Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Vanessa's Heavy Topic

Good morning, bloggers!

As you read this, I’m traveling down the road. We need to make 750 miles today, so I won’t have internet access until this evening. Meanwhile, I hope you’ll check in with your thoughts on today’s topic: Weight Loss.

What brought this up? I recently returned to Weight Watchers (I’m a Life Member on bad behavior!) to shed some pounds. I never had a weight problem until my mid-30s. Then I tried everything. Anyone remember the Cambridge Diet? How about Adkins (the original, where you had to test your urine daily to see if you were in ketosis)? I did the Stillman diet, the Grapefruit Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet, Sugar Busters, South Beach, Slim-Fast (Not!), etc. but keep returning to Weight Watchers. Why? Because no food group is forbidden! I love that I can make allowances for a sinful chocolate sundae by using my extra POINTS.

I remind myself of my heroine, Caryn Cook, in A LOSING PROPOSITION, one of the four stories in RESOLUTIONS. She knew how to cook and eat healthfully but had emotional reasons for overeating. I heard from many readers who really liked that I wrote a romance featuring an overweight heroine.

I’ll draw tonight from the participants for one winner to receive a download of the story. And if you like it, you want to get the entire book to learn the fate of Caryn’s three best friends.

Here’s how to be eligible for the drawing: Share your experiences with weight loss programs. What worked, what was foolish and unhealthful, and -- most importantly -- why? What drives people to go on weight loss programs? What are your thoughts about the pressures on young people to stay pencil-thin? What are your diet philosophies?

I look forward to reading all of your stories when I arrive at my sister’s house tonight. So, dish!

Vanessa Hart


Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

I have not tried that many diets, but my weight has been something that I have struggled with my entire life. I did try Weight Watchers and had some success. However, life happened and I got too busy with college to keep track of everything. Also, when you eat out a lot it is hard to know exactly how many calories and what else you are putting into your body. Not to mention my killer sweet tooth and stress eating...but I am getting ready to start back with the WW. I don't really eat a lot. I just don't eat the right things and I drink way too many soft drinks.

I have also seen the unhealthy side of weight loss. I believe in doing it the healthy way, but in college I knew several girls who did not. I had a roommate one time who would not eat for a while and then would binge on odd combos of foods (e.g. yogurt, peanut butter, and Froot Loops...mixed together). I would love to lose weight, but cannot imagine starving myself in order to do so. I want to lose weight the healthy way through diet and exercise.

Sorry for rambling...this is just an issue that has been on my mind lately.

2:24 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

Officially, I've tried a "lose weight and shape up" program at my local gym. It worked, but the food plan was basically a starvation diet, where the total daily calorie allowance was under what a body needs to function well. I was at University then, and was hungry all the time! I'm not sure how I managed to keep my grades up. Needless to say that once the 3-month program was over, and I could gradually re-introduce normal foods into my diet, my weight shot up again. Didn't help that I got bored with the gym...

I've also done the muffin diet, the 3-day diet (you know the one with the tuna and beets? Yuck!) and various others. Usually, the diets work the first couple of times I do them, then, nada. But that's the problem with yo-yo dieting. Your metabolism gets all wonky.

So I've decided not to diet anymore. I'm going to eat as healthily as I can, according to the national food guide, and not beat myself up if I decide to have a treat. I know I'll never be under a size 16, no matter how hard I try. My body just doesn't work that way. So I may as well eat what I want, participate I activities I enjoy and just live my life.

Loaded question: If weight loss programs really were designed to work in the long-term, wouldn't they all be out of business?

6:38 AM  
Blogger LSB Author, Darragha Foster said...

I lost 80lbs on Weight Watchers right after high school. In one year, I went from "cute and chubby" to remarkably gorgeous. Oh, and the boys took notice. I had a job at the time where I was on my feet 12 hours a day, three days a week. Good thing I was young! I maintained that weight loss for 5-6 years. Until I quit that job...and took a desk job.

My weight slowly crept back up for several years. In 1999 (15 years later) I discovered "low carb" and the answer to why I was having all kind of health issues. Shunning refined flours and sugars, upping my intake of lean protein and non-starchy veggies, I lost 60lbs. And kept it off until 2005.

