Weight gain woes

March 5, 2016

True confession time.

Last year I chronicled my 30-pound weight-loss journey. It was very difficult, but I was so pleased to be lighter and feeling healthier, and to be able to fit into my clothes.

But, I have to be honest here. I have gained back almost eight pounds. Around four over this past summer, and another four over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

The alarms are going off, and I have to stop this. Right now.

I know how to do it. It's just hard to face the fact that I'm going to be hungry for the next couple of months, and maybe for the rest of my life if I truly want to keep it off permanently.

Okay, that sounds dramatic, but seriously.

To keep this weight off I'm going to have to be a little hungry all the time.

Not just psychological hunger. Real stomach-growling hunger. Even with good fats and protein.

Does anyone else have this problem? Or is hunger just part and parcel of the deal? I know I'll be hungry losing weight, but it seems I'm hungry even in the maintenance phase. Help!?


My bird feeders went unfilled for nearly three weeks, as I was up north and then dealing with bronchitis. My poor little birdies! Talk about going hungry! But now they're singing "happy days are here again," and it seems all is forgiven.

A mama cardinal top left, and one of the ever-present, cheerful chickadees.


  1. Dear Deborah:
    This is a topic we all get to at some point in life. I was a small person through my 50's but when I turned 60 things changed. I wish I was willing to walk more but now feel the need to protect the knees. I love to cook and bake so that complicates things. I call myself "the big girl" now. I wish you great success in your diet venture!

  2. Hello My Dear Friend, This comment is from my heart: Body weight is different for each of us!! I have seen through my life those women who have lost a lot of waight always struggle and find a deeper feeling of unsatisfied feeling of being happy and content. Maybe smaller in size and feel better with the label of a smaller number. Being healthy is more important than your size or wight! Body chemistry is so different for each of us, I say find a happy medium and use portion control but hunger pains and feeling empty is just silly. Please consider a healthy style and go ahead and live... Life is to short for spending hours thinking about what you just ate or didn't eat! You are smart and beautiful and natural and do not short change yourself. Just learn to love your body and love your man...
    Love, Roxy

  3. I too have gained a few pounds after losing 30 two years ago...I am 61 and walk everyday.
    My thyroid medication has been adjusted...reduced and I am blaming that for the gain. I eat healthy low points in the way that I learned about when I attended Weight Watchers which is a fabulous program by the way. Currently I am in constant pain with a condition known as frozen shoulder... this has put my weight gain in perspective.
    I would not advocate that you ever feel that hungry...even on Weight Watchers we ate snacks...apples with hummus, or a small cube of low fat cheese or a tablespoon of peanut butter. Raw Veggies, natural fruits are all free points on WW... if you are feeling hungry your body might be in starvation mode and it takes over, holds onto the calories and stores them as fat to keep you alive. Just a thought that you might consider...and good luck!

  4. I lost a lot of weight due to been ill with a gallbladder problem and gallstones. Since surgery it is starting to creep back on. I would suggest to eat healthily but not to go hungry, its about getting a balance. Hope it all goes well for you.

  5. I hope you find some healthy low calorie snacks, carrot or celery with humus or peanut butter? Carrot juice? Love your little birds and their feeder.

  6. Finding that lovely balance is tough, between feeling hungry and the right number showing up on the scales. Honestly, it is a battle that I am fighting too right now, and I have chosen to look at being healthy as far greater than the numbers on the scale. Eat healthy, get lots of good exercise, and find peace in knowing that your health is the most important, not the numbers on a scale. :)

    Your birdies look so happy, isn't it wonderful to have our feathered friends! Do hope that you are feeling better too!!! Much love to you today :)

  7. Hi Deborah, I sure hope you are feeling better from your bronchitis. Losing weight can be much easier than keeping it off. Maintaining weight after the initial loss is the hardest part. I don't know the answer to this either since everyone's metabolism is different. We all face this I think. For me, I found the formula to be, to keep moving, watch sugary foods, fill up on carrots and celery and get enough sleep.
    I don't feel hungry much but on occasion I do if I didn't eat enough for breakfast or lunch. I was watching Bill O'Reilly one night and he said that chewing Eclipse gum helped like an appetite suppressant. I've tried it and it does work or maybe I just thought it did. At anyrate, being healthy is always far better than the number on the scale or the dress size. Maybe just forgetting about it for a bit can help taking the focus off food. You are beautiful!!

