Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Thirteen Weight Loss Tips

How can this be? After years of trying and trying, I have finally lost 14 pounds! That is not all of the weight I am trying to lose but it has finally begun! It seems that every time that I have tried to lose weight in the past, I have gained weight. Just thinking about losing weight would make me gain weight. I walked 1/2 hour each day for years and years and slowly, inexorably, put on the pounds and I thought it didn't matter. But, I found out that all of the walking kept some of it at bay. This was borne out by the fact that when it rained for a couple of weeks one year, I didn't walk and gained 5 pounds!

I can recall many, many times making losing weight my number one priority, the one thing that would make me happiest in the world. I would sit down and make a detailed plan to lose weight. Eat healthier, eat vegetables, quit drinking sugared drinks, drink water, give up junk food, exercise (more). Then I would eat something to give me the strength to start, only, I wouldn't start.

This was so mystifying to me. Why would I eat (usually something I shouldn't) right after I had all this desire to lose weight? I read books and began to wonder what deeply psychological problem must be lurking about in my psyche to exhibit such contradictory behavior. Surely, someone could explain this to me so I could stop.

Truly, did I need psychoanalysis? Did I mention I even got hypnotised? (No help, either). I went to Weight Watchers and lost a few pounds but I don't do very well on diets and I refuse to count calories. I complained to my doctor and he referred me to a nutrition class where I learned that there is a real disconnect between what the US of A calls a portion size and what everyone else does. We had all of this lovely plastic food in class and I distinctly remember the nutritionist pointing to a plastic orange and saying, "have a baseball-sized portion of fruit". Maybe she didn't play sports because it looked more like a tennis ball to me than a baseball. I wasn't sure you could buy oranges that small. I didn't lose any weight.

Then I went to a different doctor, the Ob/Gyn and complained about not being able to lose weight and she said, "when you get to be a certain age, weight loss is almost impossible". Wonderful. I was finding that to be so true. So, we (I have an exercise partner)refused to accept that and upped our walking time to about 100 miles a month. I lost 6 pounds from May to November. Six months, 600 miles and 6 pounds. That would work out to be weight loss of one pound a month. Then no more even though, I was diligently working out at the gym.

We contented ourselves with the realization that we knew we would eventually lose weight but in the meantime, we had all sorts of other benefits. Increased strength, stability, lowered blood pressures, a feeling of accomplishment that we walked whether it was 100 degrees in the summer or raining on us in winter. The trainers were working with me on my "diet" but I was not making much headway even though they all told me that diet is 80% of weight loss with all sorts of helpful tips.

Then recently, I received an e-mail from one of the commercial blogs I subscribe to, to take a test to determine why I am overweight. Eureka! Free analysis. I was sure that my disorder could be pinpointed. So, I took the test. My results? I am overweight because, get this, I am an over eater! SERIOUSLY!!!

So, I was complaining to the trainers that I hadn't lost any weight since coming to gym even though I had really been eating less and better food (and I hadn't been to Jack in the Box for awhile and had given up root beer floats as well as thrown all the ice cream and chips into the trash). But I had been working out pretty diligently in the gym and still walking about 18 miles a week. So, the trainer really put me through a good workout and told me to not rest between sets to keep the intensity. I work out pretty hard but not as hard as when the trainer puts me through a workout. So right after all of my whining about not having lost any weight, I weighted myself at the gym and I lost 4 pounds but, I didn't believe it. I figured someone had monkeyed with the scale balance. So the next week I told this to the trainer and he told me that I could check out the scale by zeroing it out and to see if the balance arm was in the middle. And, it was. So that meant really I lost that 4 pounds. Only now, I had lost another 4 pounds.

So now I am on the Paleo or caveman diet which isn't really a diet but more of a lifestyle. I don't eat wheat, grains, potatoes, corn or legumes. For the most part. Mostly, I eat protein of fish, lean red meat, turkey and boneless, skinless chicken breast. For carbs I eat fruits and vegetables. I still have raw sugar with my tea. And, no, no high fructose corn syrup which is like the crack cocaine of food! For fats, I have lowfat cheese, 2% milk, nuts and oil for salad dressing and my consumption of butter is way down. I don't really restrict or measure what I eat except, I try to keep to this one cardinal rule which is, I STOP EATING WHEN I AM FULL.

Yes, I confess. I am not perfect and I fall off the food wagon, on occasion, and sometimes I know I am going to eat stuff not eaten by a caveman but it is a conscious decision and see Tip #10 & #11 below.

So, these are my weight loss tips:

1. Keep food preparation simple during weight loss.

2. Don't go on a "diet". Make healthier eating a lifestyle.

3. If you fall "off the wagon", it's okay. Just get back on. Accept that we are not perfect. We are human. Only our Heavenly Father is perfect. (I only wish Heidi Montag knew this.)

4. Make a grocery list and don't spend too much time in there. I find that after a certain amount of time, my willpower weakens and DORITOS! COOKIES! ICE CREAM! scream out at me as I pass their aisles on the way to the checkout stand.

5. Don't have conversations about food that you want to avoid eating. I was in Zumba class the other day and these 2 gals WOULD NOT SHUT UP! They were going on and on about all this decadent food as we were waiting to sweat our butts off for an hour to attempt to lose weight. The class probably wouldn't have burned off the calories in the dessert they were describing. I finally left the room to go stretch in the hallway after even putting my hands over my ears could not block out their conversation. (They were loud, too!)

6. Talk up good foods like just how yummy steamed broccoli is! Or, ooh, raw carrots! Or, how delicious salad made with arugula fresh from the garden is! Or, what a fabulous meatloaf you can make with lean ground turkey!

7. Don't watch TV cooking shows! Especially Paula Deen!!! Seriously. Unless you want to look like her. In fact, quit watching TV entirely or mute the commercials as 9 out of ten commercials seem to be about eating fast food. Watch TV shows like the one about Ruby Gettinger, whom I adore. At one time, she weighed 716 pounds and now is under 350 lbs. Go Ruby! She inspired us to get personal trainers (even though we are much smaller than she is) and listening to someone elses issues helps you with your own, it's just on a different scale, in our case.

8. Read, learn, try different stuff. Use what works for you.

9. Find a way to deal with stress. (I walk and talk to my workout partner but I think kickboxing would be fun, too!)

10. Eat only good quality food. Savor each bite as you chew it slowly and thoroughly. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate each forkfull. The first bite should be a 10. When it gets to a point that it is not as good because you are getting full, stop eating and save the rest for another meal.


12. Listen to your body. It is the best gauge of what is and isn't working for you.

13. Be in it for the long haul.

Here is a link to 52 Ways to Lose a Pound a Week

They are good, but, I have already done most of them.


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mental mosaic said...

Hmmm... the 2 comments before me look kinda spammy! Anyway, congrats on your weight loss. That's great you have found such a healthy way to eat and take care of yourself. I am still experimenting! :)

homebody at heart said...


It's has been and still is a work in progress. But, I feel so much better, that is when I'm not in pain! (But, it's a good pain.)