Weighing Matters

my journey to b.e.t.t.e.r


Fisher called.

Hello Grommer. I need a calendar. For my wall. Blythie has a calendar. Keziah has a calendar. I need a calendar. For my wall.

Me: OK.

Fisher: Could you wrap it in a box and send it to my mail box? Will you please buy me a calendar, Grommer?

Me: I’d be glad to, Sweetheart.

Fisher: I really need one for my room. For my wall.

OK. l’ll do that. I’ll start looking for one right now.

Fisher: OK, Goodbye, Grommer. Love you.

Me: Love you, too, Sweet Pea.

That’s how it all began. I searched Amazon, Calendars.com., Christian bookstore, Barnes and Noble, Deseret Book. See, I want the right price AND free shipping. I could get both at Amazon if I spent $25. I seriously considered getting Office 2008 [for Macs] for Dummies but that took the price way up to $39 dollars just to get free shipping. Just as I was hitting the “Send” button, Tracy said “WAIT I have free shipping for three months.” That’s the short version.

Fisher now is the proud owner of a calendar that’s in his room. On his wall. On a nail.

I asked him. “So, Fisher. Did you need a calendar so you could learn the days of the weeks and the months and keep track of things? Or just to look at the pictures”

Fisher: The pictures.

Seriously. I could have gotten a 2002 calendar for ninety-nine cents at DI.

I totally adore this boy. My only grandson. I hope he knows I would do anything he asks me.


January 30, 2010 Posted by | Weight just a minute | Leave a comment

no title for this post . . .

I don’t want to be honest today. I don’t want to tell the truth any more. [I don’t care what I promised myself at the beginning of all this.] I don’t want to admit what I did last night. I want to pretend I’m perfect and have it all under control — all the time. I want hubby to not bring home chocolate cake. Why does he keep doing that? And I wish he would have taken the three GIANT candy bars to work like he said he would. I don’t want to think about 10 pm to 12 pm last night. I don’t want to get on the scale today. I want to stay in bed with the covers over my head. I don’t want to look in the mirror today. I don’t want to know I let myself down. I want to be invisible.

January 30, 2010 Posted by | Weight just a minute | Leave a comment

get ready, get set, point

I guess I am at a standstill. I’ve been 140-141 for several months. It’s a happy standstill! I’m not complaining. I’m thrilled to be in my [Weight Watcher’s] weight range and to have lost twenty miserable pounds. However, I do notice my clothes being comfortably loose or slightly snug, though, depending on the amount of exercise I commit to in a period of time.

Years ago my friend Lana told me she had read about the ‘Set-Point’ theory. She said when you are eating healthy and exercising, your body just stops where it is supposed to be.

According to the set-point theory, there is a control system built into every person dictating how much fat he or she should carry – a kind of thermostat for body fat.  Some individuals have a high setting, others have a low one.  According to this theory, body fat percentage and body weight are matters of internal controls that are set differently in different people.

The set-point theory was originally developed in 1982 by Bennett and Gurin to explain why repeated dieting is unsuccessful in producing long-term change in body weight or shape.  Going on a weight-loss diet is an attempt to overpower the set point, and the set point is a seemingly tireless opponent to the dieter.

The ideal approach to weight control would be a safe method that lowers or raises the set point rather than simply resisting it.  So far no one knows for sure how to change the set point, but some theories exist.  Of these, regular exercise is the most promising:  a sustained increase in physical activity seems to lower the setting (Wilmore et al. 1999).

According to the set-point theory, the set point itself keeps weight fairly constant, presumably because it has more accurate information about the body’s fat stores than the conscious mind can obtain.  At the same time, this system pressures the conscious mind to change behavior, producing feelings of hunger or satiety.  Studies show that a person’s weight at the set point is optimal for efficient activity and a stable, optimistic mood.  When the set point is driven too low, depression and lethargy may set in as a way of slowing the person down and reducing the number of calories expended.

The set point, it would appear, is very good at supervising fat storage, but it cannot tell the difference between dieting and starvation.  The dieter who begins a diet with a high set point experiences constant hunger, presumably as part of her body’s attempt to restore the status quo. Even dedicated dieters often find that they cannot lose as much weight as they would like.  After an initial, relatively quick loss, dieters often become stuck at a plateau and then lose weight at a much slower rate, although they remain as hungry as ever.

