in Blog

Less Lise Progress Report

Month three of the Less Lise project is complete, and I’m still chugging along.

(Full report below the cut. CW: Diet and weight stuff).

d2d4f1df7feaf6f6f1f02f08458f1d57814f9cae30f86414c7d9de2c6855b565
“I want to see more of you around the lab.”
“Fine. I’ll gain weight.”


For a long time I wasn’t weighing myself regularly, because I didn’t have a working scale. I’d begun to think of that as a feature, not a bug, because it meant I focused more on the health benefits of diet and exercise, rather than focusing on day-to-day weight fluctuations. Nevertheless, eventually we replaced the battery in the scale, and it seems like I am down about 15 lbs from my highest weight.

So, progress. Slow progress. But as I keep reminding myself, I didn’t put on all this weight in a month or two; I can’t expect to lose it all that quickly. It’s just somewhat frustrating next to Matt, who has lost twice as much.

My cholesterol numbers are also some of the best they’ve ever been. (Though, full disclosure, I am also on statins. Diet and exercise alone wouldn’t lower my total cholesterol to 160).

I fit into some clothes that were previously tight on me — nothing ridiculously outsized, just stuff I’ve held onto because it was a little tight, but I thought I might wear again some day. A pleasant surprise for the summer…

I’m still in phase two of South Beach, although I’ve been really cautious about reintroducing foods. Mostly I’ve allowed myself seasonal fruits, but no grains. I did eat beets, which technically aren’t allowed on phase two, because they were in my CSA box, but I think that’s a reasonable indulgence. (I give away the sweet corn, though. THAT’S HOW COMMITTED I AM). I probably also eat more fat than is strictly South Beach, but in my experience, it’s the sugars that really affect me on a day-to-day level.

I’ve also been exercising a lot more: including 30-40 minute walks on my lunch break, canoeing on the lake, Wii Fit, or the occasional LARP playtest. I’ve slacked off some this month, with the extreme heat; I’m trying to get into the routine of walking around the Natick Mall instead.

As for how it’s going from a motivation point of view… some days it’s easy to stick with the plan; sometimes it’s harder. Social situations are the roughest — I basically either have to decide to cheat, or I have to bring my own food. When we went to a birthday party recently, Matt and I were the weirdos bringing our own cooler and eating all our own food.

“Cheat” is such an interesting word. I realize I will probably have to eat/live this conscientiously for the rest of my life. In some ways it’s easier to think of it as a lifestyle than a diet. The penalty for “cheating” is not as immediate or unforgiving as having a food allergy, but otherwise thinking of it in the same class gives me some piece of mind.

There are some sweets and other goodies that are probably worth the calorie/sugar/fat hit, but to be honest, most of us are inundated with sweets in our daily life, especially compared to our ancestors, who probably thought getting an orange in their stocking at Christmas was the height of decadence. I in particular should be even more selective, given my family history. So I’ll eat strawberry shortcake at my July 4th party, but I’m not going to endanger my health for a Stop & Shop cupcake that someone left in the kitchen at work.

And so it goes. Nothing miraculous to report, but I wanted to let you know I was still sticking with it, and I appreciate folks being patient with me when dietary restrictions make plans trickier.