Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How (not) to lose weight

My gym campaign continues with, if not enthusiasm, then regularity. There's just one problem. I am approximately the same size - height, weight, circumference - as I was when I began. I cannot blame the exercise. I'm doing it. Gym stuff twice a week, walks two or three times a week, incidental out the wazoo. No, if losing weight is all about burning up more than you're putting in, the burning up section should be on track. So, sigh, it comes down to what's going in.

I remember once talking to a super-fit work colleague of mine about fitness and weight loss. At that stage, I was at the (real) gym four or five days a week. He knew I did this. Which is why he was surprised when I ordered cheesecake for dessert at a work lunch one day. "You're not one of those women who think you can eat what you like just because you exercise?" he asked me, horrified and genuinely perplexed.

Why, yes, I am. And it worked okay for me. Then. When I was in my twenties and deciding to lose weight meant dropping alcohol and chocolate for a week and watching the grams melt away. Not now, when I'm, er, older and I can drop chocolate for six weeks with no apparent effect. It goes on easier, it comes off harder. Mum told me it would be so. I didn't want to believe her.

But I can ignore it no longer. Which means, sigh, watching what I eat. Which is why I found myself out striding the streets of Fibrotown on the coldest afternoon of the year. Call it penance. In an insane fit of logic (which I can only put down to brain-freeze), I had decided that the only thing that would warm me up as I wrote in my empty house today was potato chips. Crispy, greasy, salty, yummy... where was I? Oh yes.

I ate them. Then felt the immense guilt that can only come after such pleasure. I emailed The Builder: "I ate potato chips in an attempt to keep warm. The layer of fat should help next week." He emailed me back: "I think a heater would be more effective than a potato chip."

By the time he came home, I had convinced myself that the only way to offset the problem was to walk to town, in the freezing cold (shivering for additional kilojoule-burning effect), to get ingredients for a dinner that I probably could have made out of my pantry supplies. He shook his head and waved me off.

Which is how I found myself dodging the autumn leaves swirling on the half-empty streets, wrapping my scarf around my head, walking close to shop doorways in an attempt to extract any vestige of heat that might blow out. All for the sake of a few potato chips.

Seriously, why do we do it to ourselves?

[image: Clearly the thing I really need to make a food diary work is new stationery, like these from greenchairpress/etsy]


  1. Love that post. I do this EVERY day x

  2. Haha!
    I also like to think that a good solid layer of fat is fantastic insulation - plus, it's better for the environment than using the heater - totally! lol

  3. ummm … now that chocolate doesn't taste so good. xt

  4. Chips ............ I LIKE chips ....

  5. Hearing you.
    I'm sure if I could control my piggyness, all the exercise I do would actually have some visible effect.
    I want to print a Lorna jane singlet that says "I run because I eat... a lot."
    Well, whatever you do, don't take up swimming.
    I could eat whole beasts after a few laps.

  6. what we will do for potato chips, hey? we all do this don't we? Don't we????

  7. Lol! Yes, I have done this. I exercise so that I can eat, not so I can be super fit. Oh those guilty pleasures that make us feel as if we must suddenly find the strength to run a half marathon. If only the yummy foods weren't so bad for you. Sigh.

  8. I try to employ the ten steps forward; nine steps back principle in matters like these. I think you have to focus on making progress rather than making the right decision every single time. Also, with food, because there's all this chemical stuff going on along with the psychological stuff, sometimes we need to make the wrong choice many times before it begins to really sink in, even when you know better.

  9. I don't know why we we do but I'm right there with you! After a demoralizing hour at the unemployment office I decided I needed to feel better about myself. Did I do some cardio? Buy flowers? No. Fries. Hot salty fatty fries. It's pathetic but I crave bad food when I feel bad.

    And you're right about it not coming off. When I hit 45 my metabolsm stopped. Not slowed. Stopped. Not fun!

