Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Finding a Weigh Out of Fat! Volume I

I've been trying to figure out where to start this post...should I begin with how I got fat, why I got fat or when, why and/or how I decided to get UN-fat? I've decided that the UN-fat part of the story is probably the best part to go into. After all, I can condense the "getting fat" into a few short sentences: I got fat because I ate a lot and didn't exercise. I ate a lot and didn't exercise because I got too caught up in the minutia of life and forgot to take the time to actually live it. As for when I got fat...that started the day I married Randey and started cooking good ol' Southern food for him (fried chicken, fried steak, fried potatoes, fried this and fried that. Not to mention the breads...rolls, biscuits, toast, etc., etc., etc.). Yep. Frying everything and eating bread can take you from a size 5 to a size 18 long before you can even get all your kids grown! Hence my issue with weight. As I mentioned before, I finally had to face the fact that I was fat. Just downright FAT. Not fluffy, not chubby, not plump. Just FAT. Then I had to make a decision. I'd been unhappy about my weight for a long, long time, but not enough to actually do something about it. I guess I thought that maybe all the tricks I'd used way back in the day, when dropping 5 pounds was just a matter of eating right for a day or two, would work if I tried them often enough. However...I eventually had to face the fact that once your body has given birth 4 times over and your muscle mass has faded into mush and gravity has taken its toll - not to mention the ravages of hormones on a no-longer-youthful body - little tricks don't and won't work like they used to. So I was left with this: either accept that I was going to be a fat granny for the rest of my life and be satisfied with that self-image, or I'd have to commit to something serious and give weight loss one more big effort. I chose to commit. And boy was it hard! I did a little research and decided that Weight Watchers was the way for me to go. (Having heard from Joan that it was a great program helped, too!) They have a good success rate and the cost is fairly reasonable (especially compared to other methods out there!). I got online and "found" a meeting in my area that fit with my schedule. Then I went to that meeting. That was probably the hardest part of this journey. The first real step. It was like what I imagine an AA type meeting for fat people to be like: "Hello, I'm fat and I want to change. Can you help me?". It all seemed a little hokey to me, but what the heck? I wanted to be able to tell myself that I had "tried everything" before I resigned myself to permanent residence in Fatland. Still, I honestly didn't think Weight Watchers would work for me, but I also didn't think I could look at myself in the mirror if I didn't at least try it. So I told myself I'd give it 4 months. Four full months. If my weight hadn't changed at the end of that time, I'd pat myself on the back for giving it a try and I'd drown my sorrows in a tub of Cold Stone Creamery yumminess. And I'd embrace the fat granny that was ME. But lo' and started working. I followed the plan, I didn't cheat on anything, I even started moving a little more (taking walks in the evenings, etc.) and the pounds starting coming off. Not too fast, mind you, but that's the way it's supposed to work. You might lose a little more in the first 2 weeks, but the goal is to lose only around 1 to 2 pounds a week. As of today, 12 weeks after I started the program, I have lost a total of 29.4 pounds. (Like I said, I lost a little more per week the first two weeks.) My goal is to lose another 25. Weight Watchers goal for me is to weigh 120, if you can believe that. Personally, I'm not aiming quite that low. No point getting crazy with this weight loss thing, eh? I mean geez, I haven't weighed 120 since 1978 and I'm afraid that if I weighed that now, I'd look like an anorexic old hag with a ginormous head. lol I'll be content if I can accomplish the goal I have set for myself. Now I'm not advocating that everyone out there join Weight Watchers. They don't pay me to recruit for them you know. LOL But it's a program that is working for me. Even the hokey meetings seem to do me good. I can surround myself with people who understand my struggles and vice versa. We support each other for that little 30 to 45 minutes a week and it's wonderful. It helps.

