Category Archives: Weight Loss

Healthy eating as a mood booster!

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Mondays are crazy days for me. I am one of those people who thrives on routine so this
is the weekday that I choose to wash my hair (long, lots, curly), to do the laundry, change
the sheets and generally make a plan for what the rest of the week will be like.  I try not
to schedule any outside errands so that I can just concentrate on staying in and tidying up
the house from the relaxing clutter that builds up during the weekend.

Yesterday it took me three tries before I found a blouse that fit me properly.  I’ve shared
my weight challenges so we won’t revisit that subject. Suffice it to say that I found myself
in a kind of bad mood yesterday, something I notice happens to me when I reach for
something in the close that I haven’t worn in a very long time. I miss the years when I could
reach for anything and it fit me. But the reason I was upset yesterday is really because the
clothes that are snug (and I hate that snug feeling) are not S or M …they are XL!

After a few hours of mentally bashing myself, I decided to just get on with my day and do
what needed to get done, which included a trip to the supermarket. While at the supermarket
I disciplined myself and DID NOT pick up my favorite cookies or candies. Instead I went for
the veggies and the cottage cheese. I know me, I do so much better these days when the tasty
high calorie items stay outside the house. It wasn’t always so, I could have a cookie and that
would be that, but lately, I am not happy until the package is gone. What’s with that?

This morning, my husband offered me a croissant with butter and jam. I thought about it
for a micro-second, then heard myself replying that I was having green beans and cottage
cheese for my breakfast. He chuckled as he spread a generous amount of jam on his lovely
lightly toasted croissant. I served myself my cottage cheese and green beans and thought
about how lovely it will be when the XL blouse buttons properly. I love starting a busy
day on a good note, it makes every single thing that much nicer. As Tony Robbins once
quipped “Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.” I paraphrase, but it went something
like that and I totally concur.

cottage cheese wikipedia image

Remembering my childhood!

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Whenever Geneen Roth tells us her weight story, she mentions that she when she “quit”
dieting, she was about 50 lbs. overweight, had one sundress that fit her and decided
that she was the only one who could make choices about what went into her mouth. A
year after making this monumental decision, she had reached her normal/goal weight and
never looked back. She became a pioneer (author, coach) in the world of weight loss and
has maintained her normal weight, which is a relief to us all, I’m sure.

When I was a child, I was chubby but not yet obese. My mother suffered because she
was very concerned about what people would think of her since she believed (or knew)
that it was her inattention to me that made me overeat. I don’t remember much about
the causes, I enjoyed eating and since my grandparents had a small grocery store, I
never had any reason to go hungry. My father (then and now) has never made a single
remark about my weight although it has gone up and down my entire life. I guess it
was something that just never entered his “circle of concerns”.

Today is Father’s Day and I feel particularly happy that I can look back and know that
my father’s love for me transcended whatever number was on the scale. I’m sorry to say
that until I was a young adult, the subject of my weight was never far from my mother’s
mind. I can still remember how she tried to hide the disgust she felt when she saw the
bulges on my back, even though she herself was not exactly thin.

I have not been thinking too much about weight these days. Back in April, I was in
New York where the most delicious foods and desserts are everywhere. Because I was not
motivated to cook, I ate fruit for breakfast, yogurt or a small sandwich for lunch and
dinner out. The portions of dinner were so large that I actually could make one order
last two or three nights. When I came home, I had lost 5 lbs. and I knew it even before
I set foot on my scale. I was pleased with the way my clothes fit, 5 lbs. on my small
frame might not be noticeable by others, but I sure could tell. It was a sort of victory.

Fast forward one month: my husband cooks lovely, calorie-rich meals and although I am the
boss of what I put in my mouth, I find it hard (for many reasons) to forgo the food he has
lovingly spent hours preparing. I need to revisit the subject because I know it is not about
his wanting to sabotage or anything like that. I can control what I eat for breakfast and
lunch and even dinner…but sitting in front of the television afterwards makes me crave a
glass (or two or three) of wine with some accompaniment. As I said, this is something that
I need to revisit.

What a difference a day makes…

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Large, cute, fat round bird is the description of that clip art beginning this post!
It is definitely cute as am I except that I am a small, cute, fat round woman! I can’t
believe that I can actually write that and accept it as being the objective reality right
now of my physical manifestation. The inside of me feels exactly the same at this age and
weight as it did 40 years ago when I was normal weight and very young! Wow, it is so
refreshing to feel at peace with this, a new normal I hope to pursue.

