Saturday, December 11, 2010

I hate to say this but ... Curves works!

214.7 today, baby!!

Four pounds - count 'em, four - lost since my last post!

And what did I do differently, you ask? What great diet did I find?

Er, none. In fact, I've been scarfing chocolates and Christmas-related candies like there's no tomorrow.

BUT - what I DID do differently was - like Allison in this great YouTube video - I went back to Curves!

But not just ANY Curves.

No, being the glutton for punishment and humiliation that I am, I joined the exact SAME Curves that I wrote about so scathingly in a previous incarnation of this blog, way back in 2008!

So what's changed? you wonder.

Well - nothing, really. And everything. But mostly - ME!

When I walked through the doors of Curves Van Nuys two weeks ago and said I wanted to join, I was cringing inside, hoping they wouldn't remember me. So far they haven't.

And conversely, as I started my membership, I saw indications that the things I'd complained about were still happening - primarily the loud chatting and nonstop socializing.

But you know what? I joined with my eyes wide open. I knew those problems would be there.

But I ALSO knew that I need the kind of structured workout that only Curves can provide.

As you know, if you've followed this blog and my previous blog, The Curvy Catholic, I've been trying to "go it alone" since both my beloved downtown Curves, and my friend's gym "It Figures" (which had a similar circuit training workout) closed down two years ago.

I've been walking. And biking. And working out at 24 Hour Fitness.

And don't get me wrong, all those are great! They all contribute to keeping my weight at a manageable level.

BUT - none of them have helped me to re-lose the 50 pounds I re-gained last year! And that's what I really want to do!

See, I know that "big is beautiful" and "fat is fantastic" and all that wonderful self-help jargon. I understand that women have been oppressed because of their weight. I get that. And I agree that fad diets are harmful and that it's OK for a woman to be fat if she feels comfortable that way. And I don't think people should be discriminated against because of their weight.

I get all that.

BUT - I know, for myself, that I just felt better overall when my weight was down to 180. It was just physically easier for me to get around and do the things I enjoy doing.

So - I'm not going to apologize for my size.

But I'm ALSO not going to apologize for wanting my size to be SMALLER!

After all, it's my body and my life!

(OK, enough melodramatic posturing here! Bottom line (so to speak!) is that I rejoined Curves and I'm glad I did - 'cause it's WORKING, baby!)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hmm ...

Wow, sorry about the long absence! I know my many millions of followers must have been on tenterhooks (whatever they are) to know the latest in my personal Battle of the Bulge.

Well, basically, what happened was I kind of gave up - not on the weight loss, but on the blog!

Blogging itself just suddenly seemed so ... well ... cumbersome and tedious. As opposed to, say, Facebook. Which I got all involved in.

And Facebook is fun. But as my husband has repeatedly pointed out (by pulling out tufts of hair and screaming), it's not so easy to find your older posts - there's no "archived posts" feature, as there is on blogs.

And that's important, because our blog posts are just so valuable and important! (nyuk nyuk!)

Seriously, though, if you post links to articles or photos and realize later you need them again, it's way easier to find them on a blog than on Facebook.

ANYWAY - back to the weight loss!

I've actually been holding my own at around the same weight I was at the last post - 218.3 this morning.

I've been working on increasing my exercise, and making it more productive.

To which end, last week (deep breath) - I rejoined Curves for Women.

Let me explain: I actually was a member of Curves for a couple of years, till my club closed in 2008. I had the option of transferring to another location, or just quitting, and decided to quit.

"Why?" you ask. Well - because the only other club that was in a convenient location to me at the time was one that I had visited - and HATED. And had even written a nasty blog post about them (in a previous blog) burning any possible bridges to rejoining them.

So (you may have already figured this out) - last week, I rejoined - at the hated location!

"Why?" you ask, again. (Thanks for being so cooperative!)

Well, because they're still the most convenient location. And given the fact that it's been two years, my hair's a different color, and I'm using a different email address, I'm hoping no one remembers me. So far that seems to be the case. (Knock on wood!)

