Thursday, May 14, 2015

How to Lose Five Pounds Fast (Without Stomach Flu or Cutting Off a Limb)—UPDATED for clarity!

(UPDATE: I don't dislike the Venus de Milo! She's beautiful! I searched Google Images for a picture of her, and this one made me laugh. Apparently a group is protesting her inclusion in, I dunno, an art book or something? Because [see if you can guess]: boobs. I found the ridiculousness of this very funny, and then I also thought the image worked on a different level: I "dislike" the idea of losing weight by cutting off a limb, as Venus displays here. Subtle, I know. Please don't think of me as an art hater!)

I've been trudging along, trying to eat less food and to drink less hooch, trying to work in exercise when I can, and mostly the scale hasn't budged at all.

So here's what I did on Tuesday:
  1. Ate "breakfast spackle" (fat-free Greek yogurt, Kashi high-fiber crunch cereal, natural almonds)
  2. Was so full from that, I eschewed lunch and instead rode exercise bike and lifted weights.
  3. Took a two-hour bath, drank a pitcher of water.
  4. Ate a normal dinner: scrambled eggs with veg, Italian sausage link, banana bread, grapes.
The next morning: five pounds gone. Gone!! I couldn't believe it — I moved the scale around and re-weighed five times.

But sister, I've been to this rodeo before, I have some experience with Xanada weight. I was happy and excited but didn't take it as My New Truth.

Here's what I did on Wednesday:
  1. Breakfast spackle. Yum!!
  2. Ate a normal (thrilling!) lunch with Mrs. Cynicletary: Greek salad, little dressing, grilled salmon, wine.
  3. Had post-work-stress migraine, eschewed dinner; instead grazed on comforting snacks: toasted banana bread, peanut-butter pretzels, ice cream bar, lots of icy diet soda.
  4. Went to bed early.
This morning: The five pounds are still gone.

Eureka! Have I broken through???? This is very encouraging to a girl.

 Also: I've started logging my food faithfully on FatSecret again and have asked Lady Darcy to "buddy" with me, as I know I can trust her to not nag or otherwise drive me crazy. But the act of reporting my food intake to another person — it does give a girl pause, which is good. I need to pause more.

I remember a day a few weeks ago when I did something good (can't remember what) and wanted to reward myself, and I had the darndest time coming up with a non-food non-alcohol reward! Usually I would say a hot bubble bath and/or a good book and/or a movie, but I was in the midst of editing and couldn't take that much of a time-out. I also don't remember what I ended up doing. OK, as an anecdote, this one won't make the "classics" list, perhaps, but still. I clearly need to come up with a list of reward options!

Recently I read "You Can Make Your Cravings Work for You" in O Magazine, and a couple of the tips especially resonated:
  • Fill up on good fats in the morning. (In other words, this is the time for cheesy eggs, or sliced avocado on the side, or peanut butter on your toast.)
  • Listen to your body—what foods really satisfy you? (Breakfast spackle!!!)
  • Make a lunch you actually want to eat / Indulge in an afternoon pick-me-up you actually like. (Having leftover tossed salad in the fridge works well for me here. Add a handful of chickpeas or half a can of tuna, some good flavored vinegar, and seven Reduced-Fat Triscuits [that is a serving size — I know this by heart] — that is a delicious, satisfying, healthy lunch.)
  • Follow the 3/4 rule: If you can't fully focus while eating (e.g., you're reading or in front of the computer), stop when you're 75 percent done and see how full you are, rather than mindlessly consume what's left. (I love this strategy and it makes a lot of sense to me, but I haven't employed it yet. Geneen Roth says that the inner voice that tells you you're satisfied is very quiet; if you're reading or watching TV or on the computer or otherwise distracted, you're likely not to hear it. This too makes a lot of sense to me. I am often surprised by how full I feel after eating what seemed like a small meal; clearly I need to pay more attention here.)
  • Specific strategies work better than vague plans. (Yes!)
This morning I have a lot of work to do, but this afternoon I will exercise — either walk around my 'hood (solo, friends, sorry, but that's better for me ) or the bike path (it's gorgeous outside right now — either venue would be delightful), or ride my bike (can I start thinking of it as "mine" now, rather than Husband's? or should I call it "our"?). I still have some migraine remnants, and a good sweat will help.

I will also sit down with Husband today and map out our meals for the rest of this week and all of next — we've been so busy, we're often eating on the fly these past few weeks, which doesn't always lead to the best choices.

How's that for a specific plan?

A pile of work awaits me. Onward!

— Lady C, a planner


  1. Oh, I get it: cutting off a limb!
    I couldn't figure out why there was a dislike on the statue--I thought you meant she was fat! Which baffled me, though by modern TV standards, she is a bit plump.

    Good for you! ----I've heard rumors that eating less really works.
    Haven't tried it myself... (OK, yes, I have, but not lately.)
    I also read recently that sleeping more helps too---they aren't sure why. (Chemical balances? Or simply less awake time in which to eat?)

    1. People are nuts, man -- that's the source of the "dislike" on the statue: nuttiness. I am no fan of nakey in real life, people should keep their clothes ON in my opinion, but statues don't bother me.

      Husband was diagnosed with sleep apnea, got one of those masks, and promptly lost 10 pounds, which I found unsupportive. But yeah, you need your zzzzz's to keep your metabolism sharp.

      I have such a headache right now. Maybe I'll try to lose weight through napping . . .

    2. Oh my. What an almost enviably naive view of the world such nutty people must have, to think that nudity in classical art is worth worrying about. Just this week I went to a talk about the sexual trafficking of children in MN, and this issue wasn't even on the radar.
      It is all so much more horrible than that, objections to some old stone breasts is laughable.

      I hope your naps melts away your headache!

  2. First of all, I was busy thinking of all my responses to your post, but I have to stop and laugh at Fresca's pshaw about "objections to some old stone breasts"! Most splendid.

    Hooray for the five pounds, but even more hooray for your healthy, self-nurturing habits! I get almost all my tips for healthy eating and living from this blog and I know I should be doing all the research and self-examination, but I'd rather have you do it and then explain it to me right here. :-) The collection of wise thoughts you've curated here (including the ones you've thought up!) is very helpful in my own quest for better health.

    I was hoping to be all smug about how I got your VdeM reference right off, but then I realized I'd read the Updated version first, so who knows what I might have thought!

    Happy Spring and happy spring in your step!


    1. Thanks, honey! Happy to share the journey with you. I'd always rather have a friend share a story than look something up myself -- totally get it.

      See you soon, I hope! (Where do the days go??)