Category Archives: Weight Loss

Revisiting a New York Memory

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Earlier today I engaged with my writers group in a cyber meeting. It went very well, a sign that at least as writers, we are not suffering from the negative side effects of “quarantine”. In fact, we all agreed that the permission we now have to spend our day indoors and writing is something we have long been able to devote ourselves to, only now, we don’t have to have any guilt over it.

Many years ago, an overweight friend of mine become mesmerized by the extremely obese people she saw in movies or magazines. One particular movie from 1985 was called Zuckerbaby. It was about a lonely overweight 38 year old woman and her romantic interest. I went to see the movie with my friend when it opened in the Lincoln Center area of New York City. It was in German with subtitles but we loved going to foreign language films, I think it made me feel very sophisticated. The movie’s story has stayed with me all these years. I think about writing about the subject of obesity, attractiveness, acceptance, and love at least once a day. Today’s, cyber meeting prompted me to just do it.

This morning, I chose my outfit carefully. I knew that my colleagues would only be able to see me from the waist up but that did not stop me from ironing my slacks or wearing proper shoes. It has never mattered to me what other people wear or whether people iron their clothes, go for the rumpled look or simply grab whatever is clean or handy to wear for a day. My clothes must always fit me properly (regardless of what size I am) and must look nice. There are times when I try on several things before I feel comfortable and confident in my choice.

A long time ago, I was a size 8! I could walk into any store or boutique and not bother to try anything on. I simply chose, paid, went on my merry way. Alas, times have changed and so have I. I will never go back to being a size 8, no matter how much I might want to. I am targeting 12-14 as a size I can manage and not feel uncomfortable when photographed. I have a ways to go. It is okay. I have accepted that I lose weight very slowly but it is better because the wrinkles won’t be quite so noticeable!

I joined WW late 2017. To date I have lost 17 of the 40 lbs. I need to lose. My heart and soul have not been in it. I am not sure why not. The program is wonderful and it works. One theory I have is that instead of failure, I am afraid of success. What will it mean in terms of more attention from the opposite sex? I already get plenty even though I don’t feel I am at my most attractive right now. I don’t like being pursued and don’t know how to respond without being mean or offensive. Saying I am married doesn’t always discourage Romeos!

This morning, I had a wonderful NSV (non-scale victory). I tried on a few blouses that did not fit me a month ago. Although they are still a tiny bit snug, I can see the difference and it made me more determined than ever to get back to a size that makes me feel my very best. The movie Zuckerbaby was a wonderful reminder of the real value of a human being. I am the same inside at every size, but I cannot wear the gorgeous clothes I have in my closet and that makes me sad!

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The Journey Towards 65!

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In one of my early posts of 2015, I featured the above scale as a grim reminder of how much weight I had been steadily gaining in the last few years. It is 5 years later…I have lost 15 pounds since then but I am still not at a weight I feel happy with.

What is going on? I ask myself that every Friday as I get on the scale. The last two years have essentially shown very (truly very) modest changes in the scale in either direction. In other words, I have become a master at maintaining. Maybe I need to accept that this is as much as I am willing to do  right now.

My knees feel good (thank you Glucosamine?), I have no aches and pains anywhere, I take no medication and I will turn 65 (God willing) in September. Tomorrow is March 1st. We are in Lent. I practice a smorgasbord Catholicism that allows me to eat meat on Fridays, except that I do observe Good Friday and won’t eat meat then. I have decided (maybe?) to abstain from alcohol for the remainder of the Lenten season (I’ve been imbibing since Ash Wednesday!) and perhaps that will allow me to see a modest to large weight loss.

I joined WW more than 2 years ago when I saw pictures of myself at my son’s wedding. I couldn’t believe it was me. In 2014, I had quit the on-line WW because I was paying but not following. I gained weight but was never hungry! I thought I could accept myself.

It is boring, isn’t it? Reading the blog of a person who really hasn’t come to terms with what she wants for her body. I love dieting, that’s the truth. If I plan ahead, I am able to do it. To my great disadvantage is my husband who has gained weight along with me, loves food, and finds me attractive (or so he says) at any weight. These are not motivators to losing weight. I don’t really enjoy cooking, choosing to do just about anything else if I can help it. Again to my great disadvantage, my husband does not mind cooking and is a very good cook. He plates the food beautifully and I don’t want to hurt his feelings by not consuming everything he puts on my plate. Oh poor me!

As I said before, tomorrow is March 1st. Time for a new beginning but that does not mean that today has to be a complete disaster. So far, I have eaten a hard boiled egg, fruit, coffee for breakfast. Ceviche with crackers for my lunch, a healthy dose of water and a handful of chocolate chips. The day is going well. There is no wine or rum for me at home and I am planning a nice fish dinner.

