Eat At The Table – Month 2 Week 1

“If you are more fortunate than others, it is better to build a longer table than a taller fence.”- Unknown

If you have successfully made it through month one congratulations. Month two should be a breeze for you and help you keep the momentum going. The premise for month two is simple. You cannot eat any food outside of your kitchen. Breakfast in your kitchen, lunch in the kitchen, and dinner in the kitchen. If you want snacks, you guessed it. They will be eaten in the kitchen. You can take drinks outside of the kitchen but everything else must remain in the kitchen. Note that a milkshake is not a drink in this case and must be drank in the kitchen. I can see some of you getting really creative as we get further in this month. I’m a fat girl remember. You can’t fool me. I also know that this sounds crazy but I did have some logic behind this challenge for myself.

I am a closet eater. I like to eat when no one is around and in a house with three other people our kitchen is front and center. I would have no issues eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the table but what got me each time was the snacks. At night while watching tv I would eat chips and popcorn. Saturdays and Sundays while watching football or Hallmark I would be sitting with ice cream or brownies. I would put food in my mouth with no thoughts at all as to what I was doing. Mindless eating would be the easiest way to describe this. It always amazed me how I would get to the bottom of an entire bag of chips and then think “did I eat the whole bag”. Yes, yes I did because I opened the family size bag and now it was gone. It would have been great to believe some fairy had come along and stolen chips but the reality was there are no chip eating fairies.

Was I eating a bag of chips in front of my family, NO. For one thing they would ask me if I was going eat the whole bag of chips. Second they would look at me like I was crazy and most likely ask for some of my chips. Hiding in my room I didn’t have to deal with that. They could not judge me. Please let me throw this in here. My family does not judge me. Well they do but not about food. This is 100% in my head. Because this has never happened I have no idea what they would say in this situation. I created an entire scenario because I didn’t want to deal with the fact that I didn’t need to eat as much food as I was eating. Funny how sometimes the only person judging us is us. Thinking out loud what I did was actually hurt my family with my closet eating. My oldest son eats in his room and my husband eats while watching tv. My youngest does eat in the kitchen but only because the rest of the family is hiding out in a room eating. There is no one to see him eat. Instead of creating healthy habits all I did was create an environment where we could all eat in secret. I needed to fix this.

The first week I didn’t eat in the kitchen I noticed I would go in the kitchen, grab food and start to walk out. I would get in the doorway and realize I had created this rule for myself and pause. Sometimes I would sit down at the table and eat but a funny thing happened. Often times I would put the item back and just head back out of the room. I didn’t even want the thing I had gone into the kitchen for. I had placed no food restrictions on myself so if I wanted the chips I could have eaten them. I just didn’t want to sit in the kitchen and eat them. It sounds crazy but I’m telling you it was all true. Eating ice cream in the kitchen and not in front of the tv was insane. Eating a bowl of popcorn not on the couch watching a movie baffled me. Who does that? A brownie, cookie, doughnut, or cracker did not have the same thrill when I had to sit at the table. I began to feel punished by sitting at my own kitchen table, but only when I grabbed snacks. My family eats dinner a few nights a week at the table. We eat breakfast every weekend at the table. Many of my favorite memories are made at that table. Sitting alone with food at that table took on a whole new meaning and it was one I did not like.

One day I was asked why I was at the table eating popcorn. I said because I’ve decided to not eat outside of the kitchen. After my child looked at me like I had grown horns he turned and left the kitchen. I’m sure he had come in there for something but the thought of his mother sitting there looking crazy drove him away. It’s hard to explain to kids why you make some of the decisions you make but the truth is I would have had to be vulnerable. I would have had to explain that once I leave the kitchen I am out of control with food. I eat until stuff is gone and don’t remember what I ate. I would have had to tell my child that as a grown woman I can’t control my actions so I’ve decided I have to sit at this table and slowly eat my food. Yea, I was not saying any of that but if my child is now reading this book it clearly explains why your mom was sitting at the table that day.

For the first week I want you to try this. If nothing else notice how many times you attempt to leave the kitchen with food. I think you will be shocked. I also want you to notice how you eat when in your kitchen. You probably aren’t shoveling food in your face because you would look a hot mess. Sitting at the table eating an apple became a much more pleasant experience than sitting at a table eating a family size bag of chips.

At the end of this week I had lost my one pound. Eating at the table, what a novel concept.

48 Hours- Monthly Recap

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time”- Leo Tolstoy

It’s amazing what you can learn about yourself in 48 hours. In the grand scheme of things it seems like such a small space in time, but for me it was a little life altering in regards to weight loss. What I learned is it takes my body 48 hours to process food. Let me state this is not scientifically proven, but this is what I learned about myself. I weigh everyday. I have weighed everyday for years after reading a book that suggested it. The theory was if you weigh daily you will never be surprised about weight loss or weight gain, Yes you can argue that weighing daily is harmful. You can say weigh once a week or even once a month. That is your prerogative. As for me, I weigh daily and will continue to do so. I do adhere to the rule that you need to step on the scale at the same time everyday if you want to get an accurate reading.

