Published March 18, 2010

Losing Weight: Days 16-18 - Don't Give Up

by Helen M. Ryan

"I'm back...back in the saddle again." The famous line from Aerosmith's "Back in the Saddle Again" rings through my head as I write this.
I've been back in the saddle since my fateful slip on Day 14. While it amazed me how much fatter I felt after just one binge, it's equally amazing how much thinner I feel a few days later. I've been back in control four days now and it's going well. I think I scared myself straight.
One of the lessons I learned this last week was that all work and no play makes Helen a very bored girl. And a bored girl left alone with a tray of really good brownies and a bag of M&Ms is apt to find a way to entertain herself.

Another valuable insight I discovered is that:

Like earthquakes, we can feel binges coming on. The stress builds - your control cracks - more stress builds - more cracks appear - then wham! Earthquake (or binge, as it were). We need to recognize the pre-shocks and find ways around them.

I am no less stressed than I was last week. I am no less tired. In fact, I am still feeling like I am fighting some virus. Usually when I am "fighting something off," or sick, I give myself license to eat. However, I am a still a woman on a mission - to fit into my pants. They are all a size too small.
I stepped on the scale this morning and sure enough - it has not changed. Interesting for me to note that little tidbit. As someone who blasted through 82 pounds in 10 months in 2003/2004, the fact that I have lost 1.5 pounds in 18 days is kind of discouraging. However, I am not giving up.

Time to Re-Assess

Last time I embarked on a weight loss journey I was 37 years old. I am turning 44 in a week. I am discovering that my body is indeed playing dirty little tricks on me.
I need to outsmart my body because the old ways don't work now. How will I do that? By trying different variables - seeing what works for me NOW, versus what worked for me THEN. Everything is possible - when you find the right combination.

Variable 1:
My older body is probably using sugars (like from carbs) than it was, yet I am eating the same amount of them. This week I am making a concerted effort to cut back on breads/grains (but not cut them out), especially in the evening. This is very hard for a carboholic like me. I start every morning with oatmeal. It's the reason I get out of bed every morning, so that one stays. The others...they are negotiable.

Variable 2:
Water. I dislike drinking water because I don't like to use the restroom all day long. My doctor told me that I need to eat some naturally saltier foods to retain some of this water. I already do that, but I am going to see if I can add something (EmergenC or 100% fruit juice splash) to my water and to try to retain any more of it. It seems like 1 cup in = 4 cups out and I am getting very irritated.

Variable 3:
More vegetables. I will eat more deeply colored veggies. Sounds like it makes sense, I know, but it's harder than it looks. I love low fat frozen pizza, for example, and Lean Pockets. High on carbohydrates, low on vegetables. So I can take a whole grain pita pocket instead and stuff it with veggies, throw a bit of low fat cheese inside and microwave it for a bit - making a high-fiber, high-vegetable pizza pocket of my own.

Variable 4:
Move my body more. Yes, I know I teach Spinning, and it's incredibly demanding. I lift weights, too, though I have been petering out a bit on that. The rest of the day, though, I sit in front of the computer, writing or designing, and I don't move. That's not a good thing. So this week my goal is to add a little bit of exercise at the opposite time of my usually structure exercise (i.e. if I teach in the morning I will need to do something moderate later in the day or in the evening). Keep my metabolism hopping. Hop, hop, like a bunny (we rarely see fat bunnies out in nature, now do we?)
That's my plan.
Onward and forward.
Until tomorrow.

Share your thoughts. I'd like to hear from you. You can do so anonymously if you want.

Is it harder for you to lose weight now that you are older than it was when you were younger?

7 hours of sleep.
1 hour of Spinning.
For food?

  • Oatmeal with flax seeds, walnut silvers and 60% cocoa chips - breakfast
  • Mocha Frappe Light (again, loaded with chemical sweetener - ugh) - snack
  • More coffee with bad-for-you nondairy creamer - snack
  • Boca Burger with green beans and low fat cheese - lunch
  • Apple - snack
  • String cheese - snack.
  • I forgot dinner. Oops.

[Click on the Weight Loss category to read earlier posts...from Day 1 and on.]