Friday, August 26, 2016

Here's to the Next 40! Cheers!

Hi All!
I cannot beLIEVE that it is the end of August already! Next week is Labor Day weekend, and schools are starting, and vacations are ending, and summer is (almost) over, and and and…
On a whole, I’ve had a wonderful summer. How about ya’lls? As I shared with you in my last blog post, ( you know that we had some tough stuff happen early on, but… well, the weather has been quite lovely – downright hot at times! Plus, we were able to do some boating and we were able to see our whole family. I’ve learned that even when life gets difficult, we all must somehow look for the positive. Agreed? Agreed!
And through it all, I want you to know that I have continued to lose weight. In my blog post last fall ( I announced I was going to try, and even asked for tips from my readers. Last spring I gave an update and shared some stumbling blocks I’ve faced throughout my weight loss attempts of the past ( And now I’m here to say that even through funerals, houseguests, mini vacations, and work, I’ve managed to stay the course and continue to lose. As of this morning, I have lost (drum roll please) 40 pounds.
It’s hard to say exactly when I started because I think it was sort of gradual – sort of a realization that it was time. But I can certainly say it was around the end of September – so 11 months. I lost my first 20 by Christmas Eve, so it has taken me about 8 months to lose my second 20. Years ago, that would have been enough to make me hang up my scale… but no more. In February a Facebook friend of mine from childhood, asked if anyone wanted to do a “sit-up” challenge for the month. I thought it might be a great way to begin something I’d been meaning to start – floor exercise. He challenged us with the manageable goal of doing ten per day for the month.
I admitted to him at the end of February that I hadn’t been able to do them EVERY day, but I’d done it for at least five days a week. Again, simply being able to admit I’m not perfect (I know, it’s hard to believe) was a step in the right (and certainly positive) direction for me. PLUS, I continued to add to my regiment. I now do about 25 minutes of exercises per day – five to six days a week. Now, when I miss, my body seems to crave it – the bending and stretching, the lifting, kicking, and crunching.
There was quite a stretch this summer when I realized I hadn’t dropped a pound in a while, but over that same period, I’d also been able to fit into a pair of shorts that hadn’t fit for a few years. It was exactly the nudge I needed to continue. I knew that if my shorts now fit, something good was happening overall. Then, in the past five or six weeks, I’ve actually lost five pounds… all I can say is YAY! My “not-quitting” served my body quite well this time.
Also, I must say that in weight loss attempts of the past, I’ve lost significantly more weight than 40 pounds in this amount of time. BUT I’m older now. In fact, I will celebrate “Double Nickels” (55) next week! I’ll also admit that, probably because of where I am in life age-wise, the pounds don’t always come off where I’d like them to come off - AKA my mid-section. It’s frustrating…! It’s MORE than frustrating…! But I figure that I’ll keep at the difficult areas with a bit more exercise. What else can I do, right?
Yesterday, I was joking around with an old friend of mine. I confessed that I have a pile of clothing bags stacked in the corner of my bedroom. In them you’ll find every size I’ve worn over the past 18 years, and baby, there are lots of sizes. I also told her that I can remember a lot of details of my life by the weight I was at any given time – not even kidding!
At this stage of my life, it’s been interesting to go through the bags, item by item. I’ve needed to get real (and get rid) of quite a few items. Styles have changed considerably, not to mention that someone who’s now in their mid-50’s really doesn’t look good in a skirt from the year 2000 – even if it does fit. Some things are just best left alone. If you don’t believe me, I’ll simply say this… Wait!
And so, here we are. Most days I wake up and try to approach the new morning with a positive attitude. I’m living minute by minute, meal by meal. If I overeat at lunch, I pull back a bit at dinner. It all seems so sensible and do-able. Because I’m not basing my life on counting calories or points, it just all seems so much more like living. If I was in a hurry or in a race, I’d choose a different plan. But because I’m trying to be in this for the long haul, I’m pleased with my first 40, and feel so much better than I did 40 pounds ago.
Let’s raise a glass and toast, “Here’s to the next 40 – however long it takes!”

Katie Kolberg Memmel is the author of two books: “Five Fingers, Ten Toes – A Mother’s Story of Raising a Child Born with a Limb Difference,” and “Silly Stories and Sentimental Stuff.” Both are available in electronic and paperback versions.