Monday, June 30, 2008

A Word About Lowering Calories

It's tempting sometimes to set an unrealistic limit on our calories. It was only 20+ years ago that popular fashion magazines touted a 1000 calorie a day diet as a good rule. Some women and teens got a bit too enthusiastic and cut that number in half, to just 500 calories! All in an effort to get the weight off faster.

As I said here in the entry titled, Determine Your Daily Calories, use a calorie calculator like the ones available at to figure the amount you should be taking in on a daily basis in order to lose weight. But what ever that number ends up being, conventional wisdom now says that women should not go below 1200 calories a day and men shouldn't go below 1500-1600. The reason for this is twofold. It's next to impossible to get the kind of nutrition we need: the vitamins, the minerals, the energy, in a daily diet of less than 1200 calories. Health professionals have also discovered that our bodies go into a starvation/survival mode if we diet too severely. To put it quite simply, the body doesn't know when it's going to get another meal so it slows the metabolism for survival. You'll actually stop losing weight for awhile which will end up frustrating and discouraging you.
Do yourself a favor and be satisfied with slow and steady weight loss. That's how you gained the weight. If it comes off slowly, it's more likely to stay off longer. And isn't that the real goal?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mind Games

Dieting is not about losing weight. It's about losing the idea that you don't deserve to look and feel good. That's where the fight begins. Somehow somewhere in our heads, we got the idea that we are not worthy of giving ourselves enough time or effort or love to improve. Respect yourself! If you don't, no one else will.

This is about you and what you want in life. You can't do this for anyone but you. Don't do this for your husband, your boyfriend, your mother, not anyone but you. You have to want this. I mean REALLY want this enough to bring forth the willpower you know you have within you. You are stronger than you think. This is a battle with the voices in our heads. Tell them off!

You do other things in life you really want to do, don't you? Why not this? Take your power back! When our minds refuse to rest, whispering in our heads that we have to sneak that piece of chocolate cake in the middle of the night, resist with the same intensity. Get angry about it if you have to. Don't let the negatives beat you. And be encouraged knowing you are doing a great thing for yourself. I guarantee you when you wake up the next morning knowing that you beat back those destructive desires the day or night before, you'll feel incredible about yourself. The empowerment that feeling gives you will help you continue doing this. And encouraging results on the scale, because they will happen, help it get easier.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Weekend Desserts

I have friends staying with us for the weekend. For me, house guests equal cooking and baking. And baking for me usually means trying some new recipe that I've been intrigued by for some time. Extra mouths in the house, give me an excuse. Yes, I do try out new recipes on guests because it's just my husband and myself so I don't typically bake very much for just the two of us.

Anyway, this weekend I tried out a recipe for banana chocolate chip squares. I did what the recipe said which was to make them in a 10x15 jellyroll pan. The recipe also said it yielded 48 squares. It's tempting, when cutting portions that small, to go a bit larger, but no, I wanted to do it 'right' so I could then be certain of my calories. In this case, four dozen squares ends up being 110 calories each. They are small. Two bites worth. And they are incredibly moist and delicious. My guests fell all over themselves eating them.

I could 'afford' two last night for dessert. That was great. But this afternoon, with my friends and husband out of the house, I ate 4!! One right after the other. They were so yummy, I didn't want to stop and so I didn't. I also had them right after lunch, which is sooner than I would have a usual afternoon snack to get me through to dinner. This means I'm probably going to get hungry around 3p or 4p and I won't have the afternoon calories to "spend." Now, I have two choices.

I can either decide I've blown the day and eat four MORE of those little devilish squares, followed by a handful of nuts (to offset all that sweet), followed by a piece of cheese, etc., not stopping until I'm sick and feeling horrible about myself. You get the drill. Or, I can write down the 440 calories those 4 squares "cost" me, adding the number to my daily count and just keep things light this evening for dinner. The latter is what I've done and will do. It's all I really can do if I want to continue to sensibly manage my diet and weight.

