Motivated by Fear: my Weight Loss Plan

In a previous post I talked about how fear is a great motivator for weight loss. Blood results showed my blood sugar was getting in the high end of the normal range, and I didn’t want to cross into diabetes territory, so I pushed myself to lose the extra weight.

Everyone has a fear of something happening to them that would be a horrible experience. I always say my health is important to me, so now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is. The fear of getting diabetes or liver problems was able to do the trick to scare me into losing weight.

Show courage. Face down your fears.

The tally

So far I’ve lost about 35 pounds in around 10 months, though the last 10 pounds have been pretty slow, since December 2018, up and down the same three pounds every month and then maybe down 1 pound or so each month. I’ll be happy losing another 6 pounds and then trying to maintain my weight once I lose that last 6 pounds.

Motivated by Fear: my Weight Loss Plan
Didn’t think I’d fit into size 4 jeans again!

I haven’t been following a diet plan with a meal plan or taking weight loss pills. I’ve done both those things in the past with moderate success. Ended up putting the weight back on eventually.

Beverly Hills Diet

The best diet plan that ever worked for me was the Beverly Hills Diet, that was about a 5 week plan. The theory being that carbs and protein should never be eaten on the same day. There was a lot of fruit on this diet. The premise being you could eat as much of one fruit as you wanted, then you took a break, I think for about two hours, before choosing a different kind of fruit and eating as much of that as you wanted. I remember eating a watermelon one day. There was another a day where I got to eat a lot of popcorn. By the way, don’t waste your time trying to make popcorn in the Instant Pot!

My starting weight was 125 pounds and I dropped to 104 at my best. And then I pretty much stayed within 5 or 6 pounds for a few years. I was about 25 at the time, so when you’re younger your body is more resilient. It took about 10 or 12 years to get back to 125 pounds again.

The next time I tried the Beverly Hills Diet I was around 38 or 39 and It just wasn’t happening for me that second time around. I found myself tired and without energy.

As for supplements, that mostly help you feeling full, there are other things a person can eat to help keep them full such as an apple or Metafucil or another fiber product. Less expensive than a bottle of diet supplements.

I’m all about living frugally!

What I’ve been eating

For people who are hoping to lose weight and that I know the secret to help you get there, my weight loss plan is nothing more than portion control and sheer willpower. No big secret, just eat less. So tough when I feel hungry and what I’d really like is a piece of cake, or maybe a few pieces of cake, a chocolate bar or two, and ice cream. I keep reminding myself that I am motivated by fear, and I do not want to get diabetes. The courage to face my fears means trying to stop gorging myself!

Motivated by Fear: my Weight Loss Plan

The tough thing about being a single and cooking something is that you have to be committed to it for a few days if it’s not something that can be frozen. A good example is cooking a frozen pizza!

Months ago I bought a pizza on sale and it’s been sitting in my deep freeze ever since. About 3 weeks ago I decided to have it for dinner. The pizza says it’s four portions and 160 calories per portion, so on my weight loss plan I can’t eat the whole pizza. Or even half of it in one sitting like I used to do before. Portion control! I can eat one quarter or the pizza and make a spinach and mini carrot salad to go with it. The problem is 4 portions and one of me. That means one slice of pizza for dinner, one slice for lunch the next day, one slice for next day’s dinner, and the last slice for the following day’s lunch.

Motivated by Fear: my Weight Loss Plan

See what I mean about being committed to something you bake and now stuck eating it for a few days?

Let’s give this a try!

For inspiration, I went back to when I bought my Mazda 3. The dealership was replacing a tire for me, their dime, but it took quite a while before they had the tire and were ready for me to bring the car in. That was pretty annoying actually that I was chasing after them. The man in the service bay decided to share his weight loss with me. I suppose he was pleased with his progress and wanted to share it with complete strangers. I don’t remember how many pounds he lost, maybe around 50, but he said he stopped eating bread, pasta, and potatoes. A tough call for an Italian! I thought, OK, that worked for him, I can cut those foods out too. For the most part I did, but I still occasionally made a potato salad and if eating out, I might have a sandwich.


