Choosing my hard

February 21, 2015

It's hard to be overweight.
It's hard to lose weight.
Choose your hard.

Have you heard this one? Why, oh why, do both options have to be hard?

Yes, I'm going to whine a little bit here. 

I should be happy. I've lost 13 pounds since January 2. Not bad. I'm eating really good food, lots of vegetables and fruits and lean protein, with a little Greek yogurt and nuts. My meals taste delicious and look beautiful.

A waffle made with banana, egg whites, almond milk, cinnamon, and rice protein powder. Yummy.
But, man, I feel empty and hungry, even eating five meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks, to keep blood sugar levels stable). Especially around 9 or 10 at night. There's nothing in the house to "cheat" on, so I grumble and fix myself another cup of herbal tea. And then just go to bed, sometimes sighing and feeling sorry for myself. Oh, brother.

And get this, I had planned on losing 20 pounds, even though I knew 40 would be better. But 40 just sounds so overwhelming, such a huge mountain to scale. But, when I mentioned it to my doctor, he said, yes, 40 would be good.

Sigh. This is going to go on for a while.

Actually, it's going to go on for the rest of my life. I've told myself from the beginning that this is a lifestyle change. I'm not going to lose weight and go back to my old ways. I'm trying to "re-frame" things.

Sugar = wrinkles, aging, constipation

White flour = gluey paste in my bloodstream

Processed foods = high sodium, "dead" food

etc., etc.

Every time I think about certain "treat" foods, I try to mentally condition myself this way. And I think of my body loving healthy foods, and all the little cells in my body happily crying out, "Yay! Look at this great food she's feeding us!"

My clothes fit better. A couple things are actually too big. My skin looks better. All kinds of good things are happening, especially since I'm also regularly exercising, too.

But this is hard. There really is no magic way to lose weight. One of the hardest is the new mindset to get used to, that this is what the rest of my life is going to look like. And I'm determined it won't seem like deprivation. I'm hoping that I will get used to eating foods that are good for me, that are health-giving, and that certain foods just won't appeal to me anymore, that I will remember that they won't make me feel good. 

And yes, even so, I do enjoy an occasional lovely dessert. I can give up crackers and pretzels and ice cream and pasta and rice and bread and sour cream and mayonnaise. Forever, even. But pie or cake or a special baked good will remain on the okay-to-have-occasionally-in-small-portions list.

For Valentine's Day, I purchased a small, fancy bakery cake, just enough for two. It was delicious and satisfying. No leftover cake to tempt me the next day.

I'm getting there.

Because I tell you what. I never want to do this again.

Got any tips?


  1. It is hard and I don't know any way to make it easier. I wish I did. Allowing yourself occasional treats, like the small cake, is a good tactic.

  2. I have found that Trim Healthy Mama works for me. My body is changing and I am getting healthy. It sounds as if you are eating very much like the plan already!

    I think allowing yourself treats are great. You are not eating this way all the time, so it won't really hurt you or your health to have an occasional treat!


  3. You're doing so well, Deborah! Yes, it's just a lifestyle change forever. My tips are balancing protein and carbs. I eat a salad every day for lunch, which really helps. Your breakfast looks amazingly beautiful and healthy. Keep up the good work.
    I hope you see my comment because all my comments are coming back as failed messages. It's so frustrating!

    1. It got stuck in the "awaiting moderation" section, but I found it. Someone send me some info on this problem I still have to read.

      Thanks, all, for the encouragement!

  4. It sounds as though your new mindset is working. I find that I am motivated when I notice my clothes getting "bigger". I have about 40 pounds to lose and I seem to get stuck at 15. It really is about perseverance.

  5. Weight Watchers was my saviour...regular meetings, weigh ins and lots and lots of walking. If you have a treat make sure you eat lean to compensate. I didn't feel at all deprived on WW actually I quite embraced the healthier foods. I think it is al mind shift that occurs...and looking slimmer not needing high blood pressure medications was the bonus.
    Your weight loss is quite impressive and in such a short time! It took me a year to lose 30 pounds. Stay the course

  6. Deborah, whine on, this is the perfect place to do it. Do you think your readers want to hear, "Oh, this is a breeze!" Maybe some would but from someone who has struggled with this for decades your post is encouraging to me.

    Now, you're doing such a good job! Using a smart approach to this. Removed trigger foods from the house, and God bless your husband for cooperating with that! Exercising, seeing results. Are you rewarding yourself with non-food treats?

