18 July 2013

Not Feeling Like an Empress

anthro black

I apologize in advance but I am going to be a bit whiny today. You see, I am bit frustrated with myself.

I've mentioned before that I've gained some weight over the past few months that I am less than happy about. I know I'm far from big and there are way more important things in life to obsess about, but it is really beginning to wear down on my confidence. I have this middle that just seems to want to keep expanding and nothing feels like it is working to get rid of it.

I don't want to be teeny tiny, I just want to quit having to suck it in and to be able to fit into the clothes I already have.

anthro black  anthro black

I'm trying to do better ... though I feel like I've been in the same cycle for months. I've started/restarted exercising regularly, doing at least 30 minutes about four-five times each week (Jillian Michaels videos or treadmill time). I've been reading different diet books. I've been trying to watch what I eat (really limiting fast food, fried food, eating more fresh veg and fruit, staying away from junk foods) - but it's hard because I love food.  And I've seen literally zero results. In months.

So what's a gal to do? I hate the idea of "being on a diet" because how does one keep the weight off when they stop dieting? I'd rather do something that takes more time but gives me results I can stick with. Plus ... carbs are like my best friends. Ones I don't get to see enough of lately. And honestly, I am not a huge fan of working out either but I guess I will need up the frequency and length of my exercises.

And keep my fingers crossed for some semblance of  waistband looseness. Bah!

Now I know everyone's different but I'm curious to know how you ladies do it. How do you manage your weight and stay healthy?

anthro black

Blazer: Cartonnier via Anthropologie hello sunday (worn here - sim, sim, sim)
Dress: Lilka via Anthropologie empress (dif pattern, sim, sleeved, pricey)
Belt: Limited (sim, sim)
Bracelets: F21 (sim, sim) & Asos (sim, pricey)
Rings: F21 (steal, sim, sim)
Bag: Brahmin anytime (worn here - deal, sim, woven)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction pine a colada (worn here - sim, deal, spotted)

anthro black

Linking up with Tara at Mix & Match Fashion.

128 comments:

  1. I think its harder to maintain weight as we get older. And I assume we are around the same age. I pack lunches for myself on Sunday for the whole week - something like ground turkey, a veggie and sweet potato. I keep healthy snacks at work and I try to stay away from office treats like donuts. Kate Moss got ripped for saying it, but nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. And its a good feeling when your clothes drape nicely the way you want them to.

    I usually eat at home, except one night during the week and one weekend night (usually saturday). Oh, and when I have cocktails I choose a no cal mixer like crystal lite or soda water.

    Hope that helps!

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    1. Thanks for your input, Kimberly. As much as I love food and love to eat, I totally get what Kate Moss means when I try on an old skirt and it doesn't fit anymore!

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  2. You sound just like me! I've been trying to lose 10 pounds for what seems like forever...I eat so healthy all week long, but tend to lose it on the weekends..I just love food! Your striped blazer looks perfect over that dress!

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    1. I had pizza for the first time in forever last night - so good but so bad ... I've been struggling with losing the same weight for eons too.

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  3. I struggle with the same thing. I tend to work out really hard during the week and eat well, but on the weekends a few glasses of wine and then I'm eating french fries! ;) I've been doing a little better with finding balance lately though and sticking to one cheat meal a week (instead of a cheat weekend). I'm making progress!

    Lauren
    Fizz and Frosting

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    1. D'oh! I just had a cheat Sunday. It was so good, but I felt so guilty ...

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  4. Hey! I am checking in from the link up with Mix and Match Fashion. I saw this dress and had to come see it because I am an anthro lover and I saw it in the store last week. You look gorgeous!

    xo Jackie

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  5. First time reader - via linky with Mix and Match. First I love your dress! Second I feel your pain. It would seem the older I get (30+) the harder it is to loose weight but too easy to gain it! I started by taking a natural probiotic daily, it has live bacteria and has helped with water weight and bloating. Finally I have changed how much I eat different times of the day. If it is after 8pm I don't eat. I hate exercise and frankly don't have the time, so I adjust what I eat depending on how my clothes are fitting. If I am a little bigger I switch to salads with grilled chicken, and cut out soda. Weight is a hard thing. I in no way want to be tiny but I don't want to buy new clothes because the old don't fit. Great blog!!!

    Lee
    everydayfashiononbudget.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Lee. Not only does it seem my metabolism is slowing down, but so is my willpower. It was so easy when I was in college to just not eat certain foods for a few days so I could lose weight - now it's like, what, no bread with this meal?! Mutiny!

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  6. Have you ever heard of "The Belly Fat Cure"? It's a system devised by Jorge Cruise. You can find his books in the bookstore and I think he has videos on YouTube. His program is totally for Carb Lovers like you and me. The system is based on what he calls "carb swapping". It allows you to eat carbs but ones that are better for you, and I don't mean swapping broccoli for toast! I mean swapping one kind of pita or bread for another kind of pita or bread. I don't want to write a book here, but please check his books out. I think you will be pleasantly surprised and happy with his menus. And trust me they are easy to follow and fix, this from someone who hates to cook. And lastly, be kinder to yourself, your cravings don't mean you have no self control. All carbs and I mean all, break down to glucose which is essentially sugar. Sugar is as addictive as any other drug Drs are saying now, and can wreck havoc on our bodies. And funny, I just found out our bodies do need it, just not the amount we are used to eating. Just join the club, I think all us women are cursed with the carb loving gene. :)

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    1. Thanks for the rec, Michelle! I am such a carb lover and I've tried carb-free diets before but they kill me!

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  7. Found your blog via Mix & Match Fashion...Love this entire outfit!

