Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Why I Am Not On A Diet

Let's get this straight, I am NOT on a diet. I don't believe diets work in the long-run. And most experts who aren't trying to sell you a diet plan will agree. 

But. And here's the kicker. Despite the fact that I exercise most days, and even though Hubby and I have made numerous healthy changes in our diet since his heart surgery... I've gained five pounds in the last three years. Now, how the heck did that happen? I was shocked when I stepped on the scale a couple of weeks ago, even though it only confirmed what I'd suspected. I had gained weight. My jeans and my mid-section had been telling me the whole sad story for a while. 


woman in blue pants suit and red loafers. White sweater, sneakers and black pants. Black dress, sandals and jean jacket.
Looks that hide what I want to hide  


Now don't go all preachy on me, people. Or try to talk me out of the idea that I need to drop a couple of pounds. I know what I look like when I step out of the bath, and you don't. Thank goodness. Ha. I also know what I look like in my jeans before I don that artfully draped scarf, or the loose tee that falls to just the right place to hide what needs to be hidden and not hide what I'm still happy to show the world. 

And here's the other thing. Those artfully draped scarves and tees weren't always doing the job anymore. This, in part, contributed to the confidence-sapping moment that day a few weeks ago when I caught sight of my profile in a store window. 

Once my suspicions about my burgeoning middle were confirmed, I thought I knew the reason why. 

Despite daily exercise, I move a whole lot less than when I was working. Teaching burns calories. Talking to a room full of teenagers, animatedly waving my hands around, moving up and down the room, up and down the halls, and up and down the stairs at school all day helped me stave off what I call "slippage." That slippery slope of weight gain that creeps up on most of us in middle age. I wrote several posts about slippage a while ago, starting with this one

So what can one do? I guess I could go back to work. That would be simple, right? Ha. But not feasible, even if I were so inclined. Should I stop doing whatever I'm doing that keeps me sitting in my chair more than I should? Like reading, or writing this blog. That's not going to happen. I'm not going to give up what I love in order to shed a few pounds. So... should I go on a diet?

The answer to that question is a resounding NO, according to my sources. Especially if that diet includes making drastic changes to my eating habits, changes that will be insupportable in the long run. Like the "boiled egg diet" which seems to be making the rounds of Facebook these days, claiming to help you lose 20 lbs in 14 days. Just for fun, I checked it out and it prescribes as many as four eggs a day! Four eggs a day! With nary a warning to people who might have cholesterol issues. If Hubby's cardiologist read that, he'd have... well... a coronary. I'm also not going to go on the South Beach, or the Sonoma, or the Beverly Hills diet. I won't be climbing onto the Wheat Belly bandwagon, which the dietitian at the Ottawa Heart Institute completely debunked at a workshop we attended a couple of years ago. Nor am I going caveman with the paleo diet, or the ketogenic one. I'm sure all of these plans would make me drop those five pounds in a few weeks. But what then? 

In this article, Jennifer Kuk from York University says, if I diet, my body's "resting energy expenditure" will drop, and when I stop dieting I may be one of the fifty percent of the population for whom this will be permanent. Which means I will gain back the weight and more because, just by living, I now burn fewer calories than I did before I started dieting. Apparently something called the "Biggest Loser Study" says that "six years after the show ended, the contestants in Season 8 found that their metabolism was still down an average of 499 calories a day." 

The idea of rebound weight gain is nothing new. We've all heard about it. But now scientists are finding the data to support what we've really always known, but rarely admit. Neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt, in her Ted Talk "Why dieting doesn't usually work," says that people who lose 10% or more of their body weight find that their "resting energy expenditure" drops, and they will need on average 200-400 fewer calories a day to simply maintain their set point, the weight at which our body seems most comfortable with itself. She adds that successful dieting does not lower one's set point because, unfortunately, our bodies work hard no matter what we do to keep our weight stable. She does add that our set point is not a specific weight, but a range of usually 10-15 pounds. And that it's conceivable that we can "use lifestyle choices to move our weight up and down within that range." But outside of the range... it's a losing battle against biology, hormones, and our brains. 

So what am I doing about those five pesky pounds? Well, while I've not been on a diet for the past couple of weeks, I have been on a fact finding mission. 

