Archive for the ‘Successful Loser Logic’ Category

Follow the Loser – Dining Out…

August 27th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Summer and the fun that comes with it isn’t over yet! I’m sure there is more dining out to come in the near and far future. I thought it would be timely to tap into our successful weight loser logic on strategies they use when eating out.  Continuing on the “successful weight loser” theme written about in July, here are more juicy tips, this time about dining out.

My good friend and colleague Cara Rosenbloom and I conducted a survey on successful weight losers a few years ago. These women provided pearls of wisdom on many aspects of their lives and today the spotlight is on how they approach dining out:

  • I do my homework before I go to the restaurant by looking up nutritional information and decide what I’ll order. This takes the guess work out for when I get there.
  • The portions have gotten out of hand. I either choose something from the kids menu or I just cut my plate in half and eat that portion only, bringing the rest home.
  • I eat lighter during the day. If I’ve over-indulged, I try and cut back the next day, and increase my activity level.
  • If there’s wine at the meal, I have a spritzer first, or alternate drinks with sparkling water. I choose to spend the calories on the food rather than the beverages. If I do choose to have wine, I’ll begin drinking it after the food arrives.
  • I have found that because I have maintained my weight for about 6 years now, that I don’t have to think about controlling my appetite. I use strategies that have become second nature to me such as make sure to put down my fork and talk to the company I am with.
  • I stop and monitor if I am hungry and decide if I will continue eating or not.
  • I box up any extra food left and take home for someone else to eat, or for my lunch the next day.
  • I am watchful of portion sizes. I don’t mind asking for a container to take the remainder home.
  • Serving size is my biggest challenge. I try to eat slowly and talk lots!
  • I try to take an extra walk during the day. I am to eat less and keep busy during the day , plus I drink lots of water.
  • I wear a fitted waistband!
  • I try to avoid being overly hungry for the meal. I’ll eat something before I leave home like a piece of fruit, or some yogurt, or even some bean salad so it will stay in your system for a while. So if I’m not that hungry I’ll eat less.

If you’re eating out way more than usual, paying attention to the finer details will surely help you manage keeping a handle on your handles and your weight more effectively while getting maximal enjoyment from eating out.

Check out Chapter 9 in my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books with an array of tips and tricks for “Facing Routine Curveballs and Challenges” that everyday life brings. Cheers!

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Snap Back to Normal Post Vacation

August 13th, 2015 2 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Who doesn’t love a vacation? The readjustment once you return home isn’t for the faint of heart though. After you’ve clicked the heels of your proverbial ruby slippers it’s time to hit the ground running after being in la la land – don’t you think? Gone are the breakfast buffets, lunch choices galore and over flowing glasses of wine. You can still hear Billy Joel sing “..bottle of white, bottle of red..” Time to change the tune; we will overcome!

Vamoose Your Caboose – My most important rule of thumb is to vamoose yourself back into your pre-vacay eating and activity routine and FAST. Porridge anyone? Though get thee to the grocery store to stock up on a multitude of healthy choices STAT. Bye bye truffles on your pillow, a fond and tasty farewell.

Ignore the Gypsy Music – It is also imperative to be mindful of the grumbling games your stomach will be making. Don’t confuse this gypsy music as hunger, but from overeating day after day. Yes folks reality bites! I usually find it takes a few days to get my tummy stretch receptors back to normal by eating smaller amounts. Ensure half your plate is fruits and veggies at every meal and stick with water as your go-to beverage. Be patient and tune out the grumbling.

Bend, Stretch & Move – It’s also time to to blow the dust off your mat and weights and resume your full array of exercises with GUSTO. I’ll confess that sometimes when I’m away the only sit up I’ve done is rolling out of bed in the morning. Time to feel the burn by reigniting your routine.

Is a Cleanse On your Mind? – Some people wonder if a GI cleanse is in order. Hmmmm good question. The only maneuver like that I’d recommend is booking your colonoscopy if you haven’t scheduled it. Other than that your own liver and kidneys will do the job for you while you load up on fresh produce, home cooking and water.