After I wake up and use the bathroom I step on the scale. I use to look at the number and begin my morning ritual of brushing and flossing. Now because I have a fancy scale I make sure my phone is in the bathroom and my scale app is open. Yes you read that right. I stand on the scale bare foot and watch a little ring dance around in a circle as my weight, body fat, metabolic age, and fifteen other things are calculated. This experience is both exciting and humbling. Exciting because I like to see the numbers move, humbling because the bluntness of the readouts will hurt your feelings. This is not a scale you should own if you can’t handle the truth, or this scales version of the truth. If you are easily offended I would just stick with a regular scale that only displays weight. This particular scale is by Renphro. With all this information it provides you would think it cost $50+. No, I actually snagged it for around $20 when it was on sale. I thought it was a deal until it hurt my feelings. I want to say I packed it away and called it a $20 loss. If you know me, you know I did not do that.

I sadly take the torture each morning, and use this number to gauge what I need to do for the day. If I’ve lost my one pound for the week and the scale remains the same, I eat what I want. If the scale goes up, I need to cut back or try harder for that day. It’s a very simple process, but this process taught me something was off. One day I had eaten a lot of food and had racked up about 2800 calories. The next morning I stood on the scale and it had not moved. I took this as a sign that the weight loss gods were finally shining down on me. I ate reasonable well that day and even went for a walk. I was super proud of myself and thought well maybe I was doing so well the extra calories did not matter. The following morning I stood on the scale and it was up two pounds. What!! I had barely eaten anything the day before and I took a walk. At the moment I didn’t think about the food I had eaten two days ago, I was only focusing on the past 24 hours. At the time I just got upset and worked out twice as hard. I was able to get the two pounds back off but I really had to try hard to do it. Taking a breezy stroll just wasn’t going to cut it. Was my scale lying to me the day before? This is what irrational people do when something is off. Blame the inanimate object glaring at you from your bathroom floor.

Later in the month this happened to me again. I didn’t eat 2800 calories, but ate more than I should have consumed. I stood on the scale and nothing changed. Great I was the same weight I was yesterday. Two days later and I declared “the devil is a lie” the scale had gone up one pound. I want to tell you I became this super educated person at that moment and began to do rational things. No. I was pissed. Why was I working hard and the scale was lying to me? Why did I keep doing all this work and this scale chose to mock me? I thought about how this scale (not this exact one) had seen me naked more than anyone including myself. I don’t look at myself naked very often. Some fat people do, but I am not one of them. I had bore my body and soul to this thing each day and it kept torturing me with numbers, false readings. Yes, I became delusional. It doesn’t take very long when weight is concerned.

Now this is where the old me would have given up and just ate a bunch of crap and said the plan is not working. I did something different this time. I pulled out my journals and began comparing my weight and food logs. I saw a pattern. It only took me forty plus years but I saw a pattern. Revelation was my weight does not change the following day, it changes 48 hours later. It was taking my body 48 hours to catch up to what I had done to it. Why it took so long I didn’t know, but at least I knew that my 24 hour joy was false hope. False hope that was telling me what I had done 24 hours prior was ok when I knew it wasn’t.

Having this little piece of information in my pocket I made some changes coming out of month one. I knew my body would react in 48 hours so after a larger calorie day I knew I needed to workout hard for two days to get it off. Some of you are thinking why didn’t you just stay your ass off the scale? If I was that strong I wouldn’t be fat in the first place. No, this girl doesn’t have that willpower. What happened was the 24 hour weigh in still lied to me, but I was prepared for the 48 hour information. I worked out harder the day I ate the big meal and two days after. Again you might ask why didn’t I just not eat the big meal? Again I say, that’s why I’m fat because I like to eat the big meals.

You have to decide what works for you and what you are willing to do. Learning this little bit about myself I knew I couldn’t keep eating the big meals but also knew what I needed to do if I ate the big meal. I knew I would not be perfect on this journey but on month one giving up foods I loved all the time would not work. That’s what I had done before, and that’s how I had failed. Remember I did lose my allotted four pounds and actually lost six to something was working. What I did before heading into month two was add this little gem of information in my weight loss toolbox. Having the tools I needs when I run into situations helps me be prepared and ready to deal with the consequences of my actions. After all, I did not stop loving food after month one.

How To Use This: If you discover a patten write it down. You need something to have in your weight loss toolbox for when you know you won’t eat well. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Super Bowl, birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, and for my best friend Halloween. We each have that day or several days when we are just going to eat. Stop trying not to eat, that’s silly. I can’t avoid cake so I’m not about to start trying now. Eat the damn cake. Just know you are going to spend some time working out or eating better later to combat the cake. Hopefully this tidbit helps some other people. If you have a tip you’ve learned about yourself let me know. We all needs some little gems.

