Weight Loss PART 1 – My Personal Journey in Progress!

So–we all hate the word ‘DIET’ don’t we?

So let’s stop ” going on a diet”   Sooner or later, you come OFF the diet!
We all KNOW what we are supposed to do, but many of us do not really know how to DO it.   It doesn’t surprise me that many don’t know how to read a food label–and how many don’t read them correctly.

You might buy a yogurt and think the whole container is 140 calories, and not see that 3/4 cup (and I mean a LEVEL cup) is 140 calories. Soda drinks are terrible for fooling you–they say 140 calories, and you think it is for a whole can, then you look closely, and see there are TWO servings per can– so you just slugged down 280 calories!

In the end–you all know this–you can’t stay on a “diet” forever. You need to CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT FOOD! It ain’t easy. I am down 94 pounds, and still struggling with food!

I LOVE food–I love the sugar hit of meringues, the melt in your mouth sweetness of chocolate (Lindt truffle balls being the best by far!)–the– oh Lord, there I go fantasizing about sweets–again. I CRAVE sweets–others crave potato chips (I am not that fond of potato chips–funny how we each have our weakness). My addiction is definitely food; I have cookbooks, just to look at the pictures of food, lining my bookshelves–if I can’t eat it, then I want to at least stroke a picture of it!

People tell us, “You can have a sweet now and then —one cookie isn’t going to kill you!” Thing is–cookies come in BAGS, and WE CAN’T STOP AT ONE—we will EMPTY the bag, all whilst telling ourselves not to do it!!  If there are ten cookies in the bag, we eat ten–if there are 20 cookies, we may well eat the 20!

Once we start, we’re thinking–“I’ve blown it today, so I may as well eat ALL the cookies today, and get it over with–or I’ll be bad TWO days in a row, and that’s worse!  I’ll do some more exercise TOMORROW!”

Food is causing just as much of a problem as crack cocaine.  It even seems to be hitting the same “pleasure centers” in our brains. It’s OUR crack!

We all know the risks! We KNOW that higher weight leads to heart attacks, strokes, diabetes–let alone the cost of 2-5X clothing!! It is killing us by the millions every year! We ALL know this–yet we keep overeating, and can’t seem to stop!  We KNOW what we are supposed to do–but DOING it is the battle!

All those magazines with beautiful cakes on the cover, then telling us we can get our butts into Kardashian shape with some great new 5 minute a day butt squat exercise—LIARS LIARS—PANTS ON FIRE…

Back in the 1970-80s, when I was going through nursing, and medical school, it was very unusual to see somebody over 250 pounds–now, it is rapidly becoming the new “norm”.

Research is showing the depressing thing is that it seems that whatever our highest weight was, is where our body wants to keep us! It’s like our internal weight sensor resets itself to a new high “normal”!   Even more depressing, is that the internal “thermostat” can be reset to ta new high but you can virtually never turn it down!  So–when you “come off the diet” you have powerful signals in your body doing everything it can to get you back up to your highest weight PLUS TEN!!!!   Research is showing this is the case. This neuro expert gives it to us in a nutshell!


One thing that gave me hope from her research was that if you are obese (not morbidly obese), and you practice healthy intake of fruit and vegetables, don’t smoke, drink in moderation (guess I’ll have to try and take up drinking–I’m a teetotaler), and exercise 30 minutes a day your risk of dying is THE SAME AS A NORMAL WEIGHT PERSON who does all 4 healthy habits.

And now, we are told to love our larger bodies—I am not sure that is a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong–I think we should love ourselves, but should we be encouraging a LOVE of a body (I’m not talking a few curves here–I am talking unhealthy weight), that could kill us? Would we tell somebody to LOVE their cancer– or their multiple sclerosis?


Obesity increases your risk of heart attack (the biggest killer), stroke, joint problems,  AND it increases your risk of various cancers—so  why EMBRACE it?   Your risk of dying if “obese” is SEVEN TIMES HIGHER than someone of normal weight.

