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Trying to be Good

I decided to hop on the scale and see how much weight I’d put on over the last two years.  Actually, to make it more painful, I hopped on the Wii, which not only tells you your weight but takes your nice, slender Mii and dumps that weight visually on your cartoon body just to make you feel more like crap.  Your little cartoon body leans forward sadly, buried under instant rolls of cartoon fat.  Thanks, Wii.

My weight had gone up over 10 pounds in the last 2 years, something I already knew since my pants ceased to fit.  Seeing the number (and not the rolls of fat on my Mii) moved me to take action.  So I’m back to measuring and exercising and mindfully eating.  I’ve dragged back out My Fitness Frenemy.

It sort of sucks to see her again.


For the last two years, I’ve been trying to balance living with healthfulness.  Because life is too short not to put foods that taste good in your mouth.  Life is too short to turn down cake.  And yet cake is not really a healthy food item that promotes general wellness.

The existence of cake feels like a trap.

I’m in a place right now where I can’t really partake in refined sugar.  I know myself.  I know my weakness, and my weakness is a pile of candy.  It is easy for me to walk away from chips or popcorn or crackers.  But once I break the candy seal and allow myself a Twix, I become like the mouse in that children’s book who gets his hands on a cookie and goes into a rampage ending in the whole house being destroyed.  (Apologies, I only have vague memories of that book.  Maybe the mouse doesn’t destroy the house.  But you’re still not supposed to give the mouse the cookie.)

The key is knowing when is the right time to reintroduce sugar in a way that allows me to not miss out on the cake-y moments of life but doesn’t kick me down the slippery slope that ends with me packing on 10 pounds.

What is your downfall food?


I’ve gotten back into running.  I do yoga 5 days per week (in the house, using the Yoga Studio app — I love that thing.  I’ve been using that app for yoga for two years now, and it has changed my life) and run 2 days per week.  I run indoors because I don’t like ever leaving my house.  I’m like a hermit, in that way.

I’ve started playing through my podcasts while I run so I can clear some of them off my phone.  It makes the time feel shorter since I’m listening to interesting stories vs. just staring at the clock.  It feels like a win-win since the podcasts were clogging up my phone.  It makes me kinda sorta less bitter about waking up early to exercise.

The other thing I’m also doing (cue awkward seque) is think out my next post for #MicroblogMondays.  Which is tomorrow morning.  I know, brilliant multitasking.


1 mrs spock { 10.26.14 at 8:54 am }

I have a terrible time losing weight, probably due to wonky hormones. I did Weight Watchers, and faithfully followed the plan for 2 years, and could only lose 10 of the almost 70 pounds I need to lose. I use a pedometer, and walked 10K steps every day, 90 minutes on the treadmill, and tracked what I ate in MFP. Still nothing. Now I joined the Quest Program through One Fit Widow, still walking my 10K steps, still eating my whole foods mostly vegetarian diet, but am pumping iron, with modifications for my arthritis, and do it all at home. Suddenly, I have dropped 16 pounds. I feel like I found the Golden Ticket in my Wonka Bar.

2 Karen (formerly Serenity) { 10.26.14 at 9:18 am }

I am probably in the same place as you, except I am too scared to get on the scale. I know I won’t be at my lowest weight; that is just unsustainable. But I suspect I am 10lbs above it. And if am running 30-35 miles a week; I have added a strength session 2x a week but that’s all I can do. It will have to be managed with diet. Which annoys me. What is the point of running if I can’t eat what makes me happy?

And why don’t vegetables taste like sweets? That doesn’t seem fair. I can’t do refined sugar in moderation either, so I think I will need to quit it completely. Probably a good idea to do it now through the end of the holiday season. Sigh.

Damn you, brownies and cake and cookies for being so delicious.

