giving it another go
Mood: hopeful
Posted on 2009-01-06 11:30:00
Tags: essay weight
Words: 162

I am overweight. This displeases me.

I weighed myself every week through 2006 and 2007, and then my record started getting spotty in 2008 (to be fair, we bought a house and stuff). Keeping a log as to how well I was doing seems necessary to actually losing weight, but in the past it would just depress me because the fluctuations seemed random, independent of how "good" I thought I was that week. When I was in Weight Watchers in college I did lose weight, but counting points for every single meal and budgeting them and stuff made me pretty miserable.

So! New plan. Back to weekly weighings. At most one soda a day, and not at lunch. Exercise more, somehow, even though it's difficult when we don't get home until 7. Stop mindless snacking.

Unrelated: I'm no fan of Rice's tuition increases, but I'm glad they're at least raising the no-loan threshold and lowering the cap on loans in aid packages.


Comment from llemma:

I am having a really good experience with FitDay. It's pretty easy -- you just type in the food or workout and it generally already knows all the nutritional information -- and it has lots of geek-friendly charts and graphs, and I find that just inputting everything gives me a good grip on what's going on without making me all eating-disordery.

Comment from liz_gregory:

That's the point of weight watcher's. Keeping track of the food you eat, whether you count points or not, tends to make people more mindful of their caloric intake and helps them lose weight. A nice mix of psychology and biology.

Comment from yerfdogyrag:

One other thought: just simply write down everything you eat. Find a small notebook or something small and geeky. Don't worry about trying to calculate calories.

The main idea is that it simply forces you to think a little more about the food before eating (even if you write it down afterwords).

Comment from liz_gregory:

You might want to take a look at the new weight watcher's online ( They have just (in the past 2 weeks) changed their system to something that can take the point watching and stress about portion sizes out of your day. I've found it much easier to stick to it than previously, because I can use default point values for things, or I can just eat from their list of "filling foods" which keep you feeling full longer and make you less likely to snack.

Three biggest things to do:
1. reduce the full-sugar soda quotient - you've already committed to this
2. watch your portion sizes at each meal, and eat slowly enough that you give your body enough time to decide whether you're still hungry.
3. eat meals and snacks that will actually keep you full for a longer period of time: baby carrots and dip, apple and cheese, etc.

Good luck!

Comment from jenfrazer:

I second the endorsements of FitDay and the new Weight Watchers Online. I used the former to lose 15 lbs and my parents have used the latter since March to lose over 100 lbs between the two of them.

FitDay in particular does a really good job tracking vitamins and nutrients via its food diary, and the activity list is thorough. And your familiarity with Weight Watchers would make it easier to jump back into that.

But my current obsession is the bodybugg. George's brother and sister-in-law turned me on to this over the new year. It's a somewhat pricey body monitor, but I love it. I have no trouble keeping a food diary and tracking calories consumed, but until now, I could only guess at calories burned. My metabolism is demonstrably slower than the typical calculator will assume. The bodybugg measures my personal activity, even the inane stuff like housekeeping, and gives me a more confident assessment of my progress.

Comment from copperwolf:

What's wrong with snacking, if it's on healthful, low calorie food? My understanding is that many small meals, rather than few large meals, encourages a faster metabolism.

Comment from gregstoll:

This is true; however, my snacking is usually of the "I'm bored or need a distraction" variety, not because I'm actually hungry. And then I'll eat a large meal anyway!

Comment from taesmar:

I'm with you on the hating weight watchers tracking thing. My problem with Weight Watchers is that I'd get so crazed with tracking and writing that I was supposed to be taking in 24 points a day (or whatever, I'm making up a number) and I would be at 14 points at the end of the day because I had been so stingy about points early in the day and was petrified about being out of points before dinner.

Also, I couldn't bring myself to blow 10 points on something I really liked because holy crap that's 10 points! I couldn't eat it because all I could think about was the damned points, and how was I really liking it enough for it to be 10 points? But at the same time everything under that looked so damned unappealing I ended up not eating.

I somehow managed to starve myself miserable with the points system, because of the way my brain works. If you're like me, Greg, I understand why Weight Watchers is just an exercise in misery and starvation.

Comment from gregstoll:

When it worked (senior year of college) I was super meticulous about it, writing down absolutely everything I ate and drank. And it worked! But I had the same sort of experience about being obsessed with points. And I'd always feel guilty when eating something that cost a lot of points. (although you'd think that I shouldn't, as long as I wrote it down)

My latest WW attempt I didn't write down anything and it unsurprisingly didn't work at all.

Comment from krikwennavd:

This may seem overkill, but I've heard really good things about the software for tracking food intake and weight.

Also, since I know you're the geek-type, take daily measurements of your weight at the same time every day. Don't be alarmed by daily changes! But graph it, and watch the trend on a weekly and monthly basis.(Daily is too short, but the trend is easier and potentially more meaningful to track if you record it every day)

Comment from gregstoll:

Hmm...maybe I will start daily weighing! If nothing else it will keep me in the "weight-loss mood". And I did sometimes worry about the weekly weighing coming at a weird time or whatever and throwing off the data...

Comment from krikwennavd:

Exactly - keeping track of it daily allows you to watch a trend over any time period(The week you look at doesn't have to start or finish on a Friday) and keeps you from having quite as much chance for error. This'll keep you positively motivated if there is a bump in the wrong direction, and daily reminders are always a good thing when you're trying to keep up with something.

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