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Welcome to the inside of my brain. Here, I share experiences, tips, tricks and fun things I've learned during my weight loss journey. 

  • Gail Ballin

Fun Fat

Dessert buffet - my Achilles heel

I was coming home from running a few errands yesterday afternoon when I saw my friend Christine at the entrance to our neighborhood. She’s such a good soul. She spent a better part of the afternoon taking down the neighborhood Christmas Decor from each of the entrances, to which I believe there are at least 5 or 6.

Mind you, yesterday was the first sunny day in our part of the country in weeks. As a matter of fact, 2018 was noted to be the wettest year in North Carolina history and the rain continued into 2019. So, knowing that Christine gave up a beautiful sunny 63-degree afternoon makes her a saint in my book!

We started chit chatting and catching up as I haven’t seen Christine in quite some time. For years, we’d spin together at 5:30 AM, but over the last year or two, she started doing Cross Fit and seems to enjoy it even more. We talked about the gym, various workouts and about the fact that we both gained weight recently.

The thing you need to know about Christine is that she has an incredible, raw sense of humor and frequently says things that just make people laugh. When talking about our weight gain and the frustrations of trying to lose it at 49 years old, she smiled and said: “at least it was fun fat!”

I smiled, not really clear about what she meant by that, so I asked.

Christine explained that she had a great time eating her way to a 10 lb. weight gain. She went to holiday parties, drank the wine she liked and had a great time. She explained that when you consider weight gain like that, it’s easier to own. I think she had a great point.

Soon after making plans to take a boxing class together (an item for my bucket list this year!), and her declining my offer of help for the 3rd time, we said our good-byes and went about our days, but Christine’s concept of FUN FAT stuck with me.

She’s right - I had a hell of a time eating my way to a 15 lb. weight gain. I dined at some

Dinner at Gordon Ramsay's in Las Vegas, 2018

pretty awesome restaurants, had great times with friends and family on numerous trips and had a wonderful time trying new things on our cruise. It was AWESOME! I think that when considering the weight gain, I have to be kinder to myself. I’m human and I love to have a good time. Sometimes that involves food and drink - and I should be able to indulge from time to time.

The key to successful maintenance though is to enjoy life, eat what you want, but be mindful of it. I gave up tracking my calories - had I tracked more, I suspect that my weight gain would have been less. Knowing the number of calories I am eating is critical to my success - without it, I’m just ‘guesstimating’ and that does not work for me.

Mindfulness also comes with making some better food choices - for example: ordering the steak, but having steamed veggies instead of the baked potato and then taking a bite from Robby’s if I crave the carbs. Sometimes having a bite is just enough to satisfy the craving.

I also think that mindfulness helps keep us in check. It makes us think about our choices and our goals rather than giving us a free pass to eat whatever we want. I’m sure I’m not alone when I rationalize eating a cookie because I’ve already ‘blown it for the day’ or ‘will focus more on my diet tomorrow.’ Those tactics have been in my repertoire for years and they undermine my progress, hindering and sabotaging me.

Thanks to Christine, the guilt I’ve been feeling about gaining weight has diminished. She helped reframe things for me and I couldn’t be more grateful. Mindfulness is something that takes time to develop, like any habit and as long as I can stick with it, I should be able to stay on track - with a little detour here and there, just for fun!

Bee healthy. Bee happy.

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