By not writing down those extra calories, I would be hiding it from no one but myself. And there really is no hiding because it's going to come out on the bathroom scale and in the clothes I wear. It's important to remember that we all have weaknesses and moments of weakness. That doesn't make us bad people. It simply means we might have to work a little harder at controlling our behavior. But we can get a handle on this. We can control it. We do have a choice. Oh and one more thing to be certain, I'll be giving my guests a care package of squares to take home. That is also a good way to help control further temptation.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

No Deprivation, Moderation

The wonderful thing about calorie counting is that you can basically eat anything you want. Nothing is off limits. Of course that's what also brings out its critics. They're afraid you're not smart enough to eat a balanced meal. But it's not that difficult to do. And you'll discover in doing this, that the more healthy variety you have, i.e. vegetables, chicken, pork, the more of it you'll be able to eat and the better you'll feel.

Yes, there is some measuring and counting. But that's really to help you get your portions under control. We have forgotten how much of anything we should eat because over the last 30 years our plates and our portions have grown to ridiculous size.

Looking at your calories for the day as a sort of bank account that you get to write 'food checks' on makes it easy. This diet doesn't say, "no carbs" or "no sugar" or "no fat," although admittedly, cutting down on such foods because they are high in calories, will help. This diet says if you can afford it with the calories you have available, you can eat it! In fact, it's important to eat a reasonable amount of carbs, fats, and sugar, else you will crave what you can't have, setting yourself up for an eventual day (or night) of binging. The body will have what it wants, whether that's bread or chocolate.

Remember, all diets work. They do. Even that awful cabbage soup diet so popular years ago and that all-rice-all-the-time diet I did in my teens. That's because any drastic changes to the body's system for 10-days or 2-weeks will make you drop a few pounds. The problem with fad deprivation diets is that you're not meant to stay on them. And once you're done and have lost the weight you wanted, you go right back to the old habits becuase you didn't learn to make better choices. That's fine if you want to continue doing that awful weight loss and gain see-saw with your body for the rest of your life. I personally don't.

The idea is balance. Moderation in all things serves us best, I believe, and that includes the types and the amounts of food we eat. The good news is that healthy equals more food in the long run.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No Guilt!

We have enough to feel guilty about these days, don't we? Not spending enough time with our families. Not getting enough rest. Not sending out Christmas cards. Egad. Don't let the fact you put an extra helping of potatoes on your plate, do you in.

Don't ever beat yourself up for the food choices you made yesterday or even earlier in the day. It's very easy to decide that because you had a huge slice of
cherry pie at lunch with a girlfriend, you might as well go ahead and blow the rest of the day. Don't fall prey to the tapes in your head that say you're never going to accomplish this. You WILL. You simply have to want it enough to stick with it. And that means every day. It's a battle we are waging. Some days we fail, some days we win. Tomorrow you'll start fresh. Every day you get to say that. A chance to do it better, make it right. How often do we get to do THAT in our lives?

And speaking of pie, if you really, really want it, go ahead and have a small piece. Better that, than eating everything else in the kitchen in an effort to find an alternative. Because you know what happens. There just is no substitute for PIE! You won't be satisfied with anything else you have and then you'll go ahead and eat the pie anyway! So, figure the calorie content of the pie, as best you can, (that's where the calorie counter book comes in,) and write it down on your food list, adding the amount into your daily calorie intake.

What ever you do... if you've had an especially difficult time of it that day, over-indulging in something or everything, allow yourself 5 minutes for a pity party. You failed, yes, you're a horrible, awful, terrible human being, yeah, OK. And then take a deep breath, pick yourself up, and know that you will begin again and do better tomorrow. Guilt, and eating to fill that cavern inside us created by that guilt, is what makes us feel, what?, more guilt! Don't fall into that self-defeating cycle. You really can do this.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another Word of Encouragement

It was one of those times today when I found myself having to eat out, because I couldn't get by with a nutrition bar, and not wanting to blow my calories for the day. A friend I had agreed to have lunch with wanted to stop at Luby's Cafeteria because they have a good variety of items and no matter your preference, something you like is usually available.

