Tag Archives: Weight loss

Women over 50: Weight Management: Keeping It Off!

Jane

Why is it that keeping weight off seems to be the hardest part of losing weight?  It doesn’t make sense.  It seems that, once you’ve reached a hard goal you’ve set for yourself and lost the pounds you wanted to lose, you would then easily do what you need to do—no matter how difficult—to stay there.  After all, why in the world would you ever want to go back to where you were before? Why?  Because it’s so much easier to be fat! It requires no effort, no discipline, no early mornings, no record-keeping!  No conscious thought.  You can do it with your eyes closed!

And because there are always millions of voices in your head, pushing you to gain that weight back.  Here’s a sampling of what my voices say:

1)     (From inside the Snickers bar left casually on a counter or a delicious fudge dessert pictured on a menu): “I’m here!  Come get me!  What fun!”

2)     “Damn it!  Why shouldn’t I eat that bag of Cheetohs?  After all, I’m 95 pounds thinner than I was before!  Why shouldn’t I reward myself?”

3)     “You’re going to gain back that weight anyway, so you might as well just go ahead and get it over with.”  (This is a very discouraging and depressing voice.)

4)     “It’s too cold/dark/hot/miserable/boring to exercise.  Just turn over and go to sleep.”

5)     “You really don’t look as voluptuous as you used to look.  You’re starting to look a little scrawny.  Eat that ice cream, for God’s sake! You owe it to yourself.”

6)     “Join the crowd.  Don’t be a stick-in-the-mud!  Eat that pizza like everyone else and enjoy it.  Don’t make people feel bad by turning it down!”

7)     “Life is too hard/short/stressed to diet.  Go a little easy on yourself.”

8)     “Well, there you go:  you’ve eaten one caramel cluster, you might as well just eat the whole bag.”

9)     “Who’s going to know anyway?”

10) And, finally, the overwhelming one: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to eat something this incredibly scrumptious!  The chance may not come again!  Eat up!”  Continue reading Women over 50: Weight Management: Keeping It Off!

Update on My Weight Loss

                 Jane
Some friends have asked me to give an update on my weight loss and on how I’m doing, now that the program is officially “over.”  On paper, at least, I’m doing fine.  I’ve lost a total of 88 pounds, and I’m still being careful, still exercising.  But I have to say that this is the hardest part of the program for me.  It’s a lot easier, I’ve discovered, to stay on a program where you know you can have six chocolate shakes a day and nothing more than it is to have the whole world laid out in front of you, where you have to choose what and when you are going to eat!  There’s this tendency to jump up and down, celebrating and yelling, “I did it!”–that can mess with your head.  After all, if you have already succeeded at something, then why do you still need to think and work and struggle? 

It’s felt like a slippery slope lately.  One bite of chocolate chip cookie here.  Two tastes of bacon there.  I see how easily I could just slip right back into bad eating habits, no matter how much soul-searching I’ve done over the past few months.  Old, lifelong habits die hard.

I know 2 things now:  1) I will always have to think about my eating and keep it under control because I love food and am addicted to food (so there really is no finish line in this race) and 2) it will probably never get easier. 

 It helps to know that.  Continue reading Update on My Weight Loss

Final Week on Only Liquids

Jane
Jane

This has been my last week on only liquids, and I have to admit I’m scared of adding food back into my life.  I’m scared of losing the simplicity, the order, and the no-thinking-about-food state I’ve been living in. I’m going to have to actually put all this good knowledge, and therapy into practice and see if  I can stay strong.  People have told me they could never stick to a liquids-only diet, but it’s easy compared to living in foodland!  Not having to make choices about what to eat was blissful.  I’ll take my box of envelopes of protein drink and my little portable shaker any day!  Now I have to start thinking again about things like portion control, calorie allotment, nutrition, etc.   Oh yeah – and it’s the pyramid.

Scariest of all:  my fear of slipping back into binge eating?!  I can’t let that happen again. In my program, we talked this week about body image–and where our own images come from: from fellow nervous adolescents in our teenage years, from our parents, from the media.  It’s interesting to ponder how we see ourselves and why.  We also talked about the purposes weight can serve for people or the things that it says for us, such as “Stay away from me” or “I’m afraid to be myself” or “I have to do everything,  “I’m mad” or “You can’t control me.”  I know, in my case, at least part of it started out as a control game with my mother, who always liked to encourage us to diet with her, but things got more complicated along the way. I’m sure part of it was also feeling out of control with life, overwhelmed, so my weight was saying, “I give up.  I’m powerless.”  Worth pondering.

