Published December 8, 2011

How I Am Getting My Pants to Fit Better Again

by Helen M. Ryan

Four years ago I was a super fit 119 pounds (down from my original 200 pounds). At one point during the summer of 2005, I was down to 114 pounds - too thin by my standards (I am only 5 feet tall).

Today - well, today I have no idea how much I weigh. I am going to guess about 128, judging from the fact that I can't button most of my pants, or when I do, I have a terrible muffin top. (As an aside - I no longer weigh myself because I refuse to focus on a number.)

I way fell off the supe rfit weight loss wagon about three years ago when the stress of being a single mom with limited income drove me to eat too much chocolate and too many Ritz Crackers.

I still exercised and taught Spinning classes, but the calories I was snacking on were overtaking the calories I was expending.

Then - earlier this year - I buckled down, cut out most of the "white" carbs, started eating healthier overall and lost 11 of the approximately 20 pounds I had gained. Everyone noticed, and people everywhere commented. I felt good and happy about myself...good enough to get rid of the pants that had some "growing room" around the waist.

I don't know what happened between then and now, but when I went to put on my jeans two weeks ago I couldn't button them. Not only could I not button my jeans, but I couldn't button any pants at all! And since I'd given away my "heavier" jeans during my last move, I had nothing left to wear but sweatpants (I refuse to go out and buy larger pants). I was very frustrated, disgusted, mad and sad. I wanted to just give up and eat everything in sight...and feel sorry for myself. Then, a week ago, I decided to once again take the bull by the horns. I lost 82 pounds before - I can lose about 10...I think.

The biggest change I noticed that had caused the weight gain is that I had gone back to my old "fat" thinking of "I'll start tomorrow." This is the exact thinking that got me to 200 pounds in the first place. Over the last few years, with stresses mounting, lots of late nights working, issues with kids in school - I fell right back into the old trap of "feel good now, start fresh tomorrow."

The funny thing is - my motto for fitness has been "tomorrow never comes." And do you know what? It doesn't. That is how I gained those 20 pounds back - waiting for a tomorrow where everything will be easier.
So in the course of one short week my pants fit a bit better and I feel more confident. Why? Because, once more, I cut out (or way back on) the "white" carbs (which are really just sugary foods, crackers, white breads, pastas), added more protein and really paid attention to my diet. But the biggest secret was nipping myself in the bud when I was tired and not allowing myself to overeat for energy and then "start tomorrow." Last week, I started "today." And kept going.

Even tonight when I went out for Mexican food, I did have lots of chips, salsa, and even sour cream. I had eaten pretty healthily most of this week and ate a light breakfast this morning in anticipation of this "linner." The "slipping back" me would have taken this a step further and continued to eat junkie foods tonight because I'd "already blown it." The me that lost the original 82 pounds took control, though, and said, "You're done. You didn't blow it. You planned this, you had fun, and now you go back to eating lightly."

So yes - my pants fit a bit better. And by Christmas I hope to report that the muffin top is no longer "muffining."