The problem of course, is that Luby's, like most chain eateries, isn't known for their low calorie items. At least they haven't been in the past. I'm pleased to say they now have a small grouping of items listed as The Lighter Side. These items are collected in a nice glossy brochure right there as you get your tray and silverware. Along with listing entrees, sides, salads, etc. they also give some tips on healthy eating.

For my lunch I selected the blackened tilapia for 270 calories, green beans at 92 calories, a roll at 130 and pineapple slices for 48 calories. It all tasted good and I was very satisfied when finished. In fact, I opted for a much lighter dinner this evening because lunch had filled me up!

It's just another sign that more restaurants are beginning to realize people want to know this information. Even if a popular item on the menu contains an obscene amount of calories, like Chili's "Awesome Blossom," (which I hear they're taking off their menu), customers want to know so we can decide for ourselves how much of something we might eat. Perhaps we'll order it anyway? Perhaps we'll make sure to share with 3 other people!

It's all about choice, but we have to have good information to go on. Hang in there.

Next entry: Having no guilt.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Word Of Encouragement

Another difficult thing about weekends is that it's the time of the week we're more likely to eat out, whether it's dinner with our significant others or lunch with friends. But getting distracted and being out all day shouldn't be a reason to let yourself go. Don't forget to write down everything you eat. Even if you don't know how much that Kung Pao Chicken was from your favorite Chinese restaurant, write it down anyway just for your own information. If you're struggling Sunday morning because the scale reports a couple of extra pounds, you'll have a record of the possible reason and maybe next time you have a smaller portion, or perhaps you pick a steak restaurant where you might have some healthier choices.
Remember, you are worth doing this right!

Develop Good Personal Habits

It's important not to eat later than 7pm or less than 3 hours before bedtime. You will sleep better and feel better overall for it. If you tend to binge at night, this is especially important to help keep that under control. There are folks who eat sensibly all day long, but when darkness falls they start hunting for snacks and nibbles, utterly destroying all the good they've done for themselves all day! Pick a cut-off time for yourself and stick to it. But again, be sure it's no less than 3 hours before you go to bed. Eating late at night and then sleeping on all that is a sure way to gain weight.

Do eat three meals a day plus a mid-afternoon snack. Don't skip any meals. Skipping meals only makes you hungrier when you finally do get to eat, risking the chance of over doing it.

Find a good meal substitute nutrition bar that you like and keep a box or two on hand. Some can be loaded with sugar so read the nutrition label and see what works best for you. If you're prone to diabetes, you'll want to ask a nutritionist or your doctor about supplementing with these food items. I like them because they're a quick meal if I'm crashing with hunger and don't feel like preparing anything, or when I know I'm going to be in the car during lunch and I'll need to eat on the run. I keep one in my purse if I know I'll be out. It's a much better choice and literally hundreds of calories less than pulling in the drive-thru for a burger and fries. The burger and fries are more satisfying, you say? Not when you realize such a meal can blow your entire calorie count for the day! Think of that skirt you still can't button, or those cute jeans you've been missing from your wardrobe choice. Personally, I've been satisfied with Zone and Slimfast bars. But all our tastes are different so try several to see which ones you like and will hold your hunger at bay the longest.

Some critics don't like calorie counting because they say it doesn't regulate nutrition. There is nothing to make sure you are balancing your meals. That's true, but I think if you realize that you can eat a larger amount of healthier foods, i.e. grilled chicken, fruits, and vegetables because they're lower in calories, you might find that you'll regulate yourself. Sure you can eat 3-4 candy bars in one day and be done with it. But try that every day for a week and see how you feel. The important thing is balance.

