Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday: Portion control for chips

I know it is cheaper to buy big bags of chips and put lunch-sized portions in little plastic bags for school lunches. But once when I bought a big bag of different types of individually packaged chips just for variety, I noticed something. When any of us at home wanted to snack on chips, we stopped after eating the individual package, whereas when we had a big bag of chips, someone would take them down to the family room and watch TV while munching through half the bag. Not only was that unhealthy and hard to limit, but then I'd come near to running out of chips for lunches. The individual serving sizes made our chip supply last longer plus limited our snackage.

See Rocks In My Dryer for more tips.

Back down

Well, there must have been something going on with water retention or something yesterday, because I am back down 3 pounds this morning. That's a relief!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tuesday weigh-in -- Week 3

I am up by 4 lbs. :(

I knew I was blowing it over the weekend. We went out to a restaurant Friday evening that we only go to once or sometimes twice a year. I got what I usually get there -- half rack of baby-back ribs, baked potato, salad, and rolls (about 3 -- they were small. :) ). I did save a portion of it for lunch the next day, though, so I don't think that was that bad. But then Sat. night I got pizza -- more than I needed. Everyone else was gone and I was thinking I'd get extra so they would have some to snack on when they got back. But I didn't limit myself at all, and even got a little apple pizza dessert and had one slice then, two on Sunday, and 1 on Monday. (Blush!) Part of the problem Sat. night was kind of feeling sorry for myself over a frustrating afternoon; part of it was just wanting something good.

Yesterday wasn't too bad even with Memorial Day weekend except I had too many starches and an extra slice of pound cake (we'd had pound cake with strawberries and whipped topping -- kind of a shortcut strawberry short cake -- and I had an extra sloce of the pound cake.)

So -- in the spirit of learning from my mistakes:

1. I need to learn not to reward or soothe myself with food, or at least the wrong kinds of foods.
2. I need to be careful about having more than I need on hand for a meal because it makes it too tempting to eat more.
3. I need to be careful about little slices of "extras." The extra pound cake had started as just an extra couple of bites, then I sliced off another little bit when I was putting it away. Before I knew it I had consumed another whole serving.
4. I need to get over feeling depressed about not eating sweets and such and munching on carrot sticks. Maybe those feelings will change the more I change my diet habits and get used to them and the more weight I lose. I probably ought to look at those high-calorie sweets as the enemy and not mourn them as a lost friend and make excuses to have them.

Even with all of that, 4 lbs. seems like a lot -- I used to eat indiscriminately all the time and had a steady weight gain over the years, but not 4 lbs. over one weekend. So I am wondering if there is something else going on--water retention or whatever.

But I need to get back on the bandwagon in any case.


Total weight lost to date: 3 lbs.
Total weight gained: 4 lbs.
Difference in weight today from starting weight: +1lb.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday: Resourceful Weight Loss Site

Some of you may know me from my regular blog, Stray Thoughts. :) I embarked on the May Day Weight Loss Challenge and decided to do so on a separate blog.

I wanted to tell you about a neat site my bloggy friend Kim told me about called SparkPeople. It has a ton of articles and resources. There is a daily food tracker where you can enter in what you have eaten and it automatically figures out the calories plus the fat, carbohydrate and protein grams. There is also a chart for recording exerice, though I haven't used that one yet. You can set up a profile page and join different communities based on your health needs and interests if you'd like. I have only been on it a few days and have only scratched the surface of what's offered.

And best of all -- it's free.

You can see more helpful hints and tips at Rocks In My Dryer.

What Does 200 Calories Look Like?

My son pointed me to this site a while back, but I just rediscovered it:

What Does 2oo Calories Look Like?

It gives a picture of different foods portioned out in 200 calorie servings. It's eye-opening!

Tuesday weigh-in

I just lost 1 lb. this week, but I was surprised at even that: I was hoping to just maintain and not gain. I dealt with "that time of month" and a few indiscretions, and weighing at other times this past week, I had actually gone up. So, to find out today that I had actually lost even just 1 lb. over the course of the week was encouraging.

