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Slow-paced dieters? Let's rally!!

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Hi everyone!  I've read so many threads where people are dieting quickly and eating like 1300 calories a day and stuff like that.  I've got a very slow-paced goal for myself.  I want to lose 63 pounds but plan on doing so over the next 23 months.  I'm in no rush and don't have the discipline to "crash diet". 

I'm consuming 1700-2000 calories a day and trying to work out 20-30 minutes/day but I'm REALLY bad at motivating myself to do that, especially during the August heat.  I'll be doing more bike riding as fall comes closer. 

So, who else out there is dieting slowly?  Who needs motivation to work out?  Let's get on each other's friends lists and start supporting each other.
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Hi everyone, I am now back on line as I am back at work.  God I hate Mondays!  I am also back on the diet with a vengeance as from today.  After a trip to NY I then went to Spain for five days - lovely grub at both places.   I checked my weight on Friday and found that I had gained 2.5lbs, but I have since shed that.  So I reckon that all this slow dieting really pays, as the weight just stays off which is great news. 

So its back to the black coffee, lots of water, and salad for lunch but in some ways I am looking forward to a bit of a "detox" especially after all the sangria I have been drinking.......

cc wrote: "Is it obsessive of me that I'm considering always eating at chains with nutrition info already in the database? *g* As rarely as I eat out, it might be possible."

It would certainly be a timesaver! I’m finding this weight loss process can really gobble up the time, between calculating food and the time spent exercising! No way am I going to give it up, but if you find the franchise for adding more hours to the day, let me know. (And I wish I didn't have to equate chewing with having a meal; Slimfast sounds like a great solution to all the time spent calculating and preparing special meals! I spent 3 hours yesterday making meatless low fat enchiladas! Guess that was my [Canadian] Thanksgiving dinner.)


Hi - thought I'd join in since slow weight loss seems to be working out for me.

I started in January at 173 and now I'm 153, which probably works out at less than a pound a fortnight, but hey, at least it's working!
Oct 08 2007 23:19
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Mageeg: Happy CTG! Was that a traditional meal? *g* Sounds very good--I'm thinking Mexican food, now, which can be dangerous. I'm a Okie who was raised on it, and I can put away an astonishing amount. I haven't tried tweaking any Mexican recipes to fit my diet plan, yet--how about posting your recipe?  The SlimFast thing, it's a fairly big lifestyle change, yes, but I'd been drinking them for nutrition, already, so I just altered my diet some more to better suit the traditional SF plan. As for grazing the way I do, eating all day long is something I've always been down with. *g* I just do it more judiciously, now. This is something I think I'll be able to do for a long time, fortunately, since 80 lbs is a long haul. (And I may be down another lb, today, yay! It's my first day at 224, and I don't claim the lb until it's been gone for at least two days. *crosses fingers for tomorrow*)

Emmylou: Welcome! You're absolutely right that whatever works for you is what's good. Congrats on what you've managed so far! As long as that trend is steadily downward, you're succeeding. Someone told me, a long time ago, while I was fretting with impatience that I couldn't drop 20 lbs right that minute, that a year was going to pass, anyway. I could lose slowly and be 20 lbs lighter at the end of that year, or I could fret and flail because it wasn't happening at the speed I wanted it to, get frustrated and quit and end the year just as heavy or heavier than I was--which did I want? And though it was hard for me to accept back then, I get it, now. That year will go by, anyway. I could spend it slowly and gently losing and be happier and healthier at the end of it, or not. It was up to me. I'm all about the slow and steady and happy and healthy, now. :)

Original Post by cc:

Mageeg: Happy CTG! Was that a traditional meal? *g* Sounds very good--I'm thinking Mexican food, now, which can be dangerous. I'm a Okie who was raised on it, and I can put away an astonishing amount. I haven't tried tweaking any Mexican recipes to fit my diet plan, yet--how about posting your recipe?  The SlimFast thing, it's a fairly big lifestyle change, yes, but I'd been drinking them for nutrition, already, so I just altered my diet some more to better suit the traditional SF plan. As for grazing the way I do, eating all day long is something I've always been down with. *g* I just do it more judiciously, now. This is something I think I'll be able to do for a long time, fortunately, since 80 lbs is a long haul. (And I may be down another lb, today, yay! It's my first day at 224, and I don't claim the lb until it's been gone for at least two days. *crosses fingers for tomorrow*)


