Bunny found a WebMD newsletter in her spam blocker today. Sorry, WebMD, we didn’t mean to call you spam, we actually like you, even though this topic is pretty icky.

Muffin Tops and Menopots.

Charming.

You know what muffin tops are, right? The overflow of fat over the top of your jeans.

Lovely. Oh, yes, let’s talk about that.

Well yes, let’s.

This article says that women over 40 all have a Menopot. Belly weight caused by perimenopause and menopause.

We’re not sure why Dr. Pamela Peeke, the author of The Rx for Muffin Tops and Menopots, gives that blob of belly fat significance by adding an initial cap, while the condition causing (or at least exacerbating) it, menopause, is banished to the disregard of lower-case.

Nor are we sure that Muffin Tops should be two separate words. Perhaps muffintops? muffin-tops? MuffinTops?

Fat?

But we digress…

It is recommended that the capital-M Menopot (why isn’t THAT two separate words…?) should be no more than 5 lbs.

Right.

It is suggested that a tape measure around your waist should not register any more than 35 inches.

Uh-huh.

OK, Bunny’s a hot mess, we know that. But what to do?

Well, the good doctor has three suggestions:

1. Mind–Visualize your rewards. Think about what you would look like if you had no mUffin-ToP and a mere 5-lb. belly. Think about skinny jeans, energy, health. Make a joy list (Joy List? joY-lIST?) What are you not doing because of your capital-M’s that would give you joy if you could do it…them…? Do you hesitate to go dancing? Do you have trouble bending over to garden? Do you stay out of yoga class because you’d kill yourself, not to mention sending people running out of the room screaming at the sight of your capital-M’s doing an inversion? (OK, the last one was ours, sorry Dr. Peeke.)

2. Mouth–Eat real food, not “processed science fair experiments.” Eat whole foods (apparently that doesn’t mean finish the half-gallon of ice cream in one sitting). Stick with high-quality fats, carbs and proteins. Olive oil is something called a MUFA (monounsaturated fat), and those are good. Natural peanut butter. Semi-sweet chocolate chips? Bunny can do that.

Eat slower. Stop before you’re full.  Don’t have food in your stomach 2 hours before bedtime. If you don’t wake up hungry, you overate the night before.

Bunny overate the night before.

“What you do after 3pm will determine your girth size.”

Oh, no.

Dr. Peake is pretty smart, despite our questions about her punctuation and capitalization skills.

3. MuscleWorking out. You knew that was coming, didn’t you? Read the article for the gory details.

This is all very good advice. Following it will lead you down the path to skinnier jeans, health, happiness, joy, social acceptance, all kinds of warm and fuzzy stuff.

Bunny is going to try hard to follow this advice.

No, Bunny, that doesn’t mean you can eat 3 bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips for dinner.

Damn moderation.

Shop till you Pop!

January 23, 2010

When we started this blog, Bunny was firmly entrenched in a size 20.

Today, she went shopping for new jeans. Why? Because she had to keep pulling her old ones up!

She also needed new black pants for work. Why? Because her old ones were baggy!

Oh yeah!

In the process of trying on clothes, Bunny discovered that she is now a size 18. Mostly.

Let’s call it a Pretty-Much 18.

She bought a pair of pants for work that are a size 18. They fit nicely. They zip up. What they don’t do is button.

Now let’s face facts. Since Bunny always goes for long, baggy tops, no one will ever see that that button doesn’t fasten.

But we’re not going to let her get away with that.

That button has been established as a short-term weight-loss goal.

Buttoning that button without putting someone’s eye out or digging a livid red channel into her skin will symbolize Bunny’s official exit from the Terrible Twenties (size 20 and God-forbid up).

Back into the teens.

The teens is where 12 is.

12 is good.

Bunny likes 12.

Here, 12…come to Bunny.

Right now, we’re very happy with 18.

And Bunny’s so happy she put down her cookie.

Odds and Ends

January 19, 2010

Chipping away at that little weight gain on her last Weight Watchers visit, Bunny lost 1.2 lbs this week.  She’s still keeping her food diary…most of the time.

The Nutrition Diva has recently been discussing topics close to Bunny’s situation. This one is called Why We Overeat? It talks about how visual and environmental cues affect weight loss, and the simple fact that hunger often has nothing to do with eating.

The Nutrition Diva also talks about low-carb diets. Buff lost nearly 200 lbs. on a low-carb diet, and Bunny lost a boatload as well, but she moved away from it because she just didn’t think it was a great idea never to eat fruit.

Bunny likes fruit.

She found a nutritionist who worked fruit into her diet. She was successful for a while, and then the nutritionist inadvertently disturbed the restful repose of Bunny’s eating monster. Blink, size 20.

She doesn’t like fruit THAT much.

Anyway, the Nutition Diva has another one about how much protein you should eat. Bunny always wonders about that as she scoops whey protein powder into her morning shake.

Finally, the Diva references a book called Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink that sounds interesting. More reading for us to do.

OK, enough free plugs for Quick and Dirty Tips. We found a couple of blog posts that provide particularly cogent advice.

Our friends at CrankyFitness posted a great article on willpower, which in turn referred us to a post at Escape from Obesity about split-second decisions.

Bunny enjoyed these posts, and more importantly, felt motivated by them.

Anybody who motivates Bunny is OK in our book.

Back in Focus

January 13, 2010

Counting Weight Watchers points is a task. Like all tasks, it gets tiresome and boring.

The first sign that the butter is slipping off the bread is when you stop entering the food you eat into your food diary. In Bunny’s case, the food diary is online, but it doesn’t matter whether you keep your diary with a software program, on an official form, in a little memo pad, or in lipstick on the wall of your house.

