I lost 40 pounds and I’ll tell you how, but you’re not going to like it

It’s counting calories and exercise, plus a little intermittent fasting, that’s how.

Ha! Told you you wouldn’t like it. If you want more details, they are below. The good news is, losing weight isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I just had to be ready. 

I am 5’5″ and 46 years old. Here’s my current driver’s license photo, on which I lied through my teeth about being 230 pounds. 

I don’t know how much I actually weighed, but it was more than that! My size 20 jeans cut into my waist and I was breathless all the time. 

I want to make it clear right now that it’s not evil to be fat. There are so, so many worse things in the world than being fat. Furthermore, I am still fat! But on April 14 of this year, I decided to at least try one more time to lose weight, and I thought you might want to hear about how it’s going. 

So, now it’s August, and now I weigh 195 pounds and fit comfortably into a size 16. I’ve lost about 40 pounds and I’m not pushing myself too hard, and I’m still losing about a pound a week. I haven’t really set a goal, but I would like to get down to 145 pounds. 175 would be awesome. Feeling more in control is already very awesome, so that’s really what this post is about. And yes, it’s about looking better.  I’ll also share some of my food strategies with you, but it’s nothing you can’t find anywhere else. 

So as not to be coy, I’ll start with the food part, and then I’ll tell the part about my brain. Here’s a typical day:

-Coffee with half and half when I get up. 
-Go for a run around 11:00
-Lunch at 2:00 (300-400 calories and high in protein)
-A snack or two around 4:00 or 5:00, or sometimes no snack
-A normal person’s dinner at 6:00 or 7:00
-Gin and seltzer with lime around 10:00

Typical lunch: Pita with four slices of turkey, mustard and pickles, and maybe a little cup of Greek yogurt or a piece of fruit; or a big plate of salad with leftover chicken, nuts, cheese, and vinegar; or pita fried with an egg. If I’m out shopping, I often get the Wendy’s strawberry chicken salad or grilled chicken sandwich. Not gonna lie, I eat a lot of turkey and chicken.

Typical dinner: Well, if you read this site, you know how I cook. I’m cooking as I always have, and just eating slightly smaller portions. Maybe I’ll go easy on the part of the meal that looks gooiest. If I’m still hungry after one serving, I’ll go back for a little more of the lowest-calorie element of the meal. If I’m really still hungry after dinner, I’ll have a green apple, and that seems to tell my brain “that’s enough.” 

And I drink plain seltzer all day long. 

I know I said I was counting calories, but I don’t actually know how many calories I eat per day. When I started trying to lose weight, I put my age, weight, and activity level into a calorie calculator and was surprised how many calories it said I could eat and still have a deficit; so at first, I calculated everything meticulously. Then I got sick of it and just started eyeballing everything besides lunch, and I still kept losing weight, so it seemed good enough. When I get stalled out, and stay the same weight for a week, I buckle down and pay more attention for a while. 

There is also a giant asterisk next to all of this that says “WITH SOME EXCEPTIONS.” If I had to name my weight loss plan, it would be the “with some exceptions” plan. More about that in a bit. 

The thing is, I was already doing a lot of things that should have helped me lose weight. I can’t have more than one cup of coffee, or it keeps me up at night, and I don’t like sugar in my coffee. Breakfast in general makes me feel blah. I don’t really like cake or pastries. Sugary foods and drinks give me headaches. I truly enjoy fresh fruits and raw vegetables. Chocolate is a migraine trigger. And I run 4-5 times a week to counteract hereditary heart issues and blood pressure issues, and to manage anxiety, migraines, and PMS. I was even intermittent fasting most of the time. But when I was eating, I was eating a lot. 

So mostly, I had to get smarter about all the ~e~m~o~t~i~o~n~a~l~ e~a~t~i~n~g~ I was doing all day long. I had about 523 different reasons for eating things, and only one of them was hunger. Not exactly groundbreaking info, but what to doooo?

