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Karen925 10-05-2010 06:40 PM

One Year Anniversary
 
Calorie Counting A Year Later
October 6, 2010
130.4#: Lost 61.6#
(Last time was at this weight May 1987)

A year has passed with calorie counting as my method of weight loss. I think it might be helpful to summarize my efforts. As background, I will review my weight history and my responses. As a child I was not overweight. I ate what was prepared for me by my mother. The family ate three times a day, a snack after school sometimes, and never before dinner because it would spoil our appetites. We did not eat in our rooms nor while watching TV in general. We could see the TV from the kitchen table and it would be on. But as for TVs in other rooms, we did not cart our food to them. My mother was not a baker so we did not have desserts often. When I began to cook, I usually made the desserts.

I did not start having weight problems until I started to have children combined with a busy life- undergraduate and graduate school in demanding, low acceptance rate, high failure rate programs. I am very academic and scientifically driven so it seemed to me that when one had a problem, in this case excess weight, then one would turn to the experts in weight loss regimes. I joined Weight Watchers and lost successfully two times covering almost 30 yrs. In fact, I am a lifetime member with a key in the drawer and my original books and materials too. After several years passed and I more children were born, coupled with moving and various stresses, I again gained weight. I really did not have time for meetings with a demanding home life so I started to look for another method. I found South Beach, I liked the broader health approach, the author being a cardiologist, I followed it, lost successfully again, and maintained for several years. Diabetes is a concern in my life and I liked learning about the glycemic index and carbohydrates role with it.

But life continued to unfold, I had more children, moved again, gained weight and stumbled across another diet, NoS, online. It was from a money forum that I had frequented. At this time we were living in a rent house while our home was being built. Half of our belongings was in storage, and Nos appealed to me because of the lack of detail required to be successful. I was told not to weigh myself as that was not accurate but rather to use my clothing fit and body measurements as a guide. I did not need portion control or food group avoidance. As my bathroom scale was not convenient in the rent house and my life was in disarray, relatively speaking for me, this seemed approach seemed so attractive. The only portion control was a plate. Nothing could be easier and more appealing. My previous attempts had all proven successful without me having to learn about nutrition in a precise way, so I assumed I would have the same outcome. Concurrently, my dear husband and I had adopted the cash envelope system a couple years earlier for managing our money which engendered great success. I thought the plate approximated an envelope and was yet another reason to expect success with NoS.

However, I did not lose on Nos, I gained and by the time I stepped on the scale after using this approach for almost 18 months I had gained 12#. I felt a crazy as I would read about others losing so easily and happily. What was I doing wrong? Not to worry, it could take several attempts, the weight loss is slow (moderate). Looking back it is a wonder I did not gain more.

My breaking point came on October 6, 2009 when I tried to put on my capris and I could not even get them over my hips. I had bought into striving for a moderate weight attained by moderate eating. What I really got was fat, 5# from being obese. Enough was enough. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insane and I was tired of being stupid. This one time failure turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to my health. I had also learned about the indispensable role habit plays in success and I applied this knowledge to my previous dieting successes and decided to craft my own program.

I was ignorant about nutrition. I was dependent on some other entity for doing my thinking for me in the most important area of my life, my health. I did not know 3500 cal=1# or that a calorie is not a calorie. Because I had belonged to gyms in the past I knew how little exercise burns off calories, so focusing on the food seemed logical to me. I had read posts by Bright Angel discussing calorie counting which I had dismissed as being too obsessive and restrictive. I was now disgusted enough with my weight to try calorie counting. It was also providential that I had gotten an iTouch for my birthday a week earlier. So I was playing around with it, downloading apps, one of the first being Nutrition Menu. I could not use Diet Power, as she had used, because I have a Mac. She rightly said recording my food intake would be very helpful. I would use LoseIt later as well as Fitday, each having a role in my journey. I used dietphysics with weight loss tracking.

I began my calorie counting, while traveling to NASA with the children, meeting family, for a home schooling day. I first logged my calories in Nutrition Menu in the breakfast buffet area of the Hampton Inn. That night we were eating at a wonderful Asian buffet as we had also visited the Emperor Qin Terra Cotta exhibit at the Museum .Afterwards I was figuring out the calorie counts of what I had eaten. Little did I know that I this most unlikely and difficult of starts would be how my diet would need to operate- on the go, traveling, with food journaling portable in my iTouch, full of sticker shock at the beginning. Sticker shock is what I call finding out the calorie counts for foods and being shocked out how caloric some food is, especially the healthy, pure clean local stuff. I started calorie counting right before the major eating holidays of the year too. There wa really a lot to fight against before I was sick and tired of being fat. Sitting here today, 60 #s lighter, thank you dear Lord for letting it be so. How much joy I would have missed this past year if had decided to wait for a better time.