Encourage Yourself- Month 1 Week 4

“Someone is holding their breath waiting for you to fail, make sure they suffocate” -Unknown

You are almost done with the first month of this journey. You have lost three or more pounds and know 100% you will lose another pound by the end of the month. If you are sitting there thinking it’s only four pounds, know those four pounds will never return. This slow method works. Please continue to trust the process. What have you learned? What is one food that you must avoid? If you haven’t figured it out the entire month is really about learning what works. I mentioned before instead of focusing on what you can eat focus on what you can’t eat. I unfortunately learned I could not consume large amounts of carbs. Cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich and chips for lunch, ending with chicken and macaroni for dinner. Carbs on top of carbs was just what I ate all the time. My issue was finding things to replace the carbs. That will be a challenge for a lot of you. When you remove something, what do you replace it with?

When I had weight loss surgery I had to have a psychological exam. During the examination I was told once you stop eating you will begin doing something else. It’s up to you to decide what you do. For me that did not click. I went in there to focus on weight loss. I had no intentions of doing the work and figuring out why I was eating. I just wanted to not be able to eat. Cutting half my stomach in half would be the solution. Well guess what, they were right. Once I stopped eating I started shopping. Logically I made it work. I was losing weight so I needed more clothes. I was eating healthy so I needed different foods. I was packing my lunch so I needed a Coach lunch bag. You all will learn I’m pretty extra. I don’t do anything half ass. I was carrying my lunch in style. What I had done was simply replace food with spending money. This was not at all a good plan. My bank account would often times be near empty as I decided I needed one more thing. Had I known what I know now I would have dealt with that. Unfortunately I did not and I simply started eating again. Weight loss surgery does work and I feel like I need to say that. I did not do what I was supposed to do so it did not work for me. Again hindsight is 20/20.

FYI- Coach does not make lunch bags. Coach does make small bags that are perfect for carrying your lunch. My husband was not happy with this discovery but I had the best looking lunch bag in the lunch room. It’s the little things that bring a person joy. Ok you can judge me on this one.

Back to my carb addiction. What clicked for me this time was focusing on replacing just one thing at a time. I needed to replace the carbs. I decided to replace the carbs with fruit. YES. I know fruit has carbs, but it wasn’t white bread so I called it a win. I tried to have bananas and apples in the house at all times. Grapes were also a great go to. I could eat these after I finished my meal of protein. I have to be honest. There were times I just didn’t eat. I couldn’t figure out what to eat and it was easier to simply not eat. I would drink some water or coffee and keep it moving. Was this the best choice, probably not but I’m just being honest. Planning what you will eat is critical. Standing and looking in a refrigerator full of food and not being able to pick something is exhausting. I now realize why people fast. To not worry about food is a blessing at times. For a person like me who always thinks about food this was crazy. You can eat this, but not that. This was the reason I had failed at low carb diets. I felt myself falling off the wagon and decided again to change it up. Yes three weeks in I had all these thought running though my head. It does not take long for our minds to steer us back to old habits. I did come up with an alternative plan though since not eating was not an option for the long term.

Instead of killing all carbs I decided I would remove them from one meal. That worked. Breakfast and lunch were the easiest to remove carbs so that’s what I did. Who doesn’t love bacon and eggs for breakfast. Tuna became my go to for lunch, again easy stuff. Just that simple act of not going crazy and eliminating carbs helped me. I realized my pattern of telling myself I couldn’t have something just made me want that thing. Once I took the power away from carbs they were not so scary. If I wanted toast with breakfast I didn’t eat carbs for lunch.

I will not sit here and lie to you and say everyday this worked. What I will say is it worked enough for me to lose four pounds during the first month. I actually lost six pounds so I would call this a huge win. Instead of focusing on the bad stuff I had done I really tried to focus on the good stuff. I had logged food for 30 days and that’s all I promised myself I would do. I had lost the four pounds I said I would lose. I had succeeded without putting any unrealistic expectation on myself.

There is a gospel song called Encourage Yourself by Donald Lawrence. Listen to that song. While it is definitely a gospel song it is more than that. The song is about you speaking into existence what you will accomplish. Sometimes the hardest person to convince of your success is you. I will always be my worst critic. Here is a few lines from the song:

Sometimes you have to
Encourage yourself
Sometimes you have to
Speak victory during the test

And no matter how you feel
Speak the word and you will be healed

There is even a point in this song where they say “gotta pat your own self on the back”. When is the last time you’ve done that? When is the last time you have truly been proud of something you have done, something you have accomplished. I’m not saying you need to go losing your mind over four pounds. What I’m saying is feel good about the fact that you did something for yourself for 30 days. You accomplished what you set out to do. You have honored your number one supporter, YOURSELF.

