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Monday, April 30, 2012

The Other Side Of Thin ... Part One

For as long as I can recall I have always been referred to as "petite" both in height (5'2 1/2") ~ yes that half inch matters, just ask any 5' something gal..LOL.~  and body size.  In 2006 my weight was steady between 110 - 117 lbs. ; I was wearing a size two, and shopping for clothes, bathing suits, even shoes was a breeze. This had been my normal for the previous 10 or so years. Now this isn't the first time I have mentioned needing to loose a little weight nor the first time I write about the importance of eating/living healthy ~ just in March I wrote about it Here and Here. What is different this time is that for the first time in my life, I'm feeling what it's like to be on the other side of thinYup, all 145 lbs of me!

I know what some of you may be thinking ~ "But you have been through so much the past five years"; "You know, when you are forty-something it's not as easy to keep it off"; "Meds, you know, they really make you retain water and put on the weight"; " You know, now you have limits, you really should be grateful you are alive, don't worry ~ IT happens to all of us sooner or later" my personal favourite "You look so healthy, you have gained weight!". Yes, someone (actually 2 persons) have told me the last statement recently. And yes, each statement is true (well the last one, in my opinion I looked very good and healthy before) but I was never one for excuses and  well I'm not about to start now.  The reality is that I'm not able to be as active I do have some limitations now, and yes meds and perhaps age are contributors; but I just do not feel comfortable. Clothes no longer fit and when I am able to get them on - they certainly don't look like they did even a year ago. I'm no longer comfortable in my own skin, physically and emotionally. This feeling is something I knew about, but it was foreign, unknown , it did not apply to me,  until now.

The irony here is that as I made my way through Chic & Slim the original by Anne Barone ( it is a fabulous must read) a bag of Easter jelly beans, you know the yummy sugary ones in the softest of colours, kept some how finding it's way to my hand and these must have been some magic Easter jelly beans ... once close enough jumped from hand to mouth in large groups! Can you believe the nerve, of these little beans?

We have all heard "French women don't get fat" well I can tell you on my trips to Paris I have seen some women who my wonderful friends may refer to as "healthy". But , there is a difference ~ these women are toned, and don't try to hide under sweat suits, canopy  large dresses ~ they remain comfortable in their skin! and what they also have is will power. They may have REALLY enjoyed the holiday menu , but they will not  deprive themselves of the foods they love and they will only eat what they truly savour. Before you can blink, they are back to zipping up their little black dress and attending the next holiday affair.

So, looking back on my journey to the other side of thin; there are some obvious contributors that were/are beyond my control, so instead of dwelling on them I am going to work on what I can change.

While growing up in Portugal ... my grandmother would always say "Noa seja gulosa comer so o que voce realmente gosta"  when it was time for the dessert table ... in other words don't be greedy and eat all the sweets, eat only what you really enjoy. This style of eating which I learned as a small child had grown with me through my youth and into adulthood, not only with desserts but food as well. So, this my friends is how I'm going to look at food ~ I'm going to ask myself "do I really enjoy this food? and truly savour each bite" in hopes of stopping the revolving door of eating just to eat, which somehow has become the norm. Eating needs to be viewed as part of one's lifestyle, thus it needs to fit accordingly.

Do you eat only what you really enjoy ? and truly savour it ....
or Do you find yourself eating just because it's there? 


  1. oh yes, that half inch does matter! i know cos i'm a 5'something gal..lol

    love your grandma's advice... absolutely true!!

  2. Celia,
    Hi! I have been on an up and down hill slide with weight. As you know I try most all dishes I put on my blog. Ha! Ha! I have a thyroid problem so I'm going to have to start watching how many calories I eat in a day. Calories matter! I try not eat food just because it's there. When you do, you gain weight. Do I do it though, yea....

    1. Pat, you go my friend... it's a little battle we all seem to share..xo Thank you for your visits and your wonderful encouraging words ...xo HHL

  3. Celia,

    Everyday at work, I hear women make comments like... you can only hang on for so long and then you have to not worry about it. Or ..once you are over 40, 50, 60.. forget it, etc.. As a 52 year old woman that has worked in the medical profession for nearly 30 years, I've heard just about everything (I was a Dietician, now I am working in Dermatology as an Aesthetician). Most folks seem to use their age as a reason to let things go or to become less active. As we age, we need to be more selective with our food choices, go for quality or quantity, and INCREASE resistance training and cardiovascular exercise. Illness and stress happen and WILL have impact on our health and MEDS can have side effects. That said, there is no reason to simply through in the towel. I don't believe deprivation diets are healthy or successful in the long run. Moderation - not elimination, and it's what you do most - not all of the time that will make the most of what you have. Eat to live.. don't live to eat, and accept your self and the limitations that you may have before yourself.

    Great post and you have a wonderful attitude! Hang in there friend :) you have lots of support here!!


