The Zombies Ate My Brains

Rescuing what might remain of the grey matter.

Through Thick or Thin(ner): The Series

Image Courtesy Google Images

Image Courtesy Google Images

It’s time for a slight departure here on the blog. My aim is twofold. Wait, maybe threefold. Perhaps more. Oh I dunno, who’s counting? Anyway, the number of folds aside, it’s time for a change.

Back story:

I paid a visit to my new MD last month. First thing he did was take my blood pressure. He used a magic machine that took six readings, eliminated the first and last, and averaged the rest. He left the room so there was no white coat syndrome (though I have never had that problem) and turned the machine face down so I couldn’t read the results. He came back for the big reveal…. and voilà! 124/85.

I turned to him and said, “You do good work!”

Then he pissed me off.

He wanted to take my measurements. I’m still 5’10”. Cool. No shrinkage. Then my weight. “Ugh,” I thought to myself. I stepped on the scales – the official doctor’s-office kind, with the slide-y weights that you nudge along on the arm. The big 100-pound marker was set at “one” and he slid the one-pound measure over in increments. All the way over to the right. Not in balance.

“Noooooooooo!” I screamed silently as he slid the 100-pound thingy to “two”.

His scale measures ten pounds heavier than the mine at home. Same as Doctor Barbie’s. Cr@p. They can’t both be wrong.

“I need to get a handle on this,” I wrote to my friend. “Will I? Good question.”

Since then, I haven’t done much to decrease my intake. I am getting out more for walks, so that’s a good thing. What’s more, I am starting to crave those walks. Excellent. I hope this continues.

But the bathroom scales do not register any improvement. If anything, I’m gaining. I’ve got plenty of excuses, none good. It doesn’t help that I’m married to Jack Spratt who is underweight and has difficulty gaining. He keeps chips and candies and an assortment of treats all over the house. Me, I’ve got no will power.

Correction: I’ve got plenty of will power. I fail to exercise it as well as the rest of my wonderfully pudgy self.

Last weekend we paid a visit to a museum in Stoney Creek. Hubby brought the camera and wanted me in all of the pictures. (There is no arguing with the man. A person has to be in the photos for scale, don’t you know? )

He took one shot, and then asked me to turn slightly. Back home, when I downloaded the images, I understood why. My a$$ was enormous in the first shot.

It’s time. I am tired of seeing my plump and puffy face stare back at me from the mirror. I’m tired of being tired as I slog my way up the stairs or up the trail. The BMI results tell me I’m overweight, bordering on obese. In order to satisfy BMI scales, I need to lose thirty pounds. I’d be happy with half of that.


Back to the purpose of this new series. My goals are:

  1. By announcing my intention, I hope to secure my motivation to lose weight and
  2. invite others to join along to offer support and encouragement and maybe set similar goals of their own
  3. (See? I KNEW there was more than two folds!) Write about it. I will get my rear in gear literally, and figuratively as well by blogging about my efforts.

If I frame these goals around eating better and exercising more rather than losing weight, I think I’ll have a better chance. We’ll see.

Don’t worry. I have no intention of boring you with every last calorie lost or gained. I hope to write at least weekly. Essentially, I see this series as a way of checking in and keeping my promise to you. More importantly, keeping my promise to myself.


Categories: Personal Growth


73 replies

  1. muscle weighs more than fat . . . does that help?


  2. Good for you. I’ll be rooting for you. Starting with a few small changes often leads to noticeable results, enough that we’re motivated to keep going. Good luck!


  3. I’ll be cheering you on Maggie. I had a wake up call when I ventured way north of what I always considered a magic number. Eating better and exercise is a good goal. If you lose weight, great but don’t add the stress of targets and all that stuff. Stress is bad for you.


  4. I should have read this post BEFORE I had a piece of chocolate. Ok, ok, ok, I had 3 pieces of chocolate.
    Now I’m feeling really, really guilty. Really.

    I’m in.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Congratulations on your goals. Eating and moving to be healthy is the best goal, and whatever comes with it is a bonus. Good, good luck 🙂


  6. Exercise is important, I huff and puff on my treadmill ever day and drag my dogs for long walks 🙂


  7. I always have to chuckle at a$$–just makes me laugh. I am the one-person Wellness Committee at work, so for sure I will be cheering you on, Maggie. Now get that a$$ in gear and start losing weight! 😀


  8. Oh Maggie, I hear your pain and I applaud your decision. I’ve been trying to shave off 5 stubborn pounds and they are sticking to me like a wet booger. I also have a husband who is underweight and can eat anything with impunity and does NOT understand the meaning of “No thanks.” So I’m totally sympathetic and I’ll be rooting for you.


  9. All the best Maggie as you change your eating and exercise habits. Those two things will make you feel lots better – I’m sure of it.


  10. I had my yearly trip to the regular doctor this week and was nearly horrified by the results on the scale…I too employed the old, “muscle weighs more than fat” and instead of beating myself up for it took a moment to assess…
    Whatever you do, I wish you all the best!


