Losing weight in spite of myself.

I began this blog in February 2011 as a way to help me not quit trying to lose weight, and to learn a few things. It's been an interesting and powerful experience. It certainly confirms what I've long suspected--that although I am a genuinely happy cheery person in the main, I am NOT a happy cheery dieter. I DETEST losing weight. I resent being overweight in the first place and I am a virtuoso in the art of self-sabotage. And YET--I'm doing it! I'm fighting and kicking and EATING all the way down, but the weight is finally going down. The plan I was following in February was a half-baked one largely based on wishful thinking. I gained a little weight and decided to get real. I knew I couldn't just join weightwatchers or count calories or do any one plan and expect to be successful. I decided if I was going to bother to make the effort to lose weight I was going to throw everything I could think of at the problem. And so I do. My real "Day One" for this blog is April 1, 2011. I joined weight watchers, I joined caloriecount.com (awesome website), I read the blog losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com religiously, I keep this blog faithfully, I joined the health programs sponsored by my insurance, I use the principles from overeater's anonymous, I use my church's 12 step program as well, I subscribe--and use--Healthy Cooking Magazine.

The result of all this? Painfully slow progress (About 20 lbs in 10 months). But it IS progress and like the little engine that could I keep on trying in my rebellious way. I have no intention of quitting. This is by far the longest sustained weight loss effort I've ever made in my life. Successful I think, because for the first in my life I've done this MY way--which I've discovered, involves a lot of pizza and restaraunt food. I'm convinced this is the only way to lose weight. For me it must be MY way. For you it MUST be YOUR way. Not weight watcher's way, not your doctor's way, but YOUR way. Any plan or idea I use is only a tool.

The latest plan to lose weight my way began on Oct 29, 2013. It really is my own crazy plan. As you'll see if you read that post. I've implemented the best ideas of all sorts of eating plans and thrown out the scale. A couple of months in and I'm definitely healthier. I'm actually enjoying myself. I won't weigh until April 1, 2014, so I'll see then if this works the way I hope it will.

There is no magic weight loss bullet. But there IS a great deal of magic in the discovery of what I can happily live with (very different from what weight watchers tells me I can happily live with) and still have the body and health I want.

Good luck to all of us on this journey. It's quite a trip!

Friday, January 19, 2018

The real goal is faaaaaaarrrr away

So I did fine yesterday. My body is reacting by settling in at the new "low"--meaning the goal I hit last week, but not budging below that which is annoying, but whatever.

What I mean by the goal being far away is that when I finished dinner last night (so yummy). I was just barely beginning to get full. There is no way left to myself that I would not have eaten more. A LOT more, and still considered myself as being conservative. And yet, an hour later I felt ok. And after having some diet hot chocolate and 4 chocolate almonds I really was fine.

I know all about the "it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to register that you're full" and I'm already the world's slowest eater, but stopping is still incredibly hard for me. I can't even imagine stopping naturally. Maybe the custom of having coffee after dinner is about helping people to stop eating. I don't drink coffee or tea. The hot chocolate is helping.

Anyway. Today's challenge is having my nephew up for the night. I've promised him pizza and that we would make his favorite treat. Here's the original plan--have about 700 calories for breakfast and lunch and 1000 calories of pizza.  I don't know what kind of pizza we're getting or what kind of a treat he will want. Here's what I can live with:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with blueberries
Lunch: a huge salad with chicken and 100 calories of cheese. Dang it! I forgot the Ken's light Italian Dressing. The lightest dressing package around here has 140 cal. Oh well. (I think the two meals will still total around 700 cal)
Dinner: 2 slices pizza, either one cookie or very small part of dessert, another salad or a fruit if I want to.

Possible change of plans!!
This weekend is just not working out as far as having my poor nephew over! There's a funeral tomorrow--we planned around that. There's going to be a gigantic snowstorm--ummmmm--we can take the train? Now my visiting teachee has had her appendix burst. I want to go to the hospital to see her tonight. I don't want to let my nephew down and it's super important that I don't, but this weekend is simply not working well.

Whether he comes or not though, I think I'll stick with the plan.

