Scaling Down and Fessing Up — Again!

The fact that I’m eating chips and salsa as I write this post confirms that I need to be writing this post…

Back in May 2007, Woman’s Day magazine asked me to write a 3-month daily weight-loss blog based on the advice in Ellie Krieger’s wonderful book, Small Changes, Big Results. You can see the entire three-month process unfold at

When I started the blog, I weighed 142 pounds — not too good for a 5’2" chick. My doctor agreed that it was time to drop the pounds. At the end of 12 weeks, I weighed 127.2, almost reaching my tentative goal of 125. I was flying high and committed to staying with my plan.

Then I got "cute" (as my old Weight Watchers leader used to call it). Without the threat of blogging-related public humiliation to keep me on the right path, I started falling back into my old habits: not exercising enough, eating when I was happy, eating when I was sad, eating when I was bored. (And scarfing chips and salsa at my desk…)

Sound familiar?

I’m back up to 131.4 now, and I can see that if I don’t get serious about this I’ll be back to 142 before I know it. I’m not going to let all that work go down the drain! Since this is a parenting blog, I can’t think of a better place to write about the challenges of dropping the weight while juggling the demands of motherhood. So I’ll be weighing in here with my thoughts, my struggles, some great tips and, every Wednesday, a weigh-in report.

Please join me. I want to know what you’re doing, as we start a fresh new year, to get fit, lose weight and inspire your family to live a healthier lifestyle. Let’s scale down and fess up — together!

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13 Responses to “Scaling Down and Fessing Up — Again!”

  1. Julie Curtis says:

    Hi Kathy,
    I’m right here with you. Seems like every year that passes makes a pound harder to lose and easier to put back on. I’ve been slogging my way up to and down from 140 for years. Getting below 130 is some kind of tricky barrier for me, but this time I think I’m really on my way, and it’s all because of my personal trainer and Golden Retriever, Bo. He and I have been running on the greenbelt. Not a lot. Not even 2 miles. More like 1 and 3/4 miles. It only takes 20 minutes.
    But we do it every day.
    It’s been 4 months now and I’m down to 133, and I can see that I will continue to lose. I’ve made no real changes in my eating habits, just a heightened consciousness. I’d love to see how much I can accelerate the slimming process though, with better eating.

  2. Kathy Sena says:

    Julie, that’s fabulous! And that’s a reasonable amount of exercise- time-wise, for most people. Thanks for sharing this.
    Would you be willing to pop in and give us an update from time to time? When I did the blog for Woman’s Day, a wonderful woman named Joy blogged right along side me, in the comments section, much of the time. She had great tips! It was really motivating to hear how she was losing and what she did. Please consider doing that.
    And Joy, if you’re out there, we need you here!

  3. Fred- (Named changed as you will see why below!) says:

    Hi Kathy,
    Changed my name so I wouldn’t embarass my daughter. She has been on Jenny Craig since the end of school last year and has lost a whopping 25 pounds since July, 2007! But you are not alone. At her first weigh in after the New Year she was horrified (and embarassed) to see she had gained four pounds after her steady weight loss. Probably for her it was due to less activity as she is active with sports at high school and there was a long break.
    I’ve been impressed with her results from Jenny. Lots of compliments from her friends and family have really kept her on the right track- and buying new clothes! And, what inspired her to go to there was a story of my seeing a friend, (literally, in the buff!)at the health club and he looked great. He said he lost 35 pounds in three months on Jenny and his daughter was on it too. I mentioned this to my daughter that evening, and, on her own, she went to Jenny and checked it out.
    The problem we have is I want to try it too but we don’t have enough room in our fridge to store the weekly Jenny food purchases! So here is what I have done. My son is into paint ball and I get cajoled into taking he and his friends every second or third weekend mornings to Timbuktu in the Valley to play. I listen to talk radio on the way back and Jillian Michaels is on KFI. She is a fitness coach on the TV show “The Biggest Loser.” I listened to her for several weekends and liked the combination of exercise and practical diet advice. I work out three times a week and play tennis on another day so I’m pretty active. But I’ve been in a rut and have not lost the 35 pounds I want/need to lose. She has a website for her weight loss and exersize program. It is laid out well and makes allowances for all sorts of conditions and starting levels. The exercises are interesting and challenging and there are photos to show you how to do them correctly. You can do a lot of it at home. The recipes are well organized and flexible. It costs about $4 a week to be a member(way less than an private trainer) and it lays out your exercise program and menus for the week. It’s only been a week but I think it will work for me.
    We learned from my daughter that the food in Jenny’s program is all about portion control. I think it has way too much salt so with Jillian’s recipes I can control the food better and it’s fresher. I can already “feel” that the exercises are getting me out of my routine exercise rut and working other body parts. (Tip- I started on Level 2 for the exercises and it is plenty challenging for me. If you have not been very active, be sure to start out on Level 1 and build up.)
    I would advise to be realistic about your goals and just do a little something everyday. And give it time- I’ve given myself a year to drop the 35 pounds. It took me a long time to put it on- I need time to take it off.
    Good luck everyone!