    1. Leslie, thank you! thank you! for your words today ... You are one of the few people that agree (with me) that age is often so used as an excuse ... I know in my heart of hearts - that the challenges I am facing we be so minute had it not been for my accident - But that too will NOT be an excuse. I'm so looking to prove to (myself first that I can and WILL do it - for me) the people that say it's no use. Wishing you a fabulous week.. and know that your visits and encouraging words make my days!! xo C. (HHL)

  4. I have taken care of my husband for the past 5 1/2 years, until his death on August 30, 2011.
    He had a rare degenerative type of dementia. There was no time for me.
    I look at picture of me, and think, "who are you?" I hate them.
    I am working on it. I still have a hard time thinking of me, working on me.
    Thank you for this post. I truly appreciated it.
    After having read your blog, I know what a difficult time it has been for you.
    I wish you strength and peace in this journey.
    I wish myself the same.

    1. Cheryl ... it's difficult the transition life has sent your way ... but I know that you will succeed in learning that you matter. We often feel we need to take care of everyone before ourselves ... one of the rehab therapist reminded me - on a plane they always tell you to put your oxygen mask on first than help others - I try ti remember this (though sometimes I'm human). I'm wishing you all the peace and blessings in the world my dear. And know that is what your husband would want for you too!! He appreciated all you did ... and now would want to you to live life. My Father (before his passing in the hospital in 2007) called us all in and told us ~ yes things will be different when he is gone .. but to always remember life needs to go on .. and living is for those who are still here figuring it all out. Blessing my friend..C.

  5. At a staggering 5'1 and a half, I can attest to that half an inch making all the difference in the world!-LOL!
    Yes, it does get harder to 'stay the same' as we get older, but it's important to maintain a standard that makes us feel like 'us' and above all, happy with ourselves. Your granny is a wise lady, absolutely agree with her!
    It is important to eat what you truly want to eat without depriving yourself (can't imagine life being too much any other way), the key to that is and always has been moderation.
    Great post my friend!

    1. LL it was so wonderful to see your comment... Yes my granny was a wonderful inspiration and I need to remember all that she taught me!! xo C.

  6. aghhh I constantly find myself snacking!

    Come on over and check out my new blog design! :)

  7. Great post, you are so honest! I was in your shoes 4 months ago. I just lost 20 lbs.! I starting dieting since January 2012, at the rate of losing 5 lbs. a month. To start with, I don't have any carbs, such as rice, bread, potatoes, pastas, etc., I mostly eat steamed, or cooked veggies and a piece of meat, breast of chicken and fish, done in a pan with olive oil spray. Fruits in between meals, lots of green tea during the day. I have one cup of coffee in the morning for breakfast with half of a brown pita, a small bowl of papaya, or other fruit you want, like an apple, a pear, etc. I don't have any sweets like cakes or cookies and you will lose weight without stressing yourself out. Try not to weight yourself everyday, or hardly ever, except for the beginning and ending of each month and enjoy your diet and walk briskly, or do whatever you like. I am your hight and I'm 59 and I am so happy, I look so much younger than before! My old clothes fit easily and I just buy anything off the rack and perfect in a size 8, or even 6. I haven't posted my new look yet, as I do want to lose 10 more lbs. Have a good week and keep calm as that helps to lose.

    1. Fabby .. I love your plan .. and am working on something quite similar .. Europeans have it right .. in how they eat and approach food. I can't wait to see your photos .. you will be sharing before you know it! You have encouraged me to do photos now - even though I don't like what I see... Happy week ahead .. hugs, C.

  8. I enjoy whatever I eat, but I have to stop and ask myself if I'm eating because I'm hungry or out of habit? Often I realize it's the latter so I don't pick it up.

    Thanks again for leaving a comment on my friend's blog Celia, you're impossibly wonderful. xoxo

  9. At 5' 3 1/2" - I could have written this myself. I have heard all of those same statements.

  10. I am exactly the same height but have to say I am one of the unfortunate people who have put weight on since hitting 40. I don't eat any more than I used to but with each passing year a few more pounds creep on. It is horrible but I feel as though I would need to diet for the rest of my life to maintain my weight. I give up!

  11. I think if you cut wheat and sugar out of your diet for a few weeks you would see a dramatic change. It's what I do anytime I think I am too fluffy.

  12. I eat far too many sweets. Farrrr too many. I can't resist. But as for actual "food", I'm not a big eater at all.
    That said, I definitely see a change since turning 40. Not as forgiving as it used to be this body of mine.
    I didn't know you before Celia, but as someone who has been fortunate enough to meet you in person, I can honestly say I think you look great. But it's how you feel that matters. Y'know?
    When I was pregnant with Isabella, I gained 70+ pounds and hated myself afterwards. It's tough to gain weight when you've been tiny all your life.

    I wish you lived closer and we could go walking {to Starbucks :)} in the evenings.