Thursday, January 18, 2018


I'm doing great sticking to plan. But I've just got to say that while I don't mind (too much) counting calories, I don't like counting out the whole day at once. I had to do that yesterday because I had an evening class, and I did it today because I made a really good dinner (lamb/feta/olive meatballs with tziki sauce and I want a solid portion of it! That meant I had to figure out what that would cost me so I would know what I could eat the rest of the day. I usually pack my lunch, so that needs to be known then by default I know what I have to spend on breakfast.

When the whole day is planned then there is an actual red stop sign that says THERE IS NO MORE FOOD!!!  This is IT. That's all there is!! And if it doesn't happen to be enough then I will STARVE and am doomed to be unsatisfied and unhappy for the REST OF MY LIFE!!!

Irrational, I know. But emotions ARE irrational. That's why they're called emotions.  The reality is that I'm quite happy with my food today. I had cracklin oat bran and a banana for breakfast--cracklin oat bran is high cal, but I learned a long time ago that if I want something, I'm happier having a less of that thing than more of what I don't really want. I could also have had 4 mini bacon quiches---but I was full, so I'm saving those for a snack later---this also helps with the NO MORE FOOD feeling. Yes, there is. There are four quiches and I can have them anytime. (Plus, if I'm desperate, I can have a banana, oatmeal or soup and a quest bar)

A word on those quiches. Ironically, I eat MUCH better when I'm trying to lose weight. I don't mean healthier, I mean better and richer. Those quiches are bacon and cheese in phyllo dough. The lamb meatballs are terrific. When I'm just eating whatever, I'll often go for something quick and easy and meh. But if I have 500 calories for lunch--then that lunch is going to be gourmet much more often. Thank goodness for those who create healthy recipes. I like the older weight watchers cookbooks too that list the calories. WW has truly great food, it's just the portions that strike me as ridiculous. 200 calories of anything will not fill me up for lunch unless I'm sick. And I don't need to restrict myself to that extent. Nobody does!!  More ranting on Weight Watchers later I'm sure.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Still going strong. Still stupidly stepping on the scale. The rationale is that I want the earliest notification possible that I met my next goal. But to do that--I have to see all the days---many more than I think their should be, where the scale is stuck at a higher number. It's dumb. I know perfectly well that scales DO NOT reflect recent actions. Whatever.

Yesterday I hit a bit of a sugar wall. No physical reaction, but a solid addictive one. I wanted a giant brownie. Or maybe a huge piece of cheesecake. It helps that I'm planning to have the brownie on Sunday. It also helps to realize that my mind and body are separate. Just because my body wants it, does not mean that I need to have it. It can be tricky, because often if my body wants something healthy, that IS an indication that I need that food. But sugar? No. I'm not going sugar free, and there is still plenty of sugar in my diet. Nobody needs a big plateful of cookies or brownies. But boy, do I want them.

I've started re-reading my favorite blog losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com.  I'm reading from the beginning when Shaun weighed 500 pounds. The most helpful thing about it for me is that it helps with resentment against men and the supposed easier time they have with things, especially weight loss. Shaun actually lost 300 pounds by sticking to a 1500 calorie plan. PHEW!! Too little for me. AND he didn't do cheat meals either. He briefly gained back about 160 pounds, but has lost it again and is now a much healthier eater than I could ever imagine being. No sugar for Shaun, and he still tracks what he eats. He's amazing. And I love being able to see a male who has to work harder than I do. This probably isn't the inspiration he hoped to give to anyone, but it helps. It helps. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Okay but boredom looms

Yesterday did indeed go well. 1750 calories really is enough to keep me reasonably full, and having the food I like makes a big difference. However, that is not the addiction. The addiction is that I want what will make my MIND satisfied. Meaning one cookie was perfectly satisfactory physically, but NOT emotionally. This is an emotional problem. Often the emotion doesn't run any deeper than that I like cookies and enjoy eating them, so pass the plate please!

My history has been that I can do about anything for a short amount of time. But over the long haul? Not so much. This is true of everyone of course. What I'm hoping is to hang onto this until November despite the fog of boredom that is even now looming on the horizon. I HOPE that by then I'll have established a new "normal" of how much I need to be eating on a daily basis. The temptation obviously will be to just go crazy and put it all back--especially with the holidays. To combat this I will join my in the no gain games that are always going on at work. Not gaining over the holidays will be the goal. I'm going to have to be strict about weigh-ins and catch small gains early. I HOPE that the idea that I just need to maintain rather than lose will feel free enough that I can tolerate it emotionally.  Between now and then I'd better think up some strategies for what I'm going to do in case it isn't enough.

