Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Weight Struggle

It was time to bite the bullet and face reality. I had to face the fact that I am now over forty and my metabolism has slowed to the point I can't eat whatever, whenever. I've been lazy and unwise with my food choices. I eat out of stress and boredom, and really, if I'm not stressed I'm bored, so I eat -- a lot. Stepping on the scale was beginning to make me cringe, as was the fact that I don't do tight clothing and my clothes were beginning to get tight. I also don't exercise remotely as often as I should. On a good week it might happen twice.

 First off, I went to my family doctor to rule out a thyroid issue. Nope, nothing there. I talked to my doctor about the scale that continued to creep up. He was very sympathetic as he patted his widening girth. He recommended I read the South Beach Diet by Dr. Agastaton. A couple days later, I bought the book at one of our local thrift stores and poured over it. It made sense to me. It wasn't gimicky like so many things, or so rigid that I knew I would only last a few days and give up. So I decided to completely cut out the sugar and the carbs for two weeks. Bam!! Fourteen pounds and 29 3/4" melted away. I didn't follow his program exactly, as his recipes usually serve at least two people -- if not more, and it was only me doing the program. Between his recipes and Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet recipes, I was quite enjoying myself. Truth of the matter is, I LOVE to eat. I'm always (or was) looking forward to the next time I can eat. Now I still enjoy eating, but I'm not subconciously looking forward to the next meal or snack.

If I can lose another 15 lbs I will hit a nice goal weight, but it means I need to start exercising again, and truthfully, I hate to sweat! I also can't stand an audience -- which is virtually impossible with seven children. I'm considering swimming -- even though I don't swim that well. I figure it's a good all over workout and even though I'll still be sweating, it will be in the water. If you never see another post about my losing weight, you know I wasn't very successful in the exercise department.

What have I learned so far?  Well, first off, my life does not have to revolve around food.  I find I think about it less these days. I have also been doing quite a bit of reading about weight gain after age forty, food intolerances, adrenal fatigue, etc.,  and have made some discoveries of my own about weight gain and loss, and how my body works.  I am learning to keep the refined carbs -- and sugar especially -- to a minimum as I have discovered that too much of either one wreaks havoc with my system -- not only causing me to gain weight rapidly, but in other ways as well. I end up with bloating, cramps, headaches, and lots of acne too. Sometimes when I'm really craving something sweet I pop a piece of gum or I have one very small piece of chocolate. Then I guzzle lots of water. My biggest vice these days is coffee. I learned to drink it black many months ago and could care less if it's caffeinated, decaf, or half caf. I wish I could get more excited about the herbal teas, but there is something about them that I don't like and I always feel the need to add sugar and or milk. Even then I don't really appreciate them. I do however enjoy them iced without any additional sugar or milk. Strange, I know

I also learned that it's okay to have off days. These are the days when we're out and about all day, or we're visiting with company either at home or out. I will allow myself the cake, a glass of pop, white pasta, etc. I know I won't exactly be comfortable the next day, but after a day or two of avoiding the glutens and refined sugars, I'm feeling pretty chipper again. By chipper, I mean that I'm not tired or head-achy and have lots of energy. I always thought that God just didn't create me to be a high energy person. I now realize that that isn't the case. It's what I had been eating that I shouldn't have and wasn't eating that I should have been eating. It's really been an eye opener!

My goal is to drop another ten pounds by the end of September (I'll work on the final five after that). If I can do it, I am going to buy myself a pair of cowboy boots -- hefty price or not! I have wanted a pair for half of forever and this seems a good enough reason for me to finally have a pair -- and they'll look fantastic with a pair of jeans (provided I have any pairs that still fit me by then) going into the cooler weather! So there you have it! Please tell me I'm not the only one doing battle ;o)!!

 

11 comments:

  1. Wow Deborah, that's awesome!! My mom has also been working to lose those extra pounds. Her, my sister Erin, my best friend, and myself are all getting ready for a 5K in September.

    Can't wait to here more about your exercise plan! ;)
    ~Michlyn

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  2. Regardless of what eating plan you choose, research has shown, over and over again, the most successful weight loss programs include a food journal of some kind. No matter how it's packaged, it's always a matter of eating fewer calories than you burn off.

