12 Pounds

At my doctor’s appointment, I weighed 12 pounds more than I had at the last visit.

The last visit was 6 months ago.

12 pounds in 6 months.

I’m disgusted.

Just thinking about it upsets me.  This is the 6 months where I’ve been cooking more, exercising sporadically, eating lots of produce, and subscribed to the CSA.  This 6 months included that 2-week no carb fast where I lost 6 pounds.  Ugh, what am I doing here and what am I doing wrong?

There are some things I know need to go.  Things like alcohol and potato chips.  But really, I just don’t understand it.  So the are being banished post haste.  But what else needs to go?  Do I cut out carbs, eliminate red meat, become a vegetarian, stop dining out… I really need to lose these extra 12 pounds (along with the 20 I already wanted to lose) but I don’t want to be miserable.  Fortunately or unfortunately, I derive a lot of happiness from food — cooking, eating, serving, etc.  Milk even says I do the happy dance when I’m eating something I really enjoy.

And as far as exercise, I know I need to pick that up but I seriously struggle with the when.  Sure, it’s a constant excuse complaint, but I work 50-60 hours a week.  My off hours are limited and I’m just not sure where I would find any hours (and any energy) to exercise as much as I need to for these 32 pounds.

But I have to find a way.  I can’t keep picking up 2 pounds a month.  And in the warm months too — so does that mean 3 pounds a month when it gets cold?  Yeah, this has got to end RIGHT NOW.

So here’s the first draft of my plan.  It will evolve over time.

  1. Weigh myself first thing every morning and keep a record of it
  2. Eliminate all beverages except water, skim milk, unsweetened coffee and tea, grapefruit juice, and diet sodas (occasionally)
  3. Save wine and cocktails for the weekends only
  4. Keep a food diary (should I use a notebook or an online resource like myfooddiary.com, any suggestions?)
  5. Investigate dietary engineering
  6. Have salad as dinner’s main course at least twice a week
  7. Take B vitamins for energy
  8. Take the subway to work at least once a week
  9. Exercise at least 3 days a week


  1. Posted September 9, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    Man. I am right there with you. *sigh*

  2. Julie
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 11:57 am | Permalink | Reply

    I did LA Weight Loss for about a year (until they closed all centers in my state) and lost 40 pounds. I’ve gained about 15 back (but I’ve also stopped smoking!) so I need to get back onto the grind full time again to work on that. It’s easier for me with my more rigid fall schedule. I’d say the most important thing I learned from LA was portion control. For instance, a serving of rice/pasta is 1/3 of a cup! Depressing, I know, but it works. I also still use LA’s food diaries. If you want, I think I have one scanned somewhere if you want to see what it looks like.

    • Donna
      Posted September 9, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I think I’m pretty good with portion control except when it comes to chips (my weakness) and alcohol. So eliminating chips and restricting alcohol should help. God help me at this wine tasting thing I’m going to on Friday.

  3. Posted September 9, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’d say it is probably portion size. Our idea of a serving size is skewed here in America and we need to get that under control ASAP. Also…processed foods will KILL YOU!

    Start eating smaller meals. Put them on a saucer if need be. Remember what your plate looks like at a fine dining restaurant? You know…you were like…well damn they didn’t give me much for that price…well…newsflash…that’s how much you’re SUPPOSED to eat. It’s a portion.

    You know I can be special about this one so I’ll stop there. I’m rooting for you and I’m going to check in to see your progress. This should be good as it will be in REAL.TIME! You can do it Donna. I KNOW you can!

    I gotcha back!

    • Donna
      Posted September 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the shout-out and the encouragement.

  4. akilah
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This may seem weird but to get exercise in at work when I can’t go to our company gym, I do push ups against my desk.
    I do leg lifts while in my chair, i have a stretch band that i also use to do arm work, and i take the stairs 6 times during the day(4 flights).

    You can always take breaks at work (5min\10min) that add up to a lot of reps of exercises so you are not overwhelmed with having time for the gym.

    • Donna
      Posted September 9, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I love this idea! Any books/magazines/websites with exercise at work illustrations?

  5. Posted September 9, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m on the weight loss band wagon with you. What I’ve done is cut out a lot of the ‘white’ stuff. You can still eat carbs, but just the better varieties. Brown rice, whole grains, etc. I don’t drink soda hardly ever. Maybe once a month and then it’s something like Fresca. I just don’t like any diet soda. Water is my favorite beverage. I don’t even have to add any flavoring to it. I like it plain. Also, portion control. If you have to, measure everything you put on your plate. Pay attention to what a serving is on pre-packaged foods. I could eat an entire bag of chips and that bag of chips would have THREE servings in it and I would have eaten the entire bag! Ugh! I’m doing a Weight Watchers at Work program. I don’t count the points. I do the ‘filling foods’ option which means that I eat a lot of veggies, fruits, and other foods that are filling so I’m not starving. It is really helping. If you can’t attend the meetings, you can do WW online. Just go to http://www.weightwatchers.com and sign up there. I think you can do two weeks for FREE and they may have a special whereby you can waive the initiation/registration fee. I’m here if you want to buddy up online.

    I also work out with a trainer twice a week and then a couple of times a week on my own. That’s a GOOD exercise week. Otherwise, I’m just with the trainer twice a week.

