Moose in the Closet

How to Lose that Last 5 (fine, 7) Pounds: Part I

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I'd be willing to bet you know exactly which weight works best for you. The one where you slide gracefully into your favorite little skirts, but don't have concerned relatives plying you with deep fried turkey and whispering behind their hands to other great aunts, "Do you think she eats?" We all have that magic number. If you're already there, brava. If not, allow me to share what I'm currently trying. It's not a diet. I don't do "diet." I don't do anything that will attempt to wrest the chocolate chip cookie from my hand.

I feel best at about 130 pounds. I'm 5'6 or 5'7 (I haven't stood against a wall with a measuring tape in a really long time) and that's the weight where I don't have to stare suspiciously at my reflection in store windows as I pass, convinced that my butt is following me at a distance of three feet. I'm currently floating about 5 (fine, 7) pounds above that. There were several weeks (fine, months) where I was eating whatever I wanted. While enjoyable in the bacon sense, it wasn't the healthiest plan.

Tip 1: Write it Down

This week I've recorded everything I eat into an online food diary. It doesn't tally up the calories but, frankly, I just don't want to know. I think that it's better not to become obsessed with calories anyway. Recording intake is a good tool to help you be conscious of what you eat and make that consciousness a habit, so you can then forget the whole thing. (While still actually doing it. Brilliant, no?) Entering everything I eat has certainly made me less liable to shovel pounds of mini snickers bars into my gaping maw. I've been eating more fruits and vegetables, smaller portions and fewer sweets. I feel better - I have more energy without the bogged down crankiness of eating 67 starbursts in two hours. (Not that I've ever done that. Ahem.)

Here's what I'm using, if you want to give it a whirl: My Calorie Counter. It has a few minor annoyances, but it's free. I have more time than I have money, so I'm happy to spend my plentiful time searching for things like actual-real-from-the-cow cheese in the neverending lists of Kraft singles and Cheez Wiz.

P.S. If the food lists in this thing are any judge, it's amazing the junk people put in their systems. Bonus tip: Don't eat junk. At least not regularly. (We all need a Reese's cup every now and then.)

Tip 2: Move your Butt (a little)

My other small change for the week is to take the stairs to the bathroom instead of using the one on my floor. In case you were interested, the second floor smells like evergreen, the third floor smells like candles, the fourth floor smells like fresh blueberry muffins. Guess which floor is my favorite? (Hint: you can't eat candles.) Stairs, even just a few flights, burn an amazing number of calories. Calories that translate into another small piece of chocolate cake you can eat without it ending up on your thighs.

Bonus: Moving around on a regular basis gets the blood flowing and wakes you up, very helpful if you're a desk monkey.

Small incremental changes will make an enormous difference to your weight, because you can sustain them once they're habuitual. It's amazing how those little things add up. Little things like 67 starbursts. Luckily, it also works the other way.

[Disclaimer: Most of what I'm trying came from the popular and highly useful book French Women Don't Get Fat. I encourage you to check it out.]

[Disclaimer 2: Please excuse the lack of red shoes in this post. Or really anything shopping or fashion related. Which, yes, defeats the whole purpose of a shopping/fashion blog. I'm trying something new. Namely, not spending money. My lack of self control requires desperate measures in these desperate Must Save Some Money Before I'm Smartly Dressed But Living In a Shoebox On Market Street times.]


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