Tuesday, August 12, 2008

About Weight Management

A while ago I posted about the latest fad diet, The Alternate Day Diet, and I got lighthearted responses from most of you, but I thought I'd speak to this issue again today because a few comments/questions came up about my weight-loss mindset.

Plus the author of the diet/book, James Johnson, MD, emailed me.

Uh oh.

Dr. Johnson offered to send me the book so that I could become better acquainted with the science behind the diet.

(Translated: "Lady, you don't know what you're talking about. Try reading the book before yapping your yammer.")

And I don't blame him for challenging me; after all, I did imply in that post that Dr. Johnson might have the metabolism of a mouse.

(Note to self: Stop being idiot on blog.)

But now, let's get back to talking about my weight.


First of all, I do not have an eating disorder, if you're talking about not eating much or binging and purging. The only disorder I might have falls under the realm of no discipline. (As I type this, I'm eating raspberry sherbet out of the carton.)

However, that was not always the case. I have to be careful with food, because just as with most issues in my life, I tend to go from one extreme to the other.

That is why, for instance, it was good for me to have a TV network-enforced season break from LOST. Otherwise, I would still be sitting on the sofa right now in front of the TV, eating Cajun-flavored trail mix and laughing at "that Sawyer."

When I exercise, I tend to go overboard as well. I've been jogging/walking for only a few weeks, and I have already pushed myself too far too fast. And by fast, I mean as in schedule, not as in literal speed.

In fact, I go so slowly that I think passersby wonder what I'm doing because it's the slowest jog in the world. I imagine the old man in the Cadillac cruising by me saying to his wife, "Martha, does Lipitor cause you to see people move in extreme slow motion?" or "Martha, is there a strobe light on?" or "Martha, I'm gonna enter the Senior Olympics. I think I can take the competition. They're gettin' slower every year."

I decided a better word for what I do is "slogging," and then I read Diane's post about "wogging" and almost wigged out over our "wogging" and "slogging." We're like Ying and Yang of woggers and sloggers.

But I increased my distance too quickly because as I said, I over-do things. And now I'm paying a small price. That's one example of my drivenness.

Several years ago, I lost about 30 lbs on Weight Watchers. However, at one point, my weight dropped too low--so low that they told me to leave that instant and go eat something.

I remember the number on the scale was 113. I was unhealthy, but I promise you, everywhere I went, I garnered boatloads of positive attention for being "skinny." On a daily basis, sometimes several times a day, complete strangers would stop me and ask me what I did to be so thin. They heaped compliment upon compliment. I'm telling you, it was bizarre. Of course, that attention reinforced my compulsiveness.

I spent hours in the gym and running and being disciplined about food. I even drank my coffee black. Now that's SERIOUS! That was not a healthy time.

It is at this point in the post that I was going to upload a pic of me in 1997 when I was very thin, but then I realized, thankfully, that the pic would be accessible for time and all eternity on the World Wide Internet Computer Web, so I thought better. If you'd like to see it, though, I'll email it to you if you promise to delete it and not laugh at the tan line. OK, you can smirk at the tan line, but then you must delete.

I can guarantee you that some people who would've seen it here would say, "What's the big deal? It's not like you were skeletal." But it was not healthy or good. I had pointy shoulders. I'm 5'8-ish", and I'm guessing about 118 lbs in the pic.

My husband is a great encourager. He "scolds" me when I compare myself to women half my age. He tells me how unfair that is, and I love him for that. I know that he loves me, period.

So, when I talk about losing weight, I'm not trying to look like my 30 year-old self, which was actually smaller than I was in my 20s. I just want to be my personal best, which is about 10-15 lbs lighter than I am right now. It's a lot easier to get control of 10-15 than 35, and that is always in the back of my mind.
And to be honest, I still believe WW is the best thing going out there. When I see Marie Osmond's and Valerie Bertinelli's commercials, I think, "So ... you're going to eat that special food for the rest of your life? Forever? Because if you go back to your old food and habits, you're going to look the way you did before." I just don't think pre-packaged food is a long-term answer. WW does provide a way that is long-term do-able. And what you get in attending their meetings doesn't come in a box, for sure.

Weight management is not the most important thing in my life, but I think about it every day, at least once, probably more than that. And I talk to God about it, because I pretty much talk to him about everything all day long. It's a topic I'll always be interested in because I love nutrition and fitness and weight loss. I loved encouraging others in the classroom when I was a WW Leader.

So that's why I'm always talking diets. It's interesting; it's relevant; it's historical for me, and it's a challenge. Keeps me on my toes. Keeps me slogging!


