SKINNY THOUGHTS - Holidays no picnic for weight struggle


This is supposed to be a reality column about weight loss. Well, here it is … as real as it can get. I might have dived a little too deep here, but with the good, comes the bad. Why not share it with all of you. I have nothing but weight to lose, so I might as well keep it real.

By the time this column publishes, Thanksgiving will be just a memory, with Christmas still approaching. The holidays are considered the worst time for weight loss. I feel like I don't even stand a chance.

I'm drowning in a pool of sugar and fat. I've always thought I was the lucky one in my family, which has a history of addictive behavior. I've always been thankful for not getting involved in drugs or alcohol. I guess I counted my blessings too soon with the realization that I'm addicted to food. I don't have enough self control to participate in healthy diet and exercise on my own … something that might be just as bad as drug or alcohol addiction when it comes to self-destructive behavior.

In terms of weight loss, this outpatient rehab in the form of self-disciplined diet and exercise just isn't cutting it. I need something big to happen. I feel the need to have intense support and supervision before it's too late. Perhaps I should apply for a spot on the television series, mentioned in my last column, "The Biggest Loser."

I think my brain has a mind of its own. I wonder if a psychologist or hypnotherapist could help with this. Every time I choose to take large steps towards weight loss, I tend to do the complete opposite.

For example, about a year ago I bought a membership to a gym. It was a holiday package deal for three months. I was super excited about being able to get into a routine, but instead, I gained 15 pounds. My three-month membership ended and I didn't bother to renew it.

My thought process went like this:

Good Heather: "WOOHOO! I've got a gym membership. I'm super pumped to get back into shape. With efforts to start eating healthy and exercising, I'll be 60 pounds lighter in no time!"

Later that day, while driving down the street, I passed the local ice cream shop.

My thought process continued:

Bad Heather: "Oh ice cream, or even better yet, a Reese's sundae! That sounds really good!"

Good Heather: "NO, Heather, you can't have ice cream because you're losing weight."

Bad Heather: "But the gym membership will help take the added calories away. Besides, it's just this once."

Needless to say, this happened about 20 more times, thus gaining 15 pounds.

I wonder if other people think to themselves while imagining their good and bad conscious sitting on their shoulders like you see in the movies.

I used to have a good strategy against my worse judgment. Every time unhealthy thoughts of indulging myself would come into my head, I'd imagine my "better judgment" hurting my "worse judgment" in some way.

My favorite would be hitting my worse judgment over the head with a frying pan, or putting her finger in a wall socket to be electrocuted cartoon style. Now after admitting this, maybe I do need therapy. I sound a little crazy.

Anyway, this same situation has happened with the start of this column. I was really excited to have all of you depending on the news of successes, which I figured would be the greatest motivation of all to lose weight.

Though it would be really easy to report the loss of weight this month considering all but a few would actually know the truth, I can't do that. I'd be lying. Instead, I've gained 5 pounds. I'm not proud to report this.

I wonder how long it will take for some of the health nuts out there to get tired of this fat girl complaining about how she can't lose weight, causing him/her to write a letter to the editor, then getting this little public adventure of mine canned due to frustration of the public.

On the other hand, maybe this won't happen considering people who are healthier tend to be happier.

Gosh, I need to get healthy. Nobody likes a Grinch on Christmas.

Heather Usko is a Prescott-based writer whose columns are about her quest to get down to a healthy weight. She can be reached


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