Category Archives: Weight Management

Dealing with the Bugaboo of Weight


When I stepped on the scales at my annual physical, I realized that I have gained back a large portion of the weight I lost in my weight management program a few years back.  In the face of this sad reality, I have two choices:

1)  I can feel ashamed, try to hide this news from myself, get depressed, and gain back the rest.

2)  I can admit it to myself and do something about it.

The first option is tempting because it’s so much easier, but I’m going for the second.  It’s time to face up to the facts:  after losing all that weight and being convinced I would never gain it back because it cost so much to lose it in terms of time, effort, and most of all, money, I need to realize that my issues with food run deep!

I wish was my weight!
I wish this was my weight!

Here is how I know I need help:

1)  I eat when I’m stressed.

2)  I eat when I’m happy.

3)  I eat when I’m sad.

4)  I eat when I’m mad.

5)  I eat to celebrate big changes and grieve others.

6)  On and on.

And I’m talking about over-eating here, the kind of eating where your hand is just slightly  out of the control of your brain and picks up food and puts it in your mouth even after your body has plenty of calories and nutrients. 

fork and foodSo, I’m writing about all this here, in the hope that there are others like me out there who might want to share their thoughts—in the form of a comment or a guest blog post—especially if they have found things that have helped them make big mental breakthroughs. 

Here’s my plan for tackling this:

1)  I’m going to start reading those books that have been sitting idly on my shelf, i.e. books with titles like Women, Food and God, or Feed Me, or Thin for Life. 

2)  I’m going to admit to myself that I need some therapy because I’m tired of feeling out of control and I’m tired of acting like I’m not.

3)  I’m going to take steps toward getting my body back in shape by trying to eat less and taking a beginning yoga class, since my sister-in-law and Annice both tell me that it’s great for both strengthening muscles and relieving stress.

4)  I’m going to make myself not set goals I can’t reach, and I’m not going to feel shame about any of this.  My mantra is going to be:  “You can do this.  One day at a time!”

5)  (It seems good to have a five-step plan!) Any time I make any headway, I’m going to try to make myself take a breath and pat myself on the back, since if I don’t congratulate myself on the little steps, the big steps might never happen. 

If you have reactions, please comment or send us a blog piece.  I know I can’t be the only over-50 woman who wonders how it is even possible that she is still dealing with this crap!

Why I Hate Trying to Lose Weight

Well, I’ve gained some of my weight back, and it’s really depressing.  It didn’t happen suddenly–just gradually, over time, as soon as the stress in my life rose to a fever pitch.  So, I’m back trying to get these pounds off, since I’m determined never to go back to where I was before!

But here’s what I hate about trying to lose weight:

1) It is boring to eat salad after salad after salad, day after day after day.

2) I don’t like feeling like I’m constantly waging a battle with myself.  On the one hand, there is my logical self that says, “You can do this!  You did it before.  It’s no big deal.  Just move away from that chocolate ice cream and see the results in the morning.”  On the other, there is my shoot-myself-in-the-foot, independent self that says, “Life is too short not to eat chocolate.  To hell with  Weight Watchers!  To hell with all those so-called experts.  You want to enjoy life!  Go on!  Eat it!”  It’s wearing to be in a constant state of unrest.  It makes me wish I were one of those skinny people who have either never had a weight problem and can eat whatever they feel like–or who simply have the ability to walk past, say, a piece of pecan pie sitting on the dining room table and keep going–people who are not constantly beckoned by food the way I am.

3) I hate exercise.  There, I’ve said it out loud.  I would almost rather go to the dentist than go to the gym and walk on a treadmill or do the elliptical.  Even when I add music or a good People magazine to the mix, it’s not enough to make it fun.  The only fun I’ve ever had exercising in my life has been when I didn’t think of it as exercising, such as when I was on the volleyball team in high school.

4) I hate the fact that here I am, at 59, still trying to lose 20 pounds.  Will I be doing this at 70?  At 80?

5) I hate how trying to lose weight makes me feel out of control with my life.

6) It’s so easy to put weight on and so hard to get it off!

This is clearly just a rant, so I’ll quit!  I’d love any thoughts from any of our readers on this horrible subject.