Here’s to motivation and perseverance!

 

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How Many Chow Chow’s Do I Really Need To Follow on Social Media?

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The outcries on opinions from some of our media icons (think Oprah’s nod to American Dirt) has actually prompted me to unfollow the handful of celebrities whose Instagram and Twitter feeds I enjoy(ed). Martha Stewart was one of my favorites back in the 1990’s when I became a happy stay-at-home mom.  I was eager to make my home welcoming; my food tasty; and my creations unique. I enjoyed every one of her tips and even her stint in prison didn’t change the fact that the woman had a good product. In recent weeks, I have noticed that her posts are no longer making me happy. I think it’s great that she finds passion in everything she does, but honestly, how many times can I see her dogs, her turkeys, her many homes and other possessions before I begin to think there is something wrong with me for (1) not having them and (2) not really caring? I unfollowed her too, something I have been thinking of doing for weeks. Does she care? Probably as much as my next door neighbor who has never heard of her or me!

My point? I think I need to get back to the life that is mine. I say I am a writer. If two or three hours of my day are consumed by my social platform viewing, I think my manuscript will never come to pass.

Am I off social media forever? No, I still follow relevant things but I am now curtailing my time with the phone screen and changing it for the computer and my book. I am working on 2020 being the year I lose those 20 pounds and finish writing, editing and publishing that book. Who’s with me? There is so much negativity in social media anyway, who needs that?

 

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What Are We Bringing To The Table?

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Here we are past the midway point of the first month of 2020! I am sure I am not the only one who has become very aware that time just gets away from us whether we are using it wisely or wasting it. My resolve and determination to follow my WW plan (Go Purple!) has been taking some effort because there is always a friend dropping by with goodies, children visiting who request that I make them favorite (non-dietetic) foods or community meetings that come with coffee and dessert. What to do? I try to simply do my best every day and remember when I get on the scale that the number is guide, just something to remind me that I have come this far and that with steadfastness and attention I can become as inspiring and the many WW people who have lost and kept off their hundreds of pounds.

When I was a young girl, other people’s obsession with my weight always entertained me. I didn’t really understand why they were so focused on me when their own lives, whether they were thin or fat, did not have anything to do with my weight. It wasn’t like they were purchasing my food or my clothes, or feeling the discomfort that I had when the tight(er) pants began making marks on my body or when my feet were just so tired from walking with the extra weight.

I eventually became an adult, got my weight under control and kept it that way for a very long time. The fact that now, as a full-fledged senior citizen, the excess weight seems like a permanent thing in my life, the only thing I want is to be healthy and live a long long time. I think my best solution is to relax, accept that the number (for now) will remain a little higher than I like but that I can and will finally reach a point where three sizes in my closet is a thing of the past. For today, I will track and plan the meals I will eat and go about the rest of my day with a positive attitude and an optimistic viewpoint.

Imagine a world where our size is no longer an interesting part of our personality? I do and try my very best to bring other things to the tables I frequent.

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Bye 2019, Welcome 2020!

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I’ve been involved with WW (formerly Weight Watchers) since about 1970 when my mother took me to a meeting because she wanted to lose weight and didn’t want to go alone. Don’t get me wrong, I needed to lose weight too but I didn’t really feel like going on a “diet” again. I was 15 years old, about 20 lbs. overweight (though I was made to feel like I was 200 lbs. overweight!). I didn’t have the wherewithal to refuse her.

My father, always slim and never one to comment on anyone’s physical appearance, used to drive us to the church that had the basement where the meetings were held. I suppose this readied me for the many (future) years of sitting in 12-step meetings and town-hall community gatherings. I learned a lot about nutrition at those meetings and I was very inspired by our leader, a tall, funny many who had lost over 100 lbs. My favorite of all his “pep rallies” where the ones where he told us the Jean Nidetch (co-founder of WW) story. I think I might have at some point been present at some event where Ms. Nidetch spoke but I cannot say if this is true or just some fantasy of mine.

I, like millions of other people, have gained and lost hundreds of pounds in my life. Today, I am getting ready to close out 2019, not as heavy as I was at the end of 2017 but heavier than I thought I would be at this time. I am disappointed but I do not feel like throwing in the towel. I just watched an old clip of Ms. Nidetch accepting the Horatio Alger award in 1989. I am newly inspired by her words and will pretend that I am going to be a Horatio Alger award recipient in the future and need to lose weight for the occasion. Everything and nothing works, this too, I know.

So as we start the new year 2020, let us begin with optimism, accompanied by all the tools that are available for us to have success. Ms Nidetch’s story is certainly worth reading about.

Best wishes, may all your projects come to fruition in the new year.