    It is that nighttime, before bed hunger that's hard, isn't it? Are you able to go to sleep while being hungry? If you can, fine. If not, maybe research for the healthiest nutrient dense snack?

    I can't believe I'm giving you advice on this, I who have given up at my age of losing more than the 30 pounds I lost a few years back. Need to lose much more but have accepted keeping that off.

    And Deborah, don't try to visit my blog this time because I did a rare dessert post, no recipe but just pictures with a cookbook recommendation. In fact the cake is not from the cookbook and the book is a healthy lifestyle book so the name of it is Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler, just in case you want to check into it without looking at pictures of my cake. Fair warning and you have my faith in you reaching your healthy goal.

    1. I say, congratulations on keeping the 30 off. I think that's great! And, haha, now I really have to look at that picture.

  7. Oh, it's hard isn't it? The first time I lost weight I ate a whole bag of microwave popcorn every night and it filled me without being an exceptionally bad food to eat.
    Since then I've purchased a popcorn maker that I use a bit of olive oil with to pop the corn.
    No matter the setbacks, just keep focused on healthy eating and perhaps more weight will come off.

  8. Nope, not a one. I have probably lost 800 pounds in my adult life, but they all find me again so I am no expert. What's worse is that I only know one person who has lost weight and kept it off. She does it with rigorous, and I do mean rigorous, exercise. So I am hoping that you have found the answer, though the hunger you are describing would be worrisome. Does the tea help?

  9. For me, I've learned to try to embrace that feeling of emptiness as a feeling of a clear, empty digestive system that's NOT going to pile weight on me while I'm sleeping. It doesn't always work, but a change of perspective on what you're experiencing might distract you for a while, at least.
    And congratulations on your accomplishment - they are NOT small, nor insignificant, and should be celebrated!

  10. There must be some healthy snacks to cheer you.
    Judith wrote about popcorn. When I went to Weight Watchers that was the recommended snack. It works well. You can make popcorn in the microwave with no oil, butter, flavourings or other junk, but keep one particular container just for that use because it may get pitted.
    Are you dehydrated at night? That can make you feel bad. have a nice cuppa and check if that helps.
    Could you have a dish of yoghurt and fruit?
    Could the odd sensation be a signal to do a particular set of exercises? Study? Yoga? Reading?
    You are succeeding at something where many other people have failed. 12 pounds is a big bag of potatoes! Such an achievement. Reward yourself with a pot plant or a CD or something that lasts.

  11. I wish I had a magic tip, but really I do not. I have never been on a diet, but I have stopped at times of eating different foods. I believe everything in moderation! My thoughts are when a person loses weight, if they do gain it back it always brings a friend or two. I teach smaller portions and whole foods! At night I have to have cheese and crackers or a hard boil egg to keep my blood sugar up!
    What about a good protein powder mixed in milk in the evenings?
    Hugs, Roxy

  12. Congrats on those 13 pounds, Deborah! That is nothing to sneeze at! It sounds like you are doing all the right things and I am sure you are reaping the benefits. I have lost the same 20-30 pounds over and over for the past several years. I am going to Florida in a month and I am desperate to lose just 10 lb to look and feel better in my clothes. You are right, it is very hard...any way you slice it!

  13. I think that allowing a small treat here and there is helpful. I remember trying to lose weight one time and if I was craving chocolate, eating 10 healthy muffins or what-have-you wasn't going to solve the craving.So I bought a bag of Hershey's Kisses and just one or two of them DID solve the craving.

  14. I had to give up all fruit. Sugar and carbs at the same time due to extreme hypoglycemia. I have gone 8 months and lost not nearly enough even with daily walking. It is a terrible struggle but I am to I'll with low blood sugar emergencies to exercise any further then an hour walk daily. I cannot tolerate cardio.with my disabilities and low blood sugar. I have to lose 25 but that 25 is critical to my health. One thing that helps is string cheese. It's 7 grams of protein when you are hungry.
    Your doing fine it's a big help to think of it as a lifestyle change not a diet. Reward yourself in other ways.

  15. There is no magic pill or trick to weight loss, although from ads you see one might be gullible enough to believe in miraculous weight loss. The truth is, eating less than you use everyday is how it's done. Up your energy usage to make the process go faster. Changing your way of life has to be forever or you will end up doing this again and again. I once heard that the definition of an addict was doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Been there, done that with diets...this time for me, I finally GET IT!

