Friday, October 15, 2010


Somewhere in recent years being a loser became a good thing.

After I turned forty, I gained five pounds. Five pounds that seemed determined to stick with me through thick and thicker. If I lost two, I gained back three.

I blamed it on age, hormones, weakness, carb addiction, or some glitch in my metabolism. I knew how I got those extra pounds, (see prior post on baking pies) but I didn’t know how to get rid of them. I counted the calories of everything I ate and let me say that REALLY takes the fun out of eating. But it didn’t help.

Imagine this: one year I worked outside for two months carrying a ladder around, wearing a heavy backpack and long pants and long sleeves in the hottest part of the summer. I don’t have time to tell you why I climbed up and down all day long (science). Suffice to say I figured out I was walking ten miles on those days if I counted all my steps and mind you, about a third of them were going up and down a ladder. And still I couldn’t lose a pound!

You are probably shouting at me now. Duh Debra Duh. Yeah, NOW I know.

Too few calories. Too many burned up and not enough taken in. Counting calories only works if you balance the equation properly.

Did you hear that? Music. Choirs singing. Bells tinkling. It was a glorious moment. I wasn’t eating enough. Unfortunately that does not mean I should try to catch up now.

This past spring, a friend told me about an application she had downloaded to her ITouch called LoseIt. It worked for her. We agreed it’s just made for obsessive people like us. (An ITouch is an Ipod on steroids by the way. Not as fancy as the new IPad)

For me, I count not only every calorie in but every calorie out. Okay, I do as close as I can. And it’s working. I started to consistently lose weight. Granted it was no more than a pound or half pound every few weeks but I finally got over that mountain. Six pounds lost and not found! I feel great. More energy, clothes fit better, don’t feel so lumpy.

I’ve found a number of people who are successfully losing weight with this program.
Now, you don’t all have ITouch, or IPad or IPhones. I know that. But think about calories in and calories out. Eating less and exercising more works! Where have you heard that one before?
LoseIT tells you every day how many calories you should eat to maintain or lose weight. I put in my current weight plus my goal weight and how much I’d like to lose per week. Doctors recommend no more than 1 lb a week. One pound equals 3500 calories, remember?

I add in what I eat and the exercise I get and it tells me if I’m under or over on calories.
Remember, just don’t burn so many calories that your body stops burning them to save your miserable butt. Literally.

I did not need to lose those five pounds for health reasons but I was just sick of being at the top capacity of my clothes and feeling like a lump. I am not for a moment suggesting you all need to be thin to be happy—we should all be able to choose the weight we are comfortable with, and hopefully, that’s a healthy weight for your body. I think a little padding is probably better than no padding!

There are many sources to help you determine the calories gained or lost by eating and exercising, so you don't need this program but can do this on your own. The LoseIt app just makes it a lot easier and a little more fun.

If you are considering losing weight this is a safe way to do that, but of course SEE YOUR DOCTOR if you are considering any major change in diet or exercise. I always knew that the simple answer was eating less and exercising more but it took me awhile to get it right. By watching the calories in your foods, you automatically eat better because you don’t want to squander calories on junk food but will find a way to eat healthier options.
I hope that the ideas I've shared here help someone who is ready to try again. I leave you with this verse, which is one of my favorites for a number of reasons. If you struggle with something, like losing weight, or overcoming fear, or discouragement, remember that our Lord is always present for help. In fact, we need to learn to use that help rather than turn away from it.

Philipians 4: 12
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have
learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Some of my best friends are losers. What about you? Happy where you are, looking to lose or gain, and what's worked for you?

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  1. Deb, I'm curious if they take into consideration age and metabolism somehow. I could eat a lot more calories when I was younger than I can now, even with the same amount of exercise.

    I had to try something new this year, which was adding in high protein low fat bars and shakes. In the past, I could always lose weight without too much trouble if I put my mind to it, but for the past two or three years, I would be constantly hungry and grumpy if I tried to keep my calories as low as I needed to. The extra protein really helped.

    Sadly, my up and down (since college) has been closer to 30 pounds than 5. I'm always losing or gaining. I can never stay at a constant steady weight. Good news is I'm 5'10", so 10 or 20 pounds isn't a tragedy. And my bodies fussy. Too thin and I start passing out. Too heavy and I don't feel well. Kind of ridiculous.

  2. Debra, awesome accomplishment!

    I just need to hire someone who will slap my hand every time I reach for something sweet... so that's not going to happen...

    I agree, exercise is great, but it doesen't completely get rid of the fluff around the middle.

    Dina, I'm like you- TALL! The one compensation for my giraffe-like stature is the pounds do hide a bit.

  3. Hi Dina,
    yes, you have to put in your age and sex.

    We are all so different that it's hard to tell what works as far as food CHOICE goes. I try to go light on the fun carbs that my body craves. (seriously I've given up all sugars except for fruit, and processed foods at times and felt much better)

    But I've also splurged on goodies and dropped a lb in the next day or two. I want someone to say that I 'needed' those goodies. Ha ha!

    Hey Cheryl!
    thanks for your encouragement. I've kept those 6 lbs off but I've been at a plateau for 6 weeks. The whole body system is quite hard to figure out. I am glad that I live alone and don't have to watch someone else eat treats that I would have to avoid. I don't have much willpower, other than just not having it in the house!

  4. I can so relate, Deb! A year or so ago I found this app, too. And I love it! It keeps me on track. And if I ignore it for a day or even a week, I can jump right back in and do good again. It has helped me, too, lose those few unwanted "aging" pounds that wouldn't seem to go away!

  5. Ooh! A new APP! I've been an OC calorie-counter for almost 6 years when I decided it was time to finally get rid of the 25 extra pounds I'd been hauling around since puberty. I adopted the "Biggest Loser" idea and dropped my calories to 1200 per day and started exercising.

