How do I lose weight?

How do I lose weight?

It’s the number one question people ask me.

I love that they think I  have the answer and can give it to them in the ten minutes I have before I need another cup of coffee. I love people. People are my jam.

So I want to give people an answer. A real answer. An uncomplicated answer that doesn’t mess with people. That doesn’t blame or hurt or create a hopeless feeling of despair.

Losing weight is a million ways hard.

A million ways unfair.

…and seriously who has the time or energy for it.


But still we ask, hoping for the answer.

So I’m going to keep it short and hope to give you something satisfying for your “click”

First, you know what answer I learned the hard way? Don’t gain it.   Wait!! Don’t go away.

I’m just saying it’s so hard to lose it and keep it off you are so much far better off if you stay on top of this weight thing and don’t fling it like a toddler flings a booger, when you get frustrated.

Second, in America you have to be persistent. There is no eating like an American and losing weight. You have to eat like an American in the fifties. Bad news. I know.

The thing you must remember is this. The people who market food know everything there is about you, what you like and how to get you to eat too much. They don’t make any money unless you eat too much and continually eat too much.

Don’t be the food manufacturers bitch.

They’ve got your number. Now, you have to fight back and get theirs. You have to read the right information: AND and slowly over time absorb it into behavior. Don’t read everything just read from these two sources and from me. Of course.

As you do this, this is what I suggest.

1. Sleep more. If you are tired you won’t chop veggies and grocery shop. You will  eat easy food and easy food = calories.

2.Eat more vegetables  and whole grains and fruit. NOT foods with fake fiber or fruit juices and smoothies that simulate fruit. In the end, I’d like you to eat more complex carbohydrates (carbohydrates with fiber)

3. Reduce your animal products that are high in saturated fat. The hard white fat that you find in meat. I did not say stop. I said make the portion size smaller than the average American’s portion size. Not tiny. Not Huge.

4. Consume calcium in green leafy vegetables, low fat milks and cheeses because I don’t want your hip to break.

5. Use small plates, glasses, and cups when you eat to reduce your portion size. Become “That lady who eats in a cup.” Put your food on the counter not the table and try to make candy hard to eat when you know you are going to want it.  I hide mine in the car. *that’s embarrassing

6. Waste as much energy in the day as you can. Fidget, stand, wiggle. Walk and tap and stretch. Forget stuff upstairs so you have to go get it. Make two trips or five. Carry in all the bags of grocery yourself. 

Now here’s the thing that makes it do-able.

Pick a number from one to 6 and use the whole year to change it. Take it slow. Try, fail, try again and slowly build a habit until that habit is you. Focus on the habit not the weight. 

I would not lead you astray. I told you.

You are my jam.


  1. linda wick on October 15, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Great advice – I would add read labels….you’ll be surprised at how much sugar is in out foods….this am I read the label on fat free 1/2 and 1/2 that I like in my coffee…..corn syrup….yep corn syrup……UGH ………It’s everywhere….if we feared sugar like we fear ebola……..Just saying!

  2. Sue Gmur on October 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Ann, keep the inspiration coming. I’m within sight of my goal weight. As of right now I’m down 60 lbs from my high point. I’m frightened about the next 3 months, including the holidays and building a new house while I can’t exercise like I was while I recover from my foot surgery. I know I can but it sure frightens me!

    • Ann Garvin on October 15, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      You come to my house and I won’t feed you, how about that! I bet it does frighten you, it would me too. But while I don’t like to think of you scared it is a good motivator (for lack of anything good to say). I think of you often my dear friend.

  3. Steve Davenport on October 15, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    I am a writer, which requires much sitting and they say sitting all day is as bad for you as a pack if cigarettes. Whether that’s true or not, sitting surely is a calorie collector. So, I keep a medicine ball and free weights in my office. I try to remember to jump up off the chair when I get stuck on the next sentence – happens a lot – and I spend five minutes with the medicine ball and weights. Sometimes I use a training ball as a substitute for the desk chair. Also, I hide my wine bottles away for four consecutive days every once in a while. I’ve lost 20 pounds which equals 80 pounds on arthritic knees so I can play more tennis. Hurray for me!

