Friday, July 12, 2013

Weight Loss--What Does It Take By Roz Denny Fox

I must be at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to blog topics or I'd leave this one alone.  But almost everyone I know has been on or is currently on some kind of a diet. Well except for my sister who is a bitty thing. She and I are like Jekyll and Hyde. My whole life I've needed to watch what I eat, while our family doctor told my sister to drink milkshakes between meals to gain. She swears to me that needing to gain is as hard as trying to lose. Not sure I'm buying that.

I'm also blessed, or cursed, depending on how you look at it with a  primary care doctor who is a runner and is half my age. A week or so ago I saw where our government agency on health thinks doctors don't spend enough time talking to their patients about weight. My doctor never got that message. I see him twice a year for general check ups, once in the winter and once in the summer. The first thing that happens before I go into an examining room, the nurse weigh me. During my winter visit the doctor brings in my chart, shakes his head and always begins with--"Your blood pressure is good, but your weight is up." I always say, "I'm a fair-weather walker."  He says: "Bundle up, or join a gym.".  Generally my next comment is: "In the winter I like comfort food." He gives me the evil eye and starts to lecture about how weight gain is caused by one thing--expending less calories than you take in.

Of course I know that.  Anyone who has tried every diet that's the rage of the age knows that. When I was younger I could look at the scale, see the gain, adjust my intake and lose 5 to 10 pounds in nothing flat. Now it's almost impossible.  I talk to the doctor about my sluggish metabolism. He rolls his eyes. "It used to be zero," I say. "Now I'm sure it runs in the minus column." He says blaming metabolism is bunk.

I honestly don't think men understand how much more difficult it is for women to lose weight than for our male counterparts.  I don't take any men's magazines, but I wonder if they have as many articles on weight loss as every woman's magazine I've seen? My new Health magazine has 6 references to weight on the cover. "Lose Weight Faster", "Special Healthy Eating Issue", "Gain Mastery Over Cravings", "Yes A Flat Belly Can Be Yours", "Do You Need That Extra Cookie?" (Hello!)  And last an article titled: "New Secrets To Slimming Down."

Get ready for it--this new secret to slimming down is the age old commentary on the old mantra--"eat less, exercise more."  The exercises recommended haven't changed a lot since I had PE in elementary school. This article did point out one of women's biggest saboteurs is social eating.  Women bond over meeting for lunch and often order what sounds good instead of choosing a healthy alternative. Okay, I'll buy into that. I love to meet friends for lunch or dinner. However, I feel articles dealing with how to lose weight almost never take into account that women aren't all cut from the same mold. Like my sister has been smaller boned and over-all smaller than me from the time she was 7 and I was 1.  Some of us are born into families that equate food with love. That can set up a life-long battle against adding on pounds.

So since I've waded into this can of worms, let's talk frankly. Oh yes, I found another article titled: "Think Yourself Thin".  (Really?)  Yes, it's time to say what you think.

37 comments:

  1. Roz, if I thought myself thin, I'd be a twig by now LOL! :). Counting calories is the only way I've ever lost weight, but sooner or later, I fall off track and have to muster up the motivation to get back on it. Dress shopping for RWA has been a motivator LOL!

    My favorite magazine for health is Prevention Magazine. I've subscribed for years. One thing many doctors don't realize is that most women need their thyroid hormone to be much lower than what's the upper range of normal on their lab result readouts. I think the range goes to a 4. I'd be dead. Most women need to be below a 2. I have to be at a 1 to function normally. Above that, my hair falls out, I'm sluggish and I can starve and not lose an ounce.

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  2. Rula, the women in my family all have thyroid problems. It's good that most doctors are better now about having thyroid tests and listening to our symptoms. Some still poo poo the very notion. I'm sorry you have so many allergies in your family. I saw your note to Cynthia. We have allergies in our family too. Too many preservatives and pesticides in our food stuffs I believe. Have a great time at National. You'll look great in your new dress.

