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Jaylene's Weight Loss Journey – #4

Posted on January 25th, 2011 by Jaylene G

If this is the first time you’re reading Jaylene’s Weight Loss Journey, here are the earlier posts:

#1, #2, #3


I did walk two times this week… early in the week. Okay coach, what I might need is a reward/consequence system asap.

I KNOW that I will have a tough time with calorie counting. I just can’t add another thing on my plate right now. For me, I am still “stress” eating.

Which do you think is most important to work on first? Exercising or calorie counting/menu planning, if you had to choose?

I will commit to one change this week. Which one do you want me to commit to??


Your goals for the week were:

Eat 3 servings of veggies/day

Have 1 protein shake/day, preferably for dinner

Exercise for 30 minutes each day

Keep track of your total calorie intake for 3 days this week.

Move all “off-limits” foods into one area of the kitchen, i.e. on cabinet.

Tell one family member or co-worker about your main goal and ask them for support.

Looks like you’ve exercised only 2 out of 5 days. I chose this as a goal because in Part 3 you said it was something you wanted to do. I really think this will go hand-in-hand with the stress eating. You can use exercise to help battle stress mostly because going for a walk is getting you away from your sources of stress. I’ll be honest, I thought this goals was a sure thing. The protein shake and veggie goals were carry-overs from last week, so these should have been relatively easy. The moving foods and family member conversation goals were both 1-off activities, maybe 10 minutes each.

Let’s think of it this way. There are 120 hours in 5 days. If you walked twice, 30 minutes each, you spent 1 hour of that 120 on your fitness goals.

To your question, meal planning/calorie counting is far more likely to garner results than exercise. If you had an extra 20 minutes, all other things being equal, spend that 20 minutes planning meals or doing something food related.  “I just can’t add another thing on my plate right now.” Pun intended? :) Why not spend 30 minutes one day preparing/measuring foods for the next few days. Things like, cottage cheese, protein shakes, meat and cheese roll-ups – portable and easy to count calories. Limit yourself to 5 meals/food combinations and repeat those throughout the weeks. This eliminates options, which should help eliminate stress eating. You can’t eat what’s not on the plan. This isn’t a long-term strategy, of course, but it will get the ball rolling.

To the question about a reward/consequence system. I know what you mean, but I just don’t understand these. To me it seems clear; reward – lose weight, consequence – gain weight or stay the same. Also, only you truly have the power to enforce the reward/consequence system. If you have the power to punish yourself, you have the power to just do the stuff you set out to do in the first place. We can work on one of these, but it needs to be a conversation, so we’ll have to talk on the phone. Let me know when to call or just give me a call, okay?

Okay, enough babbling on from this guy :) Here are your goals for the week:

Plan 7 days worth of eating using only a few food combinations. This goals should literally take no longer than 30 minutes.

Follow the plan in step 1 to the letter, no matter what pops up.

That’s it. Jaylene, you can do this. It’s going to take some time commitment on your part. You have to allow yourself some time for… yourself. (Austin Powers reference, sort of)

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6 Responses to “Jaylene's Weight Loss Journey – #4”

  1. Fred Hahn says:

    Matt and Jeff said:

    “She has agreed to blog her experience here for everyone to see and we ask for your feedback and support for her.”

    Hi Jaylene -

    First let me say that I applaud your desire and efforts to improve your health thus far. It is no easy task to do what you are attempting. It is a slow and gradual process. Patience is indeed a virtue in this endeavor. Since Matt and Jeff asked for feedback, I’d like to offer you some. And if you already know what I’ve said below, forgive me for wasting your time.

    And nothing I say here is intended to override or alter the advice that Matt has given you already. This is simply my feedback from 20+ years of helping people in this field with tremendous success. I think that Matt has started you on the right path.

    I notice from your pictures that you are what is called an “apple” shape which is indicative of what’s called the “‘metabolic syndrome” or MS. MS is usually if not always caused by an overindulgence of carbohydrate rich foods over a long period of time. Since there are many reasons why MS can be tough to lick once it has set in, one thing you really should do is see a physician, ideally a qualified bariatric specialist who understands the science on low carb “dieting” and have her do a full hormone panel. Here is a great resource for this:

    If, for example, you have very low estrogen levels and/or other hormonal issues or conditions that require hormone replacement or other intervention therapies, you can continue to gain fat or not lose it even if you are doing everything right. In other words, you could count your calories perfectly, eat very low carb, exercise perfectly and still not lose an ounce. My wife is going through this right now.

