Friday Five: The Groaning!

Yeah, it’s me with yet another blog full of random complaints about why I can’t seem to get past Plateau Point, and five ideas about why that might be happening.

plateau point

Here we go: five reasons I can’t lose weight!

  1. Sugar — OK, I don’t buy into the idea that sugar is the devil, responsible for all the evils of the modern diet.
    sugar and carbs debil.jpg
    Mainly because people who promote that idea seem to be kinda…what’s the word I’m looking for…?
    Yeah, well, not in a verifiable, scientifically provable way, but just kinda off balance, somewhere. Still, there’s no denying that foods with lots of sugar tend to be (a) more calorific than others, and (b) really, really yummy!
    elf four
    So that’s one.
  2. Cream in my Coffee — Sure, I buy the sugar-free, low-calorie French vanilla version of Coffee Mate, at only 15 calories per serving. Then I dump about 5 or 6 servings in my morning cofveve, because why not? It’s only 15 calories per serving!
    …carry the one…oh…OK. Hmm, maybe I’d be better off just getting the half & half!
  3. Fried Chicken — and not just ANY fried chicken, baby — you KNOW what I like!

    Before Lent started, I was getting over my KFC/Popeye’s/[fill in your favorite fast food cooked bird restaurant] by keeping some relatively non-evil Trader Joe’s boneless chicken breasts in the freezer, and cooking one of them with BBQ sauce, Parmesan cheese, etc. Way less calories than the fast food stuff and still relatively yummy.
    However, we’re in Lent now, and in a fit of misguided devoutness, I asked Mr. 50by60 not to buy any more meat or dairy products from Trader Joe’s till after Lent. Which sounds fine and dandy, except twice last week, while out on a long, healthy walk, I “rewarded” myself with some KFC.
    bad kitty.jpg

  4. Peanut Butter — When I was a kid, I *hated* peanut butter. I still hate it when it’s combined with something else, like chocolate.
    hate peanut.jpg
    But a really good, thick peanut butter & jelly sandwich? MMM!!
    And it’s totally Lenten, too! So it should be good for you, right? Well, yeah, unless you have, er, more than one, and then start diggin’ into the PB jar as well. Yum, more calories!
  5. Non-Peanut Butter — Just regular butter, y’know, melted and on popcorn. ‘Cause popcorn’s good for you! It’s got fiber &etc. It’s just that, y’know, that fake butter spray isn’t quite as good as the real, calorific thing.

So there ya go, five reasons why I may be stuck at the 179/180 plateau for a little longer! Of course, as they say, being able to describe your problem is the first step towards solving it, so maybe now I’ll just fix myself a nice, low-calorie Thomas 100-Calorie English Muffin for breakfast.


(With, y’know, maybe a dab or two of melted butter.)

See you Monday, to find out how that affects my weight!

The First Temptation of Me!

It’s a thorny question amongst diet gurus: do you completely avoid fast food, or just try to keep it in moderation?

Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s no easy answer. And today, I had my first (but not last, I’m sure!) major food temptation since starting this calorie counting stuff.

See, there’s this wonderful oil change place wayyyyy out in Eagle Rock, California (45 minutes from my home, on a good day), who’s been doing my oil changes for about – wow, 20 years now, I guess. (They’re REALLY good, and no, I’m not telling you who they are, ’cause they’re MINE ALL MINE!)

Anyway, I only go there about once every 5,000 miles, or 6 months, whichever comes first. And last time I went there, I hadn’t started doing this calorie counting stuff.

But today – well, let’s just say that while I was sitting there, waiting for them to finish my oil change, I started thinking about … fried chicken.


And not just ANY fried chicken – but the best fried chicken in the known universe:


See, I used to go to Church’s ALL THE TIME when I lived in Altadena, many, many years ago. This particular location, in fact. And it was always sooo good – juicy, crunchy, mmm mmm. (And no, this isn’t an ad for Church’s Fried Chicken – I’ve had the same issues with KFC and Popeye’s. Just not recently, and definitely not today!)

Anyway, I sat there thinking about it – and thinking about it – and when my car was ready, and I got in, somehow the car TOOK OVER and insisted on driving into Pasadena, to that Church’s, and FORCED me to buy their Thursday 3-piece chicken special for $2.99! It was horrible, I tells ya!

Heh heh. Okay – of course, the car didn’t “force” me to do anything (other than shell out $35 for the oil change). And of course, I was in complete control at all time.

