Lose Weight


I am back at one of my favorite retreats. Well, I guess at this point, it is my Favorite, back East anyway. Forget the “one of” part. Kripalu. It is a yoga retreat in the Berkshires, a short drive from Lenox, Mass. It is a former monastery that has been turned into a school for Yogis and Aruyrvedic practitioners. It is also a place for visitors looking for wellness programs, or just a little R&R. You can practice yoga here three times a day, and do this wonderful moving form they call Yoga Dance. The yoga dance is very tribal, very primal, sweat-inducing, and LOTS of fun.

I arrived after a four-hour bus drive, sat next to a cool woman who commuted back and forth between her apartment outside of Boston and the Vermont woods where she lived with the boyfriend she met on You-Tube. When you leave the highly caffeinated world of Manhattan and land anywhere bucolic, it takes awhile to adapt to the deafening din of silence. Crickets in NYC mean no one has come to your nightclub. The smells, the views, the sounds of silence can be intimidating. I walked around, made myself at home in my spartan room (happy to see that the unknown roommate with whom I was to share the room had not arrived yet). A gentle yoga class, a delicious vegetarian dinner, some quiet time in the sun room until three 20-somethings came in to gab. Even then, I wasn’t in the mindset to be the librarian and “shhhhhush” them. I just went to my little room and fell asleep.
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There is a funny thing we weight losers do.  If we should find ourselves gaining weight (and who hasn’t) we find ourselves saying “I have gained a few pounds.”  Or, we will detach the weight loss from ourselves by saying “the weight won’t come off.”  As if it is a separate entity.

So, I am here to say that I have gained 15 pounds.  Not a “few” pounds.  Not “some” weight.  But, let’s be exact here.  15.  Fifteen.  One-five.  I have decided that it is important to say that.  I know I am not alone.  I want to show some courage here and acknowledge it.
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One of my best friends implored me: “write about those last ten pounds!”  If somebody could just solve that, weight loss would be so much more successful.

I have been struggling with that assignment since that evening – over a delicious Italian meal, by the way.  Such a great question!  It is at the core of the diet challenge.

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It is well-known in the weight loss world that one of the best things you can do is keep a food diary.  As a writer, I understand all too well, the power of pen on paper.  Something profound happens with that direct link between the brain and the ink.  I’m sure there is some science behind it.

Writing down what you eat keeps you on track.  Even if you are not ready to start changing the way you eat, start tracking.  When you eat it, write it down.  Some recommend you write the time, place, and what you were feeling.  That’s a fine idea.  But, if you are diet daunted, keep it simple.

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You might wonder why I chose to write about pigging out in my last blog Janet Eats.  Too Much.

It just struck me that to stay true to my “mission” here on JanetEats, my ‘how I lost 50 pounds’ – I need to be open to all the nuances and challenges of that task.  It would be important to share the whole experience, not just the heady “whoo-hoo look-at-me I’m-losing-weight experience.  And, this blog is not just about losing weight through Weight Watchers, though it is clear that I swear by that program.  Why?  Simple.  It’s the “less in, more out” school of eating that leads to successful weight loss.  Weight University, I often call it.  It is a good time to learn whaddup with the overeating experience.

We do have our ups and downs.  We’ve seen that dramatically with Oprah.

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avocado

My Saving Grace

Hail, the mighty avocado.  This one fruit singlehandedly saved me on my weight loss journey.  Did you know that it is 7000 years old?  Cultivated in Central America and brought to the New World in the 19th Century.

From WebMd:

It’s true that avocados are high in fat — one reason they’ve earned the nickname “butter pear.” A medium-sized avocado contains 30 grams of fat, as much as a quarter-pound burger. That’s why diet experts have long urged Americans to go easy on avocados in favor of less fatty fruits and vegetables. But now nutritionists are taking another look. They’re finding that most of the fat in an avocado is monounsaturated — the “good” kind that actually lowers cholesterol levels. Thanks to this new understanding, the U.S. government recently revised its official nutrition guidelines to urge Americans to eat more avocados.

I almost started a riot at my Weight Watchers® meeting when I discussed my very own “avocado diet.”

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You hear it all the time when you are trying to lose weight:  drink water.  It amazes me how many people cite that as one of their greatest challenges in a new diet.  But remember,  we are, after all, made up of about 60-70 percent water.  H20, baby!

Water fills you up, too.  Right before a meal, I try to drink at least one, if not more, glasses of water.  It really stems my appetite.  And, it adds to my overall good health.

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