Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

That’s a misleading title.  I know exactly why I can’t lose weight.  I know exactly what I need to do.  Maybe after spelling it all out, seeing it in black and white, I will be encouraged to make the changes I need to make.

I have always thought I was fat.  Even when I was 17 and 85 pounds (I’m 4’11”), I thought I needed to lose weight.   Part of this comes from being built like a two by four–all straight up and down, not a waist to be seen.  In high school I was using appetite suppressants, until my friend Dan saw them in my locker and threw them away.  The beginnings of some awesome body dysmorphic disorder.


I gained my 15+ pounds in college, subsisting on french fries and pizza.  Fifteen pounds on a short person is like thirty on everyone else, I swear.  I lost the 15 pounds.  I gained slowly through the end of college and into my first years teaching; by the time I was married I weighed the most I ever have.  Luckily, my husband (who knew me when I was 85 pounds) didn’t care.  I cared, though.

About a year before my son was born, I went to the doctor and received a prescription for weight loss medication that was all the rage at the time.  I lost weight.  I was almost down to where I wanted to be; it was awesome but it still wasn’t good enough.  I still couldn’t reach that elusive goal weight that I set for myself.  So, I had babies, gained, lost, gained then lost again.  About 4 years ago I was probably in the best shape of my life. Then I was derailed by National Board Certification and have yet to get back on track. (If you’ve done National Boards for teaching, you know that there is about a two month period when ALL you do is work on your portfolio–bye bye Bow Flex.)

I don’t really need to know what to do–I’ve done plenty of research, tried and failed with the quick fixes, cleanses, etc.  I just need to do it.  And I need to love myself a little more for what my body can do.  I grew two human beings, after all.

So here, in black and white are my problem areas:

1.  I love food, mostly food that is really not good for me.  I love processed meat like bacon and  salami and pepperoni.  Cheese makes me giddy.  Haagen Daaz chocolate ice cream is my ambrosia.  I love bread and pasta.  I crave fried food.  I covet creamy sauces and soups.  I like my beer.  I know the answer is to eat less of that and eat the healthy, delicious food that will fill me up and keep me healthy.


2.  I hate cardiovascular exercise.  I can strength train for days.  I love yoga.  I enjoy walking.  I need to move, though.  I need to get my heart rate up for extended periods of time, and quite frankly, if I even have a slightly better offer, I will take it.

3.  I drink beer.  Maybe one or two every night.

I don’t want to reach some magic “everything will be perfect at this weight” weight.  I just want to fit into the clothes in my closet.  I want to not hate myself for my lack of control, my laziness, and my gut.

Here are the things I’m doing right:

1.  I quit smoking 4 years ago.

2.  I quit drinking Diet Coke.

3.  I increased my garden size by 100%.

4.  I started doing yoga regularly, and am walking a couple days after work with my friend and colleague.

5.  I eat breakfast every day.

6.  I joined my building weight loss challenge to keep me honest, and participate in the wellness program. For the wellness program I keep track of things like fruit and veggie intake, sleep, exercise, flossing, etc.  I turn my card in each week, and am entered into a drawing.  I actually won today…50 bucks.  Woohoo.

7.  My husband makes sure I have vegetables at every meal.

Here is my action plan:

1.  I will do at least 20 minutes of yoga 6 days a week.

2.  I will walk more–and perhaps figure out how to turn myself into a runner.

3.  I will only drink beer on weekend nights.

4.  I will start using my Bow Flex again.

5.  I will concentrate on making and eating healthy food, most of the time.

6.  I will try to remind myself that being overweight doesn’t automatically make any good qualities I have null and void.

The time to begin is now, I know.  I’m trying to not make drastic, unsustainable changes.   I’m not looking for miracles…I just want to fit into my clothes again.  I want to stop beating up on myself because of how many chins show up in a photo.  I want to enjoy every day and not waste time on negative self-image, and stop comparing my body to everyone else’s.   Is this too much to ask?



10 thoughts on “Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

  1. Pingback: Making Peace With The Woman In The Mirror | thelittlethingseveryday

  2. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your post, (or blog)? Anyway, I was running-walking and then running on the choruses of songs. I have a co-worker who runs and have been going with her. We do run 1 minute, walk 1 minute. So much easier than what I was doing, and I am see progress. I should have taken measurements because I haven’t lost any weight since December, but I think my clothes fit better. I run/walk Monday, Pilates Tuesday, bike on Wed, Yoga on Thurs, run/walk Fri, Pilates on Saturday. I think I need to start counting calories again. Usually, I am not eating enough (or eating calories in sugar, not real food)The hardest part is finding a true amount for the number of calories I should be eating. There seems to be different numbers everywhere. Do I count exercise calories burned or not? One friend posts a 2 mile walk in 45 mins-her site tells her she burned 400 calories, mine says 100 for longer and faster walk. It think it is a fluke when I actually do lose….


  3. I use these two apps… Weight loss and lose it… I like them both for two different reasons… Between the two I track what I eat and drink and set goals and keep it off now over a year…
    🙂 makes me so happy… Lost. 40 and look and feel so much better


    • Thanks for the comment. If I could lose 15 I would be back comfortable in my clothes. Doesn’t seem like much, but…

      Thanks for the website ideas. I had been using Livestrong and tracking definitely works. I think the running thing might be the answer, or at least one answer. Let’s see if I can fashion myself into one!

      Congrats on your accomplishments, by the way. 🙂


  4. Thank you for sharing!!! I can totally relate to what you’re saying. I LOVE how you listed what you are doing right. That is a beautiful way to start! I’ve been really into Dr. Michelle May’s anti-diet books lately, check em out. The phrase I’ve been sitting on recently is “if you eat when you’re not hungry, your body has no choice but to store it.” Best of luck on your journey, Sister!!


  5. Hey Jenny- have you tried weight watchers? It is a wonderful program and easy to stick with. I find that if you pay for it it keeps the incentive going. It worked for me when I was your age. Robbie VanSolkema


    • Thanks, Robbie –
      I have done Weight Watchers type programs before. If I really hunker down, I can lose weight–I am just trying to adjust my entire lifestyle so the weight stays off.


  6. Jenny, I have so been there. So have most women. I really appreciate your honesty, and it’s so true that it’s about letting go of that negative body image but also trying to be healthier. With the whole running thing, it really helped me to sign up for a race because then it made me do it. The Wag Dog race in May is a great one and maybe I shouldn’t say this but I partly do it because you get beer and Sweet Peaks ice cream at the end…..


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