Repost - Unorthodox Review on a Non-diet

I've re-posted this blog in the spring. It's almost the holiday's, and we all need a little help with the extra calories of all the candy, pies, and whatever your traditions are.

I need to re-read this also to remind me why I weigh and measure everything.

I've lost 76 pounds. It's been a year and a half since I reached my goal. I originally posted this right after Mother's day 2009. I continue to weigh every week, and when I creep up 5 pounds I force myself to be diligent about weighing and measuring and I drop the weight. I figure it's a lot easier than if I creep up 10 or 20 pounds.

I know a lot of people are struggling with weight, as I was. I feel so much better now. I hope that I can help a few who are in the same situation I was.

Here is the re-post:
Today I'm going to review a non-diet. I have tried everything under the sun. Here's a story of my weight loss journey as a writer.

Writing vs. Weight:

Writing is a solitary profession. I sit with my coffee, coke or wine on my desk, a bowl of chocolates, candies or whatever at my side. My characters prance around in my head as I put pen to paper. Or in my case put fingers to keyboard.

Day after day as my word count multiplies so does the inches on my butt.

Over the years, I’ve tried every diet known to mankind. I’ve used every excuse of why it doesn’t work for me. Then last year while putting pictures from our recent New York trip into an album, I saw an astonishing site. Me. Good grief. I was a tub of lard. It’s a wonder my hips would fit between the armrests on my office chair.
In New York 5/08
My doctor has this new wonderful thing. Email. So I emailed her in tears and we came up with a plan.

Here is where writing and weight are similar. Writing is personal. Are you a panster or a plotter? What works for you doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for me. And visa versa.
Same with diets, or weight control, or changing your eating habits. You have to find the formula or method that works best for you.

Whenever I’ve dieted in the past I’ve changed my eating habits, I’ve heard this is good. The trick is to keep those habits long term. Never happened. Every time I’d get near my goal I was so sick of the foods I had been eating to reach my svelte figure that I couldn’t wait to eat normal again. So then I’d gradually start to cheat and little by little I’d balloon up again. And I would always reach new heights on the scale.

So what, you ask, is different this time? I eat whatever I want. Would you like me to repeat that? I eat whatever I want. I drink whatever I want. I snack on whatever I want. I just eat small.

My doctor and I came up with a novel idea. Eat correct proportions. While trying to drop the pounds she suggested I try 1200 calories per day. At first, I thought she had a screw loose. What? 1200 calories per day, I’d starve. But I was game, I had the wonderful robust picture from New York on my fridge door.

I knew myself well, I hate keeping a food journal. That was my first and so far only hurdle. I didn’t want to write everything down, use my calculator to add it up, not to mention find the calories for every food. So I Googled calorie counters, thinking at least I could use that as I wrote everything down. I found an online journal for free. It adds everything up for you. Counts your calories, cholesterol, sodium, protein, carbs, etc.

Score! It also has a weight progress chart, measurements, and other helpful things. But most important, most of your name brand foods are already in the system. If you buy private label (Kroger, Smiths, Western family, etc you can download your own). It took me a few days to figure everything out, after that it’s been a piece of cake.

Now I was ready I had a free system to electronically keep track of calories. I knew I wanted to keep to 1200 and mostly I wanted to eat normal.

First morning, I read the cereal box. One cup cereal and one half cup milk. Did the same with my coffee and creamer, yes coffee has calories. All day long I ate everything I would have had I not been counting calories. The only difference, I measured out the appropriate serving. After dinner of that first day, I had two hundred calories left over for an evening snack. I’m serious in order to give you an example I looked back on my online journal.

Going out to dinner can be a bit of a challenge, but not impossible, I have most fast food places bookmarked. I don’t eat the Big Mac’s at McDonalds but I do have a cheeseburger and fries when I take the grandkids there.

When I go to a restaurant if they don’t have nutrition tables on line, then I do the best I can. I eat what I think the correct portion should be and bring the rest home. Someone will eat it for lunch the next day. I’ve been on two vacations, and have not gained. I ate peanut brittle, chocolates, fudge and cookies at Christmas and only gained a half a pound. It was the peanut brittle. And it was because I did not look up the calories before I indulged. I would have still had some, just not as much.

I weigh once a week on Friday’s and I’ve lost a total of Seventy-two pounds. I'm at my goal weight.

I honestly think my success this time is not changing the way I eat, but changing the portions. I do not deprive myself of anything. I don’t have seconds any more and I enjoy eating. Another bonus has been; when I went for my annual check up last March I had such high cholesterol my doctor put me on medication. In August, my cholesterol was normal and I was able to stop the medication. This year at my checkup my doctor gave me high praise and all my tests were great. And I feel 100% better!

I still sit with my coffee, coke or wine on my desk, a bowl of chocolates, candies or whatever at my side. And my characters prance around in my head as I put fingers to keyboard. The only difference is, I count them in my daily 1200 calories and my butt is shrinking.