I'm using a free on-line food tracker to record what I've been eating and how much exercise I've been doing. I always track my exercise, partly because I love numbers, and partly because I work best if I have specific, measurable goals for myself. For the past year I've been trying for 300 minutes of cardio a week. This on-line program helps me to see how many calories all that cardio actually burns. And how many calories I'm consuming daily. I know it's not just about the calories, but seeing the numbers always helps me... because for all my airy-fairy tendencies, deep down I'm a numbers person. I want to see the numbers generated by my food choices. 

Turns out I didn't know the whole reason for my weight gain. What I've learned from my food journal is that I have fallen off the healthy eating train that Hubby and I boarded together five years ago. Too many treats, too many MacDonald's french fries, too many lattes, too much bread, not enough fruit and veg with breakfast and lunch, and too little portion control. So, I'm not going on a diet, I'm just going to make healthier choices more often. Putting back into play all those wise decisions that Hubby and I made about our eating habits five years ago, and which I've let slide a bit lately. I won't be making major changes, just tinkering. Just being a bit more mindful. I figure that I'm following Ms. Aamod's advice and "using lifestyle choices" to play within my set point range. 

As far as exercise goes, I'm already walking and cycling or pedaling my exercise bike as much as I can. But I'm trying to fit in more weight work-outs. I've let those slide a bit. Mostly because this time of year I prefer to get outside for my exercise, and a weight workout is definitely an indoor activity. Maybe I should move my weights to the deck? Now, that's a thought. 

I know there are other solutions that I could consider. But whatever I choose to do has to be something that I will be able to maintain, that I will want to maintain, and not something that I will dread. Like yoga classes or swimming. Both fine forms of exercise, but not for me. 

This afternoon I was discussing this post, and my research findings, with Hubby. And we were talking about health and diet and the importance of having a realistic self-image. I do realize that it would NOT be healthy to expect to ever again weigh 125 lbs. Or even 135. But it's not unrealistic to want to be a bit better than I am at the moment, whether that's three or four pounds lighter, or a bit more fit, and stronger. I think Hubby still holds a faint hope that I'll carry the canoe one day. Ha. 

As Hubby and I continued our conversation, I related to him what I'd read about all those famous diets, the boiled egg diet and the Beverly Hills diet which are so unhealthy, the South Beach and the Atkins diets which were so popular in their day, and the current keto craze. 

And it occurred to me that the problem with all those diets, even the ones that prescribe healthy foods, is not that they don't help people to lose weight, but that they do. Because according to the experts I listened to and read today... that's when the really big problems start. 

And that, folks, is primarily why I am not on a diet. 

Have a listen to Sandra Aamodt's Ted Talk for yourself. It's pretty interesting.





Now, I must run. Hubby is watching the World Cup, and I'm making dinner tonight. Yes, I am. Don't fall off your chairs in amazement. I haven't entirely forgotten how to cook. 



So, how about you my friends? Any diet or fitness challenges that you've faced lately? Any that you want to tell us about, that is? 



Linking up with Thursday Favourite Things,  #SaturdayShareLink-up, and #fakeittillyoumakeit 

59 comments:

  1. Thanks for writing this, and the TED Talk with Sandra Aamodt. I needed to read and watch this right now. It’s frustrating how the weight just sneaks up a pound or 2 at a time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Cerena. It is frustrating how weight can creep up verrry slowly... I'm now 10 lbs heavier than I was in my thirties. But I'm not going to try to get back to that earlier weight.

      Delete
  2. I’ve been doing the same thing since i got home, dialling it back to the healthy patterns I know I’ve slid away from. It’s tempting, sometimes, to try a more concerted approach and lose the ten pounds that take me down a size, but I know they don’t stay off so I’m sticking with healthy choices, smaller portions, and regular exercise in activities I enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Frances. I sometimes look in the mirror and think... know, actually... that if I really tried I could get back to 135. But according to everything I've read, then the real battle would begin. And it's just not worth the risk.

      Delete
    2. I have a relationship with a number too - but I'm shorter than you so it's lower. I have the number from my early and mid-50s, 122, and the number from a couple of days ago, 127, and the number that I take as my North Star, i.e. 125. So if I hit 127 I am OK but, I eat a lot of salad and jarred tuna for the next couple of days. If it's 125 in the morning, I'm game for a fried roll with my pho;). I said goodbye to 122 because it was just too hard to keep up, and, as I say below, I kept getting sick:(.