Now...I am a total Willendorf Goddess body type. It's a good thing my husband loves me and loves round women, because, quite frankly, I'm fat. And phat. It's all in how you look at it.

In 2005 my husband became ill, my daughter hit her teenaged years and I gained 35lbs back. I quit taking care of myself.

I made a determination on 2/25/06 in conjunction with my Buddhist women's group to take care of myself again.

I did the doctor appts. I had the blood work. I rejoined CURVES.

I am borderline diabetic now! Never was before!

So...because my health insurance pays for a portion of it, I've joined Jenny Craig. Of course, I have to get a doctor's note...which is in the works.

Portion control and a bit of spoon-feeding is what I want right now. I want someone else to do the thinking for me until I've got my weight down a bit. I'm fairly certain that once my body is a tad bit healthier, that I'll be able to run with my original low carb program that made me so damned healthy 5-6 years ago. I was doing great! I'm ready to get back there.

This novelist is going to get away from her desk every day and take a walk or go to CURVES. My characters will thank me for it later!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Dee said...

I've done Jenny Craig and Atkins, and basically that's it. Not that I haven't needed more, but...

My mom was a big fad diet person when I was growing up, and they never work. It's lifestyle that has to be changed, and while that includes the food you eat and the amount of it, it's not all of it. Jennifer, Mel and Darragha, sounds like y'all have that concept down.

Darragha, you said almost the exact words I did to the Jenny Craig rep! "Tell me what I should eat and when." Their food is remarkably good.

My doc now says, eat smaller portions and eat several times a day, up the exercise as I feel I can handle it, and other than that, try not to stress.


11:19 AM  
Blogger Emma Sinclair said...

*raises hand*

Yep, I'm a Weight Watcher.

This whole writing gig really isn't good for the, well, ass spreadage. So, I started WW a few weeks ago with the first goal of getting into a dress for my BIL's wedding (the dress is 2 years old and I was 50 lbs lighter last time I wore it, so it's not looking great).

I've always been tubby, but over the past few years (since I started writing seriously) I've become downright FAT. So, I'm trying the healthy way to get back to tubby.

I don't need to weigh 110 lbs, I just would like to look like I didn't eat someone who weighs 110 lbs.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Jenna Howard said...

I've been on Jenny Craig since June. My weight has been gradually creeping up since high school and then blam! One day I woke up and said "Enough of this." That and I had planned on going to RT in Daytona and I didn't want a shark to mistake me as a Canadian seal/turtle flopping in the water.

Lately I've been having a tough go of the weight loss between massive stress and a birthday that included massive amounts of food and booze (huzzah!) but I think once I settle down I'll continue decreasing.

Another bonus with JC is that I've had stomach/digestive issues since my gall bladder was removed almost 10 years ago. Because of the portion control and lower fat content my digestive problems have vanished. Even when I had an emergency visit down to Phoenix and I had no JC food, I was able to handle smaller portions and there were no tummy problems. Excellent. Plus I love any diet that will give me double chocolate cake. Yum and mee.

1:04 PM  
Blogger snowflake said...

I haven't really tried out any of the brand name diets. I have tried skipping meals but I stopped when I found out that was unhealthy and cause you to lose muscles. I also tried cutting out meat from my diet before but ended up with low iron levels so I stopped that too.

What I then did was read up about the calories and fat content of typical foods and dishes and try to keep my daily intake within the recommended range. I suppose this is similar to Weight Watchers. I combine this with exercise of at least 20 minutes 3 times a week. I did lose weight but it was a gradual thing.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Emma Sinclair said...

OK, so I'm watching Dr. 90210 - about plastic surgery.

There's a girl on there who's a little bit overweight - rather than, you know, trying to lose weight like a normal person, and the healthy way, she's liposuction and a boob job! Oh, her mother is buying it for her.

And her younger sister (17) just had a nose job and is getting a boob job, too.

A graprefruit diet may be crazy, but people do crazier things, too.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

Good heaven, Emma, I'd much rather eat a zillion grapefruit than have surgery!!


4:40 PM  
Blogger Vanessa Hart said...

