I am happy to report successful maintenance of my new weight for the last seven months. I still use the free Fooducate nutrition and weight tracker to record what I eat and weigh each each day as a reminder. In my 22 September 2022 update, I mentioned having to buy new clothes after losing sixty pounds. This meant making lots of style decisions (since nothing fit except my socks and scarves). I have enjoyed using ThredUp and other thrifty online sources to find new clothing designers and materials. I have also been watching YouTube for fashion ideas and to get an idea of what is worth extra expense. (The trick is to find a YouTuber whose style and form feels like yours.) My recent splurges have been for a pair of Thursday Captain boots, and Sézane fancy sweaters.
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I am about three months into my weight maintenance program. As I wrote earlier, I started using the Noom program for weight loss and wellness in October 2021 and lost about sixty pounds by July 2022. Last month, I realized that Noom does not really offer a weight maintenance program, so I shifted to using the free Fooducate nutrition and weight tracker.
Fooducate is working well for me. I like that the home page displays how many calories I have left to spend each day, and that I can save a regular meal so I don’t have to reenter the information if I eat the same selections again. I am trying to keep within two pounds on either side of my target weight (and not to get stressed if my weight bounces up and down a bit).
One surprise with this health improvement journey is that in some areas, my skin has contracted at a slower rate than my muscles and other parts. Sometimes, this feels like being inside a deflating balloon. However, with regular walking and weight maintenance, my skin has continued to contract, so I hope to reach equilibrium in time. While losing weight, I bought successively smaller sizes of Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans – for sale prices – so I could compare progress. I started at size 18. In July when I reached my goal, I was a size 10 but have now shrunk to a size 8, at the same weight.
My son Paul and I put together list below for a friend who recently started a weight loss journey using Noom. (This only represents our experience – your mileage may vary. Use a program that works for your health and way of doing things and you will be more likely to stick with it.)
Remember to drink / log plenty of water daily, makes you feel more full (at least ten cups of liquid per day)
Drink water 30 minutes before each meal
Read the Noom daily lessons, take advice that makes sense to you, ignore the rest
Noom’s group discussion function can help you be accountable for taking regular walks
Figure out a portion size metric (volume vs. weight) that works best for you, stick to the one metric for simplicity
Weigh in every day, expect lots of fluctuations (even five pounds up or down in one week) because of water retention
Write down your key body measures at the start so you can compare later (bust, waist, hips, around upper arm and upper leg), and to help you know what size you are
Weigh in, & log water and food on Noom daily, even if you are frustrated, or stuck/ plateaued. Getting stuck at one weight for weeks or months seems to be a usual part of the journey.
Drink a big glass of water after you weigh in each morning.
If you are on vacation or away from a scale, you can just repeat you last weight each day to keep the pattern going
Buy some clothes that fit as you reach each new size so you feel good about making progress. Thredup online consignment and thrift store is a good choice – for both cost and fashion choices. If you don’t love a clothing item, or it does not fit properly, do not buy it. If you bought it online, return it! You need to be happy with yourself and how you look.
Buy clothes by measurement, not size. My key measures and shape are different than they were when I was last at my current weight.
Some Noom (and Fooducate) food database entries are unrealistically low or high in calories – I think these are user-entered. When in doubt, break it down – log not a whole “serving” portion but the components (for example: green salad “serving” may be made up of mixed leafy greens + dressing + croutons, you can find individual calorie counts for each)
Walk or exercise every day and carry your smart phone so the steps count, to give you a better idea of how much you actually move. I use the Apple Health app on my iPhone which can share information with both Noom and Fooducate.
Add extra exercise under Noom’s “Track More Progress” if you do yard work, or exercise without your smart phone
On Noom, you can set “weight loss speed” under Noom settings (three lines at upper left of screen) from tortoise to cheetah, in case you want to go slower or faster
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As I wrote in April, I have been using the Noom program for weight loss and wellness. I am proud of myself that as of today, I met my 145 pound weight goal – hooray! Changing my eating patterns, losing over 60 pounds, and reducing my size from extra large (XL) to small (S) was not easy. There were many frustrating weeks when nothing seemed to happen. When I started in October 2021, Noom’s original estimate for my completion date was months ago. Nonetheless, today I am in the new phase of weight maintenance rather than loss. I had fun buying new clothes for my changed figure, since nothing but my shoes and scarves still fit. I have discovered by trial and error that I am now a Talbots size 8, Chico’s size 1, t-shirt size small, Gloria Vanderbilt size 10, Land’s End size 12 swimsuit but size 10 shirt, and Zuri medium size dress (but small shirt).
Read to the end of this post for a funny poem by my Grandma…
Weight management is a family problem, as illustrated by the following poem written by my Grandma, Evelyn Van Gilder Creekmore. I expect to work on maintenance for the rest of my life but am happy to have reached today’s milestone. Thank you to friends and family who have patiently supported my journey toward better health.
Katy came first, a slender girl Afraid to gain one ounce of weight, Her diet worried me no end – Grapefruit was almost all she ate. But next came Pete, a teenage boy Who loved roast beef, and cake, and pie, Milk by the gallon, ham and steak – (We gained a few pounds – he and I) Then after Pete his brother came, I stocked the freezer well with meat, But Mark’s a vegetarian now – So I fixed salads and cracked wheat. Then after Mark came Rip whose diet Consists of steaks (by choice T-Bone) So we lived high on rare cooked steak, (I couldn’t let him eat alone.) My budget fluctuated much, As likewise did my weight, In matching menus day by day To choice of food each grandchild ate.
Weight loss was a decision that came out of my experience as a Chaplain Intern at Stanford Hospital (September 2021 – February 2022). I worked there during a COVID-19 pandemic surge and as part of my duties, provided family support and decedent care for a number of patients whose comorbidities (including obesity, diabetes, and asthma) seemed to contribute to their early death. I decided to act on my doctor’s long-standing advice and do what I could to reduce my own potential for a similar end.
The most I have ever weighed was 212 pounds, in 2007. Starting in October 2021, I followed my son Paul‘s good example and started using the Noom program for weight loss and wellness. Paul and John are also losing weight and we find that doing so as a family is easier. So far, I have lost over fifty pounds. I have about fifteen to go before I reach the weight that my doctor recommends. I feel better and am enjoying getting new clothes (and having more choices in the smaller sizes). Attending a deathbed may seem like an extreme reason to lose weight but it made a big impression on me.