Weighty Wednesday

I'm discussing the phantom weight gain. Well, it really isn't phantom, it's very real, but it could be brought on by various situations. The key is to look at it analytically and not emotionally. This is where being an analytical-minded Virgoan who used to work in a hospital laboratory comes in handy.

Gaining and losing weight is an emotional rollercoaster. Many of us eat when we are happy, sad, depressed, socializing, evening noshing in front of the TV, through boredom, yadda, yadda, yadda.

--I'm a boredom eater.

Since I work out of the home now (writer, remember), temptation is less than six feet away. Yeah, I have my computer in the kitchen. This summer, I've been doing really well, in the sense that I'm not constantly trolling for food. But now that school is back in session and my kidlet is gone--I'm alone . . . with a pantry and fridge full of food.

But this is a slight tangent from my planned topic.  Still relevant, but a tangent none-the-less. :-)

As you know, my 50th birthday was last Monday. I weighed-in and loss a decent amount of weight (YAY), but then the spiraling downfall began.

Let me preface this next section by saying, 1) I am still writing everything down, 2) I am still walking (rapidly) every day for 45 minutes, 3) I am still getting my daily healthy checks in, 4) I am using my weekly points and have some left.

But I gained 5--yes, FIVE--pounds in less than four days.   What the heck is going on?? 

On Monday, we ate dinner at Flemings, a steakhouse and, though I had planned my Weight Watchers points, I made my first strategic error. I ordered their Prix Fixe meal--AND ATE IT ALL.

Note to self--don't order a Prix Fixe meal and eat it all. Shrimp came with the steak, but it was tough, and yet, I still ate all three pieces. I didn't eat the entire dessert, but that was only because I didn't want the ice cream part next to the lava cake--I still gulped down the cake past the point of feeling full.

Tuesday--I ate a large slice of chocolate turtle cake hubster had bought for my birthday. Leftover chicken piccata from Zios. Plus I made chocolate chip cookies--though I substitued 1/2 the butter w/applesauce and all the sugar with Splenda products, it was still BAD.

Wednesday--I ate 1/4 of a 4-inch square chocolate cake that Flemings gifted me with. Made the dough for my kidlet's amoeba project. Regular chocolate chip cookie dough w/o the chips.

Thursday--I ate another slice of chocolate turtle cake. Made icing for the amoeba--see how these tiny tastes add up?!

So, if I'm still within my points range (and using my weekly allowance), why am I gaining weight?  What the heck is going on??

There are a couple of things happening here. But first I must say--don't let this little weight increase derail your overall efforts. This is where being analytical comes in handy. If I reacted with emotion (trust me, in the past, I would have!) I would eat and I would fail. It's as simple as that.

This is my personal opinion and observations of my own weighty idiosyncrasies. The reason I am sharing my thoughts is because what I know might help another person on their weight-loss journey.

1)  Four days of eating a sugary dessert is three days too much. It's fine and dandy to have a good time eating and/or drinking alcoholic beverages, but limit it to one day a week.

2) Pasta and bread are NOT my friends. Though I do not have Celiac Disease, I have found that when I eat products made from wheat--I bloat. Yes, if I eat pasta for dinner, I will gain 3 lbs by the next day.

--After talking to my SIL, I found out that some people do not process flour the same way as others, even whole wheat pasta with a low glycemic index. If you suspect this might be an issue, take a little test. Don't eat bread or flour products for three or four days. That's it. If you start losing weight, then think about cutting it from your diet. Grains (oatmeal, quinoa, couscous, rice) don't seem to have the same effect on me, but you might slowly introduce them into your diet. If you eat out, ask for a gluten-free menu. Many restaurants have them, but you have to ask. I know I ate a WONDERFUL chicken dish at Zios once where they substituted fresh spinach for the pasta. It was incredible!

This next comment is for my women readers. I don't know if men have hormonal fluctuations that effect your weight, but I KNOW women do! 

3) About a week or so prior to our monthly event, the body is 'preparing' for the off-chance that we might get pregnant, which means we retain water. Over the years, my symptoms have changed, but there are two things that I can always count on: breaking out in pimples (yes, even at 50, I get the damn things!) and tenderness/heaviness in my boobage . . . AND a weight gain. This is a temporary issue. Once your period starts, you start peeing like a racehorse! That might be a little TMI, but it's true!!

Hope this helps y'all on your journey! Don't freak with a weight gain, just keep following the healthy checks and keep you WW points plus within your daily range. If after two or three weeks, you don't see a change, then amp up your exercise or lean up your food.

Later, Peeps!


Marilyn said...

Good advice, Margaret. My biggest problem in keeping the weight off was accepting that I'm a grazer. I'd been taught since birth to eat three meals a day, with maybe a small snack in the evening, but that doesn't work for me. (My other problems are I don't like protein sources very much and I'm a bad shopper, so I rarely have fresh fruit on hand.)

It's been very hard to adjust to the fact that I need to eat five or six meals a day, so too often, I'll grab something sweet or loaded with carbs to tide me over to dinner. In fact, though I've kept the weight off more or less for nine years, I'm still not totally adjusted to the numerous small meals.

