On Dieting, Losing Weight, and Feeling Good About Oneself.

This time last year I went on the South Beach Diet. We had just returned from vacationing down in Florida. When I put on my bathing suit, I looked like a big, mid-baked, fluffy ball of cookie dough. If that cookie dough had been tied up and then stuffed in an oven, that would have been me. I couldn’t very well avoid the pool. Not only was it 90 degrees and humid, but I love to swim. I borrowed my mother’s bathing suit. And even that one was tight not that my mother is overweight or anything. It was a rough week. I realized I was putting on weight faster than ever before and the Half Iron Man contest was taking place on the grounds where we were staying. I ate like a champ that week, stuffing myself full of pancakes, waffle, and anything beige and fluffy. I’ll take Foods That Look Like Michele for 1000.

As soon as we got off the plane at JFK, I went on a diet. And I lost about 15 pounds. I felt great.

Last September, we visited Rhode Island with Nico and George. One night, Nico cooked up some homemade mac and cheese. I blame her entirely for falling off the wagon, actually, I didn’t FALL, she kicked me. No one can turn down macaroni and cheese like that. No one.

From that point forward, I slowly stopped dieting.

For months to come, and into December, I refused to get on the scale fearing what it would read back to me. When I finally did, my fears were validated. Nearly all of the weight I had lost was back. I wasn’t at my heaviest, my heaviest was when we were in San Francisco and all I did was eat burritos, drink lemonade, and not walk, unless it was to get another burrito and some more lemonade. I was 5 pounds less than that. I had put 10 of my 15 pounds back on. I felt horrible.

I started running. That helped my self-esteem. And I’m still working out although that time has been severed, as work lately has been overly demanding. Excercise feels great, but as far as I can tell, it doesn’t shed pounds quite like dieting does. Three weeks ago, I started dieting as well.

The other night, while I was watching the Oscars, I thought about Charlize Theron and her role in Monster. She probably put on 30 pounds for that role. I’m sure if I looked hard enough, I could find out exactly how much. She slimmed up immediately following the production. I admire her for being able to bounce back so beautifully. It’s weird, but I think about that nearly every time I see her. When I was at my heaviest, I feel that my body looked like hers in the movie Monster. What a weird thing to admit about oneself. What a weird thing to fixate on.

While I realize that the job of a moviestar is to keep one’s body maintained and that most of us don’t have the luxury of working out for 2+ hours a day with a personal trainer, there must be a way to remain fit. My goal is to lose 20 pounds. My goal then is to try my hardest to keep it off. I’m five pounds lighter this week than I was three weeks ago. It’s hard. It’s frustrating, but at least it’s working, albeit slowly.

Just like with every post, I do have a few questions. If you feel like answering, please do so. Are you happy with your weight? Do you diet? Do you workout? Have you ever lost and/or gained a large amount of weight? What’s your weakness? Mine is pizza, cake, and french fries. I would love to order a pizza tonight and not regret it in the morning.

Anything goes today, people.

47 Comments

  1. I haven’t been happy with my weight since I hit puberty. I went from being a tiny little thing to having hips and boobs. I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be skinny. I can be slim though. Sometimes I can’t believe how much I weigh. I think I have the opposite of whatever it is when people think they’re bigger than they actually are. I have been dieting semi-seriously for two months and I’ve lost about 12 pounds. I haven’t gotten back to the gym yet and I’m hoping that when I do, I’ll see more progress. My younger brother is getting married next month and I’m a bridesmaid. I’m older than all of the other bridesmaids by about 6 years. I had dreams of losing all kinds of weight and getting super fit and looking way better than those 25 year olds. Too bad I have no self control. That’s what makes me the angriest at myself. Why don’t I exercise more? Why do I get home from work and watch 90210 or take a nap? I need to value myself a little more, I think.

    Reply

  2. Hips and boobs are a good thing, trust me. Anyone see this month’s cover of Esquire w Rosario Dawson?

    That’s what I’m talking about!! Yehsah!!

    Reply

  3. “I thought about Charlize Theron and her roll in Monster”

    Is that use of ‘roll’ some kind of Freudian fat-joke? It’s really funny.