Here’s a little rhyme on the topic….

A mound of laundry
A pile of mail
My porridge bowl
And bread gone stale

A grocery list
In need of stuff
The long flight home
Now enough is enough!

A dinner offering
Not paired with wine
Back to my walk
When the morning sun shines

Time-change adjustment
Need a fast switch
My mat and weights
I’m feeling the itch

It’s great to travel
Love a change of scene
But snap back to normal
With your trusty routine!

Really though, there’s no place like home…..

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Follow the Loser – Vacation Tips

July 2nd, 2015 No Comments

Canada Day has come and gone with more vacation days looming as the seasons unfold. Some might think it’s easier to stay on track with eating and activity goals with summer here and bountiful produce is around. Nay, nay I say! I think for many there’s a “party hearty” mood with more opportunities to eat, drink and be merry to the max. If you worked diligently to tone your beach body why not work in ways to stay in shape for the duration.

My good friend and colleague Cara Rosenbloom and I conducted a survey on successful weight losers years ago. We surveyed women who made it from Fat City to Slim Town. These women anonymously spilled a hill of beans on this (and many other topics) on how they approach vacationing. Let’s review some tips of the successful loser Slim Town-ites… enjoy the cornball names!

Eating, moderation and finding balance

“Plan ahead and have some of the things you love, but don’t totally overindulge.” – Pamela Prudence

“I never go to an eating occasion hungry.” – Edith Wise

“Lose the “all or nothing” mentality that comes with vacation eating and drinking ‘amnesia’.” – Debbie Dealmaker

“I make sure I have healthy snacks on hand.” – Nora Nibble

“Balance what you eat. My tip: eat before you go to those meals. The edge is off your appetite so you are less likely to overeat.” – Sandy Satiety

“I eat what I want, but small portions and in moderation. If I overeat, I exercise longer the next day.” – Patty Prioritize

“Maintain food limits 80% of the time and enjoy drinks or desserts 20% of the time.” – Fanny Figure

On activity and exercise

“Keep exercising, even on vacation. If you overindulge one day, eat better the next few days to compensate.” – Jill Jockology

“On holidays, I’m usually more physically active because I’m out of the office.” – Mina Move-It

“Exchange my regular routine with other things like walking on a beach, stretching and spot exercises.” – Chaz Changeup

“I actually like working out when I’m away. It’s a new gym or a new place to run. And I feel extra-proud of myself for having done it! Still, I’ll eat everything (in moderation), because… it’s a vacation!” – Amy Attitude-Adjustment

These women appear to have their routines down pat and priorities figured out – balance and moderation are keys to their success. They do partake in the holiday eating while continuing activity to offset the intake. Very wise words to follow as more vacation days unfold, don’t you think?

Check out Chapter 9 in my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books with an array of tips and tricks for “Facing Routine Curveballs and Challenges” that everyday life brings.

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Twitter Taddler: Crash diet? Don’t try it!

May 27th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

You know that it’s spring not only when the blossoms have bloomed but also when the crash diet industry’s false promises are on the airwaves. While on Twitter recently, I noticed a barrage of attention grabbing “before and after” photos with promises to get you skinny in a jiffy, good grief. When I looked closely some “after” shots didn’t even look like the same person. What gives?! Whatever you do, don’t fall for it. And yes Dr. Oz, one of those tweets was yours!

I made a conscience decision to begin this year posting a series to help you to jump start your regimen to propel you into a slow and steady behaviour modification “change project” to a healthier you. What’s the rush? If you are now ready to make some changes, press the “start” button and consider some basics first. Avoid getting sucked in to those claims with empty promises that seem too good to be true.

Take a look at my ebook to support you in your quest: Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books Here are a few of the posts to help you get started:

Save your money, like magic – Do you believe in magic? The child in me would like to. But my adult brain knows full well about illusions. Many plans, pills, procedures and products promise mystical results. That’s what desperate dieters want: fast, easy, magical solutions to solve their weight problem. Don’t fall for them!