Take vitamins if you think you're not getting enough nutrition on a restricted diet. And go for healthier snacks. There are a number of wonderful options now. For example: hummus and pita chips, low fat cheeses, a handful of dried fruits and nuts in moderation, low fat yogurt... these are all good. I find that toasting an English muffin and spreading 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter on each side is very satisfying. The warmth of the muffin melts the peanut butter, making it go further. A little bit really does go a long way!

The important thing is find what works best for you while keeping in mind your total calorie allotment for the day. The more you do it, the better you'll get at it. After awhile it won't feel like measuring, weighing, and counting, you'll just have a feel for it and do it automatically.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Use Cookbooks With Easy Ingredients & Nutrition Info:

I haven't found a great number of them, but there are cookbooks that include nutrition information with every recipe. Some Better Homes and Gardens, as well as The Eating Well cookbooks have them. They are worth seeking out. Also a number of websites like and include nutrition information with most of there recipes.

When you see how many calories are in a serving and how many servings that item is supposed to yield, it helps you maintain portion control and helps you make better food choices. A 'cost', for example, of 150 calories per brownie might sound acceptable, until you see the cookbook writers are counting on your getting 16 brownies out of an 8x8 sized pan. If you cut the brownies so that there are only 9 portions, count on each brownie now 'costing' you 267 calories!
Always look at the amount of servings you're supposed to get in a recipe. I've seen some well-known so-called 'lite' calorie magazines that, when reading the small printed nutrition info at the end of the recipe, have simply cut a two-layer cake into 18 servings instead of the typical 12. Anybody can reduce the calories in a slice of cake by cutting it smaller!

And one more thing, don't forget to adjust the recipe's calorie count if you change ingredients. Using real butter instead of margarine is going to add more calories, while substituting oil with applesauce will 'lighten' any recipe.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Should You Weigh Every Day?

SEVENTH ENTRY: In a word, YES. In spite of what some health care professionals or diet experts might advise, weighing once a week, to me, is not enough. Sure our weight fluctuates due to water retention and hormones. But it's helpful to know your body. Don't assume it's hormones, be certain of it because you know your body so well. Perhaps it's 3 days before your period and you always add a pound or two, or you know you ate Chinese food the night before and all that salt and MSG made you retain water. Know the difference in reasons and excuses.
I spent my years of weight gain telling myself I was simply getting older and women "of a certain age" always put on a little weight. So, I'd go head and add a slice of cheese on that burger or have a piece of pie, or both! I was lying to myself so I'd ignore my bad choices.
By weighing every day, you will know what foods tend to make you retain water, what foods make you not only look bloated but will actually hold onto water weight longer.
Which brings me to one of the most important ingredients in any weight loss diet: a bathroom scale. If you don't have one, BUY one! My personal choice? Digital. This is so you can see and celebrate the loss of every half-pound! In fact, we should be as excited about a half-pound loss as we are upset about a half pound gain.
When I first began losing the weight, seeing only that little half-pound loss on my digital scale was, I must admit, a bit discouraging. We all want it off faster, don't we? We'd like to finally make that decision to diet one day, and wake up with the weight all gone, the next. We want to shed those pounds like a heavy bathrobe falling to the floor. But healthy and truly successful weight loss doesn't happen that way.
It dawned on me that if I had gained that half-pound instead of lost it, I would have been terribly upset and felt defeated. So, keeping in mind the opposite of defeat is victory, I decided to be elated with a half-pound loss! Why not? I worked really hard for it. And at least it was a constant step in the right direction. Turning that around allowed me to be continually enthusiastic about my progress.
I rewarded myself for my victorious losses by looking forward to the day I would go clothes shopping for a new wardrobe!

Monday, June 16, 2008


SIXTH ENTRY: Our food portions are out of control in this country. Restaurants no long serve anything on a normal-sized plate. more than likely, the size of the plate that arrives with your entree is nearer that of a 10" charger or even a platter. It has gotten ridiculous folks and we have to get back to recognizing what proper portions look like. We can't count on the restaurants to do this for us.

