Showing posts with label Losing weight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Losing weight. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Why Working Full-Time Makes You Fat - UPDATE

Right after I retired almost a year ago, I lost a few pounds which brought me to the conclusion that working makes you fat. 

So I wrote a blog post called "Why Working Full-Time Makes You Fat," which included my findings.

Well, this is very hard to admit, but I was wrong.

This morning when I got on the scale I let out a scream that my friends in the U.K. could hear.

Oh, I know, a few pounds had been creeping up here and there, but I was pretty much staying the same, but this morning, the scale turned on me and crossed the line, and now have to admit that I am much more likely to get fatter while retired than when I was working.


Despite the old adage that you will be busier when you are retired than you were in "real life," I have found that to be only partly true.  In retirement, you can be as busy as you want.  And sometimes as busy as I want to get is sitting in a chair watching a "Celebrity Wife Swap" marathon.

When you work 40 hours per week and factor in your commute time, errands, making meals and cleaning them up, not to mention the requisite amount of reality TV you have to get in, it not only wasn't easy to get to the gym, I can't believe I raised a family, stayed married and didn't go bat shit crazy (though there are those who would probably say I did).

So you would think in retirement, exercise and eating right could now be a priority.

And, oh, dear readers, that was the plan.

But now that I am left to my own devices, hauling my butt out of bed to get to work is not on the agenda.  I don't see the light of day until at least 9am.  That then sets me up for staying up late and you know what that means.  Midnight snacks while watching Jimmy Fallon.

And now that I have few "must do's," I realize my default is "want to do's," which often do not include the gym, but instead many movies (hey, it's my new job.  I blog about movies!) and reality TV shows (I don't have an excuse for this one), which in turn require munchies and sitting on that ever widening butt.

So today sitting on my butt once again and reading the most recent AARP Magazine (geez, I can't believe I just said "reading" and AARP Magazine in the same sentence), I came across an article called "7 Ways to Lose Those Last 5 Pounds," which in my current state of mind is of great interest.  And let me add, I need to lose way more than five pounds, but, hey, it's a  start.

So let's see.  What do they tell me to do?

1.  Avoid environmental toxins
Who knew that leftovers stored in plastic and leaving old Macy's receipts lying around would make me fat? 

I knew it!  It's not those chocolate covered bananas I've been eating, it's thermal cash register receipts!  I knew I would have to pay the price for all of that shopping some day.  But if I throw all of my receipts away, will I automatically lose weight?

2.  Chill out
Believe it or not, there is some good news about fat. We have some good fat around those hips and thighs.  It's called brown fat and it naturally raises your metabolism in order to keep your organs warm. 

Bad news - us larger than life folks don't have as much of it as our skinnier counterparts.  Crap. 

But there is a fix.  Chilly temperatures help stimulate that brown fat.  Excuse me a minute...I need to run into the bedroom to turn on the air con.  Now I can watch my reality TV shows and burn fat at the same time!

3.  Check your medications
I've already tried to blame being fat on those.  Didn't work.

4.  Work your cell phone
Now you're talkin.'  I have a cell phone.

I thought I would have something here, but reading further it says to use my cellphone to CALL MY FRIENDS TO EXERCISE!

5.  Rethink the kitchen
Put trigger foods in the back of the fridge or cabinet so you are less likely to mindlessly reach for them. 

Are you kidding me?  Do you really think that if I put the Hostess Twinkies or the Cheetos way back in the cupboard I won't know they are there?  Are you really serious that my rocky road ice cream won't find me, even if it's way, way back in the freezer?  Get serious.

6.  Follow a budget
This one really gets me. 

"Women who have trouble paying their bills are more likely to be obese."  Huh?  The leap here is money troubles lead you to McDonalds. 

No, people, craving a Big Mac leads me to McDonalds!

7.  Zap nighttime light
"Constant exposure to light may be a contributing factor to disease and obesity."

I can't use that one either.  I live in the Pacific NW.  There is no light here.

Well, there you have it.

Yet another article on losing weight that does not have the magic bullet I am waiting for.

But in the meantime, here is what I am going to do right now.

First, I will admit that I was full of it regarding working making you fat. 

Yes, I was wrong.  I probably lost that weight initially when I retired because I was freaking out and stressed about it (read some of my early blogs and you can see what I was going through).

Now that I have settled in nicely to the fact that I have no real deadlines anymore, no one to tell me what to do, no rules to follow (and I like it!), I have to face up to the fact that some of my, shall I say, less than stellar habits have raised their little heads and I need to pay attention.

But I refuse to stress about it. 
I'm 66 for god's sake, not a young woman on the prowl, so I don't need to wear a size 6 anymore.

Sorry, Hubby.

I just want to be healthy, so I can stay around to see my grandkids grow up. 

I may be old, but I also want to look good in my clothes, of course, of which I still have massive amounts, some more appropriate than others.


So I am going to start with some small changes.

  • No more late nights watching TV with the wine guzzling poodle.