Haha! Sorry I gave you a craving. Truth be told, I'm not big on the traditional roast turkey, stuffing, smashed potatoes, etc. dinner, so this would suit me as my traditional dinner! Here's the recipe for the meatless enchiladas I made (I adapted it from a couple of recipes I found at ml

It tastes pretty much like the real thing; I think the cumin does it. I use extra old (like, 5 years old) cheddar cheese rather than the low fat stuff, which I find tasteless--that way I can use only 2 oz. and get a lot of flavor, whereas before, using the low fat, I'd end up using tons just to get some flavor. I consider the trade-off worth it (cheese freak here). The reason it took me three hours was because I used homemade salsa verde sauce instead of canned enchilada sauce, and I had to make the salsa verde first--turned out I had 3 lbs of tomatillos to use up, so it took a while to husk the things, etc. Otherwise it would probably only take 1 1/2 hours or so to make and cook.

If anyone tries this and comes up with improvements, please let me know!

And I hope that lb stayed lost, and it's official now!Smile

...Now that everyone is craving Mexican food, ... ole!!

I'm more and more convinced that slow and steady is the only safe way to lose weight.  I've been doing some reading lately that all backs this up.  Extreme,  calorie- or macronutrient-restricting diets (Cabbage soup, Atkins) cause an immediate (and gratifying) weight loss, but it's mostly water, and the water has to come from your tissues, and guess which ones?  well, muscle, for one -- lean muscle tissue that women, even more than men, cannot afford to lose.  Then there are the rebound effects from rigid diets that cause most people to undo all the weight loss within a short span, most with more fat and less muscle than before, further lowering your metabolic rate.  It's not worth it! 

I know I'm just preaching to the choir!  Laughing

One thing I did not know is that when you start doing weights, your muscles do the opposite -- they absorb extra water, which is necessary for the process of repair and growth.  This causes a bit of (apparent) weight gain, in addition to any extra muscle weight you may gain over time (adding 1/2 pound a week of solid muscle is usually considered a lot for dedicated guys). 

I freaked out when my number started going up again, but a quick comparison of before-and-after pictures from before I started this showed me that I'm on the right track.  The numbers don't show the whole story.

Slow and steady! 

Oh, tell me, the Yoyo Queen, about Cabbage Soup diets and fast loss, greater gain! I should be a great, quivering, gelatinous pile of blubber by now, I did that for so long!

I'm glad you discovered your weight gain was muscle and water, Tara, and not the "bad stuff"! And you raised a really interesting point--taking photos of yourself to compare to determine how you're doing. It sounds a lot healthier than watching numbers on a scale. Plus, for some reason, I always seem to look different in a photo than I do when I look in the mirror. Perhaps the photo is being viewed with a less subjective eye? (As in, when you look in the mirror, you want, hope, pray you look better, so your brain tells you you do...until you get somewhere and realize nope, tricked again!Embarassed) I wish now I'd taken a show-it-all-clearly photo of myself before starting; perhaps then I'd detect a true change now. I'm still trying to figure out if my pants do fit looser, or if they're just stretched out and it's more wishful thinking.

Oh-oh, don't tell me I've been the conversation-killer again? Where did everybody go?
Oct 13 2007 23:21
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I'm here!  :)  Everyone's been busy?  I know I have been.  

I've had an indifferent week--I exercised too hard, again, put myself into a small flare (it's a sort of inflammatory reaction where my muscles and joints get sore, my head aches, I get fatigued and puff up all over) and didn't do anything physical for about five days.  Yesterday I walked again, and I will tomorrow, and then I'll try (gently) to get back into my routine.  One unpleasant side effect of a flare is that I retain water (puff up like a toad, I like to say *g*) and don't lose weight--I went about 5 days with no scale movement, which was discouraging, but now that it's letting up I'm losing, again. 

