Friday, August 27, 2010

Moving from fantasy to realism in regaining health

Today, my post will include further ruminations on twelve pounds gone. Two months on the path toward better health is the longest sustained period of time I can ever remember sticking to working toward better health. A little more than eight weeks works out to 1.5 pounds per week. Not shabby at all for me. My eat less, move more adage is working, but slowly.

I bring up my 1.5 pound loss per week because in many readings I have consulted about sustaining weight loss, a weight loss of 1-2 pounds is more often than not suggested as ideal. A pound of body fat according to Nestle has 3500 calories. “To loose one pound of body fat a week, you have to take in 500 fewer calories per day [or increase your activity levels so your body uses 500 more calories than usual.”] Nestle,(2006), page 290, What to Eat). In my case to achieve a weight loss average of 1.5 pounds per week means that I have DECREASED my caloric intake by 5,250 per week or 750 calories per day. This is the eating less part of my regaining better health story. For many of us, this is a very low and maybe even a discouraging number per week to loose. If you are like me with more than 60 pounds still to loose, well you do the math, it will be a long time to shed all that excess baggage.

All of us weight loss bloggers are working at peeling off pounds and regaining our health in different ways and the amount of weight shed each week will be unique to each individual for many reasons. For me, I know after so many years of being in denial that my body needs the gift of time and patience to lighten up. I am at an age, too, where weight does not come off easily.

Twelve pounds. Eight weeks. Regaining my health with a pound or pound and a half off each week is realistic and I believe sustainable for me. Like many of you, I have dreamed of weight loss across two months at higher rates, like 20 pounds gone in two months. But, I now know that these are simply unrealistic aspirations for me. It simply does not work out when I do the math. I am no longer living in a fantasy world as far as weight loss aspirations go, but in a realistic world. Move more, eat less, eat lots of fruits and vegetables and go easy on the junk food. Cha, cha, cha.


  1. Good for you! You are doing awesome. I have been losing weight for several years now and am almost at 50 lbs lost. What a SLOW process I have made this. And yet, I feel fairly confident that I will probably never gain that weight back, because I have changed myself so slowly. I am trying a little harder now, as I still have about 50 more pounds to lose, but slow and steady wins THIS race. Congrats on 12 pounds gone! ;-)

  2. Your twelve pounds gone is a terrific accomplishment. It has also given you time to gain a network of friends in the blog world that will help you through the ups and downs of the remaining 60 pounds.

    You go, girl!!

  3. Great job Michelle. Keep working it..

  4. You are doing great and your attitude is wonderful! I read all too many blogs or forum posts where the dieter is still in search of the fast loss or the quick fix. It is frustrating to lose slowly. And for me, I lose even more slowly than you do! And while I get the whole calorie in vs. calorie out math, in real life for me, it never adds up. Must be my metabolism:(

  5. Cha cha cha, Michele ... woo hoo, too. I think the slow weight loss is successful because you are actually changing your lifestyle and not going on and off a diet. Good for you. I worked for WW some years ago and I noticed that no matter what a person lost 20 lbs to 100 lbs, it usually averaged out to 1-3 lbs loss per week - even if they lost 10 lbs in the first week. But time travels quickly these days, doesn't it, and soon enough we'll look back on this and say - wow, I can't believe I've been at my goal weight for 5 years now :-)

  6. Your are doing great. Congratulation! I also believe that loosing 1 or 2 pounds a week is much better than yoyo diet.
    Keep up the good work and thanks for the encouragement.

  7. Hi Michele,
    The thing that comes to mind as I read your post tonight is "slow and steady wins the race...slow and steady wins the race". I know you will be a winner!

  8. This post made me think. I know I am losing weight pretty rapidly, however, I am not doing anything that is "extreme". I have cut my calories back to no more than 1800 a day, I eat alot cleaner than I used to but the calorie bank dictates that. I drink a heck of alot more water and a hell of alot less soda, like I am down to three a week from 6 a day! I don't do any overly strenuous exercise. I walk fast and I life weights in the morning. So my rapid weight loss is a blessing that maybe I take for granted a little. I was talking to my mom this morning and I honestly think that for all the genetic pitfalls I inherited, the one genetic trait I got that is a bonus, I build muscle very quickly. I guess if you are gonna have one good genetic trait, that is the one to have! Thanks so much for making me think about this Michele. It is just a blessing that was going uncounted and I hate to do that!

  9. Hi All,
    Thanks so much for all your encouraging words! Shane's comment made me also think. Here is my response to him:
    Hi, Shane,
    Your comment is heartfelt and thoughtful , as usual. I do believe that we ALL loose weight differently and at varied amounts. I also know, although I can not reference this scientifically, that men are able to loose weight easier than women. I need to learn more about that phenomenon. You are doing terrific! Just be careful with Kathy, she may loose very differently than you and might be discouraged by the slowness when she compares to you. What you are both doing is losing it for the family.

    Have a great week end all! Michele

  10. Slow and steady is not so bad.
    There's more to "health" than just weight!