This has worked wonderful for me. I hope it works for you, after all what have you got to lose?
Mother's Day before we left for Brunch 2009!

I hope you enjoyed this and found it helpful a 2nd time around. October 2010 and still have the weight off...


Caroline said…
Wow, Mary, Congratulations!! What a great and inspiring account of weight loss! I'm impressed with your will power and stick-with-it-ness...and all in one year!!

Good for you--you look fantastic!
I stop by now and then but don't always leave a comment. This time I couldn't resist.
Mary said…
Thank you! I feel a lot better than I did. I had to share. I hope others will try just watching portions. It's so easy.
Hope to see you soon!
Paty Jager said…
Mary, This is the same system I've been using since February. 1200 calories a day. I was bulging in my size 14s and now I have room in 12s. That was my goal to be comfortable in 12s. I'll never get any smaller than that, but I love feeling better and putting on clothes that fit.
I found that same site too!

Mary said…
Thanks Paty! My doctor is so empressed she's telling all her patients who complain they can't lose weight! Congrats on the weight loss, doesn't it feel great!
My biggets problem is, now I want to buy clothes all the time.
This is so inspiring Mary. Congratulations. You look great. Writing is hard on the diet. I keep saying I'm going to stop each hour and exercise a little, but I get caught up and don't. I would love to drop thirty pounds. I may try this. It's so simple it's brilliant.
Anita Clenney said…
whoops, the above post was me. signed in with wrong acct.
Mary Martinez said…
It took a bit to get used to the calorie counter but then it was awesome. And I still use it. Not as diligently as I should. But it helps. And I still weight every week. That way if I go up a pound I'm more careful.

I've stayed between the same 2 or 3 pounds for the last year.
Mary Moreno said…
Mary, this is inspirational! Thanks so much for sharing. I, too, do the calorie counting, food journal thing, but I find that if I allow myself to become over hungry the portion-control discipline goes out the window. Especially when it comes to pizza.

Just curious: Did (do) you also have an exercise program?
Mary Martinez said…
No I don't. I used to run all the time. And it's the only thing I really like to do. But after two torn tendons--and surgeries and then a knee surgery the doc said no more. I walk sometimes but that's about it. I just don't have the patience to do anything other than run. I hate to exercise. Unless it's running.

I keep it off by the portion control.
Cassy Pickard said…
Mary: You inspire me! This is fantastic. I would never have known your history- certainly not by looking at you now. Thanks for sharing and being so open. Many of us are not willing to talk about the struggles "to get it right." I am so impressed.
Mary Martinez said…
I have been on every diet known to man or woman, Cassy. I could write a book. LOL. It would be boring though.

It's a combination of things.
First and most important, you have to decide that you have to get the weight off.
Second you have to be realistic. It took how much time to put the weight on? So it's going to take a while to take it off. 5-10 lbs a month goal is unrealistic and unhealthy.
Third you have to find the right eating program for you.
And fourth, it's a life change, not just while you are losing. If you go back to your old eating habits you'll gain it all back.

That's about it!

I wish everyone good luck with their weight struggles. If I can do it. Anyone can!
Grace Tyler said…
Thanks for sharing, Mary. That is what I am doing basically. I put myself on a calorie limit and am still eating what I want for the most part. But some things have too high of calories and I choose not to spend them all in one place. I started with my limit at 2000 calories, but today I didn't get anywhere near that. It's getting easier!
Mary Martinez said…
Keep it up Grace! And don't try to loose too much in a week. Just take it easy.

Liz Lipperman said…
Sorry, I'm late posting. This is so impressive, Mary. As we all know, dieting is the easy part (I should say easier since it is never easy to lose weight) but keeping it off is the bear. You look great.
Mary Martinez said…
Thank you Liz, and everyone else. I'm sort of impressed with myself. Now I need to take it one day at a time and keep it off forever!
RaShelle said…
Hi Mary,
I recently joined UtahRWA and found your blog. Congrats on the weight loss. I recently discovered the same thing. It really is about eating whatever you'd like - just keeping track of the calories. =D
I am so impressed. You look terrific and healthy.
Ashley Ladd said…
Because of writing all the time, I'd gained a lot of weight, too. Then one day I woke up and worked hard and lost 95 pounds. Then I got off track. Sometimes I blame it on Hurricane Wilma, and my son who kept breaking my scales, but it's really my fault. Anyway, it would have been so much easier to lose the two or five pounds immediately than let it creep back. I regained a lot of the weight I'd lost. I've relost another twenty but it's going much slower this time. I need to get back on track like you. But this time, I'm not going to let myself go back up. I swear I won't.
Ashley Ladd said…
BTW - congrats! You look terrific and I'm in awe.
Mary Martinez said…
Hi All,
All my weight would creep back if I didn't weigh every week. I believe that. So once you've reached your goal keep track every week. Then if it starts to creep you can nip it then when it's only 5 pounds instead of 20.

Good luck to everyone!
Anonymous said…
Mary, you are an inspiration. I can so relate. And you look beautiful. Keep up the great work!

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