Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chubby Simply Won't Do Anymore

Between raging hormones, the holidays, the inability to exercise like I normally would, and stress eating, I gained an unsightly ELEVEN POUNDS between my miscarriage in September and the end of the year. While it may not seem like all that much in the great scheme of things, I'm normally quite a petite person. At 4'11" a gain of two pounds is noticeable - 10 is almost two pants sizes. Not good. Not good at all.

In the past, I've been a bit of a yoyo dieter, and I suspect that's what I can thank for my snail's-pace metabolism. Since 30, fighting fat, especially around my midsection, has been a nearly impossible task. Given my height, my calorie target for weight loss is in the 1200 vicinity. I don't know about you, but I'm HUNGRY when I try to live on 1200 calories. What's more, despite the fact that I make veggie-rich family dinners most nights, I'm notorious for trying to get away with starchy, salty, cheesy lunches and skimpy breakfasts, which I know are sabotaging my efforts. My "dieting" M.O. usually goes something like:

Breakfast - 100 calories
Lunch - 150 calories
Dinner - 500 calories
After-dinner snacks - 400 calories

Intellectually, I understand that, with habits like that, I can get 60 minutes of cardio six days a week (which I usually do) and still be chunky. Something's gotta give if I want to make a real, lasting change.

Last weekend after a particularly appalling (but I won't lie - delicious) dinner out with my husband, I resolved to change my approach. So, because I believe accountability is key when it comes to goal-setting and personal growth, let me tell you what I plan to do differently this time around.

1. Eat three balanced and filling meals each day, taking care to meet those good old food pyramid recommendations for fruits and vegetables.

2. NOT count calories, but rather focus on identifying low-fat, filling, nutritious foods that will keep me satisfied from one meal to the next.

3. Establish a realistic fitness goal and focus on achieving it rather than clocking a certain number of minutes each week. This summer I conquered the Couch to 5K plan which was awesome. This time I plan to go for 10K and beyond.

4. Decide on one or two low calorie, low fat after-dinner snack options that I will enjoy, but that don't encourage binging (goodbye, pita chips and hummus...).

5. Rid my home of "diet foods" like fat-free chips and sugar-free candy. They are not helping me to make healthy choices and do nothing to nourish my body.

6. Ultimately, within reason, let my body decide what size it will be. If, in three months, I can run for an hour at a time and can say at the end of each day that I've given my body the fuel it needs to be lean, healthy and strong, I can't complain if there's still a little pudge around my belly. After all, I'm a mom. It happens.

What do you think? Solid plan? I promise to keep you posted. Since last Friday, I'm down 2.5 pounds (mostly water, I'm sure - but so what?). Sweet. To be comfortably back within the healthy range for my height, I really need to lose about 10 more. To be at my pre-girlie weight, I need to lose 13.

Here's to doing it right!

Also, on a loosely related note, I feel strongly that every thirty-something woman I know should read Laurie Notaro's The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death. I laughed so hard I cried - several times. The chapter on the broken treadmill was a serious kick in the tush for me (all wrapped up in a sassy, hilarious package). Read it!


formfireglassworks said...

I think this sounds like a great - and realistic - plan. Being more healthy is key. If you look better, it's just (no-calorie) icing.

glassidentities said...

I am so there.. well I am a bit more there.. as I need to lose about 60 pounds... but... I am working on it... changing my lifestyle.. how we eat and what we do and how we do it... and I am making myself a little more accountable by posting once a week on my blog.. posting my weight even.. arghh.. it is hard to do that.. but.. it helps me get through the week and stay on track... I may not lose 60 pounds.. but I want to be healthy... that is my main goal!

Jen Pilchak said...

wow you're 4'11"? I feel your troubles, I'm barely 5'2". Heck, 7lbs can push me into a bigger size. The after dinner snacks get me too! Best of luck with your new plan. Keep us updated!

Lucky Find Designs said...

It sounds like a great plan to me! I'm following a FREE diet plan website call It's more about a life style change than a diet. I've lost 20lbs with it!

haberheartwork said...

I whole heartedly support you in your efforts. Sounds like a good plan. I'm doing the same thing.
Since my breast cancer (when I weighed like NOTHING!) I have added unwanted pounds. Partly due to medications I have to take and partly due to things I stuff in my now little chubby face :o)
Soooo.....I'm with you and I hope we both do extremely well!!

Leah said...

Good luck! I agree with not counting calories, but rather focusing on eating balanced meals. Also, to get your metabolism on track, I would recommend doing some kind of resistance workout. It made a HUGE difference for me when I was trying to lose weight a year or so ago.

Elaine said...

Sounds realistic to me!

Since moving in with the guy - which means suddenly larger budget for food, company who really appreciates it and time to cook it - I've gained about 5-10 lbs as well. And like you, on me, that really shows (petite build on a taller frame).

The gang was put on notice that there would be more vegetables filling the spaces in meals (and less starchy fatty fillers).

And the rest is just about moderation and getting more cardio in which is doable as the weather improves. No surprise that the weight went up when the temperatures plunged! My main cardio is walking and running.

Andrea Baker said...

I've not been around much and did not realize you had a misscarrage. I'm so sorry sweetie. HUGS HUGS HUGS!!

As for you weightloss, girl I know you can do it!!

Anonymous said...

Hello, my dear...
I just want to say that I know what you're going through! After my miscarriage almost two years ago, my hormones, weight, and eating habits fluctuated like crazy. I tried all sorts of diets, and exercise routines. The only thing I would recommend is to cut all sugar-substitute stevia instead-the aftertaste that bothers some people isn't a problem with the brand PureVia or NuNaturals. Also, limit fruit for awhile to only Granny Smith apples, grapefruits, and berries (the low-sugar fruits) and see if you start losing weight easier-I did. One more thing-no more white flour foods. Cutting out this stuff for good is the only thing that has worked for me. said... :: AshwaRetail sells beautiful jewelry on Ebay. All jewelry is in sterling silver and real gemstones.

Kim said...

this is very much where I am at at the moment as well. After starting to work for Starbucks I gained some weight (not a huge amount, but I was still appalled, I call it my starbucks pudge), and determined to start some better habits. At the same time my man is doing some hard core dieting and exercising, which encourages me to be healthier. I'm not being as hard core, but trying to make wiser choices and be a little more balanced. It's hard to create new habits, but worth it!