      I told my jeans they either had to expand or they were out of here.

      Delete
  3. Darn. I was going to write a similar post...good for you. Up to you entirely. You are probably unlikely to do anything stupid or dangerous and have recognised that slippage happens. You don't have to like slippage or accept it and cutting back on food (we all eat far too much, let us be honest) is how it is done. Walk the streets and look about you if you doubt that. Diets are one of the great flash points, I find. People can become completely irate if you even announce you are tired of not being able to fit into your trousers. As ever: cool your jets. That's your choice, not mine, I'd prefer to get back into my trousers, thanks. As you have carefully pointed out, a bit of research about eating pays off with interest. I wish you well and here is my bet - you won't find it hard to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Annie. What is hard for me to do is to NOT try to get back to 135 lb. As I said to Frances, from everything I've read, losing the weight is the easy part. So many of those weight loss programs focus on a quick loss for the first couple of weeks... that's short term "gain" (or loss as the case may be) which will lead to long term pain. And once the weight is gained back and more, that new higher number usually becomes your new set point, according to Sandra Aamodt.

      Delete
  4. Yes, I'm with you. After a month of vacationing with my visiting daughter and a big double birthday party, complete with everyone's favorite not-so-healthy foods, I'm back on the wagon. My Fitness Pal is my tracking app and it's a blessing and curse. Some days it shocks me. But reality must be faced.

    I also find it much harder to drop those creeping pounds as I've aged. Ugh. But I feel much, much worse when I eat all the indulgent (read: salty, sugary, fatty) snacks. So I guess my body is telling me something and I'd better listen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, me too. I feel icky when I eat fast foods, all the stuff I used to love. Potato chips still call to me from the grocery shelf from time to time... but I try to resist. We only indulge in that kind of stuff now when we're camping.

      Delete
    2. P.S. That TED talk is wonderful...thanks for sharing it.

      Delete
  5. I agree that slippage can and will certainly happen as we age but its not something you don't have some control over. I know there are some health issues that make this harder for some folks, but for the rest of us, its just about making healthy eating choices. I highly recommend www.nutritionfacts.org as a resource for optimal healthy eating. I am a nurse and it is the scientific studies that support the whole plant food way of eating that I appreciate. It is most definitely a lifestyle change. My cholesterol has dropped and I feel great. Oh yeah, and I lost 15 pounds. It has been 2 years and I have no desire to return to my old unhealthy ways of eating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I looked into a plant based diet when my husband was diagnosed with heart disease five years ago. In fact I drove myself crazy researching. The dietitian at the heart institute finally helped pull me out of my attempts to micro-manage our diet. Now we eat lots of vegetables, less meat, mostly lean chicken and pork, and lots of fish. Our issue was that we already ate a pretty healthy diet, just not healthy enough for someone who has a predisposition for heart disease. I agree that healthy eating is the key. But I now believe that it's not as easy to effect weight loss on a permanent basis as I used to think. At least not for everyone.

      Delete
  6. I dropped about 30 pounds over the course of a year and a bit using the My Fitness pal app (no, I'm not being paid for saying that!). It really is as simple as calories in / calories out. Portion size is key, as well as just being accountable for what you put in your mouth. It is also a whole lot easier to eat less than it is to exercise away that same amount of calories. For what it's worth, I think you look great and you already seem to have the whole exercise mentality down pat! It's also great that you have a husband who is on board - that helps! -Jenn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm using the Fitness Pal ap too, Jenn. The free one. I haven't upgraded to anything more complex. Sometimes I have to supplement the info there with other sources since there can be some conflicting numbers on their data base for the same food. But mostly it's helped me make better choices by reminding me what the consequences of that order of fries will be. Ha. I don't choose entirely based on calories, since I still use a lot of olive oil and eat avocado pretty much every day. I haven't given up my glass of wine with dinner, either. A girl's still gotta live:)

      Delete
  7. I love this. A few years ago everyone in my office went on a crazy diet of less than 1000 calories per day. They were moody and fussy the entire time, and the minute they stopped the weight came back and even more. A good lesson for me. At 5/2" I can't afford major weight gains, but I did put on an extra 10 - 15 a few years ago. A careful diet (but not draconian) and trying to replace the exercise lost when I stopped teaching has helped to keep that off, although I still have to be mindful that the once a week french fries don't turn into more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who knew that teaching was such good exercise, eh? I have to watch the french fries. They are my weakness, along with potato chips, and homemade biscuits. I have to ration those treats more carefully!

