Saturday, January 1, 2011

Calorie Neutral: 'Fessing Up

Let me get the confession out of the way.

Well, the first one at least. I suspect there will be a whole lot more during the next six months here at Calorie Neutral, but I have to start somewhere.

The truth is that before I could even get to Calorie Neutral, I had some work to do.

I had to take two steps back before I could step forward; I had to backpedal to a weight that I could, literally, live with.
I had to go Calorie Negative.

As the old bumper sticker says, it was the worst fifteen minutes of my life.

Clearly, I’m not one of those people who tries one diet plan after another. As soon as I think about not eating salt ‘n’ vinegar chips, they’re all I want. I’ll focus on resisting until I consume the whole bag.

Also, to be honest, I didn’t have that much to lose – or gain – for a long time. However as my hormones established a new pecking order during my forties, my abdomen bellied out while my upper arms blew up like ballpark franks and then, sadly, began to sag.

I began to walk more often and further, to climb the Eiffel Tower instead of just the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the gym’s stair machine, to attempt hammer curls with twelve-pound dumbbells instead of only ten, and if I did all that as well as skipping my post-workout stop at the grocery store for chocolate-covered almonds, I could slow the spread.

Still, I dreaded the change of seasons when delved into the back of the closet for last summer’s sleeveless tops that now exposed arms like lumpy homemade sausages, and last fall’s blouse that gapped over my burgeoning breasts, and the fantastic merino wool sweater I’d scored at the thrift store in the winter but which now made me look like the sheep from which it had come. The old expression “cheek by jowl” took on new meaning as my jawline disappeared and I developed a wattle.

To my horror, I was becoming Mrs. Doubtfire.

The final blow, though, came when I emerged from the shower and glimpsed myself in the mirror. I peered at my reflection and it seemed that my pubic hair was receding in the wake of my disappearing hormones, but when I looked down to double check, I couldn’t see past my belly.

That was the final straw: I was determined to see my body hair once more before it disappeared entirely. All I had to do was figure out how to get rid of the excess tummy without resorting to a (shudder) diet.

Fleetingly I wondered: Would my credit card limit cover liposuction?


  1. What a great way...weigh? start the new year! Looking forward to learning more about becoming calorie neutral, Rachel. Sign me up!

  2. Thanks for joining me, Lee – it'll be great to have company on this trip!

  3. Rachel,
    Vanishing hair, jowls and chocolate-covered almonds. What's not to love? Give me a second to put on my walking shoes.


  4. doomed is how I feel..I only have to look at family photos of ancestral cottage cheese stuffed bicepts and pair that with the last name "Wayte" and I crawl back into my book about 2012..perhaps my break will come when the poles reverse and all the adipose is left behind in the northern hemisphere..I do have strategies but prefer to wait and see if 2013 still finds me in the meantime I have develped the mantra.."I am powerless over everything that tastes good and is clearly bad for me"..I have eliminated trans fats from my diet and the rest clearly stays..

  5. LOL, Shereen! Got your sneakers laced up yet? I'm ready to go!

    Ruthie, please keep us posted on the pole-reversal-as-liposuction strategy. Inquiring minds really want to know!

  6. I recently came upon an old photo -- one where I had a jawline, and cheekbones and (sigh) a waistline! I'll be watching your progress with anticipation.

  7. Huh, this was very funny Rachel. I laughed out loud when I read the part about disappearing pubic hair and had to read it to Beth as she wanted to know what I was laughing about. I'll be interested on how your battle goes and maybe I'll join you on your journey!

  8. Right there with you, Alice. I don't know which I missed more: the jawline or the waist.

    Becky, I would love to have seen Beth's face when you read to her. That's one young woman who probably got waaay more information than she bargained for!

  9. Very cool blog Rachel.

    I'll be reading it with interest.

  10. OMG, please don't mention chips! My favourite snack food and I had to give them up or face a boob-sized muffin top.
    I recently replaced sugar with Stevia because Dr. Oz warned about large omentums.
    Where will it end?
    Drat middle age!
    Good luck, Rachel.


  11. I'm so sorry for mentioning chips, Marjorie.
    Also, sympathies on giving up sugar.

    Where will it all end? Will it be (gasp) coffee next?
    No! Say it ain't so!

  12. Go calorie neutral??? Heck, I'd have to be in a coma. But, I'm interested and want to tag along.

  13. LOL, Mimi!

    Welcome to the Calorie Neutral Club!

  14. I'm with Mimi, I'm thinking coma's sounding good if it means I have to give up wine with dinner. Looking forward to hearing more, like how can I stay attitude-positive (read: not kill anyone in the process) while going calorie-negative until I get to calorie-neutral.

  15. Great blog, Rachel. I'm looking forward to following your journey!

  16. Good for you! Will follow along for sure! Lisa

  17. Calorie Neutral, Attitude Positive – that has a great ring to it, Deborah!

    Stay tuned to learn my secret. Seriously, if I can do this, everyone can do it. No homicide necessary.

  18. I found an article on "Calorie Neutral" listed foods that took more energy to prepair and digest than they provide...naturally they are filled with surprizes but you can eat as much of them as you like..lettuce, watermelon, dill pickles, darn, since I'm not planning on eating these foods to my hearts content I've forgotten the rest..I'm searching for my grey cells that have migrated from my brain..south to join my belly fat..keep this up Rachel..will Uncle Ray be joining the blog?

  19. Dill pickles – good to know, Ruthie!

    Uncle Ray – aka Fodder – will be showing up soon. He has come to dread the glazed look I get when I'm mentally filing away something he's said…