    XO,
    Rebekah

    rebekahrgilmore.blogspot.com

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  8. My first 2 years of college I gained so much weight so quickly that I didn't even recognize myself. So I totally relate. That was a long time ago but I kept gaining a few pounds here and there and just couldn't stop. The ONLY diet that works for me (I also LOVE food and LOVE to eat) is cutting carbs drastically and raising fat (AKA a ketogenic diet). Every body is different but if exercise and eating healthier isn't working, try keto. I know carbs are yummy and it's hard to cut them out almost completely but once you get used to it, it's not that hard. I've been doing it for almost 2 years with cheat days every couple of weeks to months. I don't exercise that much. And I eat a lot of yummy things like steak, salad, cheese, butter, and low carb desserts:)

    Now, I am not skinny by ANY means, or even close to the way I looked in high school, but like another commenter said, when you get close to 30 years, it gets so hard to lose weight and keep it off. As long as I don't have a beer belly, I'm happy :)

    I think you look great and I love your outfit but if you do feel that bad about yourself, try a keto diet for a few months and see what you think. I feel great - I am not tired all the time like you'd think without carbs for fuel (your body learns to use fat for fuel instead of carbs). Do some research, get some ideas, and see if it might be the right fit for you~!

    xo
    Nout

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    1. Thanks for your advice, Nout. I definitely think if I drastically cut my carbs that it will make a big difference for me, but it is so hard for me. I've gotta get everyone on board with limited bread at home and no dangling the bread basket in front of me!

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  9. It's a constant battle that all of us seem to be going through. Sadly it doesn't get easier as we age. I think that it is a well known fact that our portion sizes need to keep getting smaller as we age otherwise we will keep getting bigger. They say it is always 80% what we eat and only 20% what we do. Exercise can help but in the end cutting down will be the best long term effective solution.

    Personally I find the whole thing overwhelming and depressing. Like by the time I'm 80 I will be eating as much as a robin. I'm always struggling with weight fluctuations. Lately with all the heat I find I'm not at all motivated to exercise either. Somehow though I manage to forgive myself and get back on track. Never giving up on yourself is half of the battle.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. This sounds silly but I honestly hate sweating, but I'd rather sweat than limit my eating. So far that doesn't seem to be working and I'm with you that is it more about what you eat than exercising. Sigh!

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  10. Some people say that summer is an easier to eating healthy, but I totally disagree. I think people are busier and more social, which usually equates to eating more and less healthily. I'm a 6, so bigger than you, but I try to chew gum when I feel the urge for something sweet, which helps. I also try things like vanilla yogurt and fruit when I want dessert. It's totally bad, but in the evening when I have the urge to eat I have a diet pop instead and that conquers the urge.
    For the record, I think you look great, but it totally stinks when clothes don't fit how you want.
    Ginny

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    1. When it is hot, I always get cravings for cool sweet treats and it is too easy to grill out hot dogs or burgers. I really need to kick in making healthier choices.

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  11. Oh carbs are my best friends too! Pasta is my favorite thing to eat so I don't know how people do those no-carbs diets...I would DIE!

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
    PayPal Giveaway!

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    1. I've tried no-carb diets - after a few days, I was ready to kill other people for bread, haha!

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  12. As others have said, this really is a normal problem to have once we're not 24 anymore. I haven't found anything that works like magic, but it does make a big difference for me to eat whole foods, period. No donuts, no Twinkies, no Doritos. Ever.

    If you want reinforcement on staying away from that stuff, read _Pandora's Lunchbox_, a new book that talks about the fact that the vast majority of processed foods are constructed from weird chemical powders. Any residual desire I had to eat Little Debbie Snack Cakes evaporated pretty quickly once I read that book.

    On the positive side, grass-fed beef, vegetables, beans, fruit, and rice become pretty satisfying after a short transition period, I've found. And all that nutrition is incredibly helpful for maintaining one's health as we get older. Hope this doesn't sound preachy; just trying to share what I've worked out for myself. Our society makes it very hard to figure out how to eat well!

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    1. greatblueheron, I agree with everything you have said here. The transition is hard but then you realize those foods are actually delicious and satisfying! I am off to buy that book - sounds really interesting.

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    2. Thanks for the rec on the book, I will look into that as well. It's been a slow process for me to change the way I eat. I've been making a conscious effort recently to eat more whole foods (more perimeter of the supermarket foods and fewer middle aisle processed items). I may the book to convince me!

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  13. I think "diets" and cutting carbs are BS ways of losing weight, because you're right: how do you keep it off if you ever go back to a normal diet?

    I think the key is to make lifestyle changes in your diet--meaning permanently change the way you eat. Learn about nutrition so that you can truly make healthy choices. (Everyone talks about how fatty guacamole is, but the avocado is mono unsaturated fat, which fills you up and helps burn other fat. Hooray for avocado!) I find that it's fun to make it a challenge: every week, try a new recipe or a new healthy food. Teach yourself to cook. Experiment with healthy versions of your favorite foods. (My fav. curry recipe calls for fatty coconut milk, but you can fake it with yogurt, skim milk, and coconut extract.) Then it's like an adventure, not a diet.

    I also make "rules" for myself that are only somewhat restricting. This way I can have some of the things I like, but avoid the truly terrible habits I have. For example, "I only eat out once a month." or "I prefer the egg McMuffin w/o cheese to the sausage biscuit" (Not true, but I can trick yourself if I lie to myself for long enough.) "I only eat deserts that are chocolate." Over time, I've lost my taste for the bad stuff.

    Finally, cut out all liquids other than water! Esp. cut alcohol! (Again, over time you'll stop missing it.)

    If it makes you feel better, I had gestational diabetes in my pregnancy, which meant I had an extremely carb-restricted diet, and now post-pregnancy, I have to lose 15 pounds beyond my baby weight in order to avoid type 2 diabetes later in life. I wasn't overweight before, so I'm not sure where these 15 pounds are going to come from, or how! Plus, when you're thin already, everyone is pissed at you for complaining about your weight, so I understand your problem!

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  14. I thought of another thing: have you heard of "decision fatigue?" We have a limited capacity for decision making, and limited supply of willpower. So it's harder to make good choices at the end of the day, and it's harder to make them over and over. So, if you have to decide "I don't want this ice cream" every time you open the freezer, you're less likely to succeed than if you only have to decide once at the grocery store. So don't buy what you don't want to eat, pack yourself snacks and plan menus. When going out to eat, look at the menu and nutritional information ahead of time and decide before you get there. Then, you wont give into the weak moments.

