Monday, January 4, 2010

A Little Secret

I'm going to let you in on a little secret -- I have lost 21 pounds since September. My 5'9" frame is now happily down to 155 pounds, but I would still like to shed another 10 pounds that I have been kicking around. "Unprocessed" should help!

Having PCOS and being hypothyroidic means that I have battled the proverbial bulge for my entire life. In high school, I ran cross-country and wrestled, keeping things to a slim 145. College brought the inevitable freshmen 15 and then some. What can I say? I really like to drink! After college, I brought things back down to around 140. Unfortunately, my methods were neither advisable nor sustainable. I ate very little -- ironic since I was attending cooking school at the time -- and exercised incessantly. The only up-side to the whole charade was completing the Chicago marathon and then Bordeaux. I managed to fit into my size 10 wedding dress a few years later, and kept things reasonably under control for a little while thereafter. Things started to slip when I tried to balance 3 jobs (one of them working in a bakery) with school and a new marriage. Then, I "moved" to Argentina where all-day wine tasting and calorie-laden (but oh-so delicious) asados, consumed in the name of research, helped me balloon up to 176. Yet, all is back in balance now -- thanks to the good folks at Weight Watchers and a turn towards an "unprocessed" lifestyle. I am at my happiest between 145 and 155. Deviation happens; you just gotta reel it back in.

That being said, I offer a few motivational thoughts in case you were pondering letting go of a little extra baggage.

1. Rome was not built in a day. You didn't put the weight on in a day, or even a week. You will not and should not take it off that quickly. Slow weight loss, brought about by lifestyle changes, means it will stay off longer.
2. The silver lining theory -- if you never get fat, you never experience the joy of watching the scale go back down the other way. While I am not a proponent of yo-yo dieting or roller coaster weight loss, enjoy every pound lost if it means a healthier you.
3. Learn to cook. The more you know about food -- even basic preparations -- and what you are putting into your body, the more successful and healthy you will be.
4. You are going to have bad days. Thankfully, we get tomorrows. It's the one do-over that life gives us. Don't dwell in the past.
5. Little changes matter. Take the stairs. Drink more water. Substitute one snack item for something healthier. It all adds up.
6. Find a buddy. Workout with them. Confide in them. Have someone you can vent to when you just can't eat one more piece of lettuce!
7. Celebrate any and all victories! If you are trying to change a lifetime's worth of behaviors, one meal made with whole-wheat pasta instead of white pasta is a victory. 5 pounds lost might be 1/10 of the way to the finish line. Then, challenge yourself to the next test!
8. If you aren't into working out, a 10 minute walk around the block is a great start. Go for 11 on day 2. Before you know it, you'll be logging 5 miles a day!
9. Most importantly, "unprocessed" isn't just about 2010. I am hoping to implement changes that will last for the rest of my life. If all goes as planned, maintaining a healthy weight should prove much easier.

Above: November 2009. Below: June 2009. We were a little inflated in June!


  1. Kay-o! That's amazing and I love your tips. I'm definitely keeping them in mind. Couldn't help but laugh at the Silver Lining theory - very true.

    Ever since I really got into cooking, I realized the crap that gets put in to baked goods and my sweet tooth has ebbed considerably. And now when I indulge, I've developed a taste for certain recipes that I know might have more or less of certain ingredients and I'm aware of what's going in.

    I think everyone should take a cooking class or at least bypass the calories and look at the ingredients involved.

    Ok, I'm rambling!

  2. Tabs- so glad you are baking so often! Your photos are always so stunning - I'm sure that your baked goods are also amazing, but I have never had the pleasure of enjoying one :( Thanks for all of your support!