11 September 2008

Commiseration, Please

Like many families in America, my husband's extended clan embarked this week on a "Biggest Loser" competition. Ours, semi-affectionately dubbed "The Great Lard Off," began Sunday at midnight. I threw myself into the fray with delight, dedication and optimism. I could do it this time! I would do it! The first two days were a breeze. I exercised like Michael Phelps. (Except that I drank gallons of water rather than immersing myself in it.) I ate like Mary-Kate Olsen. I even picked up a few "good karma" points by begging/bullying my husband into joining us, and then a few more for setting up a private blog for the competition. (If you think I'm going to tell any of you how much I weigh, you're dreaming.)

I hit my first speed bump on the road to physical fitness yesterday. Possibly it was a pothole. At any rate, I went to Chili's for lunch with a group who drank Coke and root beer and ordered fried chicken, creamy Alfredo, steak fajitas smothered with sour cream, and -- get this -- babyback ribs, loaded mashed potatoes and french fries. On the same plate. (I practically swooned.) I drank plain water (not knowing the calorie-count of a lemon slice) and picked at the "Guilt-free Salmon Plate." It consisted of seared, mostly flavorless fish, unseasoned brocolli and carrots, and six or eight black beans. 480 calories, total. I'm not a restaurant critic, but I will warn you that when you've finished your meal you find yourself crunching down ice cubes while eyeing the napkin and wondering if paper is fat-free.

What I'm saying here, people, is that for the last three days I've eschewed temptation and consumed fewer calories than most people living in the ghettos of India.

So it was with a regretable lack of humility that I stepped on the scale this morning for the first time since Sunday. I told myself not to expect more than a pound, but I secretly hoped for two. Possibly five. At least. Words for the self-congratulatory (and yet deeply inspirational) blog I would post on my family's site ran through my head. So . . . are you ready? Contrary to all the laws of dieting (and decency) as I know them, I have gained three pounds!

So I came to you. I want commiseration. Consolation. I want cheesecake.

I'll settle for your stories. Inspire me. Make me feel worse. Just tell me I'm not alone.


Anonymous said...

I was well on my way to obtaining my twenty-one pound weight-loss goal I'd set for myself (okay, my new, very sweet doctor set the goal for me. Actually she shamed me into it by saying "It would reflect badly on me if you ended up in the emergency room with a heart attack because of your weight, would you please go to Weight Watchers,")when that very same doctor switched my blood pressure medication, it resulted in a sudden and dramatic increase in water weight. It didn't matter that I knew, intellectually, it was just water that I gained, and not fat, but it had the same devastating effect. I fell so hard off my diet, it left bruises, and I still haven't been able to get back up.

I'd tell you to hang in there, Kerry, but then I'd be a hypocrite.

I'll join you in that cheesecake, New York Style, please. Yum!


Karlene said...

Bodies are crazy things, aren't they? It's so hard to learn to live in one.

I went on a very strict diet—no sodas, no sugar, no fast food or high calories. For five months. And I only cheated twice (I had one slice of pizza on two occasions). And I lost?? A total of THREE lousy pounds.

I play my Wii Fit every day and part of it is a weigh-in. My weight will go up or down by as much as 4 pounds in 24 hours and I have no idea why. Weird.

If you ever figure it out, let me know, okay?

David G. Woolley said...

Okay, here it is honey:


You asked. I'm telling you.

Appearance (wrong)

Loss of weight (wrong)

Small dress size (wrong again)

If you want a list of the right reasons, just ask.

Love you,

Dave Woolley

Kerry Blair said...

Karlene, you're my hero! Dave even loves you -- doing all the right things for all the right reasons.

That said, Bro. Woolley, you need to polish up your crystal ball. You have made assumptions that simply are not true. When I was 20 I worried very much about dress size and appearance. Alas, that was more years ago than I care to count! These days I am concerned with keeping up with Cub Scouts and kittens, and sparing my MS-riddled carcass extra baggage to cart around. (Oh, dear. I replied! I hope that doesn't mean I'm speaking to you again. :)

Deb: I love you! I also know where we can get the best cheesecake in Prescott!

Cheri J. Crane said...

I never had a problem with my weight until about 5-6 years ago. The "forties" inhale. I think one's body tends to do what it wants to, regardless of how we feel about it. ;)

I say, pass that cheesecake around!

Mindi said...

Oh Kerry, that so stinks! You're not alone. Been there, done that, and it still stinks! Doesn't it just feel sometimes like it really doesn't matter what the heck you do, you're body does what it wants anyway? Keep trying! Maybe one of these days I'll get back at it myself.

Pat said...

Oh dear - I just signed up for weight watchers this week, and I am fearing the same fate - we have eaten out every day since.
I am drinking more water than my body can comfortably retain, and exercising until I can barely hobble to bed at night, but I am thinking that is not penance enough.
Brother Woolley - is hoping to prolong life for another day or two a good enough reason?
(The spirit is willing, but the flesh is so weak - and I guess the more flesh there is, the worse it gets.)
Good luck on your venture - I'm right there with you...

David G. Woolley said...

All right. Here's an assumption you can take to the bank:

Throw out the scale. Never weight yourself again. You've heard it all before. Muscle weighs more than fat. Water levels can vary ten pounds from the middle point over 48 hours depending on temperature, intake, exertion levels.

Its your health your should worry about. Too much fat may be a problem. Too much weight should never even cross the radar. Unhealthy eating affects so many organs in your body. Brain. Blood. Pancreas. Liver. Intestine. Lungs. Skin.

Eat well. Live well.

