Monday, 23 April 2012

Unpleasant revelations

I’d like to take a short break from the usual hair-chatter and talk about something that has been on my mind for a long time.
Hubby and I have been dieting for at least a year now. We both have a real case of “relationship gut” and haven’t been able to get it to go away.
I’ve always been on the skinny side. As a child I was fit-skinny and later as a student and even later when working flabby-skinny from too much time spent stationary. I have small bones and am built to be slender like everyone else in my mothers’ side of the family.
When I met hubby I quickly packed on about 10 kg. The first 5 was a good thing though since I had gotten too skinny, but the rest went to all the bad places.
I have a really narrow window where I feel happy with my body and I look harmonious: 55 to 58 kg. Below my hipbones and chest bones start poking out (My lowest as an adult was less than 52 kg) above that and extra fat goes to love handles and upper thighs, nowhere else.

When hubby and I realised how much weight we had both gained and how unhappy it made us both, we started training and going on diets. Nothing really had an impact though. Even when I went to the gym almost religiously, my fat reserves stayed the same; I just gained some muscles and endurance. It was really discouraging!
After a year of training and on/off dieting, we still hadn’t gotten our old bodies back.

Fast forward to last week.
Hubby and I have the arrangement that he pays our bills using his net bank. Then I match the amount and put it in a wallet in cash. We were supposed to use that as a food wallet and be able to live off that for the month, but we had problems with it for a long time.
Last week we found the food wallet completely empty, not even two weeks into the month!
We naturally assumed we had accidentally dropped some money or had taken some cash out of it for something non-food and forgotten to put it back. So we started going through our paper trash for the receipts we could find and doing the math.
Even though we couldn’t find all the receipts, it spoke its own clear language:
We had been getting groceries at least once a day.
And we had been buying “extra” crap every single time!
There is was, clear as day in black and white why we weren’t losing weight: A bag of chips, cookies, an ice-cream cake, a bag of liquorish, chocolate… On every single purchase, no matter how small, we had bought some extra goodie for us. Hubby added it all up and found we had spent over a quarter of the food wallet money on candy, cakes and chips!

This was why we had used up the food wallet money and this was exactly why we weren’t losing weight!
With all the training and all the dieting we had done, we had still brought home unhealthy crap food day in day out to undo all our work.
It was such an unpleasant revelation that this was exactly why we didn’t get any results. I guess we both felt like wanting to “spoil” each other and cosy up with some goodies and it completely slipped our minds how much we were ruining with it.
Now I feel like my grandmother who always whined how she couldn’t lose any weight no matter what she did or ate, and I always mentally rolled my eyes at her and wanted to tell her that was physically, chemically and biologically impossible! 

How could we both have been so blind? So much in denial of the hundreds of calories extra we ate every single day? How much money we had spent on crap?
At least the revelation was so shocking that I think it has efficiently cured us of such bad habits.

Thanks for listening! And let’s now get back to the hair-chatter…


  1. Those "extras" will get you every time. They just kind of sneak up on you.

  2. Yep--I'm experiencing the same thing. I know that I can lose weight at a slow rate and still keep in 2 cans of Pepsi a day. Any more than that, I stay the same.

    It sucks--having to watch what you eat AND exercise, but I'm sure you and hubby have noticed our fitness level increasing. I sure have. I don't get winded riding in intense lessons anymore and walking around at shows is way better.

    I've also upped it a notch for myself and started yoga--ashtanga yoga which is aerobic like yoga. I love it. :) I also like the variation of yoga/biking/riding.

    Many doctors will tell people to keep a 'food journal' so you can see where you are gaining those unnecessary calories--sweets, chips--they all add up.

    Good for you that you both haven't given up!!! :)

  3. It sneaks in so easy, I'm having almost the same problem. The SO is skinny and snacks in front of me. He buys all the chips, cookies, ice cream and I just *know* the minute he lays it in the cart in the supermarket that I'll be the one eating it eventually. He's perfectly happy with throwing food out, I always feel like I have to empty the package.. if I don't pay attention I'll do that in one sitting.

    I'm happy that you figured out the problem and can now start to fix it. :)