You can still love the PERSON, but endeavor to tackle the PROBLEM—I don’t think that is attacking the PERSON. We certainly need to be kind–after all, it is the PERSON we communicate with–not a particular body part.

And–for the love of God–WE KNOW WE HAVE A WEIGHT ISSUE—STOP REMINDING US!!!   STOP saying, “Are you sure YOU should eat that cake?” “Oh, I don’t know. Are you SURE you want to keep being an insensitive, judgmental cow?” (Too much Coronation Street–they call each other “cows” over in England)

Back to the “new norm”

Before —  at 288 lbs

This “internal sensor” NEVER TAKES A BREAK—NEVER!!!!

It LOVES it when you slack up, and do things like take a vacation–it will hoard every little morsel you are offered as a treat, and undo months of working out–all to get you back to that high weight.

This is why diets don’t work—you come “OFF” a diet. You can NEVER turn off, or turn your back on your Internal Screwed Up Sensor (ISUS—hey! there’s an enemy for you!).

ISUS is going to be around for the rest of your LIFE!! That’s why you can walk for 24 miles, and lose 2 pounds, then eat one chocolate bar (admittedly a family size bar), and gain 3 pounds! ISUS is sneaky, and EFFICIENT, and you can NEVER let your guard down.


EVERY SINGLE TIME you eat, you must consciously FIGHT ISUS–if you want a treat, you had better be prepared to WORK IT OFF!!!

For me to lose my 2 pounds a week, I LITERALLY have to walk 6 hours with incline a week, swim 6 hours a week, lift weights with trainer 4 hours a week, and usually do a couple of classes (POUND etc) a WEEK!    A WEEK!!!!!!

THe MORE you lose the MORE you have to do, since you don’t need as many calories to keep up a 180 pound body as a 280 pound body–so getting that deficit is harder!!

I get women coming in saying they “walk”.    Hmmmmmpph. Typically, it’s down the driveway to their mailbox–then come back, and flop on the sofa!
Or–get this–they ‘walk around the block’!  I know all about “block-walking”–you do once or twice, then the front door beckons you–game over. You need to WALK AWAY from your house for 20 minutes–then you have no choice but to walk back–so you only need 20 minutes of will power –instead of 40!


WALKING with the kids is also next to useless.


A walk now

You need to be walking up the hills of San Francisco! INCLINE INCLINE INCLINE–and get that heart rate up–you need to break a sweat!. I can burn 1000 calories in an HOUR, if I put the incline on the treadmill at max (15), and walk at 4 mph—even at 3.5 mph I will burn over 600! WAY more efficient than “going for a walk”. I don’t have enough time in the day to walk for 6 hours! SO– Shorter periods, more effort!

At 195 pounds, walking for SIXTY minutes at 4 mph (fast!)—I will burn a measly 442 calories. Not bad–but I’d rather the THOUSAND–thanks!

To get TWO pounds a week off –you need ONE THOUSAND CALORIE DEFICIT A DAY! 3,500 calories (500 calorie deficit a day), will get you one pound a week weight loss. 3,500 calories

3,500 calories (500 calorie deficit a day), will get you one pound a week weight loss.

3,500 calories equals one pound.

SWIMMING BURNS WAY MORE CALORIES THAN WALKING–and it’s cooler (I really don’t like sweating!)

If you can get in the water- GET IN!

60 mins of swimming for me will burn 692 calories. That is for swimming laps front crawl. I am not racing down the pool– but I do exert myself. I use flippers, and hand fins to increase my resistance, so I feel the pull of the water, I wear a snorkel, so I don’t have to work just on breathing–too exhausting. I stick my waterproof headset on with some BEEGEES and Cher and— good to go.

Cher is still an idol to me–she can PLANK for 5 minutes!!!!

Hmmm   –I wonder if my trainer can plank for 5 minutes!  Update–says he can, but may have to do a few side stretches WHILE KEEPING THE PLANK GOING—I swear –that guy just is in too good shape!  Yes–he can do it–planks on his FINGERTIPS WITH side stretches!!!—I hate him!!!