  16. One last thing, share those recipes, that breakfast looked good!

  17. Oh, Deborah, you are such an inspiration. I am currently at the point where I KNOW I have to do something different with my diet but am still unable to sweep out the pantry and just MAKE A CHANGE. I follow your blog and applaud your results (CONGRATULATIONS, by the way!) Please don't be discouraged. You are influencing so many people. I promise to let you know when I make the final commitment. My eating is emotionally based, and I'm working on getting to a calmer spot in my life. I agree with the popcorn idea. It is tasty and is something to chew (and it's filling). Remember nothing TASTES as good as losing weight FEELS. Hang in there. Rosie

  18. Dearest Deborah,
    Well, you are voluntarily doing it; even if your doctor too thinks it is a GOOD thing to do. In my case I had several health issues on hand; diabetes type 2 did make me quit eating sweets and even alcohol. Last night I sinned, telling our host that just one half glass of red wine would do (once in a while...) but at table they already had poured another glass of rosé wine. Their dessert of fresh fruits had some sweetened yogurt in it and also the apricot aspic with the main course was sweet. Tell you what; I could not get to sleep because of all the sugar in my blood. So sticking to your diet does pay off for feeling better but yes, I had a rough time for finding satisfying and especially 'filling' things to eat.
    From Bob Harper's book I learned to buy special Omega3 eggs which we hard boil and discard of the yellow. One boiled egg white with a sliced apple (not peeled!) is my lunch and I feel so much better eating this instead of having some bread. Eating plenty of fruits, raw unsalted nuts, vegetables is helping you a lot. I also swear by drinking my glass of water in which I add the juice of an entire lemon, for my supper beverage. That is healthy for the vitamin C and it does help your digestion and your system in positive ways. Bob Harper even writes that you need to go to bed feeling hungry so consider that next time you feel like you ought to have something!
    Sending you hugs,

    PS Our pantry, cupboards and refrigerator now ONLY contain the right foods!

  19. Yes, it is hard. I lost 40 lbs once, but it was when I was extremely active and much younger. Now I need to lose it again......I am going hungry and trying to watch what I stuff in my mouth. Like you, eating fruits, veggies, etc. Still, around bedtime I get sooooo hungry and then I wake up in the middle of the night with my tummy growling and can't sleep. Sometimes I get up and make a cup of tea or have a glass of fat free milk with sugar free cocoa. (my little no guilt treat). I have found that if I eat a little something when I am feeling those hunger pains, it helps. An apple, or other fruit, maybe with a bit of peanut butter or a hard boiled egg. I just bought a low impact exercise tape, too. Starting that tomorrow. Exercise is the key - you have to work out - 45 min. a day. (I love Leslie Sansone - Walk Away the Pounds) Yea, so hard, but think of how good you will feel! Hang in there. xo K

  20. Oh it is very hard to be good and a big congrats on losing that much weight Deborah! I have added kale, chia seeds, flax seeds and fruit smoothies to our food we eat now. How about in the evening when you are hungry you eat yogurt with berries or a really healthy trail mix to munch on? Good luck with all of this. Have a lovely week.
    Julie xo

  21. Keep up the good work! You are doing great!

  22. "This is going to go on for a while. Actually, it's going to go on for the rest of my life." Yes -- and we must re-wire our brains to say this with excitement and happiness, instead of in despair! Ah, I'm right there with you. Late evening is my killer time. I LONG to snack. I'm not really hungry, although sometimes I THINK I am because I want to eat something. We don't have naughty things in the house. Well, my daughter has stuff like Nesquick, but I really, truly don't want junk anymore. The sugar doesn't taste good to me anymore, which is a blessing.
    Last night Adam made a neat dessert with a frozen fruit mix, a little sugar and flour to thicken, and he put his homemade granola on top, and baked it. It was delicious and satisfying of both the tummy and the deluded mind :) I have a friend who is using the "Thin Within" book and workbook to help her. She says it really helps rid you of the agony, the guilt, and self-loathing. It uses Scripture to help also. I don't know much about it, but she highly recommends it. She began in Dec. and I think has lost 16 pounds. Oh -- also I keep some rather bland chocolate bar on my bedside table and allow myself a square or two as I read before bed. If it's not too yummy, I don't eat it fast at all. That gives me a little something to look forward to before bed.


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