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Kelly! I've definitely been making a conscious effort to buy better whole foods for myself and to have fewer bad processed items (no sweet treats in my freezer). There are so many "diets" out there that I think I've been mixing and matching things from here and there to make it my own - which for me, at least, apparently doesn't work!

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  15. First of all, I think you look beautiful here! If you have gained any weight I don't see it but I completely understand that you know your body best. You've been traveling a lot and such for work lately, right? That puts stress on your body. I'd recommend making sure that you're getting enough sleep and relaxing some days -- not working out 7 days a week. And girl, if you really want a cookie, have the cookie! Your cravings will only grow if you try to resist them.

    I know that when I first started my workout regimen last summer, one of my problems was that I'd previously lost weight by cutting calories. Like instead of eating 2000 calories I'd eat 1200 and lose weight. The problem is your body goes into starvation mode so then when I tried later on to lose weight I couldn't, because my body was so preoccupied with preserving fat. So, to actually lose weight I had to get my carb intake normalized again which actually involved gaining weight first! I know it sounds backwards but it was a much healthier way to do it...I ate 2,000 calories per day again and then introduced exercise. After a couple of months I was burning more than my intake (I was doing something like 1600 cal intake/2000 burn) and the weight started coming off. I can explain this more in an email if you're interested but if it's been 6 months or more and the weight isn't coming off I bet it has to do with your body's base metabolic rate. I'm no nutritionist but I can at least explain the basics.

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    1. This sounds really interesting, Roxy, thanks for the info. I may be sending you an e-mail soon for more deets!

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  16. Hey Lisa, you look beautiful doll. I love that dress. The print and beautiful neckline is gorgeous. You don't sound like a bad eater to me and I've been following your blog for awhile. Also you do exercise. Have you thought about talking to a dietician? You would probably have to go through your doctor and explain some things, but it may help. I would keep track of what I'm eating and how often I exercise so that you can tell them. I know as you get older, the weight is harder to drop and the middle is where it goes first. They may even suggest a trainer that can target that area. These are just suggestions. Hope you get the help you want.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. I did well when I tracked what I ate for a while but it got tedious so I stopped. I think I need to start that up again - seems like that's what has worked for you as well as a few other ladies.

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  17. I feel your pain! My advice, have your Dr. check your thyroid levels, T3 & T4...i know everyone uses this as an excuse for weight gain but in my case (and maybe yours?) it's a fact. I take Synthroid daily and have for 6 years...it's very difficult to lose any weight so I simply try to maintain these days.

    Very best, Lisa

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    1. I think it is time I take it to the doc and at least get some pro advice instead of my and my friends talking about "hey try this, I saw this on Oprah", haha.

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  18. I too have been noticing weight gain in my middle. It's very depressing. I don't have any suggestions for you because I'm just deciding how I'm going to deal with it myself! However, you do look amazing in that dress, I love the print and colors!

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  19. Dying over your dress. It's so gorgeous! Exercise takes lots of commitment. Just keep doing what you're doing and it will be just fine. A little a day is better than nothing. You do look great in that dress. Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Thanks, Sydney. You're right, I gotta be thankful for what I have done day by day.

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  20. I agree with many of the comments here about how difficult it is just to maintain weight, especially after 30. I gained about 15 pounds in my late 20s/early 30s and wasn't able to take it off for years - finally last december I started using an app called My Fitness Pal and I was able to lose 10 pounds. My summer schedule is crazy so I haven't kept up with the app for the last few months. I haven't gained the weight back and hope to use the app again in the fall to lose the last 5 pounds. I will say there were a few weeks when the app showed that I should have been losing but I didn't. I stuck with it though and it did work in the end. Good luck!

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    1. I used My Fitness Pal for a while and liked it, but it got really tedious keeping track of stuff after a while especially when I was traveling and eating out quite a bit. I need to get back into that though - nothing like a shot of reality when you realize the nutritional count of that burger you just ate up!

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  21. Oh, I know what you mean! I've been back on the exercise wagon since january with only minimal results! It sometimes seems like a mysterious process when it works, and I don't have the discipline to figure out what works. Sigh.
    You look lovely in this dress! Keep positive and just try changing up the exercises- I hope you find something!

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  22. 1. Join caloriecount.about.com and for a week (or a few days, or whatever) log everything you eat (be honest!) and the exercise you're doing. This is an invaluable tool for realizing just how much you're eating, how many calories you burn, and how "healthy" of a diet you are eating. It might be a little depressing at first, but it really opened my eyes to how poorly I was eating. Now I get excited to log what I eat because I usually get an "A" and it really makes me feel bad to have to log that I ate something terrible. I don't use the site all the time (it shouldn't be a chore or cause you to become obsessed with calories) but it will really help you learn!

    2. I agree that "dieting" does not work and it is not fun or healthy. You do just have to change your food lifestyle and realize that while eating healthy food is not always fun or what you want to do, it is what's best for your body, life, and well being in the short and long term. I have finally realized this after spending much of my life drinking pop, eating candy, and generally having a horrible diet. Yes, bagels are delicious, but is it worth it? No. Well, ok, sometimes it is :) Just once in a while.

    3. Consider doing a "detox" eating plan for a week or even just a few days. This worked for me. It sounds diety and gimmicky, but it's not. My friend runs her own company (google sprout health lifestyle if you are interested) and one of the many things she does is help people "shift" from poor eating habits to good ones. She sent me a one week detox eating plan to try and it was glorious. The detox part just means eliminating all possible things in your diet that could be triggering bloating, digestive/skin problems, and the like. That meant no soy, wheat, dairy, peanuts, nightshades, and other things I can't think of. I was skeptical and some of the recipes sounded gross, but I ended up liking just about everything, and I was satisfied and just felt better. She also provided grocery lists and often the lunches incorporated the night before's leftovers, so it was EASY, which if we're being honest, is also important. I'm not going to eat well if it's too hard.

    I am not maintaining that totally strict way of eating, but I am now having a smoothie for breakfast nearly every morning (as I did during that week) with avocado, frozen fruit, almond butter, apple juice, and kale or spinach, and it keeps me full almost all the way until lunch. So much better than a donut. Which I wouldn't have learned without just diving in and trying a whole foods healthy meal plan for a week. I sure as hell never would have put avocado in a smoothie but it works like a charm for keeping you full!

