Shedding pounds weighs heavy on to-do list


Every night before I fall asleep clutching my body pillow, I make a list in my head of things to do for the next day. I don’t recommend this bedtime ritual for insomniacs, by the way.

My random thoughts might include: Go to the bank/grocery store; drop off Luci at the groomer; write a story that makes half sense; meet girlfriends for lunch; attend variety show rehearsal; find Jack ride to basketball practice; take Sari to Hebrew school; help with school science fair; make doctor’s appointment; clean the basement; buy new indoor soccer shoes; revise menu with caterer; save the environment; and, oh yeah, lose weight for the upcoming bar mitzvah.


As Scott aims the remote control at the television and switches back and forth from the news to Everybody Loves Raymond, my mental notes seem overwhelming. I worry that I might forget to do something on my list. The internal banter continues:

Me: “Did I leave any candles burning downstairs?”

Me: “I haven’t changed the batteries in the smoke detectors in a long time.”

Me: “Is the garage door closed?”

Me: “I hope nobody breaks into the house in the middle of the night.”

Me: “Did I leave behind a kid who I was supposed to pick up at the batting cages?”

Me: “No one ever will ask me to carpool again. I’m an irresponsible, horrible mom.”

Me: “I just spent $200 at the grocery store, and what am I making for dinner?”

Me: “I’ll try to use my expired coupons for Pasta House.”

Me: “How am I going to drop two dress sizes in two months?”

Me: “Good luck.”

There I am, lost in my thoughts again, when I finally blurt out, “Scott, we’ve got to get in shape for the bar mitzvah, honey, and I mean it. Starting tomorrow, it’s time to stop eating and start moving.”

“You’re right,” he agrees, half-asleep. “Right after I finish the leftover chocolate cake for breakfast.”

There’s nothing like a big event, whether it’s my child’s bar mitzvah, a family wedding, a college reunion, or a beach vacation, that motivates me to lose a few pounds and try to feel my best. It also helps when Scott and I work together as a team and encourage each other to live healthier. If time spent working on a computer counts as physical exercise, Scott and I both would qualify as tri-athletes. I also like the Stairmaster, in which I work up a sweat carrying loads of laundry up and down steps. To increase my heart rate, I sprint in my bare feet to the mailbox when the wind chill is below zero.

Scott and I are serious about trimming down for Jack’s bar mitzvah. We realize that the first thing we need to do is change our eating habits and lifestyle. Instead of snacking on ice cream, for example, we plan to nibble on crunchy celery sticks. Another goal is to wake up early on the weekends and power walk around the neighborhood, no matter how cold or tired we are. We even decided to cut the carbs, except challah on the Sabbath meal, of course. We have God’s blessing.

Even though we don’t like the idea of going on diets (remember that the first three letters in diet are d-i-e), we want to familiarize ourselves with the most popular weight-loss plans. Here’s a few, not in any particular order:

1. Atkins (No bagels, no sugar, no way).

2. The Zone ( No caffeine, no diet soda, no chance).

3. Grapefruit diet (Counteracts with cholesterol medicine).

4. Weight Watchers (Embarrassed to get weighed in front of people).

5. Macrobiotic (No meat, no yogurt, and what’s twig tea?).

6. Detox diets (I gave up on my metabolism years ago).

7. The GI diet (Has nothing to do with war veterans but something called glycemic index).

8. Rosemary Conley’s Hip and Thigh diet (Sounds too much like the late, great, and overweight Rosemary Clooney. Besides, hips are not our problem. What about pipeks?).

Let’s face it. Losing weight is a losing battle. Hopefully, with lots of willpower, we can win this one together.

“Mishegas of Motherhood” is the creation of Ellie S. Grossman, a St. Louis freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom who never stays home. Currently, she is obsessing over the invitation list for her son’s upcoming bar mitzvah, so please feel free to send any advice to: [email protected] or visit her website at