Four-letter words are banned in many houses. But the one four letter word that is said over and over again, in homes across the country and across the world, is D-I-E-T. I first heard this word as a chubby young girl. My mother would have me walk home from the pediatrician’s office to get exercise. Good times.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I joined Weight Watchers for the first time, with a skinny friend of mine who thought she had a weight problem. (I am sure you all know someone like that. They are almost as annoying as the people who can eat whatever they want, whenever they want and never, ever gain a pound. Man I hate those people.)

Weight Watchers and I became well acquainted over the years. Anyone who has ever been a member, has, statistically, been a member more than once, and has experienced the different programs that this plan has offered. My favorite plan was the one that had two milks, three fats, three proteins, and unlimited vegetables. Somehow I managed to figure out how many calories were allotted for each food group and then I would make substitutions. You might be thinking that I made healthy substitutions, but then you don’t know me very well. I figured out that one Snickers bar had the same amount of calories as three proteins. So I would eat a Snickers bar and then be starving for the rest of the day. (Of course that was only on the days that I really stuck to the program.)

I am proud to say that after I had son #2, I had my most successful Weight Watchers run. I had lost almost 50 pounds and reached my goal weight. Good for me. I managed to keep most of it off, had another baby, lost it again, put some of it back, the story of my life. As most of you know from reading past articles, my self-esteem is on the low side, and weight has always been an issue for me. One that I am happy to talk about with anyone who will listen. I am the person who walks into a room and knows how many people are bigger than I am. (Usually, in this town, not many. In the Island of Long, even less. Again, good times.)

A couple of years ago, when my dad first got sick and son #1 left for Israel, the weight started to creep on. Food is love, after all, and I ate because it made me feel better after long days of watching my dad fall apart. I ate because food doesn’t yell at you and make you feel inadequate. Food comforts and soothes and also makes you expand. And expand. Fortunately, with the popularity of large size models and clothing companies realizing that big girls need clothes too, I had an extensive collection of big black dresses and even bigger black jackets to wear over them. As long as something fits, you can still leave the house.

After a few years of expanding, my boys, my beautiful thin boys (how they are all thin is one of the great mysteries of the universe) told me that I was very large and they were worried about me. Well, really only son #2 told me that. And that is how #makemomthinagain started, in April of 2018. We came home from Passover vacation and son #2’s program for me began. Every day, every single day, I had to text him everything that I ate. Everything. And I would also tell him how much I walked. It was a slow process, because I love food and I didn’t want to give anything up. But I kept at it. Not only would I walk during the day, but I started walking (and sometimes running) at night. Of course, if I didn’t enjoy eating so much, I wouldn’t have to run again at night, but we all make choices.

In the beginning, the amount of weight that I had to lose seemed impossible. There was no way I could do it. But son #2 had faith in me, and he encouraged me every single day. And today I am 55 pounds thinner than I was in April 2018. I cannot say that I feel better or lighter or have more energy or sleep better, but I can say that the big black dresses are officially too big.

Just thought I would share that with all of you. Because if you are reading this and you think it is impossible, it is not. If I could do it, you can do it, trust me. Thanks, son #2….

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck did not have weight loss surgery, not that there is anything wrong with that. She is still accepting chocolate donations, but only in moderation, and only if they have nuts in them.

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