Super starvation nation – I divulged the ultra-low-calorie diet blunder that twisted my eating into a tailspin for years in my ebook so I understand the allure of “quick fix” promises. The physiological truth is when anyone goes on an ultra-low cal diet, they will lose weight, and fast, especially the first time they try it. The inconvenient truth is that we humans are biological beings with a penchant for survival. Once you go on a fast like that, guess what? The next opportunity you get to eat freely you won’t be able to stop until a week next Sunday —of next year, probably longer. Yes those food floodgates will surely fly open.

Super low-cal regimens can have long-lasting negative effects on many levels. I learned the hard way and I don’t want you to do the same. Some people try these scary schemes over and over again and tank their metabolism and self-esteem. Each rebound results in a greater amount of weight gain. Each time you try again, the weight loss is harder and harder to achieve. Do you know why? Our masterful machine is protecting itself by becoming more efficient. Your metabolism will slow down which is exactly what you don’t want when you try to lose weight.

Experts say that the lowest daily energy we should ever fall to is 1,200 calories for women and 1,600 for men, a far cry from this delinquent dietary quota.

You may lose weight because of the ultra-low calories prescribed. You will not, however, keep the weight off because you will eventually revert to your previous ways. From now on when you hear the word “fast” in the name of a diet you’re enamoured with, that’s the speed you should travel in the opposite direction away from it!

So folks, take your time and make small changes. You will eventually succeed. Your physical, mental, emotional health and wellbeing depend on it. Spot the snake in life’s game of Snakes and Ladders and move on.

A bigger part of me – grab some flab – Let’s have a reality check, shall we? Take a moment and grab your tummy roll or flabby thigh or arm flap – look at it, pinch it, realize it. This extra fat is part of your very body. It is integrated throughout your complex systems with your circulation flowing through it in every appendage, all over your torso, your neck and head, everywhere.

Losing this excess fat like that junk in your trunk isn’t like emptying a pot of tea (“turn the handle and pour me out”). Don’t you wish? It’s much more complicated than that and needs time. Your self-image is affected in part by this excess fat too. So losing weight affects you deeply both physically and mentally. It takes time to lose it safely without compromising your temple. Be kind to your “body as temple” and as I like to say “Don’t mess with the machine, your bodacious body!”

Yes spring has sprung folks and if you were slow out of the gate to build your beach body in the New Year, relax and take stalk. Slow and steady is the name of the game to successful weight loss taking the trek to Slim Town if you want to make one last trip and stay there!

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If you don’t use it….

May 20th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Oh for the love of spring activities. I found myself moseying down to the centre of town in Kelowna, BC recently. A mile in any direction sports about from beach volley ball, mountain or trail walking, running, biking, paddling, swimming, golfing – you name it, people of all ages were doing it! Seeing so many “movers and shakers” participating in their own “movement movement” inspired me. My heart smiled as I passed through.

I too was a runner many decades ago. Well a jogger, really. I participated in a multitude of 10 kilometre (10k) fun runs and a couple of 20ks. That’s the extent of me actually doing a marathon – adding smaller races together to equal one big one. I would aim to beat my personal best time. I usually ended up in the last quarter of the group. Truly though, I’m not very athletic, not flexible enough to touch my toes on the first try, not really strong with my spaghetti arms as appendages. Nonetheless, I move, I stretch, I lunge, I burpee and I lift weights. I’m more like a tortoise, using the slow and steady strategy to win the race – my race.

When I took up jogging in my “big-boned” teen years, I distinctly remember that first time out. My Dad mapped a one-mile route to get me started. What I thought would be a cinch in the car felt like a one-mile marathon on the street – feet pounding, thighs rubbing, sucking in wind with a sharp stitch in my side. Am I there yet? What, another block to go? Oh the pain!

Being a hard-headed Italian, I was too proud to stop. As the weeks passed during those early stages, jogging that one-mile became easier. Soon, I yearned to do two miles then three, then four…

Jogging taught me the importance of setting goals and the euphoric sense of accomplishment when I reached them. It’s symbolic for any goal you make in life. If you are standing at the starting line of a marathon-long type challenge, break it down into blocks and tackle one block at a time. In time you’ll be meeting personal goals that add up to significant change over time and will stick with you for good.