I really need to learn the lesson that too much is too much, once and for all, but I'm still learning my boundaries, so it's difficult.  About 15 years ago, I lost a lot of weight through diet control and walking, about an hour a day, 4 miles per hour.  I remember how good that felt, and how comparatively easy it was--I didn't really "feel the burn" until that last mile/15 minutes, each time.  It's hard to grasp that I'm not that woman anymore, that years and health issues have changed my body and that, just because I could do it then, doesn't mean I can or should do it now.  It feels...unfair!  *g*  I'm willing to work at this with the energy of a young woman.  Why don't I have it?  Stupid aging.  *sigh*

Photos are ruthless.  *g*  They say they add 5 to 10 lbs, probably because of the foreshortening effect, turning a 3D figure into a 2D and adding width.  They're brutal!  The model-style 3/4 turn is a big help, there.  ;)  That would be a good visual reminder of progress we made.  (And I have some pics that would send me running away from the fridge!) 

I'm using my clothes as my change monitor--size is actually more important to me than lbs as a motivator.  While I have goals in lbs, what I'm really looking for is to be able to wear a particular size, and I'll lose weight until I fit that size.  I don't know exactly what that weight will be, yet (and muscle tone will make a difference, too, I hope, and I haven't had any in years, so I don't know how to estimate it), so I'm guessing, and I'm taking my weight loss in 20 lb goal increments that are significant to me.  I've almost reached my first goal of 20 lbs--just three to go!  That's the weight I got down to when I first tried low-carb several years ago, but the Fibro blues got to me and I quit trying for a long while and gained the weight back.  I'm almost back to that weight, and I can wear two pairs of jeans I bought during that period, again.  Yay!  My next goal is another 20 lbs, or 21, actually--that'll take me below 200 lbs for the first time in I don't know how long--over ten years, probably.  The next 20 will take me down to 180, which should have me out of women's/plus sized clothes and back into XL territory--a whole world of shopping will reopen for me!  (Oh, no, my budget!  *g*)  And another 20 lbs will take me into a size large, I hope, and back into what I feel is "normal size" territory for me.  From there I'll eyeball the next 20 lbs, balanced against how difficult weight loss has or hasn't become after that much loss and how any muscle tone I've gained affects how I look, and decide on my final goal.

  I'm going to treat myself with non-food goodies as I reach each goal, including a major wardrobe overhaul when I get to size large (at that point altering my plus size clothing will become more of a complete recut-and-sew and more trouble than it's worth.)  Should I decide to go for a really ambitious goal like 140-145 (my college weight) and achieve it, I get--a horse!  Seriously, I'm going to buy myself a pony.  *g*  We had horses for years, but haven't for almost as many years, and I really miss them, so, if I accomplish anything as remarkable as a 100 lb weight loss, I get a horse.  :)  And the horse gets a much lighter me to carry around, so we both win.  *g*

Wow, that may have been more than anyone needed to know about my goals.  I guess I'm making up for the quiet?  *g*  It helps me that each of these goals means something to me, in and of itself, so I have more to look forward to than dropping numbers on a dial--which ain't bad, don't get me wrong, but lacks something in excitement, after a while.   I'm already anticipating the loss slow-down at some point, and I don't have any problem with it taking longer, the longer I go--that's the facts of physiology, especially aging physiology.  What I really hope to reap, though, at every step, are the health benefits of fitness and better blood-work numbers, and a longer life.  Slow and steady is okay as long as I'm giving myself more time to experience that, and everything else, as I make health gains.  The way I feel as I continue to get healthier is the best motivator there is.  

Hi cc -- that's amazing!  a pony!?  haha.. what a great idea to have a set of motivating milestones. 

It must be hard to be moderate about your exercise so that you don't trigger bad side-effects yet intense enough to see results.  I actually have been thinking about fibro lately b/c I soooo killed myself at the gym this week literally every muscle in by body is in pain.  I tried not to complain about my self-inflicted muscle-soreness, but I did use it to remind myself about valuing my health.  I thought about how it must be to live with chronic pain and how heroic it is that pain-sufferers still manage to get up and do some exercise and stay motivated. Kudos!! 

Perhaps I overdid it a teensy bit this week.  I need to be mindful of my tendency to go crazy with the iron and make sure I get adequate recovery time, plenty of protein & water.