    You can do this! Here is another site that my doc told me that he uses. http://www.thedailyplate.com/

    • Donna
      Posted September 9, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Gladys. I know you’re on this journey and having success with it. I worked with a trainer some years back and the results were amazing. I didn’t lose many pounds but tons of inches. I have a picture of me in a bathing suit from that time — I’ll have to use that as my motivation.

      • Posted September 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        I think the inches lost is why everyone is thinking I’ve lost more weight than I have. I’m starting to notice differences in my body, too.

  6. Shelly
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Try sparkpeople.com It’s a really great site where you can set your goals, keep a food diary, set up an exercise plan.

    • Donna
      Posted September 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Sorry – this got caught in the spam filter. A friend mentioned sparkpeople today. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll check them out.

  7. T.Kay
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I wasn’t gonna post because Akilah said all the things I wanted to say, but it’s worth echoing. You can also keep a set of 5 & 8lb free-weights at your desk for when you would normally find yourself twiddling your thumbs. If you don’t have moments like that, then make them! Make it a point to do a set every time you go for a washroom break, or some other routine time of your day.

    Stairs are an excellent idea, and Monnie is right, smaller portions more frequently than 3 times a day should increase your metabolism.

    When you want something crunchy, grab a handful of nuts. When you want something sweet or tangy grab a handful of dried cranberries…. Just a few tips that I hope will help you see progress!

  8. asktip
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Donna, I know what you mean!
    I know I’ve gained weight over the summer – it’s relationship pounds! Eating out, cooking more often, sleeping in or just relaxing at home and no exercise has lead to a gain of 6-7 pounds! I’m changing my eating habits and I’ll let you know how I do. I’m going to focus on healthier choices and portion control. I’m also going to drink a glass or two of water before every meal so I feel fuller faster.

    Good luck!

    • Donna
      Posted September 9, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I can’t blame all of this weight gain on him — I’ll just blame 75% of it on him (LOL). I believe in fat and happy b/c I’m naturally heavier when I’m happy and slimmer when I’m sad or stressed. But the problem now is that I’m fat and it’s making me NOT HAPPY. But I’m grateful that he’s so supportive regarding this.

  9. Posted September 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Two things, in regard to cocktails, go with liquor not filler. In other words avoid margaritas, daiquiris, etc… in favor of (real) martinis or shots. A lot fewer calories, and because martinis are essentially liquor mixed with liquor, you can only drink one. Avoid beer altogether, though Sam Adams Light and Amstel Light are pretty good, but the carb load isn’t bad. Guiness is actually low carb, so if you like the dark brews you can have it.

    Add weight lifting to your routine. Lots of weightlifting. Move up to heavier weight and do lots of squats and deadlifts. Your glutes and your quads are the biggest muscles in your body, training them burns fat like a furnace, it even flattens your tummy. Muscles even burn calories when they’re at rest.

    • Donna
      Posted September 9, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Amen!!! A coworker who is constantly in the “meeting over cocktails mode” only drinks vodka on the rocks with lime. That is how she keeps from picking up an ubsurd amount of weight. Since I discovered that, I’ve moved to the same drink.

      • Posted September 9, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        I’ve come to love a vodka gimlet and a dirty martini!

  10. msdegrate1
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Donna!! I’m here by way of Ms. Mingo. I have loads of positive energy that I’m sending your way. The first thing that you have succeeded in doing is making yourself accountable…which helped me tremendously. Knowing that you have to report your eating habits make you rethink that doughnut for breakfast LOL

    As Ms. Mingo (creoleindc) stated, the smaller portion are good and if you were like me–I could NOT stand having to eat that many times but your body will start to crave the
    those healthy meals. Tip: Edamame.IS.THE.BOMB!!!

    • Donna
      Posted September 9, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the tip. I have some edamame in my freezer that I’d forgotten about. I’ll be adding that to the snack list.

  11. BK
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Smaller portions, definitely try to fit exercise in.. even if you only get 10 mins in at a time.. maybe u can schedule 10 mins 3x a day.. increase slowly but surely until you get your time all in at once..

    Not sure if your doctor ran additional tests for you BUT I ended up having to see an endocrinologist because we couldn’t figure out why I had the rapid weight gain and I’m eating properly (majority of the time), teaching jazzercise & exercising 4-6 days a week.. they just knew it would be my thyroid and it wasn’t.. turns out I had a hormonal imbalance from what.. YEARS of going up and down on the scale.. ASK your doctor to run a few more tests.. you may discover something there.. stress is no joke and visceral fat (belly fat) feeds off of stress

  12. BK
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    sorry hit submit too fast.. here by way of creoleindc.. I feel you on your frustration.. you can get through this 🙂

  13. msdegrate1
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    @BK..thanks for the tip! Will check on the visceral fat=stress

    • BK
      Posted September 9, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      No problem.. I learned that the hard way..

  14. Posted September 9, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I try to “shop the perimeter” of the grocery store. Meat, fruit, veggies and leave the aisles – where the processed stuff is found alone. That helps when I have a snack attack – I may be snacking, but it is likely on carrots, grapes, etc. and not oreos.

    I’m also a big fan of getting your exercise in when and where you can. 20 pushups in the morning, some squats at your desk, a quick walk around your office – every little bit helps.

    Good luck!

  15. Posted September 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good luck Donna. For a long term sustainable dietary change, you absolutely can NOT eliminate all carbs. Your body needs carbs to function properly. You can however limit yourself to 120 to 150 carbs per day (this is the type of diet that is typically recommended for a severe diabetic.

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