  10. We all know that muscle weighs more than fat . Your shape is redistributing . That's why I never use scales ...just a tape measure . Then I measure very particular parts ( upper thigh , upper arm , waist and hips ) once every week to see if it's redistributing . If the inches change then I know at least its moving .
    As far as eating ... I eat a smaller amount. But , rarely do I cut out totally . Of course that could be why on occasion the inches stop moving .

    Funny post...easy to related to...

  11. I think it's fantastic that you are getting to the gym and getting fitter - that can only be good. But at the expense of hot chips? That can only be bad!!!! So glad you had the good sense to battle the elements to find that balance.
    And besides - you looked awesome at the ausblogcon, so I don't know what you're worrying about :-)

  12. Oh we've all been there. Trying not to count my chickens but I think I've finally worked out the whole calories in, calories out. Oh, and giving up chocolate for a year. That may make me stupid, but it's also helped me out big time in the whole emotional eating battle. Don't be too hard on yourself. At least you're moving it!

  13. What kind of asshole would say something like that (the work jerk)? Anyways, Yes, I have sadly had these same realizations. It is much harder nowadays to "get back on track" and lose weight. I have to really cut down my dinner portions to see progress. I don't like doing this, but, sigh, I do.

  14. The Builder is insane. You can't eat a heater.

  15. LOL Cate Bolt. That's funny.
    My secret remedy is green tea. Whenever I need to eat between meals or get warm I go for green tea first ... it usually works ... but if that fails THEN I go to the chocolate ;)

  16. Crazy right?!

    But sometimes you just have to have a potato chip. I may or may not have served some Smiths Crsips with dinner on Monday (there was chicken and salad on the plate, too!). I blame the weather.

  17. I wish I didn't know what you were talking about. But it has always been easier to exercise for me than control my food intake. Trying to get a grip before the big 4-0 so I don't have to try to after! x

  18. I really have no answer. Well not one that will make you or me happy ;)

  19. Why indeed?
    I know perfectly well that I shouldn't be doing this, yet I'm sitting here eating my way through a tub of mini Chips Ahoy biscuits.
    And I haven't been exercising.
    My work pants are feeling a little tight....

  20. Oh there's nothing wrong with a few chips, it's just not scoffing 'em every day that matters. I just love the idea of eating what one wants, mainly healthy, but only when hungry. I say this as a woman who's just eaten two pieces of yummola carrot cake with a nice cup of tea... I was hungry!

  21. Talking from bitter experience, the exercise part of the deal is 30% of the equation, food intake 70%.

    On tuesday nights I run my heart out and work off 500 calories. And then come home and eat that back in a "snack".

    I evidently still have some work to do on my diet maths.

    Thanks for linking up Drab to Fab!

  22. You know what modern medical opinion says, it is not just your BMI that matters, more important is your fitness level. So, relax, keep eating, be happy and keep on walking:)

  23. Don't know why we do it either. Maybe because hot chips are totally worth it :)

  24. LOL - We all do it...
    Frankly, I LIKE chocolate, and my current theory is I could get hit by a bus tomorrow so why not enjoy today - however at the rate Im 'enjoying today'at the moment Im going to have to start counting on that bus turning up...

  25. The good news is that the whole no-carbs thing is scientifically proven bulls***. You are only following the trend of a balanced diet. So. Where are the potato chips? (or crisps, as we say here)

  26. Does anyone know why our metabolism slows down as we get older? And have you tried those chips called wavegrains? 30% less fat but I still only eat them now and then..

  27. You are not alone. I'm close to giving up my eating rights to someone who knows better. I'm currently snacking on a bar of nougat I found at the back of the cupboard.

  28. Allison = gold.

    You rock. I've been having the exact same conversation with myself. I go to the gym, but I don't see changes. Well, if I stopped eating dessert after every evening meal, I might actually see results.

    See? I have the knowledge. But just goes to show it doesn't mean squat.



Thanks for popping by the Fibro. I love to hear from you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...