    So that you don’t pull your hair out wondering why you are doing everything right and still getting nowhere, this blood work should be done ASAP. I don’t know where you are located, but Dr. Mary Vernon is an excellent physician.

    If after you get the results all seems ship-shape hormonally, since you mentioned that you need to take steps slowly or one or two at a time, my nutritional advice to you would be this:

    Forget about counting calories. At present you are actually somewhat metabolically “starved” right now since most of the calories you eat are going to fat storage rather than being used for cellular repair and growth.

    Instead, remove all grains and grain based foods (essentially these are all sugars) from your diet. Eat meats, eggs, fish, fowl and non-starchy veggies only as your hunger strikes you naturally. Do not limit the amount of these foods you eat as your body will tell you how much of these nutritionally dense foods you require. In other words, if you sit down to a nice grass fed steak with a salad for dinner and you are hungry enough to eat the entire steak, do so. If you are hungry for it, this means that your body requires the nutrients within. Listen to your body.

    No fruit or juices (just more sugar) either for now.

    For exercise, do 1-2, 15 minute, high intensity weight lifting sessions a week. You need to build muscle. Matt should be able to instruct you on how to do this. Walking is fine but unnecessary for fat loss. It makes sense that you don’t have the energy for daily exercise right now because most of your calories are being sent to fat storage rather than being made available for usage. This will change as MS declines.

    A good book to read on the subject is Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. It helps to educate yourself when attempting to help yourself I find.

    And here’s a great video discussing why we get fat. The information in this video is spot on.

    That’s it. This alone will get you going on the right track. Nothing more needs to be done or thought about at this time.

    Good luck to you in your journey! Please go and get that blood work done!! :)

  2. Jaylene Garrett says:

    Thanks so much for your insight. i appreciate the info and it all makes perfect sense. I am excited to see the results of getting off carbs so that i can get some energy back.

    I will check in with the DR and let you know.

    Gotta run — not in a literal sense :) – Jaylene

  3. Jaylene Garrett says:

    Matt i just noticed your reply above. I will recommit to the plan. tonight i will take time to plan the food and keep it to 30 minutes. I am going to head out for a walk now. it can’t be 30 minutes so i will do 15 and 15 tonight.

    In re-reading over my writings i can see how i excuse my behavior and am not good at taking care of myself. everyone else seems to take priority.

    Thanks for the encouragement and kick — nice combo.

  4. Luann says:

    Hey Jaylene -

    I read through your blog posts so tell me if this sounds familiar: too many people demand too much of your time and too many things are happening at once so you get stressed out; the more stressed out you get the less sleep you get. You wake up in the middle of the night, your brain starts turning so you just lay there and stare at the clock until you have to get up in the morning. The less sleep you get the more desperate and out of control you feel. You always feel tired and worn out. If this is a familiar scenario I understand your struggles and would be willing to be your sounding board—you really don’t need a babysitter :) —either on this blog or over email.

    Fred had some sound advice except for the hormone replacement therapy. Whoa Nellie, that is extreme course of action and should only be used if nothing else works—not a place to start. Please consult at least two doctors before you go down that road to make sure that is your only course of action. Hormone replacement therapy puts you at risk for heart attacks, stroke and cancer. Whether it is Metabolic Syndrome or just struggling with your weight, I think stress is the key. If you are always stressed out you are running on adrenalin and having high levels of adrenalin in your system long term really messes up your body. It messes up your hormone balance and can even damage your heart if left unchecked. Eating the right foods will help you lose weight but the fact you said you are still stress eating suggest to me that the stress still exists, and if the stress still exists the potential to over-eat still exists.