  11. For writers, sitting in front of a computer is the most absorbing activity. Finding a habit of fitting in activity is a must and I’m so pleased you are enjoying your walks Maggie. We try to go for at least one walk a day, and it does help. (except when we stop off for a hot chocolate!) At present I’ve given up sitting at the computer and have got back into the garden and that is always uplifting, especially if I complete a few necessary jobs. Wishing you well on with this project of yours!! I shall attempt to avoid the hot chocolates… 🙂


    • Exactly! I’ve been on my butt, sitting behind a computer terminal for three years solid completing my school work. For a hobby? Blogging. For entertainment? Netflix. Lately I’ve been having very strong gut reactions to sitting at my desk. How’s that for a direct message?

      Gardening and walking – my solutions, too. (As well as avoiding the hot chocolates.) Though I might explore the stand up computer terminal, too.

      Thanks for your encouragement, Barbara! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Forgot to say: why do doctor’s scales always make one heavier? Mine does too!!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Excellent. I, for one, can vouch for the efficacy of the Blog Police to keep you in line. Also, I recommend a spreadsheet. 😀

    Would it help if I made you a member of the Universal Vegetable Alliance? As President and Founder, I have the power to do that, you know. Who do you want to be?

    [whispers] By the way, having neither spreadsheet nor the watchful eye of the Blog Police at this time, my running schedule has collapsed in entirety. 😦 However, things are afoot that will give me incentive to get the fitness front and centre once again. Stay tuned. Da da da dum…..


    • A reader on Facebook suggested a graph. I hate to admit it, but a spreadsheet or other tracking device holds some appeal.

      This, of course, is not my first trip down Weight Loss Lane. I’ve used online tracking sites before. Zealously. Some would say I was anal about it. This time, I’m not feeling the urge to go that route, but that might be the discouragement talking.

      Universal Vegetable Alliance, you say. Hm. Yes, I think I’d like to be part of that team. My, ahem, plate is full with executive committee work here with the WI, so if I may be “Member at Large” (get it? Large?) I’d be content.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I hate to tell you what the original definition of “doctor” was? Doctors were originally called physicians. The word “physician” meant “pissed ’em off”. So your doctor was simply doing his job.


  15. #1 I applaud your doctor for actually being in the room to see the weight. Here they take your weight in a hallway, write it down on the chart and I’ve never had a doctor comment even though I have several conditions where losing weight is beneficial.

    #2 I’ll join you in the weight control challenge! I need to lose 30 pounds but 20 would be wonderful. I’ve been struggling to get motivated.

    P.S. I’ve framed it around health, feeling better – doesn’t work for me. Now I’m Maggie-Framing!


  16. Every day, Scooter walks me six miles. Every day, my wife slaps my hands when reach for food that I shouldn’t. Still I gain weight. It must be the mosquitoes I inhale.


  17. Maggie, you are brave for committing to posting your progress! Wishing you big health gains while the fat cells wane 🙂


  18. Well-done, Maggie…..I’m so excited to be part of your journey and yes, this is something I’ve been considering myself and perhaps you were just the nudge I’ve needed. I’m on board to seek reward!


  19. Hey Maggie, I’ve been trying to walk off the same 15 pounds for almost 10 years now…I really should give up the idea of making the scale happy. I have benefited so much by walking, the endorphins are worth so much more to me than those lbs. !! It has vastly improved my mood, my energy level, outlook on life, in general. I eat pretty much anything I want, so I guess I should be grateful for that alone.

    Good luck…writing it down and commitment to the process is such a great first step.

    Love all your many “folds”, and the Jack Spratt…had me cracking up. I have one of those, almost, with a bit of a 60 year old’s belly fat. 💕


    • Joanne Sisco told me something similar, and I had to laugh, because I’m the same. I have no trouble losing 50 pounds – in 5 pound increments, regain ’em, loose ’em again, rinse, lather, repeat.

      Delighted to hear the good things you’ve experienced with walking. I want to get so habituated to walking that nothing will interfere with the daily ritual.

      Thanks for reading and commenting and being such a great support!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I even got my Jack Spratt to start walking as a way to alleviate the beginnings of arthritis…seems to be the curse of his family. It is helping him a lot. Like anything else, once you make it a habit…you’ll notice if you miss a day !! ☺

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I’ve got to do something too. I have to be careful, like anyone does really, but given my history even more so.

    You’ve got this, lead on! 😀


  21. What a brave post! Putting it out there for the blog world to see will help you keep focused, I’m sure. I think walking is just about the best “sport” ever. You might want to get a Fitbit or some other tracking device to count your steps toward a goal of at least 10,000 a day.

    I, too, have a naturally thin husband who can eat just about anything he wants and not gain a pound. It’s very hard to resist trying to match him bite for bite (especially if I’ve done the cooking).