3 loribeth { 10.26.14 at 9:51 am }

When I turned 30, I looked at myself in the mirror & realized that while there was nothing I could do about turning 30, I could do something about the weight that had crept on over the past 10 years or so. I went to Weight Watchers and lost 35 pounds over nine months. I managed to keep most of it off for several years afterward, but by the time I got pregnant when I was 37, 15 pounds had crept back on. I gained more weight during my pregnancy, and after Katie’s stillbirth, I never really lost it. I went back to WW, I even tried exercising a bit, but I actually gained more weight. :p I hit my heaviest-ever weight this past summer, about 50 pounds over my WW goal weight. 🙁

When I was working (at my highly sedentary desk job), I kept a stash of chocolate in my desk (Lindor chocolate balls were my downfall — the good stuff, lol) & found myself gobbling them down during times of stress (which was often) — THAT was my big weakness. I also had a buttered English muffin at Tim Hortons every morning with my tea, and a sweetened Starbucks tea latte every afternoon. It all adds up. My main exercise was walking briskly to & from the commuter train.

However — since losing my job in mid-July, dh & I decided we needed to start off retirement right and develop some good habits. We’ve made a point to get out most mornings (3-5 on average) for a 30-45 minute walk. There is a beautiful paved track at the Catholic high school a few blocks north of us — we walk up there and do a few laps, then walk home, shower & get on with our day. I hoped, but didn’t expect, that I might lose some weight as a result. I’ve dropped 10 pounds in three months. Not a huge amount, & I could stand to lose at least 20-30 more (I very much doubt I’ll ever be able to reach my old WW goal again, but I’m fine with that — after all, I’m not 30 anymore either…!), but it’s a start and it all helps. I can see & feel the difference already. I don’t know how long the walking will continue when the snow & -20C temperatures arrive 😉 but we have a very nice recreation centre in town & I plan to look into yoga classes there. Our diet could probably be better — but I don’t think it’s bad. We try not to keep junk food in the house, but we do indulge in the occasional ice cream & I have a cookie with my tea every afternoon. 😉

4 noemi { 10.26.14 at 10:15 am }

If you are looking for something to do at home for exercise I can say that the Jillian Michaels DVDs did wonders for me when I was trying to lose the 20lbs from my last pregnancy. They have really changed my body in amazing ways. And they only require
30 minutes.

I feel you on sugar. There is a box of candy at work by the bathrooms and I have gotten into the habit of taking a piece here and there and now I’m always craving sugar. I told myself I could eat candy until Halloween and then I would stop, cold turkey. If I don’t eat it for a while I stop craving it, but those first weeks are really hard
Good luck with keeping the refined sugar at bay. That is tough and I’ll be joining you shortly.

5 Elizabeth { 10.26.14 at 10:37 am }

A few months ago my husband and I went on the Zone together – it seems like that’s really the only way that works for us, if we both do it and keep each other accountable. He gets really into weighing and measuring everything and he’s lost something like 25 lbs at a rate of about 1.5 lbs a week. I’ve lost about 15, but I also sneak a lot of chocolate. I like where I am now although since he does all the cooking and meal prep, I feel kind of weird about the amount of control over what I eat that I’ve given over to him… which kind of feeds into how much I cheat on the diet I think. My downfall food is CHIPS – especially since I’m also on a no-salt regimen, they taste so extra good. I have no self-control in the face of chips.

6 a { 10.26.14 at 10:42 am }

I like it all. Chips and cookies and cake and pop and burgers and…everything. Life is too short to skip over the delicious stuff. But I do walk 5 days a week usually, so that’s something. Right now, I just try to eat less overall. It helps that the stress level around our household is astronomical these days, and when someone else takes their stress out on me, I don’t want to eat.

7 Lori Lavender Luz { 10.26.14 at 11:36 am }

Lol: My Fitness Frenemy.

Sugar addict here, too. Hard for me to be moderate about it. Candy isn’t appealing, but when I’m stressed and if we have the ingredients in the house, I’m likely to make chocolate chip cookies.

Working on my #MM.

8 Brid { 10.26.14 at 12:26 pm }

I could totally bypass the sugary stuff… cakes, candies, bars have nothing on wine, bread, and cheese for me. Chips and other salty, savoury treats are also up there.

As for Karen’s lament that veggies aren’t sweet… They ARE! It’s just we’ve created foods that are so much sweeter that we can’t taste the sweetness in them anymore. I have a friend who cut out refined sugar (and I mean everything… including dressings, sauces, bbq, mayo, everything) and she said that a few weeks in, she had a pear and could hardly finish it, it was so sweet.

