sliding scale

Weight loss works differently for different people.  Some of my friends can only lose the pounds if they follow a strict meal plan, others can only do it with daily exercise.  I’ve never done either – nor have I ever truly tried to lose a lot of weight – because I just don’t have that mindset.  With my schedule and lack of interest in cooking for one, I simply won’t bother to buy specific foods or plan specific meals. As for exercise, I hate it; even though I go through periods of heading to the gym or taking a class, it never sticks.

I wasn’t necessarily trying to lose weight when all this started, even though I knew I was too heavy. I was stuffing myself into larger and larger sizes, hating everything I put on because I looked frumpy and lumpy.  I was watching the scale inch higher and higher but I didn’t have the mental energy to do anything about it.

I was hoping that going to London would get me back on track.  Different scenery would give me a break from routine; having a different schedule and walking most of the day could only be good for me.  And it was: I lost 5 pounds in the month I was there.  I was walking over 5 miles a day, eating less because I was so active and working off what I did eat.

Then my relationship imploded.  And I stopped eating.  Not intentionally, truly, but I wasn’t hungry and I forgot to eat.  I lost about 8 pounds – so there’s that silver lining.  Having lost the weight, now I really want to keep it off.  

I’m pretty sure my stomach has shrunk; small portions are quite enough for me now.  I used to order a three enchilada plate at the local Mexican restaurant; now, I’m fine with a quesadilla and some chips and salsa.  I used to sit on the sofa with a bag of chips after eating a full meal; now I’m really not interested in snacking.

Starting to watch calories has helped, too.  I’m using a calorie tracker, just to get a sense of what I’m taking in, and I’m actually motivated to stay within my daily range. If I have an active day, I eat a little more (even though I usually don’t); if I have a mope on the sofa day, I eat a little less.  

Summer helps immensely, too, because I have easy access to fresh veggies at the farmer’s market.  I can pan fry a small squash and a cup of okra for my dinner and be perfectly happy. I am trying to think about what I eat, and my grocery list shows it.  I’m buying better food instead of more food, trying to focus on fruits and veggies and organic.  My pantry isn’t very full but that’s okay, since that means I’m eating the fresh foods in my fridge.

I’m down 15 pounds since I left for London in late May.  Honestly, you can’t really tell I’ve lost any weight by looking at me; that’s how much I’ve gained in this past year.  The clothes I have don’t fit very well – some of my trousers would just need a good yank – but I haven’t quite gone down a size, so I’m still muddling along with what I have.  If I can trim a little more off, I think I can justify buying a few new things for the coming semester.

The hard part, now, is keeping it off and, ideally, taking off about 10 more pounds.  I’m not fixated and I am eating.  But I would like to make some changes in my life, and this is a good place to start.


2 thoughts on “sliding scale

  1. Flavia says:

    Yeah, I lost a lot of weight at the end of my last major relationship, too. Not all of that loss was healthy — and grief is never how one wants to lose weight — but I do think it can be a stimulus to good habits. Congrats on what you’ve lost so far.

    Have you tried a FitBit? I’ve had one for several weeks now and really love it (I’ve gained some weight due to living full-time with someone who cooks, and my metabolism has clearly also changed with approaching middle age). It’s great for tracking how active I am in a typical day and inspiring me to do just a little more — in ways that aren’t burdensome but that add up over the course of a week. (An extra 10 min on my daily walk, parking further away, pacing around the house when I’m thinking or talking on the phone…)

    But you’re right that it’s all about what motivates each individual, so YMMV!

    • phd me says:

      I do have one, Flavia! SG actually gave it to me the Christmas before last; I wasn’t sure what to think at the time, since I hadn’t expressed any interest in such a thing, but it’s become part of the wardrobe now. I agree, it’s an easy way to see how much I (don’t) move and encourage me to get moving.

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