    There are so many diet books, so many people telling us which is the right way to eat, but I strongly believe that eating whole foods as much as possible and shoveling in veggies and things like brown rice and quinoa is the way to go. I am also a vegetarian but that is not necessary.

    Sorry this was so long but I hope some of what I have said is helpful. I am steadily losing weight after struggling for two years to lose 15 pounds. I eat whole foods, lots of veggies/fruits, still indulge in pizza, bagels, whatever, when I feel like it, and exercise when I can. For me that means going to a 45 minute hardcore kettlebell class once a week, and running 10-20 minutes 4-5 days a week (I am working up to more but my shin splints are out of this world). The food part is more important than the exercise part. Which totally sucks :D

    Good luck and I agree with everyone else who say that you look great and I can't even tell. But then again everyone says that to me too, but that doesn't mean I don't still want to lose those 10 pounds!

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    1. Agreed! I used caloriecount, too, and was kind of shocked by how much I'd been fooling myself about my eating habits. Tracking calories in and out is very useful if you're honest. It has helped me lose 30 pounds and reset many of my poorest eating habits.

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    2. Thanks for this info! I tracked calories for a while but stopped during a period of high work and travel and never picked it up again. I think I need to restart that for sure.

      And thanks for the rec, I think I need some help getting pointed in the right direction about healthier eating habits.

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  23. For me, it was as simple as starting to count my calories and watch portion sizes. Exercise can only take you so far. I always have been a healthy eater, but my portions were out of control. So many times I would have aha moments like, "oh, so THAT'S why I've been gaining weight!" Once I saw how many calories I was eating per meal. It's eye-opening. I use the MyFitnessPal app and it is awesome.

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    1. Thanks - I def need to crack into that App again! I agree it may be all about my portion sizes.

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  24. Hey Lisa, reading this made me a little sad, because you are so beautiful and gorgeous! You have some very subtle curves (to my eyes, anyway), but I think they suit you! Still, like Roxy says, you know your body best. I've also struggled to maintain my weight because I have PCO, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and reading this makes me wonder if you might have it too. Basically, cysts on the ovaries that mess with your menstrual cycle and your hormones, and make it very difficult to lose weight. (Missing periods or having "strange" periods is a common symptom.) I would say go get some blood tests and go see a gyno, it's worth checking it out! (Shoot me an email if you want more info on PCO, I have this big document that tells you all about it... somewhere...) After consulting with my gyno, I went on a hormonal supplement called Provera, which contains Progesterone, and that really helped me - that and being careful with what I eat, plus exercising regularly, which I've actually started enjoying now, haha. (I think I have Stockholm syndrome!) But yeah. You are beautiful the way you are, and you DO look like an empress in that dress - a preppy empress! :)

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    1. Thanks for this info, Gwen. I'll be seeing my lady doc in a few months, so I will def ask about that. I had some bloodwork done a few weeks ago that came back normal, but I don't think they checked for anything like PCO.

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    2. I don't want to scare you, but to check for PCO you might have to have an ultrasound - the, uh, invasive kind. ;) But if the doctor's equipment is up to date, it shouldn't be uncomfortable at all. I think they can find it from blood tests, but would use ultrasound to make absolutely sure - but don't quote me on that. Either way, good luck, pretty lady! :)

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  25. I think you look just fine, but I know how that goes too - when others don't see an issue, but you feel ugh in your clothes. Personally, I don't think age always correlates with weight gain, but it does get harder to make time for exercise and good eating habits.

    I'd recommend 45 min of high intensity cardio 4 times a week, with 1 day of cross training. Eat small amounts of what you like several times a day - I tend to overeat if I go too long without a little healthy snack. And don't look at the scale!! Just pay attention to how your clothes are fitting and remember it takes 2-3 months to see significant results. :)

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    1. You're right, it just depresses me right now to get on the scale, haha.

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  26. I don't have a lot of time to work out. I make it to a 45-minute spinning class at the gym twice a week, tops, and I add 30 minutes of heavy weight lifting to one of those, sometimes. I also love french fries, cheese, baked goods, pizza, candy, and beer, and I won't stop eating or drinking those.

    When I exercise, I make sure to kick my own butt with the intensity. Sweating buckets, can't speak, almost throwing up intensity. I challenge myself to work harder each time, not tootle around on the bike chatting with my neighbor. Also, I try to add walking and stair climbing and biking into my day whenever I can, whether getting to and from the office or when running errands.

    When I eat, I force myself to eat a big serving of vegetables first, then some lean protein, and then I get the good stuff. And I make it the best stuff, making my own French fries and brownies, eating the fancy cheese, drinking craft beer. Then I have (sometimes, hopefully) sated my craving while having a little less of it.

    Sorry for the book; this is fun to talk about! We're about the same age, and for the first time since I was 16 and had mono I seemed to have lost weight this winter after I started this way of living.

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    1. I've always had problems with portion control so I like your idea of loading up first on fresh veggies, etc. first, then going back for the "good stuff" when I'm no longer Hangry.

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  27. As I've gotten older, I was really concerned about "the middle age spread" and was worried my metabolism would slow down even more than it was. I started using the My Fitness Pal app on my phone and iPad (you can use it on a computer too) and wow! Managing portion size has made ALL the difference! While I work out for an hour on weekends, the real change has come from knowing how many calories mindless eating of even "healthy" foods was contributing to my lack of weight loss. I don't subscribe to specific diet plan. I eat what I like but being able to track portion control with the app allows me to stay in control and an added bonus is dropping some lbs!

    Btw-that dress is stunning!!!

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    1. The more comments I read, the more I think I need to get back to tracking my calories and learning to manage my portions because I don't think I'm necessarily a bad eat, but probably like a whole baguette a day is not the most realistic portion size for a person, ha.

