I’m No Longer a Slave to My Scale


I'm No Longer a Slave to My Scale | Duluth Moms Blog

Recently, I’ve lost some weight. 44.9 pounds to be exact. It’s taken a while. I’ve been trying to take off my baby weight for YEARS! (My babies are 24 and 21) and it hasn’t been easy. I’m not the kind of person who has a fast metabolism. I don’t belong to a gym, mainly because I have felt too large to work out in front of people. Six months ago, I realized that I needed to make a change in how I felt, physically and mentally. Because at the time, I hated me. I hated looking in a mirror and I hated what I had done to my body over the years.

If I could go back 20 years, I would set a better example for my children, especially my daughter. I would instill better eating habits yes, but most importantly, promote a positive self-body image. I should have worked harder to make them feel beautiful on the inside, rather than worry about the numbers on a scale.

It’s never too late. Seriously, it isn’t. If you struggle with your weight and self image, it is NEVER too late to change. But do it for YOU. You are worth it a million times over! 

Sampling the Diet Industry Scene

Like millions of other women, I have struggled with weight my whole life. Ever since I can remember, I have either counted calories, fat grams, or carbs. I’ve been on South Beach, Grapefruit, and Cookie Diets. Slim-Fast, Scarsdale, and Cabbage Soup Diets. From Dexatrim, to low-fat, and liquid diets, I have done them all. Does anyone remember the 3-day military diet of the 80s? It consisted of eating only hot dogs, saltines, and ice cream. I’ve done it hundreds of times and have lost the same 10 pounds over and over, only to gain them right back.   

Who hasn’t wanted to take a pill and miraculously get a tapeworm or something close to it and drop 20 pounds? You haven’t? Well this is awkward, because I have. I wanted a quick fix, less numbers on the scale as fast as possible… oh, I would have done anything! I can’t even think about the total amount of money that I have spent on fad diets over the past 30 years.  I’m sure I’ve spent enough to purchase a used vehicle, a time share, or a small island off the coast of Bali! Americans spend more than 60 billion dollars annually on weight loss products. That’s a lot of programs that don’t all work! 

I turned 50 this year. For those of you who have heard how hard it is to take off weight in your 40s, its a helluva lot harder to so do in your 50s! I stepped on the scale one day this past spring and (gulp) it read…(gulp, gulp) 235. 235 pounds. I even tear up right now thinking about how it made me feel. I made myself a promise right then and there. By the time my 51st birthday rolled around, I would be healthier and have a better self-image about myself. I would become less fixated on the scale. I would take control of my eating habits, and be happier about myself when I looked in the mirror. I would make sure my knees didn’t scream at me every time I took a set of stairs. Or, that I would be able to go for a walk around the block without gasping for air. I wanted to get healthy. I want to enjoy the next 40-50 years and not be stuck in a chair because I’m too tired and too heavy to walk around. 

I'm No Longer a Slave to My Scale | Duluth Moms Blog

Buckling Down

The first 25 pounds came off slowly. I barely even noticed how much better my size 14-16 jeans fit. (We all know how good it feels  to come home and take them off and throw on a pair of sweats at the end of the day!) I did this all by watching what I ate and cutting back on sweets. I have become the fat, carb and sugar drill sergeant in our home. I put on my bifocals at the grocery store and read labels on EVERYTHING! 

How I missed eating a good Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup–jumbo-sized–any time I wanted. Or filling up on a plate of nachos with extra cheese and guacamole. I decided to take control of what I consumed. It was hard, but worth it. Now I try to eat everything in moderation. No one really noticed that I had dropped the weight of a small toddler. It was then that I realized, I wasn’t doing this for the approval of others; I was truly doing it for ME.  

My knees started felling better and I didn’t gasp for air each time I took a set of stairs or went for a walk. I started to feel better about myself, but I was still obsessed with the scale. I’ve been focused on the number it showed me each day, and I needed to get over it. I needed to be a healthier person, but a happier person, too.

Because I’ve been mindful of what types of fuel I put into my body, the last 19 pounds that I have lost has melted off rather easily. Really! I’m not obsessed with the scale anymore. Being happier about how my clothing fits and how great I feel after taking a walk is enough. I don’t emotionally eat anymore. Instead, I find something else to do to keep myself feeling healthy. Low carb, protein-filled food that doesn’t contain tons of sugar or salt has become my main meal, and I enjoy them.  

I put on a new pair of jeans the other day and asked my daughter if my butt looked fat. “Yes!” she said, “P-H-A-T!”  That, in itself, motivates me to wear a swim suit and shorts next summer, for the first time in over 20 years. I’m thinking about joining a local gym or buying a pair of yoga pants and actually taking  a yoga class. I am worth it. I hope my daughter sees the newly confident me. Confidence in taking control of something that has made me hate myself for years. We all deserve to feel beautiful on the inside, as well as out. In the end, the number on the scale is only a number.

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Cheryl Wisneski
Cheryl is a born and raised Minnesotan that married her college sweetheart 20 years ago. She is the mom of a beautiful and stubborn 22 year old daughter, a handsome and headstrong 19 year old son, and Vinny, the four legged king of the house. She recently started a furniture refurbishing business, hoppingwren.com, that occupies her time immensely and keeps her from dwelling on the fact that she and her hubby are on the verge of becoming empty nesters. A self proclaimed introverted extrovert, helicopter mom and clean freak, Cheryl is happiest when she has a paint brush in her hand, a chilled glass of chardonnay in the evening, and her family all present around the dinner table. She loves holding her husband's hand, Lake Superior, and the Pacific Northwest. Cheryl has a tendency to name the furniture she paints, over analyze everything, and carry on conversations with her yellow lab, Vinny. She is looking forward to helping her daughter plan her wedding and seeing her son graduate from the Marine Corps in the spring.