I mentioned last week that the only real change I had made so far was not popping something into my mouth every time the urge came. By not giving in every time, I am beginning to learn what things trigger cravings and urges and temptations. For instance, I was really craving both sweets and munchies in general for a day or two when it dawned on me that my period was probably triggering them. I had heard other people say that they craved sweets during their period, but I had never made the connection since I just gave in most of the time anyway.

So -- even though I still have a long way to go in just learning how to have a healthier lifestyle, finding out what kinds of things trigger cravings is one step in the process.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tuesday weigh-in

It's weigh-in day at Tales From the Scales.

I lost 2 lbs! I'm so excited!

The only real change I have made is just not popping something into my mouth every time I thought about it. It is amazing how much I just do that by habit, or just because it is there and it sounds good to eat.

And really, with the Lord's help, if I don't think too much about what it is I wanted to eat and just go on and do something else, it's not too bad.

I still haven't quite formulated a "plan" yet -- I just finished the section of Dr. Phil's book about ridding your house of the wrong kinds of foods, and the next one deals with actual diets. Plus I am taking advantage of the one-week-free offer at Weight Watchers Online to see if I want to continue on with that. But just becoming more aware of what I eat is a good start. I'm really going to have to work on portion control. Sometimes just after I've had something I realize I could have had less. Sometimes it's just habit to have another spoonful of dinner.

I have found that going to the grocery store takes on a whole new dimension now!! Talk about temptation city!! I'm avoiding the temptation of Little Debbie snack cakes by only buying the kind for my son's lunch that I don't like much.

I didn't do even one day of exercise though, besides hiking through Wal-Mart. I need to incorporate exercise into my week.

Though I still have a long way to go, both in my weight-loss journey and figuring out how to get there, I'm very glad for a good first week.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


One of the first things Dr. Phil advocates is specific, measurable goals. Just saying "I want to lose weight" or "I need to cut down" or "I should exercise more" are too general and vague.

Looking at his height/weight charts, I figure I need to lose 114 lbs. I may decide I need to lose more when I get there – in my teens the weight I am targeting is one I would have considered too high, but it's 30 years and 3 kids later. I'll have to see what that weight is like when I get there. I am a little shy just now about saying specifically what I weigh and what weight I want to get to: that may change.

So, goal #1: Lose 114 lbs.

Goal #2: Use exercise video 3 times a week. I am sure at first I won't be able to do the whole thing, but I'll work up to it. At some point I would like to add walking in the mall to the in-between days (the mall because it is climate-controlled and I know where the bathrooms are. :) )

Exercise is tricky because of the TM: I can't run and don’t have the coordination to do many aerobics videos and my knees could not keep up with a low-impact stepping video. But I can walk and I have done this particular video called "Wimp Aerobics" in the past. For those who are familiar with Linda Haught, she has done a lot of exercise videos to classical music. This one isn't professionally done as her others are, but it is does provide a good workout.

Dr. Phil also says to establish a timeline. I understand the reasoning: if you don't have a time set to accomplish something, it may float around on the fringes forever. But to me that seems to be a set-up for discouragement if you don't reach those goals. We have all heard about "plateaus" where nothing seems to be happening.

Nevertheless, if I multiply 114 lbs. by the two-pound-a-week recommendation for weight loss, it comes out to 57 weeks. So I could possibly be there in about a year. That's encouraging.

I had a friend who used to lament that it would take about a year to accomplish the weight loss and health goals she had. I wish I knew then what I read once in Dear Abby in response to someone 's concern over the year it would take to meet their goals: Where will you be in a year if you don't do this? You'll be at the same place or maybe worse.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Why am I not losing weight?

Plain and simple: I just like food too much. I once saw a magazine quiz to help readers determine what the main "trigger" for their overeating was: social situations, emotions, etc. I don't remember all the categories, but I scored in every one. [Blush!]

Plus I don't really want to change anything – which of course means nothing is going to change until I do. (Duh!) I just don’t want weight loss to take over my life, to constantly be thinking about, counting, and measuring what I am eating, to be constantly thinking about it and talking about it. I want to be able to eat what I want when I want.