    Reply

  4. I ALWAYS DO THAT!

    Man, I am the worst with the role/roll, pole/poll shit.

    Reply

  5. Camille, I hear ya. I really, really do. But, honey, 12 pounds is a LOT of weight. You should feel proud. That’s amazing, darling.

    I always make justifications as to why I can’t go to the gym in the evening when I’m really busy at work. It’s funny, as soon as you break the flow of something, the routine, it’s SO hard to get back into it.

    Sometimes I wish people would threaten me if I don’t got. haha!

    If you don’t show up for work, you eventually get fired. Perhaps I should get a job at the gym?

    Reply

  6. some of us are just blessed with this layer of “stored up sexual energy” just screaming to be utilized…..i don’t know why mine is coalescing around my chin. maybe it’s some new position i don’t know about yet. i’ll look into it.

    Reply

  7. So this is my fault!? I can not take the blame for anyone’s roll but my own.

    Although I do remember trying to force feed you blueberry pancakes and you politely, yet firmly refusing about ten times, so perhaps I am to blame…

    Reply

  8. I should have had those pancakes. If they’re anything like your mac and cheese, I missed out on something glorious.

    Greg, I like the way you think. So, my fat isn’t fat it’s sotred sexual energy? Awesome.

    Reply

  9. i feel bad for skinny people, they get cold in the winter, when they fall down it bruises their bones, they pay for food but can’t eat it… increasing the need for styrofoam-doggie-boxes, their jeans cost the same as mine no matter how fat i get, they look sickly (unless they’re really hot), people aren’t afraid to beat them up….oh the list goes on. it’s a tough world for those skinny people, i know, it just isn’t fair.

    Reply

  10. The skinnies never have/get to flush twice.

    Reply

  11. Have you ever noticed that skinny people have the worst smelling farts?

    Really. It’s true.

    Reply

  12. it’s true, they’re a mess! and did you even notice how being around skinny people actually makes you fatter? i’m not talking about relatively……i mean….they’re always eating or complaining that the want something to eat…..so what do we do? just to shut them up, we eat with them!~ bastards make us fatter! stay away from the skinnies! your life depends upon it!

    Reply

  13. Don’t be so sure, Toby!

    My little tyke Owen (6 years old and barely 40 lbs soaking wet) regularly power dumps. I swear just this morning he pumped out a double flusher that made me call out from down the hall, “what the hell is that smell!”

    Of course, he only goes three times a week.

    Reply

  14. What are those Play-Doh machines? That’s what I picture. Michele – make a poster!

    Reply

  15. I think my weaknesses may be even worse than yours…. gyros and cheesecake. I swear if I ever move to NYC I’m in trouble! You can take my 5’2” body and add at least 50 lbs. That would probably put me in Plus size clothes. Do they even make “petite” or short length clothes for obese women?

    Reply

  16. megan, good question. I am not sure.

    One time, having no idea what Layne Bryant (sp?) was, I got a dirty look from the woman working there. I left because she was mean. Later, someone told me it was plus size. Granted, I was about 22 at the time. I was still very skinny.

    Ah well

    I’ll go undercover for ya.

    Reply

  17. i was sure i was the only one who moved to new york and gained 20lbs!
    damn schnaaks! and the hope and anchor! and rays! and and and…..I 8 NY.

    Reply

  18. Nah, SF got my ass greatly. DC didn’t help either. I walk here, so it’s better, not perfect, but better.

    Ah well.

    Reply

  19. Megan, I’ll be the plus size representative and say that they do indeed have petite sizes.

    Reply

  20. See, don’t they consider 10 and above plus? Isn’t that the normal now? I have been known to wear as much as a 12. One pair of pants is a 15, I think. And then sometimes I can wear a 10. I don’t understand how they rate this shit.

    I think they should have “normal” stores, for those of us who are normal, and stores for the skinny folk. Most people aren’t zeros, right? I mean, even a two is crazy, no?

    yeesh.

    Reply

  21. The sizing system has become completely warped. Compare a size 2 from a designer to a size 2 at, say, Banana Republic, and you will find two different definitions of a size 2. My theory for awhile now has been that the stores want to build loyalty by making women feel good about themselves through allowing them to believe they are a size 2 when, in fact, they are a size 8 or 10.