But what about this guy?  I guess his weight says the opposite:  “I’m powerful!”

Flypaper - Stuck on Style ...

I’m feeling powerful this week, since my BMI is down from 37 to 30, so I’m moving out of the “obese” category and into “overweight.”   My goals for the next 6 weeks, while in “transition” back to a normal life are to 1) get on a more regular exercise program 2) remember that this has been a life change and not a diet and 3) to stay strong and mindful.

Wish me luck!

Week Six Down and Heading forThanksgiving!

Jane
Jane

I realized today that I am halfway through the liquid portion of this program, so I’m feeling pretty amazed and proud of myself.  I made my first goal of 10% of my initial weight, so now I start working on the second 10%.  (The program guarantees that you’ll lose at least 20% of your initial weight during the 12 weeks of liquid, or “active weight loss.”  What you do after that depends on how well you stick to the “transition” program.) 

Our topic this past week was “Appropriate and Inappropriate Eating.”  We learned the 5 P’s of Appropriate Eating, i.e. Planned, Portion Controlled, Proportionate, Proper Place and Peaceful (apparently they’re not English majors concerned about parallel structure!).  A critical thing in being a successful “weight manager” is always to plan out, ahead of time, what, where and how you’re going to eat.  So, instead of going out to dinner and deciding to eat whatever happens to strike your fancy, in whatever portion happens to come on the plate, you would decide that you are going to make sure you get the different food groups, in the portions you need.  If the plate has huge portions, you will immediately ask for a doggy bag, reduce your servings to the size that fit your caloric needs, and take the abundance home with you for another meal–or, if all else fails, send food back to the kitchen.   

This all makes so much sense to me that I find it startling that I’ve gone through so much of my life being an unaware, almost unconscious eater.  I’ve been led by my eyes, nose, even my imagination, to overeat, over and over again–simply because my plate had too much food on it–or the wrong kind of food–never realizing that I could be in so much better control of what goes onto my fork and into my mouth.  I have confused planning and thoughtful eating with being a “picky” or “overly fussy” eater. 

That touches on the first 3 P’s, but I’d like to talk also about the last two:  Proper Place and Peaceful.  Proper Place means you don’t eat in front of the tv set or, worst of all, standing up in the kitchen, “grazing,” or at your desk, in front of your computer.  You are supposed to make rules about where you eat, preferably one specified place, and then stick to those rules.  I get pangs of guilt when I think of the meals my children have eaten in the car on the way to a soccer game, band concert, whatever.  The final one, “peaceful,” is one that also comes hard to me at times.  Meals in our house are often rushed, with people wolfing down food before running out the door.   An important quote from this week’s material:  “it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message you have eaten and turn off your food seeking drive.”  You are supposed to sit and enjoy your food, savoring each bite.  It’s hard, but I’m working on it!   They have an exercise for this one:  make yourself put down your fork in between bites!  Try it!  It’s hard! Continue reading Week Six Down and Heading forThanksgiving!

Signing up for a Hospital Weight Management Program and Wonderful Grown-Up Children

janeonswing

These two, totally unrelated topics just happen to be on my mind at the moment, and, since this is a blog, with no rules, I’m going to write about both of them.  First of all, I’d like to explore my decision to join the weight management program at our local hospital.

 Well, I’m too fat. That’s the main motivator.  Secondly, even though (and because) I have had no motivation to do anything except eat for the past year or so, I’m now at a point where my body is telling me to stop.  My ankles are hurting.  My back is hurting.  I’m tired of toting this weight around.  So, when I heard about this program and saw the wonderful results on a dear friend of mine, I started thinking about doing it.  Then, another wonderful friend of mine called me up and said she wanted to do it and would I go to the information session with her.  It all seemed like fate.  Finally, my mother, God rest her soul, always wanted me to go to one of these programs, and I resisted and resisted when she was alive, so, in a way, it’s a kind of tribute to her that I’m going now.  I’ve signed up to do a program that, among other horrors, involves twelve weeks of liquid diet.  It sounds pretty daunting, but I’m determined.  Continue reading Signing up for a Hospital Weight Management Program and Wonderful Grown-Up Children