The Austerity Program: Step 2

Ten days into the austerity program and I’m ready to weigh myself.  I always put this off when I begin a diet so I don’t obsess over the number.  And the number is: 1x4.   You didn’t really think I’d let loose with the actual number, did you? Anyway, 20 pounds is the focus number, the number of pounds to lose. Algebraically that 100 + x-2 + 4.

Anyway, I’ve really been drinking water and am having trouble hitting the 80 ounces per day mark.  Hate it. Going to try harder.

Drink 5 bottles this size each day

 Also focusing in this second phase on foods that target belly fat: oatmeal, avocados, bananas, yogurt, berries, (green) tea, whole grains, almonds, eggs, beans, green vegetables, Parmesan cheese, and citrus fruit/red peppers.  My advantage here is our chef at work who daily prepares healthy organic soups and salads. If I can just avoid the delicious desserts, I’ll have it made. 

Salad for lunch

 I started taking a cup of warm water with cinnamon and honey each day before I eat anything to ease my joint pain. It seems to be helping. And I always have a high fiber breakfast before heading off to the gym in the morning.

Cinnamon and honey in warm water every morning

  That’s 2 meals down and only the evening to go.  Perhaps dinner is the biggest challenge because I’m forced to focus on food and I haven’t really found a way to automate it. 

By Thanksgiving I want to wear these jeans.

I want to wear these jeans.

 Apparently the thing that sabotages weight loss is STRESS, the bad kind of stress, the chronic kind, that produces cortisol in the body and maintains it. says “higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:

  • Impaired cognitive performance
  • Suppressed thyroid function
  • Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia
  • Decreased bone density
  • Decrease in muscle tissue
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, slowed wound healing, and other health consequences
  • Increased abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks, strokes, the development of metabolic syndrome, higher levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), which can lead to other health problems!”

Yikes! Increased abdominal fat. Bye-bye stress, you gotta go! In Step 3 of my austerity program I’ll focus on ways to lower and eliminate stress. If you have specific advice on this topic leave me a comment.  I’ll take all comments under advisement.  Thanks.


Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

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