I know some people have luck by addressing overeating as a sin to be corrected, and I’m not saying it’s not, but this doesn’t help me. It just doesn’t. I find the psychological approach much more useful. 

One thing I tell myself pretty often: “Nothing bad is going to happen if you don’t eat that [fistful of Cheezits or whatever].” First I had to acknowledge to myself that some part of me did halfway believe something bad going to happen if I didn’t eat it! That was embarrassing. Who knows where such a fear comes from. Poverty, pregnancy, anxiety, being just plain nuts, whatever. Anyway, I had to firmly tell myself that I was going to be okay, and I could just not eat the thing, and move along. Sometimes I had to tell myself more than once. Sometimes, oops, I didn’t listen, and ate it anyway.

So then the other half of the equation is that I often have to tell myself it’s also going to be okay if I did eat the thing. Because if it’s just food, it’s just food, whether I ate it or not.

A big part of disordered eating is not just the actual overeating; it’s being furious at myself for eating too much, and then punishing myself by eating more, and so on. Boo. Boo!

So what I’m working on is just calming the hell down about food, whether I’m having a good food day or a bad food day. I don’t want to be one of those people who gets skinny but is still crazy, you know? (Although it’s pretty likely I’ll end up both fat and crazy.) Food is important, and it can give real pleasure, and that’s not a bad thing. But it begins and ends in a certain place, and I’m the one in charge of that. That’s what I really want: To be in charge. That’s a big part of why being fat makes me so unhappy: Because I know I’m not in charge. I’m at the mercy of food and of food feelings. 

How to stay in charge? I have found through sad experience that trying to exert very rigid control doesn’t work with me. I panic and can’t sustain it, especially when something crazy happens and makes my careful plan feel overwhelming. And something crazy always happens. 

What I want is to eat in way that I can live with, no matter what else is going on. I don’t want to have to drag around a food scale or have special powders or say goodbye to entire categories of food forever. If I go to a party and there is baked brie or lobster in drawn butter involved, you bet I would have some — and then I would just cool with calories the next day, or else have a light lunch in preparation. That’s it! Because no single meal or single day is the final word. Even if I gain a few pounds, which definitely has happened, I got time. I can work with this. I can be cool. 

Every once in a while, flexibility or no, I get mad anyway, and feel kind of rebellious about having to think about what I eat, and I will stomp around and stuff unauthorized corn chips in my face, and eat a leftover pop tart I don’t even want, and sit around after dinner polishing off everyone’s leftover kielbasa even though I’m full. This goes on for a couple of days, and then I think, okay. You did that. It’s not the end of the world. But is it making you happy? And of course it is not.

That’s what really flipped the switch in the first place. I was gaining and gaining, and I knew I needed to do something, but I hated the idea of counting calories or joining a program, because I didn’t want to be thinking about food all the time. It seemed so dreary and awful and petty, thinking about food all the time.

Then it hit me: I think about being fat all the time. I think about it every day, every hour, sometimes more. I already think about it constantly, and it makes me unhappy every single time I think about it. So I thought OH WHAT THE HELL, I MIGHT AS WELL COUNT CALORIES. I didn’t even expect it to work! I just figured as long as I was going to be miserable, I might as well be miserable while trying, instead of being miserable while not trying.

And then the scale started to budge, what do you know about that.

So I’ve had to start over more than a few times, and it’s okay. Every time I’ve had to start over again, the scale starts to budge again eventually. 

I have had so many weird things happen to my brain over the last few months. One minute I feel absolutely vast, like an endless piece of obscenely overstuffed furniture. Then I get on the scale and I weigh ten ounces less than I expect, and I look in the mirror and bam, instantly I look slim and willowy and angular. This is bonkers. Completely bonkers. I have just had to learn to accept how bonkers it is and just stick with the program anyway, because what else am I gonna do? 

