I planned for my next entry to be the next installment in the Claudius villain series, but some things need explaining to the well-meaning respondents, more than just a quick reply to a comment. No, I don't intend for this to become a main topic here. This journal will still be largely about writing.
With that in mind, if this is not something you want to read more about, here's a strategic cut. We'll return to regular programming soon.
I appreciate folks that have tried to explain how weight loss works to me. You are trying to help, I know. I also learned about a free resource for weight loss, Spark People, which I pass along to those of you who would like to get some help and support in your efforts for no cost. I'll be poking around the site when I have some time.
All that said, here are some things that I'd like to get out there.
1. I do understand about the simple equation of less calories in, more calories out. Lessee, I've been down the diet trail several times. I've been at my Weight Watchers goal weight at least 4 times. I've been very good, until about 2001, in backing my weight down when I've reached a certain weight. As I've aged, it's become a harder task. But the simple mechanics of weight loss I understand. I know you probably didn't mean to sound pedantic, but you need to know I know how it works. Not everyone who is overweight has an ignorance of health and fitness.
2. I used to believe in number 1 as the sole affect on my weight loss. BECAUSE LOSING WEIGHT WORKED FOR ME. I bought the whole idea that the reason people didn't lose weight is because they were eating more than they thought, or exercising less than they thought. If they weren't losing weight, well, they were doing it wrong.
3. I am not a genetic/metabolic convert, but I've come to believe it plays a factor. Otherwise, I'm not sure how I can explain how simple calories in/calories out at levels that previously worked before, is not working. I am 45. I know metabolism slows with age, and mine was pretty slow to begin with. To lose weight, I would have to REALLY CUT BACK on what I eat, to the extent that I might not be getting a balanced diet. The nutritionist I worked with this summer gave me a general plan to follow. I've cut way back on my bread and really upped my water. I'm not sure I want to cut back farther than she suggests, given that she's a, you know, nutritionist.
FYI, we did come up with some other ways to cut calories and help the metabolism. Less fruit, more veggies. Eat earlier in the day to help your metabolism. Good tips. And further, reflux difficulties have cut out vice foods and many fruits, so veggies and water are popular with Catherine right now. I struggle with bread, but I've just about halved my intake. I already only consume the recommended amount of meat per day from all my other dieting efforts. As I look over this paragraph, it seems that what I eat isn't too much. If I weren't measuring my amounts, it could be too much, but I'm pretty cognizant of how much I'm taking in.
4. If you're like I was before the last couple of years, you might think that I'm not being entirely truthful about my efforts. I'm not saying you do, but *shrugs* I would have thought so. You *can* think that, if you like. I can't stop you. I'm willing to look around and try some new stuff, but I'm not willing to compromise on my daily vitamins and stuff like that just because society says thin is important. I want to be thin and in shape, but not at any cost.
5. I exercise. A lot. Last night, one hour of yard work and raking. Tai chi at work, three times a week. Wii workouts. Walking. I've always exercised. Until this year, it was all cardiovascular. Now, it's more balanced. I do get in 3-6 sessions a week, usually at least half an hour a session, although more usually an hour.
6. Could medication play a role? Yes, it could. I don't think it's my depression meds. Wellbutrin is an appetite suppressor. However, the various acid reducers do cause all sorts of digestive difficulties. My weight loss usually works something like this: eat a lot of veggie matter, gain a pound, stay the same for another day, and then lose about 1.5-2 pounds. BECAUSE. More of this conversation, and I'm gonna start sounding like your grandma.
So. Here's what I think is going on. I'm eating a more balanced diet. In a way, this means I actually eat more. I drink more milk, and I drink less calorie free things, like diet soda or coffee. I do drink a lot more water. I have a bigger lunch, which is the opposite of one of my old dieting tricks. Tiny lunch is good for keeping weight down, but not good for nutrition. These changes could be the ones that have kept me more or less the same weight this year. If my focus is health, and not vanity, I should keep up good eating habits.
I do exercise a lot. To lose more weight, I could become an exercise machine! Of course, there are articles that talk about how this is, in itself, a kind of food obsession. I don't have time to exercise, say, two hours a day, and write. Some folks are lucky enough to have a physical job. I wish I had a more physical job. And I could just go back to calorie burning exertions. However, I need strength and balance for my old age. So, no. I'm maxing out in what I am willing to do here.
Yesterday was a very frustrating day. I *gained* weight after a lot of hard work, and I was unhappy. Today I lost a pound. Woot! There's that hard work from the weekend. But overall, I've stayed about the same this year. And, today, now that I'm rational, I can say that the more balanced approach I'm taking to health and exercise is the right path.
The jury is still out on whether I can lose more weight or not. My plan is to stay the healthy eating course and the healthy exercise course, and to do my best for the long term. If it's the case that this is my weight, as I fear it might be, I'll get used to it. The nutritionist said I might not look like I want to while I'm taking care of my body. I always figured that healthy eating and exercise meant being in shape. For me, maybe it means being healthy and overweight. I've been taught that's not how it works, but I'm not sure what else I can do at this point except get on.
The important thing is that I become happy with who I am. Yesterday I was most certainly not. What I miss is that it was easier to do. It's never been easy for me. However, I am doing the healthy thing now. I am going to be an old woman. My hope is to be an old woman for a long time. As contradictory as this sounds, if eating nutritiously means I am going to be a fat old woman, well, I guess I will be. Old age is full of change, some good and some bad. It won't always be easy to accept the bad changes, but I think that's aging for anyone. And I wonder if the reason I've gained so much weight since I hit my 40s is nature, rather than habits gone bad. I believe I have evidence to suggest that it is, although that does not absolve me from doing what I can to be healthy.
Okay. I've got to work on my novel. But this had to be said.