Saturday, November 10, 2007

Don't Step on It...It Makes You Cry

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Do you remember the time I asked you to chunk your scales?


If you want to read exactly what I said before continuing, click here:

Here's what I said:

I told you to throw them away. The title was clever: “Scales Belong on Fish”. And oh, I was so clever for thinking up this brand new plan. At the time, I saw it as a way to stop torturing myself.

Now, no moaning please, I have a completely different opinion.

Throwing out my scale was the same as throwing up my hands and symbolic for: “I give.”

You know who won that battle. Nope, not me.

This year when it was time for the annual checkup, two years had lapsed since I had been to the doctor or stepped foot on a scale. I wasn't ready to go there. I had no idea what the outcome would be because I had avoided all scales. And, more importantly, I didn't want to know. I prepared myself for battle.

After my name was called, I followed the nurse to the scale. I looked at her and gave her the “No way Jose” expression.

She arched her eyebrow.
I said, “I will NOT step on the scale.”
“Sorry, Ms Evans, but you must.”
“Will not.”
“Will too.”
“Will not.”
“Will too.”

Of course you know who won this argument. I slipped off my shoes and took off the jacket that I only removed when undressing or at home, you know the “cover-your-flaws” jacket, and stepped on the scale.

The nurse started at a reasonable place. “Well, at least I looked like I weigh less.” Right. Whatever.

I held my breath and looked down. "Yikes! This is bad.” Really bad. Terrible. A disaster.

If you aren't monitoring your weight, it can get away from you and quickly. The same thing goes with finances. Don’t pay attention. Don’t know. Then wham. Not good.

My off-base suggestion in the before mentioned article recommended using your clothes as a guide. After following my own advice for two years, I can tell you using the “how-your-clothes-fit” method to monitor weight does not work. One can wear the same size clothes while going up and down a ten to fifteen pound point spread. Take my word for it. I know.

We can use all kind of inner dialogue to explain away our tight jeans or tight jackets. “Hey, my jeans shrunk in the dryer! Yeah, that’s what happen. Look they still fit! I still wear the same size.”

At the doctor’s office I had a reality check. Things weren't going my way. And the direction I was heading meant I’d be changing pant sizes really soon. If I continued on my path of denial, the size would be bigger. Who was I kidding anyway? If you are using the “stick-your-head-in-the-sand” approach to anything in your life, stop right now! Take stock. Look at it. Size it up.
Face the facts.
When you do this, you can create a plan that will allow you to make change. You can make small changes to help you correct the scale, the budget or reduce debt. Self-correcting doesn't have to be difficult or hard. This is the "magic key" I recently discovered about weight. Making small changes that you will be able to do over the long haul will give you the best results. A quick fix is not best and creating a program you can't stay with isn't either.
When playing tennis today, I listened to some “just-the-right-size” ladies on my court. “I never eat after 8:00 p.m.,” the size eight said.

“Me neither,” the size four replied.

What an interesting concept. Add scales, make a few rules and without much effort new habits and patterns are formed. I decided at that very moment I would adopt the rule too.

The previous night, I had cut off all food and drink at 7:00 p.m. The medic hired by my life insurance company called me and told me to fast for 12 hours. She was scheduled to do my blood work the next morning. Because of my fasting experience, I had already thought about this rule. “What if I didn't allow myself to eat or drink after 7:00 p.m.? It would probably help me lose weight.” Hearing those ladies talk about it confirmed that maybe I was on to something. I liked their cut off time better and changed my 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Some good news…

Since weighing at the doctors a month and a half ago, I’ve lost eleven pounds. How do I know? Medic Lady weighed me today. My actual weight surprised me. This time, it made me happy. I had no idea I had lost that much weight. My “clothes” method hadn't told me this at all. Sure, I knew my clothes fit better, but not eleven pounds better!

I have more pounds to go. With new rules in place, like don’t eat after 8:00 p.m., don’t eat when full, make healthy choices, and walk five days a week, I am ready to keep going. Now I see a scale for what it is—an instrument of measure. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s simply a tool to help me know when I need to be more attentive to what I eat or how much I exercise. The mystery has finally been solved for me.

Want to know what is working for me after thirty something years of self - bashing and struggling with my willpower?

1. Don’t eat past fullness. If you use this method, you don’t have to continually deny yourself.

2. Use the 80/20 percent rule. I make an effort to make healthy choices at least 80 percent of the time. This frees me up to indulge occasionally without playing the guilt game.

