I’ve located the extra weight. Two weeks ago I posted that the weight scale showed a gain of several pounds, while my tape measure didn’t show much difference. It’s because the weight has gone south. I was focusing on the wrong half of my body.
Okay, so now that I’ve identified the parameters of the problem, it’s time to get serious. A few years ago I had my major struggle to lose weight and although I reached my goal and maintained it for a good couple of years, I’ve done some backsliding in the past several months. I guess everyone does and that’s called life. While I recognize that at 5 feet 2 inches and 130 pounds, I do not count as overweight, I also know that repeatedly saying, “So I’ve put on a few pounds. I’m fine!” is exactly how you become overweight. Say that once every few months and pretty soon I’ve gone up a clothing size, then another, etc.
Since I refuse to give in to the inevitable American blobitude (even if it is inevitable), I’ve come up with a plan for (re-)losing the extra pounds and getting back to my ideal weight. I figure it's easier to lose eight pounds now than to lose twenty pounds later. Some of these are the habits I used years ago to lose weight, but the first four are new.
1. No eating in front of the tv or computer screen.
2. Sit down to eat.
3. No desserts or snacks with refined sugar after 3 p.m. This is because I’ve noticed that the later it is in the day, the more sugar upsets my digestion, but it’s also got my calories down.
4. If it doesn’t have significant fiber content, don’t eat it. This is mainly because I’m in constant battle with my eliminatory organs, but it’s also got my calories down.
5. Keep doing the stuff I already do: exercise every day, drink only water, learn to love fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins and lowfat dairy foods, forget about fried foods, fast foods, highly processed foods, coffee, alcohol and fatty meats.
6. Keep a daily log of every single bite and swallow and stay within my calorie goal. I do not enjoy this, but I have to admit I can’t lose a significant amount of weight without this kind of vigilance. Each day the calories I burn have to outnumber the calories I consume. Keeping a running total is the only way I can be sure I’ve got the equation right.
7. Don’t give up when there’s no change in weight after a week.
8. Don’t give up when there’s no change in weight after two weeks. But if there’s still no change after that, then it’s time for me to figure out what’s going wrong (cheating, using incorrect calorie values, etc).
9. Don’t give up when I’ve been losing weight, but then the weightloss stops and I “plateau” for a week or two.
10. Eat this way even when I'm away from home, especially in restaurants! This is critical because I know where the weight gain mostly came from: it came from having a relationship (incredibly) with a guy who tends to say, "Let's just eat out." Indulging in all of it, from appetizer to dessert, is fun and fine when it happens once every few months, but not when it's a couple of times a week. Duh.
I’ve been following this plan since Monday, with no change in weight so far, of course. I’m committed to sticking with it and shedding several pounds by July. I will not celebrate my 40th birthday having started the inevitable slide towards American blobitude.
Or I will celebrate my 40th birthday having started the inevitable slide towards American blobitude. There could be some biological aging reason why this weightloss will be harder than previous weightloss. It's entirely possible that I might turn 40 in despair over my slowing metabolism, failure to lose anything, and the start of the slide. I'll just try not to think about it.