    My recommendation is sparkpeople.ca

    I've never seen any off-the-wall advice from the sparkpeople team (clients who use the site are another story). Their advice about nutrition and exercise matches what I've been taught. There's lots of support from other users and lots of recipes.

    Most of all, they stress it's not about dieting, but about healthy eating and staying at, or getting to, a weight where you are healthy.

    Have fun with it.

    Jocelyn

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  3. What a great post, Deborah! You are so wise to figure this out now because it really doesn't get better. Swimming is a great way to exercise and so is walking. When I was your age I kept my weight off by walking 3 miles during the weeks days and I would do one really long 5 mile on Saturday or Sunday.
    Another good book is Body by God
    http://www.amazon.com/Body-God-Owners-Manual-Maximized/dp/0785263179
    It follows a lot of the same healthy principals that you mention in your post. I think the most reasonable thing you said is that you give yourself "off" days. That means that you are approaching this as a lifetime change and not a "diet" that will last until you get to goal and then you go back to what you did before.
    I'm so proud of you and encouraged on my own journey!
    Thank yo for posting such an honest, transparent post about a subject so many of us fight everyday.
    Hugs
    ~a

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  4. Hurray for you! Deborah, I love how realistic you are - good job!

    Julie

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  5. I recently turned 50 and I would like to lose about 10 pounds. I love to walk, but I do not like to exercise. I know if I would simply cut out sugar, I'd do pretty well. I don't want to be on a "diet" but rather choosing a better way of eating and eating *good whole foods* instead of processed stuff. I'm a coffee drinker too and if I drink tea, it's got to be strong -- hot with a tiny bit of honey, cold with nothing at all. (We could be sisters!) Your post is inspiring!

    Jody

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  6. Good Job! I have some of the same issues. I have always had to "watch" what I eat but it seems now that I am over forty everything has slowed down. I do run but unless I reduce calorie intake nothing comes off.
    Good job on the weight loss... : )

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  7. Wow- good job!!

    So, tell me: How do you make meals for the rest of the family AND a meal for yourself??? Maybe I'm completely lacking self-discipline...or maybe I'm looking for excuses - but I'd like my whole family to eat the same things!!

    How do you do that?
    :)

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  8. Last year I did the 17 Day Diet, which is much like what you are doing and I too lost a lot in a short time. I wasn't sure that was a healthy way to do it, but by the time I realize it was coming off that fast, I'd already reached my goal. My hubby ate the same food I did, but he still got the potatoes, pasta, rice and bread that I was eliminating from my meals. Strangely he still lost weight along with me. Currrently I've had too many off days (fresh fruits get me baking) so it's time to get back on track. Eight pounds to lose at this point. Good luck and thanks for inspiring me to get back on track soon.

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  9. Deborah, here you are sharing your wisdom again. The scientific method seems to work in this area too. (hypothesis, research...etc)

    I have friends that have had success with the South Beach Diet. But like any "diet" it really will take a lifestyle change, and you seem to realize this too.

    Elimination of sugar as a daily part of your diet is always good. You will notice a difference in energy and pounds.

    Sidenote....I love iced tea without sugar...

    Excercise is a challenge at times. I walk almost daily and I do daily isometrics, but finding time for cardio workouts is not presently happening. Swimming is wonderful, but you need to consider the extra time involved with the dressing, undressing, dressing...

    Continue to share your journey...you can tell we all care...

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  10. Praying for you as you continue to love the Lord with all your strength! You are a brave woman, I make my family eat the same food I do. But they all get Saturdays off for baking since we LOVE to bake (and eat!).

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  11. Oh sweet friend you are NOT the only one doing battle. I am on my first week of the Maker's Diet again. But this time I am viewing it a bit longer. I am doing a combo between the Maker's Diet and GAPS diet. I am feeling so much better and my stomach is not so bloated. When I do (which I am not sure when) add grains back to my diet they will for sure be properly prepared. ( soaked or sprouted) I will be blogging very soon about all I am learning. I asked God to show me and boy has He! I am still trying to absorb all He is showing me so then I can share it on my blog, I promise.

    I can't wait to see a pic of you with your cowgirl boots! [o=

    Blessings and ((HUGS))
    -Mary

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