It’s the process that counts.

And ultimately it doesn’t really matter if you write down exactly what you ate, either. Bunny’s morning shake can be entered as “shake” and the points count. She used to write down every single ingredient and their amounts, and that got old fast. Nobody ever sees her diary. “Shake” is just fine.

It’s no big deal if she counts the number of servings of each kind of food she has consumed, either. There’s a place to mark down how many fruits you have eaten that day, how many protein servings, whether you’ve gotten in your daily dose of olive oil, and how much water you’ve chugged down. Even whether you took your vitamin. Stupidly, there’s a place to count your servings of veggies. The vast majority of veggies are unlimited on the Weight Watchers plan, so this seems silly to Bunny. She never bothers with that. And that works fine for her.

What is important, at least in Bunny’s case, is the process. She is successful when she is engaged. Fully conscious of what she is eating. This is 4 points. This is 1 point. I should order this instead of that, hold the whatever and put the do-dads on the side, please.

She starts to slip out of the habit when she gets lazy and stops keeping her food diary. It’s a task. It’s just another thing she has to do every day. Like putting gas in the car. Scooping out the kitty box. Unloading the dishwasher.

If she didn’t have to do those things, she wouldn’t. Same goes for entering what she eats in the food diary.

But it’s a matter of focus. Being fully conscious and aware of what she’s eating and becoming accountable.

And that most definitely does matter.

The slide begins when she starts eating without keeping track, at least in her mind.

She knows that if she stays within her point count, she’s successful.

She knows that she can go over her point count and still be successful. That leads her to just kinda sorta figure that she’s within a reasonably safe range, and skip the entry. THAT eventually leads her to stop thinking about how many points she’s consuming. THAT leads us to where we were the day before yesterday.

The good news is that Bunny is back on track. The picture we painted of social shame, physical misery, dread disease and ugly clothes has swayed her.

She is focused, she is engaged, she’s counting her points, and she understands what’s at stake. And she’s fine with it.

She seems to get tangled up and lose focus when she doesn’t know how to count a particular meal, usually at a restaurant. So we gave her a quick fix.

If it’s a reasonable portion of something that’s reasonably in line with what she should be eating, count it as 10 points.

If she ate too much of something ok, or ate some of something not so ok (like a piece of cake), count it as 15 points and move on.

Bunny gets 30 points a day, with an extra 35 points to bail her out during the week.

So Bunny’s back on track. Think good thoughts.

And thanks for reading. You’re helping to keep Bunny motivated. She doesn’t want to fail the nice people who take the time and effort to follow her journey.

Let’s keep the pressure on!

The Fork in the Road

January 11, 2010

Look, Bunny. You’re at a crossroads here.

This is the point where your weight-loss effort has to veer one way or another.

Either it goes to the right, back toward control and success and health and happiness and cute clothes…

Or it goes to the left, toward fat lady clothes and huffing and puffing and achy muscles and general misery and sooner or later some nasty disease. Oh,and an undoubtedly shorter life.

That’s it. Take your pick.

The difference is a simple shift away from the things you’re doing now–

  • Eating foods that mostly aren’t so bad, but paying no attention to serving size or portions.
  • Not counting points.
  • Not cooking dinner because it’s easier to eat a frozen dinner, then skipping dinner because Lean Cuisines have gotten boring.
  • Not making the best choice when eating at restaurants because…well…we don’t know why. You don’t seem to be any happier with the bigger, less healthy meal than you were when you were making better choices.

In fact, you felt GREAT when you were making better choices. Remember?

A small, painless adjustment will make all the difference.

It’s easy. It’s hopeful. It’s positive.

It’ll make you happy. And healthy.

So what’s it going to be, Bunny?

We all want to know.

Wrong Way Bunny

January 4, 2010

As expected, Bunny did not lose weight this week. Quite the contrary.

Two and 4/10 lbs. up.

She does seem to be submitting well to our hideous torture and staying on the straight and narrow today.

Tomorrow it’s back to writing down every single thing she eats, drinks, or thinks about.

OK, not everything she thinks about.

We can’t count that high.

The struggle continues…

Pigging Out

January 3, 2010

Bunny’s been slacking.

Buff’s been off his diet, and there are evil things in the house. Things like leftover pizza and Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies.

The weekend involved 3 movies and 3 bags of movie popcorn.

At lunchtime, she walked right past the Gelson’s nice fresh points-friendly salad bar and headed straight for Wolfgang Puck’s Chicken Caesar Salad. We’ve discussed that before. This is a sign that Bunny has lost her focus. She knows that the salad bar is a better choice. She’s not in the driver’s seat right now.

She’s not counting points, she’s skipping meals, she’s dipping her hand into a bag of pretzels mindlessly.

She’s in that spiral that ends in that land where Butterfingers and chocolate chip muffins reign supreme, and there’s not a lettuce leaf or a skinny person to be found.

This.  Stops.  Now.

We’re going to drag her to Weight Watchers tomorrow, and we’re going to glue her Weight Watchers points counter to her hand so she can’t open the refrigerator door, and we’re going to make damned good and sure she eats exactly 30 points, no more and no less. We’re going to follow her around and make her life a living hell until she gets back on track.

If she’s not in control, we will take over until we can shove her back into the driver’s seat.

We suspect this is the final fall-out from the holidays. She fought challenge after challenge and succeeded countless times, but now she has slipped off the path. Instead of skipping down the yellow brick road, she’s sitting under one of those apple trees inhaling Skinny Cow Chocolate Truffle Bars a box at a time, with a sprinkling of Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark Cookies (which she hates because they’re about 10 times too sweet).

Think good thoughts, and stand by for the weigh-in.

Cue spooky music.