    Why can’t we just measure everything in inches? Then maybe I’d be able to find a pair of pants that actually fit without alteration.

    Reply

  22. Plus sizes usually start at 14. I’m a big girl and when I was ‘thin’(playing raquetball 3 days a week, walking everywhere, eating very healthy), I was a 14-16. Now days, Let’s just say I’m bigger. I’m unhappy with the way I look, but mainly because I’m not toned like I used to be. Part of that is just from age and part from not playing sports, I think. I’ve never dieted, because I always think it’s silly. People spend so much time trying to change themselves and I never really understand what it’s for. If you makes you happy, great, but I just never understand. I try to eat healthy and bike on a regular basis, but I try not to beat myself up for my Ben and Jerry’s weakness.Then again, I have absolutely no willpower to avoid temptation.

    Reply

  23. I sit on my butt all day long practically, leaving my desk only to pee and fill my coffee cup – I go home and sit on my butt, glued to the couch, studying some of the most boring text material known to man (Public Admin.)…I no longer get to the gym with any regularity and I no longer shop for GOOD FRESH FOODS THAT WILL KEEP ME FROM WANTING A BROWNIE with any real regularity and I get home late and eat too late at night… and I eat out more often than I ever have = access to too many large portions, eating more than I ever should… The most I’ve ever lost was 28 lbs and it was like heaven, once the weight was gone – South Beach baby, all the way! I’m at this point right now where 15 lbs have creeped back rather quickly, starting last summer and then laying it on thick last Fall. Time to loose it, but it takes TIME Time for exercise, time for meal planning and time for all that to do something. To stay slim, I have to continually snack on small portions of uber healthy foods, since my metabolism’s gone down the shitter since age 26. And drink water like an otter – gotta do that. When I quit that, I feel hungry all the time and begin grazing = no good for the thighs (or the eyes)!

    Reply

  24. i gained weight in my early 20s because of my excessive drinking. luckily, i was too drunk to ever care what i looked like. the past 3 years, my drinking has been close to zero (about one drink per month) and i’ve lost the 25 lbs. i had put on from drinking. it was just the calories from alcoholic beverages that was deadly, mainly beer. now smokingâ

    Reply

  25. mihow!!!!

    huh, i guess that was my first mihow.com post ever!

    Reply

  26. I eat well, I think. Honestly. Other than my 3-4 whole wheat bagels per week (dry, with avocado) for breakfast, and too many pistachios some times, I think I eat really well. Booze and restaurants are poison. I’ve all but dropped wine and it’s one of my favorite things in the world. Beer is a rare treat. I drink bourbon now, and hardly any of that. At restaurants, I’m eating sushi/fish and salads. I’m exercising, though not as much as I should. Guess what I’ve lost in a month?

    NOT A FUCKING OUNCE.

    But I’ve been far happier. Less booze and eating well have made me a happier person. I think Michele can attest to that. I also stopped biting my nails (after ~25 years) on the first try. I’m almost perfect now. Perfectly chubby (BMI = 21), anyway.

    Reply

  27. I can attest to all of that. Not sure why, but somehow I am losing weight and we’re eating almost the same thing. Are you sneaking donuts during the day?

    Reply

  28. way happier after cutting out 98% of the booze….i quit smoking and bang….another chin…..i feel like i need that thing Boss Hogg used on his belly, for my face! or i should just grow a beard and be done with it! : )

    Reply

  29. you think restaurants are a poison, really? i think with eating out at least i get one portion and NO MORE. unless of course we’re getting a whole pizza pie. when i cook at home i eat way more because there’s no limit! though it’s usually dessert that i have a problem with. pretzel jello, cake, pies, fried dough!! it’s a bottomless pit in my gut when it comes to dessert.

    Reply

  30. Ha – at restaurants, that portion is usually enough to feed two people!

    Reply

  31. true, i usually feed the half I can’t finish to the garbage disposal a.k.a. Jon. that there my friend is my secret diet plan that’s UNBEATABLE!

    Reply

  32. I believe that last I saw him he had just eaten several blocks of fried cheese.

    Reply

  33. That was, indeed, a funny story. I am still very unsure of what type of cheese he ingested. But I heard Ha laughed and laughed at him. Great story.