Listen To Your Body – Month 1 Week 3

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures” – F.M. Alexander

There is a book by called Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Trible and Elyse Resch. The book focuses on the concept of letting your body cues guide you through eating. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. This seems like such a simple concept but for me it was extremely difficult. Truth is I was never really hungry. I just ate because the clock said noon, I was bored, I was tired, or I was watching tv. I was rarely if ever hungry so I didn’t know what true hunger felt like. I typically just ate to eat. After my weight loss surgery the doctor explained if I ate how I ate before the surgery I would become physically ill. That should have been enough to stop me from eating, No. It did not. There were many occasions where I would eat so much food I couldn’t move and would be physically sick. I would get the meat sweats, yes this is a real thing. Essentially I would consume so much food that without notice my stomach would begin to feel like it was pushing the food back up through my throat and into my mouth. I would get nauseous and begin to sweat. I didn’t know if I should sit still until it went away or walk it off like it was a cramp. The fact that I had done this too myself by simply eating was not only crazy but insane. You know what made it worse, I did it more than once. I did it so many times that I was back eating the amount of food I ate before the surgery. Yes I gained the weight back and some. Again I can feel the judgment coming through the screen.

Back to intuitive eating. I’m not going to give you all the principles regarding intuitive eating because you need to buy the book. You should actually purchase the book and workbook. The books taught me to pause and begin to figure out when I was hungry or full. Before I would eat I would drink water to see if I was even hungry or if I was following an old cue that said eat. I know you’ve probably heard “you are not hungry, you are thirsty”. I always wanted to say “no I’m not thirsty. I know when I’m thirsty. Your stomach does not growl when thirsty”. Again, my stomach didn’t growl much but that phrase still made me angry. The only time I can remember being hungry was when I was on a diet. It seemed like as soon as you told your body you were going to restrict food it sent some message to your brain that told your body to act a fool. The headaches, body pains, and agitation would begin. I don’t know about your body but my body went into full blown attack mode and I always ended up on the losing side of this war. If you are following along, you know this is usually when I would give up. I’m not the type to be fighting unnecessary battles.

Intuitive eating did take some of the fight out of some battles. While eating I would eliminate distractions to determine when I was full. For the first time in my life I was leaving food on the plate. Some of you may have come from a home that said you couldn’t leave the table until you finished your meal. That was not my house. I was not trying to leave the table because everything on my plate was delicious and I wanted more of it. My mother and grandmother were fantastic cooks and didn’t have to force me to eat anything. Depending on the meal I would have seconds and thirds, then have cake. If you haven’t figured it out there was always room for cake.

Intuitive eating will take you awhile to grasp as will logging your food. You will forget or pretend to forget and that is ok. I would encourage you to always have your food journal handy. Yes if you chew gum or eat a mint that needs to go in that journal. If you haven’t been adding those items, start adding them now. What you now have in front of you is two weeks worth of data regarding what you eat. This is essentially a gold mine of information that companies are paying millions of dollars for.

This is what this information is telling you. If you lost weight, it’s telling you what you can eat and still lose weight. If you didn’t lose weight, it’s telling you what you can eat to maintain weight. If you gained weight, it’s telling you the foods that will increase your weight. You may not like what the data is telling you, but it is telling you a lot. It’s up to you to play detective.

Going into week three make necessary adjustments based on the information you have. Congratulate yourself for what you have accomplished thus far. Please remember you only needed to lose two pounds up until this point. If you have lost more great job but two pounds is the goal. Remember to stay the course.

Things that weigh two pounds- a pineapple, a quart of milk, two cans of soup, and a jug of laundry detergent. Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate. Send me some notes regarding your loss so we can celebrate together.

Stop Acting Brand New – Month 1 Week 2

“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life” – anonymous

Machon, “how can you lose a pound a week if you are not counting anything? How can I lose weight and just eat what I want. I think the first week was just a fluke”. Listen Linda, this is not your first rodeo. I am not about to badger you over the definition of calories and tell you what you should be eating. Let’s be honest, you know what you should and should not be eating. I’m not going to give you a lecture on good carbs, bad carbs or superfoods. If you haven’t learned all about this stuff I’m going to send you to this magical place called Google. You can spend hours going through information and find someone to tell you what to do. I am not going to be that person. As stated before I’m going to tell you what I did and recommend some resources you might want to look into. So, if you can’t figure out what to eat to lose one pound a week do what I did. Figure out what you should stop doing to lose one pound a week.

How about you stop drinking soda, eating candy, ice cream, or cake. You might want to stop sitting around, stop watching tv, or put your phone down and move. It might even mean reducing the amount of butter you use, let’s hope it will not come to that, but it might. For me it was not that drastic. The act of logging food made me stop eating food. I gave you all that little hint in the last blog. For shame for shame.