It's up to us because restaurants are in the business of selling food. Food, by the way, is the cheapest item on a restaurant's budget, so it costs them very little to put a double helping of everything on your plate. They think if we see we're getting more for our money, we'll come back. And they're right. Most of us do. But in the long run, we're not saving money when we have to buy a wardrobe in a bigger size every season! That's where the right equipment comes in.

A good kitchen scale and accurate measuring cups and spoons go a long way to helping us determine how much we should be eating compared to what we really are consuming. Once you've got that picture in your head, you'll more readily see that restaurant portion of mac and cheese is closer to 2 cups and not the 1/2 cup portion that's normal. This all goes hand in hand with the calorie counter book.

You will want to know if that fillet of salmon is three or four ounces in order to calculate the calories. Or how much a one-ounce, sometimes referred to as a 'handful,' of almonds really looks like. There are a number of kitchen scales on the market, but do yourself a favor and invest in one that gives results in both ounces and grams. The Saltar brand scale I have even measures liquids in both fluid ounces and milliliters. It has been invaluable when pouring up that occasional glass of wine or milk. Your scale should also have what's called a tare setting. that will allow you to zero out the scale with a container placed, allowing you to weigh only the food and not the container.

When it comes to measuring cups, there are two kinds. you should have both. The nesting cups in graduated sizes are for dry ingredients such as flour, nuts, sugar, etc. Don't bother measuring liquids in these cups as they might not be accurate for that. instead,
get a good glass measuring cup that has the measurements marked on the side for reading at eye level. Both Pyrex and Anchor Hocking make sturdy accurate measuring cups.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Invest In A Reliable Calorie Book

FIFTH ENTRY: It's not possible to do this very well without one. Luckily, nutrition information that includes calories and the number of servings expected from most cans and boxes of food items, make it easier. But what about the foods that don't come out of a box or can? Do you know how many calories are in a banana or a bunch of fresh broccoli or a chicken breast? How about when you eat out? It might not be exact, but having the estimated caloric total of a couple of beef tacos helps you at least keep things in the ballpark and in perspective. And if you're lucky enough to have a book that includes a section on restaurants, that's even better. Really, it's not as overwhelming as it all sounds.
Calorie King's "Calorie, Fat, & Carbohydrate Counter," is an excellent little book. it's updated annually and contains the calories, fat grams, and carb grams for all kinds of foods including name brand items. There is a special section for ethnic fare and a special section for popular restaurant chains. I also like that the pocket size of this little paperback makes it incredibly easy to take along in your purse. When it's not there, I keep it in the kitchen for quick reference on items. I use mine daily.
There are several other calorie counter books in the nutrition section of most bookstores so find one you can easily work with and use it! They are invaluable. After awhile, you'll know the calorie count of your favorite foods by heart.
Now is also the time to make out your daily food diary, this time listing each food's calorie count. You'll see how quickly the numbers can add up with your old choices.
This is a critical step in moving forward in changing your lifestyle, eating better and eating lighter. It's really not that hard, but you have to want to do it. It's for you!

A Word of Encouragement

Weekends are the hardest for me. Unstructured days and hours are the worst because I'll get bored or break my routine and that makes it easy to fall prey to temptation. Sunday morning breakfasts are the worst because it's easy to slip and have that stack of pancakes covered in syrup. I know, who wants a fruit cup when biscuits and gravy are what you really have a hankering for? Hang in there. You can do it. You can get through it. And keep up your daily food diary.

Don't stop writing things down because you get too busy, or you promise yourself you'll do it later. Do it NOW. You'll be so pleased with yourself Monday morning because you made it through.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Determine Your Daily Calories

Fourth Entry: Finding out how many calories you need to consume in a day to either maintain or lose weight, is easier than ever. There are numerous websites and books on the subject. Find a good one. The Calorie Control Council at is an excellent website that contains a number of wonderful calculators to help you figure this out. The website includes how to burn calories by activity levels, calculating calories for meal planning, and of course guidelines for maintaining your weight.

