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Monday, January 26, 2009

Weight Loss Weekly: Why Do I Want to Lose Weight? What’s the Plan?

A-ha! This seems like a silly question, doesn’t it? We take it for granted that if we gain some weight we have to lose it as soon as possible. But stop and think about it for a minute – Why do we want to lose weight?

For me, my reasons are:

#1. I’ll tell you the truth. If I lived in a time and place where being roundish was an object of beauty waiting to be captured by the most talented painters and then admired by millions of people, I might have re-evaluated the situation. But, you know, we live in a society where being even a little chubby isn’t considered pretty. In the old days it was small breasts and big thighs, while today’s model of beauty is the total opposite, large (by nature or not) breasts and tiny thighs. Isn’t this ridiculous?! We have so much food but we need to be skinny. I can only assume that in other places and times where food was/is scarce being rounded is considered to be beautiful.
So, yes, society is a part of it. But I have other reasons as well.

#2. I still remember that I used to be thinner. And I have the clothes in the garage to prove it!
They have been waiting there for about 5 years now to be rescued from the dust and spiders. Naaaa, they are neatly organized in tightly closed plastic containers and in ship-shape because one day I WILL wear them. I only hope it’s going to be before I’m old and losing weight because I’m shrinking.

3. I feel heavier and less energetic then I used to be.
I think the extra weight is contributing to that. Yeah, and maybe age too, and having two very joyful and bouncy kids around. They are so energetic those two. I would like to chase them around a bit faster and still have energy by the time they go to bed.

4. It is not a lot of fun to look in the mirror from the waist down.
And the waist line is higher now, if you know what I mean…
Sometimes I think – it’s not THAT bad. I’m only one size up and about extra 18 pounds. On the other hand, a heavy backpack or an average baby weighs 18 pounds. So it’s like carrying a heavy suitcase or being pregnant. Only I’m not.

So what is my plan?

I haven’t quite figured out a plan. But my thoughts are:

#1. Do it in baby steps.
I think if the change it too big or quick, it won’t last. Habits are hard to change. So whatever I do, I’ll do it in small and manageable weekly challenges that hopefully will turn into new better ways.
This week the challenge is – portion control. Click here to see what I’m talking about. It will open your eyes.
This means that this week I am going to use a smaller plate, smaller fork, weigh and measure the food. Not counting calories. What do you think? Would you like to join me?

#2. Find inspiration.
I am currently reading the book “Food Matters” by Mark Bittman, mainly because I try to be a conscious eater as much as I can. This helps me stay away from many many bad foods, highly-processed ones, junk food and all that “stuff” (see my second blog “Good Food and Bad Food”).
I also want to be a role model to my kids. For example, I don’t want them to drink Coke, so I don’t drink it either. I stopped buying it. “Cheese-it” and cereals are next.

#3. Follow a diet?
When I was pregnant I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. That was the only diet I was on my whole life and it was a success as both me and my baby are healthy, and the bonus was I lost weight, I could feel that my arms and hips are slimmer. It sure felt nice. I loved it.

I’ll tell you about this diet later in another post. If you are interested to know how it works, write a comment below, OK? (If you are not familiar with this, there’s a link below that says “comment”)

#4. Find support (group).
Support is always a good thing. This is why I wanted to do this weekly post with 3 other bloggers who are dieting.

#5. Work out?
I never liked sports. Not even to watch it on TV! No basketball, no football… No game nights… Oh, I can hear your “Whaaaaaatttt?”
Give me a book on the other hand and I’m happy.
The only thing I was able to stick with in the past 5 years is one weekly Pilates class. It’s better than nothing, right, right?
I would like to walk more, like I used to. But that’s about it. Would that be enough? We’ll see.