9 Working mom of 2 { 10.26.14 at 1:17 pm }

I have a different take. I went thru borderline anorexia (no period for 2 years) in my early 20s then bulimia which took a few years to completely stop. I read Geneen Roth’s books which helped. Which is all to say this is why things like ww where there are good foods and bad foods and counting points calories etc. are not healthy for me or prob most people in the long run. If you’re constantly obsessing about every bite every gram of sugar then sooner or later you’re gonna blow (as I did when I became bulimic). I’m not saying eat junk all day. I know full well what is healthy or high calorie etc. but I don’t obsess or count. I haven’t had a scale at home for 20 years although I do wright myself at the gym so at most 1x day.

I simply cannot give up sweets or dessert. And I’m not talking a small square of dark chocolate. But neither do binge eat. We are vegan do that helps although it’s certainly possible to eat unhealthy vegan.

And I work out HARD which helps with stress.

So for me it’s all about moderation. Having starved myself I know full well what’s fattening etc. so that’s in the background but I don’t obsess. I’d rather be 5-10 lb less. But I’m currently about 2-3 lbs more than when I got pg with my 1st baby and I’m 46. Worried about gaining wt at menopause. But trying not to self hate.

10 deathstar { 10.26.14 at 1:49 pm }

I’ve already talked about my current struggle with weight so I won’t bore you with the details. My downfall is candy. I just gotta have it. Love Mike and Ike’s candy and also this European version of Fruitella called Fritte. Like crack to me. the label says it has Vit. C in it. Good enough for me. I am more than willing to do one more spin class in order to eat it. Wheat free, dairy free is not as loathsome as sugar free. It’s been suggested I go grain free. Why not just eat beans and wood chips? How much kale can I possibly consume? Not enough apparently.

11 Persnickety { 10.26.14 at 3:31 pm }

One of the more interesting things about my fitness frenemy this time round for me (yeah, I just renewed that too) is that currently I am doing enough to balance out what I eat. But I clearly wasn’t before.
My weakness is cake. And lattes, but I have cut those down drastically (I used to have two a day! Darn office coffee machine).

12 ANDMom { 10.26.14 at 6:23 pm }

Sugar/baked goods are my downfall – with the complication that whole grains, uncooked fruits, and veggies all irritate my (diseased) digestive tract if I eat them in any large quantity, so I can’t exactly cut out the refined carbs. I’m working on cutting down on liquid calories. I need to move more too, but haven’t found something I can stick with yet.

13 Turia { 10.26.14 at 8:01 pm }

I will try to spare you the novel that is my story of sugar addiction and skewed body image. But I feel your pain. I like salty food too. And I LOVE cheese. But I won’t binge on it. I won’t crave it. I won’t think about it for days on end and then crack and eat too much of it. For me, it is all about sugar.

I do try to keep to the “everything in moderation” philosophy, because Q. is a wonderful cook and I will hurt him terribly if I turn down his puddings (case in point: he spontaneously decided to make custard tonight). But I do find that once I head down the slippery slope of eating sugar every day for maybe three days in a row, I’m in trouble. That’s when the chocolate starts calling to me. Usually I am ok just refusing to buy anything: if Q. makes something (or if E. and I bake), I will eat it, but nothing comes into the house, because I know I will just eat it all.

I gained so much weight while we were in Australia because I took the view that “I won’t get to eat that again for another two years!” every time there was something nice on offer. I’ve got all the weight off again, but it has taken me three months. I still think it was worth it, which is probably the wrong way to think.

I used to try to avoid the scale, but I found that made things worse. What has worked for me is to have my set “happy” weight, and then a weight above that (five pounds higher) that is my “uh oh” weight. If I hit that, I know I have to concentrate and pay a bit more attention. I tried my fitness pal last summer but I got obsessive. I have to be very very careful or I slip into disordered eating patterns.

