You Are What You Eat!  My Journey Back to a Comfortable Weight

Several people have asked me to share the diet I’ve used to lose weight after my thyroid cancer surgery and treatment.  I have struggled with my weight off and on since my first pregnancy over forty years ago.  Obesity runs in my family and my mother actually died from a blood clot after attempting stomach stapling surgery.  I understand how difficult weight loss can be, especially if you suffer with depression and nagging emotional issues.  I will try to address those as well in a future blog.

Before I address my weight loss I want to thank Dr. Josh Umbehr at Atlas MD.  His encouragement helped me face my weight gain head on. I highly recommend checking his services out as a physician.  He has a unique “practice direct care” that offers cutting edge medical care without the insurance hassles. Find him at

Here’s what worked for me:

1.   I recommend downloading a calorie counter.  I personally use the free version of “My Plate” by

2.  Find out how many calories you burn in a day.  Be honest, I used one that is based on a sedentary lifestyle.  It is in kilograms and centimeters but it’s extremely accurate and it works!  So I’m not going to question the math.

Your weight in kg x 10 + your height in centimeters x 6.25 – your age x 5 – 161 = ?

Example:  90kg x 10 (900) + 158cm X 6.25 (987.5) – 59years x 5 (295) – 161 = 1431.5 calories per day

3.  I used the formula on “My Plate” to tell me how many calories I could consume and still lose weight. Remember you need fewer calories than you expend to lose weight.  Try different goals to come up with one that appeals to you.  In my case it said I needed to cut back to 1200 calories per day to lose approximately a pound per week.  I tried to stay closer to 1000 per day and I seemed to be successful.

4. Everyone is into exercise, exercise, exercise!  Well,  who wants to exercise when you have a good amount of weight to lose.  Starting an exercise regimen when you are closer to your goal will encourage you to stick with it.  I recommend that get within 10-15 lbs of your goal and then start walking.  You will feel better and have more energy if you drop some weight first.  The gym can be intimidating but walking can be done anywhere.

Now down to the tough stuff.

You are what you eat!  I could eat a 1000 calories a day in Twinkies or cookies and lose weight but I wouldn’t feel very good.  So you need to find some healthy choices.  I personally decided to cut out flour in any form.   Not gluten necessarily but flour.  I used this method years ago after my third baby and it really works.  For me bread, cookies, pasta and other foods with flour are like crack cocaine.   I can’t stop, if one cookie is good ten are better. It’s tough at first but I committed to it and now I’m into the diet six months and it gets easier every day.  The other day I was thinking what would be worth breaking my diet? A Krispy Kreme? My favorite pasta? Nope! Not worth it!

I also decided to stay away from deep-fried foods.  I have cheated on this and had some fries from Freddie’s.  I checked “My Plate” and they were listed so I plugged them in and had to adjust everything else that day.

I never drink soda.  It’s not good for you and it’s wasted calories.  I don’t like diet anything because the sweeteners are nasty and chemical based.  However you could drink soda if it fits in the calorie count for that day.  But I strongly suggest dropping the soda, carbonation isn’t good for your body either.

You will find that portion control is key.  You can eat most anything but you need to stay under your calorie intake number.  I use popcorn as a filler it’s a low-calorie treat.  Not the microwave kind because once again it’s full of chemicals and preservatives.  Make some on the stove the good old fashion way.  I use real butter and salt to taste.  Remember to use your tracker to decide how much you can eat.  Another low-calorie treat is Hot Chocolate.  Popcorn helps you feel full and hot chocolate is sweet like dessert.  If your eating something that you can’t find on your tracker break up the ingredients.

That’s it in a nutshell.  You don’t need fancy pills, wraps, hours in the gym, or prepared meals, or some point system (that’s based on calories at its core) you can do it!  Get someone who cares to support you. I want to thank my wonderful husband Doug for all his encouragement.

It’s embarrassing to even talk in pounds or sizes because it’s hard to believe how out of control my weight had become…but here are the facts in April 2015 I weighed 198lbs and wore size 2x or 18-20 size pants.  Today I weigh 158lbs and wear a medium/large and size 10-12 american eagle jeans! And I’m still losing!  See my next blog to hear how I deal with depression and other emotional issues that can cause us to over eat.  All the best to you!  You can do it!


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