Eleven/Eleven and Fifty by Fifty

Sally decided on November 11, 2007, that she was going to lose fifty pounds before she turned fifty years of age on October 15, 2008. She had eleven months to do it. The weight had built up slowly over a thirty-year span of having kids and not exercising.

She told her friend Janice who said, “I’ll do it, too!” Her support group was formed. She picked a winner, a friend who cared about her as well as herself.

Sally decided she wanted to be fit more than fat. She visualized how she wanted to feel and what she wanted to look like. She then just told herself to go — don’t think about it, just go. At least six days a week she got out of bed, put on her shoes and hopped on her treadmill. Every other day she also did strength training.

The other big step was building the muscles in her two hands — to push away from the table so that she didn’t eat too much. She cut down on the quantity plus eliminated food like potato chips and ice cream. They were still in the house for her teenage kids but she pretended they weren’t there. If there was a birthday cake for someone at her office she drank the coffee and skipped the cake.

She missed her goal; on her fiftieth birthday she’d lost forty-five pounds. But when she thought about it, she’d added at least five pounds of muscle by doing strength training, so she’d really lost fifty pounds or more of fat.

Sally and Janice decided they should do something new, so they signed up for a year of thirty minutes three times a week at Curves. The next year they joined the LA Fitness gym near work where they go three times a week for aerobics and strength training. Like everyone Sally has had some lapses, but she and Janice always get each other back on track. Having someone who cares makes a huge difference.