From the August 13th issue of Suburban Mama: Losin’ It

I LOSIN’ IT: The last tencolumn photo

Like Kirstie and Valerie before me, I called Jenny. I was tired of saying: “I just had a baby” to explain my added avoirdupois. After all, it’s been over two years and even the baby is starting to wonder if there is a new baby in mommy’s belly. No, darling, it’s called flab.

I signed up for the 6-week tune up and purchased the food on my planned menu for the first few weeks. They have me on a 1200-calorie plan and boy, let me tell you, the first two days, I thought I was going to die – I was dizzy, crabby and weak. Soon my body adjusted to functioning on lesser calories plus increased activity as I had to commit to going to the gym at least two times a week, apart from chasing my two boys around the house and picking up after them for exercise. The Jenny food is pretty tasty so much so that my baby always wants to “Try some” of mommy’s food.  The plan calls for 3 main meals and 3 snacks so it’s basically eating smaller meals more frequently. Doesn’t Oprah tell us to do this time and again?

I grew up in a family that had to eat everything on our plates. There were always starving children some place (and in our case, it was in our very own beloved Third World backyard.) And anything that wasn’t consumed was deemed a waste. So you can imagine my surprise when coming to America, the land of super-sized meals, people could leave food on their plates, and what’s more, throw it in the trash when they were done. (In the Philippines, our dogs ate the leftovers, but over here you have to be careful about feeding dogs “people-food.”)  When I became a mommy, my natural inclination to “finish” any leftovers extended to my kids’ plates –and you know the damage that does to one’s waistline.

Back to Jenny, in just a week, I had lost a couple of pounds (okay 2) and then a pound a week after that. What’s more, my tummy had gotten used to eating less and so imagine my surprise when on my birthday, I couldn’t even eat half of my slice of birthday cake.

My “Tune Up” is ending this week but I believe Jenny’s done her job.  I’ve learned a lot. Even my family has benefited from the program, as I’ve become more conscious about preparing nutritious meals. Gone are the sugar-laden snacks (okay, well maybe not entirely) and thank goodness for those 100 calorie-packs.

So have I lost weight? A pound or two each week and an inch here and there. I’ve dropped a size but in this weight conscious world I am still considered a plus size.

II YOUTH IS WASTED ON THE YOUNG

I’m not a big fan of diets though I will admit to trying to cut out carbs, fats, and sugar from my meals at some point. I’ve tried cabbage soup for the heck of it,  and I’ve even tried not eating after 6pm. Through all these fad diets, I’ve always known in my heart and mind that the key to losing weight (or staying thin?)  is “smaller portions,” and that eating more fruits and vegetables over all is a good thing. Oh yeah, and of course we all know that daily exercise is important too.

When I was younger, I was blessed with a faster metabolism so that I could eat pretty much anything and not really gain any weight. What’s ironic is that I didn’t  eat a lot back then. As a single twenty-something, career minded carefree rock n roll chick, I subsisted on dumplings and coffee, tomato soup and salad and yes, coffee, and more coffee, oh and really late nights. For a while I was a gym rat though attending step aerobic classes  regularly (which was tough on my knees) and working with weights every other day. And then that too passed, and I was lucky if I made it to the gym at least three times a week.  Still, I was thin, but not skinny, happy as I considered myself the “perfect medium(size).”

When I was pregnant with my first son I was super conscious of what I ate eschewing all junk food and even coffee (not even decaf). I was also religious about pre-natal exercise. So I easily got my pre-baby body back and then some.  My brother came to visit from the Philippines when the baby was one year old and remarked that I was even skinnier than the last time he had seen me two years before. This was no surprise, I was breastfeeding and sleepless. When I had time to eat I could only get a few bites in before the baby demanded my attention! Ah yes, a baby, this was my secret weight loss solution—or so I thought.

You see, during my second pregnancy I was a bit more, shall we say, lax. I had a cup of (decaf) coffee a day and I ate whatever I wanted, foolishly believing that I could easily shed the pounds with “my secret weight loss solution – breastfeeding, sleepless nights etc.”  Well, guess what, I was four years older and well into my thirties, with less exercise and more food, I was doomed to keep that baby weight.
Yes, even two years after the baby. So I found myself in a rut that finally brought me to a weight loss center.

In the end, I may not lose 75 lbs like Kirstie Alley or even 30 like Valerie Bertinelli but I have certainly gained some perspective.

IV
Random things I’ve learned:
Eat less, play more (i.e. get active).
There’s no such thing as spot-reduction.

It doesn’t matter what time you eat, what matters is how much you eat.
Count calories not fats or carbs.
Star Jones had gastric bypass surgery.

4 thoughts on “From the August 13th issue of Suburban Mama: Losin’ It

  1. I was never overweight as a child or even as a teenager and didn’t know until I went to join the Air Force that I needed to lose weight. So I left basic training weighing 123 pounds and most of it all muscle. Surprise! Surprise! I was away from home for the first time and just started eating everything in sight. Well, guess what? I gained nearly 65 pounds. I just realized recently that I was FAT!!! So I joined weight watchers 2 months ago and have lost 20 pounds!!! I am so excited and so motivated!!! When you see the pounds go down…you will do whatever you can to keep the weight going. Don’t lose your motivation!!! Keep going!

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