June Love said...

Margaret, great blog with a lot of valuable info. I follow the WW plan as well, and have off and on for years. What's been hard to get thru my thick skull is while counting points is good, counting points while making healthier choices is even better. That should be a "duh" moment, but what can I say? Before if I wanted to eat chocolate and use five points, then I would. Now, I try to be more conscious of the way I use my points.

I'm with Marilyn on the mini-meals a day. That has been my downfall. I know an apple can count as a meal, but I'm just not much of a fruit person...except for the fruits you should eat in moderation. I'd rather save my points for a larger dinner, which is a huge NO-NO.

I think the deal is finding what works best for you--as long as you're happy with the results. Oh, and of course, sticking with it. I can attest that the on again/off again doesn't work for me.

magolla said...

I think that's why I'm writing these weight-related blogs, Marilyn. Not everyone has the same trigger point issues. If I grazed all day, then I'd gain a bunch of weigh-- . . . HEY! That's what I used to do! I know my grazing triggers (peanut butter was a BIG one--I've gone cold turkey with it!)

I've also found that I do better eating one balanced meal a day, with about 2-3 snacks. I don't consider my morning smoothie a 'meal' even though it really is a meal. Guess it's all in semantics for me.

magolla said...

You know I'm here for you, June! It isn't an easy battle to lose weight, and no two battlefields are the same. What triggers my eating might not bother you on your weightloss journey.

I've found when eating out portion control is HUGE. Ask for a gluten-free menu--less carbs = less counted points. Divide your plate in half, literally. If you don't do that, then eat slowly until you are comfortable, not full. And then cover your food with a napkin so you aren't tempted to nibble.

Little hints like this are gold when you are retraining your eating habits.

It can be done.

I was rereading your comment and realized that while you might be saving your points for a large dinner, you might be UNDER counting what the items are worth. Which is why I try NOT to use my weekly points OR my activity points.

Here are two examples:
One Johnsonville bratwurst (raw, no bun, no condiment) calculates to 7 points.
one Sam's frozen hamburger patties calculates to 13 points. (no bun, no cheese, no condiments, just the raw meat)

If you order grilled/blackened meat/fish at a restaurant, most of the time they bathe it in butter. So when you look up grilled chicken it really ISN'T 1 oz. = 1 pt. it's more than that.

I think being aware goes a long way. If you go out, try to look at a menu before hand to plan your meal.

Again, June, If you need anything, you know I'll be here for you.

Melanie Atkins said...

Great post, Margaret! Another thing that might have caused your weight gain was the sodium in the restaurant meals. It'll cause you to retain water, too... and help with that temporary gain. It's a bummer, but it's true.

I just ate at a buffet for lunch today, thanks to my mom's obsession with fried catfish... I managed to eat just veggies, a small piece of baked chicken, and a few boiled shrimp. No fried stuff! Still, I probably got too much sodium. I'll have to be careful over the next few days.

magolla said...

I think my issue had less to do with sodium and more to do with 'female' stuff, Mel!

But you have a great point. Sodium is often a hidden culprit.

I just wish I would get into menopause and stay there!

Jody Werner said...

I have nothing bad to say about menopause! No visits from Aunt Flo for over two years now. I have the occasional hot flash, but that's it. Now, if I can just learn to summon a hot flash up when I have to get up at night and use the bathroom when the room is cold!

I've never been a foodie and most days I have to remind myself to eat, so weight isn't a problem for me. But I do make the effort to make sure what I eat is quality food. I rarely eat out and I quit eating before i feel anywhere near full. I DO have to have my dose of sugary sweets every day though, don't even TRY to talk me out of that!

magolla said...

Jody--I think that those of us who tend to eat more than we should need to pay attention to how slender people eat. Sometimes it's a greater metabolism, but other times it's simply eating more fruits and veg, portion control, and stopping BEFORE hitting the 'stuffed' stage.

Pepper Phillips said...

Knowing you have a problem and trying to do something to correct poor eating habits is the beginning.

Hang in there.

Losing weight is hard, hard, hard.

magolla said...

Thanks, Pepper! How's your weight-loss journey going?

Jody Werner said...

It helps that I'm just really neutral about food in general. It's just a necessity for survival. Beyond that, I don't care. Probably why I don't cook :) I'd starve if not for the prepared foods section at whole foods.

magolla said...

*snork* It's a good thing it's easier than ever to get pre-made dinners.

Marilyn said...

Aw, Jody, don't make me hate you. I LOVE food -- cooking it, reading about it, watching others cook it and, of course, eating it. That's one of my problems -- it's never been about nourishment so much as just a boatload of sensory delights! I don't think I've EVER needed reminding to eat. I envy you!

Twisted Sister said...

Thanks, Margaret!
Great tips. I did notice the bread/bloat thing.

magolla said...

Thanks, Meg. I have a love/hate relationship with bread and bread products. *sigh* But I'm well aware of the consequences of eating it, so I'm making an educated decision when I nosh away!