Tag Archives: weight management

Dealing with the Bugaboo of Weight

JANE
Jane

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.

 

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: 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!

Weight Management: In Praise of Water Aerobics

  

Jane

 

I have found, after more than a year of being on my weight management program, that, amazingly enough, there really is a direct connection between exercise and keeping my weight off.  Who would have thunk it?  I have fought this connection for years because I basically hate exercise.  I get bored by walking or running or stepping on an exercise machine.  I hate getting up early in the morning to go to a class.  So, I have never been any good at finding exercise I can do on a regular basis–until now.  I love deep water aerobics!  And I highly recommend it for women over 50! 

 

Deep water aerobics is basically water aerobics in the deep end of the pool, with or without a flotation device around your waist.  (I usually wear one because I’m phobic about drowning, but most people in my class don’t.)  There is something about deep water aerobics that makes it fun and soothing—at the same time that it works your muscles.  Maybe it’s because when you get tired, you can always lie back in the water and rest for a minute.  Or maybe it’s because you feel so weightless at the same time that you are trying to burn off weight.  Or maybe it’s because it’s one of the few kinds of exercise that doesn’t end up hurting my back when I get carried away with it.  My friend, Nancy, says it’s the only kind of exercise she can do that doesn’t end up hurting her knee—and she has had knee surgery!  And it’s not just for old codgers.  Our class is a mix of people of all ages. Continue reading Weight Management: In Praise of Water Aerobics