Monday, May 21, 2012

Spring Cleaning inside the Bungalow, and the Battle of the Bulge.

I woke up to see rain this morning and so all plans to blitz the garden went out the window...
taking their place was a long list of Spring Cleaning chores.

I am taking a well deserved tea break.

Baking soda really cleans and is very gentle.
Plus it's a green clean.

Paris tea arrived from Peg in Comox.
She has been supplying me with this delicious tea for a few months now.
Thank you Peg!

She will be down here in our fair city soon.
She will be having some medical treatments and I hope that we can link up for tea and a walk.

The Verbena candle has been lit for a few hours and the kitchen 
smells wonderful.

My low cal lunch.

Free range eggs poached and them popped on top of salad.
Rebar basil vinaigrette 
used sparingly
just enough to add some extra zing.

I can't wait to lose weight...
that's what seems to sabotage all my efforts at dieting.

I start off strong and when the scale doesn't shift I give up.

Thinking that I need to reframe my thoughts and reset some goals.
I was perusing a Weight Watchers magazine last night and the women who were the "success stories" 
didn't really look much different than me.

Some had way more weight to shed...
there must be something that I am missing,
something that I can't quite put my finger on.

I don't want to buy another diet book
I have half a dozen and I have read them several times
and they no longer motivate me.

I am feeling frustrated and positively cranky!

I worked with a woman who went to a clinic 
where they gave her daily shots of Vitamins
and weighed her...
she was allowed 800 calories a day
she did lose weight
something about burning up brown fat?
It does not sound safe to me to be under 1,000 calories a day.

Another co-worker went to a different clinic where they test your blood and design the diet to suit your blood type and it boosts your metabolism.
It sounds like a lot of smoke and mirrors to me 
but I am no scientist!

Calories in vs. calories expended
 isn't that how one sheds weight?

So I am thinking
Weight Watchers seems to be the most sensible approach.
My question is who has been to WW?
Was it easy and did you lose weight?
Online or meetings?

Looking forward to your thoughts and comments.
I am putting on my shoes and I am off for a long walk...
looking for something beautiful to inspire me to take on the challenge 
that I have been avoiding for far too long.


  1. It's SO hard (battling the bulge). Weight Watchers should work for you. It did for me years ago. Currently, I've lost 20 pounds since February following the Fast-5 plan. It's not for everyone but has provided the psychological boost that I needed to get this weight moving. I want to loose 10 more. Best wishes for getting healthier. Keep up the walking. I haven't done begun yet.

    1. Walking is the easiest thing for me...
      I checked out the Fast 5 site and I know that it would not suit me.
      Congratulations on the weight loss!

  2. I went to WW several years ago and enjoyed great success. I keep the weight off by remembering what I learned at WW. You're right, Hostess....calories expended MUST be more than calories ingested. It's the only way. Good luck...and I'm available for moral support and a skinny latte any time!

    1. I appreciate that learning the tools would help. Perhaps we'll meet for a latte after your daughters wedding and you might have pictures to show by then!

  3. Hubs and I are trying to shed a few pounds too, we are cutting back on carbs and dairy, both seem to be the trigger for us.

    1. I agree about the carbs but the dairy puzzles me? If you mean cheese and sour cream that's understandable but milk and yogurt ? Please tell me more!

  4. I have hypo-thyroid and find it so difficult to shed weight although I really don't eat much. I kept reading about how dairy and carbs are difficult, for those with thyroid issues, to metabolize. I cut them out several weeks ago and shed 12 pounds. And, I do cheat sometimes. I love cheese and it has been very difficult for me. I do take calcium supplements because of bone density issues. (I've also cut back on alcohol). I swear, if it is not one thing it is another. Will the weight stay off? Who knows. Good luck! Bonnie

    1. I have hypo thyroidsim also.
      Wow that's another warning about dairy...
      Alcohol is certainly something I need to be mindful of, empty calories and it makes me eat more!

  5. I share the same frustration with weight that just won't budge, even after I've cut way back on carbs. Am also thinking about giving WW another honest try.

  6. I changed my eating habits after becoming familiar with French eating habits and have slowly & steadily lost weight. I eat 3 meals/day with perhaps a slice or 2 of your favorite cheese & grapes mid-afternoon. When I have a "craving", I eat an orange and the craving passes. I don't like drinking plain water, but love cold water with a few lemon slices. Other ideas I gleaned from France ... eat smaller portions, eat slowly, choose flavorful food, allow a treat every few weeks, eat twice as much veggies & fruits and lots less carbs. I didn't think a post-menopausal woman could lose weight! The best part is that this is how I intend to eat regularly. [I've never thought it wise to eat a special way for a while, then eat differently & expect to maintain the weight.]