Monday, January 15, 2018

a good walk

Ok! Not too bad. Yesterday was the "don't count," but intuitive eating day. I did all right in the main. Wasn't hungry for breakfast, but Dave always makes pancakes and there was church to get through so ate a reasonable amount. Had a few almonds and a chocolate and stayed for choir then walked home--about 1,25 miles uphill. Realized that I wasn't hungry and so did not eat. Took a nice sunday nap then WAS hungry so had a snack. Dinner is where I always have the most difficulty. I had made meatloaf, which I love. I'm not sure I ate according to actual hunger, but I didn't have a crazy huge meal. The chocolate cookies afterward were a problem. Definitely ate too many, but I did put them away before I ate them all

Today should be a relatively easy day. We're home for Martin Luther King day and it's easy to count. It's also beautiful outside. We just finished a 3 mile walk. Next week will present some challenges on the weekend. But I have time to think through it.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

October goal

Yay!  Today the scale nudged downwards and I finally hit the goal that I should have hit at the end of October. This is why I gave myself plenty of wiggle room. I have to laugh/cry/bang my head against the wall--I was reading a few of the posts from 3 years ago. Today I am EXACTLY the same weight as I was then I think this means that I am moving ever so slowly in the right direction as far as changing habits because I'm not gaining weight as I'm getting older. I'm just not losing it either.

Still, I feel irrationally encouraged. It's only the 13th. That means I have two weeks to make a little progress toward my November goal. Just one or two pounds extra each month and I'll eventually catch up with myself.

Not that tonight will help (sort of). Tonight is my cheat meal--and it's a doozy. But I think psychologically, it's a good idea. I need to trust myself that I can and will do what I say I'm going to do. Yesterday, I was genuinely starving, so I ate a banana as I told myself I would. Today, I'll have the cheat meal and also buy myself a new shirt because I hit a weight loss target. It might be a lame target--but it's 100% better than going in the other direction.

2 eggwhites and 1 egg with string cheese and jalapeno omlette.
2 oz bagette with I can't believe it's not butter
diet juice

Late Lunch: a weird one
large banana with 2 TBLS chunky peanut butter and 1 TBL mini choc chips
1 half of a mini beef stick
2 digestive biscuits (told you it was weird)

pastrami sandwich
movie popcorn (WITH butter--duh!)
small shake with oreos and other good stuff.

walked 2 slow miles (back is still recovering)
Not counted--putting away the rest of the Christmas decorations, and back stretches.

Friday, January 12, 2018

If you're not losing pounds you're losing inches

Feel considerably better today. The visit with Dad wasn't too bad. He looked okay. I'm looking forward to the three day weekend. The one thing I really like about calorie counting is that I can eat anything and feel good about it.  Friday night is usually pizza night for us. Tonight we're going to share a wiseguy calzone from the PIE pizzeria. This is one of our favorite things. I couldn't find the exact nutrition facts for that, but based on other calzones I'm guessing half of one (we always share anyway, they're huge) will be about 800 calories. Add a cabbage salad with 10 olives and dinner comes to about 900 calories. That's ok. I had cream of wheat with blueberries and a glass of milk for breakfast, for lunch a can of progresso tomato soup, and a few inches of a French baguette with light brie cheese. I don't have enough calories left to have dessert too, but that's ok. I want to wean off of having dessert(s) every day. Plus, tomorrow I'm having my cheat meal for the week. We're going to the movies to see The Post. I like eating at the theater. I'll probably have a sandwich with jr's (kind of a flat tater tot), popcorn and if that isn't splurging enough, a shake.

Exercise-wise, my back is better but still sore. I walked a slow mile and a half.  The race I'm doing is The Tortoise Creep--155 miles through Thailand. Creep is right! Between Christmas, foot problems and back problems, I'm only a third of the way through and I feel as though I've been doing this race forever. I want to get it done because I've got such great races coming up! Next payday, I'm going to buy the Extra-terrestrial race and "run" through area 51.

On yes.fit someone posted this very useful message from her doctor. "If you're losing inches you aren't losing pounds. If you're losing pounds you aren't losing inches".  No idea if that's true or not, but I'm taking it as gospel. I think it will help next time the stupid scale is stuck.