Thursday, April 02, 2009

Will work out for food

In case you haven't guessed from following this blog, dieting is just not my strong suit. I have a lot of habits that are really healthy, don't get me wrong. I don't like fast food. I eat breakfast every day at home. I like vegetables and I love fruits. I cook at home a lot and keep things healthy. I keep very little junk food in the house so I won't be tempted. If I want ice cream, I go out for one cone instead of buying a half gallon to keep in my freezer tempting me. I don't drink heavily -- usually if I have a drink it's one or maybe two. I don't binge.

Of course, I have bad habits too, or I wouldn't be here blogging about them. For me, the big downfall is snacking. I like salty snacks, especially. Cheese and crackers, Sun Chips, tortilla chips, Smartfood cheddar cheese popcorn, nuts. When I'm feeling anxious, I tend to want to eat something crunchy. I also tend to like starch-heavy foods like potatoes, bread, and pasta. Chinese food is the food of the gods. I also go to my sister's bar and eat tavern food once or twice a week, usually pizza but sometimes onion rings or fried fish. I like wine and beer with meals once in a while. Sometimes I enjoy my food so much that I eat a little more than I should. I have a sweet tooth and like to finish off a meal with a piece of dark chocolate or a cookie.

The thing that frustrates me after years of counting points and calories is how quickly it all adds up. Someone my size really doesn't get a huge calorie allowance. Fitting in the indulgences I like, even if they don't seem big, means that instead of being in a weight-loss mode of 1500-1800 calories, I can easily end up in a maintenance or gain mode of 2000-2500. I don't really know how people manage to do the 1200-1500 calorie diets that they blog about. I can do Weight Watchers for a while and get there, but it's hard and I'm really, really crabby. No one really wants to be around me when I'm in my first week or two of a diet. I hate the world.

It's not that my metabolism is slow, obviously. It's that my appetite and habits conspire to keep me about 15-20 pounds overweight. The only way I can manage to trick it into letting me lose is by working out a LOT. There is sort of a sweet spot with exercise where I'm burning enough calories to lose weight without bumping up my appetite. I'm working up to that point.

I just haven't learned yet how to manage things if I want to lose weight without doing so much exercise, or if I'm injured or sick and can't exercise. It's easier in the summer when there's all kinds of good produce around, but this time of year, it's tough. You can eat only so many apples and oranges.

Both my sisters are on Weight Watchers now and I'm happy about that. Type II diabetes runs in our family and we all tend to carry extra weight. It's not that they look bad -- they're beautiful -- but I want them to be healthy and feel good. I'm so tempted to join too... but I feel stupid spending the money on something that I should be able to do on my own.

I guess the thing that frustrates me is that I'm a person who is used to setting a goal and achieving it. In other areas of my life, I don't bellyache around and feel bad for not getting something done, I just do it. Why is this so much different? I keep trying to find a trick to make this easier and it really doesn't seem like there is one. The majority of people I see are my size or bigger, so obviously it's not easy for anyone.

I have made some small progress. Yesterday morning the scale said 171, which is down about 4 pounds from where I started. Still, I'd like to get things going at more than a pound a month! Hopefully the workouts will help get me there. I'm going for a run today, and it's supposed to be nice so I'll probably also get outside for a walk this evening.


  1. Hi! Delurking to say that if you want to join WW, then do it. Yes, we all know HOW to do it, but that doesn't mean we will. I think having that little extra push from being officially ON WeightWatchers might just make the difference for you.

    (No, I don't work for WW. This is just my .02)


  2. my thoughts exactly! No better time to join than when you have buddies to help support and encouraging you and you them! One of the funniest things about ww is WE ALL KNOW HOW TO DO IT but attending meetings and getting weighed actually makes us accountable - go on do it!!!!!! I bet it'll reeeeallllyyyy help!! I dont work for ww either i just know it works!!!! And you do too right? Lifetime member?!

    LUCK!!!! look forward to reading all about it xx

  3. "but I feel stupid spending the money on something that I should be able to do on my own"

    What jumped out at me here was the SHOULD. In my life, that's a bad word- no such thing as should- I spent far too much time trying to make the world and my life conform to my idea of the way things SHOULD BE. Why should you be able to do it on your own? If we were all able to just do it on our own, then we wouldn't have the weight problme that we have in this country. If you need the structure of weight watchers, then you need it- it's well worth the money... If you truly want to do it on your own, then you know the decisions that you have to make to get it done. Whatever you decide will be the right choice for you.

    Good luck!

  4. I would join with them! For me, it's not the money for something I could do myself (that would be me joining alone). It's a once in a lifetime chance to have two people I care about working hard WITH me, and all three of us doing the same thing. It will so much fun.

  5. I figure it takes whatever it takes to get me to do what I already know I need to do. If I need to play head games with me, I do it. My monthly weigh-ins are silly since I never attend a meeting, but that is what keeps me at my goal weight, at least once a month. If there was a sensible solution Oprah would have discovered it. So in the meantime, we do what we have to do.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07