    It won't be long till we meet up. So looking forward to it sweet friend. Thanks for stopping by and your kind comment. Have a nice evening and rest of the weekend. xo

  8. Deborah, I think most of us have been there and sometimes it's hard to decide whether what we are feeling is true hunger or head hunger. Is your stomach actually growling? Have you tried eating a little something every couple of hours instead of waiting until the next meal? That really seems to help me and I have heard this keeps your metabolism working harder. The struggle is real, I agree. Eating a good breakfast with plenty of protein in a must for me or I won't last until 9 am...especially since I have usually eaten mine around 5:30! Good luck finding something that works for you!

  9. First off, you're very pretty . I am very much loving your hair !

    I don't know what advice I can give you regarding weight , but I do know since I've entered my 6th decade of life it does not seem to take many calories for me to gain weight and I live an active life with hard physical work included. I don't care for sweets , but my weakness is cheese. I do snack on nuts and veggies though , so you see, eating "healthy" still adds weight. What's a gal to do ?

    I can tell you the times in my life when I was truly thin and skinny were the extremely stressful times in my life when I had no appetite at all, and when I was anorexic. Somehow I don't equate that with true health for me, so if you come up with a solution not involving either of these I want to know !

    I know I didn't answer any questions and hope you are able to lose the desired weight in a healthy way. Now that better weather is on the way long walks in beautiful scenery sound very pleasant and healthy. Blessings Deborah.

  10. Hi Deborah, I don't feel hungry if I've eaten enough protein. I can go five hours between meals, and I still eat carbs, but I watch what I eat. I was trying to watch my cholesterol, even though my good cholesterol is very good, I heard someone mention drinking apple cider vinegar and honey in water. I started drinking that daily, since September, and I've lost 7-8 pounds, and I wasn't even doing it for that reason. I do buy the natural apple cider vinegar and local honey. You might give that a try.
    It won't be long now until we meet up!! xxoo

  11. I'm battling too Deborah!
    I damaged my knee a few years ago and so I can't walk at a a fast pace any more.
    If I could just lose 5 kilos I would be happy.

  12. Deborah, I concur with your weight problems. I have, at last, learned to peacefully exist with being 5-10 pounds over my ideal weight. Like you, I know how to lose it all, which, on occasion, I decide to do, especially if a holiday is approaching. But overall, I've chosen to not stress over it. My clothes still fit and so it's all good.

  13. Deborah, surely it's rare for someone to be able to keep off all the weight they lose but I know that you don't want to let it keep inching up. It seems like I've been on a diet all my adult life and now I just try to console myself with having kept off 35 of the 50 pounds that I lost 7 years ago.

    I believe you'll accomplish whatever it is that you feel best at!

  14. I've been practicing Barre and Yoga for a few years and fear I'm at a higher risk for injury BECAUSE I work out religiously. Joints ache, muscles tear, shoulders sting, wrists burn....it's a constant battle between doing too much and too little. I agree with the previous comments...even brisk walking is painful if you have meniscus issues. Add to that the minimal calories required to maintain a healthy body weight at our age and goodness, what's a girl to do? Grrrr. It's a brand new world and like you, I'm working daily to wrap my head around who I am and learning to love my body unconditionally. I figure - to my Grandchildren I am Nani, and how weird would it be if your Nani was a hot babe? lol

  15. Oh you will figure it out and I am not the one to advise. (All the weight I have ever lost has found me again and brought friends.) All the very best as you figure out the plan.

  16. Oh, Deb, I sympathize. It is difficult to maintain a weight loss. I need to lose a few so I am not one to give advice. I fluctuate and always seem to lose weight in the spring and summer when I am busy in the gardens and 'forget' to eat. I do love my meals, but I love gardening, too. I have learned to make peace with a little pudge. As long as I am healthy, I don't deny myself a treat now and again. Finding that balance of activity and fuel is the key. Keeping busy doing what you love helps. Best of luck, my dear. xoxo Karen

  17. I understand when you talk about always feeling hungry when you diet. I have the same stomach growling/ so empty feeling! It is almost painful.... I lost 21 pounds since the beginning of the year, but about 2 weeks ago I started eating a bit more because I was so hungry!! Very quickly I gained back 3 pounds, but I felt so much better. I am trying to stay around 1500 - 1800 calories because 1200 was just leaving me so hungry all of the time. I am in my 60's with bad knees, and I can't really walk when we have ice and snow. I just wanted to say I feel your pain .... literally!!

  18. After a major battle with bronchitis ( FEED A COLD ! :) now you have to worry about going hungry :( Hope there is a middle ground. I have found that when I tried to diet that to give up everything just didn't work. For instance chocolate. But if I buy a Hershey bar and just eat one small row ( the 3 little sections ) after lunch,slowly, I am ok, but I didn't eat the whole bar.

  19. I hope you can find a way to maintain your desired, healthy weight and not be hungry! Would it help to have lots of crunchy things readily available? I congratulate you on reaching your goal and urge you not to be too hard on yourself. Drawing a line under a little weight gain is a BIG first step!