    Reply

  34. it’s something like this cheese:

    i can only describe it as condensed styrofoam. and yes, i mocked his visible constipation, how could i not?

    Reply

  35. finally have time to post something :)

    I haven’t lost a pound since last November. I haven’t gotten back to the gym quite as regular as before, but I’m maintaining the 30lbs I lost last year. I went from a size 18 to a 12 and I ran a 5k last fall. Exercise is what I need to lose weight and all the endorphines you get from a good workout are really good for you beyond just dropping pounds. It’s a mental accomplishment and a natural high/mood booster in one. Dieting seems to be more of a temprorary solution for when I can’t make it to the gym.

    Reply

  36. BTW, Deekay and annejelynn… Holy crap. You guys are my heroes

    Reply

  37. Dee, you’re so right about exercise being a high. I get really depressed when soreness fades and I totally just wanna get drunk and trash a hotel room.

    Reply

  38. Little late to the party, but time to be a snot. I’m on a diet, too. Too put on weight! HAHA all you fatties! Eat your heart out! Oh wait, you can’t! HAHAHAHA!

    Seriously, though – while more people diet to lose pounds, I think the reverse is just as hard. I’ve been putting on a couple (stress the ‘couple’) since getting back to the gym, but it hasn’t been much since I’ve been focusing more on running and endurance over size.

    But to tease some more: what’s on the dinner plate tonight? A pile of lo mein and rice (thank you Kraft) and a BIG glass of chocolate milk (2% to be sure).

    Reply

  39. Oh – one definite drawback about being skinny. People (of both sexes) don’t seem to mind asking you for directions or where they are. If I have my headphones in, it’s because I don’t want to be bothered people….

    oh, and hotties always seem to know the way, so I don’t even get that.

    Reply

  40. For tonight, I’d love to be you. If I had that metabolism, I’d order pizza, have some coke, eat some doritos and then have some cake. Yes. With ice cream and jimmmies.

    Holy crap, I’m hungry.

    Reply

  41. jep – to almost all of your questions. have always been struggeling, probably always will. funny thing, this is what i wrote yesterday: http://kimba-bremen.com/?p=244

    my biggest weaknesses are bread [i absolutely cannot live without it] and pasta w/ pesto. i love things like pizza, M&Ms, gyros, bagels but can do without. the bread-thing just kills me…

    have you tried weight watchers? i think the system’s really good and works great. and the best part: you can actually eat everything you want – just not as much as you usually would. you can make up for it with exercise or more fruit & vegetables the next day. and the counting of the points is only annoying in the beggining. you get used to it and that way eat alot more controlled… it may not be for everyone, but i’m pretty happy with it and i’ve tried other “diets” before :)

    hang in there!

    Reply

  42. WHAT THE HECK IS THE BIG FREAKING DEAL!!!! A little extra padding ? So what! woman need to stop reaching for this elusive idea of what a sexy woman is, and starts excepting themselves ,in all thier amazing forms,stop dieting, stop dieting, stop worrying about it, and let the men sort out thier own need to feel more masculine by sporting a skinny gal, and have some dang ince cream!! Can I get a Amen………………

    Reply

  43. Jeesh, sorry about all the bad spelling, I was faint from hunger

    Reply

  44. That’s OK. Happens all the time.

    Reply

  45. Hi Michele,

    I’m so glad that I found you as the featured etsy artist. Your lollipops look amazing and I am so excited to receive mine in the mail! I am also enjoying your blog. This post especially interests me because I am constantly beating myself up over my weight. I know right now you are up to your eyeballs in orders, but someday maybe you’ll be able to read this. Here are my answers:

    Are you happy with your weight? No

    Do you diet? No, but I don’t eat too badly.

    Do you workout? No, well, sometimes I do.

    Have you ever lost and/or gained a large amount of weight? My 3 pregnancies have caused me to gain 30 lbs that I really don’t want.

    What’s your weakness? Cookies and cakes

    I have a bad knee but wonder if jogging might help me to lose this weight. I go swim laps sometimes but I wonder if running would work even better. I think I will give it a go.

    Thank you Mihow for your inspiration.

    Reply

Leave a Reply