    I always found it hard to “just eat less” on an ongoing basis. Although Weight Watchers works for many, I didn’t like to count points and found it hard to stop when they were all used up. What has worked for me is the “5:2 diet.” I first learned about it on a 3-part series on PBS and have since purchased The Fast Diet book by Michael Mosley (there’s lots of info about it in the Google-verse). In a nutshell, you severely restrict your calories for two days a week (say, Monday and Thursday), and eat moderately all of the others. I found that it was easier for me to say “no” all day knowing that tomorrow I can eat what I want (within reason). Once I reached my desired weight, I dialed it back to just one day a week of semi-fasting. It’s been three years now, and I haven’t looked back. If I go on vacation, I eat normally every day, then, once I’m back home, I go back to twice a week until the few pounds come off, then back to once a week. Everyone has to find the plan that works best for their lifestyle and personality, this one just works for me.

    Good luck!


    • Thanks for your helpful and encouraging post! This time around, it appears I am taking a different tack than I usually do – that is, I am not inclined to record, measure, use high tech. Though, I absolutely know that measuring and recording is effective for me. But it becomes boring, almost a hardship.

      I think my biggest motivator is “putting it out there”, as you say.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Go for it! There is a lot of benefit in just walking a lot, in addition to other forms of exercise. And if you have friends to walk with, all the better!


  23. My time for this, too. I’ll join you. Good luck to both of us!!! 😀


  24. I’m cheering you on 🙂
    Apparently, when one quits smoking, one’s metabolism slows, and one should have begun horrid vigorous exercise at once, but one did not and one is having a slow go at removing what the metabolism left behind after last winter’s noodle intake. One’s age may well be a factor, but one doesn’t like to think about that. One also might think it’s too hot to be playing tennis and shooting hoops, but one is thinking about buying a brand new pair of roller skates sings and then at least one will feel the breeze 😉


  25. One is tickled by another one’s witty commentary.
    Yeah, more than “one” factor at play, ain’t there?

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Good luck! My husband who is a numbers and science kind of person really likes using graphs when he goes on a diet. And they seem to really work for him … until … he forgets. My weight isn’t perfect but I decided this year not to fret about it. Instead, I decided to go from vegetarian to vegan. The way I figure it: a diet with no cheese just has to be better for me. I am also making sure to move my body every day. Not necessarily with great effort — just enough to keep things from seizing up. And swimming in the morning when the days are +100 is NO hardship. soooo nice.


    • How is the no cheese thing working for you? For some reason, cheese is insanely cheap on a regular basis here and the fridge is always full and hubby buys it (remember Mr. Spratt?) but he doesn’t eat it and I hate waste… so, to the “waist” (and hips and butt) it goes.


      • =) it is one of my great weaknesses (add in chips to the list). One thing that has helped me stop using it is learning to be aware of what I am actually tasting. The other night I made quesadillas without cheese and nobody even noticed the absence. I have been substituting things like avocado in its place. I realize they calorie dense but otoh they is also nutrient dense. I use silken tofu in some cream based sauces and things like tomato basil soup. The taste of cream and butter is of course impossible to replace (so yummy) but the texture can be replicated. I have really had to amp up my cooking skills and only eat the irreplaceable things on very special occasions but I feel it is worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. I’ll vouch for walking as an exercise. I walk the dog each day, but then several times I’ll do laps in my backyard – not quite 100 steps per lap. I track my calorie intake on MyFitnessPal, a base of 1500 calories daily, and it syncs with the Garmin website that tracks my activity recorded by my low end Vivofit. It’s real eye-opener just how much you do have to move to get 10,000 steps into a day! I’ve lost nearly a stone this year, and I’d like to lose another yet. I’ve not visited you for ages, and started reading your blog from here, so now I understand the titles on your more recent posts. All the best with it Maggie.


  28. Hi, Maggie! I’m catching up again on everyone’s posts and just got to yours. Since I’m going oldest forward, I’ll learn how your exercise went when I return later tonight or tomorrow. For now, I’m going to veg out with some vid and eat gluten-free matzoh with butter, garam masala, and stevia–my current go-to snack, and perhaps the cause of: In 2012, I weighed 115–underweight for me. I’m at 135 now on a good day. Whoops. That’s quite a gain in three years. I walk three miles a day, so, for me, walking isn’t enough. Clearly, my caloric intake exceeds my needs. I may try that 5:2 thing. But I’m so darn hungry all the time already! 😥

    I hope your plan is going well! Good luck, whichever stage you’re at. 🙂


    • Oh, Maggie, I’m an Aspie TMI dolt! I awakened this morning and realized how that might have sounded, spewing all that as if it was a comparison. I am so sorry!! Please, please please edit or delete. Here is all I should have said after “perhaps the cause of”

      …my twenty-pound weight gain in three years.

      Truth: I was, for a while, very overweight. That I am not now is not due to exercise or dieting. (It shall be blogged, someday.) My rapid weight gain now scares the tar out of me.



  1. Through Thick or Thin(ner): Next Steps and Missteps | The Zombies Ate My Brains
  2. Through Thick or Thin(ner): The Forecast | The Zombies Ate My Brains

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