First, their Healthy Weight Calculator helped me determine my proper weight, that is the weight I SHOULD weigh, based on my height and gender. For me at my height of 5'4, that is 120 pounds. The Maintenance Calculator helped me figure out how many daily calories I would need to achieve my goal. I put in my vital information that included my sex, height, age, and regular level of activity. Then where it asked: "weight to maintain," I instead put in my goal of 120 that I wanted to reach. The result was the number of calories I would need to maintain that weight, around 1500 a day. Since I was then 140-pounds, I knew that amount had to be less than I was already consuming. It would undoubtedly allow me to lose.

These calculations are, of course, only guidelines. Every one of us has a different body type with its own unique metabolism. All I can say is that for me, it worked. It still does. :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

What Shape Is Your Diet In Now?

Third Entry: The shape you are in now is how your body is shaped by the kind and the amount of food you are eating. Before you do anything, before you start any diet of any kind, take one full day and write down everything you eat. And I mean everything. Don't forget to include drinks if you're doing anything besides water. Milk, regular sugary soft drinks, and alcoholic drinks, all have calories. Don't bother with calculating how many calories everything has yet, though. Just get down your list of foods for one full day.

What goes on a "food list?" If you have a boiled egg for breakfast, write it down. If you have a burger and fries and chocolate malt for lunch, write that down. And nothing is too small to add to the list. A stick of gum has 5 calories, coffee with cream, and I don't mean cream with a little coffee splashed in, is about 20 calories. Now take a good hard look at it. Can you do better? Are there better choices you could be making? Are you in a food rut, eating the same thing day in, day out? Is the list out of balance as in: too many sweets, too many carbs, or too many high fat foods?

Some experts say keeping a food diary of what you eat is, on its own, enough to encourage weight loss. It makes you visualize what you're putting into your mouth, (and therefore your body) and helps keep it in check. This many years after my weight loss, I'm still keeping a daily food diary for the purpose of maintenance. It really does let me see what shape my diet is in!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Facts & Figure

SECOND ENTRY: Once I became determined and set my mind to it, I lost 20-pounds in less than 6 months, in fact to be honest it was closer to 5 months. I was stunned at how fast it came off. Those few months included December when I was constantly baking goodies for family and friends, because baking is something I LOVE to do. Twenty pounds gone! That was my goal! I couldn't believe how quickly I had achieved it once I'd resolved to do it. If 5 months sounds an eternity to you, think of how quickly dates on the calendar you'd rather NOT see come up, DO. it's the blink of an eye. Plus, you didn't put the weight on overnight, did you?

Once 20 pounds was off, I slowed down the pace of the diet since I'd reached my goal. But knowing weight maintenance can be a challenge, I decided to see if I could lose another 5 pounds to have some room to play. Over the next 5 months, I lost 5 more pounds; a slow but steady decline. I could have done it faster, but by accomplishing things slowly, I was letting my body get used to its new setting. With a quick weight loss, your body and your head learn nothing. Changing your eating habits is the best way to make a weight loss, stick. If you lose the weight too quickly, I guarantee it will come back on in a matter of months, probably more than you lost.

By the end of it all, it took me less than a year to go from weighing 140 pounds to 115. I went from a snug size 10-12 to a size 2-4. And I did it all through counting calories! That was in 2002. Today, I am able to stay under 120 pounds most of the time. I'm 5'4 and I'll turn 50 this year.
If you think the time frame of 25 pounds in 10-months isn't fast enough because you saw Valerie Bertenelli do it in less time through Jennie Craig, or some other celebrity do it in half the time with another quick weight loss program, think of this: those weight loss plans cost money. Mine does not. And here's another thing: if you were to put ON 25 pounds in less than a year, you would be shocked!