Picture of book my own

Enter December!

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I’ve been on the WW plan for almost two years now. I have lost almost 20 lbs. which is better than gaining but certainly nowhere I thought I would be two years later. It is not the plan, it is definitely me! But today is a new day and WW is nothing if not supportive. It does not matter that it is a business and wouldn’t survive if we were all successful but I cannot worry about other people’s weight journey, I can only “control” to a certain degree what goes into my body and what movements I do to use the calories. As I have always thought, the reason why I am not extreme in dieting is because my weight (matronly but still somewhat shapely) does not stop me from doing things. I am outgoing, simply move into a larger size when things start to get tight, etc. but when I see pictures of me, they do not look like what I see in the mirror or the image I have of myself in my head.

I live in the tropics but my children live on the East Coast of the US where it is cold and snowy. I have been looking up recipes to try with my diet and all of them are calling for “cozy foods” that will warm us up…hey, we have overweight people in the tropics too, no recipes for us?

The month of November was given over to NaNoWriMo. I do write quite a bit anyway but November is specifically designed to just write, write, write. I did not make the 50K mark but I did make it to 40K and that was a very great milestone. Not only that, I did begin the memoir that I want to leave my children. Writing it now and letting them read it allows them to ask any questions while I am still able to remember stuff.

Heck of a ride I am in for as I continue all the end-of-year projects. I hope the days go slower than the year has gone.

 

picture of snowy NY my own

Size is just a number

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What size I wear is really not of any interest to anyone and yet I allow myself to be so judgmental of myself when I try on an outfit I think I can squeeze into and find that I can´t.

I once had a boyfriend who I loved very much. One day we were talking about this and that and the fantasy of a life together came up. We joked about getting older and I remember saying that I would absolutely balk if he ever became fat. He was shocked by that statement, my only excuse today is that I had worked so hard to have a lovely figure that the very idea of losing it was a very scary prospect. We eventually broke up, the timing was just not right for us.

We met up several years later. By that time both of us had married and divorced and I had put on a few pounds. He teased me gently and reminded me that the person he fell in love with was still the same, that it didn´t matter to him … instead of graciously and lovingly accepting his comment, I vowed to take off the weight…and I did. The timing again wasn´t right for us, indeed, it never would have worked out

I married a wonderful person, had a family and have an successful marriage. Somewhere along the line, both us of became complacent married folk and have gained a lot of weight during our 30 year marriage. I am tonight spending time at my dad´s house and as I do every time I am here, I look into my deceased mother´s closet just to familiarize myself with the clothes she left behind and try to make some decisions. Although our tastes were different, there are a couple of items that are nice and others that bring her immediately back to me. Tonight I tried on a couple of things (sizes 16, 18, 20)…too tight, okay, too big..I am horrified I am this fat, shocked I let myself go like this. And mind you, I am 20 lbs. lighter than I was at this time 2 years ago. It is hard to get my mind around it, I am trying to focus on the weight loss and I know I can still lose the 25 lbs. that would make me fit into a more acceptable 12-14. But my body has taken on an unusual shape…gravity and excess weight are not a good combination!

For today, I skipped the wine, the chocolates and the cookies. Tomorrow is another day, I started this blog feeling a bit down but expunging my feelings has allowed me to get a grip, it´s not the end of the world and nobody cares what size I wear!

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Just for today

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It has been quite a month so far. My brother and his wife visited our sleepy town
in search of art and they found it. Afterwards they purchased some rather pricey
but original items which they took back home with them. I am always amazed with
the enthusiasm visitors show when they roam our town, I guess I have lived here and
enjoyed it for so long that I am a bit indifferent! It is a shame and getting back that
enthusiasm is something I am longing to do.

Last weekend I had a severe stomach flu. Although I think it might actually have been
food poisoning, I think I will stick with stomach flu because it has been going around
our parts for a while. It was just terrible. I found myself unable to keep anything down
and spent a good part of my weekend just trying to keep myself hydrated. I was very
hungry. The upside, however, was that I lost almost 2 lbs. I know that it was mostly water
but the numbers on the scale made me smile. After getting over the flu, I decided to
continue to watch what I ate and have not gained back the 2 lbs. Hopefully this weekend’s
“normal” eating will at least allow me to maintain my current weight.

I am still somewhat away from my goal weight. Although a 20 lbs. loss for the year was my
goal, at this point I confess I am happy that I will end the year most likely 5 lbs. lighter than
when it began. During the year, I have gained and lost about 10 lbs. It is just so hard, especially
since it (weight loss) is a subject that is hard to talk about without boring everyone. Some
people are just naturally thin, I know, but when I see what “naturally thin” people eat, there
is really nothing “natural” about it. They eat very little and only “the right stuff”…you don’t
see them going in for endless snacks, and if they do, it is usually fruit or veggies. Those of us
who put on weight just thinking about cookies, love to eat those cookies not just think about
them. In addition, we are drawn to starches, sweets and fats. It is a never-ending battle. Just
for the weekend, I would like to eat modestly, go to bed somewhat hungry and burn my energy
partaking of activities that I enjoy and will allow me to burn some calories. So far today, I am
on track!