    1. I agree it does need to be a lifestyle change!
      Love that French way of eating that you have embraced, it's working for you!

  7. WW Lifetime Member here (though I carry 10 or 15 lbs more than WW would like, but I lost over 35! and am fine with my weight now) They taught me how to eat, how to plan for splurges, travel and just plain wanting to eat a special dessert. Good leader is essential, mine ranged from fantastic to good. They can get you over the inevitable plateaus, too.

    1. Duchesse you like the WW magazine success stories that I read about...that's admirable!
      Sounds like another vote for WW.

  8. I used WW online for a little while... I did lose some but then the holidays came. I didn't like the monthly fee so I got the myfitnesspal app on my ipad - it's free (you can sign up online too)... instead of points you just keep track of calories... both taken in (it has quite an extensive library of foods and you can add your own) and expended in exercise. Just being aware and keeping track helps me. I am supposed to be at 1200 a day and have another 5 lbs or so to lose... of course I burn up a lot the days I do hot yoga so that helps with the indulgences :) xo

    1. I'll download that app on my IPhone and see if it might help me.
      1200 calories sounds sensible and balancing that with exercise will keep you losing until you get to your goal weight. Only 5 pounds left to go too, congratulations!

  9. Potatoes, pasta, baked goods, sugar, dairy - these are the killers in anyone's plan to lose weight. Sugar, sadly, also includes wine and other liquor. With a dietician daughter, I know far more than I ever thought I would about this stuff. Eating more vegetables and fruits, legumes, and grains like quinoa have become my new life method, but mine's because of serious health issues. What I DO firmly believe is that our bodies find a stasis point in midlife to protect us as we get older from falls and injuries and from the dreaded loss of appetite. I believe being a bit on the rounder side is more attractive than the razor-thin women I see in their 40s, 50s, and scarily, in their 60s, yet I know society doesn't approve of pudge. We all need to be comfortable in our bodies, and if you believe you're not at your ideal weight, then you need to decide what's more important: cutting back drastically on food intake, or really ramping up the exercise. There's no other way to lose weight healthfully.

    1. I am too heavy and feel that my mid section is where I am carrying it all.
      My legs and arms are OK but I have read that belly fat is dangerous as it makes us candidates for diabetes and other illnesses.

      I know I need to get serious about the situation as it isn't going away by itself!

  10. Lost two previous messages I had written, Leslie. I agree with Beth. You are a beautiful, kind and generous woman- let that play in your head again and again!! Peg

    1. Peg I am not an unhappy, just dissatisfied with my shape and my weight. I am short so every extra few pounds that I weigh show up and I look very round!!!
      Health issues can be related to belly fat and all the studies say that a healthy BMI is important so I am trying to be proactive and get a handle on this asap.

  11. Hostess, I read that the best thing to do is find a support group. I'm on a college forum, and there's a group there who post in a thread called Weight Loss for Dummies:). It seems that the communal aspect really helps. So if not Weight Watchers, than something online maybe?

    1. I'll send you an email for more details Lisa. Thank you!

  12. Nothing boosts mine, I'd need to workout like an athlete before it would help maintain my weight.
    It's a constant struggle for me, it's very hard to keep weight off when you,ve been fat. I don't eat a lot but still gain every two weeks or so - very dispiriting.

    1. Gosh Tabitha I have seen your blog and pictures and you are in fabulous shape!
      All your working out is paying off...I have a full time job so I don't have lots of free time.
      I'll need to find ways to create more time though...

  13. My niece has followed WW with great success and gives it the thumbs up but it is a routine to be adhered to and a lifelong one to maintain desired weight. Her words. I know I couldn't stick to it myself because I get lazy :)

    Hostess have you considered/had a course of blood tests? Often this is a good starting point to gauge if there's any underlying issues. My lifelong problem has been maintaining weight which, trust me, is not as fabulous as folk believe. Menopause saw a shift in hormonal balance and I finally started to fill out. If I feel my tummy expanding to an uncomfortable state the only things to move it are reduced food intake and movement. I step up my walking regime and cut back on wine too.
    My health practitioner advised me that once women reach our delightful age nature often takes charge regardless of our tactics especially in the tummy region.
    Best wishes for achieving your goals and remember most of us are battling weight issues one way or another, with you.