#6. Finding out what’s holding me back.
This is the soul searching part (See Giyen’s post from last week) and while it is a topic for a post on its own, after last week’s post – “why am I overweight” question (click here to read it), I have realized that during the day I mostly eat by myself as I work from home. I have a better control over portion size and eating alone is not that much fun, especially if I eat and watch CNN. It can totally ruin one’s appetite. At dinner, however, the company and food are so much better and we spend about an 1/2-1 hour at the table (no TV), and then I eat more then I need.

It’s funny though, that I have no memories of family dinners from my childhood. I’m sure we had a few, I just can’t remember. It’s like a black hole in brain. Now that I am a mom, dinner time is the most important part of my day. Even if it is only scrambled eggs or leftovers, even with a picky eater who doesn’t like to eat this or that, and so on, it is the time of day that I am looking forward to everyday (see a funny post about it here). It is, on the other hand, the time when I need to be more careful with eating.

So don’t forget this week the challenge is – portion control and now let’s check what the other bloggers are saying.

That Extra 20 Pounds answers: One of the biggest reasons I want to lose weight is because I just turned 30 in November. And that makes me mad... Keep reading at That Extra 20 Pounds: My Weight Loss Blog

Bacon is my enemy answers: I think I've talked about why I wanted to lose weight ad nauseum, let's get to the "how" ... read more.

Joie de vivre answers: Have you ever asked yourself, "Why do I want to lose weight?". In our culture, it's just assumed that most people could stand to lose a few pounds but have you ever asked yourself that question? To read more, click Joie de Vivre: An amateur gourmet's guide

Previously on “Weight Loss Weekly”, Why Did I Get Overweight in the First Place?


Joie de vivre said...

I'd love to hear about the gestational diabeties diet. My husband's uncle, who lives in town and eats with us frequently, was just diagnosed diabetic. I got a cookbook from the American Diabeties Association but it would be nice to have more info and tricks up my sleeves for when he comes to dinner. I think it would make us all healthier too! I have been looking at the sizes of my plates this week after your post and have been serving my dinner on a salad plate. It really does help with portion control! :) Now I'm on the hunt for smaller bowls.

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

That's great, Joie de vivre, using the smaller plate!
I'm sure the American Diabeties has a great plan in the book you got. I won't post the diet as a health plan for anyone, of course, I'm not a helath care provider. In helath situtaiton everyone should really consult with their doctor.
it's more of a guidleline to follow. I will post it soon.

Sunny said...

What a great idea to make small changes every week. They will really add up!

Berni at Yo-yonomore said...

I'm with you on the portion control challenge! I love what you guys are doing with the weight related questions, there is nothing like support. Go Girls!

fumikob said...

I should loose weight but I love cooking and eating food too much.
I have a book "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman. I often use his recipes. I successfully made tasty bread from this book. He was in Seattle last week and on air at KOUW. He suggested that we should eat less meat and more vegetable. He also told that Americans eat much more meat than people live in other countries. It is true that I eat more meat now than when I lived in Japan.

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

Yeah, I love cooking, and baking, and eating... too much too to really try and lose weight seriously. BUT, what's on my side is being choosy about what I eat. If it's not good, I won't eat (much of) it. If not, I could have weighed much much more.

Haley said...

In terms of a plan, sometimes it helps to have some structure and support, rather than trying to lose weight alone. I am in this great program called Vtrim Weight Management. Its an online class that meets for one hour each week. Vtrim gives me access to diet tools and I can chat with supportive people who are going through the same thing as me. Vtrim is a research-based weight loss program based on 17 years of clinical study at the University of Vermont. Vtrim is great because it focuses on changing behaviors that create lasting results. Its not a diet, or a quick fix, but it works if you stick with it! Go to http://www.uvm.edu/vtrim/ to check it out.

Anonymous said...

Interesing article! I thought Haley's comment was quite interesting as well because I have heard of the Vtrim diet before and its remarkable results for the user.

I hope that you all have great luck in putting off weight. Making the commitment to try and lose weight is already a great choice as we are trying to help ourselves live healthier and better.