  20. Why didn't I appreciate being young and skinny? That's what I always ask myself. I've been fighting the weight since my first baby was born and have been up and down ever since. The only thing that keeps it off is to eat all natural and not buy the bad stuff. If it's not in my house, I'm not willing to drive somewhere to get it and so that helps. I wish you all the luck in the world, my friend.

    I hope you feel better soon!


  21. Dearest Deborah,
    Well, I think I've gained also a few pounds and I know very well why. For the same reason, a long lasting cold and than bronchitis so I was about one month on non-active! That makes all the difference. Just tonight I've finally pre-posted the last part about Pieter's trip to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. So happy that it's off my back! Pieter enjoyed reading the preview and he said it all came back to him in his memory.
    That's all I wanted to do, for him as he is aging and one never knows.
    Yesterday I found out that a girl in her 30s like our foster-daughter also from Indonesia, who was having dialysis for 9 years, went to heaven.
    I've made screen shots from our chats, for her older sister. Sad, sad... But that is life!
    So happy that things are really warming up and tomorrow I plan on taking a good walk with Pieter. Have to see my doctor in the morning and next week, Pieter has an appointment for his knee at Ortho Georgia... Hope it will not be too serious, he's having pain and wears such a knee support but that does very little. When standing and walking he is feeling best; thank goodness he can walk!
    Hugs and good luck on your diet. Oh, I was so disappointed that our Atlanta Trader Joe's had zero coconut palm sugar. And Whole Foods had the blonde and the vanilla version on sale. I told Pieter, that means they will discontinue that too. What is wrong with people? Are they not supporting those healthy products?!

    Enjoy your week!


  22. It's so hard to keep all the weight off that you lose. I have an acceptable range and feel OK if I keep it within those limits. I just hate to feel hungry and I don't think it's good for you either. I like to have energy and strength and good health. Are you sure you are not within your acceptable range? You look great! Hugs, Diane

  23. It's great you lost all of that weight but trying to keep it at that weight is hard! I don't think you should starve yourself either. Perhaps you can snack on fruits and veggies? I love snacking on popcorn and carrots with Ranch dressing. Good luck Deborah.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  24. Hi, I had the same weight issues until I went to the library and got Dr. Sears books on THE ZONE DIET. Wonderful, healthy diet! I've never looked back or had weight issues now. Never hungry! Dr. Sears has been called to testify in court as an expert witness on a number of fad weight loss law suits. The man is brilliant. I also eat gluten-free and mostly casein-free (my choice). I'm carb sensitive so the ZONE is perfect because it's low-glycemic as well. I'm looking forward to reading if you tried his books and if you gave his eating plans a try. He's formulated plans for all types of sports people as well. I've tried Weight Watchers and other diets as many of us have trying to lose weight and I have to say, for life-time weight management, this is the diet for me. You feel so good on it. Lots of luck on your journey...maybe this can make it a little easier for you.

  25. Growing up, I was always very skinny and was teased harshly. In my late 20's, I was finally diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Disease and lactose intolerance - good reasons I could not gain. These days, like you, I really have to watch my weight and struggle with stomach growling hunger to remain at a steady weight. John has diabetes 2 and trying to cook healthy for him drives me nuts! You really do look marvelous and I'll be praying for you.

  26. I lost 30 lbs 10 years go and have kept it off. Granted, I'm not the size 4-6 I was then because I'm not doing kick butt workouts. But I am walking and as long as I keep that up, I'm good. My weight fluctuates depending on where I'm at and what I'm doing but I always manage to keep it in check. I'm a 6-8 now and good with that. Once my weight starts to creep up to a certain point, I know I need to do something about it. I never want to go back to the way I was. You should never feel hungry if you are truly eating real, healthy food. I've been vegetarian for 7 years but giving up dairy 3 years ago was really the best thing I ever did. I'm a grazer, so believe in little meals throughout the day. Finding what works best for us as individuals is very important. We are all unique and have different needs. I don't have cravings anymore and if I ever feel like I want something but don't know what, then I just drink a big ol' glass of water and that usually fixes it. It's 8 a.m. here. Going to get dressed and go for a morning walk. :)

  27. Deborah, I'm no expert, but I think eating fat as well as protein is key. Along with eating and drinking as little sugar as possible. It's sugar, not fat, that's responsible for most weight gain and high cholesterol, etc. But good fats (nuts, avocados, butter, olive oil, even meat), not bad fats (hydrogenated oils, margarine, shortening).

  28. PS I also meant to say that the healthy fats should cut back on the hunger, while a sugary snack will increase hunger. Sometimes I just grab a spoonful of organic peanut butter.


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