I’m getting close to finishing my first round of edits on my WineCountryMom eBook. It’s been kind of cool to read through those old entries and see where we’ve traveled from – all the things I struggled through and overcame, and how much the kids have grown since then. It’s also pretty eye-opening to see the things I struggled with then – and still struggle with now.
Weight issues being one of them.
Granted, I’m not fat. I’d like to get a little slimmer and a bit more firm, of course. But we’re only talking 15 pounds, not 150 pounds. However, I think weight will always be my issue, whether I’m big or small.
The one thing I’ve discovered differently over the years, though, is how important it is to love yourself no matter what size you are. Our bodies are just our shells. Whether we’re fat or thin, who we are on the inside doesn’t change. You can lose all that weight on the outside, and still be that fat girl on the inside. If you can’t love yourself with a few extra pounds, you won’t magically love yourself when they’re gone.
I’m working on my next article for the newspaper, and think I’ll touch on this. But for now, here’s a peek into retro WineCountryMom (the original article can be found here), and one of the chapters of the upcoming blog eBook.
BATTLING THE BABY BULGE
I’ve been fighting the baby bulge. No, not the kind that you have when you are newly pregnant and possess a cute little bump that later turns into an adorable basketball on your tiny frame (uh, yeah, unless you’re me and even your ankles get a baby bump). I’m talking about the baby bulge you battle once the baby is already out. To be fair, I did just have a baby (eight years ago), so I can’t claim a Heidi Klum body anymore (stop laughing). But for the past year I have been trying different diets and exercises to lose the weight once and for all. And in one year I have lost (drumroll please)…..
Yes, that’s right. Only ten pounds. And do you know why? Because of yo-yo dieting. It’s getting ridiculous. I have pretty much lost and gained the same ten pounds more times that I can keep track of.
I tried giving up carbs, went through hell for several weeks as I felt like my stomach was eating my brain cells, and wanted to attack the first unlucky sourdough roll I came across like something out of a horror movie. But then I eased into the no carbs rule and felt like, “Hey! This isn’t so bad! I could never eat carbs again and be totally fine!” And then someone gave me a tiny bite of their cake. Suddenly I realized that I couldn’t live without bread. I started begging friends to hook me up and give me a fix since my cupboards were bare of anything that might have more than two carbs in it.
Then I tried counting calories, and felt like I was starving by the end of the day. But by the second week I was calmly eating six small meals while burning at least 400 calories a day, strategically planning my meals so that there was no surprise of a 600 calorie meal by accident. And then I was taken out to dinner and decided to try the cream based salmon served on fettuccini for a cool 1200 calories only because I had been so good for so long. And it awakened the fact that I was HUNGRY. And that little piece of cream covered salmon snuck in all his friends – like chocolate swirl cheesecake, huge deli sandwiches, potato salad, and French fries.
And then I tried the “no flour, no sugar” diet – which is really hard if you don’t think about it constantly. But I figured out that rice has no flour. Same with French fries and the “Protein Burger” at In N Out. Um…..I think I was missing the point on that one.
Then I tried the Gluten free diet, which was a lot like the “no flour, no sugar” diet, except now I could eat bread as long as it had no wheat or gluten in it. I discovered a brown rice bread I would eat even if I wasn’t on a diet, and I fell in love. But I also realized that this was just another diet that I was treating like a gimmick, and that one failed too.
Then there’s the arguments I get into with the scale. “You’ve gotta be kidding me. Do you really expect me to believe that I’ve gained SEVEN pounds between yesterday and today? I only LOOKED at that bowl of ice cream with fried plantains. I mean, I only took one little bite to make sure that the plantains weren’t too hot. Seriously, I only had one bowl of it. But seven pounds? Seriously? I think you just hate me.” I weigh myself in the morning – before I pee, then after I pee. I just like to see the scale go down a little bit once I’ve gotten rid of a pound of liquid. Then I take a shower and weigh myself again (as if I have just washed away a pound of dirt). I try it with my hair unbrushed, then I brush it and see if there’s a difference (there isn’t, by the way). When I get home from work I go straight to the scale, stripping before I step on to make sure that my ten pounds of clothing don’t add to the number. And then before bed I try one more time, just to see if the scale has come to its senses again.
It’s really helpful. That’s sarcasm, by the way.
In all my dieting failures and successes, I’ve realized one thing. It’s all about calories in vs. calories burnt. For me, the diet that worked the best out of all of them was just old-fashioned calorie counting – when I was being faithful to it. 100 calories can be several different things – a piece of bread, a slice of cheese, a pat of butter, a small spoon of peanut butter, a glass of milk, 7 slices of turkey meat, or 1/3 pack of tofu. I have to make conscious efforts to decide which choice is going to be the most filling for me so that I’m not too hungry and so that I don’t binge at the end of the day. And if I work out that day I am allowed to eat even more.
So, back to square one. Eat healthy, move a little more, repeat. It’s time to get serious about this thing.