5 Weight Loss Rules I’m Glad I Broke

September is always a New Year’s season for me, and in honor of fresh starts I am embarking on a daily blog challenge for the month. My September challenge this year is called Back-To-School Issue, in which I recreate the magazines of my teenage years with the interests of my current self in mind. There will be journal activities at the end of each post for friends and followers who want to play this fun game with me.

This was me at Sacramento Comic Con at the end of June:

DSCN9424 (1).jpg
Me at the Villians panel.

This is me tonight, eight weeks later:

Me in my backyard today.

Body image has been a battle for me my entire life. I’ve always been active, but I’m also addicted to sugar and body dysmporphic to an astonishing degree. This summer I decided to listen to my body for a change. I knew what I needed to be healthy. Why not just go for it?

As someone who has read every piece of diet and exercise advice available since 1980, I know all about the weight loss rules. I’ve also been in ownership of my own particular set of cells for forty-six years and I know what works for me. Some rules were meant for me to break.

What works for me might not work for you (this is my magazine, after all).  Obviously, I am not a doctor. If you take this as medical truth and then follow it and then turn around and get sick, well just please do not do that.

Here are five common sense weight loss rules I broke to drop two sizes in two months:

Rule #1: Don’t eliminate any foods.

I’ve heard that making certain foods forbidden only guarantees bingeing later. The problem is that just one bite of a sugary delight unleashes a hunger dragon within me that cannot be tamed. I’m a sugar addict. I’m either on the wagon or off. Also, I’ve learned that the slightest bit of any kind of wheat painfully inflames my skin immediately upon consumption.

Easy fix: No processed sugar, no wheat. Period. I eliminate those foods, and that includes alcohol. (Not an easy fix at all for the first ten days. After that, easier but not really easy. It is definitely a fix, though.)

Rule #2: Don’t weigh in every day.

This is a weird one for me. I went for twenty years without owning a scale. Having been on diets since the age of ten, I was tired of caring about a number on a scale. Avoiding weighing in was a very healthy move for me. If I didn’t go through those decades eschewing the scale and concentrating on how I felt instead, I wouldn’t know my body as well as I do now.

Now I do step on the scale almost every day. Fluctuations don’t bother me because they are so constant. Also, seeing my weight return to the healthy range with my own two eyes keeps me from thinking that I’m actually getting heavier and larger. Which is a weird distortion of reality my mind likes to trick me with when I get fit.

Rule #3: Count calories.

Most women who were American teenagers in the seventies and eighties know the calorie counts of most foods. I spent years studying calorie charts. No more. I track what I eat. I have plenty of vegetables, fruits, and protein. I know the science is supposed to be calories in vs. calories out, but I don’t think that’s true with me. If I avoid sugar and wheat, I’m lean. If I eat those things, I’m puffy, regardless of the calorie count of my day.

Rule #4: Avoid fat.

In the early nineties I went through a fat free stage. I consumed a lot of processed crap that boasted the fat free label. It was nasty and often full of sugar which just left me hungry. Now I eat raw almonds and walnuts, organic peanut butter, olive oil and coconut oil. I eat the whole egg, not just the white bit. I am not a professional body builder, ok? I just want to be able to wear my favorite pants. Also, there is nothing like a handful of raw nuts, a glass of water, and a twenty minute rest to satisfy a snack craving for real.

Rule #3: Everything in moderation.

I’m not a moderate person. I don’t want to drink in moderation or exercise in moderation. I don’t want to do anything in moderation. I want to do a month-long daily blog challenge. I want to have one alcoholic drink a year (on my birthday). I want to get up at 4:30 every morning to drink hot black coffee and go to the local old-school gym for an hour and half.

Seriously, I’m trying to think of a single thing I do in moderation and I can’t think of a one. Wait no, I’ve got it. I eat Brussels sprouts in moderation. They’re good, but not too many at a time, right? You don’t want to over do it.

There is no reason for this many.

Journal Topics:

  1. What conventional wisdom rules do you break in your life because they just don’t work for you? What counter-intuitive wisdom do you have to share?
  2. What does your body need to be at your optimum fitness? Could you drink more water? Eat more vegetables? Go for walks? What do you really know, deep down, about what your body needs to be healthy?
  3. If you were to take the best possible care of yourself for the next forty-eight hours, what would your two days look like? What would you do?
  4. Write about your own history and attitude regarding moderation. What are you really immoderate about in your life? What do you take to extremes? 





  1. Nice post, and P.S. You look great. I’ve never had to worry about my weight (I’m a long-distance runner with a high metabolism) but the one thing I struggle with is insomnia. Namely, getting to bed at a decent hour. I put off bedtime with a stubbornness that borders on childishness. I say that this is because night is my prime writing time, and it is, but I stretch it out far too long. Then I worry and obsess about how tired I am the next day. It’s almost ridiculous. It’s almost as if I’m afraid to be happy, you know? Anyway, thanks for making me think. Cheers and keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Insomnia is a terrible thing, Cinthia. I sympathize. I don’t suffer it, but many in my family do and it’s awful. Thanks so much for reading and for the nice remarks!


  2. I’ve spent most of my life
    overweight, 250 lbs. to as high
    as 301 lbs., but mostly in the
    250 – 270 range. The only thing
    that has ever worked for me is
    giving up anything made with

    My weight now fluctuates
    between 170 to 175 lbs. (I’m
    6ft. 3 in. tall). I don’t have to
    watch anything I eat other than
    staying away from wheat and,
    oh yes, the egg nog that comes
    out at this time of year; I
    quickly put on ten lbs. drinking
    that and found it very difficult
    to get rid of the weight gain.
    But I didn’t try to diet, I just
    stopped the egg nog and stayed
    off the wheat.

    I should add that I avoid all
    gluten. This was after I read
    two books: Wheat Belly by
    William Davis, MD, a
    cardiologist and Grain Brain
    by David Permutter. The Grain
    Brain book scared me because
    it showed a connection between
    eating wheat and brain
    destruction along with the
    effects of gluten.
    My sister who, as a result of
    having six children in about
    seven years, had become quite
    heavy. She read Wheat Belly
    Total Health,
    a second book written by
    William Davis MD. This scared
    her so much she stopped eating
    wheat and didn’t try to diet.
    This in turn scared everyone
    about her, including her
    doctor, because she quickly lost
    30 lbs. without any effort. They
    thought she had some life
    threatening illness. She didn’t,
    and for the first time in about
    forty years she started to have
    a waist again. This also brings
    up something that you didn’t;
    when you change, everyone
    around you tries to sabotage
    the change.

    Anyway, your blogs are great
    and I always find them

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The weird thing is, I’m actually glad I have a bad allergic reaction to wheat. I’ve known for a long time it’s no good for me, but if it weren’t for the immediate, embarrassing eruptions on my face, I would still be eating it and still be suffering the effects on my body. I haven’t read those books. but I know for myself I’ll never eat wheat on purpose again. As for wellness sabotage, I think you should write that post. I would be fascinated and helped by your perspective!


  3. I decided to liberate myself from a scale and weight crept on. I had to banish sugar from my diet. Now I weigh myself every day as you do. Labs have daily quality control, why shouldn’t we?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m either mindful of my health or I’m not. The scale keeps me mindful, at least for now. Thanks for reading commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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