Best Feeling EVER??  

Zipping up a pair of jeans you haven't been able to wear for over a year and half!    Agree?  


Health, Diet and Lessons Learned


Look, I have been struggling with this all my life.  I can vividly remember going on my first diet in high school.  (Now, when I look back at pictures I can't help but wonder why I was so hard on myself.  I think now that I looked pretty good then)   Over the years I have been successful at losing a lot of weight and I have been successful at gaining weight.  Each phase of my life has been different though.  After college losing weight was different than losing weight after having a baby.  Now I am learning to learn to lose weight during menopause. 


I have never been good at exercising primarily because I have a lot of issues with my joints and have struggled with pain and movement for as long as I can remember.  Last year I had my 2nd hip replaced.  Since doctors warned me it would take at least an entire year to fully recover, I am just now realizing I can do things I haven't been able to do in over 25 years!  This is very motivating!!! 


I started my "lifestyle makeover" at New Years with great gusto.  I committed to exercising every day.  And I have done it! (This is a first for me! )  I began riding my stationary bike 30 minutes a day.  I also started using the My Fitness Pal app and staying under 1200 cal a day.  Believe me when I tell you,  I have done every other wieghtloss program out there.  I don't want to do points or shakes or eat freeze dried expensive food or anything complicated.  So this app is perfect for me.  Its so simple and flexible.  The first week I lost 8 lbs.  (water anyone? lol)  The next 4 weeks were a steady 1-2 lbs a week.  At about week 4 or so I decided to up my game and exercise an hour a day.  I was riding my bike and add strength training with hand weights to my daily routine.  I continued to keep my calories under 1200/day. 


My Fitness Pal will calculate how many calories you burn doing a certain activity.  They add those calories back into your daily allowance.  So with an hr of exercise they were telling me to eat almost 1700 calories a day.  This made no sense to me.  If I am exercising to burn calories why would I want to add them back in?  So I stuck with staying under 1200 calories.  I was not starving.  I was eating healthy 1200 calories with plenty of protein and fiber.   I didn't feel deprived or hungry.  I wasn't even really craving anything.


But, to my shock, horror and disappointment, when I added the extra exercise the first week, I lost NOTHING.  I was so disappointed.  I decided to stick with it hoping for a big loss the following week...but again...NOTHING!  Determined,  I stuck with it yet another week...and then it happened....something I never expected and was totally unprepared for...I gained a pound!!!!  How is that even possible??  An hour of exercise a day and under 1200 calories - how does a person GAIN a pound??



It was at this very time that I was going away on a mini-vacation with my children.  Perfect timing because now I was upset and needed a break from all this.   We toured colleges for my son.  College tours are at least 2 hours of walking always with lots of stair and hills.  And when we weren't visiting colleges, we were sight-seeing, on foot of course.  I got plenty of exercise.  I was active for the three days.  BUT I was also eating.  I was happy beyond words and not thinking about that stupid ugly bathroom scale!  I was eating what ever I wanted.  Granted, I didn't over eat.  Often, I was giving half my meal to my son.  But I was eating things like pasta, fried shrimp, even Nutella pizza.  I was also enjoying coffee with cream, a waffle with butter and syrup for breakfast, etc... I was eating what I wanted. 


So today after a week ( 5 days of eating whatever I wanted and two days of staying under 1200 calories) guess what happened?  I lost 3 pounds! 


I guess the moral of this story is that My Fitness Pal and my friends were right...I do need to eat more.  I am not saying fried shrimp and Nutella pizza every day (although wouldn't that be a great a way to live??)  But if I am exercising every day, I need to eat adequate food even if it doesn't make sense in my mind.  And it probably never will .  So this is how you lose menopausal weight.  My new normal. 


What works for you?  Do you have any great recipes to share?