  4. Kathy, I am so there with you! I lost 26 pounds last year as Shape magazine’s Weight-Loss Diary columnist. I had a wonderful support team, but now it’s just me and the demands of my life (which I’m blogging about on my site).
    I’m making a conscious decision to avoid the scale; I’m judging my status by the fit of my clothes and I’m still in the same size. I get to the gym and walk with a friend regularly and I do try to be conscious of what I’m eating. I think because last year was so very intense, I feel like a slacker because I’m not keeping up that level of intensity.
    As I blogged about today, when I feel myself getting off track, I try to focus on doing one thing. Maybe it’s drinking more water, maybe it’s eating more vegetables or adding 15 minutes to my gym time. The act of doing that one thing, though, makes me feel like I’m doing something positive for myself, which fuels more positive activity.
    You can do it — I’ll look forward to reading about your progress.

  5. Heather says:

    I just learned about Ellie’s new website, similar to weight watchers but more about feeling great and education, than just losing weight.
    They have a great meal tracking device there as well!
    Check it out.

  6. lisa iannucci says:

    Kathy, i’ve headed back to the gym, but my eating habits are still the pits. working on that. but i figured out a great way to get to the gym especially if you have older kids — take them with you! For $5 more each month, i’m able to bring a guest 13 years or older — one at a time — so i’ve been able to alternate my two older kids so they get some extra workout time and i get some special time with them. it’s a start.

  7. Kathy Sena says:

    Fred, that’s very interesting about Jillian Michaels’ show and her advice. Sounds like you and your daughter are on a great path. Please become my co-bloggers and report back here. We will all follow your progress!

  8. Kathy Sena says:

    Dara, that “one thing” idea is top notch. Sometimes it gets overwhelming, but we can all do ONE thing.
    BTW, would you be willing to give the link to your blog here, so we can all check it out? And is your blog from last year still available on Shape’s site? Would love to have that link, too. Thanks!

  9. Kathy Sena says:

    Heather, I didn’t know Ellie’s site wqas up. It’s beautiful! Lots of great tools there, too. thanks so much for sharing that link. Can’t wait to try more of her recipes. Love her show on Food Network, too.

  10. Kathy Sena says:

    Lisa, I had no idea you could bring kids to the gym as guests once they reach 13. That’s a great idea. I will talk about that in a future post. Please keep us posted on how that’s going. Thanks!

  11. Julie Curtis says:

    Sure. I’d love to pop in and blab about my flab.
    Flab that is always on my mind when I spend time with my perennially skinny friend, Kim.
    I spent the week after Christmas in Honolulu with my family, visiting Kim and her family. Kim is a busy forty-something advertising executive, juggling a high-level SVP job, parenting duties for two girls ages 15 and 10, household chores, a weekly soccer game with a team for which she’s the captain, and a variety of personal interests. She’s also an M&Maholic.
    And Kim looks great in a bikini. I mean, Kim is thin. Size 2 thin. How does she do it?
    She loves to cook. She loves good food. But the thing is, she doesn’t eat very often. It’s crazy. She’ll skip breakfast entirely. Then she’ll go to work and power through until 1pm, go downstairs to Starbucks and get an iced tea, and stop at the vending machine for a bag of pretzels. (She resents the time it takes to eat lunch, and feels the time could be better spent working, so she can get home earlier.) At dinner, she eats a small portion of whatever is on the family menu (if it’s hamburgers, Kim goes bunless), and if you watch her carefully, you can see her summoning her willpower to stop herself from toppling her calorie balance with a second helping of salad. If she goes out to dinner, she leaves a quarter of her entree on her plate, or encourages someone else to eat it. But what she does eat, she enjoys fully.
    When we’re out doing touristy things, Kim never wants to stop to eat, preferring to get more of whatever experience we’re out for.Of course whining kids and cranky husbands force her to stop, but you can tell it makes her antsy. Dealing with food seems to be is a waste of Kim’s valuable time.
    At night, while she watches TV and movies, Kim munches on M&Ms to her heart’s content. And every once in a while, when faced with one of her favorite foods, she’ll eat slightly more than an average sized-portion.
    Of course this isn’t a healthy lifestyle. Of course it breaks all the rules. But let me just say, Kim looks fabulous, has tons of energy, is a happy, fun person, and accomplishes more than most people I know.
    How do you explain that?
    Staying with Kim for a week has not turned me into a non-eater. But it has made me more aware of my ability to live with smaller portions, and tolerate hunger rumbles.
    Anyone have any thoughts about this?
    In the meantime, here’s a link to recipes for 300 calorie casseroles. (I assume portion control will be a key issue if you decide to try these.),28548,1668794,00.html?ao=holidays-cookiecountdowncalendar

  12. Kathy Sena says:

    Julie, thanks for posting this! Very interesting. It doesn’t seem like Kim is following a truly healthy eating pattern, but some of what she’s doing is good food for thought.
    I love how you write, Julie, and all the good info you’re sharing with our readers here. Please keep posting! And thanks from all of us.

  13. yvonne says:

    Great site!!!!! Good health is very important with the high cost of medical coverage. We need to have a healther lifestyle by taking care of our health eating and exercising. I am a cancer survivor and I know. Our health is our greatest asset. Keep up the Good Work!!!!!