      Delete
  8. I've been trying to convince myself that I need to get rid of all my diet books. I have all you mention and more including diet book to make my brain smarter but actually drove me crazy trying to understand all of it. I use sparkpeople app and it works for me when I stay honest about what I'm entering. Your article has given me that final push to donate the diet books and use my common sense about what I'm eating and how much. Thank You

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. I did a ton of reading in the past couple of days, on top of what I normally read and set aside as possible blog topic material.And I noticed that sooo many advice articles came from those who had a program, book, or diet plan to sell. So much of the info in these sources was incomplete. For instance, of course obesity is linked to disease (as many sites say)... but further studies have shown that obese people who exercise, eat a healthy diet, don't smoke, and drink moderately are not any more unhealthy than thin people who have good lifestyle habits. That stat really interested me.

      Delete
  9. I've found that cutting back and being very mindful of my eating habits for over six months has resulted in a weight loss of 6 lbs. That is NOT what I was hoping for. On top of that when I started getting really fed up with my slow progress I managed to gain back 2 of those pounds in 2 weeks despite extra exercise.

    I'm a very healthy eater, low sugar, no meat, no poultry or fish, no dairy, no alcohol, no bread, I'm borderline vegan for Pete's sake! And still my body refuses to budge.

    I often think about another blogger who said all she did was give up eating a pack of chips every evening and she dropped 20 lbs and I wonder what the heck is wrong with me.

    It is very frustrating not being able to fit comfortably in almost all of the pants in my wardrobe. I used to enjoy baking and I gave that up entirely.

    I'm not a happy camper and I don't like accepting this as my new normal.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In her Ted Talk, Sandra says that when she kept gaining the weight back she always blamed herself. I think we all do that. Why am I not good enough/strong enough/etc to do this? I have no advice... not that you were necessarily looking for any... just my commiseration:)

      Delete
    2. Perhaps she was eating a family pack of chips every day...that would make a difference. Don't despair.

      Delete
  10. I admit that I have simply embraced the additional 5 pounds. I work really hard to keep it to 5. In my case I did it because I found I was getting sick a lot, as though my body just needed more flesh. So I said OK. I'm not one for McDonald's, etc., and my cholesterol has risen so I have to stay away from cheese and red meat, but when I'm hungry I am weak and crabby. I eat a lot of nuts and olive oil and whole grain bread and apples. So here we are.

    That said, I am still trying to work enough exercise into my days. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, Lisa. Here we are. I'm also thinking that I need to help Hubby in the garden. Maybe I need more movement that is not just dedicated exercise... like cardio or strength training. Just movement.

      Delete
  11. Sue...You kept the cream sweater! I love how you've styled it. Looks great!
    I've been thinking of my own added 5 or so pounds which crept on the past 2 years. I love food and have miminal discipline. I enjoy reading the comments and what others do. I do understand calories in & out. My Fitness Pal does help. I will look up what Martha suggested. South Beach, the Zone, Suzanne Somer sit with my cookbooks. I've become lazy! Good nutrition is work.
    I ceased my workouts due to past work and sports related injuries. After a year of osteo, massage and acupuncture....I'm back! I recently joined Orange Theory Fitness (60 mins) and go twice a week. So there is 120 mins and a far cry from your 300 minutes. As I write this, I look upon my pool and think I could easily add many more minutes. Ha! The video was interesting. Thanks for the share.
    I do the half tuck with my tops...it breaks up the waist line...or so I think!
    Have a good one!
    Robin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Robin.By the time I'd found some outfits I liked with that cream sweater it was too warm to wear it. Maybe when we're down east in August where it can get cool at that time of year.
      Injury can play havoc with a fitness regime can't it? We've hardly cycled this summer because I was having physio for neck problems, and I couldn't bike comfortably. Then it got really hot. Hopefully this weekend I'll be back in the saddle. I think it's natural to slide and then get back into fitness again, then slide again. Ha. I've been doing it for thirty years!