 

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Another Approach to Weight Management

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I absolutely hate anything that promises to be “boot camp”.  I got invited to watch a webinar that was going to tell me all about the mysteries of weight loss or resistance to weight loss…what did I come away with? Not anything I didn’t know already although I did get a good explanation about dopamine and leptin! In any event, I am glad I reserved my space…and actually listened to the entire hour…and waited for the (sales) pitch…

While I was listening to the wonderfully sincere webinar “guru’s” pitch and story …I was mentally wondering how much I would be willing to pay (I am already doing WW at about $23/month). I watch my pennies, $23/month works to $276 with no added expense (unless I want to) for special food, equipment etc. What I want to do is live the rest of my days within a good weight for me…which I once was and was able to maintain for 25 years. I get annoyed that I allowed the weight back on…when the final price came at a price of more than $5000 for a private coach and the group price a bargain at $497 I felt like someone slapped me!

Wow, I am thankful, so thankful today. I know what to do, I need to do it and pay for the rest of this year until I reach my goal and then apply discipline, planning, prepping and NEVER EVER skipping breakfast but also not being silly enough to spend money like this. I am looking forward to getting a gorgeous headboard for my bedroom, many many high quality wooden bookcases and beautiful, colorful clothes to go with my lively personality. My hundreds of dollars can be spent in so many other ways. I hardly will have time to feel deprived, have cravings, etc.

I came away with the same answers I have always had, calories in and calories out, movement, a positive attitude and a lot of common sense. Although I can understand the wisdom of this particular program, I can also see how most people will still not be able to conquer it. Meanwhile, someone else is going on vacation, having a beautiful life on our hard-earned dollars.

What a shame…

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My philosophy on Weight Loss Programs

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Whenever I see a large cat like this, I am invariably reminded of the gangster movies I enjoyed as a teenager. You know the kind I mean, with the rich guys (fat cats) spoiling their loved ones  and crying over their loss even as background stories show how cold and horrible they can be to their enemies. Not sure what brought that up really, except that I watched a “horror/horror comedy” last night that really made me think about how awful people can be to each other.

As usual, the month is flying by. I can honestly say I have been very good about keeping track of my nutrition and have happily lost a bit over 3 lbs. since I returned home from my trip early last month. It doesn’t sound like much but since I lose very, very slowly and I am trying to eat all my daily points and weekly extras, I feel I am making some very welcome progress after plateauing for various reasons for a good number of weeks.  This month, I am committed to a challenge that will hopefully find me losing 5 lbs. before the end. We shall see, I have been doing my best to stay on track.

I recently read an article by an author who takes issue with weight loss plans. I understand her basic premise which is that any weight loss plan is created as a business first and does not really care about the individuals that follow or shall I say more accurately, pay to join and pay additional monthly installments, don’t follow the plan but also don’t quit the plan so essentially they are not losing anything but money. The author believes that the customers are victims of some cynical marketing plot.

It is my contention that most intelligent people have choices. Although it might not be easy to quit a program once you’ve joined it, it is not impossible. In other words, sometimes the paperwork to get out is complicated or the savvy marketing department has taught the people manning the phones to pitch ways in which the customer can improve their results and at the same time keep paying their monthly quotas. I understand all that but I still believe that one can indeed quit programs. My daughter did it recently and although she does confirm that the person on the other side of the line tried very hard to persuade her to continue, she was firm and was able to get out.

I have been pretty successful with my WW plan. This past couple of weeks have seen me focused on doing everything I can to lose at least 4 lbs. this month. My scale is in kilos so it is difficult to gauge with any exactitude but I will not purchase another scale just for that. I can see that the trend is downward and I am happy with that. And let’s face it, if one is overeating one doesn’t usually need a program or a tracker to tell us that.

At this moment, I am feeling very satiated. I had a good breakfast and for lunch I ate a whole half avocado which was juicy, tasty and filling. I hope I can have a good rest of the day, the weekends present a challenge because I am not as busy on weekends as I am on other days and have a tendency to look in the refrigerator more often than on week days. In any event, I am satisfied with my numbers today and figure that if I can lose one pound a week for the rest of the year, that will be 28 lbs. less than when I started! Down is good. I might stop there too since it will be exactly where I would like to stay for the rest of my life. It is doable and I know I can do it.

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