friend. Now, there’s something to cheer about.

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