Dieting research demonstrates that the body has more than one way to defend its fat stores. Long-term caloric deprivation, in a way that is not clear, acts as a signal for the body to turn down its metabolic rate.  Calories are burned more slowly, so that even a meager diet almost suffices to maintain weight.  The body reacts to stringent dieting as though famine has set in. Within a day or two after semi-starvation begins, the metabolic machinery shifts to a cautious regimen designed to conserve the calories it already has on board.  Because of this innate biological response, dieting becomes progressively less effective, and (as generations of dieters have observed) a plateau is reached at which further weight loss seems all but impossible.

Adapted from Integrative Group Treatment for Bulimia Nervosa by Helen Riess, M.D. and Mary Dockray-Miller

At first glance, the theory seems to hold water. Many people complain they are stuck at a certain weight. Even serial dieters complain of gaining back lost weight. However, there has never been an exact mechanism found in the body to support the theory. Some researchers suspect the set point theory can be caused by psychological and environmental factors. They believe people in different cultures are comfortable with different body weights, figures and lifestyles. Some people don’t mind being 20 pounds overweight, while others fight tooth and nail to maintain a lower body weight.

Even if this theory seems to explain why you can’t get to your desired body weight, take heart, there are ways to off-set the set point. Many researchers believe the set point theory contributes to the overwhelming rate of obesity in the United States. They believe it allows people to accept being overweight or obese instead of changing their lifestyles. Weight loss surgeries have been on the rise for years which can indicate people are sort of giving up on conventional methods of weight loss and maintenance.

Personally, I recommend lifestyle changes. Changing your diet moderately can result in significant weight loss. Once weight is lost, it is very important to adopt a different kind of diet [food plan]. Only the most naïve [I almost said “dumbest!] person on the planet would believe you could go back to eating like you were before losing weight — and maintain any of your weight loss!] You need to be able to maintain your weight on your new eating plan but you must also feel satisfied and have variety. Exercise is the BEST way to alter your metabolism. High intensity cardiovascular exercise can help increase your metabolism for short periods of time. Resistance [strength training] exercise that builds muscle is very important. [My favorite!] Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. The more muscle and less fat you have, the more calories you can burn in a day. That means you can eat [a little] more food each day than you would be able to if you don’t exercise. That could mean the difference between continued success or slipping back into Candyland. or Fatville. When you continue to exercise [the rest of your life!!!] you can have more variety and occasional treats, which equals permanent s.u.c.c.e.s.s!

Although my recommendations may sound boring, they have been proven to work. Whether the Set Point Theory is accurate or not, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you lose and maintain weight. Don’t plan diets for a limited amount of time. Plan on permanent lifestyle changes for long-term results.

January 28, 2010 Posted by | Weight just a minute | Leave a comment

so proud

I won’t betray her confidence by saying her name but I have a friend who is doing so well! She told me a little experience I wanted to share. I guess she will let me know if it’s not ok.

I measured myself for the second time today.  I thought I would share the results with you. The first measurement was Jan. 12, and the second was today (Jan. 25)

neck: 0
above chest: -1
fullest part: -2
waist: -1.75
across belly button: -2.75
abdomen: -1.5
hips: -1.75
thigh: -.5

My reward for achieving a personal goal was to buy myself a new outfit. I went to Ross and could not find a shirt I loved, but I got 3 pair of pants because they were perfect. I left 2 pair in the bag and wore 1 off and on for a week. Saturday I ended up taking the other 2 back and exchanged them for the next smaller size! They fit very nicely, not too tight. They were the exact same pants (Gloria Vanderbilt-Amanda), just smaller. I am so excited.

This is a two week period!!! How’s that for success! How’s that for exciting! I can’t even tell you how thrilled I am for this friend who is so dear to me and who has found a couple of key answers that seem to be clicking for her right now! She is working hard to eat healthy and to exercise. She is making hard choices.

I’m so proud of her.