I’ve been quite busy these days, helping my customers navigate the different processes
that allow them to remain permanent residents in the country. It is always fun to meet
new people who have other concerns on their mind besides whether or not I look the part
I am about to play in their lives (competent consultant!). It’s an incredible rush when
someone hugs me at the end of a complicated translation ordeal and tells me the words that
I have always responded to (more than money!) “I/We could not have done this without you!”
Although I know they could have (it would have taken longer, not been as much fun, etc.),
it is always nice to be acknowledged and recognized for having expertise in something.
From now on, I will stop pretending that my skills just came with me when my parents
“ordered” me from the stork. My skills are a result of my dedication, ability and desire
to help people. It’s been a great week!

Not just fat, obese!

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I weighed over 8 lbs. when I was born. That’s a big baby! All through
my childhood and adolescence I remained overweight much to my mother’s
chagrin. You see, Mom was a social worker and she was well-versed in the
ramifications of obesity. Not only was she embarrassed by my weight, she
carried the unfair burden of supposing it was all caused by her lack of
attention to me because she was a working mother who on top of all that,
went to university at night to continue her studies and obtain her Master’s
degree…in of all things: family practice!

Eventually, at age 19 as a result of some negative remark I heard from a
mean co-worker, I decide to go on a crash diet which left me hungry but I
did manage to lose weight which I kept off for the better part of 25 years.

16 years ago, I was hospitalized for a bacterial infection which required
massive doses of a antibiotic which also required me to eat a very high calorie
diet until I was released from the hospital a few days later. I gained 6 lbs.
and ever since then, have been gaining steadily until I am now not only fat
but obese. I guess seeing that word and applying it to myself is something that
has taken a bit of time to sink in.

In the last year, I have not gained any additional weight. When I look at
pictures of myself, I cannot accept that it is really me. I resemble my much
more obese sister which is hardly any consolation. I look at my body from
all angles, they equally disgust me. Then I read stories about young people
who are born with horrible diseases, or who die tragically and unexpectedly and
I chide myself for being so superficial. I just read earlier today that a
successful and beautiful actress might be suffering from anorexia and I scold
myself yet again that with all my blessings, I make the issue of weight one
that brings me such shame.

I have successfully lost weight in the past…often. I know what to do, I have
more than a passing interest in health and nutrition. Each morning, I wake up
with renewed commitment to eat only when hungry and try to eat healthily because
I actually enjoy having a plan and sticking to it. The last few months have been
horribly painful in terms of all the losses (of people near and dear to me) that I
have had. Although I have never considered myself a binge eater or even an emotional
eater, I feel today that I have grossly misled myself.

Because food is necessary for our survival, it is near impossible for people with
eating issues to successfully and permanently navigate the complex world of weight.
Today, I stood in front of my mirror. I almost cried when I beheld the folds in
my back, the dimples in my thighs and the way my stomach bulges. I felt sadness
and anger in turns. Sadness that I let myself get this big, anger that I let myself
get this big. And then I took a deep breath and remembered the words of a diet guru
who says we should be happy with the body we have now while working toward obtaining
the body we want/deserve/need. So I put aside all blame and anger and came to the
kitchen to eat a tiny bit of healthy food which has served to nourish my body and my
soul. For today, that is enough; tomorrow will be another today and will take care
of itself.

Graphic from Bing.com free to use and share image

Where has all my energy gone?

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Time is going quickly. Today is Easter Sunday and I feel that I am not fully prepared
for the end of the month coming again!

Where is the time going? Why is my resolve to write every day a mere thought each morning.
I am constantly writing in my head but somehow it does not translate into anything on this
blog, it leaves me the minute I sit down to type it. If I could get it together to record
on my phone, that would probably be a very good thing.

One week remains, well not even a week, but almost, of March. I have just returned from
a trip to an island nation that had me walking for many miles each day. In addition, there
was not plentiful food of any kind in my area so I was put on a sort of food plan that allowed
me to lose 3 to 5 lbs. without even thinking of it. I have come home with an idea of letting
go of the fight, of eating when hungry and eating what I want. So far, the weight has not
made its way back on to my body, so I am hopeful. I also think that I would like to write a
book of my own on the struggle of weight loss and why calories and movement are really the
ONLY things to watch…all diets will work given enough time.

Have a good week all…

Weight Watchers…and diets…and Oprah

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I read today that Oprah has purchased 10% of Weight Watchers stock and I am very
happy for her. I believe in Weight Watchers but I also believe that ANY and ALL
diets will work (temporarily) to help us lose weight. Keeping it off, well, that
is an entirely different matter.