There’s a few things I rotate on my breakfast. It might be a simple oatmeal that I make in the microwave and slice a banana or add blueberries to it. Plus cinnamon and brown sugar. That works best on cold mornings. When the warmer weather hits, I’ll probably be looking at overnight oats like my super easy overnight trail mix oats.

Every two weeks I’ll make a chocolate chip peanut butter oatmeal bake. It makes 6 portions. I’ll eat one for breakfast the next day, probably have one more the following day, and then freeze the rest to alternate in breakfast for the next week or so. I top it with a spoonful of Greek vanilla yogurt and it’s like I’m having cake and ice cream for breakfast! It keeps me full for hours.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bake - for Breakfast!

I’ll often make a quick and easy Metamucil smoothie, defrost a muffin in the microwave, and call it breakfast.

You probably noticed I have a lot of super easy recipes I make. When it’s easy to prepare, I’m all in!

I also really enjoy a chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie for breakfast. Again, something that’ll keep me feeling full for hours. If I’m really hungry in the morning, I’ll eat a muffin with it.

Lunch and dinner

Lunch and dinner are interchangeable with me. I ate a lot of spinach prior to beginning a weight loss journey, so there’s not much change there for me. These days I just don’t follow spinach with cake for dessert! Ha ha! I always have a bag of spinach and a bag of mini carrots in the house. Lunch or dinner can be made real fast. I add raspberry vinaigrette or low calorie zesty Italian dressing, and depending on what else I’m having with the meal, I often have a can of tuna. The small cans that are flavored with lemon and dill or ginger or sun-dried tomatoes.

I eat a lot of veggie burgers, minus the bun. I usually buy them or sometimes make them and freeze to eat later on. A burger, salad, and crackers – that’s a meal! The type of crackers or veggie chips where you can eat about 50 for 80 calories, though I don’t eat that many. I just like the idea of getting a good handful for only 40 calories or so.

Following the advice of the Italian man at the dealership’s service bay, I’ve gotten away from buying bread and eating sandwiches even though I love them! I’ve taken my chickpea sandwich recipe and wrap it in rice paper. You know the kind that’s used for Thai shrimp rolls. You can put just about everything into a rice paper wrap that you’d put in a sandwich.

Super Easy Veggie Lentil Loaf

My super easy veggie lentil loaf makes an appearance at a lot of dinners. Sometimes I boil a couple of eggs. I’m also just as likely to enjoy a smoothie especially when the weather’s hot. I can also indulge in my potato salad for one on hot days.

What about exercise?

Besides cutting way back on sweet treats and hanging as tough as I can on willpower and portion control, I’ve been doing a 10 minute yoga workout nearly every day for the love handles.

This is a very easy, low impact video that is perfect for people who don’t do yoga or just starting out on a weight loss and exercise program.

Once or twice a week I also do a video called yoga for equestrians. You don’t have to be a horse rider to get a good benefit from this video. It helps with balance and strength.

My dogs and horses keep me active. I ride a bike when I can, in other words when the weather’s nice, though I did have a pleasant ride in the rain with three others about a week ago. Forgot how much I liked doing that as a kid! Just about everyone has a bicycle or can get hold of one. A bike was probably the first exercise machine most of us owned.

I’m part of a Meet Up group that goes for walks on Sunday mornings and then often out to lunch afterwards. I don’t usually go for the lunch because I watch my spending on meals eaten out, but the walks are at a good pace. It’s nice getting outside to enjoy the fresh air and chatting with others.

Bliss with horses. 8 ways to spend more time with horses.

The important thing is to find something that you enjoy doing and hopefully doesn’t cost a lot of money. Horses are expensive by the way!

Check out my post on keeping horses on a budget.

I also try to follow my own advice with the horsewoman’s guide to slimming down.


The first four months I lost 25 pounds, so about a pound or two a week. By that time I’d gotten into a healthy BMI. Since then it’s gotten a lot slower, about a pound or two a month. It’s like the scale is stuck.