Back to swimming.   I am not stopping, and standing at the end of each lap–I touch, turn and SWIM–steady– for at least an hour. My Garmin Vivoactive tells me how many calories I burned for my weight—WAY more than plain old walking.

If you have knee or joint problems, water may help! Water walking is good for those who can’t swim.

Floating on a noodle is NOT exercise–if you need a noodle, your legs had better be motoring underneath it!


Many of us think that if we walk for an hour we deserve a “little treat”–a stop at, say,  Krispy Kreme–the “HOT ” sign is on—tee hee—one donut is 190 calories—over 50% of your walk—  up in a “glaze”. Add a juice, a cookie with that coffee and you’re screwed for the day.

Studies show that most people who exercise will consume more calories that day–and most will consume MORE than they put out on the exercise!

So, I joined up with some friends who were doing the EAT ALL THE FRUIT, VEGGIES AND NUTS you want– and lose weight. So I thought “what the heck–it’s working for them”. So I start going. I drink smoothies for breakfast (no yogurt–but honey and maple syrup was allowed) and, to keep the calories down, I started adding spinach and beets to the smoothie. At my desk, I had cherries and almonds–I ate every time I wanted to—I lost 14 pounds in the first month and 10 the next month and then WHAM—a KIDNEY STONE—a WHOPPER– had to have the thing basket extracted, and two rounds of blasting-that got me another 10 pounds–puking with the pain!

So my urologist calls me and says–“Your stone is like PURE OXALATE–what the heck are you eating–spinach and almonds all day?”

” I am going to hang up on you in a moment, so I can go and bang my fecking head against a wall—a doctor has just called me to tell me I am eating too many GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES!”

I can’t win!!! Turns out spinach and beets and almonds are REALLY high in oxalates, and it was pretty much 50% of my diet! Needless to say the consumption of above items has been SEVERELY curtailed!

A snack now

YOU HAVE TO EAT AT A DEFICIT—it doesn’t matter what you do–low carb, low fat, ketogenic, paleo, vegan, high protein……you have to EAT AT A DEFICIT OF CALORIES. You have to eat less calories than you put out—ALL these diets will depend on the DEFICIT of calories.



Also–if you have any spare money at all, check out a PERSONAL TRAINER!! For many, this is the way to go–it certainly was for me.

I was seriously looking at bariatric surgery, yet I KNEW the complications–one of which is DEATH. My sister had a co-worker who lost her sister to bariatric surgery complications last month!

So glad I didn’t go this route!

For those who do this–I get it! It really is a desperate effort to get that weight off–and I really hope it all goes well for you–I was too scared to do it, but WAS looking—so I can see that I may have gone that route–if not for my trainer!

My personal trainer (I won’t mention names), really turned my life around!

I was tired of people saying that they would exercise with me, or start eating healthy with me, but then they all backed out for various reasons. I needed someone to make me accountable, and to make me do it–I don’t do well by myself.

So there I was– I had lost 38 pounds, and had hit a plateau–that went on for FOUR FREAKING MONTHS.

Then I saw a little 8×11 notice on the bulletin board at the YMCA.

“Are you trying to break through a plateau?    “Yeeeeeesssss!!

“Looking to get in better shape?” “Yesssssssss””

“Why not try a personal trainer?”

I almost cried when I read it—“Why the hell not!!”

I have spent all these years giving to my children, giving to the community, giving to my patients—why not give this to ME?!

What is the point of all this studying, working — if I ‘m DEAD??

I thought you had to be IN decent shape to use a trainer! Some athlete, or power lifter getting in shape for a meet. WRONG!!!

So–I  e-mailed  the trainer. I just looked at my e-mails, and see that he had made contact in January of 2016—just think I could have been in shape one year sooner had I known what a trainer can do!

He was back to me within a day!  Let’s get started!!

see next post –the battle continues!!

















































1 Reply to “Weight Loss PART 1 – My Personal Journey in Progress!”

  1. Marilyn Steliga says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever read it told in this way. Had to have box of kleenex beside me to wipe the tears streaming down my face from laughing soooooo hard. Well done.. You are an inspiration !! Looking forward to the updates !

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