I guess what it comes down to is that I want my own will and my own way all too much. And one's own way usually has negative consequences.

I need to develop a love for God and for pleasing Him greater than my love of eating anything I want. I need to develop a desire to be here for my family greater than a desire for donuts and French fries. In my heart I do want that. But there is a disconnect somewhere. Part of the problem is that donuts and French fries and cookies aren’t inherently sinful. A lot of people eat them with no problem. Perhaps I need to eliminate them all together: at least I need to scale back.

I know that when I think of people who, for instance, smoke, with devastating results to their health, I wonder how they can do that to themselves and their families. Yet I fail to recognize that being overweight can be just as devastating.

Scriptural focus

First off, if I am going to keep the right focus, I need to base this on Scriptural principles. That will keep me focused and on track and keep the larger issues (no pun intended :) ) before me. It's interesting that nowhere in the Bible is being fat called a sin. But being gluttonous and intemperate are. So here are a few passages that pertain to these issues:

1. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." I Cor. 10:31.

2. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Galatians 5:22-24, NKJV.

3. Hebrews 11:25 says of Moses that he chose "rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." There is pleasure is sin for a season – but how very short a season of pleasure it is to eat something. Sure, there is anticipation before and remembrance after, but even that is short-lived in comparison to the consequences.

4. Philippians 3:18-20 speaks of enemies of the cross of Christ "Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things." Whose God is their belly – that is a sobering thought, that I am making my belly (or mouth, which is what enjoys the taste of food) a god.

5. "Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags." Proverbs 23:20-21.

6. "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." I Cor. 9:27.

7. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:1-2.

Have you found any other passages that are helpful in this area?

The May Day Challenge

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I have been needing to lose weight for a long time. I wanted to start a separate blog to talk about weight loss issues because I didn't want it to overtake my main blog, Stray Thoughts.

I had actually started a folder in Word to write about weight loss issues, waiting until I could come up with a catchy name for this new blog. :) But the May Day Weight Loss challenge at Tales From the Scales (isn't that a clever title?) starts today. Though in one sense it scares me to death to actually post publicly about this, in another sense this may be just what I need to jump-start my progress.

For the May Day challenge post we are supposed to talk about our struggles, goals, motivations and frustrations with weight loss.


I have never been skinny. I always probably carried a bit of excess weight. But it didn't really get noticeable until after I got married, and then just grew from there. I have always been fairly sedentary. I was the most active in college, but also picked up (more) bad eating habits in the dorms. With those habits and the sudden decrease in physical activity, then 3 babies, then an illness that affects movement, the weight has steadily increased. This has to stop.


I need to lose about 114 lbs. (blush). I know, of course, I won't reach that by the end date of the challenge in September, but any progress I can make will be a step in the right direction.


1. As a Christian I should be temperate and do all, even eating and drinking, to the glory of God (hence the title of this blog). My body shows I have been out of control in this area.

2. Health. Being overweight has a multitude of negative effects on health.

3. To feel better

4. To look better

5. To not cause shame to my family. None of them has ever expressed shame, but the only near-fight in school involving any of them happened with a boy in one's class making a remark about me.

6. To be able to find clothes I like (including undergarments!) that fit well and look nice.

7. To not get out of breath and tired at the merest exertion.

There are other private reasons which I won't include here. :)


I just like food. Too much, obviously. It is going to be hard to not give in to those desires. Plus finding time for an exercise that works for me will be a challenge.


I am going through Dr. Phil's weight loss book. I have looked at various diet plans and not been thrilled. In looking through Dr. Phil's web site about weight loss, he seemed to have a lot of common sense. I am not a fan of his and haven’t watched much of his show, but I bought his book and have started reading it. I will chronicle some of the exercises here. It will help me keep on track and hopefully garner some encouragement, plus writing things out helps me gain perspective and think things through.

In a sense I wasn't sure if I was ready to go public yet since I am still in the getting-in-gear mentally part of the book -- it's another chapter or two before we get into the actual plans for dealing with food. But I wanted to get in on the May day challenge.

Since my other blog is hosted by WordPress and I don't know much about Blogger, it may take me a while for this to look like a homey place. :)