Why I Don’t Just Stop Worrying About How Much I Weigh?

I’ve been actively struggling with my weight since I was 16. It’s been up and down.

Being pregnant was the only time I didn’t care how much I weighed.

33-years-old and fat! If I didn't mind seeing this image in mirrors and if it didn't get in the way of riding and showing horses, I would have been happy to stay that way!

33-years old and fat with new baby #3! If I didn’t mind seeing this image in mirrors and if it didn’t get in the way of riding and showing horses, I would have been happy to stay that way!

In the 1980s, when all 4 of my girls were born, my OB didn’t care either. I don’t know that pregnant women get the same luxury today. I know weight gain is expected and good for healthy fetal development, but it seems more monitored and managed than the carte blanche weight gain I enjoyed.

So here I am today, 60 years old and still managing my weight.

Now when it comes to entertainment I'd rather rub on the sun SCREEN than stare at a SCREEN!

Now when it comes to entertainment I’d rather rub on the sun SCREEN than stare at a SCREEN!

It isn’t now, nor has it ever been on autopilot. It’s a choice I make every day. It’s easier to make the choices, after all I have decades of experience, but it would be easy to go back to default behaviors that would quickly restore my weight to its former heights!

Why do I care anymore?

I’m happily married. I’m not looking for somebody to share my seniors years with me. I’m not on the market and I sure don’t want to be a cougar!

I couldn’t care less if some nosy woman diner at Gorham House of Pizza wanted to watch my XXL self eat pizza to see if that’s the secret to how I got so fat.

I don’t have a bunch of small children making a scene when we eat out. I avoid getting extremely hungry because it leads to regrettable actions including eating too fast.  I know that nobody would care how fast I eat anymore because I’m no longer obese. People could fat-shame me all they want and complain about how I’m costing them higher insurance premiums and I’d throw it right back at them.

It’s not vanity and it’s definitely not public opinion that keeps me doing the things that keep my weight where it is. It’s something far more important.

It’s this. Cancer Prevention

How about that? I thought I was doing these things so that I didn’t hate looking in the mirror. Turns out my weight management behaviors have cancer prevention benefits. That’s a reason to keep on keeping on!

It’s this. Lifestyle Changes for Heart Attack Prevention

I don’t have to make those lifestyle changes because those are the things I do to manage my weight!

It’s this. Type 2 Diabetes Prevention

Wow! look at that. Those are the things that lower my risk of heart disease too and guess what? Yup, I started observing those habits to manage my weight! I’m doing what I can do to avoid Type 2 Diabetes.

It’s this. Preventing Alzheimers

Now this is really good news! I have lived in fear of Alzheimers ever since I read about 20 years ago that a head circumference less than 21″ puts you at a higher risk for Alzheimers. Even at my fattest, my head stayed small! I couldn’t get that tape measure to reach around my head any farther than 20-3/4″!

Maybe if I hold my breath and bulge my eyes I can push my head circumference up to 21"!

Maybe if I hold my breath and bulge my eyes I can push my head circumference up to 21″!

Now, there is good research that suggests the same things I do to stay at my preferred weight and that protect my heart, my legs and eyesight (many Type 2 diabetics have lost both) and reduce my risks of some cancers can help to keep me clear-thinking well into my golden years!

So, I guess I’m thankful I was once obese.

Had I not wanted to lose weight, I’d be eating a less healthful diet. My pyramid would be flipped – fats and sugars would be the base and fruit and vegetables would be the “extras.”

BREAKFAST!

BREAKFAST!

LUNCH!

LUNCH!

DINNER!

DINNER!

If I didn’t need to stay active to keep my weight down, I’d be sedentary and happy. My favorite forms of entertainment would be screening – TV and computer.

So I guess I should thank my former fat butt for giving me the incentive to get off it and feed it better because it turns out, I now am routinely doing the things that may help me reach a very old age and be healthy and aware so that I can enjoy every one of my years to the fullest!

 

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is the general manager of Weight Watchers of Maine. She is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. Her experience with her own weight management journey and raising girls has given her insight into the struggles families face with weight, healthy body image, food and physical activity. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news for more than ten years and appears monthly as a guest on FOX network morning program Good Day Maine.