  • Keep on the gym schedule, ride my new bike and shoot for 10,000 steps a day.
  • Eat those fruits and veggies and avoid extra calories.  Wine doesn't have calories, right?
  • Have one piece of toast instead of two, 2 scoops of ice cream instead of four - just kidding.  I never had that many scoops of ice cream.  How many scoops in a pint?
  • Be mindful about what I eatI hear that thin people eat a lot of avocados.

Well, that's it. 

Now I need to go into my 68 degree bedroom, so I can start losing weight while I watch "The View."

And try to stay on the sunny side of retirement while working on shedding those pounds. 

Want to share some of your practical 
weight loss tips?

Thanks for reading!

See you Friday for
 "Kevin Costner Sports Movies" - yes, I said sports movies -
and The Week in Reviews

And I will check in with my weight loss progress, in, say a year or so?

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email it to your friends and

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

10 Signs It Is Time To Lose Weight and How To Do It

Hubby has lost almost 20 pounds in the last two months.

I find that inspiring, but I have known for awhile that I need to go on a diet.

How do I know?

Here are some signs that it's time to lose some pounds:

  • When you reach up into the cabinet over the stove, you burn your stomach on the pot simmering on the hot burner (This can happen. I have the scar to prove it).

  • Your bathroom scale has cobwebs on it.

  • You not only can't zip up your jeans, when you look down, you can't see your shoes.

  • People ask you when the baby is due, despite the fact it would take an act of god for that to happen

  • You get winded going out to the mailbox for the mail

  • You are pen pals with Lane Bryant

  • If someone parks too close to you, you can't get out of the car.  Heck, the other car doesn't even need to be that close.

  • Your earrings are the only things that fit

  • When you order two scoops of ice cream the pimply faced teenager asks, "Are you sure you want two?"

  • The dogs refuse to go for walks, because they don't want to be seen in public with you.

So what will I do to lose the weight?

Diet tips from the professionals seem to include:

Eat breakfast
There is actually a difference of opinion on this.  Some diet books say breakfast is a must and others say don't worry about it. This is a hard one for me.  Number one, I am not hungry in the morning (I am not a morning person - just the smell of breakfast being made makes me bilious), and number 2, I have always felt once I start eating the floodgates will open and I won't stop.  I know that's not really true, but old habits die hard.

Drink lots of water
Some diet experts say that when we feel hunger, we are actually thirsty.  But I'm telling you, when I am hungry for a bowl of ice cream or a hamburger, water just doesn't cut it.

Cut down on nighttime snacks
Well, here is my Achilles heel.  I can go all day without eating but at night?  There is nothing like a nice bowl of popcorn or a glass or wine (or two) while watching "The Bachelor."

Avoid eating out
Again, a toughy.  For someone like me who is working her way through Seattle's fine dining restaurants from A-Z, it's difficult to eat leftovers at home before heading to the theatre or music venue.

Be physically active
I try to walk 10,000 steps per day, but I also like to watch TV.  Maybe I should watch TV while running in place.

Keep a food diary
I would do this if I could remember to do it.

Follow a prescribed diet
I have probably read every diet book ever written. 

The Adkins diet, originally popularized in the early 1970's, and touting cutting out almost all carbs, seems to be popular again.  I think I first tried this when was 12!

Other popular diet books include:

The Dukan Diet

I have several friends who have lost weight on this one.  Princess Kate used it before she married Prince William. (Like she needed to lose any weight.  Sheesh).  It's a low carb, low fat diet that is very restrictive early on, then morphs into one where you have "celebration" days. 
Since I like celebrating so much, I would probably overdo the celebration days.

Paleo Diet

This one is in vogue now touting the idea that if you eat like the caveman (or woman), you will be a slim and sexy caveman (or woman).  You can't have anything that wasn't available in prehistoric times. 
Do you think they had Haagen Dazs?

Flat Belly Diet

Those days are behind me, if you know what I mean.

Crazy Sexy Diet

Now you're talkin'! 

Skinny Bitch in the Kitchen

This is what I strive for - to be a skinny bitch.  Some might contend that I have the bitch part worked out already.  But if not, eating vegan would definitely do it.

French Women Don't Get Fat

Bully for them!  Talk about skinny bitches!

Gluten Free Girl Every Day

Originally designed for people who can't tolerate wheat, gluten-free eating has become a fad.  I don't like fads.

Neris and India's Idiot Proof Diet

This one looks promising considering it's audience.

All in all, I think the real key is finding a diet that becomes a way of life. 

If you give up everything you really enjoy, you set yourself up for failure.

Hubby is adhering to a modified Atkins diet and cutting out the booze on week days, which seems to work for him (though I will say, it's been my experience that men can lose weight more easily than women).

I will try to eat something in the morning to get my metabolism going (or just stay in bed until it's lunch time), cut down on empty calories such as wine (I can't tell you how difficult it was for me to break that to the wine-guzzling poodle), get some exercise every day and watch my portions.

And try not to beat myself up too much. 

After all, I should be grateful for this old body that has gotten me this far, even if it's less than svelte. 

Want to give me some diet advice?
Share your tips, successes
 and favorite diet books.

See you Friday for the Week in Reviews.

Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it and/or email it to your friends.
Check your local library for the books mentioned.