January 28, 2010 Posted by | Weight just a minute | Leave a comment

i’m no math major

Still talking about Reader’s Digest. This month’s magazine is chuck full of answers and solutions for any problem you’ve ever had [or ever will have in the forseeable future] with regard to weight, diet, exercise, eating healthy, shopping healthy, snacking healthy, fiber. . .

I kid you not!

Here is a sampling of what is in just this ONE issue:

10 Ways to Control Your Cravings
5 Tips to Beat Hunger
6 Strategies to Tame Your Appetite
19 Weight Loss Secrets from Around the World
8 Dietary Downfalls and Solutions
9 Delicious Avocado Recipes
6 Ways to Follow the Mediterranean Diet
13 Secrets About Your Weight
5 Great Ways to Get Moving
7 Tricks to Drop Pounds
4 Ways to Eat Better and Spend Less
29 Ways to Slip in More Fiber
5 healthy Snacks for 100 calories
7 Ways to Eat Well at Work
11 Ways to Include Lean Protein
25 Tips to Order Healthy Choices at Any Restaurant

Holy Toledo!

What are they thinking? This qualifies for OVERload, Doncha think!!! They make it sound like there are [quick calculation . . .] roughly 170 ways to get yourself under control and so obviously there is no excuse for not getting it together. [Because they’ve obviously given us every single answer!] The way I interpret it is I’m a failure before I even start on the sixth list of figuring out how to eat an avocado. [ObViOuSlY!!!!!] [That’s my sarcastic sing-song voice. My heads is going back and forth and my right-pointer finger is wagging, as well.]

I remember being so drawn to these kinds of lists. If there were four magazines on the coffee table at Jiffy Lube where I had a twenty-minute wait, I’d always [nonchalantly] grab the one that had “Lose 210 Pounds in Just Four Weeks, and Eat all You Want!” Of course I would try to hide what I was [obviously] reading about because I didn’t want the other [total strangers] people to know I had a weight problem [as if a casual glance in my direction wouldn’t tell them most of that information anyway.]

I’m just saying . . .

It makes me crazy that they think we’re so predictable. All they have to do is make a list with a bunch of numbers in it and we’re suckers for the magazine.

What I’d like them to know is a little respect, a little encouragement, a little compassion goes a long way. I know how stinking hard it is to lose weight and to get up everyday with e.x.e.r.c.i.s.e [still] hanging over my head. I know sometimes diet and exercise works and sometimes it just doesn’t. I know how hard it is to hang onto even a one-pound success. I know how hard it is to not eat the whole dang box of those little “100 calories” [pretend-healthy] snacks when other people somehow manage to just eat the one allocated for 11:00 am or 2:00 pm.

It’s hard. It’s just plain hard.

And I resent that magazines [even Reader’s Digest] can just make a list with a magic number in front of it and it makes us hope that this time, THIS TIME, it will be different.

January 27, 2010 Posted by | Weight just a minute | Leave a comment

cracks me up

I’m reading Reader’s Digest online. I love it. I come to:

10 Ways to Control Your Cravings.

These tips will prevent hunger from sabotaging your diet.

I stop and give it a look. Good information.

#3 Go nuts. Drink two glasses of water and eat an ounce of nuts (6 walnuts, 12 almonds or 20 peanuts). 
Within 20 minutes, this can extinguish your craving and dampen your appetite by changing your body chemistry, says Michael F.
Roizen, MD.

(6 walnuts, OR 12 almonds OR 20 peanuts) But it shows a BOWLFUL of two hundred and thirty-nine and a half nuts in it!!!!! Just looking at the picture made me rush to my stash of food in the employee lounge and grab something.

Whatsamatta with them?!?