My exercise regimen has morphed through the decades. I used to jog; now I walk. Whether you’re an iron-woman Viking or someone content with walking, the important thing is that you do something, anything. Our bodies were meant to move; we’re meant to run, walk, jump, dance, ski, rollerblade, swim and saunter, although some better than others. Neighbourhood malls are safe-haven walking trails for fair weather types. If you haven’t already done so, join in. There really isn’t any excuse not to participate especially this time of year. Because at the end of the day, it’s true: if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out my ebook, Skinny on Slim, the Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

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Shades of Grey 5 MORE Ways

February 18th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Thought I’d follow that “shades of grey” theme from last week. There certainly are a multitude of grey zone issues in the realm of food and nutrition. I thought I’d feature a few more for you to digest!

Test, Test, Put Your Favourite Food to My Eating Satisfaction Test - Gotta love a test involving savouring your most favourite food, right? I used to be in love with anything deep fried, salted that went CRUNCH, until I put it to this test and it fell off my favourite food list. Go figure! My love of pie however, has endured…

Thoughts on Healthy – Everyone who eats is a self promoted nutrition expert, it would seem. From, “Eat your carrots!” to “Don’t let Timbits touch your lips!” and more. What’s my favourite line of singer Barry White “…too much of anything’s not good for you baby….” Right on Barry!

Weighing in on “Full” – Why is it that fullness and satiety are so elusive and ever changing? Here are some tips to help you get more satisfaction with less which’ll bring you double the joy AND more eating enjoyment!

Grey Matter Matters! – This is less about grey zone and  more about grey matter…I write on about eating well and getting fit, but alas I have spent too little time writing about ways to nurture your noodle – your bountiful brain. Grey matter should be top of mind!

What’s the best diet out there? – This is “greyist” question of them all! What can I say in short: own it, stick with science, don’t mess with the machine, follow the loser and enjoy the journey!

So there you have it folks, another smattering of grey zone food and nutrition issues to mull over as February rolls on. Anyone can manage in the absolutes of black and white, but the grey zone is where real complexities lie.
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Shades of Grey 5 Ways

February 11th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

We live in a world filled with shades of grey. I assume you can create your own steamy 50 Shades of Grey sequel for Valentine’s without advice from this square RD! It is good, however, to learn to manage life in the grey zone on many fronts. The world of food and nutrition is no different, there are numerous “grey zone” issues to make sense of. So here you go a compilation of food and nutrition grey zone issues. Some food for thought to help build your love affair with food and activity. Enjoy!

Thinking of trying a diet? Put it to my Thanksgiving Dinner Test - Want to know what I think of any diet plan you’re contemplating? Put it through my simple test to see if it passes, if it doesn’t don’t give it another thought. Save your effort and money.

What’s so super about “super food” you ask? – What’s the “food jag du jour”? Is quinoa still in or is it barley? Should I awash myself with droplets of hallowed vitamin water…drip, drop, drip? Does an apple a day still keep the doctor away? Let’s get to the bottom of what’s really super, shall we!

Enjoy Maxing Out Nutrient Richness – Get real with your food. Now is a perfect time to up the natural nutrient richness in your diet. Calorie counting is SOOOO yesterday. Put the abacus away already! Fill yourself up with natural goodness containing more nutrients. Your body will smile back at you when you do!

Keeping Your Activity Routine Flexible – So much has been written about staying limber. Even more needs to written on how to keep our activity routines fluid and flexible to help us keep active every season, on busy work days, on fun holidays, when the sun’s shining or when snow is pelting. I know one thing for sure, KEEP MOVING and while you’re at it, make it a double (2 times a day!)

Grey Zone on Bad Food, Good Food & Piglets - One of my readers outed her “ice cream lovin’” Dad a while back. So I tried to set the record straight. Now I have a regular reader, guess which one?

So there you have it folks, a smattering of grey zone food and nutrition issues to mull over during this month that’s been very grey of late. There is beauty in grey, so embrace it. Once you learn to manage in that zone, you’ll know how to spot garbage when you read it and will be sailing right along…upward and onward ho!
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How are your goals taking shape?