3. Exercise regularly. Right now my exercise of choice is walking. While in the weight loss phase, I’m going a little overboard on this…meaning, I walk more than I plan to do for maintenance purposes. For the short - term, it will not be problem. I read, rehearse presentations or watch TV while I walk on my treadmill. Walking outside, of course, is always an option. I also play tennis for fun two days weekly. Find exercises you can enjoy so you will continue for the long - term.

4. Include some type of resistance training. My latest discovery is the band. I love it! Prevention magazine did a study and found women who used the band were most successful in losing weight and inches. They compared the band users to groups who repeatedly did yoga, pilates, dumbbell training or floor exercises.

5. Reduce the number of diet cokes (or soft drinks you are drinking). If you are drinking fully loaded versions, you know the ones with sugar, you’ll notice an immediate difference! For so many years, I couldn't break myself of the diet coke habit, but now I limit my consumption to three or less 12 oz servings a day. In its place, I drink homemade lemonade. I sweeten the lemonade with Stevia. Stevai is a low-carbohydrate, low-sugar supplement that has a negligible effect on your blood glucose levels. You can buy Stevia on line or at your local health food store. It’s listed as a supplement. The lemons and Stevia aren't cheap, but they are not any more expensive than diet cokes. The lemonade tastes so good that it’s easy for me choose to drink it over diet coke.

If you have a tip you want to share, leave a comment. We love to talk in cyberspace. And anything to help each other feel our best is always welcomed!

If you are a writer and interested in learning more and all the things you can do with your account, check out

It includes information I shared with Red Dirt Book Festival participants last week!


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I just love your picture, Allyn. Who wouldn't want to be your friend. You look 12 by the way.

Also, thank you for letting me see the cover of The Frugal Book Promoter! Don't forget to add the Frugal Editor, though. Ahem!


Yvonne Perry said...

I know something that is good for combating middle age weight gain. NATURAL progesterone. Not the kind your doctor will prescribe. Get it from Arbonne. No chemicals, nothing but botanicals, but it's a miracle in a pump dispenser.

Yvonne Perry

Elena Dorothy Bowman said...

I used to drink 20 to 30 cups of coffee a day with milk and real sugar. I wasn't hungry during the day, but I did have a lot of energy and kept my weight down. That was when I was young and foolish. Now, however, I drink one cup of black coffee a sugar. I've discovered that I prefer a nice cold glass of water and that satisfies me and keeps me from snacking. Yes, I do keep the scales handy...for what it's worth.:) And that's all I'll say about that.


Elena Dorothy Bowman
Journey to the Rim of Space and Beyond

Kathe Gogolewski said...

Hi, Allyn,

I had to laugh all through your "clothes method" account! I tried the same thing with similar results! It's amazing how much weight some clothes allow you to gain and lose without feeling the effects. Of course, I've always bought "forgiving" clothes, such as roomy pants with large or flexible waistbands, long shells or jackets that reach below my butt, and of course the evil one-size-fits-all-muumuu-type top! How do you outgrow THAT?!?!? LOL! Yeah, it doesn't work!:)

suemorgan84 said...

Oh it DOES make me cry, which is why I've rarely stepped on my own dust covered scale.

Like you, I've been using the "clothing" method of weight management for some time, and you're right, it's not that reliable. I wear a bigger size than I've ever worn before. Happily, which actually is quite sad.

I was walking regularly as a stress reliever last spring and LOVING IT. I'm planning on going back to my daily walks, but.. well... it's almost New Years...

I know I have a number in my head, and if the scale (in my own doc's office) ever goes there, then I'll be motivated beyond belief.

In the meantime, the holidays are coming...

Thanks so much for making me laugh,

Just published online @
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Carol Kroetz said...

Hi, Allyn!

I was looking for this picture and found your blog. I´m from Brazil and I´m participating on a "group diet", there are more than 170 bloggers dieting together!
We write once a week about the diet, giving advice or suggesting a recipe... it´s been quite fun!
I loved your blog!

Allyn Evans said...

Hi, Carol! Thanks for the post. I have since this posting found HCG, the homeopathic version and have lost another 20 pounds!

So the scale is definitely my friend and something I plan to use as a regular guide to how I'm doing.

Taking my head out of the sand was the beginning to the best results I could have possibly hoped for!

Good luck with your method of choice. It's nice to re-gain control of weight!