Friday, January 02, 2009

A Weighty Matter

I have struggled with weight on and off for my entire life.

As a child, the dilemma was much different than it is now. There are pictures of the box filled with toys my mom used to put on my highchair in an attempt to get to eat anything at all. I remember the day when I first ate a whole cheeseburger from McDonald's and the excitement that followed. It was so bad that my parents were often told "someday you'll wish she would stop eating."

Unfortunately, that turned out to be a very prophetic statement. I have never been necessarily heavy, but I've certainly been overweight and feeling the unhealthiness of that many times. It's a vicious cycle that, after 32 years, I'd really like to take control of.

So I was thrilled to find out that Joy also wanted to lose 20 pounds. I know that the motivation and support of a partner will be so helpful. We'll also be blogging about this together on Happy To Be At Home.

As I begin this process, I thought it would be smart to list all of the areas where I know my diet is lacking, and what I plan to do to overcome those things.

  1. Skipping breakfast. I rarely eat breakfast. I do love it though. Usually I'm just doing to much to stop and eat. I know I really need to jump start my metabolism earlier in the day. I also know a big, healthy breakfast will help me eat less overall. So I need to find a quick but filling breakfast option for myself, preferably something protein-packed. Also preferably something I can freeze and reheat.
  2. Late-night snacking. Because Eric works at night, and because I stay up until he gets home, I get hungry throughout the night, especially after midnight when it has been 5 1/2 hours since I ate dinner. I am not going to say I'll just stop snacking altogether. That wouldn't be realistic at all. Instead, I need to find healthier alternatives. I also need to be more mindful of these late night snacks so that I'm not just eating and blogging without paying attention to how much it is I'm eating.
  3. Not drinking enough water. In the past, upping my water intake has really helped me eat less, feel healthier, and drop a few pounds. So you'd think I'd make sure to get at least 8 glasses a day, right? Wrong. But that's an easy fix, and one that I've already begun implementing.
  4. Not exercising enough. I've also clung to the excuse that I'm moving all day between cooking, laundry, cleaning, playing with the kids, etc. That's just not cutting it though. My hips will be the first one to tell you that too. Within the next month or so, we're planning to get a family pass for the Y. I was a swimmer in high school and my plan is to get back to swimming at least 3 days a week. In the meantime, I am not going to use not having that pass yet as an excuse to not exercise. I'm not sure what I'll do just yet, but I'm working on some kind of plan. I am open to any suggestions that you might have!
There you have it. My 4 biggest health mistakes. I will be changing those things and making other small changes in my diet, such as portion sizes. However, I will continue to eat the same thing that I make for the family every night. I'll just eat less of it, and maybe add in a salad or fruit.

I'll update here frequently, and every week Joy and I will both track our progress on Happy To Be At Home through the "2 Moms, 20 Pounds" series. For anyone else doing the same thing, we'd love to have you join us.

And if you have any good tips, motivations, recipes, or other healthy eating/dieting ideas, I would really appreciate it.


God's Girl 2:41 AM  

I am guilty of the same things. : (
A new year to try, yet, again!

Untypically Jia 3:43 AM  

I hear ya girl! And I love that "2 Moms, 20 Pounds" very cute! I can't wait to see your progress!

Homesteader in Training 7:24 AM  

Yeah my goal is 15 lbs but I'd be happy with 10. My problem is just holidays, birthday, anniversaries, which bring in the cake and cookies etc. lol. There seems to be something every month to tantalize me.But I'm going to try and be a good girl and just not eat as big a piece or as many etc. Every little bit helps.
Good luck with your adventure and I look forward to reading about it.

creative gal 8:00 AM  

I am really bad about doing most of those, but have decided to jump start my health this year. :o) Good luck!

Wonderwoman 8:01 AM  

Come visit my blog! Weight has been my struggle my WHOLE life and I finally have beat it. There will be a link from the 'lose weight' tab to a 30 minute intro on what I do. I'm a stay at home/homeschool Christian mom but I teach this lifestyle way of eating to people over the internet on Wednesday nights.
Even if you decide not to give it a try, you may pick up some good tips from the recorded intro.
Happy New Year!

Judy 8:19 AM  

You can count on me to cheer you and Joy along. I need to lose 45 pounds. The number seems so large, so undoable. So I was thinking a smaller number would be a great place to start. 20 is just about half so count me in : )

I know one of my biggest problems in skipping meals. I snack on junk so much throughout the day that when it comes time for a meal I am not hungry (but I am about a hour and half later---back to snacking).

Look forward to seeing your progress.

Elizabeth 9:47 AM  

YAY! Not that you want to lose weight but that I found a place to visit during my own weight loss journey! I'm also trying to lose 20 pounds this year and I re-started my Weight Watchers homeplan journey this morning. So far, so good... but I've only had breakfast lol.

Good luck! I'll be here cheering you on.