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  28. Hi Lisa- I love that dress,it is so flattering and the colors are gorgeous on you! I just wanted to suggest incorporating weight training in your workouts. I've found that weight training at least once a week tones me up and helps keep my clothes from getting too tight. I only weight train once a week and run once or twice a week. From experience running will only get you so far in terms of losing weight and you will have to do other types of cardio/excercise that will work out other muscles group. Lastly, remember dieting is a temporary fix, you'll want to change your lifestyle in terms of food, exercise, and how you view your body. Don't forget that life happens and there will be times (sometimes a lot!) that you won't work out for weeks, you get sick, or you indulge in some GOOD food. That's okay! Just pick up where you started from and get going again.

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    1. Good points, thanks, Tracy. I tend to "oh well" if I've slipped up during a meal or something and then just eat it all, which is not cool. And I def need to weight train more - muscles burn more!

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  29. What worked for me (pre-pregnancy) was Monday to Thursday, I would not eat any carbs after lunch. I love carbs too so I can't give them up. I also did not snack after supper (Monday to Thursday). Weekends were a little more relaxed and I would allow a few treats.

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    1. Ooh, I like that. Giving myself time restraints may be a good option for me too.

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  30. Keeping the weight down is hard. I hear you. One thing I do is not eat out and when eating home, eat very minimal. I don't mean eat less but no processed food, but minimal ingredients & clean eating. Grill some fish, throw on some salt and pepper and that's it. Same thing with chicken. Eating brown rice instead of white helped a lot too.

    Sorry you feel down, but hope you feel better. I'm having a crappy day too :(

    Allison
    reaches the sky

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    1. A good thing about traveling less recently is that I have more control of my own meals now. I realize that when I cook for myself, I'm more into assembling than cooking, which may work out for me.

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  31. Just to preface, I think you're beautiful and don't think you "need" to lose weight. I do understand however, the want because we all have our comfort zones when we look in the mirror and that is just very personal.
    A while ago I realized my relationship with food was kinda messed up and I ate when I was happy, I ate when I was sad and I ate when I was bored, you get the pic. Not that I consider myself fat (I'm not overweight, I'm undertall) but I decided to make better choices and take an active participation in what I choose to put in my body. Of course I started being more active and limiting junk food but honestly what has made the biggest change for me has been this little app called "my fitness pal". It is your basic calorie counter (where you put your stats like weight height age and goals) and you enter what you eat everyday. The thing I like the most about is that it tells you how much protein/carbs/fat plus the vitamins/fibers/sugar content of whatever you're putting in and what is an average daily goal so you can balance yourself but still have the freedom to choose anything you want. I'm worried I sound like an infomercial and I'm not trying to "sell you" on it it just has been a really big change for me and even though I have lost weight slowly, it has opened my eyes to what I'm actually putting in. maybe you don't need a full plate of that and maybe what you thought was super healthy isn't really. It's not a miracle and it's not an overnight change, but again my goal was to make better choices in my life and not just to crash diet.
    Hope it helps! :)

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  32. First off, you are gorgeous. And that goes a long way in masking a multitude of other self-critiqued sins.

    That said, I do empathize with your battle against those ten+ taunting pounds. After two kids, it's escalated into all out war for me. Loads of lovely ladies have already given you excellent advice, so the only thing I can offer is "hydrate". Yup, when I started drinking half my body weight in ounces of water, not only did my skin clear up, I went down two dress sizes. And that's without working out at all.

    Of course, after my weight loss, I was supremely shocked and upset to realize that no one even noticed until I pointed it out. Then my epiphany: I had gotten so good at highlighting my assets (legs) and camouflaging my trouble areas (tummy and upper arms) that any weight fluctuation under thirty pounds just wasn't all that noticeable to the naked eye.

    The moral of this story? Know thyself, dress thyself accordingly and don't sweat the small stuff. And if you have that to-die-for dress that no longer fits quite right, think of it as a perfect excuse to go shopping! :D

    P.S. You DO look like an empress in this dress. I covet! Pockets!

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    1. I totally need to drink more fluids too. I gotta put down all your great recs into "new rules" for me!

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  33. I love this look- very cute! If I could make a suggestions: I am positive that you will tone up and lose some weight by lifting weights- i mean like the guys do at the gym- push-ups/ chest press machines, pull-ups, rowing machines, shoulder presses, lateral raises, squats (with a body bar!), leg press... it WILL make you stronger and healthier and your muscles will boost your metabolism.

    My first year of college, and my first year of living in Boston I gained about 12 pounds- both times I took the weight off by simply lifting weights- no treadmills, no running (although cardio is great to do as well). I highly suggest it, and having strong muscles is SO beneficial to your health. Don't worry- you will NOT get bulky like women tend to think- and just eat lots of protein!! :)

    I think you look amazing though and this outfit is great! Stopping by from the link-up! :)

    -Rach
    lamariposablog.com

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    1. Thanks for your advice, Rach. Some other ladies recommended strength training too - I think I need to start incorporating that.

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  34. I love this dress on you, the colors are so bright! you always look so cute;)
    I always look forward to your posts!
    Rosalyn
    www.just2fancy.com

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  35. i struggle with carbs because i adore them so so so much. ;) in the past few years though, we've tried just eating leaner and healthier. it's really tough but that does help a lot. i cut out a great many things that were just "junk" but do indulge from time to time. working out was also a challenge because i get bored easily so i've been trying to find things that keep me active with my family to get us outside and exercising. i love this dress, Lisa. it's gorgeous on you! xo

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  36. I completely changed my eating habits when I turned 40 and read Dr Andrew Weil's book called Eating Well for Optimum Health. I started looking at food in a different way. I don't look at calories, although I do have to be careful about portion sizes. But what's most important is I firmly believe that you are what you eat, and eating unhealthy foods can lead to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer. When you reach middle age, you start to lose family members and friends to diseases/illnesses. You become more in touch with your own mortality. I wanted to eat better simply because it makes me feel better, and I believe it will help me combat certain diseases and hopefully live a long, healthy, and active life. So unhealthy foods are just sort of evil looking to me now.