And what I’ve found is I’m getting this whiplash less and less often. I look the same to myself more and more often. How I look to myself when I look down at my body is more and more similar to what I see in the mirror, and that’s more and more similar to what I see in photographs of myself. This . . . has never happened to me in my whole entire life. I’ve always had half a dozen different conceptions of myself. But I’m starting to feel like just one person. I don’t know how else to explain it. It is some kind of healing and I am grateful for it.

A bit more about flexibility and fasting. If I don’t eat until 2:00, I have the best chance of having a sensible snack and a sensible dinner, for whatever reason. But sometimes I just get ravenous, and I’m not interested in torturing myself to make the numbers come out right; so sometimes I have some nuts in the morning, or sometimes I eat lunch at 1:00, and just try again for 2:00 the next day. On weekends, our schedule is different, and I usually eat a bit more, and earlier. It’s okay, because it’s the weekend and it’s part of the plan for it to be different. I figure if I have a little pie on the weekend, my body won’t get too used to low calories, and it will stay on its toes or something. 

For my afternoon snack, I eat pretty much whatever I want — the key being figuring out what I really want. If I’m feeling like hot stuff, I’ll want baby carrots or sugar snap peas and maybe a rice cake with chili lime powder. If I’m feeling like I just wanna eat something, I’ll have some potato chips or peanut butter crackers or whatever. What I always try to do is eat what I want, and then stop and see how I feel. Just give myself a second to make a choice, rather than bullying myself into rushing into the next thing without thinking about it. 

And then sometimes I blow it, and just snack my head off, and gobble up everything in the house because I’m just so hungry right before dinner time and I want all the stupid corn syrup and salt in the world. And then guess what? I’m not hungry for dinner. So guess what? I don’t eat it! Because my stomach is full, because I already ate, and do not actually wish to eat more food! It turns out there’s not a rule you have to eat the food you made for dinner, just because it’s dinner time, and my stomach has learned what it feels like to be full. Amazing. 

I weigh myself just about every day at the same time of day. There is a three-to-four-pound range that I expect to be in day to day, and what happens is the range, rather than the individual number, gradually shifts down. So if I were graphing my weight loss, I wouldn’t see a straight line down unless I zoomed out. I think daily weigh ins are probably a good idea, because sometimes you have a rogue high number, and if you weigh yourself every day, you’ll recognize it as a blip, and it doesn’t freak you out as much.

Where does exercise fit in? You can’t exercise fat away, but there’s still a link between exercise and weight loss. How it works for me is that I don’t feel hungry for a long time after I work out, and it seems to keep my blood sugar more stable throughout the day; and when I work out regularly, it sets in motion all kinds of good things that lead to eating better. I feel more confident, which makes me feel more capable of taking care of myself. I’m more energetic, so I’m more likely to get stuff done, rather than moping around the kitchen scrounging for snacks. I sleep better, so I’m less likely to go chasing after sugar and caffeine to give me an energy boost the next day. And so on.

I still highly recommend the Couch to 5K program, which has no end of free apps you can download to get you started. If running is no good for whatever reason, I also really like Jenny Ford’s marching workouts.  I have also somewhat grimly purchased a digital copy of Jane Fonda’s Complete Workout for those days when it’s too cold to run but I feel the need to suffer somehow.

I was also lifting weights and using a planks app for a long while. I ferkin HATED it, but I had to admit, I liked the results, and I know old bags like me need the bone density work. For a while I was running 3-5 miles a day, up to fifty miles a month. But I’m fundamentally lazy, and it’s gross and muggy and buggy out, so right now I’m just running a mile and a half most days and calling it good enough. 

The one thing I haven’t mentioned is my husband. He started this endeavor on his own over a year ago, and has lost an astonishing 70+ pounds, and at one point he was running over 100 miles a month. He’s a private guy and doesn’t like me blabbing about all his stuff, but I’m very proud of him, and he’s very handsome, and he’s got some pretty bitchin cheekbones, too, so there. I truly don’t think I could have done it without his example and companionship. At the same time, he never pushed me or made me feel like I was anything but beautiful to him, 235+ pounds and all.