Amy @ Finer Things 9:59 AM  

Try exercising with your kids for 10-15 minutes twice a day. Put on an upbeat video or music, and bust a move! The kids will join in and they will LOVE the uninterrupted FUN time with mom.

I like to use arm bands at this time. Also, crunches... leg lifts... aerobic-type moves. It doesn't really matter. Just set the timer and get moving with the kids. ;-)

AmyG 10:05 AM  

1, 2 & 4 are definitely my issues as well. Look forward to following your journey & hope to lose along with you.

Suzy 10:52 AM  

That's cool you were a swimmer! I think you have the makings of a great triathlete! It doesn't take much to learn how to bike and run, but swimming is always the tricky one.

I'd love to learn how to swim one day when my kids are older, but for now I just run. How about hopping on the treadmill for 20 minutes before hitting the water? Start by brisk walking, adding running minutes as you go along. There are my tips.

Focus more on your energy output (exercise) than energy input (eating). It's much more fun, and often more successful.

Phoebe 1:16 PM  

I've stuggled with weight since having children. I often skip breaskfast as well, and do not drink enough water. And I'm sure that I could use more exercise (I, too, have always just counted housework!).

I used to do pilates w/a video at home. I loved it,and it seemed to help, but I stopped and have been having a hard time getting back into routine.

One thing that I have noticed that has helped me atleast drink more water is acidophilus. It is a small chewable wafer type thing that is basically like the bacteria in the yougurt (bifidus regularis). Not only did it make me thirsty, but I feel TONS better and less bloated. I just buy mine at the health food store. 100 wafers (one a day) for under $8.

I'm hoping to get my weight under control this I will definitely be following your journey!


Michele @ Frugal Granola 1:48 PM  

Wow, best wishes, Kate! It sounds like you're off to a great start. I'm sure I'll be heading in that direction in about 8-9 months. :)

Have you read the book "Eat Fat, Lose Fat" by Mary Enig? I really recommend it. (She has her PhD in fats!) :) It's not a "fad" diet plan; just lots of whole foods, especially using coconut milk/oil.

Michele :)

Anonymous,  3:48 PM  

Stopping sugar and white flour and cutting down on all carbs will make a huge difference. I notice that you love to bake and that you have lots of muffins and cookies and the like. Dinners are also very carb heavy and low on meat. Sugar stimulates the appetite. The more protein you eat the less hunger you'll have.

Mary Ann 7:05 PM  

I've started running and have already scheduled my first 5k in March to motivate me. It's been really difficult but I do feel better already.

I've tried to cut back on snacking. The hardest time is between lunch and dinner- I seem to get really really hungry! A cup of hot tea helps as well as some protein or a little fruit if I'm really having a hard time making it to supper. Carbs(breads, crackers, sweets) seem to put the weight on me so I'm trying to limit them. I'm the same way as you when it comes to eating dinner-I want to cook basically the same way and still eat what I'm serving my husband. So portion control and eating slowly seems to be the way to go for me.

I am not considered terribly overweight because of my build but I've put on about 25 pounds in the past few years. My goal is not to be really little but just a healthy size and weight for my frame.

I'm cheering you on, girl!

MammaMia 1:42 AM  

Psst! I've given you an award! Go to: and receive your award!

Joey Hill 5:01 AM  

Good luck with the weight loss.
I have lost about 12 pounds over the past four months, very slow but steady. The two things that hve helped me are, - not to bake cakes, cookies, muffins and so on (she says, eyeing up that cookie recipe a few posts down..!!) I love baking but no way am I not going to eat what I make!! Too yummy. And find the exercise that works best. For me its walking twice around the block, 25 mins at a reasonable pace, first thing in the morning. I can do that as my kids are older, and I don't mind the morning. The weeks I dindt do it, I didn't lose, so even that amount of exercise works. I quite like the morning, as it's very spiritual and peaceful but a lot of folk can't get up early. If I don't do it at 6.30 in the morning, there's no way I'd do it later during the day so find the thing that works best. I hope to lose another 12 pounds, too, so I'm with you on this one.
Love your blog!!

Jennifer 12:52 PM  

My weakness is snacking before bed too. Instead of trying to hold off and not eat anything and then having a large snack at 11:00 pm why don't you plan to have a healthy snack at 8 or so? Then you would still be awake and active for the next few hours to burn it off some. Good luck!

Omah's Helping Hands 11:35 PM  

I've been fighting weight problems for years. I always heard, "eat some more, eat some more; it won't hurt you." I grew to love food, ate to the point it would hurt and eventually it caught up with me. Now I have a lot of weight to lose.
Oh I've been down to where I should be many times on different diets and exercise, then I'd gain it all back and then some. So fully understand where you are coming from. Only difference is I have a lot more to lose than you.:(
Good luck to both of you. I think it's wonderful what you are doing. Having someone to do it with makes it so much easier. Am looking forward to following your progress.
As others stated, exercise, and definitely watch the bread products. But as you said, watching your portion size is the main thing!

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