And the main reason I'm rejoining is not so much to lose weight, but to regain flexibility. My joints have been slowly getting more and more sore and achy the last few months, and I am 99.9% sure it's because (a) I do indeed have arthritis (my doctor confirmed that a few weeks ago) and (b) the weight I regained last year (I'd lost 50 pounds on Weight Watchers) is putting added pressure on those same joints.

So - regaining flexibility, regaining muscle tone, relosing the 50 pounds (if possible) - all my current goals at the once-hated Curves!

Let's see how this all works out, shall we?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Don't Obsess About the Scales

OK, so this morning I get up, start to get dressed, then remember - it's weigh-in day!

So far I've put on my skirt and top, but nothing else (i.e., no shoes), so I figure, OK, let's do it.

I step on the scales and - WHAAA?? 218.2 pounds?? You mean I gained weight since last week? Butbutbut ...

So I step off the scales, and think (while going to the bathroom, as long as I'm there). Maybe my summer skirt and blouse actually weigh more than I thought.

So (after doing my bidness), I stand up, remove my clothes, and step on the scales again.


Hmm - had NO IDEA my clothes weighed three pounds! Wow, Sears makes sturdier stuff than I'd thought!

But I'd better verify it, before posting the Official Final Total.

Onto the scales again - 214.9!!

Wow! I'm losing weight just stepping on and off the scales! Who knew? Well, I guess it would be aerobic but ...

The point of this long and rather disturbingly graphic post is: DON'T OBSESS ABOUT THE SCALES!

Especially the ones you have at home, fercryinoutloud.

They'll ALWAYS mess with your head. And they do it on purpose too.

Weight loss isn't necessarily a numbers game. Because what you really want to lose is FAT. And what you want to gain is MUSCLE.

Now mind you, I'm not saying that stupid thing some well-meaning weight-loss gurus try to tell you - you know, how "muscle weighs less than fat"?

A pound of muscle weighs exactly as much of a pound of fat. Just as a pound of feathers weighs as much as a pound of iron (in case you're about to take your SATs, or a civil service exam - write it down!).

BUT - what IS true is that a pound of fat takes up less room in your bod than a pound of fat.

So if you lose a pound of fat, and gain a pound of muscle, the scales won't budge.

But those jeans you couldn't get over your hips last week just might!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Oh well - there's always NEXT week!

Sigh - gained 4 pounds this week (back up to 215.0).

Not really sure what's going on. My body feels bloated and fat. But I know I'm not really any more so than I was last week.

Some possibilities:

1) Though I've tried to exercise every day, I was only able to ride my bike one day this week. The rest of the week it was raining, so I went to 24 Hour Fitness each rainy day. I thought that would actually result in a weight loss, but apparently not.

2) I don't think I ate any more than usual. But perhaps because of the rain I was more sedentary than I thought.

Also, I had some stress during the week due to the owner of a bookstore (which shall be nameless, cough*ILIAD*cough), accused me of being "too greedy" about taking books from the books labeled (get this) "FREE BOOKS". He told me not to take more than one box. Well, I never DO take more than one box, but of course when someone decides you're guilty and tells you not to do it again, and they're the owner of the store, what else can you do but take your business elsewhere?

Which I'm doing. Yesterday I visited several cool thrift shops and underappreciated used bookstores in the San Fernando Valley, and today I puttered around yard sales and garage sales. Found some great stuff too!

Oh, didn't I mention that I sell books on Amazon? Sorry about that - here's the link, in case you want to do some shopping:

Mention this blog when you order and I'll refund 25% of your total order upon shipping (in the form of an Amazon gift card)! Wow, whatta deal, eh?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Saturday morning!

Good morning!

I'm happy to report this morning's official weigh-in (using my official Weight Watchers brand scale, firmly situated underneath the bathroom sink) clocks me in at 212.8 - an almost two-pound loss since last week! Yay!