If you are going to start overhauling your food life, I highly recommend having someone you can do it with, or at least someone you can talk about it with, someone who will reassure and encourage you and maybe occasionally gently tell you when you’re being crazy. 

There is a little part of me that is protesting: Why is it that the thing making me so happy is that there’s less of me? But truly, it’s not about diminishment. I’m starting to see my cheekbones again, too, and I feel like I look like myself again. Sometimes shifting calories around is like a little game: I’ll skip having french fries now, and maybe I’ll have a little fancy cheese later. Exercising self control feels like flexing muscles. It’s fun. It’s fun being able to zip my pants without it being a whole production. And you know, I pick up a dress I could barely zip up last time I tried it on, and now it just floats down over my head. It’s the best feeling.And that’s my story. 

Happy to answer questions if you have them. As you can see, I have zero training or professional information of any kind. All I have is a few months of some hopeful-looking success after a long string of failures in my past, brought on mainly by emotional immaturity, I suppose. And as I said, I’ve probably doomed myself for making this public, and now I’m going to swell up like a diaper in a kiddie pool, and now this essay will turn up in my Facebook memories every year to haunt and and taunt my fat ass forever, and then we’ll see who’s body positive and who’s just another yogurt-eating bitch. The truth is, I don’t have anything else to write about, so I’m writing about the forty pounds. You didn’t really want another essay about covid anyway, right? 


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34 thoughts on “I lost 40 pounds and I’ll tell you how, but you’re not going to like it”

  1. When you wrote about how your turning point was recognizing how you thought about being fat all of the time, so why not flip that energy and use it to be more mindful of what you were eating…I felt that in my soul lol!

    I am on a similar weight loss journey and have lost over 40 pounds with the same approach. At my highest weight…I thought about how big I was ALL THE TIME! Looking back, I see literally how the thought was baked into everything I did. Now, I just take same energy and use it to be more mindful when it comes to food. I don’t restrict myself, because the feeling of I can’t have something just makes me want it more, but I practice portion control. I also use the fact that I love food to my advantage in that there is a whole variety of healthy food choices I can make that taste good and are good for me. I also give myself grace to not be perfect everyday…traditional diet plans made that feel like failure but now it just feels…well like something sustainable. I could do this for the rest of my life because I am making better choices, losing weight and that motivates me to continue on and even do things like move more. Thank you for sharing your story!

  2. You look great!

    I really believe in the intermittent fasting. My husband likes toast and coffee in the morning right after we wake up. It has been such a temptation with all of the work from home time. What are you going to do when it is under your nose? Right now he is with our younger three at our home up north, who needed to start school, and I am with four of our older kids down south with my dog who had a litter of puppies last month. I miss him terribly but not the food habits. I love that feeling of rewarding myself after the morning fast. It’s not even a complete fast because I’ll take a bite of something yummy if I need it. I purposely don’t make my own coffee because it creates an additional barrier to having my breakfast. ( I buzz around the house tidying up and attending to the dogs.) So today I had breakfast at 12:45 when I finally made it to Peet’s on the way to Whole Foods. It was caloric enough to skip lunch. My mother invited us to dinner at six. It was a simple lasagne with a delicious salad and wine. I brought the desserts from Whole Foods: single portions of Tiramisu, Tres Leches, lemon bar, chocolate explosion, and carrot cake. When you fast, and then eat a hearty meal with wine, you aren’t really tempted by the dessert. I didn’t have any because I wasn’t craving it at the time. I think the wine kills the sugar craving. the other good thing is that the leftovers are in my mother’s fridge, about 100 feet away. If they were in my own fridge, and now that it’s almost 11, I’d probs dive right in.

    But I’m still an exercise bum. Other than being hyper for a lot of the day, and with all of the coming and going and doing household stuff, I kid myself that I don’t need regimented exercise. I miss communal yoga.

