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Journal entry

The heavy weight of expectations

There are certain things you don’t ask a woman, and her weight is one of them.

As someone who has shed a significant amount of weight, though, it’s hard to keep it secret.

People ask how much I lost (116 pounds), which leads to a question about my how much I weighed at my heaviest (245 pounds). All it takes is a little math to figure out my current weight of 129 pounds, give or take a few depending on the day.

The numbers are ones I’ve recounted often, so much so that I hardly blink at them – even when sharing them with the public. First, as a part of The Journal Gazette’s Weighty Matters project seven years ago and most recently on national television for a segment on the “Today” show.

Being so open about my journey, though, comes with more questions.

People want to know how I’ve done it and seek the help and advice of someone who has done it. After the “Real People Lose Weight” segment aired on NBC’s “Today” show Thursday, I received tweets seeking guidance about getting started and staying motivated. They wanted the key.

And it’s at this point I often wish I weren’t so open. I don’t have a key. There is no big secret, and I feel like I disappoint people when I say that.

The truth is that I have to work hard every day to keep the weight off. I still have to plan my meals and keep a food journal because sugar will always be an addiction. I wake up at 5 a.m. to exercise before my 2-year-old wakes up or it likely won’t happen. I fight the urge to throw the alarm and sleep in, relying on the support to roll out of my bed and step out the door for a run. I have to work out an hour a day, a combination of strength and cardio, to make sure that the pants in the closet still fit.

As Al Roker said in the segment, my second on the show, weight can be a lifelong battle. It’s one from which I carry the scars – extra skin, stretch marks and resounding determination.

It’s those things that matter – not the number.

Kimberly Dupps Truesdell is assistant features editor of The Journal Gazette.