• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I believe I can ...

I CAN do things I want to do.

I want to be more healthy.
I want to weigh less!

Since January 2010 I have lost approximately 1/8 pound per week - not much and not fast BUT 1/8 x 101 weeks = about 13 pounds and I weigh about 15 pounds less than I did then.  A few couple of bonus pounds seem to have slipped away with those other 13.

I am pleased.

My mother has always been heavy. So were her sisters, her mother and both of her grandmothers. I have always been careful to eat decently and have never craved sweets but I have not always been careful about the quantity I ate. A few years ago she had some serious health problems that required others to physically care for her. When she came home from the hospital she began to lose weight. I asked how she was doing that, if she had a diet or medication change. She claimed she did not. I asked if she thought her health problems contributed to changed hormones or other factors of that kind. She said no.

A year later mom weighed a lot less and I worried she could actually lose too much weight too fast. I spoke to her and dad and some siblings about it and they went to the doctor. Everything was fine and it was not health problems or meds that were the cause of the weight loss. I personally think she just made up her mind to never again be subject to the indignities lifting a fat person inflicts. I asked her what she thought contributed to her weight loss -
"how did you do this, mom?"

She told me I was not going to like her answer.
I kept bugging her.

She told me she eats less food!

I saw a television program once about some obese people that had stomach surgery to lose weight. They were asked to reduce their body weight a specific percent (about 10 - 20 perhaps) by doing a liquid diet for 6 weeks. After their surgery they could not eat more than about 1/2 cup of food. They ate more often but only a small amount at a time. Perhaps that is good for some people. I don't like surgeons. I don't like hospitals. I don't even like needles. And I despise liquid diets. I don't want to do that to my body either!

I thought quite a bit about that and for a year or so I paid attention to how much I ate. I was somewhat surprised. Go ahead - try it. I invite you to conduct the same experiment. For a week measure every thing you eat and write the quantities down. Yes - every single thing. While you are at it measure out 1/2 cup or 4 ounces. And if you want to know, measure 1 cup quantities also. I did. I just wanted to be able to visualize 1/2 or 1 cup of salad, or spaghetti or whatever we were having. No I do not have a scale. Yes I did squish and pack the salad; then I dumped it out and 'fluffed' it up again - I wanted to know. You will get a good idea of how much 1/2 cup looks like. Now pay attention to how often you eat how much. For a month or two measure out the portions every time you eat something you haven't measured before.

I do not need a surgeon to mutilate my body to force me to eat less. I can make a choice to do that just because I want to. My usual portions were much more than 1/2 cup. They were often more than 1 cup. I often ate more than 1 cup of several things at every meal!

I decided if my aging mother can do it I can too.

I began to eat less.
One less scoop of mashed potatoes.
One less dollop of salad dressing.
A thinner skin of butter on the bread.
A smaller chunk of cheese.
One spoon full less of what ever I was dishing up.

I allowed myself unlimited plain green vegetables. I love vegetables both cooked and raw. If I felt hungry I ate lettuce, spinach, green beans, broccoli, peas in the pods, cabbage, cauliflower or celery. I have reward systems in place too. I 'treat' myself when I stick to my plan and if I don't - oh well - I can always start again, right?

I ate 'less' for about a year.
I did not really lose any weight.
I did not gain any either.
Surprisingly friends asked several times if I had.
My clothes seemed not quite so tight.
My stomach felt not so bloated.

I decided to get serious.
I grilled my mom again.
There was no magic solution.
She insisted that she merely ate less food.
How much less?
About 1 cup total per meal - 3 meals a day!
Sometimes 1 1/2 cups with vegetables.
And about 1/2 cup per serving per snack - 3 times a day.
I visited for a couple of weeks.
I watched.
Very little meat, some cereals, lots of veggies, some fruit.
And she mostly drank water.
She had one glass of milk with some meals.

What do you want?
Do you want more or less?
Can you make small choices to achieve it?

Can you save a few dollars at a time?
Can you eat less?
Can you exercise more?
I am working on that one now.

I believe.
I believe I can.
I can choose.