Monday, April 15, 2013

How to Simply Lose Weight

Well, I have officially lost 13 pounds. I started my diet on February 2 and this is the longest amount of time I have ever stayed on a diet in my life. This is really my  un-diet. I am not dieting, I am hopefully forever changing the way I eat. 

I began at 173 pounds. For most of my adult life, I have consistently weighed between 160-165 but lately the scale had started inching upwards. I felt depressed and self-conscious.   

The most I have ever weighed in my life was 180.  I weighed 180 for exactly one day about 10 years ago. I stepped on the scale, looked down and almost fainted. 180 was only 20 pounds from 200! I immediately started eating less and dropped a little weight. My husband refers to these as my middle-age Goth years because I always dressed head-to-toe in black. When I look back at pictures, it always looks like I am on my way to a funeral or a Johnny Cash Fan Club meeting.

Of course, these were pictures I couldn't avoid being in. The fattest people will always jostle for a position in the back or grab a small child to hide behind. Once I was at a work function where a group picture was to be taken. Many of the attendees were overweight. It was very hard for the photographer as the individuals were constantly milling about trying to get a prime position on the back row. It was like the equivalent of photo musical chairs...only no chairs, no music. Just random shuffling about until the picture was taken. Personally, I was rather roughly manhandled and shoved in the front by an overweight middle manager.

So, why do I have no problem telling you my weight?  Number one, it is doubtful you are looking at my 160 pound body and thinking I am 125. Most people tend to look at others and mentally add about 20 pounds. By telling you I weigh 160, I am really just correcting you from thinking I weigh 180. 

For example, I ran into an acquaintance recently who commented on my weight loss. She then confidently mentioned to another friend that it looked like I had lost about 30 pounds. I had at that point lost 10 pounds. I was not flattered by her comment. 

"She was just saying you look good," my husband stated. "No, she was verifying she thought I used to weigh 200 pounds," I said wryly. So why do women always comment on each others weight? 

"I don't care if a woman is wearing a T-shirt with a giant arrow pointing down and  the printed message "Baby on Board". I'm not assuming she's pregnant," my husband swears. "For all I know she had that kid six months ago and just hasn't lost the baby weight. I accidentally swagger onto enough verbal mine fields without deliberately throwing myself into harm's way. It's always better to let the woman bring it up and then act extremely surprised." 

My husband is pretty smart. 

A slightly overweight friend told me a story about a man who asked her when her baby was due. "I didn't know whether to cry because he had just blatantly pointed out I needed to lose weight or to be extremely flattered he thought I was young enough to have a baby!" 

We've probably all been there. If you put on a little weight on in the mid-section, some (at best) clueless or (at worst) catty individual who feels the need to bring it to your attention so you can cry yourself to the sleep that night. How often do paunchy men have to endure this indignity?

I have often asked myself why women are mean to each other? Why are we always constantly comparing ourselves to each other and finding fault? Instead of saying, "Have you lost weight? (a negative comment), why don't we just say "Wow, you look great! (a positive comment)? Are we really all just that insecure? 

A woman once asked me what size I wore.

"Twelve," I responded. I weighed about 158 at the time. 

"I'd sure like to know what store you shop at," she replied cattily, implying I was lying about my dress size. 

Here's the thing. I own a cat. I don't need another one. A tongue can be as sharp as claws and just as hurtful. I am constantly working at controlling my own.

One way I have simplified my life is by limiting my exposure to negative people. Those people who make snide comments that leave you wondering, "What did she mean by that?" Life is full of enough stress. Find friends who love and support you. 

Here are a couple of ways I am simply losing weight. As stated, I track calories and try to stay in the 1300-1400 net calorie range each day. To do this, I use an app called "my fitness pal". It makes it extremely easy to track calories and exercise. This app has two features I especially enjoy.

One, it has the ability to scan the bar codes on food items and then automatically add them to your daily calories. Two, it has a recipe builder feature. You input all the items in a recipe (especially easy if they are scannable) and the number of servings, the app then calculates the calories and other nutritional information per serving.

You can also "friend" others for support and encouragement. 

Another website I am really loving is  This website has many lower calorie recipes. I really liked the "Cajun Chicken Pasta on the Lighter Side" and many others. Best of all, it's free which really appeals to my frugal side.

What are your weight loss secrets and stories? Please share. Remember, we are all in this for the long haul.  We are tortoises, not-flash-in-the-pan-fad-diet hares. 

Oh, and by the way, I bought some size 12 shorts this week and I shop at Goodwill. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your post! I have been struggling with weight gain / loss for the last 5 years. Constantly going up and down, from one extreme to another. Being 5'2" it seems to really show on my short frame. I also do some of the same things you do. It was so refreshing to read your blog. Kudos to you! Keep up with the positive thinking! You are a beautiful person inside and out!