My Credentials

FIRST ENTRY: I'm not a doctor or nutritionist or even a weight loss consultant. But I am someone who has battled with weight much of my life. At thirteen, I can remember going on a trendy rice diet for 10 days to lose as many pounds. That's eating nothing but rice, every day, for 10 days. Thankfully, it worked. That, along with a young metabolism, took me at a good weight well into my 20s. I found I could jettison any pounds that crept on by cutting calories for a few weeks. As the years added up however, keeping off the weight began to take more effort. I couldn't shed the pounds as quickly after overindulging.
When I got married in my late 30s, we ate out often and I, who had never really cooked for anyone but myself, and that often consisted mostly of eating over the sink, started preparing the only foods I knew. The ones I had grown up eating, delicious high fat meals. They were good and I was happy and I was eating heartily. As my portions got bigger, so did I. In the first 5 years of our marriage I put on 20 pounds. My husband never said I was anything but beautiful, but I knew better. I was disgusted with my body. I hated clothes shopping and I noticed my joints ached more. Getting out of bed actually hurt. At first, I attributed it all to age, but I suspected I might feel better if I lost weight. Finally after many failed attempts at one fad diet after another and taking off no more than a couple of pounds at a time, I remembered the only thing that ever really worked for me, calorie counting.
I knew I also had to be in the right frame of mind. I decided if I couldn't do this, if it didn't work, I would finally join one of those weight loss groups for help. But the idea of walking into a room full of strangers to say "I'm fat" like an AA meeting, scared me to death. That was my motivation. But would counting calories still work after all these years? Yes, it did. And I'm here to tell you I accomplished my goal of losing 20-pounds in less than 6 months. In fact, it worked so well, I lost an extra 5 pounds just for grins. I got into a pair of jeans that I hadn't put on in years. Shopping became not only fun, it became a thrill. I loved who and what I saw in the dressing room mirror! I had forgotten how much I missed that person and I could have kicked myself for not doing something about it sooner.
So because I know this works, I want to share my experience with you in case it can benefit others who struggle like I do. I say "do" because it's a never ending battle. Unless you have health problems or are taking medications that tend to put on weight in spite of everything you do, I think you can get some good out of this blog.
Let me say that I was never obese. If you are, (and you know if you are), you should consult a professional who can guide you through the choices and changes you need to accomplish your weight loss goal. This site is for those Baby Boomers who have hit that menopausal time of life. Perhaps you have a high school reunion on the horizon or a wedding coming up. Perhaps you have lost a spouse through death or divorce and are starting over. Perhaps you have finally taken a critical look in the mirror and can admit you are 20-30 pounds heavier than you know you should be. You don't know where the time went or how the pounds got there, but here you are. Mine came on by adding 3-5 pounds each year. It didn't look like much on the scale because it came on so slowly. But you should realize, as I did, that if you continue to ignore those little creeping numbers up the scale, you WILL find yourself obese and undoubtedly facing serious health problems on every level.
If you've been making excuses like, "Oh, it's just my age," or "I'm over 40, I can't expect to look like my teenage daughter," or "it's because my job is stressful," or "my husband says he likes me this way," then you need to keep reading. Yes, age makes a difference in our metabolism and they say stress contributes to our bodies' hanging on to fat and calories that we don't need, but there IS something you can do about it. I'm not suggesting we need to be Celebrity Skinny like those desperate women in Hollywood. No, I'm saying it's too soon for us to be giving up! And no one should expect to look like a teenager again. But you can look your best at the age you are. As for your partner liking you this way, it's important to know you should not do this for anyone but yourself, but men are visual beings. They want to like what they see. Nothing is nicer than seeing a positive body image reflected in your partner's eyes. Your husband may be a prince of a guy who is nothing but supportive, but I'll lay odds that if you lose 10-15 pounds, he's going to take notice. Try it. What have you got got lose?