Think it Takes a Degree in Anatomy to Figure out the Diet du Jour? Think Again!

By Dawn Cranfield

Think it takes a Degree in Anatomy to Figure out the Diet du Jour? Think Again!

When my ex-husband approached me during our last reconciliation attempt and said “You’re fat, and it’s unattractive,” I was stunned.  I wanted to jump up on my soapbox and scream at the top of my lungs, “You should love me just the way I am!”

However, there was no denying the truth; I was fat, and it was ugly.  After years of being on every anti-depressant and mood altering prescription, my body had morphed into something I had not recognized.  Besides, I was still carrying around baby weight from having two children; never mind the baby weight was likely rancid from being 13 years old.  As much as I wanted to think he was a jerk, the way everybody else has the many times I have retold this story, he was right.

In order to meet the goal weight he had pre-determined for me of 135 pounds, I needed to lose 75 pounds, though I wanted to reach 120; he was certain I would never make it, so he would be happy with the higher goal.  He bought a scale and I followed a few incredibly simple guidelines.

1) I weighed myself every day – the way I viewed it was I could celebrate every half pound, and if I saw myself slipping, I would know immediately.  If you are only weighing once a week, it may take some time before you notice any change.  For example, if you are retaining water.

2) I spent $0.97 and got a 2 inch by 3 inch notebook that I could carry with me everywhere to use as a food and exercise journal.  Each day I began by writing my weight, everything I ate including calories and fat grams, and any exercises I performed.

3) I worked out every single day.  I never joined a gym, but I got up at 4:30 in the morning and did Pilates in my living room with a DVD, then started with a walk, graduating to running as I lost weight; on my lunch hour at work I went running (luckily we had a shower there), and after work I went to our local university and ran the stairs.  On the weekends I did activities with my girls, we went for long bike rides by the river, running, hiking, and attempted to play tennis.

In less than a year, I had lost 90 pounds and accomplished my goal of 120 pounds, surpassing my husband’s desire of 135.  It was not easy; I spent every night making two meals, one for me and one for my husband and children.  Every Friday night, they ordered pizza and I would eat Boboli pizza bread with olive oil, onions, tomato, and garlic salt.  When we went to the movies and they had popcorn, candy, and soda, I drank water.

Even during the holidays, I managed to lose weight; I never denied myself the sweet treats I loved, but instead of having a piece of fudge every time I walked by the dish, I would take one and write it down in my food journal.  I did not take cheat days, because I knew I would only be cheating myself.

Many people have asked me, “How did you lose so much weight so quickly?” My response was always, “I started eating right and exercising.” Their comeback has often been, “Oh, that won’t work for me, I have tried it.” Still, I believe it is the only thing that does work.  It is simple; you have to burn more calories than you take in, basic mathematics.

Not everybody has to work out as many times a day as I did, but I was determined to lose the weight; and I found the added benefit to my psyche was helpful since I no longer took the anti-depressants.  If you are willing to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for food programs, determine how to calculate the number of carbohydrates to take in at the expense of your brain cells, or drink only liquid shakes, then my simple program may not work for you.

However, if you can take the hard work, monotony, and you can walk away from the holiday treats, this will work for you.  Just remember what I used to tell myself – Do Away With Negativity

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.