    Exercise can be great stress relief and is a great kill two birds with one stone, but if you are still stewing about all the problems of the day while you are walking, that is not stress relief. Or if you start worrying again once you get home that hasn’t gotten rid of the stress. One of my coping mechanisms is when one of my less desirable co-workers really gets under my skin I pull weeds in my garden. Each weed I yank out is something stupid they have done or said, and once I am done I dump all my “troubles” in the compost heap to rot. In the end I have a lovely weed-free garden, got some exercise and am no longer stressed.

    When you get the stress under control and you start sleeping better then the diet and exercise doesn’t feel like such a burden. And when you see that lovely, shapely lady staring back at you in the mirror that is a huge reward!

    I love the big rocks thing; I think I will use that myself!



  5. Jaylene G says:

    oh my — you have been peeking into my world exactly. I would love to know more about your journey and experiences. you obviously have life experiences…

    I was thinking the other day about how the constant adrenline in my system was affecting my health. I did have about 2 hours the other night at midnight when I was caught up. It was almost strange to not have that feeling of crisis.

    I am blessed with more business than I can handle by myself. My personality is such that I want to take great care of my clients which means I want to be very available. I am hiring a driving assist and a transaction coordinator which will definitely help but it also is putting additional stress to get everyone ramped up.

    In my head I think “once I get everyone trained, my stress will get better”. I am beginning to understand that having help will only be able to increase the amount of clients I can help, but if i want to truly be able to reach my goals. I need to be able to handle my stress in a healthy way.

    What you described with your garden tells me a lot. YOu have something that you really care about and helps you reduce stress. Saturday night I was ask to babysit my grandkids and although I was very tired, it was wonderful to spend time with them and I actually felt better after I left than I had all week. It gave my “obsesssed with work” brain a break.

    I sincerely appreciate your comments so much! I am inspired to figure out how to deal with my stress in a healthy way. Something I heard tonight might help. When something is creating anxiety ask, “WHAT IF…” Basically no matter what the situation, I need to ask myself, “what if… and complete it with the worse thing that could happen. Decide how to deal with that — and realize that it is “small stuff to a giant”.

    I just need to remember in the mist of the crisis that “it is small stuff to a giant”….

    Luann – I wish I could convey how much your comments helped. Again, I would love to know more about your situation. – Jaylene

  6. Luann says:

    Good Morning Jaylene -

    I am so glad my comments helped! I too like to help people and if I can help you find something that works for you, that is a huge reward to me.

    My story—Reader’s Digest condensed version: I inherited from my mother low blood pressure, slow heart rate and a basal metabolic rate that is somewhere in the basement so I have had to watch my weight since I was about 15. Thankfully I am active and don’t have a sweet tooth but it has taken constant vigilance. I too am a person that is easily stressed out; as a friend always tells me, “Luann, why do you try to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.” Despite trying to stay healthy, there were times in my life that I felt awful. Looking back it was the times when I was under a great deal of stress. A little over two years ago I inherited a “psycho wench from hell” for a boss and the tailspin started. I work at home, which in not a good thing for a workaholic, so I started working more to try to make her happy—didn’t work. Exercise went out the window because I was working all the time, I was totally stressed out and not sleeping so when I couldn’t sleep I would go sit in front of my computer and work. Even though my diet didn’t change much, the quality went down because I was cooking less, I started gaining weight. (I hope Fred doesn’t jump on this and tell me I was eating too many carbs because I wasn’t) I started some coursework in Constitutional Herbalism and I listened to a lecture by Paul Bergner on insulin resistance and it helped me examine my own condition. I have done a lot of reading on Metabolic Syndrome, Jeff helped with a whole pile of articles, and there are greater implications other than just gaining weight.( I can share more information on this if you would like—me I am an information junkie!) After that I got my stress under control which helped me sleep better, I had more energy to exercise (and I made the time to do so) after that the weight took care of itself because it felt good to take care of myself again.

    One quick comment about you dealing with your stress because I need to scoot here shortly; the “what if” scenario could be a very useful one on one condition, you need to let go of the anxiety. You figure out what the worst thing that could happen, formulate a plan and set it aside, because if it hasn’t happened it is not real and is nothing to worry about and if it does happen you already have a plan.

    I need to run for now, but will write more later.

    Take care,


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