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  3. I've always had to watch my weight and as I get older...my goodness, it gets harder to do! I think a big plus to weight loss is being smart about healthy food choices and portion control. Those two things together can make a difference.

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    1. Tara, the problem is that part about being smart about healthy food choices and portion control. LOL

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  4. I've had good success with Weight Watchers. It's the only plan I have ever felt like I could live with. Nothing is forbidden as long as you account for it. I've had to modify it, though. There's no way I can lose if I eat everything they tell me I can. Maybe because of my age? Or my height-or lack of it! It's taken me a long time to change my eating habits. I think that's what you have to do.

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    1. Eve, I didn't have any luck with Weight Watchers at all. But maybe it's because I used the calorie count they suggested for my height and goal weight. Last time I saw you, you'd lost a lot and looked great. So whatever you're doing is working.

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  5. Hi, Roz! I think metabolism does have a lot to do with it. I'm very laid back and I swear mine is practically non-existent even though I walk the dog and walk to town a lot. If I eat regularly from all food groups, I have to almost starve to lose weight. But I lost a ton on a sort of modified Atkins as a younger woman. The good thing about that is that you can get a fair amount off quickly, then resume whatever menu you prefer. Since Ron's been down with the bad foot, friends have been bringing over fruit, eggs, and those rotisserie chickens from the supermarket. I'm down seven pounds in the last ten days. (Of course, running up and down the stairs a million times a day helps a lot.) I was a chunky kid and will probably always have to fight it. And our jobs don't help much, do they?

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    1. Muriel, I'm sure worrying about Ron has a hand in the fact you're shedding pounds too. I lost a lot the month Denny was in the hospital. A body's mind isn't on food when there are sick spouses to worry about. I hope he's better soon and you can get back to your normal routine.

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  6. Roz, I hear you. The only thing that has worked for me is WW. I can actually eat like a human being instead of a diseased bird. Most of the time it's up or down - right now I'm back on WW and have lost a little over 4 pounds and less than five. That's a month's worth, but then again I'm not complaining. I still eat stuff like ice cream. Although last week I would have cheerfully fallen head first into half a gallon of my favorite i.cream I managed to resist the temptation.

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    1. Aimee, I probably should give WW another try. I keep telling myself I know the drill and should be able to shed however much weight I need on my own. Ha ha.

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  7. Hi Roz,

    Great topic! I have worked for several weight loss clinics-L.A. Weight Loss and U Weight Loss and then I designed my own program from the best parts of each-combined it with an exercise program and that's how I lost forty pounds six years ago, and then again after my son was born.
    I take quite a bit of criticism about my strict diet, but I know MY body and limiting my carbs and sugar intake and loading up on protein is what works for ME.
    Different programs work for different people and it depends on what you need from a program. If you need constant support or someone to lecture you when you 'cheat', then weight loss clinics work. If you prefer to exercise, then hire a personal trainer...etc.
    But here are a few of my secrets that should work for EVERYONE if followed.(Keep in mind I know nothing about everyone's medical history so please talk to a doctor if any of these sound like they might interfere with your health).
    -No carbs after 3 p.m. Eating carbs is important! But have them with breakfast and lunch. None at dinnertime.
    -Don't eat red meat (this includes pork) two days in a row. It takes your body longer to digest it. Alternate chicken or fish.
    -No food after 6:30/7:00 p.m. (Earlier if you can do it)
    -Whenever you eat a carb-eat a protein with it. The protein helps to keep the sugars in the carbs from getting stored. It keeps it in your bloodstream where you can burn it off.
    -Fat doesn't make you fat-sugar does. Just because something is low-fat, it could still be harmful. Sometimes even more so as these items usually contain corn starch.
    -Eat breakfast!!!! I know we've all heard this and believe me I've heard every excuse in the book-so save them! You will have a lot of trouble with your metabolism if you don;t eat in the morning. Your metabolism has to wake up when you do. And protein in the morning for breakfast is the best way!It will keep you full longer as well.

