Is Weight Loss More About Calories or Mindset?

An Update on my Health and Fitness Goals

I feel like I need to put this here, as I have kept you all up to speed on the whys and why nots of my going on a diet.

It is a tricky thing, coming to terms with a middle-aged body. My “babies” are now six-years-old, so I cannot blame my excess baggage on the ravages of pregnancy times 5.

I’ve been going to the gym more or less regularly for a year. That gave me some initial toning up, and my clothes began to fit better. However, it was not the miracle cure for my poor diet.

Sure, I eat just fine in theory. I prepare healthy meals for my family–until life gets crazy (like our recent home renovation that had us eating pizza and cheeseburgers for a week). I CAN pack healthy lunches for at work, but then I get tempted by Wendy’s chicken nuggets, and since it is right next door. . . Or, how about my total addiction to 500 calorie lattes?

Something had to go. And quite frankly, it was my bad habits.

I needed a plan. But it had to be a plan that would work with me preparing meals for my hungry and growing six children. And, just as I won’t play short order cook with them, I too need to show a good example by eating the very food that I am feeding them.



I’m not a shake or supplement person. I don’t like the taste, I like to chew my food, and, quite frankly, it all seems so processed to me. (I know, I know, I’m sure you will tell me otherwise, but really, I don’t want to put anything in my water or my coffee–but if that works for you–go for it!)

I just cannot take entire food groups out of my diet. Like I said before, I am not gluten intolerant, and if a really good hunk of bread comes along (hello Panera, I’m looking at you), I want to eat it and not feel like I blew my whole plan. I love potatoes. They are total comfort food and they really are filled with some great vitamins and minerals. Really, other than candy and soda (and yes, the lattes) there is really nothing in my current diet that I want to never eat again.

My Wake-Up Call

While on vacation last week I had the rare treat of sipping coffee to the “Today Show”, just like the old days. (sidebar: I totally grew up on the Today Show, I remember getting ready for school growing up and my mom had it on. When I grew up and got married, I always started my day with it. Now with working outside the home, I barely have time in the morning to put mascara on, let alone watch the Today Show–so it is a vacation treat.) This little story with Bob Harper came on and I had an epiphany.

I had been trying to out-exercise my poor diet! So, I gave myself a week to figure something out.

I CAN hobble together a good diet plan, but I decided to go back to what helped me 14 years earlier. I hit up Weight Watchers.

My New Plan

I’m not a meeting person, so I am doing the online plan. I’m delighted to see that some of the things that bothered me about the “old” Weight Watchers have been improved. There is a heavy emphasis on plant-based foods–fruits and vegetables–so nearly all of those are 0 points. Which means if I had a bad day and blew my entire point allowance at Starbucks, I can still eat a giant salad and eat an apple and not go over my points. There is also a better emphasis on lean proteins, including eggs. So those foods now have lower point values. This also means that I can eat what my family does for dinner without starving the rest of the day–I just have to watch my portions. And, with the new fit points, exercise is not longer a tool to get more points so that I can eat more. They are just a separate goal to track.

The best part? I almost always have enough points left over (thank you fruits and veggies!) so that I can have a glass of wine at night. Oprah might want her bread every day, but this mama likes a nice glass of Chardonnay!

And, so far, it is working. I lost 5 pounds this past week. And really, that was just a half week–I started on Wednesday–and that day began with a latte and some elf cookies, so I had a lot to make up for!

I’m still working out. I’ve added some weight training to my routines. I’m feeling more fit, and most days I even enjoy going to the gym. Other days I have to bribe myself with the promise of a nice soak in the whirlpool post-workout.

My Fitbit is still my constant companion. And I still struggle to get all of my steps in, thanks to my office environment. But, it at least keeps me aware and pro-active.

I don’t tell my kids that I am on a diet. Because, really, I am not. I am simply improving my lifestyle and making better food choices. I don’t want my kids, especially my daughters, to think that there is anything less than wonderful about my body–or theirs. Because my body is a wonderful miracle! It grew and sustained six healthy children. It stays healthy in spite of the abuse that I put it through. I don’t hate my body–I just want to make sure that it can sustain me for the long run. I want to make it better! If I hated my body, I just would not care!

So there it is–the long awaited update of my food and fitness goals. I’m still on a journey, and I’m enjoying it!

So, what about you?

How are you taking better care of yourself? Do you feel like you need a jumpstart? What are your biggest triggers? Want to share your success? Leave a comment!

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Written by Dakotapam
I'm a Lutheran pastor's wife and mom to six kids, including young adult sons down to 8-year old twin daughters. My life is sometimes normal, and sometimes crazy; but through it all, I know that I am blessed! Some people say that I have my hands full, I prefer to call it living life with both hands full, and I love it!