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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.

Those get skinny resolutions

Almost everyone I have talked to in the past three or four weeks mentions losing weight as one of their New Year’s resolutions.

I was one of those folks for about 35 of the last 44 years.

I, like many of our readers, started the New Year with a plan to eat healthy, which was quickly overcome by my overwhelming desire to drink my favorite soft drink—not one but a half-dozen a day.

So, no matter how healthy I planned to eat, I was consuming 1200 calories in liquid.

I planned to add a ton of fruit to my diet. I ate strawberries and my mouth burned and hurt—a red rash appeared.

I ate citrus and I found out indigestion is caused by more than fast food French fries.

So, I opted for an occasional banana and concentrated on vegetables.

Broccoli gives you gas; beans give you more gas, --you get the picture.

By the end of three weeks each year, I was back to the eating pattern that had caused me to put on about 30 pounds over those 30 years.

I would try to convince myself it was age, the fact that I have to stretch to reach 5’, or maybe, just maybe, I had an undiagnosed thyroid problem.

I learned to live with being overweight but I wasn’t happy about the image I saw when I glanced at a storefront reflection.

Earlier this year, without the incentive of a New Year’s Resolution, I decided once and for all that my Dr. Pepper habit just had to go—not to lose weight but because I was indeed getting older, my blood had to be at least 98% sugar based and I wanted to stay as healthy as possible, considering I wasn’t getting any younger.

So, I bought a case of water and passed up the soft drink isle.

For whatever reason this time it worked. And within days the weight started to literally fall away.

Now, everyone that knows me knows what comes next. Those of you who don’t—here is the situation.

I am compulsive and just a little more than obsessive. When I do something I get satisfaction from, whether it is writing stories, collecting bluebonnet decor or eating healthy, I do it with a passion.

So, I thought, what else would make me feel good? How about doing away with everything that has sugar.

I did that with the exception of yogurt, which I added to my daily basic food group.

I folded my size 14’s and gathered my 12’s that were farther back in the closet.

I dropped bread, rolls and all gravy.

I folded my 12’s and went to the closet for the long-stashed 10’s.

After dropping about 15 pounds, my boss said I looked gaunt; my mother said my face was getting too thin and it would look older if I didn’t put some weight on; and my husband, who never complained about my larger sizes, started urging me to eat because I looked “scrawny.”

Those comments, in themselves, pushed me to the next level. I started excercizing and eating vegetables. Lots of vegetables and ignored the gas—which by the way was temporary.

I put away the 10’s and headed to the store. Since I was going down so routinely I went to a wonderful little resale shop.

Because I am obsessive and because they had this fantastic sale, I bought the 8’s; 6’s and a small handful of 4’s—four large garbage size bags full of the latest styles, no less.

I tried on the 8’s and they were loose but comfortable, so I hung them up, boxed up the 14,12 and 10 and donated all of the clothes to a local charity.

My husband started complaining about me looking anorexhic. Now, that put me in full operational mode.

I started buying lowfat butter, cheese and salt-free treats.

It didn’t take long to put the eights in a box for donations and pull out the 6’s.

I bought a size 4 cocktail dress.

I didn’t need it, had no where on earth to wear it, but I wanted it.

Did I mention I am obsessive/compulsive?

I brought it home to see just how far I had to go to fit into my perfect, always wanted that style, dress and it fit!

Two weeks later I packed up the sixes and donated them to the local school.

I went to see our son for Thanksgiving. He took one look at me and said, “Wow Mom you look like a teenager—I hope you are doing this healthy.”

I am and he approved. My mother, however, is still harping about it.

Now personally, I don’t really think anyone sees your face from a block away anyhow, but Wal Mart’s entry doors reflect full body image for a mile.

That always bugged me!

I like the person I see in the mirror and while I admit that I do focus on the image from the neck down, I really didn’t plan to have the face of a teenager at 62 anyhow.

So, this year as New Year’s approaches and resolutions are being thought out, I have promised to buy the leather pantsuit I always wanted.

I’m over the hill—so don’t tell me I’m too old for that type of clothing.

I’m conservative—so don’t mention that isn’t the attire most conservative women would find appropriate.

I may never wear this outfit out in public but I will be the most stylish chocolate chip cookie baking grandmother in my subdivision!

After all, how many grandmas do you know that bake an oatmeal cake wearing a snazzy little black cocktail dress?

Resolutions are, I think, what we want deep down to achieve and often just don’t have the time or energy to see through.

But the desire to be smaller, to be larger, to be healthy, to see or do something you’ve always wanted to do is still there, so it pops up every year as a resolution.

I realized this past year that in order to be happy filling everyone’s image of me and the expectations that they have of me, I have to be happy with me.

I am and I wish each and every one of our readers success in whatever they do that brings contentment personally and professionally in 2009.


Contact skinnerc1@tconline.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  February 05, 2009