Do you want to eat the snicker and log it? Hmmmmm, not really. I think I’m going to pass today. That’s all it took for me. Before I ate something I asked myself if I wanted to log it. That little pause first off killed any unconscious eating. I had to consciously decide if I wanted to eat this piece of food or drink that drink. Snickers may not be your thing, they actually are not my thing either. My best friend loves snickers and I need her to realize at this moment I’m talking to her. If snickers are your thing right now I am also talking to you. My thingsssssss are cake. I found reasons to eat cake. Oh it’s cold outside, lets bake a cake. Oh I had a fantastic work week, lets bake a cake. Today sucked, let’s bake a cake. You get the picture. For Mother’s Day my husband got me a Kitchen Aid mixer, yes the Rolls Royce of kitchen gadgets. Why, because I can bake a cake from scratch that’s better than anything in a store.

For me this was like providing drugs to an addict. Now I could make cakes daily, and I did. See I make cakes and pies from scratch. No boxes over here. I have a whole pantry shelf dedicated with items to bake. If I was to walk into my kitchen now I could make a German Chocolate Cake, Lemon Pudding Pound Cake, and Neiman Marcus cookies without putting a dent in that pantry. So not only am I fat, but I can bake. Also before you ask I have a fat family as well. I did it, I know. We are all working on ourselves. I know you are not judging me.

For the first month I decided to only bake once. The reason is I can eat a whole cake. Stop acting shocked like that’s crazy. I bake good ass cakes, why would I not eat the whole thing. I also developed a plan for when I would bake. I would have a maximum of two normal slices of cake. After my two slices I would give the remaining cake away. I sent out several care packages during month one. The latest victims were my in laws. My husband visits my father in law every weekend and every weekend he had a care package. Some weeks it was items from the garden, some weeks it was cakes and pies. No one has ever objected to either, but I have more request for my cakes than I do my tomatoes.

So what are you willing to stop doing to continue losing your one pound? You made it through the first week successfully and I know you will do the same week two. Whatever you decide write it down. This is just the beginning. Looking back to see how far you’ve come will be crucial to your success.

If you have questions or want to chat send me a note. Hold on. Don’t ask me anything you can find on Google. I’m serious. I will not tell you what to do, but I will tell you what I did. Don’t think I’m playing about Google.

Log Food- Month 1 Week 1

“Food may be essential as fuel for the body, but good food is fuel for the soul.” -Malcolm Forbes

For the first month I decided I would log what I ate. As I previously mentioned I had used all these apps to log food and I figured I would give one of those a shot again. The two I enjoyed the most were Lose It and Lifesum. I honestly liked Lifesum the best but Lose It was running a special for half off so I went with them. Currently as I’m writing this both apps offer a free version and a premium version. Lose It Premium cost $39.99 for one year and Lifesum cost $45. As you can see they were both close in price but that 50% off offer got me. I would tell you to try them both for free and see which one you like. Lifesum had a more playful approach app which I loved, but Lose It has more charts and graphs. Are you a numbers person or would a dancing apple get you to enter your meals? You would be shocked at what gets people to do the right thing. Which one is easier to enter your foods and has features that will appeal to you? With anything if you like it you will use it. The goal for month one is simply to find something and use it. There is also My Fitness Pal, Calorie King, Weight Watchers, and a host of other apps you can use. Again find something to use and use it for 30 days. We need to nail this first thing.

Here is your first assignment- USE THE APP.

I don’t want you to worry about what you are putting in the app. I don’t want you to focus on a plan. I want you to use the app. Don’t look at the calorie features or the carbs. Don’t stress about what the app is telling you or if a red line appears telling you you’ve eaten too much. This first week is for you to gain a baseline of what you eat and how much you eat. If you begin filling in this tracker with the thinking of eating less you will be lying to yourself. You will not have a baseline of information. If you have soda everyday, log it. If you go out for dinner a few times a week log it. Get familiar with the app and get mentally aware that everything you eat or drink must be logged.

Machon Tip- Log it before you eat it or right after you eat it. The reason I used an app on my phone was because I always have my phone with me. One day I forgot to log as I ate and I tried as hard as I could to remember everything I had eaten. I could not. What did I put on my cheeseburger? Did I have one soda or two today? Did I grab a snack out of the cabinet or was that yesterday? Where food was concerned the days were running together and if I didn’t get the food logged before or right after I ate it I was a mess.

I want to add that I realize an app is not for everyone. If you want to write down what you eat in a journal feel free to do so. I will keep referring to logging as “the app” because that’s what I used. I understand some people are trying to reduce screen time as well as get back to basics. There is a lot of science that backs actually writing stuff down increases your success. I believe this 100%. I also know for me having notebook with me at all times was not going to happen. I had enough going one in my life. Keeping track of a journal was not making the list.

So a quick recap of what you should have done thus far: Get a calendar and log your current weight. You will then subtract one pound each week until you get to your goal weight. Have that calendar handy at all time. You also will either have an app downloaded or a notebook to begin logging your food. Logging all your food. Eat what you want when you want, but log it. If this seems too easy, it is. I promise you this will work and I also promise you it doesn’t get any harder than this.