    1. I meant to say 'my lifelong problem has been to Put on weight'. x

  14. Best way to lose weight? Fall in love!

  15. Here's what worked for me: NO sugary products - cake, cookies, pies, or any food with ADDED sugar, limited portions, walking & patience.

    Eat fruit for dessert. It does have natural sugar, I know. No fruit juices, pop, or wine or alcohol. Read labels - if it says sugar or equivalent, don't eat it!

    Eat lots of veggies, & that includes potatoes. Use low fat cheeses (less than 21% b f). And I drink lots of skim milk too.

    If you want a snack try a small handful of nuts or seeds - sunflower, pumpkin or the like. Add a few raisins if you want sweetness.

    In my late sixties, I was a candidate for pre diabetes, was taking statins for cholesterol, then I cut out sugar & reversed the diagnosis, off the statins per my doctor, lost 27 pounds & have kept it off for over a year.

    But, first things first - a physical with blood tests to make sure you can safely do all of the above.

    Good luck!


    1. I have had the blood work and the physical, an ECG, and a stress test and I am good to go!
      Congratulations on your health turnaround Lynne!

  16. I believe, that there is a certain weight where we feel satisfied. It might be a bit above, or a bit below of what is considered " normal ".
    Are you seriously unhappy about your weight? You seem to love your life, preparing meals, arranging dinners, going out to eat.
    Are you ready to give that all up? Seriously ( imo ), it means a way new lifestyle to really loose weight and to keep it off.
    If you are healthy and happy, why see all the trouble? I like you the way you are : ).

    1. I am not not really satisfied with my weight or my shape...I'd like to lose 10-20 pounds and whittle the mid section. I do love my life and think cooking and entertaining would still fit into my life even if I was a dress size smaller.
      I think what needs to happen is my level and frequency of exercise.

    2. You will need extremely much exercise if you plan to loose weight by it. And I mean going to the extremes.
      For about 2 years, I walked every single day ( rain, snow, hot sun ) briskly every single day 15-20 kms a day, and did not loose even a kilo. I did not eat more than usual.
      I really think, that in order to loose weight, there must be a total change of lifestyle. A permanent change in eating habits.
      Go to bed early, quit drinking alcohol- totally. No restaurant eating. For starters.

    3. Sorry to be late to the conversation, but Mette is correct, as is Tabitha about the exercise. It's very good for you and will help you tone up, convert some fat to muscle, etc. - but it doesn't make the scale budge at all. I know, as I work out at a fairly high intensity. Most women in our age range, need to eat very small meals, give up alcohol, and virtually no carbs. I've heard WW is good, and people do lose, but as always, the secret is changing your lifestyle to keep it off. I think you're wonderful just the way you are.

    4. mette,
      I need a lot of sleep and try to get at least 8 hours, I do love wine and have been cutting down drastically, walking daily for at least an hour and eating salads with protein and no cheeses or breads...time will tell if these small changes will work.

    5. Your thoughts are ringing true...
      many of my friends who are on HRT do not have the same issues that I have with my body.
      It's interesting that these hormones are a factor in weight management.

      Suzanne Sommers seems to feel that they are crucial. My doctor disagrees, yet there is a GP in town who has made it her specialty to balance women's menopausal hormones to that when they were in their childbearing's working for quite a few women my age.

      There is so much information out there one's mind literally reels!
      I like to keep things simple.

  17. I've lost about 20 pounds in 6 months doing yoga -- not the hot or vigorous kind. The thing about yoga is, done seriously, it shifts everything. Digestion is better, energy is better, your body wants to eat in a more healthy way. I've experienced all these taking several classes a week and doing yoga at home almost every day. My body caught up with my mind and started releasing weight it didn't need. The calories in-calories out equation works but takes a lot of time and attention, not to mention will-power to keep up. The yoga (and meditation) based shifts are organic and I think will continue as long as I continue to do yoga. As you've guessed, I'm a huge fan of yoga.


    1. You've found something that really works for you Jes and it sounds like you are really passionate about it...great for you too for that 20 pound weight loss.
      I never thought of Yoga as a weight loss tool.
      I like it for stress reduction, flexibility and lymphatic drainage.

  18. I lost 20 lbs in 7-8 months on the new WW system, and am keeping it off. Mette is right in that it's a lifestyle change. There's no "instant gratification" on the scale, but it's sustainable over the long haul. Good luck to you.