That's really good because two pounds a week is the amount most of the reputable diet and weight loss experts recommend as the maximum. Of course, you may average a little more or a little less each week, but that's OK too.

As long as you're not dropping, say, 20 pounds in one week. That would make me look around to see if a body part had fallen off!

So what did I do RIGHT this week? Let's check, shall we?

1. Exercise: I went to 24 Hour Fitness three days this week. While there, I started with weight-lifting, then went on to the stationary bike for 20 minutes, then repeated the weight-lifting before going on with my day. I like that routine, and think it's doing me good.

In addition, on the days I didn't go to the gym, I rode my bike. (Actually, I even rode my bike on the days I did go to the gym! Just didn't ride it as far or as long.

But I do love my comfy Electra Townie!)

2. Food: Not sure if I'm doing everything "right" on food, at least not the way Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or the other Big Weight Loss companies would advise. I'm basically eating what I want, when I want it - and exercising more to make up for it.

Hey, listen - I've been on so many diets in my life. Eventually they all fail because at some point, I get a craving for something I swore I'd never eat again.

Like, for example, Breyer's Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.

It's the best! Really! Have you ever tried it? No, I'm not trying to sabotage YOUR diet (sorry!). It's just that, if you're going to sabotage your diet with anything, this would be the best possible thing to do it with. It's all-natural, has only a handful of ingredients listed on the package and it's SOOOOO good!

So the thing is, I'm 52 years old and I'm going to exercise my prerogative of being a crotchety old lady and saying, "Gimme my Breyers, dammit!"

Oh, and also macaroni and cheese. Though I've learned to make a pretty healthy version of that, and I no longer feel the need to scarf down the Velveeta Shells & Cheese I used to love when I was younger. That stuff does taste good but man, those foil cheese packages are OILY - frankly, I wonder how much actual cheese is in there!

So I've just learned to make it myself. Cook any kind of pasta you like; dump some good quality cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese on top, and mix it with a little milk; then stick it in the oven or the microwave till it melts.

Then (my personal favorite) - before serving, sprinkle some pepper on top.

Mmm!! Love it!

I make it for myself as a reward for finishing a particularly good day of exercise and/or bike riding.

For me, that's the best way to deal with your food issues: don't give up the stuff you love, just (a) find and/or learn to make healthier versions of them and (b) do a ton of exercise so you won't feel guilty about eating them.

And ... sorry to interrupt, but since it's Saturday morning, my hubby is making breakfast for me - a very healthy version of bacon and eggs! Yummmm!!

See you next week!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Beginner's Luck - But Still ...

Hi, and happy Saturday to anyone who may be reading this!

Well, my first few days were successful - this morning I weighed in at 213, for a loss of 4 pounds! Yayyy!

But it did occur to me that the first few weeks of any new weight loss regimen are like this. You tend to lose more right at first - and let's face it, a lot of that is going to be water. So you don't want to let yourself get too cocky.

Whether you've lost or gained, take a few moments to sit down and think about the past week. What did you do wrong? What did you do right? We're none of us perfect, so even if you achieved your goal of dropping some pounds, you may have done it in an unhealthy way (drinking too much diet soda or coffee, and not enough plain water and fruit juices).

And even if you gained weight, you may have gained "good" weight - like muscle! I personally am focusing less on the "diet" stuff and more on just getting up and moving around. So for me, a week where I exercised every day is a GREAT week, regardless of what the numbers on the scale say.

The point is, you don't want to focus too much on the scale. It's a good way to kind of "ballpark" your progress, but it's certainly not the only way. Use it as one of several tools for a healthy body, not the only one.

(And look at me, writing like Ms. Weight Loss Guru! I'm full of great advice - now if I can only take it for myself!!)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Because five abandoned blogs just aren't enough!

Hi everyone!

It's me, Chrissy, formerly known as (among others) "The Curvy Catholic", "Chrissy the Stooges Woman", "Theist Gal", and "Atheist Gal".