Disclaimer- To keep you motivated I need to confess that I lost weight this first week. I did exactly what I just told you to do. I didn’t workout because I had not been working out. I ate cake, I drank soda, and I was literally just popping food in my mouth at all times of the day. Did I eat as much food as I would have normally ate, no. Why, because I didn’t want to log it. The shame was strong. Let me know how your first week went. Please head to the contact page and send me an email. Did you lose weight or gain weight? Did you develop a baseline?

Starting Weight – 290

Ending Weight – 288

The Plan

“The fork will kill you faster than a bullet” – Luke Cage

The plan was to try one small change per month. I wasn’t going to go out and buy a bunch of stuff to get started but I would make one major purchase, a calendar. The day I got the calendar I wrote my weight in the little box. That number glared back and me, but it was a starting point. I wasn’t new at this. The Friday after that start date I wrote my weight minus one pound. Remember I had decided I was going to lose a pound a week. I had no plan on how I was going to pull that off I just knew that was the goal. So on day one I wrote 290 and on the Friday fifty-two weeks later I wrote 238. That was not a bad goal at all. The lowest weight in my adult life was 217 and that was after the weight loss surgery. If doing this plan could get me within reach of that number I was calling this a win.

Up until this point you know all my secrets. If you think you’ve missed something you have not. I figured out how fat I was, went to the doctor, got a calendar and wrote my weight down, then mentally concluded I was riding this out for one year. What follows is going to tell you the one thing I changed each month. Instead of tackling everything at once like I had done before I tackled just one thing. Are you seeing a theme? One thing, one pound. I was going to make myself slow down and really put forth the effort. If I could get past that three week mark I would know I was at least further along than in the past, but guess what? I didn’t even think of it as thirty days, you guessed it. I tackled it as one day at a time. I didn’t think of twelve things I would work on, I didn’t put any thought into what I would do first or last. I didn’t make any goals outside of that one pound a week goal. I didn’t read any books, buy any food, or create some elaborate plan. Outside of the calendar I didn’t get anything extra to pull this off. I didn’t say “in two months if I reach this goal I’m buying new workout clothes”. I just got new clothes. I didn’t put any rules on the weight loss. No expectations on myself or attach any rewards to the weight. No cheesecake if I was successful month one, I just let month one happen. This in itself was completely new for me and scary. All throughout the process I tried to push the envelope and add stuff but I just had to remind myself to focus on the one pound. I think by doing this I took some of the power away from the weight. I didn’t give it any pull over me. If it came off, it came off. If it didn’t I needed to change some things. In the end the weight did come off, at times faster than just one pound. When I lost two pounds I simply ate what I wanted if I wanted. If I gained one pound back, oh well. I kept reminding myself the goal and only goal I needed to reach for my journey was to lose one pound. 

So after reading this far the question I ask of you is are you ready to take this journey. Are you ready to focus on one pound instead of the total you need to lose. Are you ready to finally listen to your body and figure out what works for you. If you are ready then let’s begin. Month one here we come.

What We Wont Do

“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens” – Anonymous

Whenever I decided I wanted to lose weight I would do this one thing. I would say I’m going to start on Sunday. Sunday was always my go to diet day. This meant I could eat garbage all week because I would be depriving myself starting Sunday. This meant I could go to the grocery store and make a plan because I always need to plan. This gave me time to buy proper workout clothes and shoes. This gave me time to get a new journal and write all the inspirational quotes that would take me through the next thirty days in which my plan was to lose thirty pounds. I would start by stepping on the scale and watching the number register. For me the highest that number I got was 299 pounds on my 5’9 frame. Ok that was the highest number I ever saw on the scale. I remember telling myself at one point that if I ever got over 300 pounds I had gone too far. Funny when I got close to 300 pounds I simply stopped getting on the scale. When I went to get weighed for weight loss surgery they actually allowed me to not know what my weight was. I know. Looking back that entire concept seemed so ridiculous. It was like “let’s hide how big you are because you can’t handle it”. It’s making a little more sense why surgery did not work for me. I never went in with a realistic view of what I needed to do to succeed. Hindsight is 20/20. Sometimes after I weighed myself I would get ambitions and measure all my areas. Arms, stomach, hips, neck, wrist, thighs, and ankles. I have very tiny ankles. I would jot all my little numbers down and go through the “how the hell did you get this big” motions, but I would feel good. I would feel good because I had a plan. 

