April 23, 2012


I have a confession. I weigh more now than I ever have in my life. Full disclosure. That translates into 155 pounds. I'm not tall but I'm not 4'3" either so this isn't an obscene amount of weight on me. But it is annoying.

Now I'm a vegetarian, gave up my Ben & Jerry's habit years ago, and do a really good job avoiding terrible stuff. My problem is exercise. I work ten hours a day, have two kids, and deeply value my sitting-on-my-ass time but I realized this wasn't a problem that was going away anytime soon. So I bought a bike. Oddly this doesn't mean that I sit on my ass less. I just sit on my ass faster.

The other day I took this whole obsession to a slightly new level. I downloaded a calorie counting app for my phone. This was a bad idea not because I'm prone to taking such things to a heretofore unknown level of fanaticism. No, I'm okay with that. It's bad because my average day is actually pretty good. Take Saturday:

- Two Morningstar Farms veggie sausages
- One bagel
- Two cups of coffee
- Total: 382 calories

- Penne pasta with spinach and cheese
- One root beer
- Total: 640 calories

- Four pieces of Papa John's veggie pizza
- Total: 800 calories

Now, I didn't exercise aside from a very short bike ride with Mia but still, not bad right? But wait until I get to the snacks category. Because snacks is where I record the beer.
- Four Torpedo IPA extras
- Total: 800 calories

See, I was doing fine until I got to the beer thing. Then I basically doubled the size of dinner. Which shot me up to 2,622 calories, 687 over the 1,944 total I was shooting for.

I've come to some conclusions:
- I need to exercise quite a bit more.
- I should worry less about numbers and more about how I feel.
- If I skip lunch I can have more beer.

Posted by Chris at April 23, 2012 7:49 AM

This is a subject near and dear to my heart. Not the beer, per se, but the incessant weight gain given a fairly healthy diet. And I exercise a lot!

I have come to the conclusion that getting older sucks! That all these people who go on about "eat 5 meals a day", "eat at the same time every day", "eat a big breakfast" can bite me!

(if you think you might want help from a nutritionist, I know a very nice, reasonably priced one who will meet you at starbucks, and wil give you a calorie allotment and meal recommendations that allow 45% beer)

Posted by: Lisa at April 23, 2012 9:24 AM

Of course, it should be about how you feel. Obviously, we can all eat better and exercise more, but at the same time, when you are in your mid-30s, you're not supposed to have the metabolism of a hummingbird.

Posted by: J at April 23, 2012 9:48 AM

My bf has the exact same problem! He is on Nutrisystem for like the 2090th time, he does really good in what he eats, portion control, veggies etc, but even though the plan doesn't call for consuming alcohol, he can't get rid of his beer or 4 beers a day, ha, and then bam, he is back to square 1.

Posted by: Heather at April 23, 2012 9:52 AM

The best exercise to help manage weight is working with weights. I do circuit training with weights - 40 minute workouts (usually with 8-10 lb dumbbells) 5 to 6 mornings a week. With that, I am able to maintain my weight after losing 70 pounds. A week ago, on my doctor's orders, I also cut out grains and simple starches and have dropped 5 more pounds.

Posted by: Traci at April 23, 2012 9:54 AM

Oh - I should add that I'm 41. :)

Posted by: Traci at April 23, 2012 9:55 AM

If you buy bigger shorts, you'll feel less fluffy. You'll start feeling like your clothes fit comfortably (nevermind the fact that they're a size larger).

Not that I do this, of course... :o)

Posted by: Emily at April 23, 2012 9:57 AM

Beer has always been my downfall (in more ways than one!) after last summer I gave it and wheat in general up. I'm talking bread and pasta and crackers. A simpler version of the Wheat Belly (check out the blog).
I eat better and exercise 6x a week (but I work from home and my "child" is 21)
I no longer weigh myself but heading into this summer ALL my shorts fit me - not just the one pair I squeezed into last summer.
Just try LESS beer, more fruits and veggies. Tough with your schedule I realize. But that's my view.

Posted by: NancyB at April 23, 2012 11:08 AM

I'm no nutritionist, but try cutting back on the breads/carbs (i'm talking bagel, pasta, pizza) and keep the beer :)

try switching your breakfast bagel for scrambled eggs with veggies or oatmeal with fruit. you can try the thing where you have a handful of almonds before a meal and that will prevent you from wanting the extra slice of pizza with dinner.

Posted by: laurs at April 23, 2012 11:56 AM

The only thing that works for me when I work out often is biking and walking. I refuse to count calories and that makes things harder for me.

I eat oatmeal and fruit nearly every morning. I cut back on pasta and rice and eat more salads than I'd like to admit. I'm at the age where I feel eating like a bird is becoming a necessity. I like my beer and every beer I drink seems to settle on my expanding waistline.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at April 23, 2012 12:44 PM

I found your site via A Blogger and A Father. I'm really enjoying your straightforward, honest writing. Thanks for sharing.

Also, I've got from size 30 to size 34 pants since 1) turning 35 and 2)my twin sons were born. I have had it with the constant "embiggening" and hope to begin my own fat attack soon.

Posted by: Kevin Berry at April 23, 2012 2:26 PM

Once, when I was in my 20s and had time to do things like read crazy books just for the ridiculousness of it, I read Helen Gurley Brown's "Sex and the Single Girl." (Cliff note: Brown was the editor who basically created the modern Cosmo magazine.) In this book she spent a whole chapter essentially encouraging eating disorders and actually wrote that in her quest to stay skinny a woman "will have to choose at some point whether she wants to eat food or drink cocktails."

At the time, I thought that was one of the most ridiculous things I'd every read. Now I'm 37, and I can see that she has a point. (I still both eat food and drink beer, but I do so knowing full well that this is why my pants no longer fit.)

Posted by: Cherie Beyond at April 23, 2012 5:07 PM

i weigh 123.5lbs. sounds perfect, except that it's 23.5lbs more than i weighed 5 years ago and it is NOT NEW MUSCLE. and i love me some food. so i have recently started trying to fix it. i'm drinking 100oz of water a day, skipping alcohol and caffeine and eating just lean meats and green veggies. we'll see how it goes! biking is never going to happen for me, though. nope.

have you seen the new nike fuel bands? i totally want one. not because i think it will be completely accurate when it comes to tracking calories burned, but because i think it might spike my OCD tendancies in a good way. like i'd always want to beat the day before...

Posted by: kati at April 23, 2012 9:11 PM