    It's really hard to weed through all the diets out there. Most are a bunch of BS if you ask me. I read the Berkeley Wellness Letter which really helps weed through alot of the marketing ploys out there. Don't take supplements. Don't "detox" as that is really a silly concept because your digestive system, lungs, kidneys, liver work to "detox" you each and every day. Don't diet. You really need to change the way you eat for the rest of your life. It might be difficult at first but since I eat tons of whole grains (complex carbs are terrific for you), tons of veggies, fruit, fish, chicken, and dairy (yes even cheese in moderation). Basically just avoid things that are in a box and highly processed foods. After eating this way for awhile, let me tell you; your palate changes. If I eat anything highly processed now, it tastes yucky. Very artificial. You will notice a big difference. You really need to cook, and stop eating out. Or limit the number of days you eat out in a month. Also, it's really silly that carbs get a bad rap. Carbs are what fuel your body. Yes, simple, highly processed carbs should be avoided, but the thing you should eat most in your diet is complex carbs (whole grains and veggies).

    I guess I was lucky on the exercise front. I was a competitive swimmer, and have always felt that exercise made me feel better, was great at reducing stress, gave me confidence, etc. When I don't exercise for a few days, I always think "wow, I can't imagine all those people out there who do not exercise. They must really feel like crap all the time."

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    1. I need to learn to eat more like you. I've been trying to eat more whole foods but haven't been as stringent about it as I should.

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  37. Firstly, you are gorgeous!! And I love your pattern mixing here.

    I don't think you 'need' to lose weight at all. That being said I totally understand where you are coming from. I lost about 15 pounds last year. I did it through exercise 2-3 times a week (cardio for 45 minutes and then circuit training for 20 minutes) and watching what I ate and how much I ate. I still had a treat meal once a week but oddly I found myself craving junk less and less the healthier I ate.

    I highly recommend the Calorie Counter website and app for iphone and ipad. I was shocked at the number of calories in some of the 'healthy' items I was eating. I love that the site gives food a grade (A means a healthy carb to nutrient ratio, F is not so much- such as butter which is all fat). It also really helps me to monitor my balance of carbs/fats/protein. The easiest way to lose weight is to lower the carbs and fat and bump up the protein. Healthy fats (like avocado) are fine and complex carbs (like quinoa) are fine too.

    One easy change I have made (though I've been slacking lately) is to replace breakfast with a protein shake and banana. The brand I like best is Metabolic Nutrition in Vanilla Cake. It's so good for you and fills you up as well. They do have some weight loss supplements that work really well if you're into that. I know a lot of people are completely opposed to pills of any kind. :) The only other thing I did was start drinking water...lots and lots of water. It works so well to fill you up and help your digestive system keep moving.

    Good luck! And don't beat yourself up...you really do look great!

    Lauren
    Style of One's Own

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    1. I def need to start tracking what I eat - thanks for your advice!

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  38. Ok I love your print mixing and that dress is stunning. You really look fabulous in this outfit.
    To answer your question, I run about 4 miles 5 times a week and I will add sprints in the middle of my runs, to shock my body and get my heart rate up. I eat incredibly healthy and small portions during the week, and I allow myself to do more of what I want on the weekend. It's not fun all the time, but I've seen great results. I encourage you to mix up your workouts. It's all about getting your heart rate up, and not letting your body get used to what you're doing. That being said...you have an incredible figure.
    Meredith
    createthatoutfit.com

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    1. Thanks, Meredith. I def need to mix up my workouts!

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  39. Awww I think you look great! I think most women struggle with their weight. I try to keep quiet about it because friends tell me I'm slender (I just *cannot* see myself properly), but I definitely worry about weight, too. I have a hard time controlling food, don't like working out, and I tend to yo-yo a little bit.

    One thing that I think helps me is that I stopped weighing myself years ago. I have literally no clue what I weigh. I try to go by fit and see how clothes fit and how I feel. Everyone has their problem areas, and mine will always be my thighs/booty.

    PS - LOVE that dress, and so cute with the blazer. You are the queen of pattern matching! So inspired.

    I try to remember that I'd rather enjoy food--like yours, one of my biggest passions--then be stick thin. I have friends who limit what they eat so much, and that just isn't anything I'm interested in. I think you look great and I hope you find what works for you! Try not to stress about it! xo

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    1. Thanks for your great words, Tamara. I love that last paragragh of yours.

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  40. I am in love with My Fitness Pal, a free website and app. It allows you to track your calories easily and tells you how many you should be eating to lose weight (or gain or maintain, whatever your goal might be). Since using the site, I've lost 15 pounds, and it's become a way of life. Sometimes, you just don't think about how much you're eating or portions, and calories add up. Weight loss comes down to calories in/calories out. Other very important things: a heart rate monitor to help see how many calories you're burning with all that cardio (and you get to eat back the exercise calories, which can be a lifesaver), and a digital food scale. You start to learn to eat things that are lower cal but fill you up more - like vegetables and fruit (for fiber) and protein. I love carbs, too, but bread is super high calorie and rarely fills me up, so I tend to avoid it. However, with counting calories, you can eat what you want as long as you stay under the goal.

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    1. I think I need a food scale because I am always wonky about portions and such, thanks for the recs!

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  41. in my teenage and early 20's, hopped from diet to diet. It really is true that yes, the diets will work when you are on it. Then once you're off, you gain the weight back and more. I'm far from being skinny but I try to eat healthier. If I have to have burger for lunch, I would cut down on dinner by just having a simple salad to balance it out.

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    1. The part about dieting that keeps me from starting a lot of diets is that I don't know how to maintain!

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  42. your weight is mostly about what you eat, unless you're burning crazy amounts of calories by working out for hours and hours every day. i have issues with my weight. i use weight watchers, actually. sometimes i stop tracking and eat poorly for a while, but i try to follow my points as much as possible. i definitely recommend it to my patients if they can afford it. and honestly, i save money on buying unnecessary food, so paying for ww probably saves me money.

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    1. One thing I didn't like about My Fitness Pal was that sometimes it was difficult to parcel components of my dinner out to figure out the right servings and counts. WW sounds like it does the same thing but makes it way easier.

