Back in 2001-2002 I slowly lost about 15 pounds as a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Then I quit smoking and gained it all back. Now I’m trying to lose it again and DAMN I’m getting frustrated. I’m lifting, running, and going to yoga while eating more whole foods and less processed foods, decreasing my alcohol intake and drinking more water – basically doing everything you’re supposed to, to lose weight – and yet I’m lucky if a 1/2 pound is gone.
So I’m throwing out my scale.
I’m keeping the tape measure because it’s much kinder. Every week I lose another quarter inch or half inch so I know something’s happening. My pants are getting looser (or they’re just stretched out and I need to wash/dry them). A few muscles have now formed in my arms. My legs seem a smidgen firmer. But if I get a little cocky and step on the scale I feel like a complete loser. Well, that’s not true. If I were a loser, the scale would be moving. Frankly I feel like a dumb-ass. After six weeks of following “the rules”, I should have more to show for it.
I feel dumb because it’s my body, I should know what works for it. Trying to figure out what’s getting in my way is getting me down. I started lifting weights to build lean muscle mass to burn more calories to lose weight. That isn’t working. I started to eat less food to take in less calories to lose weight. That isn’t working.
Then I thought “Hmm…maybe I should eat more,” remembering that eating often and taking in plenty of protein “revs up” metabolism because I wouldn’t want my body to think it is being starved, forcing it to hoard fat. But since hunger strikers, 3rd World children and contestants on Survivor seem to lose weight when they don’t eat, I’m finding it hard to believe that taking in less wine and cheese is going to force my ass to pucker up and hold on to its fat stores.
I’ve been trying to figure this out since middle school for Christ’s sake. Different things have worked at different times. The Scarsdale Diet worked in High School. Living with a compulsive over-eater in college combined with not being able to afford food kept me on track at the University Of Pittsburgh. Breast feeding helped twice – but I’m sure as hell not going to run out and get pregnant. Limiting meat/dairy helped once but I’m tired of cooking ten different meals for the different people in my house, and besides, I only eat meat and dairy when I crave them, anyway.
I truly believe that because I’m 2 years away from turning 40 my body is changing and I have to somehow figure out what THIS body needs to maintain health and a decent weight. Which bums me out because I’m guessing that as soon as I crack this code, I’ll become perimenopausal, my body will change and I’ll have to crack the code all over again. Then I’ll become menopausal and have to crack it again. Then I’ll be post-menopausal and, you guessed it – need to crack the code one more time.
So there you have it. I’m week six into my diet and I don’t have much to show for it. I’m frustrated and getting a little pissy and irritable. My husband, by the way, started a diet last week. He exercised twice, cut the grass twice, cut down from 2 sandwiches at lunch to 1 and the bastard has already lost 5 pounds.