February 4th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Well, well, well, the calendar page has turned to February already. So how are your goals taking shape now that we’re well into 2015? If you were planning to make some significant changes in your regime this year and have slipped up a bit, don’t lose heart; that’s part of the journey to a healthier you. Let’s review, reflect and reframe!

Journalling Journey – Have you considered starting journalling your eating and activity journey this New Year? As you get into the groove of jotting details in a journal you will begin to uncover your eating and activity finger print. If your one major goal for 2015 is to create a love affair with eating and activity then let it all hang out in your journal. After all it’s for your eyes only. Let’s get to the bottom of what’s been holding you back. It doesn’t need to be January 1st to start, every day is a perfect day to make a goal or two. Press the “start” button today!

3 x 3 Triad to Success – I wrote about working on changing 3 habits x 3 weeks starting with the easiest ones first. How’s that going? Beginning with the easiest behaviours to master first is a brilliant way to get your motivation soaring, even if you haven’t totally bought in to all of this yet. Don’t take any shortcuts and stick out each 3-week interval to ensure you fully adopt new positive habits. If you need more time, take it. If you want to only work on 1 new behaviour at a time, then go for it!

Focus on Behaviour, Not Food – I love encouraging people to focus on non-food goals, allowing all food to fit. I’m a food loving Italian after all, remember? This will get you focusing on your eating experience more completely and in time will help you lose the guilt of eating your favourite foods. You’ll even enjoy your food more. This approach is essential if you truly want to love your food more. We can all use more love in our lives, keep at it!

Getting to Love Your Moves – I also want you to build a loving relationship with your activity too. Some people have sour memories of being picked last for dodge ball in gym and hate the thought of being humiliated when doing sports and exercise. I get it! I want you to take the pressure off, no Lululemons needed for you. Work on healthy and stealthy “interval training” by finding 15 minute intervals to begin your personal “movement movement”. In time you will build up the number of intervals you do each day because you’re feeling good and your body is yearning for it. No need to get ahead of yourself at this point, but let’s press the re-start button and lose the old adage of “no pain, no gain”. Who needs more pain? No one, that’s who!

Stoke Motivation with Rewards & New Habits – Whether you’re aiming to lose weight or get more fit this year let’s use a positive approach. Working in ways to get and stay motivated is worth your time and effort and everyone around you will be happier too! Have you started that endorphin diet too? Help make yourself happier every day by flooding your senses and staying pumped.

There you have it folks, here’s a positive beginning to your year without restrictions and pressure. Find out more details in my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books and let’s keep the momentum soaring!

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One Plan to Rule them All?

January 20th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , ,

We all wish that there was one simple plan to guide us to nutritional nirvana, don’t we? If there were, we wouldn’t have a perplexing global obesity epidemic on our hands. You’ve heard that saying “viva la difference”. It’s true, we are all so different, so how can one plan be “it” for all of us. Simply put, it cannot.

1,000 Ways to Do the Same Thing Right – I have learned from counselling numerous families that there are a thousand ways to do the same thing right. When someone tells me they lost weight following Weight Watchers and someone else touts positive results by embracing Bob Greene’s regimen, I say “good for you!”. I believe the essence of success lies in owning whatever plan you choose and superimposing it into your everyday life. It may sound cliche, but it’s true.

The Other Holy Grail - The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) tracks key details of people who have lost weight successfully and kept it off for two years or more; as I tend to call them “successful losers”. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t go to Bernie Madoff for financial advise, but would listen to a successful guru like Arlene Dickinson, wouldn’t you? The NWCR found that 45% of their study sample lost weight on their own plan while 55% lost weight with the help of some type of program. As I said, there are many ways of doing the same thing right.