  3. Congratulations on not only losing some weight but also gaining some insight and self-respect!

    What’s really motivating me to comment is that you mentioned a possible goal of 145 pounds, and that’s about what I weigh now. We haven’t seen each other in decades, but as I recall we’re close to the same height, and you may recall I used to be extremely thin. At 145 I still look kind of thin, but I am much better able to endure a delayed meal without getting light-headed. So I think you could set your goal higher and definitely shouldn’t set it lower than 145.

    A couple of years ago I wrote about how I maintain this weight—but some of it is mysterious and I guess boils down to individual differences.

    Anyway, thanks for writing this; it was interesting to read.

  4. Congratulations Simcha!

    I like how you said you decided “to try one more time.” I’m 5-7 and 350 pounds. Couldn’t be a lot more obese if I tried (just kidding! Gaining is easy) and I’ve failed 138473 times to lose weight and keep it off.

    I’m hoping for my “one more time” energy to kick in soon. Pray for me!

  5. So happy for you!!
    You were already doing a lot of healthy choices, so really it was about portions.
    I think there is a fear we have to let go: the fear of not eating that last bit of food no one else wants. We do that to avoid wasting food, but end up always eating more that we feel the need to. Those little bits add up, and when I do that, I end up feeling too full. There’s no need to do that: just freeze the last bit of food, if you don’t want to waste it.

  6. I don’t know if you read a book or something or if you just figured this out because you’re smart, but literally everything you said in this essay is what the most evidence-based weight loss experts are saying these days. For example, that overly regimented diets (eg weighing everything you eat or cutting out all treats) usual backfire, since people can’t stick with them; shame isn’t an effective long term motivator; and that is general you should maintain as much flexibility as you can while still staying in a calorie deficit. Eat lots of veg and protein, only eat when your really hungry. The reason so many people regain is that they were following a method they couldn’t stick to in the long term. Anyways, congratulations on your success!

    1. Hi Jordan. Maybe this is the way for most people, but it isn’t for a lot of people. It wasn’t for me. I have maintained a six year significant weight loss and I want to share my side for people for whom moderation does not work. No question that sugar is a drug and I am a sugar/carb addict. I have darn near zero will power and the only power I hold over sugar is not to have any. Many emotional eaters are simply trying to self medicate. (I also have a history of poverty and remember often going to bed cold and hungry as a child). But still, I’m not sure if I was self medicating or just chasing sugar highs (that’s my guess). It’s easier to recognize and enjoy sugar highs once you’re completely free of sugar and then introduce a blast of it into your system.

      It’s so important to recognize that every body is different and we carb addicts will process carbs in different ways. My sister, for instance, can have cheese popcorn and not have it trigger a carb binge. I could never do that. But I can occasionally eat a handful of potato chips alongside a cheeseburger and be fine (i.e. not experience the sugar high). She can’t.

      Does that mean I never ever have sugar or other carby foods? Not really. But as time goes by I stray less and less. I know that if I do, it’ll likely mean a 3 or 4 day binge and it’ll be a good week or two before I’m back to normal. In the mean time I’ll be experiencing hot flashes and stiff and sore joints. Disrupted sleep, grouchy moods. The downside from sugar is a long one (for me anyway).

  7. Congratulations! I have always struggled with my weight. I think there is a link to poverty and the stress and anxiety around having enough of anything (food, money, etc). Also, the one indulgence you can often give yourself is food.

    I realized that I am often fearful about feeling hungry in the future (like in an hour), so I eat prophylactically. I’ve gone to a nutritionist who acted like all I needed to do was to learn about nutrition and I would lose weight. If she had also been a psychologist, maybe we could have made some progress.