The moral of the story here? I guess I'm trying to say that you shouldn't settle for being fat if being fat is not what you want to be. Understand that there are no easy fixes out there, though. Regardless of what weight loss program you chose, you'll have to retrain yourself to think differently about food. It's not just about following a program, it's about making lifestyle changes. It's about making a decision to lose weight and then making a commitment to get the job done. I'd like this first post to be about the best tips out there to help each other to lose weight. My tip for you? Learn that food is not your friend. Food is not your friend, your pal, your comfort, your entertainment and/or your reward! Food is fuel for your body. Period. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy eating. It just means you need to understand the roll in your life that food should have and not give it an emotional importance it doesn't deserve. Start telling yourself (over and over and over again) that food is fuel, not love, and you'll start to think of it in a whole new light, I promise. Now what tips do you guys have? What has helped you the most? What's your biggest downfall that you think you need help with? How do you survive the munchies? What snacks work best to satisfy you without adding pounds? I'll compile all the tips I receive this week into next Wednesday's post so give us your best ones here, okay? Can't wait to hear what you have to say!!
P.S. Tomorrow I'll be posting about our Florida trip!


  1. Great post, Kari. And congratulations on the weight loss so far. You're doing great. So true that food is just fuel. You can't use food as a comfort blanket. It won't solve your problems.

    OK, this week. I started on August 1. My weight on that date was 4.2 pounds lower than my highest this year, so I'm giving myself credit for those pounds. Today, I'm at a loss of 2.6 for this week, 6.8 total. I'm 29.4 from my goal.

    I was doing really well this week - counting points, drinking a lot of water, eating the right foods like fruits and veggies. I even started walking some. Then yesterday, instead of walking, I painted Shelby's room - up and down the ladder a gazillion times. So that counted as exercise. But then Dom and I went out to dinner. I had broiled scallops (not bad), a medium baked potato (OK), and a nice salad. Here's the bad - blue cheese dressing (but not a lot), 2 dinner rolls, and BUTTER. Way too much butter, but it tasted so good. But that's just one night. I know to get back on program right away, and I did that.

    It took me a long time to gain all this weight. I had lost about 50 pounds 5 or so years ago and put back most of it. So I know that I can do it - it's just going to take time. And I'm going to stick to it this time. I've tried before, but gave up after a couple of weeks. Not because I wasn't losing weight - I was - but I got bored and tired of being careful. This time I will do it. I have a goal - we're going to Hilton Head next April with my brother and sister, and I WILL have the weight off by then. I'm giving myself 7 months to lose 32 pounds. That's only about a pound or so a week.

    I'm glad that I have someone to whom I'm going to be accountable. I really don't want to go to WW meetings, so I'm counting on you, Kari, and others who will join us to keep me honest.

    Some tips - don't expect miracles. Drink plenty of water and get in calcium daily. Don't deprive yourself of something that you really want, just have it in moderation. Exercise, if only a little bit each day. It gets easier in time. If you have a bad day, just get back on the horse and go on. Forgive yourself - no one is perfect. Write down what you eat - when you see what you're eating, you're more aware of the amount and type of food. Be accountable to someone.

    We can all do this together!

  2. EXCELLENT post! Hello, my name is Donna, and I am a fattie. With a lot of hard work about 6 years ago, I got skinny and felt great. It lasted about 3 years and then all #### broke lose with my job.

    I started back on the weight loss program again this year, now that I am retired. I did really good until our vacation in April. I have been making no progress since then. Yuck. My salvation has been exercise. At least I haven't gained weight back. The routine exercise (cardio and weight training) at a fitness center has kept my muscles from sagging and prevented weight creep.

    I've got to get back with watching what goes in my mouth. Thank you for the little mental push.

    Here is my biggest tip besides routine exercise. Many years ago, a very rich man told me a powerful secret. It has never failed to help me in all aspects of my life, when I embraced its simple wisdom. It is this - Success is a decision.

  3. See you are doing great still loosing after going on vacation, that is AWESOME. I am still sitting at my 125, the same weight I was when I got pregnant (which is pretty impressive at only 3 1/2 months after giving birth?). So even though I haven't lost any pounds in the past three weeks, I am maintaining and that's good enough for me. My goal is to loose 7 pounds. 118 was the lowest I have weighted in my marriage to Nick and I loved it.

