I didn't subscribe to Seventeen magazine when I was seventeen. I was closer to thirteen when I was tossing the latest issue into my mom's shopping cart at the grocery store. I liked the magazine then because at thirteen I thought life could only get easier if I became beautiful and all of the Do's and Don'ts, hair and style secrets, and personal accounts of love were going to put me on the fast track to a world of only beautiful people.
I waited patiently each month for the new issue. I read those magazines cover to cover. I stayed up late in to the night to complete all of the quizzes and memorizing the tricks to controlling frizz. And when I say I read them cover to cover, that includes all of the adds in the very back of the magazine where I once found an advertisement for the "secret" to weight loss. The ad was very discreet. I wasn't sure if I would be ordering pills or a personal trainer, but it was only $10, promised I would lose the stubborn fat, and it would be shipped to my address in a plain brown envelope for secrecy. I mailed off two weeks of my allowance on that very day.
When my plain brown package arrived a few weeks later, I immediately snuck it up to my bedroom to open in private. Imagine my surprise when I found that I'd bought a small book. It was purple with white lettering, the size of an appliance manual, and guaranteed results or my money back. I read the whole thing in minutes, and couldn't have been more disappointed. The book told me to keep a food journal, writing down every little bite I took through out the day. It explained calories and the importance of exercise to burn those calories. It told me to count calories, eat fruits and vegetables, and get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. I was so angry I found a hiding place for the little booklet and never took it out again. This was not a lose weight quick secret. I was never going to be able to do what they were asking of me (vegetables were EVIL when I was 13) and I was doomed to be fat forever.
I just remembered that top secret delivery yesterday while I was driving around town, and I couldn't help but laugh. Here was a book that was ahead of its time, containing the only healthy, successful way to lose weight and I might as well have thrown it in the garbage. At the age of thirteen I didn't want to waste my time working with numbers I didn't fully understand. All I wanted was something that could make me look like Tiffany Amber Theissen tomorrow.
As of this morning's weigh-in I am down 56 pounds since June 1, 2008. I am officially over the half way point for my 110 pound goal. I've done it by keeping a food journal at The Daily Plate, counting calories, and exercising as much as I can. I've done it by doing everything that book tried to tell me to do, everything I rolled my eyes at for years.
If I'd lost 56 pounds at the age of thirteen I would have been severely underweight. As it is now, I'm just crossing over that line between obese and overweight.