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  43. ever since i hit 25 my metabolism slowed way down. paired with genetics that give me huge hips and my weight in my stomach region... some of it is hereditary, some of it is my eating habits. i try to eat salads for lunch during the week and slow down on the fries. i have cut out all soda and sugary drinks though - i usually only drink water. if i have coffee its nonfat sugarfree. but alas.

    regardless, i think you look great here. being content with yourself is half the battle.

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  44. Lisa - I feel your pain. Last year, I got down to my happy weight by eating Paleo (basically eating as natural as possible - no sugar, dairy, carbs, soy & beans) and continued my 5-6 days Crossfit and running workouts. Then I kicked up the running to train for a marathon and let my eating habits go. As a result, I gained back all the weight I've lost.

    I have been doing the same thing I did before and the weight is not coming off! It really is 80% what we eat and 20% exercise. And wait till you get older - I have more injuries that take longer to heal and I swear my metabolism has slowed down tremendously!

    If you find the secret - you will be rich! :) Good luck girl - I am struggling with you :)

    P.S. - Love this dress with the striped blazer!


    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

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    1. Wow, your routine was hardcore - and congrats on the marathon. I usually quit running after 2-3 miles!

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  45. It's hard for mostly everyone, I think! I just have to watch calorie intake and I try to work out a few times a week. Doing Insanity helped a lot too but that's definitely a commitment!

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    1. I couldn't do P90X, not sure if I could handle Insanity either. I didn't make it past the fitness test on P90X, ha!

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  46. Honestly, I wait until everything is tight (even my fat jeans) and then go to a nutritionist, start a plan and lose the weight.
    I have done it twice in 10 years.
    I am not disciplined, I don't like to exercise - but lately I have begun to think before I eat.
    I'll have a banana instead of a cookie.. more often than i use to.

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    1. I thought I've been making better eating choices lately but I don't think I do so often enough and I def am not good about my portion sizes.

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  47. First of all, LOVE this dress! And it goes perfectly with the striped blazer.

    I sooo feel your pain re: weight gain. Now that I'm pregnant every pound has me freaking out a bit, not gonna lie. I know I'm supposed to embrace these new curves but it's hard! I've never been a healthy eater so having to focus so much effort on making good choices has been a bit of a struggle. When I started working out a couple years ago to shed the "extra baggage" I'd gained since college it took probably, 4-5 months before I saw a difference & started losing weight. And I didn't change anything about my eating habits. I only ran about 2 miles 5x a week & I just found that it helped keep off those extra pounds. I don't know if there's a miracle solution but keep at it! Make those smart eating choices when you can but don't beat yourself up when you go for that extra cookie (or 3). Also, maybe keep an eye on your stress levels. I know when I'm stressed it seems like I keep the pounds on - I don't know if it's water weight or if I'm just eating worse subconsciously but it does seem to have an affect. Good luck! And I agree with others - you are Beautiful just the way you are! Have a good weekend :-)

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  48. Oh Lisa, I totally feel you girl! This is my exact same story. You keep at it though, your effort to eat more healthy and exercise will pay off where it matters, your health. And like some of the other ladies have mentioned, metabolism, age, thyroid...yeah, unfortunately those things happen to us and have a big role in weight gain. It stinks but my heart is cheering you on. I hope you find what works for you and will make you happy and most importantly, healthy. Virtual xoxo's

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    1. Like Suzanne mentioned, I hope when I get older, I'm not stuck eating like a bird just to maintain weight. Boo!

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  49. I have to chime in with my two cents. Losing 5-10 pounds when you are only 5-10 lbs above your desired healthy weight is very hard. But, once the weight loss starts, it gains momentum. You and I have a similar body shape, (although I am Latina) so maybe my advice will be helpful:
    1. Stick to your 30 minutes of high intensity cardio, as many days of the week as you can. And, do REAL high intensity cardio. Within 10 minutes of starting, you should be starting to sweat profusely. By the end, you should be pretty soaked. Otherwise you haven't really pushed yourself.
    2. Mix up your cardio. Hike on an inclined treadmill at an accelerated rate one day, jog another day, do elliptical on a third.
    3. Also, three days a week, do 30 min-1 hour of weight training, covering all muscle groups. Do as many reps and sets with as much weight as you can stand without risk of injury.
    4. In addition to cutting as many sugars out of your diet as possible (no soda, no added sugar to coffee/tea), do not eat any food to the point of feeling stuffed. Eat slower. Take your time between courses, and you'll find you weren't as hungry as you thought you were.
    5. As others have mentioned, don't fool yourself about your caloric intake. It's a math equation. Unless you have a medical condition, if you are exercising and reducing your daily calories, you will lose weight. And, beware the type of calories you are consuming. 1000 calories of lean meat and vegetables will have a very different effect on your body than 1000 calories of pasta.
    Hope some of that helps.

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    1. #4 and #5. I DEFINITELY need to take better care with both. I guess I need to start tracking what I eat again.

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  50. Unfortunately, women tend to lose muscle tissue as they age. And, this begins at a relatively young age. What helps the most is rebuilding muscle tissue. Try to incorporate some weight training into your cardio, and you likely will see some more results. By the way, you look great, but I guess we all feel as if we could lose just a couple more pounds!

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    1. Another vote for strength training - I def need to do more of than. Plus I want some toned up shoulders and arms!

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  51. I hear you. I've gained weight too, and I've been having a really tough time taking it off. I feel kind of miserable about it. And I don't want to be teeny tiny either, I just want my clothes to fit. But that said, I think you look absolutely beautiful and at Lear to me, you seem to be the perfect size! But we are our own toughest critics!

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    1. Absolutely! My friends says they don't notice but I definitely do, especially when I try to put on something that fit me a year ago and suddenly I look like a stuffed sausage, bah!