      Delete
  12. I've gained 10 pounds since my trip to Italy last September, but then I shouldn't be surprised... I ate gelato and pasta every day and when I got home I tried for two weeks to unsuccessfully duplicate this very simple pasta dish. Since then, I've gotten over confident, thinking the 5 pounds after Italy didn't show, but now, I have gained 5 more pounds... My claim to fame are my quesadillas and margaritas... no mix. In the last six weeks I've had numerous little dinner parties and served both of those with guacamole and grilled chicken, and if there's any left the next day, I make more quesadillas, guacamole and margaritas just for me. I agree diets don't work so I'm returning to the way I've always eaten... protein, one slice of cranberry walnut bread from Whole Foods with almond butter, fresh veggies and some fruit. Have no idea what I'll do if this doesn't work! xoxox, Brenda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Getting back to normal will probably work, don't you think? Just don't go on any crazy diets... you look great!

      Delete
  13. Hi Sue, I managed to drop 14 pounds from end Sept last year to Feb this year without too much effort. I am 52 years and walk a good couple of miles every day, but do not do any other exercise. I became stricter about eating less junk food and more whole food. I am a vegetarian. I still enjoyed pizza every so often. What worked for me most was intermittent fasting - I did not know it had a name or was a thing currently. I just had longer periods between meals. So two meals a day, with a snack in-between and tried to have a minimum of 16 hours between dinner and brunch. Not really difficult because you are sleeping for a good portion of this time. The weight has stayed off up until now. I am more lenient now - summer and ice cream do go together :) Maybe this info will be helpful. It is wonderful to fit into one size down clothes that have been in my cupboard for years that were either just too tight or not fitting very comfortably. All the best. Lise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hubby and I were surprised when he was recovering from his heart surgery how great walking is. He kind of scoffed since he's used to much more strenuous exercise, but now we both love it. I do it more than he does, since I can't run anymore, and haven't been biking in a while due to neck issues. Good luck with the ongoing regime. I agree that it's wonderful to go back down a size.

      Delete
  14. New to your blog. I wish I had found it sooner :-)
    Also struggling with some extra pounds. I find a fitbit has helped me to focus on how many steps I take in a day. I love when I break my own record! lol I'll definitely will be visiting again.

    Take care
    Jeannette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to my blog. Hope you come often:)
      P.S. I love achieving or surpassing those numerical goals too!

      Delete
  15. Very frustrating the way those extra ponds creep up on you. I've never been one for weighing myself and genuinely don't know my weight but use my clothes and waistbands as a indicator and as you say you always know yourself. The downside of the lovely weather we've been enjoying this summer has been those few extra glasses of wine and of course eating out more doesn't help. Agree that teaching helps fat burning. I noticed a positive change when I moved from a learning support role(very sedentary) back to class teaching. Interesting TED talk. I think your approach to your current weight predicament is very sensible. Amused to learn you have a weakness for MacDonalds fries. Good luck with your new approach. All about balance alongside the mindfulness and clever dressing works in the interim. Iris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I weigh myself usually only once a month or so. But in the past few, I've not been on the scales at all. Until the other day. Might have staved off the shock if I'd stepped on them sooner:)
      Ha. MacDonald's fries are my biggest weakness. Except for the hand-cut fries we get around here only at "chip wagons"... french fry trucks. Oh my... they are delish. It's good for me to know just how many calories are in that "little" treat. Helps me to say no thanks.