You all are having a terrific discussion in my absence! How interesting. It seems we all agree that portion control and healthful food choices is the way to go, not diet. That's exactly the approach Weight Watchers uses. And they're the only diet plan (Correct me if I'm wrong) I know that has a lifetime program. Yes, you keep the wait off, you don't pay anything and are encouraged to go to all the meetings you want, free.

Thanks for the stories, ladies. I'll be drawing later this evening.

Nessie, who arrived safely at her sister's house

7:14 PM  
Blogger Rae Morgan said...

Diet? Me? Hell no. I just eat small and work out-- and yes, I am curvy, but a firm curvy. I thank Pilates and boxing for that. Of course I would be two sizes smaller if I could give up Pepsi. But I refuse. I have no vices -- well, none other than sex -- but that's exercise, right? So, what's a little Pepsi gonna hurt as long as I am healthy and happy.

so, dish about Jenny Craig. I would love someone to plan out all my meals and allow me dessert. I don't eat dessert now since I drink Pepsi -- bet Jenny Craig doesn't allow fully-leaded Pepsi, right? I'd drink diet stuff but I am very allergic to Aspartame (Nutra-sweet) and that Splenda stuff. Makes the left side of my face get numb -- very scary -- gives me migraine-like headaches also.

Okay -- dish on Jenny. Cost? Frequency of meals? Quality?


7:45 PM  
Blogger Pamk said...

I too have always been a little pudgy growing up and then after two kids and quitting smoking my weight really went up. So in 04 I decided to do something about it. I started walking and taking Karate. I walked 3 miles a day five days a week for six months. I took karate the other two days. I also cut all sugar out of my diet. I was so proud of myself I lost 43 pounds. I have since kept it off not kept up the walking or karate but have laid off the sugar except for occasionally. I still need to lose more but I am going to start back walking as soon as it warms up some and my goal this year is 50 pounds and if I loose that much over the spring and summer my reward will be a treadmill for the winter months lol. I hate cold weather

7:51 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

Wow, Pam! That is great!! I'm so impressed.

Rae, I don't remember about Jenny Craig on sodas, since I'm more of a coffee gal myself. They encourage lots of water. But depending on the plan you're on, they send breakfast, lunch, dinner and most snacks to fill out 6 eating sessions a day. You add all perishable stuff. So on the shelf plan--which means all foods can be kept on your pantry shelf--you might need to add a fresh fruit a day, and a vegetable for dinner, or salad. They send salad dressings. Everything is packaged for serving size.

In the frozen food plan, you get soem shelf foods and some that are frozen and you add stuff like veggies and salad. The shelf dinners are all kind of casserole like, but the frozen lunches and dinners are like real food--turkey dinners, sandwiches, Italian, fajitas, and very good muffins and desserts. I think their food is really good.

The frozen plan runs (or did run) between 400-500/month. The shelf plan is slightly less. You can select one of their set menu plans or build your own by selecting the meals you want.

I did the remote setup, which is they sent the food to the house and I talked to someone every week rather than having to go in.


10:08 PM  
Blogger Bec said...

Okay, you're all probably going to hate me but here goes. I've never had a weight issue. What I have seen a lot of though is women who are determined to be what they're not.

My best friend for example is a willowy six foot goddess who insists on constantly monitoring what she eats and commenting on what others eat. One day soon I'm going to shove every derogatory word back down her throat!

I think what happens a lot (even to skinny people like my friend)is that they lose touch with their bodies. Once you stop listening to how your body feels and what it wants, that's when the issues arise.

What's funny is that I put on a few kilos recently (that's about ten pounds I suppose). I gymmed and did all the right things and couldn't move a single pound.

In the last two weeks though, I've stopped obsessing. I still go to the gym, but if I'm hungry for a strawberry milk...that's what I have. I've lost three kilos (six pounds) in the last fortnight, just by returning to eating what I'm hungry for, when I'm hungering! Amazing!

1:13 AM  
Blogger Vanessa Hart said...

Bec, there's a lot of wisdom to what you're saying. People eat for reasons other than hunger, and that's what gets them in trouble. THEN we have to obsess it seems to regain control. Thanks for posting.


10:43 AM  

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