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  52. Amazing outfit. Love the dress and the shoes. Not too sure about the jacket, but it works. Would love to see the dress without the jacket too. Want the shoes.
    As for dieting. What you are going through is similar to my story. So I went to a dietitian. She helped my to lose the last 1 or 2 kilo's (don't know how much that is in pounds, but it is very little). I was eating too little and not the right things. I learned to eat every 1,5 to 2 hours. Putting something in my stomach which is not too high on calories to keep the furnace burning. Burning the fat. The food is like fuel for the furnace to burn the fat. But if you put food in that contains too many calories, the furnace has to work so hard to burn that first and perhaps there will even be something left. And that would not help. So a cracker with cheese in between or a banana. That kind of stuff. I think it is better to just eat three times a day, but I cannot. I have to eat more often. Doing so every 1,5 hour keeps my sugar level high, no dips, no cravings. The dietitian only had to give my 1 A4-sheet with amounts of food and it worked.
    I eat normal stuff, not too many pastries of course and go a bit wilder in the weekend.

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    1. I think I need to eat more, eating three times a day seems like too few for me, hehe.

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    2. I am sensing you are taking this the wrong way hahaha. More eating is good, but with little calories each time.

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  53. Your outfit is incredible!

    I think the only thing that saves me a little bit is that I enjoy working out. Yes, I'm one of those weirdos. I'm glad I do because I love my carbs and delicious foods to really diet.

    I think you look great! Keep doing what you're doing! You'll get the results soon. They say that slow and steady wins the race.

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    1. You are a lucky gal for liking to work out - I actually hate it when I sweat, hehe.

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  54. Ugh, as a fellow food lover I wish wish wish I could just eat whatever I want and not worry about it. I could kinda do that in my teens. Now that I'm older, there's no way. It's tough when you love ice cream as much as I do. But I try to eat healthy, and I know I have to exercise more (but I haaate working out), so I've recently started to go to barre classes. They're amazing, and I think they're the only reason I've been able to eat so much ice cream this summer and still fit into most of my clothes!

    Anyway, you look great, but I know that's not the point...even if other people don't notice, if you're feeling kinda ughhhh, that's all that matters.

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    1. Yeah, where's the slimming all-carb diet?! ;o)

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  55. ohmygosh, the print of your dress is so beautiful!!! wow!!! :D

    p.s. carbs are my best friends too, haha! i guess it all comes down to eating in moderation, portion control, stuff like that. i gotta work on the exercising part -- i am planning on getting a gym membership! ;)

    <3, Mimi

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    1. I had a gym membership for like two years and went about once a month, haha.

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  56. This dress is beautiful and looks fantastic with the striped blazer! You look great and I can't even tell that you've gained any weight. I've never thought you needed to lose weight but I understand that sometimes it's not even how you look but more about how you feel.

    I did a crazy thing about a month ago - I stopped eating dairy. That means no cheese which I thought would be impossible. Turns out it wasn't that hard and I feel fantastic. I can still eat carbs but I've noticed my stomach is a bit tighter and less bloated. Maybe you can try it for a couple of weeks and see how you go.

    And in terms of exercise, I bought a bike and ride it everywhere. I'd much rather ride my bike than go for a run!

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    1. I may try that myself, since I've recently realized that it's the yogurt that's been making me break out. I'm not a big dairy person anyway and one of my gal pals is on no dairy and she swears by it (though she's teeny already!)

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  57. Lisa I love that dress on you :) I think I have gained weight too! Coz I have been eating too much carbs and not going for my weekly run!
    If I can get back to running I think the weight will come off :)

    katattack2000.wordpress.com

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    1. I initially had aimed for that whole "run as much as I can and then eat whatever I want" deal except I average about 2 miles per run in about 30 minutes and most people are doing like 5-7 miles in 45 minutes. Crazy!

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  58. Lisa, you look gorgeous in that dress! I can't really add much more to the conversation, but there are some very helpful comments here. I enjoyed reading through them myself. My own weight loss/gain is related to a chronic medical condition and my exercise tolerance is very limited, so I rely mainly on a better eating strategy.

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  59. I don't think you are being whiny! If you are unhappy with your weight and you feel like nothing has changed it's ok to be frustrated! (Although, I think you look great!) I can see a lot of other commenters have great tips! I think it's important to switch your exercises up - if your normal routine starts to feel easy then it's probably not working. I do P90X and it kicks my butt every time! Like sweating profusely and sore muscles soon after. Basically you are working a different set of muscles everyday so your body doesn't get used to it.
    But definitely don't give up! If you are eating right and exercising at least you will know you are healthy!
    ~Jessica
    Jeans and a Teacup

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    1. You're tough, girl. I tried P90X and gave up after the initial fitness test, haha.

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  60. Such great, great advice! If you can drill this down to a workable plan for you, you'll get where you want in no time. My personal takeaway from this was weight training, calorie counting and drink water! Three areas I could totally improve....err...get started in. lol

    Be kind to yourself.

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  61. I'm in the same boat, 31 next month and just want my clothes to fit normally! It does bug me as I barely drink any alcohol, I run 4-5 times a week as well as running around after a toddler and I eat well. I bring lunch to work as we are in the middle of nowhere so a sandwich or salad and I don't buy "bad" foods into the house so the temptation isn't there in the first place. Maybe I'm just loosing the battle against the over-30 spread? :)

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  62. Oh Lisa, I can so relate to this post! Med school + post-wedding have not been friendly to me. I'm in a situation like you where I'd just like to fit better in the clothes I already have (and getting back to my pre-med school weight would be nice). I started off the summer by really watching my calories/increasing exercise and would get so frustrated when I would see the scale budge only a pound or so (or not at all). So I started a 10K running app on my phone and decided to forgo the scale every week for just trying to watch portion size and run a few times a week. I've noticed my clothes fitting a little better after 6 weeks of running three times per week (and the endorphins are nice too).

    Good luck (and for the record I think you look great).

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  63. Let me first say I LOVE that dress.
    I feel the same way. I'm in the process of losing weight and I have this annoying belly role I never had before that won't go away. Instead of trying a diet, maybe try a food journal? You can keep track of what/how much you are eating and see if it's just a portion thing or a snacking thing.
    I think you look beautiful. You don't look like you need to lose an ounce.
    -Ash
    www.thestylizedwannabe.com

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  64. You look great to me . I agree with some of the other advice . The things that work for me are weight training at least 2x week , and counting calories with my fitness pal. It helps me not overestimate calories burned/ underestimate calories. The weights are key plus I love that I feel strong . Good luck and set small realistic goals!

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