14 Justine { 10.26.14 at 9:12 pm }

Mostly sugar here, too. And I have had periods in my life when I’ve starved myself, so I try not to be too restrictive, because I know how quickly I can fall back into old patterns, too. Exercise usually helps me, but if I’m getting up at 5:45 to get everyone out the door by 7:15 so that I can get to work on time, and there’s no time to work out at work (gym too far away to get there and back in an hour during lunch), and I get home at 6 to make dinner and baths and do laundry, I haven’t figured out when I get to fit in time for an exercise routine. I run on the weekends. But it’s not enough, and I’m gaining back some of what I lost this summer when my hours were a little more flexible. I stopped eating dessert in the cafeteria. I keep wondering if this is just my 40? But how can that be, when so many other women look healthier than I do? I feel your dismay. And I am cheering you on.

15 Northern Star { 10.26.14 at 11:52 pm }

Hang in there. I’ve been ignoring “my plate” ‘s constant reminders that I need to start tracking again and I feel like deleting the app, but I know that I can’t. My baggy clothes are suddenly fitting just right and I knoe that refined sugar has a lot to do with it too…… Ugh.

16 Deborah { 10.27.14 at 12:53 am }

downfall food: potato chips. well, potatoes, period. we shall leave all talk of cookies, cakes, and donuts off the table.

17 Heather { 10.27.14 at 8:28 am }

I have started My Fitness Puke again, today actually. I’m just not disciplined enough to know when to stop.
My downfall food: Doughnuts. Just call me Home Simpson. I love the little round cakes so much. Now that I’m back on the wagon, I’ll have to avoid them like the plague. One bite or half will just put me right back to horrible eating habits.
Good Luck to you!

18 Amel { 10.27.14 at 9:11 am }

Potato chips is my downfall food and my comfort food. I also indulge in sweet stuff every now and then (mostly dark chocolate), but potato chips is definitely on top of the list.

Ha! I thought I was the only one who don’t like running outside (esp. in winter in Lapland, I have no idea what to put on in order to run outside – how many layers, what kinds of fabric?). And understand the hermit part. I work in a supermarket and because I live in a small village, I’m bound to meet a few familiar faces whenever I go downtown, so whenever I feel like avoiding those people (as an introvert), I hide at home.

I’ve only started doing yoga and piloxing with the help of some youtube videos. I tend to alternate my exercise routine depending on my mood so that I’m not bored. Sometimes I use Wii, sometimes not.

19 Geochick { 10.27.14 at 9:31 am }

Are you my long lost twin? Seriously, I put on 8 pounds or so and have been trying for months to get it off. I was told that just because I turned 40 didn’t mean that my metabolism fell off a cliff. I beg to differ. And yes, sugar is my downfall as well. Sugar in cookie form, sugar in chocolate form, and especially sugar in beer/wine form. My Fitness Frenemy insists that I should be at my goal weight by now and I haven’t lost a pound. I hate her. I write it all down! Because if I don’t write it all down as embarrassing as it is to notice I ate 900 calories at dinner, then it won’t work.

20 Mrs T { 10.27.14 at 1:10 pm }

I went gluten free this summer and there are things that I missed, but I MOURNED donuts.

21 Jamie { 10.27.14 at 9:51 pm }

Doughnuts. I love doughnuts! I decided to take a break from them in September after my birthday. I gain weight quickly with those even if eaten sparingly. It is a treat for once or twice a year, otherwise it is a slippery slope for me.

22 It Is What It Is { 11.11.14 at 3:00 pm }

Generally I can’t be left alone with an open box, container, or bag of any kind of snack type food that I like (puffs from TJs, mini cookies from TJs, crackers, M&Ms, nuts, the list goes on and on).

I may have said before that I found Bethenny Frankel’s book, Naturally Thin, helpful in creating a paradigm shift in relation to food. And, one thing that is gone from my self talk is that idea that I am good or bad based on eating what I perceive is a good or bad food. Food is food. Some food is better, way better, than others, but a foodstuff is not inherently good or bad.

My thyroid is out of whack something that is taking months upon months to get in check. I am up 11# in the last two months because of it. I have turned myself over to the THM (Trim Healthy Mama) lifestyle because I believe that every tenet with regard to eating/nutrition is sound. That said, it is a VERY complicated plan for me to master, something I am continuing to work on. Refined sugar, simple carbs, white foods are NOT my friend. I know this to be true.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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