But the thing is, since I’m counting calories, I knew it was up to me. I have 1,500 calories per day to “spend” on whatever I want. So far, I’d used 300 calories on breakfast. So if I wanted to give in to my “food nostalgia,” and spend up to 800 calories on a gooey, juicy, crunchy fried chicken lunch, that was up to me.

Fortunately, there were a couple of mitigating factors, which I hadn’t been aware of the last time (times!) I’d been here:

  1. Church’s has calorie information right on their menus now (and on Google too), so I could get a better idea of exactly how many calories I was getting.
  2. Even if they didn’t, lots of folks at and other calorie counting apps have put that information out, even providing calories per drumstick, thigh, wing, etc.
  3. A very sensible person named Shannon Sorrels, whose book, “Then Just Stay Fat,” inspired me to do what I’m doing now, points out that just because you *buy* the food doesn’t mean you have to *eat* all of it. It’s OK to throw it away. What a concept, right? Throwing away food – almost sounds sinful!

    But she’s right – and after looking up the calorie info on the three pieces I’d bought, I kept the two drumsticks (which totaled about 300 calories) and tossed the big giant (yummy looking) breast without a second thought. (OK, without a third thought!!)

  4. And finally – there’s always EXERCISE! Even though I was reasonably sure I’d kept the calories down to a manageable level, I stopped on the way home at beautiful Griffith Park, and worked off about 100 calories on a leisurely stroll through Travel Town.


So, it all worked out OK. But let me tell you, if that’s a preview of the kind of temptations I’m going to be dealing with, I’m either going to have to develop WAY better willpower – or find an oil change place closer to home!


Kate Curtis, “Clues to Life” (


Finally, some specifics!!

Heh … was just rereading my last two posts, and noticed I’d PROMISED, at the end of each one, that I’d delve into the specifics of my plan in the VERY NEXT POST!

Well, wait no more! A pleasure deferred is a pleasure increased, so this post should thrill you to your very marrow!

Here’s the plan (such as it is – I’m still working things out):

  1. I’m using MyFitnessPal to count my calories.
    • It’s definitely NOT perfect (I’ve had to turn off all the social media notifications, because they drive me nuts), but it’s easy to use, and it gives me a good ballpark idea of where I am.
  2. I’m exercising.
    • I’d been doing that, off and on, anyway — but THIS time, I’m not following up every walk or gym session with a visit to KFC or Popeye’s, just because “I earned it!”
  3. Speaking of which, I DO still go to fast food places from time to time. However, I make sure to check the calorie counts first, and make sure they fit in with my daily allowance.
    • For example: last week, I treated myself to one — just one! — piece of KFC Original Recipe chicken — a big, greasy breast, mmm!! — which clocked in at around 320 calories (and I rounded it up to 400 in the calorie counter, just to be safe!) Which sounds like a lot, and it is. But it’s WAY better than when I used to get the Two-Piece Breast and Wing with Mashed Potatoes and Macaroni & Cheese meal, several times a week — doncha think?)
  4. Finally, I’m NOT ditching the “No-S” plan completely.
    • See — it occurred to me that a lot of us treat our diets like religions: there’s only ONE that’s right, and we can never deviate from it or else!
    • But ya know what? I think it’s a great idea to have more than one diet you can use. They should be somewhat compatible, of course — it makes no sense to go from “all carbs” one day to “no carbs” the next, for example.
    • contrasting diets
    • So my “backup” diets are all some variation of calorie counting. The thing about No-S that’s great is, if you’re only having one plate of food at each meal, and only three meals per day, you can just divide your daily calorie allowance by three, and have some really nice meals. My husband is still doing No-S so I try to keep the meals at @500 calories, which gives me an outlet for cooking creatively!
  1. Finally — and this is the most important bullet point of all: DO NOT GET DISTRACTED/DISCOURAGED by diet/fitness advice/articles on the Internet!
    • I can’t stress this point enough. It’s SOOOO easy to find voices on the Net to tell you anything and everything you want to hear. “Dieting is BAD!” “Counting calories is passe!” “You need MORE fat!” etc., etc.
    • All of which may or may not be true, for some people, in other contexts. But for me, with my life experiences*, I know what works for me.

So there ya go — my multi-pronged War On Fat 2017-2018! Stick around, and I’ll let you know how things are working out!


And just for some accountability, here are my starting stats:

As of today, I’m 5 foot 2, and weigh 240.2 pounds**.

(*code word for “I’M OLD DAGNABBIT!!”)

(**and since I’ve already started the diet, I’m pleased to report this is already 3 pounds lost in the past two weeks! Yay for moi!)