17 Mar

Conductor, I’d Like To Switch Trains Please

Posted by Jenna, Under Personal

When my family was in London several years ago we took the train up to the norther part of England to visit a family we know. The train station was a little bit overwhelming for a country girl like myself. There were long lines, prices in foreign currencies, and we had to pay to go to the bathroom!

In short, train stations are confusing. Which must explain how I somehow caught the FAT train, not the FIT train after the wedding. Although I didn’t weigh myself in October, I suspect I was somewhere around 145 lbs (a huge acomplishment since that’s where I was at when I graduated from high school). Now, 5 months later, I stepped on the scale today and saw a 1, 5, and a 5 staring back at me.

155! Yikes, that’s 2 lbs/ month since the day of bliss.

Obviously I haven’t been practicing what I preach in terms of calorie counting. I’ve been making excuses like “I don’t have time”, or “I’m content with the way I am”, or “I can eat half a loaf of pumpkin bread just like my husband can”. Why does it have to be so hard right? I fight and fight to get down to a smaller size, but if I don’t make conscious efforts to be healthy each and every day I start to gain again.

Well, get over it That Wife, because this is life. Yep, losing weight is hard. Yep, I have to “count calories” in some sense for the rest of my life. Why do I have to keep doing it? Because it’s simple science. Calories in versus calories out. I’m taking too many calories in, and I will continue to gain weight until I stop doing so. I don’t listen to my body very well. My body says “I’m hungry” and I say “Oh yes, a handful of chocolate chips would be really yummy right now and it’s so easy to get out of the cupboard.”

Usually I just jump into full fledged weighing/measuring/Fitday-ing, but I can’t seem to get myself over the hump this time, so I’ve developed a little plan. It’s a plan that you might like as well!

Week 1

Exercise at least 3 times/week.

Week 2

Exercise at least 3 times/week.

Count calories at breakfast.

Week 3

Exercise at least 3 times/week.

Count calories at breakfast/lunch.

Week 4

Exercise at least 3 times/week.

Count all calories for the day.

I realize this plan is anything but revolutionary, but I’m loving how each week builds on the progress of the week before. Instead of feeling overwhelmed at the though of weighing and measuring every little thing at first, I’ll just worry about weighing my milk and cereal. And then it will be time to add lunch in to the mix. And then I will conquer the hardest one, dinner. I did my exercise yesterday, 30 minutes of DDR, but I might have to switch to something with less impact on the hip since I’m feeling a little sore today.

Before you know it, I’ll be back in the groove again. Because even though it seems strange, I actually L-O-V-E calorie counting! I feel so empowered, so strong, and so healthy when I do it on a regular basis. This time, I just need to take a little bit extra time to ease back into it.

I was going to take a picture of myself in all white, looking not that great, because I love a good “before” picture, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Let’s focus on the thought of a fantastic “after” picture instead.

19 Comments


  1. “I can eat half a loaf of pumpkin bread just like my husband can” sounds familiar.

    My husband is a foot taller than me, he bikes to work every day, and he’s a man. But somehow it took me over a year to realize that he needs more calories each day than I do. Instead, we’d eat the same amount of food at dinner, which meant either:

    A) he was not getting enough calories and he would be hungry again pretty soon, or
    B) he was fine, and I was eating wayyy too much.

    Interestingly, it was usually B. Living with a man (and eating with him all the time) can throw off your idea of what a “normal” portion is.

    Way to get on the exercise train! Is there anywhere you can swim? Water sports are the best for folks who suffer from joint pain…

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  2. I know you don’t want to hear this, but I’ve got to suggest that you take the “bad” picture anyway. Otherwise, once you’ve lost the weight, you’ll be “stuck” with good pictures that won’t show the change. You look really cute in yesterday’s picture!

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  3. The best things for me are: a) counting/estimating calorie intake (it makes me think before I eat) and b) setting a schedule for exercise like you did. I’ve found that if I dedicate certain days to working out, it’s harder to make an excuse. For example, Mondays are for cardio/strength training, Tuesdays are Pilates, Wednesday is a day off, Thursdays are cardio/strength, Fridays are off, and I pick either Saturday or Sunday fit in a workout, depending on our schedule. It might be too structured for some, but it keeps me in line to have a strict plan. Otherwise, I’ll use every excuse in the book to not work out. :)

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  4. I don’t want to take a before picture either, but I can’t wait to put up the after picture.

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  5. I would suggest yoga for a good alternative cardio. If you get in a good vinyasa flow class you’ll really get your heart rate up, your muscles burning, and you be stretching and bending in good ways. I also do ashtanga (power) yoga. After two months of my only exercise being power yoga twice a week for an hour, and not changing my diet one bit, I lost 10 pounds. It was effortless- well, other than getting my butt kicked in yoga twice a week for an hour- when I first started I’d be sore for days after each session.