    Okay, that's enough from me lol:) If anyone is interested in more 'secrets' just let me know:) Bottom line is there's no easy way to lose weight and everything takes commitment. And I know this from having gone through it myself twice and struggling everyday not to eat the way I really want to lol:)

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    1. Jennifer, I'm so impressed that you lost 40 pounds. That does take commitment and knowing what your body uses and what it stores. I have a good friend who is on a diet (I think the name is Zoey Harcourt) I may have the last name wrong--but my friend swears getting rid of sugar from her food is the only way she can lose weight. My oldest daughter is very hypoglycemic and she has to stay on a high protein, low carb diet and space her eating in six small meals a day. You're right about diets needing to be built for the person. Thanks for your input.

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  8. My weight has definitely gone up and down through the years and I have closets of clothes in various sizes to prove it! Sometimes my husband wants to sell them- he says- it's not like you're going to gain weight gain. That's when I leave the room before saying something I'll regret! This is such a fun post, Roz, and an important one. We all can relate to weight issues whether we feel we are too thin or too heavy. Ultimately, we do need to think ourselves "satisfied" no matter what weight we are :)

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    1. Oh, Karen, that's a great point. We should learn, as women especially, to not be so critical of the weight we are.

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  9. Great topic Roz. I've always been on a diet and my weight fluctuates big time. I know what I need to do to lose weight, but what I did ten years ago vs. now ain't working. Being married to a Texan who loves his chicken fried steak, gravy, and mashed potatoes doesn't help, either. He can eat everything - and does - and never gains a pound. UGH!

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    1. Suz, You make a wonderful point. Men just don't gain like women do. And wives cook what their spouses love to eat. A woman can't make them eat alone. I used to say a diet only worked if all in the family were on it at the same time.

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  10. I'm in the unique position of having been too skinny AND too big for my clothes at different points in my life. When I got married, I weighed 72 pounds, the most I'd ever weighed at that point. Fast forward 20+ years, when I had surgery this past fall. I spent six weeks in yoga pants, the first three not able to wiggle and the last three smack in the Christmas holidays.

    When I went back to work, my slacks wouldn't go over my thighs! So I started watching what I ate and reading about weight gain. I'm so small, I had to eat less than 1500 calories a day, and it nearly killed me. I didn't really start losing weight until I added body weight exercises to the mix.

    Two books that were super helpful: BE YOUR OWN GYM and WHY WE GET FAT. Plus, I love My Net Diary, an app that helps me track what I'm eating.

    I've lost the weight, but it took me until spring to do it, so Roz, you're right! It is harder to lose than to gain!

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    1. Cynthia, you and my sister must be about the same size. When she came off the mission field from Brazil was the most she'd ever weighed 80#. She doesn't eat, she nibbles. Maybe I should take up nibbling. Ha ha.

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  11. I stress...I eat. I'm happy...I eat. When I need to stretch I walk around the house, right through the kitchen!

    One of the things that helps me is to drink 50-75 ounces of water a day....yes I spend a great deal of time in the restroom, but it also keeps me feeling less hungry.

    I also used Cindy's idea and put a board across my treadmill and set my computer on it. I can do edits while I walk.

    Today's goal lose 10 pounds after that lose 10 more pounds...I plan to do this in stages. We'll see if it works?

    Rose

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    1. Rose, that's the way to tackle weight loss is in increments, or a week at a time. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

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  12. Imagine what it would be like of we added up all the time we spent thinking about our weight and thought about happy things instead? :-)
    I'm a fluctuator. For the first 30 years I ate whatever I wanted, then that pesky thyroid flipped. I've gone through a bunch of the emotions, both good and bad about weight gain. I'm currently at the state of eating whatever makes me happy and healthy. So if I want chocolate I have it. I just eat a small piece of the really good stuff.
    I have six year old twin daughters, and since the age of four, there has been 20 lbs difference between them.
    So everyone is different.
    How you feel is the most important.