  8. Congrats Simcha! I love your food posts. And also your posts about crazy life. This one made me sit down and take a minute. Reading this post made me feel like someone else understands my dramatic, ALIVE, (sometimes angry) relationship with food. It is painful and so much more than sustenance. Your words are better than any words I could have used! Go, go, go! I know exactly what you mean when you say that you are starting to feel you look like yourself again. Your tips are so helpful. Please keep updating us!

  9. Good for you! I tried intermittent fasting first, and had some success, but overall it just didn’t work for me. Everyone’s different, though, so I’m not poo-pooing IF, and I’m glad it worked for you.

    In May I had had enough and decided to buckle down and try doing the only thing that ever worked for me in the past: portion control. Kind of like calorie counting, I guess, as that guides my portions, but I’m not super anal about numbers. Also, I look for opportunities to sub in healthier ingredients when I can…like I’ve learned that I LOVE zoodles instead of spaghetti. I’ve also started a daily walk after dinner with my whole family, which I’ve found I really look forward to.

    Started mid-May and I’m down 13 pounds, which I am SO proud of because my weight has not budged for years! That time period includes a brief “off the wagon” stint while celebrating multiple birthdays and our anniversary. I got myself out of “obese,” so that feels good. Trying to lose a total of 60 pounds, which should take about a year. Sometimes it’s hard keeping motivated when a lot of my friends are doing commercial diets where they shed weight very quickly and talk about it constantly, but I know for me slow and steady will be sustainable. I’ve done it before, and I know full well how I got back into this mess (eating with wild abandon and giving myself permission to do so because emotionally I was a mess).

    Best of luck, and thank you for sharing! It’s helpful to hear from other people doing the slow and steady thing.

  10. Well done, Simcha! I do believe also portion control is the secret, not any crazy or faddy diets. And fasting is a great way to be more aware of what we put in our mouth. Please continue to share your journey. Really inspiring and encouraging piece.

  11. Congratulations!!! A few years ago, I lost a lot of weight (probably 60+ pounds) by doing low carb. And I guess the intermittent fasting that came at first as a natural side effect, but later became an intentional, spiritual thing. For me, living a low carb lifestyle is so much more than reduced weight. It’s the extra energy. It’s the recognition that carby food messes with my blood sugar and makes me feel and sometimes act crappy.

    My excess weight was all about my blood sugars. I’ve found meat doesn’t really have that high/low effect on me. So that’s what I primarily eat. I also eat eggs, avocados (guac), and a few assorted veggies and sauces. Occasionally, melons or berries. I don’t count calories. Never have. And I eat as much as I want. If I had to describe my way of eating in a single meal, it’d be “eat the fajita, leave the wrap.” The only time I experience actual hunger these days is when I’m purposefully fasting.

    Every body is different. And different things will work for different people. I’d recommend anyone starting weight loss to check out DietDoctor.com for solid, common sense advice (with a strong bent toward low carb and fasting).

    I almost unintentionally brought my family along for the low carb ride. The results have been tremendous. The increased focus in my sons has been amazing. Husband is off blood pressure meds.
    I wish I would’ve realized what my family needed sooner. Believe it or not, our grocery bill is cheaper even with more meat in it because there’s very little snacking anymore and most of us only eat two meals a day. Reduced hunger is a surprising, pleasant side effect of low carb.

  12. Congratulations! And also, this made me want to cry, because it’s what I should be doing but I don’t have it in me. My life is really awful and stressful and difficult right now, and I’ve given myself permission not to worry about my weight for now (I’m healthy, my clothes fit) but emotionally I still feel guilty about it.

    We as a society have such screwed up notions regarding looks, weight, and food.

    1. What you should be doing right now is caring for your family and for yourself. If you’re doing that, everything else will work itself out. You’ll know when it’s time to start worrying about your weight.

    2. Hey! Let that should go! You said it yourself, you are working on other important things. You are taking care of yourself and minding your capacity for stress and change. I, a stranger on the internet, who is having a more similar experience to Simcha right now, was having a similar experience to you about a year ago, with shaming from doctors heaped on. If I had tried to make changes THEN I would have failed and my mental health would have suffered. Find what you can do to care for yourself, and evaluate when/if you are ready to make changes in eating and moving your body… but for YOU, not for anyone else, on YOUR timing, not on anyone else’s.