Smilingsal said...

Tag, you're it! Come to my blog and find out how to play.

Chatty Kelly said...

Did Dr Johnson really email you?? And do you think if I write something about Brad Pitt he'll email me?? (Or maybe just his attorney's?) LOL. Actually I dont' even like Pitt, but trying to think of a celebrity heart throb - None of them impress me.

I think most women are concerned about weight & appearance, it's our society. You just have to be careful not to take it too far, as you apparently did.

And heck yes, send me the picture. I promise not to post it on my blog and mock you. *snicker snicker*. No really,I promise.

Dawn said...

I love your description of jogging that pretty much describes my pace. . . When I do it. But I will also tell you that I would be happy to have 30 lbs to go. Weight control has been part of my life since I had breathe in my lungs. On the positive side, DD and I are making a pledge to do better. I'm with you that I have to be paced. I have flown up and down the scale. I don't want to do that any more. I want to creap my way down and stay there.

Well, I need to finish up because I need to start my day with some yoga - which if I take your idea on slogging then I probably do Yogo - because I surely do not get an A for my form and technique. I took the o from the middle of the alphabet about where my technique is middle of the road.

P.S. I'm trying to switch from coffee to tea. Maybe not eliminate the coffee, just reduce : )

annie's eyes said...

You've hit on something today that every woman can relate to, well, if you don't have the metabolism of a mouse. There is no such thing as too thin in our society. In high school I was about as thin as you, but I haven't seen that number since my first child was born. I am okay with it, too. I sure would like to lose 20 lb. right now though. It's always on my mind. Does that make it an idol? I agree WW is the best way for permanent change.

sara said...

Ok, first of all.....where do you find those pictures?!! The one of the grandma stretching on the post is just hilarious!!

2nd, it's interesting that you post about weight loss "today" when I had decided that this week was my week to get back to the gym!! Summer has gotten me off schedule and all the potatoes, meat and bread we were served in Romania didn't help!! :(

but really...the guy emailed you?

Susanne said...

"Jogging"? What is this thing you speak of?

Just kidding. I know what it is, I just don't do it. Or anything else exercisey for that matter. And that, my friend, is my problem. You know that test you had this week and I came out a sloth? Yeah, well. Ahem.

Did he really email you? What do these guys do? Google their own names to see who's talking about them?

Huse Blog is it Anyway? said...

Sounds like you and I are a lot more alike than I had originally thought. I, too, have a picture from about ten years ago that I had originally hung on my fridge for motivation. I was 128, size 6 and 8% body fat. At 5'10". Yikes. My husband ripped it off the fridge and I have yet to find where he put it.

I was addicted to "jalking" at that point in my life.

Too funny!

Jen said...

OK, first off, nobody down here yaps their yammer. I think that's only a Hoosier thing, or maybe Cincy, cause that's the only place I've ever heard it.
Secondly, slogging -- that's what I do when I swim! Maybe it should be swogging. Slowest of the slow, but I get-er-dunn.
Thirdly, HOORAY for you and your critique of Marie and Valerie! As my girls say, "I know, right?" Can't eat real food = can't keep the weight off. I've also lost about 20 on WW twice now, and am currently having another go as I am a full 20 lbs. off my fightin' weight. Ah, the endless struggle. Myrtle told me yesterday that Wiley is losing weight, and you should be able to do that at 92. So it WILL happen. At least we have that. :)

My ADHD Me said...

Was that me writing your post? It could have been. I am average weight. Last Sept thru January I lost about 55 lbs. here it is August and have gained about 20 back. ("Can You Say Yo-Yo!!). And yes, when people comment--even (especially) when they say "whoa, slow down, your losing too much weight", you smile and say thank you and that "little voice" in you head says "MORE MORE! LOSE MORE!"
As for that little voice---that's a blog in in itself!!

Debbie said...

Well, of course I want you to email the picture - which I promise to delete with no commentary and any smirking will be hidden behind my computer screen.

I can so relate to this post. In my late 30's (while single) I got down under 110 lbs. and a couple of friends shared concern that I was too thin but mostly I received lots of compliments, especially from the guys.

It does make for a mental struggle, especially when menopause is making you not feel comfortable in your own skin anyway and most random compliments from strangers (and sometimes family & friends) go to younger and thinner women.

You're right about fad diets often just creating a yoyo effect. It really takes changing your eating habits and how you think about food and knowing why you eat.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

"Martha, does Lipitor cause you to see people move in extreme slow motion?"


Great post, Lid.

Chatty Kelly said...

I sent you an email, but thought this might be quicker. Check out my blog today, I posted some calorie intake info with photos....

