Sunday, December 20, 2009

The "Tomorrow" Diet

Confession time. Who is familiar with the “Tomorrow” Diet? Common variations include the “On Monday” Diet, the “After this next holiday/graduation/birthday party” Diet, and the ever popular “New Year’s Resolution”Diet.

You know, the diet that will start tomorrow—or whenever? Sometimes, tomorrow even comes. More often than not, it doesn’t. Or it comes and slips away, to be rescheduled for another day.

There are some benefits to diet planning. In 2003, The Hubster and I started South Beach on a whim. I’d bought the book and started reading it and decided we absolutely had to start right that very second. I went home and made the announcement and we started the diet that evening…without the proper groceries, money to buy them, or any clue about what we were doing. We made it work, but it would have been much easier if we’d been better prepared.

Diet planning also has its downfalls. Anyone here ever had a “Last Supper?” The last meal you’ll eat before starting the diet that will change your life forever? Nothing like a big, greasy pizza with a side of bacon, a couple of tacos, some cheesecake, and an ice cream sundae to make sure you get it all in before those foods become taboo.

But food doesn’t have to become taboo. You don’t have to say “no” to pizza forever. You may have to say “no” to eight pieces of pizza in one sitting, but you can still eat pizza. (I use pizza as an example because it’s my favorite food. When we were on South Beach, it became a BAD word in my house and it was the first thing I ate when we fell dove off the wagon.)

Diets are bad. Diets mean deprivation. Diets consist of temporary changes made to drop a few pounds. But what happens when we slip back into our old habits? The pounds come back.

Instead of dieting, make changes you can live with permanently. A friend of mine tried a weight loss plan years ago that had her eating foods she didn’t like. I remember watching in awe as she ate a few tomato slices because “they were on [her] meal plan.” Seriously? This girl would wash the sauce off frozen ravioli meals, that’s how much she didn’t like tomatoes, but here she was eating them because some DIET told her she had to? How can that last?

Take me and South Beach as another example. It was a great plan. I lost a lot of weight on it, too. But I love fruit and didn’t like limiting it. I love bread. I love potatoes. I love PIZZA. I didn’t love a plan that told me I couldn’t eat those things. I never lasted more than six months on the plan and I always gained the weight back as soon as I started eating whatever I wanted again.

This time has been different. What started out as a diet for me, has become a way of living. And while I’ve progressed in leaps in bounds, I falter from time to time, too. Leader Pam gave me some great advice today. She told me to eat for nourishment. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Our bodies need food for fuel…not entertainment.

So make some changes. Drink more water. Eat fruits and veggies. Be more active. Today. Right now. Why wait until tomorrow to start a better way of life?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Having an Identity Crisis

I went to the doctor yesterday. It was a specialty office that I hadn’t been to since March. The nurse took my height and weight and brought me back into the exam room. She took my blood pressure, pulled up my file on the computer, and entered in all my information. I was distracted and not really paying attention until she said, “Well, I’ve never seen this before.”

A big, red warning had popped up on the screen. “PLEASE CONFIRM IDENTITY DISCREPANCY.” She clicked on the button to view the details, and we read the pop-up together. The weight you entered indicates a 13% difference from the patient’s last recorded weight. Threshold is 10%. Verify patient identity before continuing.

She glanced at me, probably a little unsure I was supposed to see that, but I smiled. “No, that’s right,” I told her. “I’ve lost 50 pounds in the last year.”

She asked me how I did it, and I told her that I had joined Weight Watchers and the Y and I did it with diet and exercise. “That’s just great,” she told me. “You must feel like a whole new person.”

And I do.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Missing my Fat Clothes

I miss my fat sweatshirt tonight.

I’m never cold, but lately, I’ve been dragging out the long sleeves, wearing pants and socks at home, slipping under an afghan while I’m watching TV. I always joked that I was always warm because I was well-insulated…but now I wonder if there wasn’t some truth to that. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still got my fair share of padding, but…it’s like a fifty fifty-one-point-two (YAY!!!) blanket has been lifted off me.

During my big closet purge, I got rid of everything I owned that was too big for me. I didn’t even keep a pair of pants I could hold up in front of me and drop dramatically, Biggest Loser style. I also got rid of my fat sweatshirt.

It was a big (obviously) blue sweatshirt given to me by Mrs. C’s sister-in-law years ago. It was ratty and not really fit for public wear, but I dragged it out every once in a while. I found it folded on the shelf in my closet and considered keeping it for nights when I wanted the big, comfy shirt to relax in. In the end, I decided I couldn’t keep it. It had to go.

Tonight, though, I miss my fat sweatshirt. Tonight, I went to Target for hair dye and lip balm and walked out with dinner. I was famished after Body Pump…and the rotisserie chicken and fancy sandwich fixings I walked out with weren’t nearly as bad of a choice as I could have made. Tonight, I overate, as I have for most of the day. My boss brought in bagels and orange juice this morning, in which I indulged…the carb-laden bagel did me in, and I was starving for the rest of the day. Stupid, addictive, hunger-inducing bread.

Sunday was my weigh-in day, and I do not always make the best choices on Sunday—although I did sweat my way through two Turbo Kick classes that day. And yesterday…well, yesterday I wanted Chipotle, and ended up eating half my fridge contents instead. (After a healthy dose of Hip Hop Hustle and PiYo.) I had planned on doing better today. And now, I will do better tomorrow.

I’m cold, though. Wish I had that big, blue sweatshirt to drown in.