      Delete
  16. Read this earlier today, thought I must comment later, then came back to find this wonderful thread. Obviously you hit a nerve. I have kept the same weight as from age 21(64 now) but it is the darned slippage that is getting me. I exercise and am a healthy eater, and have had to adjust even more the last couple of years due to some health issues. Despite daily walking of 4-5 miles and 3-4 yoga classes a week, I am thickening through the middle. I look in the mirror and see my mom and her 4 sisters, who were all much taller than I, but gradually gained a belly as they aged. I am fighting it with trying to stay active, but I refuse to starve myself. I become the poster child for hangry, and even the dog is wary of me in that stage. Maybe I will download the Fitness app and try that. I am grateful to be my age and be able to do as much as I do, and am trying to accept that this ol' body is doing it's best to house me that it can. I would not judge anyone else with as hard an eye as I judge myself, yet knowing that, it is still a constant struggle to not self-criticize. I love your blog and the thoughtfulness of your readers as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Judy. Lots of great comments on this post. Thickening is what I've been experiencing as well. Comes from having long skinny legs, a short torso, and no where else for the weight to go. I try not to get too caught up in self-criticism. But when I look at pictures of my thirty year old self, it's hard not to be discouraged.

      Delete
  17. Me too. I have always been slim and do not want to lose weight but in the last 18 months I have slippage too and I don't like it. It started when convalescing from a minor op that has also prevented me from doing certain exercises. Can you tell I am looking for excuses? I eat healthily but need to get back into some sort of exercise routine so that I can firm up the slippage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The never-ending story... battle of the slippage. :)

      Delete
  18. In addition to what I eat and how much I eat, at this age (60), I find it also matters when I eat. My evening meal is eaten relatively early (6:00) and it's a smaller meal than it used to be. I've also learned that even moderate alcohol consumption can contribute to the belly bulge so many woman of a certain age complain about - just saying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh.. I hear you. Trying to balance between being self-indulgent and being so strict so that I don't enjoy our evening meals... which is always our best time of day.

      Delete
  19. I’ve been very cognizant of my carb intake, particularly because my husband borders on Type 2 diabetes (he’s what they refer to as a skinny diabetic.] After a couple of hard weeks, I have experienced fewer afternoon energy crashes and constant hunger of previous diets. Check out the Canadian doctor Jason Fung. Very interesting ....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carbs are my biggest weakness. Of the potato or bread variety. I will check out that source, thanks.

      Delete
  20. Interesting,excellent,well investigative and necessary post,Sue
    Almost completely agree with the Ted talk-I did notice in my praxis that there are some "steps",while trying to loose weight and it takes a lot of work to "deceive" one's brain and go back one step down (in a range of couple of pounds )on the scale
    Diets promising fast slimming are usually not only a false promise,leading to jo-jo effect,but also very bad (or even dangerous) for the health
    Healthy diet (and there are many questions what it really is and it differs in different parts of the world) and healthy style of life could help.
    So,my obvious choice is mediterranean diet (or way to eat,or way of life),but even so, it is very important what kind of food it is and how it was growing,because the body needs essential nutritiens and ,if not "satisfied",it craves for more and more and we might not recognize what we need (not cakes!)
    Of course,there are always slippages,a lot of social events and socializing ,travels when you like to try delicious local food as much as possible...In my experience,it is easier to loose weight (not mental-mentally it is very difficult to stay on the right path) if you were eating a lot of junk food,food with "empty" calories before choosing the healthy life style,than if you were eating well before
    Mindful eating is crucial IMO: divide your meal in three parts,eat slowly,chew more times and ask yourself after every part "Do I need the rest?"
    If you have late evening cravings,first do something:wash the window,dust,make some abs exercises.....and if you want to eat it after that anyway...well,you'll have the clean window!
    Stop eating from politeness,not to leave food on your plate,not to offend someone.....
    And when you choose to eat that cake or fries,eat them slowly,enjoying every bite of it
    The last year was very difficult for me,with broken vertebra,resting a lot,my fathers death....all together and I have more than five pounds too much. But,I decide to not be very hard on myself,eat mindfully,swimm,exercise moderately and see what the future brings ...( "the truth revealing" on the beach :-))
    Dottoressa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dividing your meal sounds like a great idea, Dottoressa. And stopping when full is the mindful eating that Sandra Aamodt speaks about.
      Your year sounds as if it has been really tough. I'm sorry for that. You are wise to approach the weight gain situation with patience and moderate exercise. But then again, you're a very wise woman:)

      Delete
    2. Thanks:-)
      I have to say that Sandra Aamodt has a veeeery nice dress ,no? Just something I need right now!
      D.