  13. I too, was your weight and height most of my adult life and your right, most people who are short will tell you that that 1/2" makes a difference to them. Most people thought I was too THIN. But, I felt good and only ate small portions. When I turned 40 it became increasingly harder to lose the few pounds I would gain. I actually had to diet which I never had to do before. Then menopause hit making it even harder. I found my weight climbing even higher and it seemed to me that no matter what I did to try to lose it, my weight was glued to me. After hearing about Weight Watchers, I joined their on-line program and lost nearly 40 pounds. It is a great diet but one you are on for life and it is easy to fall back to old habits which I did gaining some of the weight back. Then the surgery for my gallbadder happened and again, I was back to gaining weight.

    Now at 60 and just being diagnosed with hypertension, I am restricted to a 1500 to 2000 mg sodium diet, back to counting calories (Dr. Dash's Diet) and on medication.This will be my diet for life. I will say this, 1500-2000 mg of sodium is not a lot of milligrams and it is very hard to stay within those limits unless you eat lots of fruits, and vegetables. There is a lot of sodium in the foods that we eat.

    I've always said that when you are ready to go the distance nothing will stop you. Good luck!

  14. Dearest Celia,

    Well, so far I've been lucky with extraordinary genes as since the age of 15 till now I've been more or less stable with some fluctuation of a good ten pounds. I gained some when a cancer got removed from my right lower leg and the wound didn't heal. That caused me to get off my feet. No movement does make a difference. I lost way too much weight when I became paralyzed and was in great pain all over my body. So both were extremes and it got adjusted quickly. My height at 5.7" is also reasonable, not tall but enough. But not eating sweets anymore makes a difference, I have to make sure I keep my weight! Sugars and refined flour that is a bad thing.
    Love your honesty in this and as you already figured out, you're not alone! Like my Dupuytren's hand, I feel better now knowing what it is.
    Love to you,

  15. Oh sweet friend, I know what you mean. I never had to worry about my weight until mean ole menopause showed up! Grrrr. Between that and feeling stressed when our daughter was pregnant and the doctors suspected problems (thank you God, all is well now and our grandson is PERFECT) I gained 15 pounds. It came on slowly and I guess I convinced myself it was okay. In January I got serious and have since lost over 20 pounds. No particular diet. I've used MyFitnessPal.com to record everything I eat and my exercise. I count calories and exercise...that's it. Just what they always tell us to do. It worked for me. Good luck.


  16. Girl I have never wore a size 2 in my entire life LOL

    I have been on the tone up and loose some weight due to my health problems and I have been in a size 18 for 15 years, just yesterday I got in a size 16 , I want to loose 10 lbs befor summer is over , at my age the weight hangs on for dear life LOL
    I am eating much different than I always have , bread only once a week or a dessert

    lots vegs and fruit, chicken fish and beef only once a week on and on

    bet your still cute I am LOL

  17. I love my extra 1/2 inch - 5'1-1/2"! To all the people who use their age as an excuse for gaining weight (since we've been told for years that this is why we gain an average of 5-10 a year as we age)... poppycock. I've read several articles lately (including one by Mayo Clinic) that state that they were wrong, weight gain is NOT inevitable. There are many factors that cause the gradual gain but it is not inevitable.

    Truth is we make many changes we don't always factor in (or, as in your case, unintended changes) such as moving less and trying to eat the same amount of food we always did. We don't get enough sleep (a huge factor), might watch too much TV or read too many novels - just little changes that add up. There really is no true science proving we HAVE to gain that weight after 35.

    My 83 year old mom (5'1") was the same weight all her life (but could have gained it easily); she worked to stay that way. She said the only time she immediately gained weight was when she stopped doing what she needed to do. The important good news in all this is that we do not have to gain weight. We can look, tweek and change what is needed. It is not hopeless.

    There are times I am unable to do any physical activity for awhile and discovered chair aerobics - "Chair Aerobics for Everyone by Nikki Glazer" (there are others). It keeps me active without affecting my knees. At least I am able to do something. It will keep your heart rate up (smile).

    I have a significant amount of weight to lose and I MISS skinny clothes. Alpha Hubby promised me a new wardrobe from the inside out as the reward for reaching my goal. I plan to hold him to it!! My entire attitude changed yesterday when I was told I had diabetes but it was reversable with changes (weight loss, diet changes). You can bet I will be doing what it takes to win this battle. Chin up, my friend, you have people who will stand with you while you walk through all the storms. I'll drag you through, if need be, ok???

  18. All that matters is that you are truly beautiful. HUGS :)
    I think it's all about balance - what you eat & exercise. Then you're okay :)

  19. you have inspired me to get back on track. I'm 6' tall and well within my "healthy" range, but I know that I need to lose a little and get myself back to the gym! And the meds, oh the meds...what they do to us....ugh!


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