      1. Thank you, Terry and Philly area. Like I wrote, I know intellectually that my priorities are fine, it’s the emotional aspect I struggle with, especially when I (stupidly) compare myself to friends who have more time and fewer problems than I do. But hey, what’s Catholicism without a little guilt? 😛

  13. Great article! I’m currently 50lbs overweight and just started my weightloss journey with roughly the same plan. I don’t want to make certain foods the enemy, just trying to move more, eat less and pay attention to when I’m hungry and when I’m full.

    I started putting on a lot of weight 5 years ago when my low grade depression and anxiety became clinical grade. After 3 1/2 years of trauma therapy, I’m finally able to live in and feel my body and it’s a good place to be to feel full and have my body physically rebel against eating more. I too still have my bad days here and there of emotional eating but it feels like there is more space between those days. I don’t want to go back to obsessing over food. I did that during my thin days and that wasn’t healthy for me either. So just trying to keep food in it’s place and move more so I still have a functioning body as I age.

    I come from a long line women who used food to cover uncomfortable emotions or to feel anything at all too I guess. It feels good to think that may not be my fate.

  14. GREAT article! Right on! I get it. In the same boat, exactly, down to obsessing about being fat. DANG IT. But thank you for the knock on the side of the head, because yeah, why spend all this time worrying about being FAT and my clothes not fitting?! I could use that energy to actually work on LOSING some of the weight. I keep getting stupidly resigned to “this is just how I am.” ARGH. Thank you!!!!!!

  15. This is just…disgustingly well balanced, lol. Seriously, good for you, you look great. I have had a similar mental Epiphany like you mentioned with the cherrios. Mine was learned in a weight loss group, but it was just something that really rang in my head. “Hunger is not an emergency”. And of course it’s not an emergency. Not for me, and not for most Americans anyway. But it felt like an emergency and I reacted to it like it was an emergency. I was very uncomfortable and anxious at the feeling of being hungry, at even the thought of being hungry. I don’t know where it came from. Learning to be OK with being a little bit hungry for a little while has been important for me. That probably sounds nuts to someone who hasn’t had this issue, but there it is.

  16. This is inspiring. Thank you. There’s a line I like from a poem by Donald Justice called The Thin Man: “I indulge myself in rich refusals.”

  17. Thanks for writing. I hope you get rewarded for being brave enough to write about this. I really enjoyed the rest and I am inspired. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for writing. I hope you get rewarded for being brave enough to write about this and not punished at all, as you fear. I really enjoyed the read and I am inspired. Thank you.

  18. Congratulations! I lost 40 pounds a few years ago (and have kept it off, give or take a couple of pounds). My approach was similar to yours: portion control, no elimination of food groups, no special powders or weighing food, etc. I did not do intermittent fasting. I actually used a Catholic weightloss program that had a spiritual aspect to it that helped with emotional eating, but I can’t in good conscience recommend that program any more because I suspect the founder has some Qanon leadings (I’m on her mailing list and get her weekly newsletters, which have prayer requests that have lead me to that conclusion). I’m sure you know Kate Wicker; she has had a great experience with intuitive eating and has found that helpful regarding emotional eating. (And I can highly recommend her, as she is a faithful Catholic blogger who also takes the pandemic seriously.)

    1. oh, I’m glad to know Kate Wicker is on the up and up! We used to move in circles that had more contact with each other (that’s a weird way of putting it but I seem to have forgotten how to talk), but as you know, this has been a rough for years for finding out all your favorite people have gone off the deep end. So that’s very good to know. And congrats on keeping the 40 pounds off!

      I hear so many stories about people achieving dramatic weight loss and then just putting it all back on again, as if it’s inevitable, so that’s very encouraging.

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