Own It! – If you want my wisdom on what could be helpful for you, be an active participant in whatever you decide to do. If you want an easy-peasy plan, start right where you are and try to move a few small steps for the better, such as trying the 3 x 3. It’s kind of like dietary Snakes and Ladders where you do your best to land on the ladders as you progress! For me, many years ago, I wasn’t willing to “give up” any of my favourite food, but I was willing to work on small behavioural changes bit by bit. Examples included slowing down my eating pace, focusing on my degree of fullness and only having one serving of each type of food at meals (if I wanted seconds and was still hungry I’d have more veggies). I also made a pact that I would commit to a slow weight loss. After all, what’s the rush!

Biology & Physiology Prevail! – The other important element is that whatever regimen you choose, it needs to be in alignment with basic biology. Some people like the sound of a new fangled plan because it’s novel, in vogue and has cache. The last time I checked the fundamentals of biology and physiology, they haven’t changed….. for thousands of years. I’ll break it to you, our bodies need all nutrients consistently to function optimally. Period. Some people gloss over this important fact, yet it is essential to our health and well being. Ensure your plan is balanced nutritionally whatever you choose. Follow the manual and don’t mess with the machine… your bodacious body!

Save the date? NOT! – Also, dash the notion of losing weight by a certain date, occasion or season. Stay in the moment and do the best you can do “just for today”. When we focus on all of our “todays” all of the tomorrow will fall into place sooner or later. If you need a breather and want to work on maintaining for a while, take the time and do this the last time… ever!

Follow the Loser! – Check out the National Weight Control Registry for more information and learn from those who have succeeded already. It’s a perfect place to start! If you want some reinforcements, check out my ebook Skinny On Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

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Weighing In On Weighing In

January 16th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

I have been focusing on myriad ways to keep motivated for the start of 2015. I featured creating your own personalized reward system then highlighted more ways to stay pumped too. I now want to discuss weighing yourself and staying positive. I divulged in my ebook Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books my salacious relationship with my bathroom scale decades ago. Weighing yourself is necessary, but find a schedule that isn’t going to make you nuts. Listen up!

Consistent monitoring – getting a reality check
Three quarters of successful weight losers weigh themselves regularly. Keeping tabs on your weight or dimensions is key.

Ignorance isn’t bliss; awareness is! Whether it’s on a Monday, before and after a vacation or during “eating marathon seasons” like Christmas, it’s important to have a reality weight check using the same scale or clothing to keep a handle on your handles.

Weighing in doesn’t necessarily mean tracking pounds or kilograms. I didn’t own a scale for years after breaking up with mine after our relationship went sour. During that time, I used my trusty skinny jeans instead as my reality check and got weighed at my annual physical.

Monitoring makes it near impossible to fool yourself; you can’t argue against facts.

However you choose to monitor yourself, do it regularly. It’s easier to get back in check after gaining a few pounds rather sliding with a ten-pound spike.

Motivation consternation – got that bloated feelin’ ladies?
I’m not a big believer in weighing yourself too frequently while you’re gunning to lose weight. Many gals retain water during those two “weeks of bloat” before the first day of your period (day 1 of your cycle). Why does every diet program ever created dictate you weigh yourself daily or weekly is beyond me? All you’re doing is demotivating yourself when you hop on the scale and witness the needle tilt upward due to bloat. As if we need another reason to get cranky. “Ok just hop on that scale 14 days in a row while you’re retaining fluid, sister.” Stop the madness!

Following this makes no sense whatsoever. This is why I suggest you only weigh yourself on days four and 10 of your cycle. Then do yourself a favour and stay away from anything that resembles a weigh scale in between. Not following my advice will give you consternation, just what you don’t need while you’re PMS-ing. When I think back to my heated obsessive relationship with my bathroom scale I’m surprised I didn’t go totally off the deep end when I weighed myself daily, especially during those two weeks of bloat.

I have been weighing myself every day this past week as an experiment of sorts while drafting this blog post. Case in point, my weight has fluctuated up and down, sometimes over 3 pounds in one day. I have been eating and exercising fairly regularly and I have not eaten out at a restaurant since last weekend. Despite that, my weight has gone up and down like a yo yo. Time for me to abort that mission now that this has been posted… Take a breather ladies, follow my advice and weigh yourself less often to help keep your motivation UP!

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