In this blog, I'm just me, Chrissy, a fat 52-year-old who's tried several times to lose weight and keep it off.

My most successful attempt was within the last two years. I joined Weight Watchers - actually going to the meetings, not just online - AND simultaneously joined Curves. I figured, hey, Weight Watchers for the food, Curves for the exercise, and I'm golden, baby!

And you know what? It worked - for a while.

In fact, I went from my starting weight of 224 to a low of (ready for this?) 179 within the course of a year!

Fabulous, right? I thought so too! But here I am today, less than a year later, and I'm back up to 217.


Well, let me tell you what happened. Then I'll tell you what I think I need to do about it.

What happened was:

1) I got to 179 and got complacent. "I've made it!" I thought. "It's all downhill from here! Now I can relax a little and start eating like a normal person again!" MISTAKE #1: Fat women can NEVER eat like normal persons. Because we're not normal. We're SUPERIOR!!

2) The Curves I was going to, the one right next door to my office and soooo convenient, closed down. "No problem!" I thought. "I've gotten tired of the Curves model anyway! I'll just join a REAL fitness club, like 24 Hour Fitness, and exercise like a normal person!" MISTAKE #2: Fat women can NEVER exercise like normal people. We must keep our flabulous bodies out of the public eye, so as not to frighten the horses and small children!

3) I lost my job. Oooh, BIG mistake #3! Because there went my disposable income and, as we all know, it is simply not possible to sustain a serious weight loss program without lots and lots of disposable income.

Sigh. I know, I know. Lots of great excuses there, right?

But in my defense, I must add that, since I make no claim to be superhuman, it's not entirely my fault. If you are currently or formerly fat, you have undoubtedly heard that depressing and oft-repeated statistic, the one about how 95% of all dieters regain their weight within 5 years.

So I stand, humbled but not ashamed, with the majority of my fellow human persons, in proclaiming: THIS IS TOUGH!!!

So what am I going to do about it, you ask?

Well, here are some ideas - let me know what you think.

First of all, I need to face my current situation realistically, so (deep breath) here goes:

1. I am 52 years old and, while not completely into it, have definitely shown signs of being close to menopause. I need to accept the fact that, when it hits, this will probably have an effect on my body. I will be kind to myself, and not beat myself up, and get medical help if necessary.

2. Although I am currently unemployed, I am married to a kind, understanding man who is working steadily and supports me. I will be kind to him, and do my best to find ways to control my weight without spending oodles of money on ridiculous, expensive diet plans that don't work anyway.

3. Shortly before losing my job, I bought myself a Christmas present with some of my severance package: a nonrenewable two-year membership at 24 Hour Fitness. I have only used it sporadically, but since I have it, and have one year left on it, I will take advantage of that fact, and make a commitment to go there 3 times a week.

4. I have a bike, and I love riding it. I definitely want to ride it more often. So I will make a commitment that, on the days when I am NOT going to 24 Hour Fitness, I will ride my bike for at least half an hour.

5. Food: This is ALWAYS a toughie, isn't it? As we all know, diets do NOT work long-term. However, there are certainly a few changes I could make which might be useful. Rather than go into them in detail in this post, how about this - I will make a commitment NOT to buy lunch at KFC more than once a month, and I will NOT buy Breyer's Chocolate Chip Ice Cream more than once a month.

Further than that, dear Brand New Weight Loss Blog reader, I shall not go, for it is now almost 9 a.m. and I need to get ready to go out. Because even though I'm unemployed, I do actually have a schedule - I sell books on Amazon and yay, happy happy joy joy, I've got three sales this morning! So it's off to the Post Office, and then - on this beautiful, soggy Southern California morning - to the 24 Hour Fitness for a nice relaxing workout.

If you've made it this far, thank you. Sincerely. I don't know if all my posts will be this long. Probably not. But I'll do my best to make them interesting and enjoyable. And by all means, PLEASE post a comment - I'd love to hear from you!

Have a great day!