Monday, October 20, 2008

It is that flower that you took the time to smell, It is the power that you know you got as well*

I have done some difficult things in my life.

Getting through the first (and second) (and third) years of law school with a sleepless baby at home, for example.

Passing the bar exam (with a sleepless toddler at home).

Leaving behind everything I knew and getting on a plane with $600 in my purse to go start a job in country where I didn't speak the language, or even READ the language.

Adopting a four-year-old from the other side of the planet who had already known two other mothers.

These have all been hard, difficult, challenging things.

And I feel like I did them pretty well.

So, I do not understand why it is so hard for me to make my body do the thing that I want it to do.

Which is, become smaller.

This making me tired. And sad. And I feel defeated and unattractive and not sexy and not pretty. And while I hate that those things are important to me - they are.

(I strive for brutal honesty, and this is the brutally honest bottom line.)

And the thing is, I don't think that I have REALLY committed myself to do what is necessary to at least find out if I can be successful in this endeavor, and I cannot figure out why committing to do what is necessary in this particular thing is so very hard, when I have done much harder things?


It is clear that exercise alone is not enough for me to lose weight. (I exercised like a crazy person for the first 5 months of this year and I have gained weight.)

It is clear to me that doing Weight Watchers in the half-committed way that I have been doing it is not enough for me to lose weight.

I want to know, categorically, that there IS something I can do to lose weight. (Aside from, flying to Vietnam and having crippling anxiety for 3 weeks about whether or not an adoption was going to be approved or not, which is the last time this body lost any weight. (Although I did lose 10 pounds that way, I don't think that's something I want to do again.)

So, this week, I am committing, and I will be REPORTING on that commitment (which might make this blog incredibly boring for the next 7 days - sorry) to follow the WW program to a T. Religiously. All the water. All the veggies. All the fruit. Counting points precisely and sticking to the points allotment.

If the scale is stuck next Monday morning at exactly the place it was this morning (and has been stuck for 5 months now)...well, I'm not sure what steps I will take then.

But, I need to know that something can make that number move...


So, wish me luck.

And send me low-point delicious recipe ideas, if you have them.


*Nelly Furtado, Forca


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yikes. Yeah, trying to lose weight and not losing any sucks. How much weight are you trying to lose? The only thing that every worked for me was cutting my carbs. This combined with taking the stairs, parking further out, etc., really helped. It might take a while, but if you really want to keep it off, it's all about changing your lifestyle. Either way, I wish you the best of luck!

Monday, October 20, 2008 1:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I lost the "Vietnam 10" too -- in exactly the same way (I really didn't care for the US embassy by the way)! It's been just a year since our return from Hanoi and I've gained 15 pounds.:( Yes, I too feel unattractive and have also wondered why I can't seem to commit to weight loss. I too have done much harder things --yes, I had 3 years of hell in law school and fought hard to pass the bar the first time just like you-- wait, am I you, or are you me?!!! Good luck! ;) Signed, another Ohio lawmommy.

Monday, October 20, 2008 2:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

I know nothing about weight watchers recipes, so this is just me being encouraging and saying you can do it! If this week doesn't nudge the scale in the desired direction, I can tell you the only thing that works for me: basically cut out sugar and all processed/refined foods (especially white flour). Ummm, okay, there was the Diet Coke for Breakfast, Slim Fast for lunch, and rice and broccoli for dinner diet that also worked, but I wasn't particularly healthy (note the lack of snacks and fruit and protein in that diet).

Monday, October 20, 2008 2:47:00 PM  
Blogger Terynn said...

A friend who has had great success with WW sent me this blog
This gal is pretty inspirational and has tons of recipes and pointers and seems to be brutally honest (including photos). I see she now has some sort of blog and cheer link...I know once I hit 40, my metabolism ground to a stubborn halt. sigh. Best of luck!!

Monday, October 20, 2008 6:36:00 PM  
Blogger S. said...

I am so there. But if you stick to the points, and write it down--you will lose. You can do it!

Monday, October 20, 2008 9:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Nicki said...

Good luck! By way of support, I have two overweight friends who both made serious commitments to lose weight recently after on and off attempts for years. One has lost tons of weight by doing nothing else but cutting out sugar (not naturally occurring sugar in fruit but all refined and artificial sweeteners). The other is doing WW and has already bypassed her 10% loss and is on her way to significantly more and now weighs less than she did before her last baby 6 years ago. They are both my personal inspirations since, like me, they have both "failed" several times and they give me hope that success CAN happen without radical diets no matter how many times a person can't seem to stick to the plan.

You can do it too and I know you have far less to lose! And I can do it too! But I'm going to wait until after the election, mkay?

Monday, October 20, 2008 9:37:00 PM  
Blogger mam said...

Wishing you luck. And I think you're pretty. In a non-creepy, non-stalkerish way.

Monday, October 20, 2008 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

1) check out, and the hungry girl book at any bookstore...great WW recipes and sassy too.
2) wanna join us Southern ladies in Fit Fridays? check it out on my blog, or at Missy's at for more info...lots-0-support!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 5:31:00 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Good luck. I have had no luck. I did loose the Viet Nam 8. But that came back after 6 months.

I hope it works for you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 5:49:00 PM  
Blogger maxhelcal said...

I hear you Gretchen. I am in the same boat right now. I just don't like the way I'm looking and I am so uncomfortable. I am 41 and it's almost like it started happening immediately on my 40th birthday.

I did the Southbeach diet last year and lost 15 pounds in 6 weeks. Then with Steve commuting and being gone all week before we actually moved....I slipped back and now have gained it ALL back PLUS almost another 18. It is so unfair.

Keep us posted on what works for you. I think it's more metabolism than anything. I don't eat any more than I did before and I think I eat pretty healthily. I am not working now though and so that is probably it too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 8:42:00 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

My personal take on weight/fitness is that a three-pronged approach has the most potential for success:
1. Eat better/diet
2. Aerobic exercise
3. Strength training

I know you said you've "exercised like a crazy person and... have gained weight." My question on this is if you've been merely doing aerobic exercise, or if you've also been doing some sort of weight lifting/strength training to build muscle mass? When I hit my 30s and my metabolism changed, adding weight lifting to my workout routine did some amazing things for me. Building muscle will raise your resting metabolic rate which means -- and this is the cool part -- your body will burn more fat even while just resting.

Also, try not to get too hung up on the actual scale numbers and instead look at your body composition/size (as in, the way your clothes fit). It's completely true that muscle weighs more than fat. I always (when not preggo or postpartum) weigh about the same, within a range of about four pounds, but I can tell what kind of shape I'm in by what size clothes I can fit into. Even though my weight hardly varies, when I'm out of shape I can go up one or two clothing sizes. That's always the real indicator to me that I need to get off the couch.

When my friends ask me for the absolute easiest way to lose weight, I suggest this: join Weight Watchers and join Curves (or some other no-brainer gym that plans a workout for you which combines both aerobic and strength training).

Sorry this is so long, but weight lifting had such an impact on me I can't help but spread the word. Try for the smart women's guide to weight training.

Friday, October 24, 2008 9:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After having 2 babies I want to lose 40 pounds. I am trying cutting way way down on flour and sugar. That works for a lot of friends of mine and it has worked for me before.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Molly's Mom said...

The site itself is a bit cheesy, but the content is wonderful - lots of restaurant point values, recipes, etc.

I need some inspiration myself, these days.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 4:31:00 PM  

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