January 27, 2010 Posted by | Weight just a minute | Leave a comment


My dear friend, Karen, was somehow prompted to say exactly the right thing to me today, via email. She first asked permission to send me a quote, apparently worried it might offend. But it was exactly what I needed to hear. I have no doubt someone [Mom, are you up there?] prompted her to know this message was what I needed. You decide:

“Closely related to our own obligation to repent is the generosity of letting others do the same . . . In this we participate in the very essence of the Atonement of Jesus Christ…We don’t want God to remember our sins, so there is something fundamentally wrong in our relentlessly trying to remember others’ sins…It is one of those ironies of godhood that in order to find peace, the offended as well as the offender must engage the principle of forgiveness.”–Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom”, Ensign, Nov. 1996, 82

The moment I read it I remembered how many sins I had repented of and hoped no one was still remembering. I realized how many times I had hurt my kids with words and actions. One argument in particular, stuck in my mind. Mikelle and I were in Stephen’s room and I was unduly cruel to her. I think I thought if I said something terrible and mean enough she would snap out of it and get her life figured out. But it was absolutely the worse thing I could have ever said. She needed my arms around her and assurance that I loved her. She needed patience and direction and acceptance and unconditional love. I gave her everything but. I still ache with remorse when I think of those words that spewed out of my mouth.

I can’t believe she ever forgave me for them.

And now, I have been angy at someone for saying something to me. The least, the very least, I can do is follow this council and recognize the folly of hanging onto it a moment longer.

“Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.” –James E Faust, “The Healing Power of Forgiveness”, May 2007 Ensign

Thank you Karen. Thanks Mom.

January 27, 2010 Posted by | Weight just a minute | 3 Comments

single crochet, double crochet

Blythe’s first project from her crocheting classes.

It’s the front half of a pillow. Wonderful Miss Amy consented to let me buy lessons from her for granddaughter, Blythe, for Christmas. Of course I have an ulterior motive. Blythe is going to teach me all she learns. I at least want to learn how to make an ear warmer with a big flower on it!

January 24, 2010 Posted by | Weight just a minute | Leave a comment

sleep 101

Ah, sleep. The long luxurious kind that leaves us feeling totally rejuvenated. There’s a rash of recent surveys showing that Americans are sleeping less than the recommended 7-8 hours and it does take a toll. [I took this survey! I know!]

Part of the problem is we don’t give ourselves enough time to wind down before bedtime. We’re anxious about money, our jobs, chaos in our lives. And we’re technology-driven so many of us watch TV in the evening, use the computer,  iPods, or texting. The screens on these devices are bright and our body interprets them as sunshine which is ‘alerting’ and not calming.

One survey’s results:

60% get fewer than 7 hours of sleep
11% struggle every night to fall asleep
49% wake regularly mid-sleep and have trouble drifting off again. [hellooo!]

Research shows if we don’t get enough sleep we have increased risk of all sorts of disease. On the flip side, enough sleep helps to:

prevent cancer
prevent weight gain [that’s what I’m talkin’ about!]
prevent heart disease
fight off colds
improve memory
improve athletic performance

When we get less than 7 hours of sleep, of course, we are exhausted. Our reaction time is reduced and our immune system is compromised. And when we are sleep-deprived our body produces less of a hormone called leptin, which helps us to feel more satisfied after meals. If we’re not satisfied, we tend to eat more and we also tend to choose less healthy foods — those that are starchy, sweet, or salty.

When we get less than 6 hours of sleep our brain power takes a hit. Our memory, reaction time and general cognition are diminished. After two weeks of getting 6 hours or less a night, our brain function is the same as pulling two all-nighters in a row.

What to do?

Plan our sleep. Go to bed and wake up as close to the same time every night as we can manage. Turn off technology. Wind down an hour or two before bed. Read a book. Take a warm bath or shower. Avoid caffeine. [Caffeine stays in our system up to eight hours, so cut it off around noon.]

It’s the advice you would give your best friend. [I just gave this advice to daughter, Mikelle, but I’m not sure she listened.] Get some good sleep, take care of yourself, eat healthy, get some rest.

So do it for yourself.

January 24, 2010 Posted by | Weight just a minute | Leave a comment

ok, i lied

I told him I wouldn’t blog about this, but . . .

Scott texted me: Love my new hoodie – just plowed the driveway with it and my vest on.

Me: Glad you like them. How’s the color?

Scott: They don’t match, but that actually makes me feel more like a man.

Me: Ha ha. You know I’m going to blog that!

I can’t help it! I thought it was funny. I like to laugh. I like to share things that make me laugh. The fact that he is willing to admit that wearing two mis-matched shades of green makes him feel more manly cracks me up!

January 24, 2010 Posted by | Weight just a minute | Leave a comment