Sunday would come and I was on point. I did everything I said I would do. Followed my plan to the letter and would see all my hard work pay off with a five pound loss at the end of the week. It never dawned on me that the five pounds I lost was simply the five pounds I had gained the week before by eating garbage. Rolling off the high of the loss I would pull this plan off again and BAM, another three pounds gone. Week three I would still be feeling good and usually drop another two pounds. You see me. This would equate to a ten pound loss in three week. I would be in heaven at this point, and this is when heaven usually turned into hell. It could be my time of the month, stress from work, something with the kids, boredom from eating the same foods, or in my case just plain laziness and I would be derailed. I would eat one bad meal which would turn into one bad day which turned into one bad week. Before I knew it I would gain back the ten pounds I lost, plus some additional comfort weight

Month two I would begin to go down my sad rabbit hole and eat more garbage to “feel better” I would go back to my normal day to day life until I would decide try another diet. Another shiny thing shows up that I need to buy, need to eat, or need to wear that will get the weight off. That last thing I got must have been the problem. I’m going to give this 100% and I’m going to do it right. You are all sitting there right now shaking your head aren’t you? If you are then you know what happens next. I try the new thing and it fails. Again if it worked you would not be reading this blog because I would not have needed to write it. The cycle went on and on and the only thing that did happen was I managed to feel worse about myself than when I started. Like Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins said “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. If you haven’t watched the YouTube clip you need to. That woman spoke the truth that day. 

What finally changed? I did. I knew there had to be another way. I could not have success in other areas of my life and continue to suck so bad at losing weight. The lightbulb went off when I decided to go small. Every time I started to try and lose weight the first thing I did was decide how much weight I needed to lose. The smallest amount of weight I ever thought I needed to loose was fifty pounds and at times as high as one hundred pounds. I thought that putting everything in front of me would help me stay focused. All it did was depress me. The number was so large I felt like I could never see the finish line. I changed one thing. I asked myself if I could lose one pound? Just one pound. I had decided I needed to lose fifty two pounds and that equalled one year. In no way was that part planned but the lightbulbs were clicking at this point. What did I have to lose? Well I had 52 pounds so I might as well try something. 

I Love Food

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it”- Maya Angelou

I know this seems like a crazy way to start a diet journey but I’m being honest. I love the smell of fresh baked bread, cookies, and pie. I love the texture of fresh made pasta, Alfredo sauce, and herbs. I love butter, lots and lots of butter. If I could have any cook in my home for just one day and one meal it would be Paula Dean. Yes she’s “allegedly” said some stuff that would make you cringe, but no one can deny that the woman can perform miracles with butter. Remember the episode where she deep fried butter. Now if that’s not fat I don’t know what is. Now enough about Paula, let’s focus on the butter. 

There is never a meal in my home that doesn’t require a good pat of butter. At breakfast your eggs need butter or at least your toast. For lunch try making a grilled cheese without butter, yea that looks nasty. For dinner you can coat your chicken with butter before baking or throw some butter in your mash potatoes or rolls. “What is going on here? What kind of blog is this?” I assure you, you have the right blog. I just wanted to make sure I had my kind of people reading this. If you are skinny and don’t appreciate butter stop reading. If you are going to tell me about all the harm butter can cause, stop. Also don’t email me, text me, or send me any type of digital messages because I will never give up my love of butter. If you love to eat and love food keep reading. If you realize that you need to make some changes but don’t want to sell your soul to do so, keep reading. If you interested in make small changes to get big results, keep reading. 

Each time I’ve tried to lose weight I tried to do it with someone else’s plan. I always tried to find a skinny person and mimic what they ate. I read that somewhere in a magazine. They were eating salads and drinking water with lemon and supposedly they were full. Did I mention the salad had no meat and just veggies! Did you also notice how there was no roll mentioned with butter. This looked horrible to me. Was this the appetizer before the main course? Was this all I was supposed to eat? I was hungry just looking at this plan. Needless to say I tried them all. Here is a comprehensive list as I remember it of all the diets I have tried. Put a check next to any that you have tried yourself. Look at us bonding already. Disclaimer- some of these I have tried more than one time. Yep, I know you’re still with me. 

Weight Watchers

Atkins

Slim Fast

Mindful Eating

Jerusalem Diet

Juice Diet

Counting Calories

Counting Macros

Lose It App

LifeSum App

Noom App

Lark App

My Fitness Pal App

Intermittent Fasting

Lemon Water Detox

Diet Pills including Phen Phen, Alli and Hydroxycut to name a few

Body For Life

Body Typing

Blood Type Diet

Fit For Life

Sugar Busters

The 4 hour Body

Diet Patches

Garcinia Cambogia

Green Tea

Apple Cider Vinegar

GNC Total Lean

Random Protein Shakes

Last but not least- Weight Loss Surgery

I give you this list to assure you I am a person who’s tried everything. I want you to know that I understand the struggle and I’ve lived it. Are you ready to make some changes?

The Day The World Changed

March 2020 I was in my office talking to my team about preparations we would have to make if we were going to work from home. The country was about to undertake nothing we had ever seen before. A new virus called Covid-19 had been discovered and it was believed it might be headed to the United States. While no one was in a panic we were worried because we had no idea what was about to happen. A few members of my team had begun to take extra precautions so we knew we should at least develop a plan if the situation got worse. We didn’t want to take any chances on getting sick in case this turned out to be serious. We knew we needed to develop a work from home plan, just in case.