Walking is great!  Keep it up -- it's so good for your head as well as your body.

I love walking.  I walk everywhere, but I was looking for a bit of a challenge.  I've been looking around my neighborhood for a good hill.  I found one near my son's guitar lesson, so I can workout for 20 minutes while he's in there. But it's on a very busy street, which was a bit annoying.  There's a huge flight of stairs as well on the same street, haha.. I did some sprints and stair running too.  It was very, very hard, but such a great short workout!   

I'm stuck at a weight not far off my target.  I could just say, 'whatever' and forget about it, but it's a bit frustrating!! I want to understand this process better. I sat down with my husband and went over a few things to see if I was forgetting anything - he lost almost 100 pounds, so he has a lot of good ideas.  He figured one thing I'm not getting enough of is sleep... this is a big deal since I've been hitting the gym so hard, 5 days in a row.  Muscle is only repaired and built while you're asleep, so it's literally just breaking down if you don't allow it to recover.  I also need to drink WAYYYYY more water. I'm really cheaping out on the old H20 these days.  Plus, my protein's down. I've been craving carbs, carbs, carbs!!! 

Aside from that, I should maybe start logging food again (I stopped for a while).  I need to figure this weight-loss thing out or I'll go stir-crazy!  It's so frustrating to plateau at every single increment for weeks!! Tongue out

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Hi well I have had a few problems getting back into the swing of things after being on holiday, and amazingly I am back to my "pre-holiday" weight, and minus two pounds.   I need to get back into the exercise routine though which has seriously lapsed.   My next motivational milestone has got to be Christmas as I have seen the most outrageous little black dress that I would love to wear.   Anyone any ideas on how to tone up arms quickly?  I have been doing the usual with bags of sugar (or even house bricks) but this does not seem to be working........

Hi Lynne_c!  Outrageous black dresses! haha.. sounds awesome! 

Don't be discouraged if the results of all your hard work aren't revealed right away.  That will happen gradually with overall weight loss. "Spot reducing" is one of those fitness myths I personally would love to believe in, but alas, it is not true.  Getting that toned look is a combination of losing bodyfat and gaining lean muscle mass overall.

I used to work out with 1-litre bottles of water, haha!  Bags of sugar and bricks are enough weight to work out small muscles like deltoids (the cap of your shoulder) and forearms, but may not challenge your bigger muscle groups like chest, biceps and triceps.   To make your muscles grow stronger (and more toned) you need to give them enough of a challenge, ie in the range that more than 15 reps is difficult.  Bodyweight + strength bands/exercise tubes can provide that kind of resistance for some time, very economically both dollar-wise and time-wise.  It's also a good plan to do compound movements that use more than one muscle group at a time (for example, wall or table push-ups use your whole chest, shoulders, abs, and triceps).  It burns more calories too! 

Good luck!



Good morning all.  I'm holding true to the thread topic of "slow paced" change for me this week.

Hmmmm....I have a little black dress I wore back in about 1989 on New Years Eve.  One of the few things I haven't gotten rid of.  Guess I must have liked it or hoped to fit into it again.  Guess I'll have to shoot for 2009...20 years later!

I've been off the site for awhile, as I got married on Oct. 7th and had been dealing with a bunch of pre-wedding stress, and then was away for the honeymoon. Everything was wonderful and magical, and check out my new icon picture! I love how everything looked, including the smaller me!

 However, living it up on the honeymoon included eating everything I wanted for a week, so I'm up about 4-5 pounds from pre-wedding. I've got to get back into watching what I eat really carefully and exercising again, and I'm frustrated, as this is the first time I've gained weight in the 6 months I've been on CC. :-(

 So, I hadn't been logging for awhile (yet I was still losing, pre-wedding) so I've realized I have to go back to it. Time to throw away all the cookies people brought over and getting up earlier in the mornings to exercise. People who knew I was losing weight before the wedding said "Are you going to keep going afterwards?" and of course I said "Yes!"; now I've got to prove it.

A BIG CONGRATS, shoeofkuribo, on your marriage! What an excellent reason to slip away from CC for a while! It seems everyone was busy for about 2 weeks, with one thing or another. I'm looking forward to getting back into the loop here again--I've missed socializing with y'all!