When people plateau during weight loss it’s usually because their body has gotten used to what’s going on. When a person eats less food and does the same exercises, there will be weight loss until the body gets accustomed to the new lifestyle, and adjusts to maintain. We all know the things to do to lose weight- in a nutshell it’s eat less and exercise more. There’s only so much less a person can eat before starving or developing an eating disorder. Same sort of deal with exercise, especially as a person ages. The time comes to trick the body and eat different foods and do different exercises.

Every now and then I add in another video to help lose the muffin top. I also ride my bike and I have a Meet Up group that I go on walks with on Sundays, and this group goes at a good clip. Faster than my dogs walk, so it works for me.

I’m Hungry!

OK. I’m always hungry. Why do I eat? Besides the fact that I have a sweet tooth and want to shovel in as many goodies as I can? Boredom. Stressed out about something. Mindless nibbling while I’m reading or watching TV.

People have all kinds of advice for others trying to lose weight on how to avoid eating something. Not all of us have that kind of willpower. I just got to keep telling myself that I don’t want to get diabetes. Motivated by fear to lose weight seems to work for me!

How to make Iced Tea in Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker

Don’t you hate when the weight loss advice goes something to the effect of drink lots of water, drink a glass of water when you’re hungry. I’m not a big water person. I maybe drink two to four glasses a day. I do like iced tea and I look for flavored green teas to brew, so that’s my water substitute.

What about the old brush your teeth trick? Sometimes that works, because after I brush my teeth at night I’m not going to eat anything. Overall, I can’t be going around brushing my teeth 15 times a day. Just because I brush my teeth doesn’t mean I’m still not open to eating something!

I’ve started eating Tic Tacs, buying them since last year when it’s been decades since I’ve bought a package of them. They have a small calorie count, that they’re not required to list it because each Tic Tac is less than 5 calories. Eat three Tic Tacs to reach 5 calories.

The Tic Tac thing is similar to the  advice I hear a lot of too – eat a mint. Or rather suck on a mint. Once you have a minty taste in your mouth, you won’t feel much like snacking.

Some people chew gum to help them fight off eating something with bad calories. I’m not a gum chewer. Hurts my jaw!

Helpful websites

I’ve discovered a website called Hungry-Girl and subscribe to the newsletter. I get some great recipe ideas and listen to their podcasts.

One podcast is called 8 Skinny Habits to Start Today. Another good one is What to Eat if You’re Always Hungry.

Hungry Girl is one of those websites where I wish I’d thought of it first! It’s for women like me who are always hungry but know we have to keep the pounds off. There are lots of healthy recipes, a free email newsletter, books, a podcast, and videos.

If you’ve thought about eating more vegetables or more vegan dishes, then check out Party in My Plants. There’s a free email service where the web owner sends out a week’s worth of suggestions for healthy eating. There’s another name I wish I’d thought up first!

The Last Few Pounds

It’s true. The last 5, 10, 15 pounds are the hardest to lose. With adjustments to how I’m eating, cutting out desserts and snacks, and portion control, I lost 15 pounds during the first two months when I was motivated for weight loss. I lost another another 10 pounds over the next two months, but it’s been a slow go ever since. I have just over two months to reach the one year mark – July 29. With 5 to 6 pounds left to my desired goal.

It seems I’m really stuck. That’s a bad way to feel. I should be celebrating the weight loss I’ve accomplished instead.

People are always cautioned not to lose weight too quickly. More research on my part shows than when a person starts on a healthy plan to lose weight, they’re eating less and adding exercise so for the first couple of months or so the weight comes off, and then the body gets used to consuming a smaller amount of food and doing the same exercises, so it stalls. Or plateau is the word more commonly used. I think I’m already at the lower end of calories I’m consuming a day and still be healthy, around 1200. Some days a little less, some days more.  And some days I’m just really hungry and no amount of spending time at Hungry-Girl helps.

Your weight loss plan?

Leave a comment and let us know if you’ve been motivated by fear to lose weight. What works for you? Please, share your tips!

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A year to a healthier lifestyle

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