      Delete
  21. I am in exactly the same situation as you are right now... carrying about 5 extra pounds that seem to have located themselves mostly around my middle. I find summer the worst time for this, but I don't want to let it get out of hand. Every now and then, I use MyFitnessPal.com to track my activity and my food. That always seems to help, so thank you for reminding me that I should do it again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Summer has always been the worst for me, too. When I worked I gained in the summer and lost it again in the fall. I find that tracking things helps me. I don't do it every day, though. I try to follow the advice of the dietitian at the Heart Institute who said we should eat very healthy for 80% of the time.

      Delete
  22. Another one here, the same 5lbs have landed around my middle since the beginning of this year. I’m 66 and been a stable weight for around 6 years. I can’t pinpoint any one reason so resigned myself to say it’s complicated. In a panic I called my doctor to insist it must have something to do with a couple medications but was told politely, no. I run, walk minimum 15m steps daily, yoga, limit alcohol. I try to use a measuring tape instead of a scale as there is too much anxiety with a daily weigh in. I agree with what another reader mentioned, weight does not appear overnight and requires taking an honest look at your habits. I keep telling myself it’s onky 5lbs but I still don’t feel good about it. Looking forward to watching the TED talk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I seem to have been a stable weight every decade... it's just that each decade it creeps up a few pounds. But 5 lbs in a couple is years is too much. My measuring tape is just as nasty to be as the scale! Ha.

      Delete
  23. Like Lisa (Amid Privilege) I've just embraced my extra 5 lbs. I eat extremely healthy, I do have a glass or two of wine every night (and might lose the 5 lbs if I didn't) but my BMI is still considered good, and if we're all gaining this bit of weight in spite of our efforts - maybe it's meant to be? I still have to work hard to keep it at just the extra 5, but I'd really have to be deprived to lost those. Not interested.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you, Kathy. I'm not interested in adopting a draconian regime to lose a few pounds and then be stuck with depriving myself for the duration. I still need to watch the wine though... some nights my "glasses" are definitely more fulsome than others. Ha.

      Delete
  24. Oh gosh, I am forewarned ahead of 60! I actually lost around 10lbs when I took early retirement 2 years ago at age 57. Not sure exactly how, but I did stop eating between meals and have never gone back to snacking (no more biscuits during dull work meetings), and stepped up exercise. Perhaps the weight fell off because I was also very happy! The weight has stayed off so far. My taste is naturally for fruit and veg - but also for cheese! Don't like fast food - think the last burger and chips I had must have been around 20 years ago out of desperation at a motorway service station. But I do notice a little summer tummy podge - probably the result of too much sugar from our mountain of soft fruit in the garden, and a fatal weakness for Magnum chocolate coated ice creams. So your post is a very timely reminder to exercise a bit of portion reduction, increase the exercise, and lay off the Magnums!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh... I have a weakness for chocolate covered ice cream as well. I've learned to satiate it with chocolate frozen yogurt which has less fat and fewer calories, but still has that fudgey taste.

      Delete
  25. My diet plan still sadly consists of having a trusted friend or family member fitting me with a strait jacket, duct tape and maybe some sort of Hannibal Lector muzzle or a gag :)

    I may have to get some of that will power stuff I've heard about !

    ReplyDelete
  26. So interesting, Susan! I didn't know that about the 15 pound range and that makes me feel better since I do tend to go up and down within that range. But yeah, let's face it. Age makes a difference too, right? I never had a tummy until menopause. I'm trying to fight the good fight with some healthy choices and exercise. It amazes me how many otherwise intelligent women do these totally crazy diets. I have a friend who is one of the most well-read and thoughtful women I know, and she's currently fasting every other day. How could that be good?!! Anyway ... always love your posts. I'm enjoying my summer away from teaching and having time to visit more blogs!

    OXOX
    Dawn Lucy
    https://fashionshouldbefun.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dawn Lucy. I am sure you are enjoying your non-prepping, non-marking, non-cafeteria duty, non-teaching summer! Read books, drink wine, put your feet up! September is just around the corner:)

      Delete
  27. Hi, I love those red shoes - can you let us know who makes them? Also love what you're wearing, maybe you can mention the brands? You have great taste! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Emma. The red loafers are Earth Brand. if you scroll across the picture you should see a box appear with all the brands listed:).

      Delete

All comments, ideas, commiserations, questions, complaints... are most welcome.