Well, it seems every time I have a noticeable loss (1 1/2 - 2 lbs is "noticeable" for me, sigh), I blow it by taking a carrot day. Last time it was dinner with my sister--two days later, a meal of Chinese food had wiped out that lower number I'd seen for a few days on the scale, and I was right back where I had been. This week it's my own fault--not one but two carrot days, out to dinner with hubby. I managed to get past the first dinner without a gain, but this morning after dinner at a Greek restaurant last night, I'd gained back 3 lbs, so I'm seeing a number I'd been seeing a few weeks ago. I seem to be operating on a hair trigger when it comes to weight gain! I wish I could use something besides the darned scale to gauge my exquisitely slow progress, but the clothes still fit the same... 

It's a beautiful day out there today, so I'm going to spend a few hours planting bulbs--hopefully that will burn off the damage done by saganaki and dolmades.

Oct 22 2007 01:00
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Mageeg, restaurant food is so often full of MSG (especially Chinese) and salt--maybe you're retaining water?  I'll send diuretic vibes your way and maybe those regained lbs will disappear.  *g*

That's a really good point, cc -- Magee, I'm with cc -- water retention sounds like a likely culprit.  Chances are there's not that direct a correlation btwn a night out and a big spike on the scale -- when my weight shot up 3 pounds my hubby pointed out that in order for that to all be from food, I would have to have eaten over 10,000 calories above my usual metabolic rate...which is impossible, given the time frame.  Well -- I've never seen you in action at a Greek restaurant, hahaha... Wink but, it's not like you were at a spinach pie eating contest!!!  you might easily have eaten an extra 500-1000 cal's, but that would only account for a half-pound. 

Also, if you're eating veerrrrrry close to your minimum your body will be quick to hold on to any cal's it can get.  I've read a lot of folks have more luck losing when they increase their cal's a bit.. or alternate between a little under and a little over day to day.  It's hard, I know.. I'm playing that game now.  If I eat too little, I stop losing, same as if I eat too much.  I'm relying almost entirely on calorie burning now.  Anyone who says this is simple is nuts!

Congrats, shoeofkuribo

Thanks, both! :-) I'm back to logging everything again, and I'll do my best. My hubby says he wants to help, because he knows I'm frustrated, so hopefully we'll get to do some walking together before it's too cold out.

 Edit: I know I need to get more exercise in, but I am having a hard time motivating myself to exercise once I get home from work. My mom mentioned that her friend goes the gym every day during lunchtime, and then eats lunch at her desk while working. I think that schedule might work out really well for me - I tend to need an energy boost midday in the office, anyway, and often wish I COULD exercise!

So I'm looking at what's close to work, and there are several Curves locations nearby. I did Curves a few years ago but lost motivation; maybe it's time to try again. What do you think?

cc and Tara, I know you're right--I just feel like I'm making excuses or something to blame it on water retention. But yes, last week I made myself my Greek pizza (low fat feta, black olives, garlic, spices, sundried tomatoes--don't let me breathe on you afterward, but yum!) and noticed that the sundried tomatoes I'd bought this time were really salty...and the next day I'd gained--direct correlation. Can I blame it all on water? It would be nice.

I consistently eat at least 600 calories less than what I burn, and I'm comfortable with that; the funny thing is, more and more I'm finding my appetite has shrunk, and I just don't want any more than barely 1200 calories some days (my norm/comfortable range is +/- 1400). At the end of the week (that mysterious "Do the Math Day" entry every week in my Journal) it all works out to the equivalent of a pound or two lost (in a perfect world! Wink) though. Should I be trying harder to eat only 500 calories less than what I burn in a day? (Now I feel like I'm declaring open season on food, to consider eating more!)

shoeofkuribo, I've never tried Curves, but my sister-in-law (who had to give up kickboxing when she hurt her back) loves it because she can stop in there on the way home from work, whiz through 20 minutes of exercise, and come home. She takes sweats with her and just wears them home afterward. To me, the whizzing through 20 minutes part appeals--it sounds like a lot less of a commitment than "going to the gym" sounds--on days when I didn't really feel like it, I'd be convincing myself by saying "It's only 20 minutes."

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