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    1. Shannon, you look fine. You look like you're at a good weight. If you go to a book store and see how many shelves of books there are on diets, and on diet cookbooks, maybe we're in the wrong business to make money. I know the section is bigger than the romance section. I guess you have to have credentials, though to get a weight loss philosophy published.

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    2. Thak you Roz!! ((HUGS)) It's always nice to hear. :-)

      Weight loss is all around us so it's hard not to think about it. Like you said, the bookstore is FULL of books on the subject, and of course your magazine.
      When I got in this state of just being happy as I am, one of the biggest unintended results was that weight started coming off. When I got happy I wanted to move my body.
      Instead of just falling into my couch with my laptop, I've been reading emails and surfing the net on my treadmill that, like Rose, I was inspired by author Cynthia Garner to make into a desk. I'm walking as I'm typing this! :-)

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  13. I'm the yo-yo queen, but have to jump on the WW wagon. It's the only thing that ALways works. However, I don't stick to it well enough.

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  14. Liz, I think we're all yo yo players in the weight gain/loss game. Do you find that to make WW work that you have to be religious about keeping track of the point value for everything that you eat?

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    1. Yes--if I don't track, I don't do well. Plus, I get very tired of always being just a little bit hungry. Sigh.

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  15. Sorry, Roz, don't tell him, but I think your doctor is being simplistic in his "eat less, exercise more" mantra, because for me carbohydrates are the problem. If I cut out all white grains and sugars I automatically lose some pounds and exercise is only good if it builds muscle because one thing everyone agrees on is that muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells. And muscle cells, they say, are built through weight training, not walking or even running. But if I think about it too much, I can't help but notice that what I said is just a variation of "eat less, exercise more." Sooo. . . with all this contradictory information out there, it's no wonder we gain weight :-).

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    1. Connie, Truer words were never spoken. When you see the amount of diet news and most swear their method is proof positive, it's easy to see the same scenario doesn't work for every person

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  16. I have struggled with weight since I was about eight. I hit puberty early (the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade), and that brought major changes to my body. I've lost and gained hundreds of pounds. But every Monday, the diet starts again.

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    1. Syndi, You are a paragon to start again every Monday. I stay on a diet for several weeks, then fall off and stay off for several weeks, get disgusted with myself and try again with some new method. I just ordered The Fast Diet, and the cookbook that goes with it. I'll let you know how it goes. The doctor who did the study and wrote the book swears it works for a whole variety of body types.

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    2. I don't know if it's being a paragon or being plain stubborn LOL. Yes, let me know what you think. I'm always looking for ideas.

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  17. Roz - this is a great essay! You've hit all the high points spot on, especially the men vs. woman outlooks and attitudes. It must be tough with an itty bitty sister, but love triumphs weight. I loved reading this. Thanks.

    Linda

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    1. Linda, thanks for dropping by. It helps that I love my sister. LOL

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  18. Great blog, Roz. I hear your pain. I used to be one of those skinny kids whose doctor suggested milkshakes between meals. Then I hit 40 and now I can't seem to lose a few pounds no matter how little I eat. Male doctors will never understand.

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    1. Annette, I think formerly thin people must be more frustrated when they gain a few extra pounds than ones who have gone up and down their whole lives. It has to be a metabolism shift at 40, because so many women say that's a marker for their start of not being able to shed pounds easily.

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  19. Loved reading your blog post.I've gained an extra 10 pounds that no matter what I do I cannot drop it off. It came on 3 years ago. I skip meals, through the summer I do work outside. I should have sweated it off by now. Perhaps I'll try your last suggestion. I'll think the weight off as I eat my piece of fudge.

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    1. Gail, As much as you talk about doing physical work outside around your home I can't think you'd gain weight. Unless it makes you hungry to do all of that work. You are too funny about "thinking" off the weight while eating fudge.

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