Everything’s Relative: Thoughts on Weight and Size

Oops50 is happy to welcome a new guest writer this week:  Cheryl Dietrich.  Cheryl is a retired Air Force officer, living and writing in Asheville, NC.  Her book, In Formation: What the Air Force Taught Me about Holding On and Manning Up is awaiting publication.  You can read more of her work at  


I have a friend who’s a size zero. We met years ago in the Air Force. She told me about having to have her uniforms tailored specifically for her, about the inconvenience and the expense. I didn’t tell her that I entered the Air Force in my size twelve-ness, only to discover that Air Force uniforms were made small. So I had to buy fourteens, but even they were too tight. They clung to every round part, of which I have always had plenty. 

 Still I stubbornly stuck to size fourteen, though I often felt I would bust a seam. And one day I did:  a gentle parting of the ways right up the back of my pants—hilarious on TV but a horror of humiliation when it happens to you. Not that it was dramatic, merely a small slit, not (I insist on believing) apparent to anyone else. I quickly threw my coat on to cover it up. That little rip drove me to military clothing sales where I purchased my first size sixteen.

My friend and I went clothes shopping one day. She bemoaned the difficulty of finding clothing in her size.

 “What’s below a size zero?” I asked.

 “You go to the little girls’ department. And good luck finding anything there.”

As a general rule, the smaller the size, the more expensive the store or clothing line. My friend had to shop at specialty stores and boutiques, expensive places to buy clothing. Most of these stores had nothing above a size ten. When I flipped through items on the racks, worried-looking clerks hovered near me, as if they thought lipids would ooze out of my pores and soil the clothes.

Pant Sizes Chart

I have another friend, a civilian, who’s proud to be a bleeding-heart do-gooder, an old-fashioned liberal and newfangled progressive–a good, kind woman, tall and thin. We were at lunch one day, sitting on an outside patio, a light breeze playing around us. I’d resisted my urge for enchiladas and was trying to enjoy a fresh salad with salmon. My friend studied a group of women at another table, then sighed and turned back to me.

“You know,” she said, “I think I’m being honest when I say I don’t have any prejudices toward any group of people. Except one:  fat people.” She laughed, shrugged, and took another bite.

I nibbled on a piece of lettuce and thought: It’s official:  fat is now the acceptable bias. 



Disconnection, Connection and the Local Food Movement

I was attending a conference on local food production this week, and one of the speakers talked about how children have become disconnected from food.  She described children in downtown Philadelphia who had no idea that peanuts came from a plant that grew in the ground or that milk actually came from cows. 

It made me think about the many ways that people have become disconnected or distanced from reality.  Just as processed foods keep us removed from the reality of farmers tilling the soil, credit cards keep us distanced from the reality of money flowing out the door; automatic payroll deposit does the same thing for money coming in.


Text messaging and email keep us distanced from friends.  Why bother to walk down the hall and talk to someone if you can text them your question?  Hair dyes and plastic surgery keep some folks distanced from the reality of aging.  Junk food ads and jingles—especially the ones that stress the kind of “you deserve a break today”thinking—have brought about a disconnection between our mouths and our brains.  Obesity is at the highest level it has ever been in this country, but it’s hard to make us realize our own role in making ourselves fat.  It’s much easier to hope there is a new type of pill or surgery that will make the fat go away quickly.   

News shows, with unending pictures of people fighting in Afghanistan or children starving in Somalia keep us distanced from the realities of war and human suffering.  If everything fits into a YouTube video, which we can choose to watch or not to watch, it makes it easier  for us also to choose not to think too hard about those things.  I remember on September 11 having the disturbing realization that I was grateful to be able to turn off the TV picture of the towers falling—even while knowing that the people who lived or worked near the World Trade Center would never be able to turn off the picture in their heads. Continue reading Disconnection, Connection and the Local Food Movement

Women over 50: Ten Steps to Weight Maintenance




I’m writing this really as a reminder to myself.  These are things I’ve come to learn, in this year of trying to keep this weight off me.  I share them with our readers, in case it helps!

Ten Things to Help Me Keep Weight Off (or Lessons Learned the Hard Way):

1) Exercise every day, if only for 20-30 minutes.

2) Wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it every time you feel like eating something you shouldn’t.  If it actually hurts, it is having a physical effect on your brain—and changing the channel!

3) Try to eat dinner early—and brush your teeth right after eating.

4) Chew sugarless gum any time you get a hunger craving.

Do some Yoga!

5) When you are feeling sorry for yourself and think you “deserve” that chocolate sundae or that bag of Cheetos, pamper yourself some other way.  Take a nice, hot bath.  Read a book.  Listen to soothing music.  Go to a movie (but skip the popcorn). Continue reading Women over 50: Ten Steps to Weight Maintenance