Found the secret

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Though I’ve searched since my skinny legs of childhood morphed into larger ones, the secret to losing weight has eluded me. Like many others, I battle those nasty fat cells and think I have them defeated until I feel my jeans start shrinking. When the jeans shrink, my first thought is “Now I wonder if the dryer is set on too hot a temperature for this fabric.”

Those jeans have shrunk so many times it’s comical that I would even try to fool myself once more. The dryer excuse is much easier to swallow than the truth. That extra little piece of pie, those ice cream runs, and the M&Ms that called my name so innocently have caused the jeans to appear and feel at least a size smaller!

After all the years of trying diet after diet I finally stumbled upon the secret. At my last checkup my labs came back great as usual. The one exception was low vitamin D. The doctor gave me a mega dose, but I began to search for natural sources of this important vitamin.

I learned that the experts now believe the sun is not so bad for us after all. It turns out that all the sunscreen we have slathered on has done a number on our vitamin D levels. Sunshine can be overdone of course, but small levels of sunbathing can give us a nice golden glow and plenty of vitamin D.

The more skin exposed the more vitamin D produced. Yep. I really did it. I drug out my old bikini, bought a new chaise lounge, and have been enjoying a little sunshine. It has amazed me how easy it was to lose a few unwanted pounds when I looked at myself in a swimsuit everyday! The old saying “out of sight out of mind” is really true for me, but when I squeezed the evidence into a bikini for my backyard sunning it was much easier to say no to ice cream, candy, and cake.

So, there you have it: my newfound secret. I wonder how long this will deter those ice cream runs? Seriously, for a person who loves to eat, it is difficult to keep off the unwanted pounds. I believe that the real secret is to keep working toward my healthy living goals day by day and never giving up.

Much more important than looking better in a bathing suit are the health benefits derived from maintaining an appropriate weight. As I’ve realized in the course of life, most things worth doing take a little hard work and determination. I’ll keep on trying and let you know if I come across any more secret weapons in my weight war.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at