    Per the last post, I have horrible back pain, and this has actually relieved it by easily 75%. That being said, there are some contraindications, and people get “yoga competitive” and try to go to deep, or do to much in class, and can hurt themselves.

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    Sophia Reply:

    um, wow, excuse my 8,000 grammar and spelling mistakes in that post ;)

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  6. I had that problem when I got married, too. I was matching my husband in food intake. Folks, I’m 4’10″. I don’t need that much food. I shouldn’t be eating as much as most other adults. period.

    Now I make sure that I put the portion of food on my plate that I’m going to eat. I’m not being rude, but I don’t let other people serve me. That way I can see how much I’m getting and I can control it, before the food is sitting in front of me. If it gets in front of me, all bets are off. But I know that now. :)

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  7. girl, i just started my kick my butt into gear plan this week too! we got married in oct too, and i too have gained 10 lbs since… oh, sigh.

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  8. I think it is so great that you’re taking responsibility and being honest about this though! Good luck :)

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  9. Katherine (a.k.a. Sparkles) says:

    Bicycling and swimming are less impact on the joints.. If you can get an elliptical machine (used) or cycle more that would be good for increasing level of activity.

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  10. You should join in the 20 in 20 challenge w/Ash is Fit (ashisfit.blogspot.com). I have a link on my blog. Its not necessarily about losing the full 20 lbs, but eating better, counting calories, exercising & having a group to do it with!

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    Jenna Reply:

    This is such a great challenge! I love her tips and the steps she came up with.

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    Samantha Reply:

    Yeah- I’m actually getting really excited about it!

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  11. Good for you for taking control again – it’s so easy to just eat too much because “I deserve it” or “I’m feeling sorry for myself/I’m having a bad day.” Oh, the joy’s of emotional eating.

    Good luck – you can do it!

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  12. Portion sizes to match one’s partner are such a common mistake. I often use a smaller plate than Nate, and when we eat out, I generally leave a bit of mine for him to eat.

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  13. It’s nice to know that this is something that a lot of people go through. I feel like food can sometimes be a drug that is hard to say no to at times. This week I’ve come up with a strict workout/food regime (because I’m getting married this year) and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one. :)

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  14. This is SO me:
    My body says “I’m hungry” and I say “Oh yes, a handful of chocolate chips would be really yummy right now and it’s so easy to get out of the cupboard.”

    Actually, it’s me on a daily basis – eep! Today I am 14 pounds heavier than I was on my wedding day last June. To be fair I overdid the weight loss thing and realistically I’m only 8-ish pounds heavier than I should be. I’m tired of fighting the “ideal weight” fight. And I don’t mean ideal as in BMI – as I’m in a healthy range there – but what I think should be “ideal” – gah!

    I refuse to count calories again – I did this for the last, I dunno, 4 years… If you love it, fine, but I found another way to help maintain. I went to Health Canada’s site – I’m sure the US has something similar ;) – and it appears as though I should be eating: 2 meat/meat alternatives, 2 dairy, 7 grains, and 8 fruit/veggie. So this is my new counting system :)

    The trick is to actually stop once you hit your “allotment” – and this is where my weight gain has come from. When I follow the above and stick to my goal food intake, I’m 100% satisfied – not hungry in the slightest, and often fully due to the extra fibre I end up eating. The problem lies with letting those chocolate chips into the house in the first place. Or making dessert a daily occurrence. I need to somehow force myself to get around the idea that these things are “treats”…my goal for the next 90 days is to remove processed sugar from my diet altogether (think candy, chocolate, cake, pie etc)…good luck to you – and please wish me luck too…lol

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    Jenna Reply:

    Isn’t it interesting that we all can’t follow such a simple system? The US has the food pyramid, and it just has never worked for me. I really like what you are using though!

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  15. iwillstaywithu says:

    hey jenna……just cruising thru to see how you’re doing (formerly know as GetMarried4Less). I’ve fallen out of blogging. i dont have the motivation for it.

    i’ve also put on about 8 lbs since marriage. i’d loss another 3/4 lbs. then in the past 2 months have managed to gain roughly 10-12 lbs. i was maintaining wonderfully….then suddenly, i dont know what happened. i made it thru the holidays but Spring has put more fat on my behind?

    i’m aware that if i’m not proactive i will steadly gain and gain and gain. i havent set forth an exact plan, but i’m gonna start off with making less sugary drinks and excersing more days than i dont.

    it was nice to see you again!

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      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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