5 Reasons Weight Loss isn’t a Punishment


It’s a theme week here on Chocolaterunsjudy, and that theme, for the most part, is about weight loss/management. Most of you got to know me at my current weight, which is my goal weight (plus or minus a few pounds).

You don’t know the overweight Judy. The Judy who had a lot of black in her wardrobe. The Judy who probably always wanted to run, but unlike a lot of you brave souls, would never have thought of taking it up at her heaviest (although she did run around with the dogs at agility). The Judy who was not happy looking in the mirror.

It’s free Friday from  Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?, Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar from Mar on the Run and the Friday Five Linkup and weight management is what’s on my mind.

Choosing my hard
There’s a saying that I’m fond of: being overweight is hard; losing weight is hard — choose your hard. It’s true, too.

It is not easy to lose weight. It gets harder and harder the older you get, too.

But you know what? Being overweight is hard, too. The guilt. The shame. The struggle to find cute clothes. The nonexistent energy.

My before/after photos
My before/after photos

You know what kept me going through all the years (yes, I said years) I was stuck on a plateau just a few pounds from my goal weight? I did not want to go back to my before picture. I didn’t like that Judy much. And as long as it’s within my power, because yes, sometimes life interferes, I’m going to do the hard work to stay the after Judy.

I can eat anything
It’s true, and it’s one of the things I love about Weight Watchers: no food is off limits.

I like to say I can eat anything I want, I just can’t eat everything I want. Are there times where I can’t eat what I really want? Yes, of course there are. Many times, of course.

But nothing is off the menu, and I do indulge in all the things I love. Just not all the time.

like what I eat
Eating healthy can really seem like a punishment when you’re used to not eating healthy. Because let’s face it, a diet of french fries, ice cream, and doughnuts tastes good. But how do you feel if that’s all you eat?

I can tell you as a teenager and college student I used to do things like eat an entire pound of chocolate or an entire box of poptarts in one sitting (and call it dinner).

It didn’t make me feel good. Today the mere thought of doing that makes me ill. So when you look at me and think she doesn’t get it, trust me, I really do.

What I eat is always evolving, but the truth is I really do enjoy healthy foods. And it’s taken me decades to get to this place, although I did always enjoy freggies, even as a kid. I like how I feel when I eat healthy with a side dish of indulgence, instead of the see-food diet.

I like cute clothes & I will not lie

I like my clothes
Another thing you may not realize about me is I’m a fashionista. I love clothes. And cute clothes were really hard to find when I was overweight.

That black dress in the before/after photo I shared Tuesday? It was my niece’s Bat Mitzvah and I couldn’t find a cute dress to save my soul. That was actually my aha! moment, my turning point, and what got me back to Weight Watchers. It wasn’t really the dress, but I will never forget how impossible it was to find a dress that made me feel good about myself.

So sue me, I’m vain and I like my clothes and I want to keep wearing them.

It’s more about how I feel
That’s really the bottom line. I didn’t feel good — emotionally, physically — overweight. I had very low energy and I wasn’t happy with myself. I certainly didn’t feel confident. And you know what? It’s amazing, sometimes, how the bigger you become, the more invisible you become. People don’t start conversations with you. I was really amazed, as I lost weight, how all sorts of strangers were suddenly talking to me.

Look closely at my before picture above. That is not a happy looking person, is it? I hated having my photo taken then.

If you are trying to lose weight, though, no matter how much you hate photos, take one. And keep taking it. Having before/after photos is incredibly motivating.

Let’s not even mention how unhealthy it is to be overweight. You know those 40 lb cat litter bags? That’s almost what I was carrying around with me, 24/7.

Now imagine carrying that cat litter bag with you everywhere, all the time. Kind of tiring just thinking about it, right?

I won’t lie, when I joined Weight Watchers in my late 20s it was mostly (but not completely) about how I looked.

When I recommitted in my late 40s, it was mostly (but not completely) about how I felt. Which is exactly why I was able to stay the course this time. Going back to point #1, losing weight is hard, and for most people, looks alone won’t keep you doing the hard work.

But improving how you feel? That makes all the difference in the world. It’s why I keep running, too; because despite the tendency towards injury, despite not always enjoying a run, despite having trouble motivating myself outside sometimes, in the end, I know I will feel better.

And I feel better thinner. It’s worth it. I’ll tell you the same thing I tell people about running a half marathon: if I can do it, anyone can do it. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

Do you think it’s just not fun to eat healthy?