It seems to me that these days a lot of attention is being focused on the epidemic proportions
of obesity in the world. I was a chubby kid, an overweight teenager, a normal weight young adult
and adult until about 15 years ago. My weight has gone up 2 to 3 lbs. per year for the last 15
years, causing me to now be significantly overweight although NOT morbidly obese. I have tried
and succeeded and failed at taking the weight off for the past 15 years because I have honestly
not been trying very hard. I know as well as anyone who has ever really ‘studied’ dieting that
the only true formula is to eat less calories than one burns up and I KNOW that those calories
can actually be fats or protein or carbs…it’s input and output … but of course, we all
know that the mind will believe what it wants and every gimmick or shortcut out there will
induce some of us to part with our hard earned dollars by joining a program or gym and then being gung- ho
a few days or weeks or even months and then something triggers a binge and off we go.

Last January (2015) I decided to do away with any fancy dieting…just deciding to try to
lose 10% of my weight by September, the month I would mark my 60th birthday. I didn’t really
follow a plan, I just tried to eat smarter. 10% was not an impossible goal, it would have been
16 lbs. I did nothing for the first three months. Then in April I followed the Whole-30
not to lose weight but because for many months everything I ate was giving me heartburn. I
experienced no heartburn in the 30 days I followed the program and I even lost 10 lbs. Then
life got in the way, I had a lot of stress and for some reason going off the Whole 30 put
me right back in the mindless eating (mostly at night) which allowed me to regain the weight.
The only difference is that when I reached the beginning weight, I decided that I would
gain no more. I am today the exact same weight I was last January. While I am not thrilled
with that number, I am happy that it is no larger than the previous year for the first time in
a long time.

Oprah has shared her many failures and successes in this area. I remember attending a NOW
conference in 1988 or thereabouts (I was at my normal weight, a weight I had for 25 years)
where she had done Opti Fast or something and she looked fabulous. She spoke to us hundreds
of women from her heart (This I know) when she promised “I will never be fat again!”

I remember thinking OMG, how does she know? How can she say this with such certainty? Well, she didn’t know, did she? Anyway, I know in
my heart that weight problems (overweight ones) often have nothing to do with lack of discipline,
being a food addict, not having a chef who can prepare these foods for us but everything to do
with really thinking about what we are doing, and having a support system that encourages us and does not judge us when we eat beyond our calorie range…

I think I should write a book about it…and maybe I will.

Image Bing.com Public Domain picture

Thanksgiving musings

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In 1986, I shared an apartment and living expenses with a woman who was a
compulsive overeater. By that time, I had been able to maintain a normal weight
for over 10 years. I did not own a scale because I could tell by the way my
clothes fit me when I had gained a few pounds and quickly (and healthily) lost
the weight so that I could look and feel my best, which has always been very
important to me, no matter what my weight.

Since the idea of sharing expenses included groceries, we usually did our food
shopping together. I always reached for the skim milk, the yogurts, the fruits,
the vegetables (faithful weight watcher follower even then) but somehow our
cupboards were always filled with cookies and other junk food which I never would
have stocked in my apartment if I were living alone. If I wanted those things, I
would purchase a single serving while out of the house rather than have the temptation
permanently brought in.

I am not sure what prompted me to become lax in my eating habits. Perhaps watching
her eat all the time, and knowing that I had contributed my money to the purchase
made me reluctant not to eat some of it, so I indulged. Years of dieting had by
this time made my metabolism very slow and my weight began an upward climb that
alarmed me and made me uncomfortable because I had a closet filled with nice
clothes in small sizes that I had worked hard to maintain. I was merciless with
myself, angry that I was doing this but unable to stop because I felt that I did
not want my apartment mate to feel like I was ‘superior’ because I could exercise
self-control. Since I had no scale, I never knew how much weight I gained in that
year but it was probably close to 20 lbs. I refused to buy new clothes, so every-
thing felt tight and disgusting and I had that dreaded ‘muffin’ top for a long time.

People who have problems in one area often have problems in other areas of their lives
and my apartment mate was unable to keep her commitment of a 2-year lease and left me
stranded after one year. Twenty-nine years of hindsight have allowed me to come to a
point in my life (today) where I can be grateful for what happened afterwards. I was
forced to move to a smaller, affordable apartment and gradually resumed my healthy
eating habits until I reached my normal, comfortable weight again. I maintained that
weight until about 10 years ago when I used the pretext of life and its challenges
to eat rather mindlessly and put on 2 to 3 pounds per year. That doesn’t sound like
much until you multiply by 10 and realize it’s 20-30 lbs.

