Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Weight Loss, Diets, and Fads . . . oh, my!

Photos: July 2010, May 2011

While I'm sitting here waiting for my mouth to regain some feeling (just came from the dentist), I thought I'd explain how I recently lost forty pounds and got back into my size eights. Lots of people ask, and maybe it'll be easier to point them to this blog post.

I've lost 40 or more pounds before --pounds that always came back--once through Weight Watchers, once through L.A. Weight Loss, and this time I started out on Jenny Craig. And when I rapidly tired of the Jenny Craig foods (which are among the best-tasting prepackaged foods out there), my JC counselor introduced me to, and that was the key that enabled me to get going . . . and, I believe, to keep these excess pounds off.

(Disclaimer: I am not being paid, bribed, or begged to push this product. I'm just telling you what worked for me.)

What is it? Basically, it's an armband that you wear 24/7, or except when you're bathing or swimming. The little meter attached to the armband is like a pedometer on steroids because it not only counts your steps throughout the day, but it records how you sleep, how much and how vigorously you're exercising, and how many calories you're burning at any given moment of the day. Your part is to input the foods you eat--and no cheating, since you're only cheating yourself. There are even handy smart phone/iPad apps that sync with your account so you can record your meals on the go.

So I record every bite I take, and the bodymedia gizmo (I LOVE gadgets) gives me feedback. Since beginning to wear this thing, I've gone from doing a half hour on the treadmill to doing more than 90 minutes a day--at a moderate pace, mind you, but I'm moving, and that's what matters, especially when you have a sedentary job like mine.  And on Saturdays, when I'm cleaning house and tackling projects, I'm burning lots of calories even without a treadmill!  (You'd be surprised how many calories baking cupcakes can burn up!) 

You can set goals on the website--on your personal dashboard, where you see your readings and input your dietary choices--for weight loss, maintenance, or weight gain, and the program will guide you as to how much you should be eating and moving. It's a simple concept, but it boils down to the only thing that works: to lose weight, your output must be greater than your intake. Pure and simple science.

I'm moving to maintenance now, but I'm going to subscribe to the bodymedia service for another year just to remain on track. I ran my health stats through a "death clock" before I lost the weight, and it said I should live until 86. I ran my stats through the same clock after the weight loss, and it says I should live until 94. Now--isn't that better stewardship of the life God has given me? I think so.

After years of dieting, I've learned that it does no good to deprive myself of what I'm craving, so while I was losing I ate what I wanted--some Jenny Craig foods, some regular foods--but I paid close attention to the calorie count. That's what matters. And burning more than you take in over time will allow anyone to lose weight.

So what did I do when I was DYING to have a cupcake and I'd used up all my calories for the day? Instead of blowing it all and telling myself that tomorrow was another day (done that, tomorrow never comes), or "borrowing" calories from the next day (done that, too, and it doesn't work), I'd console myself with the promise that I could have that cupcake . . . for tomorrow's breakfast.  Which has inspired me with an idea for a children's book, "Cupcakes for Breakfast."  Or maybe it should be a dieter's book. :-)  

So--for what it's worth, that's my weight loss testimony. And wherever you are health-wise, I wish you the best.



Suzy Thrasher said...

Been wearing one since last August... by far one of the best investment's I've ever made. A window into my body... even when sleeping. So glad you found your "secret" too... even though with the short sleeves of warm weather, it's no longer a "secret".
Still roudly wearing my arm band.

NorthPoleNana said...

That sounds very interesting. I'm on a diet right now, trying once again to lose the 40 lbs. that I lost and gained back over the past 3 years. I've been a yo-yo dieter most of my life and it really needs to stop. Maybe this armband thing would be the secret to helping me maintain once I get to my goal. I certainly need something. Thanks for the testimony and congratulations to you.

Carolyne Aarsen said...

Yay. A gadget! I love gadgets too! Congrats on the weight loss, Angie. Such an accomplishment. Must look into this.

Angela said...

Yea, Suzy! So glad you popped in with another testimony as to the effectiveness of this gadget. Carolyne, I think you'd love it. I hardly even notice when I'm wearing it, and I can usually hide it under most clothing. Even when I wear sleeveless, I often wear a sweater tied over my shoulders (for chilly air conditioned buildings), so few people even notice. But I wouldn't care if they did! :-)


Cindy Swanson said...

Wow! Congratulations, Angela! You look fantastic. This sounds like something I might want to check in to.

I also love the title "Cupcakes for Breakfast." I'm sure whatever direction you go with it, it'll be fun! :)

Cindy @Cindy's Book Club

Nicole Arbuckle said...


You look amazing! I need to shed about 30 lbs and was thinking about Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. I'm going look into

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

You look fantastic, Angie. Betting you feel better, too. Thanks for sharing your routine, tips, and encouragement.

Mary Kay