Let's just say, I'll meet you at the pool!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I too have begun to try to wog..walk and jog. I try to jog a couple minutes, then walk. My track is 2.2 miles.

I've always thought to be called a runner was so intriguing and "neat".

I agree that WW is the best program out there. The whole JC may be a good start but hold on when you stop eating that processed food. Plus, aren't we supposed to stay away from processed food? Would a nice salad or healthy steam veggies do a body good.

I would enjoy seeing your pic if you want to send it my way. I won't laugh I promise. I'll probably be one of the ones who says "oh, she's thin. I wish I was that thin."

Mocha with Linda said...

Did I know you were a tall Lid too?! This is getting way too weird!

Reading this blog from my comfy recliner is about the most exercise I can handle today. (Going to bed at 5 AM after being in the ER all night with my mom is the culprit.) But those are some great points.

Just one questions: How do you slog on your toes?! :-)

Tabi said...

Wow, are we in sync today? It's my Tabi's Tubby Tuesday weigh in over at my blog! My mother does weight watchers and LOVES it and I agree it's not like a diet, it teaches you portion control and how to just eat healthier. Also, I love that you talk to God all day long! I prayed over my cell phone about a month ago because it was on the fritz about to die but the contract isn't up and we didn't need to be buying a new phone. So, I prayed over it, yes my phone. It's still working and now the battery doesn't die for days on end! People laugh at me when I tell them I prayed over a cell phone.

Lol, sorry got sidetracked! Just had to say I love that I'm not the only one that talks to God about everything!

Mary said...

And why is that some of us are pre-destined to obsess about our weight from birth until...while others happily stroll along in life either easily taking care of themselves or never having to worry about their weight???? I just don't get it. Thankfully, I too have a husband who keeps my size in perspective. He married the way that I am and apparently love me the way I am. His words, "As long as you are satisfied then I am satisfied." Well, honestly, I'm not satisfied but then again.. when have I been??? Ugh!!!

Darlene R. said...

It's hard to not let what people say to me about all of the weight that I have lost affect me. Who doesn't love a compliment? I have held steady all summer at my goal, so I am happy. I don't ever want to have to lose 65 lbs again! Five pounds is about all I want to deal with!

I, too, look much better in my
30's than I did in my 20's!

DidiLyn said...

Lid, this is why you need to wog, rather than slog: no injuries.
Wogging is much slower than even slogging, in fact some people have sworn I am moving backwards.
I read your delicious post this morning right before my wog and prayed really hard that you were here wogging with me, giving me nutritional advice,getting jiggy wit' me when "Don't Bring Me Down" came on the ipod(we're THAT old) and maybe we could even crog for a bit while talking about our bible study.
But, no. God chose not to miraculously intervene.
Darn it.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

How unbelievably freakish that I JUST now listened to "Don't Bring Me Down." I am weirded out.

samurai said...

Finally I have found a running partner! Well, a partner if we lived closer. :) LOL

Thank you for this post today - especially in light of my recent attempts to get my rear to the gym on a regular basis.

Keep up the good work.

carol ~ i throw like a girl said...

Hey, Lidna! I just joined WW last week. Again. I doubt I'll ever be in danger of anyone telling me I need to go eat something immediately.

Thanks for the laughs!

Nicole said...

Your posts are so funny and keep my attention very well. You have a wonderful blogging talent. Very entertaining. I hope that you enjoy your wogging next time you wog!:) Too funny!


SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I think WW is the best as far as behavior modification goes, too. And I was quite skinny at 114 (and 4'10") - you must have been skeletal!

Susan said...

You know, it gets harder and harder to lose it as we age. I am really noticing that here in my mid-forties, it's different. I lost 30 lbs. without too much effort on WW in my 30's...now, with SERIOUS exercise and watching what I eat, I've lost 20, but am in a holding pattern. OH well.

I think it's important to be healthy and to feel good. I am finding that I feel better and that's a good thing.

Great post, Linda.

:-) Susan

Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

It T-totally see your point here! I have done the same thing and had my mother-in-law worried about me in my 20's. I am playing phone tag with a personal trainer because my issue is slothing!!! If only I could wog or slog then I would be a real girl...lol...seriously, I just to work it out! Thank you for the encouragement and the reminder NOT to go overboard because I will. I used to clean with a toothbrush...yikes!!
btw, did you get my email?

Ballerina Girl said...