    1. Congratulations !
      Did you go to the meetings or use the online WW's?

  19. Agree about the baking soda,I mix it with white vinegar to clean my teak garden furniture,it is covered in green looking mould as they spend Winter outside..the paste brings them up like new..that is my job for tomorrow. Ida

  20. AArgh, losing weight is such a battle. You have to work out who your enemy is.

    I know I can't exercise like it is my job as I already have a day job so I can't lose the amount of weight i need to that way, I can squeeze a bit in to help, but I can't rely on it, and It is not something I want to have to slave at every day for the rest of my life. When I was younger with no commitments I could go to the gym for 3-4 jours every night, but not now, I have a life and family. I can only control what goes in my mouth.

    I know my enemy is carbs, fat is my aly/friend in so many ways, satiation, skin etc. etc. The problem is sure you can lose the weight any way but can you keep it off, so whatever you choose has to be a lifelong commitment with some of the enemy snuck in every now and then- (maybe once a week) as a treat, or when there is no other choice. Where I live good quality fresh fruit and veg can be a huge issue and we are cattle farmers, so a high protein diet with good quality frozen veg included is ideal for me. I am not a big drinker, so it's not a big deal to cut that out while I am losing. Then when it's off, a couple of social drinks every now and then should be maintainable.

    I've lost 31 pounds since January and actually really enjoy eating and living this way, far more than a diet of rabbit food, point counting and quantity restrictions, which I find so hard to maintain, my loss has been mostly around my belly and middle, indigestion has gone, blood tests are *!!fantastically!!* normal and I am NEVER Ever hungry or miserable!

    I hope you can work out a plan that's right for you! Knowledge is the key!

    1. There is heaps of info around to help you work out your plan too. My basic eating plan is: as much as I like of fish, egg, chicken, lamb, Pork, beef and any other meat?? Guess what you actually don't need much to be satiated! As many green veggies as I like in salads, Broccoli, Cauli, squash. Severely limited starchy veggies like carrot, potato, pumpkin, corn, peas, plus berries and dairy. Cream, not milk in my coffee. NO grains, legumes, bread, pasta, rice, sugar, flour, cakes, desserts lollies, sweet fruits, or sugary chocolate (I have found a sugarless dark one!)
      It works for me.

    2. So if I understand you this is a high protein diet with no sugars or carbs and low glycemic vegetables. I do like cream in my coffee when I have one but mostly it's decaf non fat lattes...
      I haven't had chocolate for weeks!

  21. Similar to what Jodi said, check out paleo/primal:

    Full fat, protein, lots of veggies, some fruit, but NO grains and sugars.

    1. Good luck to you -- it is not an easy task to lose even a small amount of weight (which from your photos appears to be all that you need to lose.)

      I agree with what so many of the others have said about fewer calories from better sources being the key. Obviously, exercise is very beneficial, but it does give the illusion that it is ok to eat a little more. I lost about 10 pounds over the past 2 years, by truly accepting that I didn't need as much food as I thought. I think our idea of "normal" eating and portions is actually out of whack. A normal eating day by today's (industrialized country) standards is really what would have been considered a feast day a hundred or a thousand years ago. Humans can actually live on a lot less. Once I really tried to internalize this notion, it was easier to see my new eating patterns as normal and healthy, not a punishing diet.

  22. Janet at the Gardener's Cottage had a similar experience when she switched to smaller plates and she really revved up her walking.
    I'm intrigued by the full fat/protein/veggie plan...
    I am off to check out that link.

  23. I agree with the ladies who mentioned smaller portions! Like most of you, I have struggled with my weight for years, and I've come to the conclusion that no diet works permanently. I've tried everything and the weight just goes back on when you stop. So now I eat whatever I like, but not much of it. I'd say I've cut down about 1/3 of the amount of food I used to eat. And some times my partner and I don't have a big evening meal at all. (Luckily he is a small man ad doesn't need much). I still like a glass of wine, but have switched to red - I can only drink one glass! I try very hard to stay away from added sugar,which is poisonous!
    I weigh and record my weight every day. In all, I have lost 6kgs(about 14lbs) since last June, and I'm keeping it off.

  24. Your approach is sensible and the gentle changes have impacted your weight. It looks like you have found what works for you...well done!
    Each of us are so different that we probably need to dig deep to figure out where we want to go with our focus on health and wellness, what to keep what to lose.
    Thanks for your comment.

  25. Dear Hostess, Most importantly, you're making the effort. That is the battle half won! I went to WW many years ago, I'm over 60 now, and still in reasonable shape. It's really the best. It moves slowly (the best way), you only need a little patience. I live in (near) Victoria too, there are so many beautiful places to walk. Persevere, you're on the right track!