    So as for what I have been doing. I have changed so many things in our house. We now have brown rice, multigrain spagetti and macaroni. I don't buy any snacks unless they are 100 calories or below. My favorite snack is the frozen fudge bars that have no sugar. I have been eating lean cuisines and weight watcher meals for both lunch and dinner. Breakfast usually consist of cereal or fruit. I love the Mott's Healthy Harvest Granny Smith no sugar added applesauce. It is YUMMY! I am still fighing with a few challenges like coke, ( I allow myself one every other day, but hope to get it down to one a week) cake, and my favorite ice cream at Baskin Robbins. I figure if I want it that bad I can cheat every once in a while. Otherwise I may end up feeling so deprived that I cause myself to gain weigh rather than loose it. Oh and I have begun crunches at night and trying to walk more. I am really hoping to see the scales drop soon, fingers crossed. The highlight so far has been that my friend commented two days ago that my thighs looked thinner. YAHOO!!!

    Hope to talk to you soon! Love you!

  4. When we go on a "program" we do get very analytical, I find. It's good to know what triggers us. I enjoyed reading your post and learning more about what makes you tick. I tick in more or less the same ways. My metabolism is a mess...what are you doing about exercise?

  5. UGH! I know I have GOT to get started on a program again! And SOON! I did so well two years ago! I lost approximately 40 lbs. (Still needed to lose another 40 lbs on top of that) But, I have gained it all back!

    I also did it with Weight Watchers. It's what works for me. (When I am actually doing something) And walking! I love to walk! I have all of Leslie Sansone's DVDs. I used to do the 5 mile one at least 5 times a week. Sometimes, I even did it twice a day. Now, I will be lucky if I can do the 2 mile.

    The reason I like her DVDs so much is because you can do them at home. You don't have to worry about the weather. You can do it whenever YOU want, in the privacy of your own home. Plus, I really like Leslie's personality.

    I really don't have any tips right now, because obviously, I am not losing anything at the moment.

    I guess the only thing I can say is, find something that you really enjoy doing for exercise. Like, walking, dancing, belly dancing, hula hooping, or whatever. LOL! It really does make the tedious task of exercise so much better.

  6. Hi Kari,

    Great post about a;; of this. It's a constant struggle for me to keep the weight off becasue I am an emotional eater. I eat just to make myself feel better, kind of liek a person who shops to feel better. But something just clicked in me two years ago and WW worked. Okay a tip, well I use butter flavored Pam on my no fat popcorn. Don't laugh, it doesn't taste too bad. I also use it to make pita chips. I spray the pita bread with butter flavored pam and put a little crazy mixed up salt on them and bake them. I cut them up into fours before I bake them. I think one pita chip is one point and it satisfies my carb craving. You keep going girl, you insprie me to lose the 7 or 8 pounds(it changes daily) that I have put back on.

  7. Hi Kari, I started WW in April and I have lost 21 pounds. I'm at the "average" range now that WW says for my height. It is a 30 pound scale though. Because I'm in the average range they consider it "making goal" so I no longer have to pay. I still want to loose about 10 more pounds for a total of 30. I feel like I'm starting to get sick of it and need more inspiration! I'll be back every week! The one thing that keeps me going is fitting into smaller clothes- nothing tastes as good as THIN FEELS!

  8. Hi Kari, I started WW in April and I have lost 21 pounds. I'm at the "average" range now that WW says for my height. It is a 30 pound scale though. Because I'm in the average range they consider it "making goal" so I no longer have to pay. I still want to loose about 10 more pounds for a total of 30. I feel like I'm starting to get sick of it and need more inspiration! I'll be back every week! The one thing that keeps me going is fitting into smaller clothes- nothing tastes as good as THIN FEELS!

  9. And BY THE WAY....Good job! And thank you for putting this out there. We need each other for ideas! We should do a recipe thing in the future! (not that I have any!)

  10. Kari, great post. I've done WW on and off since college. I keep going back because it does work. However, it's not as fast or easy now because...hmm... well I'm not as young as I used to be :~) But I keep trying. At this point, not much will happen for me if I don't exercise. So I do - at least 5x/week. I also journal because my memory doesn't always work with me, lol.

    At any rate, I figure if I wasn't fighting this fight things would not be pretty. I'll keep plugging along. And watching for your Wed. posts. Kind of nice knowing I'm not the only one.


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