Found your site after seeing you referenced a few times, (read: term few used lightly) on some other friend's blogs.
I am right there with you...I need to lose about 10 lbs myself....
help! I used to be a ballet dancer, never had an eating disorder either, but I think it is so hard to lose it now.
come visit my blog if you feel like it

Marina said...

now I really feel short after I read you are 5 8 inches tall did I see right? I think when you are tall you can get away with anything even gaing weight.
I am short I know you thought I was tall LOL!! 5 2 inches and when I had my daughter I cried b/c full trem I was 135 and with my son 18 years later I was 185 full trem.
I thought I would never lose that weight it took me a long time to lose weight and you are not alone I run,walk the same way you do.
I lost it by cutting back on everything I ate then I hit Menopause and gain some back again I think it will always be a battle for me.

I have always wanted to be tall I am jealous. :) love,marina

"MoodyBlue" Jodi said...

Linda, I've been on WW in my life and by far that was the best way I had lost weight. You can still give in to cravings etc. The Jenny Craig pre-packaged food thing to me doesn't always work because like you said once you go back to eating normal foods the pounds go back on. Take or instance poor Kirstie Alley...I feel so bad for her because I know losing weight is SO hard and she's got the world watching her. She is a prime example of the packaged food. But don't get me wrong, I do believe that some people do have success. I guess it is all a matter of people's individual bodies/metabolisms etc.

In any case, I think you look great and have NOTHING to worry about.

Joyfulsister said...

Hi Linda~~
For me it used to be dieting and excercising to look good etc, now it's just eating the right foods and excercising all for health reasons. I'm going for 10 pounds less myself, but boy it is a challenge for me especially when I see sweets lol.. I enjoyed reading this post..

Hugz Lorie

Runner Mom said...

Hey! Thanks so much for visiting my blog yesterday! I love yours!! I agree with one of the other comments that the "gandma" picture is too funny! I love that!!

Keep up the "slogging!" It'll turn into running--just don't do too much at the time!! That's when the injuries occur!! If I can help you in coming up wtih an exercise plan, let me know!!

Have a great day!

BTW--I am older than you are!! I've learned that I can't use age as an excuse any more--I've tried and it doesn't work!! :)

Kelley said...

I completely understand where you are coming from, and where you are wanting to go! To get up and be able to choose anything in the closet, not just what happens to fit that day. In high school I was WAY too thin and it was not something I was proud of. I couldn't gain weight and it was not attractive. I would never want to look like that again but losing 10-15 pounds is a reasonable goal. Now if I can just buckle down and DO IT!!

PJ said...

I don't think I've weighed 113 lb since 4th grade. I was never FAT...just "sturdy". Now??? If the shoe fits!!! I need to lose about 50 lbs...or 60. More than that would not be good. So...I have a REAL problem... I yo-yo. I've lost and gained probably 1,000 or so in the last 20 years...seriously, at least 500. So I've been doing some Yoga. But the stretching and bending is so slight that the average observer would probably think that I am just strangely disabled. Since you posted, I've not read the book. But I've actually been alternating...two or three days a week, I eat very little. The other days fairly normal -- but it does cut my appetite. (I haven't read the book -- but for me, less calories in my mouth is less bulk around my midriff) I've actually lost 6 lbs which is truly amazing!! I may have to go get the book.

Joan said...

Nice to meet you Linda. Thanks for stopping by. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. I do WW but I'm a rebel. I'm going to lose all 50 lbs with out one minute of exercise. I'm know it sounds crazy. I'm afraid to post about it because I'm sure to get slack. But so far so good and I'm sticking with it. Bye for now!
Have a blessed Day!

Lynn said...


Great article... and from one slogger to another... Salute!!!

Heather@Mommymonk said...

This post was great. Just goes to show that people actually are reading the things we say! Oops. :) I don't slog, but I do walk and then if I see someone i know I pretend like I've been jogging for a while. :)

Greg C said...

God I feel so fat now. I am such a slug. That is the same as the one day diet. You diet every other day.

Erin said...

AMEN SISTER! I really like this post. I can relate to how you feel. I, too, am around 5'8-5'9, and I weighed 140 at one point in time, which was really thin for me. Now, I am heavier and battling things again. This will be a lifelong journey for me. It is time to get back on track. Thus, i go back to WW on Saturday!

LisaE said...

Hi Linda, I found you through internet cafe devotions. Thanks for your insight into the "is what it is" topic. I do that very thing and have never equated it with a lack of faith. Thanks to Chel too for inspiring you. Then I read this post. You are so Funny! Reading your writing is just like sitting and having a conversation with you. I'll be back for more. Thanks for sharing the wisdom and the humor. Nothing better.
God Bless,
PS I apologize if I duplicated this post. Still working on my blogging/commenting skills :)