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Weight Loss

February 07, 2022

Guest Blog: Our Get-Fat-Tuesday Family Tradition

Here's a fun post from first-time guest blogger Ellen Cajka, who knows all about healthy eating (and when to not worry about it) AND raising teenagers. I love her "Get Fat Tuesday" family tradition.

Mardi Gras, otherwise known as "Fat Tuesday," was a lot of fun at our house this year. No, we didn't have a wild costume party, partake in alcohol or even "earn" multi-colored beads.

My 14-year-old daughter, Taylor, and I planned our own version of Fat Tuesday — and boy did we do it up right! We called it "Get Fat Tuesday." Taylor is giving up fast food for Lent, and I am giving up sweets. No small task! So we decided to go out with a bang.

We ordered  three different kinds of takeout: pizza, Taco Bell and El Pollo Loco. And we finished the evening off with 31 Flavors ice cream and had two scoops each. I was planning on having a hot fudge sundae, but after a piece of pizza, 3/4 of a cheese quesadilla, some Nachos Bell Grande, chicken and mashed potatoes, a sundae suddenly didn't sound all that appetizing.

We had fun planning and it certainly felt sinful enjoying all those forbidden foods. Sweets are my nemesis, and any teen would struggle to go just a week without pizza or a burger. It's going to be LONG 40 days and 40 nights.

But hey, maybe the Easter Bunny will bring me some chocolate.

February 04, 2022

Get Thee Behind Me, Cheesecake!

How do you spell S-T-R-E-S-S?

My son, Matt, was fighting a cold this morning and trudged off to school looking like a doomed man. I had to take the dog to the vet. And then I had one of those work mornings I'd just as soon bury in the back yard...

But there was no time for pity parties. I had a lunch date scheduled with my friend Robi, who deserved to have a happy lunch companion for her BIRTHDAY lunch, for crying in the soup! Clearly, it was no time to actually cry in my soup.

But as I was driving to meet her at the Cheesecake Factory, where I usually order something diet-worthy, like the luncheon-potion grilled salmon, I was overcome by an urge to eat cheesecake. A BIG piece of CHOCOLATE cheesecake. Because (say it with me now) I DESERVED IT.

You know the drill: Stressed-out mom has a tough day and decides to indulge in something that (a) doesn't talk back, (b) provides unconditional comfort (at least until I try to fit into my jeans or I need an angioplasty) and (c) makes me happy.

Well, let's hear it for the power of friendship. Robi actually encouraged me to whine a bit over my salmon. (What a pal.) Then we went on to talk about everything from scrapbooking to writers' conferences. Some things are even better — and certainly better for me — than scarfing down a huge wedge of cheesecake.

I ended up bringing home a slice for my son as a special treat. (He's on the swim team and burns calories like crazy, but I don't even let him eat stuff like this all that often.) I checked out the nutrition information later and learned that one slice of the Cheesecake Factory's chocolate mousse cheesecake is (get this!) 780 calories and 55 grams of fat. Yowza.

Thanks to my Robi-therapy, I didn't rip open the to-go box and down the whole thing in the car on the way home.

And when he sat down for his after-school treat, Matt noticed that the edges had only been slightly evened up.

To follow this mom's weight-loss journey from the beginning, just click on "Weight Loss" on the "Categories" list at right and scroll down.


 

January 17, 2022

Twinkies, Anyone?

To follow this mom's weight-loss journey from the beginning, just click on "Weight Loss" on the "Categories" list at right and scroll down.

Jean Fain, a writer, psychotherapist and instructor at Harvard Medical School, has created a terrific, short You Tube video discussing mindful eating — and staring a Twinkie! She makes some very good points. Check it out here.

Speaking of mindful (or not) eating... The other day, I just HAD to have pizza for lunch. Wanted it. Craved it. Ended up having three pieces, while reading a magazine, and shoving it in. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but I can't say I really ate it mindfully. Perhaps if I had been paying more attention, just one piece of pizza (with a salad -- what a concept!) would have made me feel satisfied.

I'll keep that in mind for next time.

It's Weigh-In Day (A Day Late!)

To follow this mom's weight-loss journey from the beginning, just click on "Weight Loss" on the "Categories" list at right and scroll down.

Well, Wednesday was supposed to be weigh-in day, but a big work deadline kept me from blogging. I DID jump on the scale, however. I thought I'd include my weight loss from the Woman's Day blog to show how it has gone over time — and to show what happens when I stop blogging and get "cute." The pounds come back!

Starting weight: 142 (May 1)
End of week 1: 139
End of week 2: 137
End of week 3: 136
End of week 4: 135
End of week 5: 134.8 (started using a digital scale)
End of week 6: 133.2
End of week 7: 132
End of week 7: on vacation; no weigh-in
End of week 8: 132
End of week 9: 131
End of week 10: 130.4
End of week 11: 130.6
End of 12-week blog: 127.2 (July 31)

No dieting or blogging for five months or so…

Starting weight (back on the wagon!): 131.4 (OK, I gained 4.2 pounds since July. Probably not so bad, given that it was the holidays recently.)
End of week 1: 130.8

Not exactly a big drop, but it's going in the right direction! If you're doing this along with me, please leave your comments and let us know how your weigh-ins are going. Let's do this together!

I'm going to commit to doing one thing differently this week: Drinking a lot more water. Care to join me? Let's see how much of a difference it makes.

P.S. I also walked for an hour today with my buddy, Ellen. Need to do more of that, too!

January 09, 2022

Hey Mom — Check Out These Reader Tips for Dropping The Pounds

Well, gang, apparently I’m not at all alone in getting on the scale, post-holiday, and being a bit taken aback. I received so many great comments so far on this topic that I thought I’d summarize some of the tips for you here (and they're all tips that busy parents can use, so there go our excuses!):

°    Julie Curtis has found that running with her dog for just 20 minutes a day has helped her lose weight. We can all squeeze in 20 minutes of exercise, right? (OK, on most days.)

°    Fred enjoys listening to Jillian Michaels (fitness coach on “The Biggest Loser”) on her radio show and has started following some of the exercises on her website.

°    Shape magazine writer Dara Chadwick, who blogs at Fit in Real Life, talked about the importance of doing JUST ONE THING — drinking more water, eating more veggies, whatever you feel will make a difference. That I can do. (And check out her blog post about the bag of chocolate chips. Boy, can I relate!)

°    Lisa Iannucci suggested taking older kids with us to the gym as guests. I didn’t even know you could do that. Her gym allows this for kids age 13 and older. Definitely something to keep in mind.

°    Heather turned us on to Ellie Krieger’s new website. I'm jazzed about Ellie's new site for an additional reason: I'm on it! Just saw her site for the first time today — and there was my photo, with the before and after pics taken by my 12-year-old son! Too funny. After I had done my Woman's Day weight-loss blog, Ellie had asked if I'd write a short testimonial for her about how well the advice in her book worked for me. I was more than happy to do that.

No, I wasn't paid a dime. This was just something I wanted to do. So there's no conflict of interest when I say Ellie is the real deal. Her advice has definitely helped me drop the pounds — while still preparing meals that my kid wants to eat. No small task.

Thanks, folks, for these great tips. Please keep ‘em coming!

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 womansday.com.

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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