Diet Dispatches

Joining the diet journey

FEATURES EDITORJanuary 24, 2012 

Three new voices

With the new year, we introduce some new members of the Turning the Scales team. They are beginning to share their stories at , and you'll hear more from them here in coming weeks. Joining me and Andrea Weigl, who is chronicling her efforts to shed weight after the birth of her daughter last fall are:

Sharon Powell, a news assistant for our semiweekly Eastern Wake News and Clayton News-Star. Powell is trying to recapture the healthy eating and activity habits she practiced while serving in the U.S. Navy - ones she hopes will help her build strength and muscle and put on some pounds. As she explains, "There are two sides to the struggle of maintaining a healthy weight."

Rebecca Putterman, a reporter for the Clayton News-Star who describes herself as a "flexitarian" who likes her food to be "local, seasonal and humanely raised" and who plans to blog about her effort to keep her "food-loving, beer-loving, wine-loving self and partner healthy yet satisfied by the culinary art of a healthy balance."

Ashley Suarez-Ortiz, a clerk for The (Smithfield) Herald and Cleveland Record. Suarez-Ortiz is the mother of two sons, a 4-year-old and a 16-month-old, who thought her compulsive snacking would stop after she returned to work last spring. So far, it hasn't happened. She wants to lose weight left over from two pregnancies.

Facing the facts

I'm not going to tiptoe around this. I weighed 144 pounds Thursday morning, and it makes me want to throw up.

Not to worry. I'm not into bingeing and purging. But I feel sick to think that I survived the year-end holidays without much problem only to see the numbers on my scale begin to creep up a few ounces a day through the month of January. I haven't weighed this much since way back in 2010.

I mentioned this to a co-worker who is the personification of svelte, and she was appropriately consoling.

"Well, you look the same to me, if it makes you feel better," she said. "Your weight gain is not noticeable."

Not noticeable. Yep. That's the dirty little lie we yo-yo dieters tell ourselves when we stray from healthy habits, and as long we can zip into our jeans and they don't squeeze like a tourniquet, we believe it, too.

It's how I've lost ... and gained ... and lost ... and gained more times than I care to count. It's also why research shows that the daily weigh-in is critical to maintaining weight loss.

My goal remains to maintain my weight at 135 to 140 pounds. It's an easy goal to reach if I do the right thing now. Otherwise, a manageable 5- or 6-pound gain will quickly turn to double digits and suddenly, trousers become tourniquet.

I intend to resume the Take Shape for Life regimen for awhile, nibbling protein bars during the day, then enjoying a lean and green dinner with my husband. It's a matter of both my buns and budget. I sent my fat clothes to charity not long ago, and my closet is full of size 10s. Gotta stay fit or they won't fit.

Weight-conscious staffers share stories and tips at

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