9 Is Not 15

Alternative Title, “Don’t Sit Across From A Mirror In The Locker Room”.

From the beginning. Fifty-one days ago I set a goal to lose 15 pounds in 50 days by 55. Saturday was 50 days and the completion of my 55th year on the planet. At the time the goal seemed challenging but reasonable…and necessary. The time passed but too many of the pounds stayed.

Yes, losing 9 pounds is “better than nothing” however, I have always thought this was a poor standard and something people say because they think it will make you feel better even though it never makes them feel better when they hear it from someone else. I do feel and look better with 9 less pounds but I am not where I want to be. So what went wrong?

Well, everything and nothing. The nothing. I said from the start that I intended to lose weight in a way that I could maintain. I did not want to take anything or do anything that once I stopped the weight would return. That I have done. The good news. I dramatically cut my processed sugar intake. Using fruit as a substitute I gave up candy, cake, etc. for 5 weeks. I weakened in the last two weeks but I can come back from that. Prior to that I would have something with lots of sugar most days. Candy bars and  muffins topped the list. I also cut down my caffeinated coffee intake from 5 to 3 cups a week. I expected these two changes plus some added exercise  to be worth close to 15 pounds over 50 days. No such luck.

The everything. I cannot stop eating. The quality has generally been better (more fruits and veggies, lower fat) but if I have one portion then I have three. Not sure what drives that behavior. Rationally I say every day, before every eating opportunity, that I will exercise self-control. But in the heat of the moment something evil takes over my brain. It isn’t even like the cartoons with the devil on one shoulder and an angel on another — there is no angel.

I know people with amazing self-control. They are goal oriented. They do what they say they will do. Apparently that is not me. Darn

So I am working toward my next goal. By Mitch’s birthday, exactly one month after mine, I will drop the six pounds I wanted off in the first place. The sad thing is that to get to where I was just 5 years ago I have several pounds after that. Baby steps. (Remember the movie “What About Bob” with Bill Murray. Hilarious. But I digress.)

Onward and downward. Off with the waist. Getting rid of my Fat Wish (some people have a death wish, mine is a little different.)

…Well you get the point. Check in around July 18. Maybe I’ll do pictures. Maybe.

Food: Addiction or Cure

addiction

The following is the opening from an article published in The Economist titled, “Treatment on a Plate“.

PEOPLE are programmed for addiction. Their brains are designed so that actions vital for propagating their genes—such as eating and having sex—are highly rewarding. Those reward pathways can, however, be subverted by external chemicals (in other words, drugs) and by certain sorts of behaviour such as gambling.”

The article goes on to describe the world’s improved understanding of the biochemistry behind addiction. Beginning to be, though not thoroughly, tested are theories that certain foods can help mitigate the cravings of addiction. These foods are ones known to have other health properties such as nuts, seeds, brown rice and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if food rather than drugs could help beat addiction? Just one question. What do people like me who’s addiction is food do?

Yes, I am a food addict. Only bicycling 50 miles a week kept me from blowing up like a balloon over the summer. In normal years I would lose weight during the cycling season but this year I was lucky to just to maintain. As soon as it got too cold to bike 5 pounds instantly appeared in my belly.

I eat due to stress. I eat the wrong things, those high in fats and processed sugars. Even when I eat healthy things, I eat too much. There is no such thing as portion control in my world.

So if food is the addiction is there a food cure for food? That would make it easy.

Fat Belly. Not My Fault

(Two articles on back to back pages of Monday’s Chicago Tribune caught my eye.This is story #1)

Welcome back self esteem! You know the extra 10 pounds that I have been carrying causing my gut to hang inches over my belt? Not my fault. At least not completely. Assuming humans react the same ways as mice and monkeys, scientists have discovered that it is stress not my lack of will power over food that causes me to look pregnant (without the glow). Yessiree Bob. Stress, along with a high fat/ high sugar diet,  produces neuropeptide Y. It is this hormone and not the pizza and candy that cause people to scream “thar she blows” every time I go to the beach.

Seriously, I have wondered why riding a bike 50 miles each week hasn’t made a dent in my waistline. I do fell stress now and again–and again and again. Maybe there is something to this neuropeptideY.

I still believe a sensible diet and exercise are the key to weight loss. I am confident however that millions of Americans will continue to eat like starving hogs assuming they can get their N Y shot and lose the gut. Why do the work when a drug does it for you?  What a country!