February 1, 2013

Cat Tales: Losing 70 pounds for summer and short sleeves

By Carol Mills
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Two years ago when I bent down to tie my tennis shoes, I couldn’t breathe and I wasn’t pregnant, then I knew it was time to lose weight.

I was 187 pounds and I am 5 foot 5 inches tall. I was overweight, but not obese, and when I tried on new clothes and my belly stuck out, I just felt awful. It wasn’t any fun shopping for clothes, especially for something to wear to the Kentucky Press Association awards banquet that is held each year. The awards are sort of like the Oscars for newspaper people, instead of movie people, and I needed to get dressed up.

I decided to do something about my weight. I quit eating out for lunch and started bringing something to work with me. I cut back on what I was eating, too. I didn’t eat any fries, chips or desserts. I’m not a big pop drinker so that wasn’t a problem giving up. I started drinking flavored water that has zero or only a few calories.

I didn’t exercise or go on any special kind of diet that you see on TV ads. As the months rolled around, I started losing sizes. I went from a size 12 or 13 in blue jeans to a size 10. I bought four new pairs of jeans. Then I went to a size 8, bought four more pairs of jeans. Then to a size 6, with four more pairs of jeans, and then to my present size 4. It took me a little over a year to lose down to 117 pounds and I’ve kept it off for a year now.

Besides being able to tie my tennis shoes, I feel so much better and it’s so nice to fit into small places, such as sharing my TV chair with one of my cats. Another advantage to losing 70 pounds is my health. Before, I was borderline high blood pressure and borderline high cholesterol and would have had to go on medications. Now, both of these illnesses are gone.

When I started losing weight, my family physician, Dr. Jackie Maxey, was concerned about my health because it wasn’t normal to be losing weight like I was. I told him I was on a diet and wanted to lose weight. He seemed skeptical. At every follow up visit, he again and again expressed his concerns until I finally agreed to get a CT scan of my abdomen and pelvis. He ordered them and on the next office visit, he was smiling and reported the scans hadn’t turned up anything. I was O.K.

I was glad, too, because his skepticism had been rubbing off on me. “What if I had gotten sick the same time I started my diet?” I thought. It took me a little over a year to lose 70 pounds and that’s a good, safe way to do it.

There is only one drawback about being a size 4. It’s hard to find that size in women’s clothing locally, especially in pants and blue jeans. Most stores carry down to a size 6. There is a blue jean store here, but it’s geared to tweens and teens and has jeans with rips in them and blings all over, not the appropriate look for work. Since I always shop locally, except for the things I can’t find here, I have my sister buy my jeans in Lexington at a store called American Eagle. It’s geared to the younger crowd, too, but they have normal looking jeans that fit me pretty well.

I want to thank all of my friends and co-workers who expressed concern about my health because I was losing weight. People really do care.

 I didn’t exercise while I was losing weight, but I intend to start working out at home at my own pace. I need to tone up my skin, especially in time for summer and short sleeves.