Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Weight Loss Tips That Work--And That Don't

I've taken a step. Last night, I met with a new therapist (mental health, not hand, if you've been paying attention). I'm a total believer in therapy if you can afford it. It's the most selfish thing I think that I do for myself. Almost an hour talking about me, me, me, without having to worry what the other person wants to talk about or if they'll like me tomorrow (though, of course I do worry about that because I want them to like me greatly).

So this is my first female therapist in a long while. And it's my first one that is a weight loss/eating specialist. That's a bit scary--like trying your last available resource. . . what's next if this doesn't work?

For homework, she asked me to make a list of things that had worked for me in the past--in terms of losing weight, and what doesn't.

Weight Loss Tips That Have Worked for Me Before
  • Taking a moment before eating to think about which foods and portions will make me feel good later--10 minutes later, 2 hours later, the next day. (This is hard--have to work through the pain of that F-it feeling.)
  • Writing down what I'm going to eat--BEFORE I eat it, so I can tally it up and make alternate choices that fit better if necessary.
  • A clear understanding of my limits for the day--when to stop.
  • Thinking of the week as a whole, not just day by day (making choices on Tuesday, based on what I anticipate will happen on Sat.)
  • Practicing positive self-talk.
  • Talking about my success with others
  • Walking--with my husband
  • Walking with my cell phone
  • Wearing my pedometer, not so much because it urged me to walk more, but allowed me to praise myself for what I had done and to see consistency
  • Planning meals in advance--especially for shopping
  • Having a grocery shopping day (Hard because it's hard to put the right amount of time to plan in advance--I either take too long looking at recipes and making menus so I've used up my energy before I get to the store, or I don't plan much at all.)
  • Varying meals
  • Having one "exciting" food per lunch and dinner--fresh raspberries or stewed tomatoes with a little melted Parm & bread crumbs on top (so I have incentive to eat what I've planned when I want to bail out).
  • Exercising most days (then you don't have to decide if you are or not)
  • Working out with a trainer (keeps me from talking negatively to myself because I'm too busy and keeps me from focusing on others)
  • Packing my lunch and a snack
  • Mental tricks
  • Realizing most people who are fit and lean work at it and don't eat just whatever they want

Weight Loss Tips that Do Not Work for Me

  • Setting an amount of weight to lose in a certain time period
  • Cutting out food groups
  • Making ANY food completely off limits
  • Being "allowed" to eat limitless amounts of food (makes me uncomfortable)
  • Feeling hungry all the time
  • Talking about gaining weight in front of others--or my failures (this makes me hate myself)
  • Putting up fat pictures of myself, as though I'm supposed to hate who I am now (who I've been most of my life)
  • Just trying to eat healthy foods, with no clear limits for the day
  • Things that feel gimmicky or over thought--like counting carrots as points in Weight Watchers or limiting how much fiber you can count (unclear tweaks make me suspicious of Weight Watchers motivations--which, obviously, are more about them continuing to collect my money rather than to help me)
  • Eating out
  • Sitting in on my thousandth WW meeting listening to people talk about how to eat at a party
  • Listening to people talk about failure at WW meetings. . . or those who come and yak, yak, yak, but aren't losing weight
  • Not having much flexibility to get back on track if I have a bad day (like on Core)
  • Feeling like a victim of my genetics, or of my job, etc.
  • Giving in to feeling defeated that I keep having to do this over and over and over
  • Paying for training or Weight Watchers sessions or ANYTHING in advance!
  • Not knowing how to "count" things--having to estimate ingredients and serving sizes and put it together; causes me great anxiety and usually makes me want to quit

I want to move on and have something new to talk about. I don't want my tombstone to say, "She spent her life fretting about her weight, and she died fat."


After I ate the lunch (that I didn't pack) and was contemplating getting an unhealthy salty snack to take back to my desk, I saw my trainer--D. I haven't worked with her since before I broke my arm. I got permission from my hand therapist last week to start lifting weights. So I set up 2 appts with D--one for Thursday and one for Friday. And I asked her to calculate how many more I have left (that I already paid for). Dun, Da, Dun, Dun


  1. I'm glad to see the What I Did To Feel Proud come back. I've been mising that.

  2. I have to agree. I like the Feel Proud section!

  3. Glad to know our opinions on WW are aligned. Meanwhile, I'm so happy you're working with a trainer. I'm still working up to 20 minutes on the treadmill but reading your routine is inspiring me to get handweights to ramp it up a bit.


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