The team decided we would learn the finer points of Microsoft Teams. I remember one meeting where the project lead was telling us about a feature. He kept going on and on and I was basically lost after the first sentence. Please note that I always speak up when I am confused but he was going so fast I could not even get a word in to say I was lost. Out of nowhere I lost it. I yelled out that no one knew what he was talking about and we would not be using this program this intensely. I was adamant that I just needed to know the basics. I have to tell you we laugh about this incident now for many reasons but at the time there was just silence. This was so out of character for me to yell that the room just fell silent. I have to say the team member held it together and basically ignored my madness and kept the class going. He knew that we needed to learn this and he was going to teach us. Kudos to my team.

Three days after we had that meeting Covid had hit American soil and it was serious. Correction it had already hit American soil but we were finally realizing how close to our actual homes this really was. People were beginning to die and there was no cure in sight. The country didn’t know how to stop or even slow down the spread of Covid-19. The panic and fear began to take over every aspect of our lives, with no one knowing exactly what they needed to do. Luckily the company we worked for made one call for us. Everyone would be working remote. The message came across on email that basically said “you will be working remotely so take everything you need from the office. We don’t know how long you will be working so don’t leave anything you might need”. Shit had just got real.

Everyone thought we would home for thirty days, and then we would be back to normal. There was no way we could go on for any length of time like this. We were sure this would blow over like SARS or Bird Flu. Thirty days later the situation was no better, in fact it was worse. The death toll kept climbing and then the entire country shut down. This was serious. My company issued a statement that said we would not be going back to the office at the end of the thirty days, in fact we would not be going back for at least six months. What the hell was going on? I know people were dying, but when I got the six month news it was like red ink on a clean white piece of paper. Whenever there was red ink on paper from a teacher that was never the “A++” pen. That was the “F” pen, the pen that wrote the notes telling you how to fix your mistakes. This is what this felt like to me. This felt like a huge mistake. This was an “F” on an already crappy month. Now our 30 days has turned into 6 months and we were being instructed to come get our things from the office at our scheduled time. We were told to clean out our offices and leave nothing behind. I was stunned, shocked, and so very very confused. To some this may seem trivial but everything I knew to be normal was being turned upside down. 

After I got set up at home I realized something. I was not going back to work for six months. Wow, six months. That felt like a lifetime to me. The pressure of being at home had caused us like the rest of the world to start ordering food. We were doing our part and keeping the restaurants going. That’s what I was telling myself. I was eating everything I could get my hands on because lets face it. I was stressed. I was beyond stressed. My back had begun to hurt. To clarify I have degenerative disk disorder so this was not a new pain. I had just been able to manage it by not letting my weight get crazy and moving my body. Since this lockdown I wasn’t doing anything but eating. Then something happened. My knee begun to hurt. So now I was some broken down lady on top of being trapped in my house. This was not looking good. Something had to give. 

I would like to tell you that I had some aha moment and I was like yes I want to lose weight. No, it was not that pretty. One morning my back hurt so bad I couldn’t get out of the bed. I literally rolled out of my bed in the most pain I had had in a long time then attempted to stand up. When I stood up my knee went out. When I say went out let me explain. I stood up in my mind, but my body did not come along for the ride. As I stood and the knee immediately went out, I fell. I did not fall pretty and I did not fall soft. I fell hard and fast and then I cried. How the hell did I let it get this bad. Not only was my back hurting but now I wouldn’t be able to walk. I think the worse part was that I had done this to myself. I couldn’t stop eating food so now I was too big to get out of bed. Crazy thing is I wasn’t even that big. Yes I was fat, but I wasn’t that fat in my mind. When I finally got up enough nerve to try and get out the bed again I gingerly walked myself into the bathroom. I knew there was something I needed to do. I needed to see how much I weighed. I stood on the scale and watched the number register and it wasn’t even that crazy to me. I was 5’9 and weighed 280 pounds. I didn’t think 280 pounds was so large that I couldn’t stand. Apparently I was wrong. I then looked in the mirror and decided I needed to do something with myself, and tomorrow was not going to work.

I remember going through the workday almost in a haze because I kept thinking “I fell down”. In one of my Teams chats someone had made the comment that we would not see each other for six months. That’s when that lightbulb went off. I guess I did have an aha moment. Someone had said six months. I was going to be home for six months. I decided that I could at least make some changes so when the six months was over I could go back to work and walk without my knee giving out. My motivation became to simply not fall down. To not be so big that my knee could no longer hold me up. I often talk about finding your motivation and I think people expect these wonderful moments that keep you going. Sometimes that is true, but sometimes the motivation is that you don’t want to be in your 40’s not able to walk. I needed to fix this.

In the coming entries you will find out how I fixed this by fixing one small thing at a time. How I’m losing the weight and keeping it off. You will see how I figured out what really mattered and challenged myself daily to simply be better than the day before.