Have you ever weighed your clothes before you put them on in the morning? Yes, I, the blonde, admits to it.

The holiday season will soon be here. My never-ending goal to lose weight will be tarnished once again.

ScaleWomen, we speak from experience – as we age it’s more difficult to shed the pounds. It seems that my over 65-year-old foundation has settled permanently on its footings. I lost nearly 40 pounds eight years ago through a weight loss program and have been successful in keeping those pounds off. However, according to my doctor and the BMI (Body Mass Index) chart, I should still lose another 20 pounds in order not to be labeled “overweight.”

Being told that I had uterine cancer nine years ago is what woke me up in trying to get healthier. After seeing photos where lymph nodes were removed from my pelvic area, I asked the oncologist what the small yellow masses were that resembled chicken fat. His answer – body fat. Ugh!

Before retirement, I walked 20 minutes on my treadmill every morning before I went to work and exercised with weights. Since retiring over four years ago and moving north to our lake home, the treadmill has also gone into partial retirement. I’ve been able to maintain my weight within a five-pound range. I thought I’d lose more weight as I wouldn’t be sitting behind a desk eight hours a day with a candy jar within an arm’s reach. Well, I’m sitting at a desk now, but there’s no candy nearby. I go up and down a flight of stairs many times a day where I can find sweet treats. I’ve worn a Fitbit on my wrist for nearly a year, a techie watch that measures the number of steps I take each day, the number of miles walked, the flights of steps climbed, and the number of calories burned. It’s nice to know my stats each day, but it’s not the key to losing pounds.

After retiring and moving up north, I took a Zumba class and exercised with weights twice a week for nearly a year, but the scale didn’t cooperate. Today, I try to take walks at least three times a week if not more and enjoy the beauty of the lake country at the same time.

After nearly starving myself on Mondays, I weigh in every Tuesday morning at TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) where I listen to educational programs on weight loss and members share ideas that have worked for them.

So on Tuesday I try not wear clothes that are heavy. I’ve held a pair of jeans in each hand, attempting to determine which pair is lighter. If it’s too hard to decide, I’ve rolled each pair up and placed each on the scale.

We’re told that portion control is important. Did you know that half of our dinner plate should be filled with vegetables – what?!

A piece of meat should not be larger than a deck of cards. But the card games I usually play requires two decks so that’s the size I’m used to. A slice of bread shouldn’t be larger than a cassette tape. I’d never be able to get a piece that small out of the toaster!

As a lover of sweets, one piece of dark chocolate or a brownie shouldn’t be larger than a dental floss package. Really? A piece of cake is compared again to a deck of cards and a cookie shouldn’t be larger than two poker chips. Huh?

Yes, portion control and exercise are probably the keys to further weight loss. I wish I could move off this plateau I’ve been on for several years. If I could only pull up the excess fat around my middle, commonly referred to as a muffin top, and stuff it into my bra, I just may have the near perfect body!

So chin up! I can do this with the continued encouragement of my TOPS friends. But perhaps I’ll wait until after the holidays. Stay tuned. . . .