    It was SO hard. I fantasized about peanut butter and woke up in the night dreaming about popcorn. But I'm glad I endured. I've kept the weight off, and have never been this size OR in this kind of shape in my life. If I'd known it would only take 6 months to get rid of 15 years of hating my body, I would have done it much sooner.

    I'm only 5'3", so I not only FEEL 2-3 pounds, I can SEE 2-3 pounds. Exercise is the only way I can maintain weight and still eat more than a 2-year-old. You tall folks are blessed. Not only can you automatically eat more, you have lots more places to put "stuff" that no one will notice!

    Anybody else short and stubby?

  6. Hi Anne!

    I know this has been around for awhile and it's interesting how many people know about it. I just changed my goal from 1 lb to 1/2 lb (lost per week) and gained about 300 calories to eat each day. That's A LOT! but seeing as how I've plateaued again, I thought I'd try to eat more. You never know!
    Okay, back to my lunch of field greens, red pepper, hummus and a WASA cracker. (if ya'll don't know about WASA crackers, you'll want to check them out!)

  7. Hey Niki! Yes you need another APP!

    Why am I not surprised you are a calorie counter too? A few years back I did the 1200 calorie thing for about 3 months but only lost weight when I went to 1400. It didn't last but that was proof too few didn't work.

    I'm 5'5" and whatever works for me is based on the fact that I'm genetically 'blessed'-- I come from lean people. Because, you see, I have this little carb addiction ...

    PLUS For me a day without peanut butter is a very bad day. I travel with it because I'm a fresh ground PB snob.

    My friend, who shall remain nameless here, is probably about 5'2" and she's lost over 30 lbs wiht this app.

  8. Hey Loser, I'm a Loser, too. LOL

    On Mar 9th, 2010, I decided to lose weight - again. Numerous times over the years I'd lost and gained. For every lb lost, I seemed to triple the gain factor. I even counted calories but always stopped because it took too much time hunting down the info and writing it out.

    Then I found and downloaded Lose It. I started my new lifestyle of healthy eating the next day. And I'm still going strong.

    I've lost 49 lbs since Mar 10th. I'd like to say 50 but maybe if this post had appeared next week...

    I don't know the science of it all. And it's news to me that you need to balance your in and out calories.

    All I know is that starving myself doesn't work because my body banks all the calories. That's the way God made us.

    The Lose It app works for me because it's simple. It may take a few minutes to figure out the calories of your casserole, but once it's inputted, it's there for all time. We tend to eat a lot of the same food, so that's easy.

    Since starting this, our meals have become simpler. I don't have a lot of calories to play around with so I don't waste them on stuff like chocolate, chips and pop. In fact, my Easter bunny - a Mr. Toffee - is still sitting by my chair. I see it every day, but my brain now translates that into sugar and fat. Is that what they call conditioning? I know that if I eat sugar or fat, my body will crave more very much like an alchoholic or former smoker. I know - I used to smoke - and don't ever want to light another one.

    Eating is like that. I've switched my dependancy on sugars and fats to fruits and veggies. I know it sounds boring, but it isn't. Here's a photo of what I typically eat for lunch.

    I don't crave food like I used to. I can pass a chip tray without sneaking one or three. And when I get the munchies, I reach for a bowl of grapes or other fruit and feel so much better physically and mentally. No guilt trips.

    But, I'm not a teetotaler - no way. I'm just choosey. When I go to a church potluck or buffet dinner, I eat dessert - just in smaller quantities, always conscious of the calorie intake.

    I think that's the best thing about this program - after so many months of use, I automatically count the calories before imbibing and choose accordingly.

    Absolutely love it. Sorry for the long - ah - epic post.

    Anita Mae.

  9. Great post, Debra.
    Now this sounds like something I can do. And it makes sense. Any good substitutes for hummus - don't really care for it. Deb, I need PB every day, too.
    I am not to good at calorie counting - does help with that also
    Lisa R. are you with me on this - let's do it together! Now if I can get my hubby on track.
    enjoyed your post Anita.

  10. Hey Anita!
    You're my hero. I have been craving my carbs for the last few weeks. So frustrating. I really have to go zero tolerance, but oh, can I really do this during pumpkin season?

    Maybe no sugar again as of Nov 1?

    I'm glad you popped in to talk about your experience with LoseIt. Congratulations on your success. I hear that you look Mahvelous! and if there's any way I can get to St. Louis next year for ACFW I hope to see you in person. LoseIt should make you a spokesperson!

  11. Hey Theresa! No hummus, huh? Well, you just haven't tasted mine (ha ha) I make an amazing roasted red pepper and one I call 40 Spice. Plain hummus does nothing for me. Let's face it garbanzo beans don't have a lot of taste! But it's a great source of protein and fiber.

    Unfortunately peanut butter is higher in calories but it's a healthy fat, and also full of protein. I've heard it's not very popular in other parts of the world.


  12. in Malagasy the word for garbanzo beans translated back to English is "peanut bean"
    Can you email your recipe for hummus ?
    In our part of the world PB is not very popular. What is popular is Nutella - hazelnut/chocolate spread. When anyone comes to visit from the US - they ask what can we bring you. First response is Jiffy Peanut Butter. :)
    mrstgr at msn dot com

  13. Cool post, Deb! I feel motivated. And hungry for hummus.

  14. Susie, just stop over. I'm making two new, big batches on Sunday. Soaked the beans today. I make a bit batch, freeze it into smaller containers and always have some going for lunches or snacks.

    Theresa asked for a recipe but I, er, don't really have one. For the forty spice, I use McCormick's Garam Masala (the Indian spice blend) It's my absolute favorite!


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