The Alpha Blonde


This article was written on 12 Aug 2015, and is filled under health.

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But how did you do it?

I’ve been asked a few times a day for the last few weeks about what I’ve been doing to lose weight, so I figured I’d share my big secret right here.

But first, a little backstory. Everybody loves a backstory.


In December I received two calls while I was still recovering from gallbladder surgery, first from my OBGYN, then from the dietitian I had been seeing throughout my pregnancy. Bad news, my A1C was still way too high and I was a bowl of pasta away from type 2 diabetes.

I was at home, alone with a pretty fresh newborn, and I didn’t cope with the news very well at all. After about two hours of wailing, I’d set my mind to it that by the next time I had my blood drawn, I would no longer be pre-diabetic.

So here I am, 8 months and some change later and I’ve gone from 206.4 lbs to 151.4. I guess I’m now at that super obvious weight loss point because everyone comments on it- even the guy on the scooter who cruises the Fulton Mall every day throws a “Girl, you don’t need to lose any more!” my way as he glides by. Which was awkward at first, and still kinda is because weight carries so much, well, weight when it comes to perception and self worth- warranted or not. It can kinda throw you off to be doing something totally unrelated and have your body shape brought up in conversation.

At first, my gut reaction was to shrug it off and say “Oh, it’s been a lot of hard work” because I thought that was what was expected, and I was able to kind of kill the conversation at that point. But the truth is, aside from sheer willpower, it hasn’t really been a lot of work. I just don’t like to talk about it too much- especially on social media where talk of weight loss can be triggering.

I haven’t been taking supplements, doing any ultra-mega workouts, or anything like that. I’ve just been doing Weight Watchers, which is basically food budgeting 101, and walking around the neighborhood or doing Richard Simmons videos.

Seriously, if it’s higher impact than what the average octogenarian is willing to do, I’ve avoided it.

So there you have it. It’s so simple it’s almost embarrassing. Sometimes when I tell people I’ve been following the Weight Watchers plan, they look at me and ask if it really works. Seriously. My brother in law just asked that, right after I told him I’d lost 55 pounds. Maybe there’s an expectation that I’ll  add on “Oh, and I spend 8 hours a day doing nothing but burpees and I take these fat-eating pills!” with the right prompting.

The key for me has been remembering my reason for changing my habits- especially when I want to pile on another spoonful of rotini, and forgiving myself when I slip up because my hormones are raging/the baby won’t stop crying/it’s a Monday, and add three more scoops. Removing the whole “good food/bad food” struggle from the way I think about eating has been a huge breakthrough. Knowing that I can have a doughnut, but I’ll have to budget it in and maybe “spend” less of my precious points (or calories) on lunch and dinner has been enough empowerment to keep me at eating just one (or even a half!) without feeling crummy about it or going overboard.

Me and Richard, doing some Jelly Rolls.

Seeing results from working out to Sweatin’ to the Oldies without having to leave my living room or pick up a dumbbell has been awesome. Getting to know my neighbors (after 8 years!) because they see me every day as I take my walk has been amazing.

And even better? I had my A1C checked about 30 lbs ago and it was on the high end of normal, my new and lackluster Kaiser-issue doctor wouldn’t have even known I was pre-diabetic if I hadn’t forced her into giving me a celebratory smile. I can’t wait to see where it’ll be when I go in for my next annual check up.

I’ve lost weight in the past, but never this much and never with self forgiveness. I’m pretty sure that’s been my weight loss secret.

Well, that and a whole lot of this:

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