I also began to learn about all aspects of weight management, nutrition, calories, carbs, exercise, building muscle mass, research articles, interviews, books, pedometers, calipers, BMI, resistance bands, etc,,, I found a supportive website, 3FatChicks, from reading an article on maintenance about how obese bodies are fundamentally changed by their weight gain. I learned tips from expert maintainers and within two months of calorie counting I began to think about my maintenance plan. I bought a very good scale, Tanita, put batteries in my Weight Watchers food scale, and began again. This time, I began counting and weighing daily knowing I would be doing this the rest of my life. It was as important as my daily prayer life, budgeting and balancing my checkbook, brushing my teeth, showering, cleaning my home, regular date nights with DH. In fact, I began to notice that anything in my life that was worthwhile required regular ongoing attention to detail. And how infantile of me it is to whine about calorie counting when one of my sons has Crohns. He MUST monitor his food intake every day, every meal. I thought of my family and friends who have diabetes and MUST take their blood several times a day plus be very mindful of their eating and the need to take medications. How much easier it is to just have to worry about weight. However at my large weight, my own health problems were just around the corner. In fact, I suffered greatly from this excess weight though I did not know it at the time. Now looking back, I wonder how I could have not known. How did I buy into accepting a higher weight than was good for me. How did I not see? Being tall helps to hide the extra pounds. Blindness can run rather deep.

My immediate goals are to continue my maintenance monitoring. I am close to my final weight so I am learning what to eat to maintain, the consequences of eating different calorie/carb ranges, and how to adjust for this. I have a maintenance graphic but the ranges continue to change so I have not posted it. I have successfully maintained for 6 months and I look forward to joining the National Weight Loss Registry in April 2011. I savor my success every day. I find myself savoring ordinary moments. It is so true that being thin and trim is better than being fat and overweight both for joy filled times and for sorrow enveloped moments. I have loved this time of self discovery. I have and will continue to develop delicious, filling, and nutritious meals for me and my family so I will not miss those foods which do not nourish me. I love clothes shopping, seeing my reflection in the mirror and looking at department store flyers. My capris, the ones that motivated me to calorie count still do not fit, they are too big:-)

rockinrobin 10-05-2010 07:26 PM

Congratulations my friend! What a story. Thank you so much for sharing it and sharing it so well.

This got to me a lot though and I am a bit teary, quite teary in fact:

Something else we have in common (unfortunately). We both have a child with Crohns. I too think of my DD often and the horrible challenges she faces (both food and otherwise) and will continue to face as she lives with this dreaded disease.

My daughter is not as fortunate as I am. My *condition* is easily, yes easily managed with tracking and carefulness - hers, not so much.

Anyway. I am thrilled to have crossed paths with you and your wisdom.

Happy anniversary and many, many more. :)

Karen925 10-05-2010 07:55 PM

Rockinrobin-
You are another one I must single out as indispensable in my road to success. Without your insights and tips on how to succeed, I would still be fat. Planning my meals on vacations and challenging eating situations, ways I learned from you. I had roasted green beans tonight and getting another delicata squash tomorrow. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I really must fight my desire to be sarcastic when I see people whining about food journaling when I see my 21 yr son struggle. They should try living his life for a day. The experimental drugs, etc...
Karen

xty 10-06-2010 01:17 PM

Thanks so much for taking the time to articulate the details of your story. Very inspiring!

I love that you focused on educating yourself and took responsibility for it rather than handing it over to someone else, as you said.

Happy anniv to you :)

damngina 10-06-2010 01:43 PM

What an inspiring story! Happy anniversary!

Karen925 10-06-2010 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xty (Post 3511003)
I love that you focused on educating yourself and took responsibility for it rather than handing it over to someone else, as you said.

I keep wondering, why did it take me so long? But I am glad I finally got my head screwed on straight.:dizzy:

Onederchic 10-06-2010 05:35 PM

Amazing!! You are an inspiration :hug:

jkinboston89 10-06-2010 06:21 PM

Thank you for sharing! :) Congratulations!

xty 10-06-2010 06:33 PM

Karen925 - things come to us in our own time. When you were ready, you were ready :)

rockinrobin 10-06-2010 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Karen925 (Post 3509961)
Rockinrobin-
You are another one I must single out as indispensable in my road to success. Without your insights and tips on how to succeed, I would still be fat. Planning my meals on vacations and challenging eating situations, ways I learned from you. I had roasted green beans tonight and getting another delicata squash tomorrow. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Oh thank you so much. That means a lot to me. But I don't buy it for a second. You were getting this weight off with or without me and 3FC. You were determined!!!

Quote:

I really must fight my desire to be sarcastic when I see people whining about food journaling when I see my 21 yr son struggle. They should try living his life for a day. The experimental drugs, etc.
This kinda gets to me to. People bemoaning journaling, calorie tracking, advanced planning, cooking from scratch, traveling with foods....

luckymommy 10-06-2010 07:27 PM

What an inspiring story! Thanks so very much for posting and congrats on not only maintaining for 6 months, but also for getting your head on straight! ;) I find that as long as mine is on straight, I can do it all with very little effort (compared to raising my children, one of whom has a disability). I think the struggle makes everything else seem minimal in comparison.

Queen Donna 10-06-2010 07:28 PM

What a great story. You are an inspiration and encourage me to continue on my path.

Thank you

galewinters11 11-22-2010 04:27 AM

Thanks! Stories like yours really inspire me to keep going when I feel like just throwing in the towel.

Raspberry 1984 12-12-2010 12:44 PM

happy anniversary :)

great story


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