Monday, November 05, 2012
I hear a lot of advice about leaving food on my plate. I cannot imagine doing that intentionally.
I weigh and measure all the ingredients into each recipe I make, and I plate from the kitchen like a restaurant, rather than passing serving bowls. I put exactly my portion of everything on my plate, or plates as the meal may be. Then I get to eat it ALL!
I remember an old WW leader saying that a rubber spatula was an essential part of the WW program, because if you measure out your portion you can scrape up every drop. She said that if no one was looking you could lick your plate and still be legal.
I guess I'm basically greedy about my food. I want it all!! If I measure it out, I can have it all. It's my way of making sure I never feel deprived.
Saturday, November 03, 2012
I hear people express fear that their diets are so successful that they'll just keep losing weight until they are anorexic. Anorexia is a terrible, fatal mental illness. You cannot "catch" it. You cannot diet yourself into it. You don't eat less until you are anorexic, you are anorexic first and make food choices BECAUSE of the disease. Anorexics never give a second thought to their health or making "healthy choices" because they are ill and cannot. They literally starve themselves to death. Family members get to watch helplessly while someone they love is committing suicide by starvation.
Maybe I'm being too sensitive, but it pains me to see people tossing the name of a fatal disease around as a synonym for "very thin". It is in reality a dreadful disease.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
When I was trying to figure out how to lose weight, I needed to make it complicated enough to be worthy of my attention. I mean, how could I possibly have a problem with something that is simple, so it MUST be really complicated, right? There wasn't much nutrition info back then, but I counted each food to the calorie, as best as I could with measuring cups and spoons. And I wrote it down and graphed it. Today it's possible to count 100 nutrients on a daily basis, and for me it would feel great.....for awhile. It would give me the illusion of control over SOMETHING. In reality, keeping it simple was what won the day, that day and the days in the decades since. The Old Old Old WW Plan gave you a template for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then they switched to exchanges where we got so many of each exchange every day. It's very simple. It is hard to say No to myself, but not hard to understand the Program. I was desperate to think it was complicated in order to vindicate my inability to stick to something. In reality, the Plan itself was simple. I was, and still am, the hard part.
Friday, October 05, 2012
I hear stories of how people lose weight or maintain loss, and they always involve the details: how many calories or nutritional differentials or exercise. That is WHAT they do, not HOW they do it. I can tell you WHAT I do, but how DO I do it?
I live my life like everyone else, but there is an undercurrent of thought, a second, constant, background line that is made up of my Rules. These are rules I made for myself long ago, primarily so that every food encounter wouldn't become a debate with myself. (Can I eat this? Why can't I eat this? Maybe if I give up dessert on Friday or walk a few more miles?) I always lose debates with myself. I'm not the best debater in the world, and when I am on both sides of the debate, I am doomed.
So to avoid the debate I have rules. They aren't universal, but they were handed to me when I started losing weight and I have incorporated them into my bones. I don't eat between meals. I don't eat junk food. I seldom eat dessert. I rarely eat in restaurants. I would never tell others that these rules are the "key" to successful weight loss or maintenance but they work for me.
And I don't think it's the rules themselves, but the fact that I have them, I follow them, and they are so ingrained in my sub-conscious that I don't have to think about them anymore. Over the years and the decades they have served me well.
There are people who enjoy seeing every instance in their lives as an opportunity for choice, but that way of living would exhaust me. I have enough choices to deal with (need a new doctor, how do I fix my plumbing) that I don't have the emotional energy or confidence to make every food opportunity into a choice. Most are pre-chosen as "No". Most of the rest are "If I have to think about it the answer is No."
I pre-plan my food so that I make my appropriate choices before any longing enters the equation. It's hard enough to buy a house or a car or a dress without emotion bungling up my decision making process. Food choices present themselves far more often in today's life, and at the most inopportune times. Like when I am tired or bored or just want something pleasant to happen. Having rules to help me pre-choose is almost sub-conscious by now. It's taken years of practice to have a reliable sub-conscious, and I can articulate that sub-conscious as my Rules.
People who are desperate about weight jump at any plan that promises they can have anything they want "within reason". For me, reason works for a week or a month or a year, but the day will come when emotion wins. I rely on my Rules. And the weight has stayed off for a very long time.
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