Monday, April 30, 2012

How To Lose Weight And Find Your Waist

If you are totally disgusted with yourself and your Bread Butt and Pasta Belly, then read can escape your pudgy little self and actually start to discover something that feels like a waist.  Remember waists?

I absolutely adore Horrockses dresses from the 1950's - the lines of the dresses demanded waists, but still allowed a soft plumpness in the shoulders and hips.  The dress above is one of my favorites, and not least because the fabric features small plates  I am a die-hard foodie, always have been.  But even if I won a Horrockses dress in the lottery, I couldn't wear it because right now, I don't actually have a waist.

But I am getting it back.

I'm 5'2", and until 2005, enjoyed a fast metabolism and petite little figure.  But then I moved to Coastal North Carolina and opened a fabric store in downtown Shallotte.  When I emerged from unpacking 700 bolts of fabric and started looking around for a place to eat lunch, my heart began to sink.  There was nothing, absolutely nothing that even closely resembled what I was accustomed to eating.  No Latino/South American, no Thai or Indonesian, no Greek or NY Deli style food in sight.  Everything except for The Purple Onion was Southern Cooking, buffet style.  Eat all you want.  And I did.  It was fast and cheap. 

I went from 115 pounds to 140 pounds in seven years.  Then I sold the store and moved back to Atlanta, and literally dove into the international food scene.  I was ravenous.

Last month, we went to Washington DC and I caught a glimpse of myself in a store window.  Wait.  That couldn't be me, could it??  It was.

As soon as we got back to Atlanta, I pulled our old electric steamer out of the cabinet and headed to the Farmer's Market.  And in the first week, I lost 8 pounds.  This morning, I was at 128, down 12 pounds from a month ago.  It wasn't hard at all, and I'm starting to wear belts again for the first time in years.  I can't believe that by simply changing the way I was eating, my body instantly started to return to itself. 

This is what I'm doing:

First, foremost, and last,  I'm adhering to the Calories In, Calories Out rule of thumb.  I try to never eat more in one day than I can burn up before I go to bed.  And, I started walking every day for an hour.

I Cut out white stuff.  Like white rice, white potatoes, pasta, refined sugar, breads.  And I cut down on salt.  I started drinking a lot more clear water - once I was hydrated again, my body quit hoarding fluid and started to flush it out.  I had forgotten that little trick!

My fridge is loaded at all times with Fresh Vegetables, Tofu, Eggs, Crisp Salad Greens, and Blueberries.  For protein, I eat only Chicken or Fish.  No Red Meat.   
Image from Easy Recipe Collection.

Image from

I steam Broccoli Florets, or any of my veggies, just until fork tender, sprinkle with a little sea salt and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil...the real dark  green, expensive stuff.  Yum, yum.  

Image from Baby Food 101.

Rough chopped cabbage is exquisitely sweet when steamed - I take it out of the steamer just as it is getting tender, and then either serve with sea salt and that yummy drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or...

My other favorite condiment:

For lunch, I always eat tons of steamed veggies and boiled or roasted Chicken Breast meat...and I never get hungry.  For dinner, Grilled Salmon or Shrimp over a bed of Baby Salad Greens or Spinach, punched up with dried Cranberries, fresh Pineapple chunks, a toss of Gorgonzola crumbles, and anything else lurking in the salad bin.  I use a LOT of fresh herbs and seasonings...fresh ginger, basil, thyme, cracked black pepper, etc.  If it is full flavored, my mouth is happy!

Now that I've got you interested, just let me just throw this whole cup of steamed Broccoli has 40 calories.  One cup of Cauliflower has 28.  Yes, 28.  The Cabbage?  31.  Squash has a whopping 30 calories.  And the yummy diced Sweet Potato that would be forbidden on a fad diet has about 170 in a whole cup, and trust me, you won't eat a whole cup. 

The absolutely essential Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds about 120 calories per tablespoon.

These are the rules if you want to find your waist:
Remember:  Calories in, Calories out.

You have to walk or do something physical every day.

You have to drink lots of water.

You have to get real about what you are eating.  Every day.

Go get a Digital Scale and weigh yourself Every Day.

Get enough sleep.

And once a week, eat something out of a Grilled Salmon BLT with French Fries - it will trick your metabolism and rev it up.

Don't eat a bite after 8:00 P.M. if you can possibly help it.

And have those 2 glasses of wine every night-you've earned it!


M said...

Don't forget, taking even a ten minute walk each day helps, too! Also, get yourself some little three pound weights and one of those big yoga balls to sit on. Even doing about ten minutes of different lifting exercises (all low reps, very easy to do) while sitting on that ball pulls those stomach muscles right in!

Linda McMullan said...

Wow, Meg! I've never had a Yoga Ball, but wanted something that would work those flabby tummy muscles other than boring sit-ups. I'm off to the Yoga Ball store!

M said...

Check out Marshall's/Kohls/TJ Maxx/Ross-- the balls and weights are a lot cheaper there!

☆sapphire said...

Thank you so much for this informative post!! The green dress is really lovely! "I was at 128, down 12 pounds from a month ago." WOW! You did it! I have repeatedly lost and regained weight so far. In recent years, I walk as much as possible as I love walking and going on a hike. I think it works.

Linda McMullan said...

Sapphire, walking and drinking good clean water is one of the best things you can do for your body. And, fresh vegetables and fish is really the way to go. I am simply amazed that just thinking about what I am eating and making sensible choices can make such a difference.

I can't wait to wear a dress with a cinched waist again!

snowwhite said...

Your recipe is more than perfect!!
Over the years, my blood pressure and blood-sugar level are going up very slowly and a doctor says it is aging. So I printed out “Low Insulin food” which has a low sugar or carbohydrate content, so they are also low calorie food.
Linda, I also use Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This is a magical oil, isn’t it!! I eat brown rice, trying to avoid to have white food as much as possible. When I get up, I drink a cup of good water.
Your blog is a great encouragement for me. From now on, I steam vegetables.
It is very true as you said we are what we eat.
The dress is so beautiful! I love classic dresses. They are graceful and have feminine flavor more.
Thanks a lot for your information.
Have a nice weekend.

PS, I have allowed myself sometimes to take sweets. It is very, very difficult for me to resist this type of temptation. My will is not strong. Poor me.

snowwhite said...

One more. I am useing a pedometer. It is a fun to see how many steps I walked a day.

Linda McMullan said...

It is okay to eat sweets, as long as they are small amounts to make your mouth happy. Thankfully, for me, I don't crave sweets. What I DO crave is fats. Which is worse, I think!

And, my husband and I decided on Wednesday to shop for a pedometer! I would love to know what brand you bought? Is it easy to use?

Thanks for your comments!

snowwhite said...

Now I am using Tanita's pedometer which tells me also how much calories I consumed a day.
This pedometer needs my information, such as my stride, weight and more. Before this I used a simpler one. I think no difference between them. Both of them encourage me to walk more.


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