    • Ann Garvin on October 15, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      Steve. Seriously you are an inspiration. I’m going to use this in my classes you know. That is fantastic and I think we are kindred spirits. I do the same things but I hide candy!!

  4. Linda Leikness on October 15, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I love that I am your jam!! When I read what you write it makes me smile—HUGE!!!
    Thanks for being you Ann!

    • Ann Garvin on October 15, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      You are my jam Linda. Totally my jam.

    • Ann Garvin on October 15, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      Awwww thanks Linda. That means a lot to me. I can feel that smile in the universe.

  5. Lynne Knowlton on October 15, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Don’t be the food manufacturers bitch. hahahahahahah. LOVE it.

    • Ann Garvin on October 15, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      I think that sounds like you 🙂 I’m a copy cat.

  6. Beth Orozco on October 15, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Thank you for the tips…I am wiggling now!

    • Ann Garvin on October 15, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      You are wiggling with happiness!!

  7. Jo Pernot on October 15, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I agree with you about the eating. This country is being fed lies! Every time I go to France to visit my relatives, I lose weight. I eat lots of pastries, bread, veggies, and cheese plus drink lots of wine! However, there are no preservatives, dyes, high fructose corn syrup, etc. in the food–all those things are not allowed in France. The food is fresh and real–just like I ate in the 50’s in the USA. For anyone looking for good, pure organic food products, check out Wildtree on the Internet: I found Wildtree 7 years ago and stopped going to my local big grocery store. I pair Wildtree with food from my local organic co-op. I have my body and health back!

    • Ann Garvin on October 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      You are wise.
      I have had the same experience in Europe. I love wild tree and agree with you on whole foods and our country’s foods.
      It’s a terrible thing, Amerian food.
      Thanks so much for your thoughts.

  8. Michelle Finch on October 16, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Thank goodness you did not say I have to hide the chocolate! I have to have my cup,of tea and chocolate in the morning for my antioxidants and then I can move on to kale and quinoa!

    • Ann Garvin on October 16, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Thank god for sanity!

  9. mlaiuppa on October 16, 2014 at 6:03 am

    For me there was more involved.

    I gave up anything with high fructose corn syrup in 2010.

    I also stopped taking my cholesterol meds as they were causing me to gain about 10 pounds a year.

    Because I was tired I didn’t exercise. I also didn’t eat much, Because my body wasn’t getting enough nutrients, it further slowed down. A vicious cycle.

    I started tracking everything I ate using myfitnesspal online. Turns out I was eating 900-1100 calories at least 3 days per week. Not enough. My body thought I was starving and so was doing everything to conserve calories. Hence I couldn’t lose weight and was to tired to do any sort of exercise.

    So….I started eating MORE. My goal was to eat at least 1300 calories a day. Mostly fruit and vegetables but some grains and protein. Keep the fat and sugar down.

    And I joined the local Y and started going to the low impact water aerobics class.

    My energy started to increase making exercise and other physical activities easier.

    My body was resetting. Suddenly I was hungry if I didn’t eat breakfast, a meal I normally skipped.

    I’ve lost 20 lbs. It’s slow. A pound a week, sometimes less. But it is a work in progress and I am patient. It took years to put the weight on so I understand I won’t lose it overnight. If I can lose even 2 lbs a month I’ll be happy. But most of all I feel much better.

    I followe Michael Pollan’s food rules now. If I can’t pronounce it or recreate it in my own kitchen, it isn’t food and I don’t eat it. I’m also cooking a lot more from scratch.

    • Ann Garvin on October 16, 2014 at 11:21 am

      This is such a fantastic testimonial. I love it. It’s everything that people need to hear. I hope you don’t mind if I use this in my classes.
      I wish so much that we could all be so sane.
      Thanks for writing!!

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