Lisa Anne said...

muscle weighs more than fat!!!!
(I remind myself of that every day, except my muscles keep getting bigger and bigger...

And I remind myself fat people are happier. Then I think of dear Scarlett O'Hara and decide I will worry about it tomorrow! )

Keep trying. You are doing better than I.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

So I'm a little late seeing this blog entry, but yeah, Kerry, I'm thinking you've gained muscle over those three days. What've you been lifting?

I'm thinking fruits and veggies are the way to go. Good thing I love them, because I'm working at losing weight- I've shed 25 lbs over the last year and have another 30 to go. I still eat meat, though. My sister and her hubby are vegetarians and quite healthy, but man, I love a good steak. Grilled chicken. Grilled fish. Shrimp. Crab...

I'm getting hungry.


Julie Wright said...

I'm with Nancy in my being late to reply, but darling, I understand your pain. I climbed a flight of stairs today with a bunch of eighth graders and nearly had to order oxygen. Out of shape is a bad thing. So I am agreeing with Dave. Throw out the scale, forget weight and think about health. Exercise, water and healthy eating is all a must. But you have to be happy with the life your living. When all else fails eat cheesecake and do jumping jacks after :) Next time you come to Utah, we're going out for cheesecake together.

KASH said...


You crack me up! Like every other family in America, I signed my family up too, complete with our own website and water slide! (Okay, not the water slide, but that would have been cool.) I thought having an amiable familial competition would kick my butt in gear, and then completely off (Actually, I don't have much on my buns, I bake most of my rolls on my belly.)

ANYWAYS, to make a short story long, (I do that a lot) my first week I started out losing 2 lbs. Not bad, but the rest of the week, oh my. The next time I timidly stepped on the demon of numbers, I had gained 7 pounds. SEVEN!! And believe me, I was not lifting weights. Perhaps my new nightly regime which includes ice cream may have a little something to do with it.

I was just reading your blog after visiting your website...again after reading "Ghost of a Chance" for the fifth time (There are so many books I could be reading, but I keep coming back. Sam is my Hero. And not only because she knows a guy who reads Chaim Potok ;) I secretly have a crush on him. Don't tell) Seeing if there are any updates on when your next book will be out. I can't wait!!

That is why you are getting a random comment from me. Because, I can console you with my failure. Seven pounds is MUCH worse than three. Do you feel better yet? I recommend measuring inches :) What does the scale know?

Well, keep your chins up (Or, perhaps that's just me that has that problem. In the pictures I have seen of you, you have a very nice firm chin. Lucky).

Okay, I'm done. I apologize for the rambling. And maybe if I scared you. Being a random commenter and all.

Best of luck! And thanks for everything :)

Kerry Blair said...

Katie, that is beyond doubt the nicest comment ever left anywhere in the history of the world. Thanks so much!

Now, let's go out for chocolate cake! :)

KASH said...

With chocolate frosting? Deal! :)

Paiges' Pages said...


They say that laughing makes you lose calories... if this is so I should have lost several pounds after reading that. :) I was laughing so hard I nearly had to order oxegon like Julie up there, but for different reasons. Anyway, you are not the only one. I have the same problem. I avoid the scale like the plauge... If only I could avoid the sweets the same way... Oh well I guess I'll just store my two years supply right here around my middle. :) Bring on the cheesecake!

Stina said...

kerry! i have my fork ready! umm you wouldn't mind if we stop for some icecream afterwards do ya? LOL

i have *actually* joined the ranks of the dieters...i think my dr did a happy dance after she left the room when i told her the purpose of the visit! she put me on a good eating plan and suggested alli. i forked out the $$ and the first week i was very diligent...viola 5 lbs gone! it was magic!! holy cow...this was gonna be easy! yessssss! but, alas there was a little slippage soon after...one little shame-shame indulgent, and hello 5 lbs again! i swear it was back as soon as that decadent icecream touched my lips! i think that missing 5 lbs had gone icecream shopping and were waiting for me! LOL

Tristi Pinkston said...

I don't have a scale right now. The battery died and it's one of those stupid lithium things that are so expensive, you should just buy a new scale. Haven't done that yet either. And I'm happier than I've been for a long, long time ...

And just so you know, any time you start a new regime, your body will freak out a little to start. I'd even go for a month without weighing, if I were you.

Micki said...

First let me say that I love your books!! I may be only 23 but I have been struggling with my weight for, what seems like forever. A while ago, I found that on the weeks that I was strict, I would gain weight. And I mean strict! I only drank water. I worked out for atleast an hour 5-6 times a week. But on the weeks that I cheated I would lose weight. It's all very confusing and frustrating. Just keep doing what you know to be right.

To Karlene,
It is best to weigh yourself only once a day and the best time is in the morning. Over a course of 24 hours your weight will fluctuate. I don't know why but I know it does.

Paul West said...

Great piece. I think all the comments here are more informative than anything a doctor has ever told me. Thanks for sharing.

Paul West said...

P.S. Loved your book "Ghost of a Chance" you sent me.

Kristen said...

So I'm just one of your fans who just stumbled across your blog today, and I had to let you know that I TOTALLY empathize with your plight! I recently took off 25 lbs - which was a really "special" experience. I began pregnant though, and am now watching that weight slowly creep back on - for a good reason though! I was always told that you sometimes gain weight first because of muscle mass weighing more than fat. To that I say - fiddlesticks - but, hey, maybe it is true after all! Good Luck!

Micki said...

It is true that muscle does weigh more than fat. So try not to look at any weight gain as fat weight gain because it might be muscle. Judge by how your clothes are fitting and the inches you are losing.