33 thoughts on “5 Reasons Weight Loss isn’t a Punishment

  1. You’re definitely one hot mama now!! And I know that feels great! Eating healthy makes me feel healthy… what’s not fun is NOT feeling healthy, so therefore, I guess eating healthy is fun!! 😀 Great post Judy! Thank you for sharing! If I had Pinterest I would pin you!!! (One day soon, :D)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Boy, did I need to read this TODAY! I am mentally losing this week. My weight is up, I am in panic mode because I know how bad it can get, and I can’t seem to get the brakes on.
    You really made an amazing transformation. You are so right it hard to be overweight, it does bad things to my mind, but sadly, it so easy for me to get that way.
    I love this post, I will read it multiple times 😉


    1. I’m glad it helped, Karen. Believe me, I gain easily too. I gained more than a pound my birthday week, but I got right back to it this week and lost some of it (not all of it, of course it always comes on easier).

      I can tell you this for sure, and someday I’ll write a post on it: you can’t outexercise a bad diet. Believe me, I’ve been sick at times and totally unable to move at all, and still maintained my weight by eating carefully. Most of it is the eating, not the movement (although movement is really good, too).

      Don’t panic. Breathe. What one small thing can you do today that will be a better choice? That’s all you have to do.

      And if you want to chat, let me know! You are so determined — you CAN do it!


  3. This is one of the best posts I have read in a while. I love it! I am going to back and re-read it later (when I’m not sneaking at work *cough*). Your title grabbed me immediately because I believe a lot of people associate negativity with weight loss, “dieting” or choosing a healthy lifestyle (which is a term I like so much better than dieting, because of the negativity associated with the word diet). That negativity stems from a reason, obviously, but I truly believe it isn’t a punishment. It’s really that idea which actually drives people to give up, as much as anything else. Great, great, post. Felt good to read right now since I am getting over a stress fracture and have been taking a big hit in willpower with food as well as the fact that I can’t exercise as I had been for months now. But stuff like this keeps my chin up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I definitely agree about the difference between dieting and a healthy lifestyle. I live a healthy lifestyle now, but was stuck in a diet mentality a long time.

      As I was saying to someone else, you can’t outexercise a bad diet. So even if you can’t exercise, you can eat well. That exercise just makes it easier to get away with a little more . . .

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Connie.

      Not so sure about the profound part . . . but I’m glad it’s helping some people and that’s why I put it out there.

      Really, I am pretty happy with how I long. I have my days, like anyone else.


  4. Sounds like you have a great mentality. I don’t like the diet industry because I feel so much of it isn’t set up for success. I believe mentality triggers the lifestyle and deprivation prevents it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. well this was a great read!!

    Congrats to you on all of your accomplishments!

    Finding what works for each individual person is what makes all the difference as well as people coming to what they need on their own.

    I have been trying to get my sister more focused on eating and being healthy and she just hasn’t been ready to hear me and so I had to step back. Last week she calls me to talk through going to a trainers, eating better, etc. I guess she has had her ‘moment’ and is getting towards the committal stage.

    Eating healthy is DELICIOUS!!! I have found so many recipes that I am like WOWSERS…I could cook every day and not eat the same thing twice!

    Keep up the good work! Quite Impressive!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on your weight loss and your journey! I have been eyeing weight watchers new program lately but I have so many health issues, I can barely eat anything anyway. I discovered my healthy eating was killing me (or at least destroying my intestine) and had to revamp my entire way of thinking about healthy food and the way I feel. Now to make that translate into weight loss! I love hearing success stories as I find my path.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kristie. I’m very lucky that so far, knock on wood, I don’t have food healthy issues.

      I tend to eat gluten free, although I don’t have gluten issues, often vegetarian, sometimes paleo . . . I think all that dabbling helps.

      I like experimenting!


  7. Honestly I think eating healthy is lots of fun because, like you said, it makes me feel great. Sweets or super fatty foods taste great only to an extent. I can’t eat a lot of them without feeling absolutely gross. I have a sister who believes the exercise part of the equation is too difficult and “not worth” the investment. She’s also the one who told me to “get a life” because I “run too much.” Interesting perspectives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My sister & I have just switched — she was thin for years, while I battled my weight, and she started gaining as I started losing.

      But basically she’s in an unhappy marriage & I think she just sort of gave up.

      I love sweets, but yeah, if I eat too much of them I can get headaches and just feel gross, too.


  8. I did weight watchers for 6 months about 10 years ago and LOVED it. It taught me portion size… something I still use to this day ! I think we eat way too much and our bodies actually function just fine with less food. I can not diet because I like to indulge, I just try to watch my portion sizes…..
    I actually found losing weight easy, keeping it off is hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tend to be a volume girl, unfortunately! But portion sizes over here can really be obscene.

      Losing weight is NEVER easy for me. Even when I was younger, it came off slowly. And now that I’m older, it’s glacial!

      For me I’ve pretty much get maintenance down, it’s the actual losing that’s hard. Right now we’re only talking 4 lbs. Varies by the week, tho.

      I tend to go up in the winter, and most of that has come back off now. Would love to lose a little before my May half — I always do feel better running when I’m lighter!


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