The pictures don’t lie. I used to love to have my picture taken, mostly thinking of
my kids and how important it is for them to have pictures of their parents. I still
allow my picture to be taken, and often, but I usually don’t look at them. When I do,
I don’t recognize the person in the pictures as me, I have not come to terms with this
new size…I have a battle with my scale every single day (why have I not gotten rid of it?)…

But today, I found a lovely pair of slacks that fit me, a simple but elegant blouse and
I am making an effort to show myself the kindness I would offer someone else if they
confessed that they felt bad about gaining weight. I would say to them, “So, you gained
a little weight. What’s the big deal? Take control of the eating and soon you will
fit into those other clothes again.” For this wisdom, I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Almost June…

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The birds are singing, reminding me with their urgency how time flies and that I
really should go shower and get ready to meeet the day ahead. It is Sunday, a day
for relaxing and taking it easy…but Monday, June 1st is tomorrow. Another month
in 2015 is ending.

I feel comforted that my weight loss goals are at least and at last heading in the
right direction. Although I have been consuming too many cashews (they go down so
easily, not like almonds!), my eating has been moderate and I don’t feel hungry or
deprived. Every time I wear a formerly un-zippeable pair of pants, I am elated
and proud of my progress. To be honest, I don’t feel like I am a food addict, rather
that I lost my way for 15 years and allowed unhealthy habits to become the norm in
my routine. 2015 is the year I turn 60! It is perhaps also the year I will lose
weight and gain many more things!

A great Sunday for us all and a wonderful productive June!

Right Side Brain thinking

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I was going to place a picture of a fat lady squeezing into her pants in this post today because that is who I am … a size 16 woman who managed to squeeze into a size 12 pair of pants that used to feel loose on me! Alas, when I went to bing.com to search for said picture, I realized that it is not what I want to see or what you might want to see when you land on my page. So a lovely picture taken by me at the beach won out.

Fat acceptance is not really big on my list of things I want to accept about me. I am currently reading a book by Jill Bolte Taylor about her experience after her stroke. Although I have read dozens of human growth potential literature in the last 50 years, not one has made the impression on me that this one is making. Ms. Taylor is coaxing me to look at life from the vantage point of my right side brain AND left side brain, rather than relying heavily on my left-side brain tendencies of being critical, rigid and a host of other practical yet unrealistic thought patterns. For today, I will accept that I sit here uncomfortably feeling my ‘muffin top’ protrude over my waistband, but after finishing this blogpost I will turn my attention to the many other (rewarding) aspects of my life. I may have a muffin top this month but next month it will be a tiny bit smaller!

It’s been a while…

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Actually I thought I had missed writing for a lot more days than just five! I was
filled with guilt because my accountability meter was very high and I was afraid my
commitment might be slipping…

I was at the beach on Wednesday and took a picture of the fellow that appears in this post.
He was so comfortable, it never occurred to him that he should run away from me as I inched
closer and closer to get the perfect shot. I guess they are used to people around them
these days.

I have never been a true beach fan. I find that my ‘do-do-do’ personality with its need
for crossing out things as they are done is not a good fit for the beach where the thing
to do is do nothing. It is hard for me but my family loves the beach and I earn a few
points when I make the supreme sacrifice and go with them, with a cheery smile and a
sincere desire to have fun! Alas, fun is something that I also take seriously…
So, I went and observed the many bodies at the beach. Some were modestly attired when
they could have been less so and others wore too little when they should have covered up.
No matter, I admire all who enjoy without judgment, that is what I am working on for myself.
Just accept and love and let the numbers on the scale have no bearing.

Later when I went into the changing room to get back into my clothes, I saw a woman who was
unabashedly changing in full view of everyone in the room. She was probably pretty close to
me in height, weight and age but with none of my inhibitions. Age and weight have put a toll
on the woman’s shape but she seemed to be fine with it. Me? I went into a private (and tiny)
dressing room (without a mirror) and shielded everyone from having to witness my body in this
identical stage! I admit I was jealous and felt very silly.

The week has gone very quickly. I have been super busy with my new projects and I am
enjoying myself so much I forgot to eat a proper breakfast this morning, although I did
have my fruit. The weekend awaits me and I am eager to get back to my daily postings!

Enjoy!