Sunday, March 04, 2012
I know, I know. The word "diet" is not politically correct. Not here.
We're supposed to be all about "healthy eating" and "healthy lifestyle".
But the truth is, for me: dieting is permanent. I can't sugar coat it ( . . . too many calories, right??)
No choice, no choice, no choice.
I've gotta diet. For the rest of my life.
I've gotta track my calories. Every day. Meticulously. Because at least 80% of weight loss maintenance for me is about nutrition tracking. And that means 100% compliance with my diet. Really. If I aim for 90% compliance, and permit myself to "mess up" once a day, or three times a week -- and average just 100 calories a day "mess up factor" (which is nothing, no gross self-indulgence at all, maybe an extra apple) -- I'll put on 10 pounds a year. Compounding! Ten pounds this year, ten pounds next year, ten pounds every year thereafter . . . yeah.
I've gotta track my exercise. Even though that's less important for weight loss/weight loss maintenance it's vital for cardio health, muscle maintenance. And yeah, I know that muscle maintenance boosts metabolism, but not by much. But above all, exercise is vital for sustained self-discipline. It's vital to sustain my mood of optimism and exuberance. Exercise makes me feel good. That's the main reason it's important for me.
I am not naturally thin. If you hadn't known me in 2001 when I weighed 230 pounds, you might think I'm naturally thin. People tell me that I'm "lucky" to be thin.
But: I'm not. I cannot eat "naturally" unless I want to balloon up to 230 pounds again. Ten pounds at a time. Two hundred and thirty is probably my "natural" weight. Maybe even higher.
And at 230 pounds I'm still hungry. All the time. I can be hungry at 140 or hungry at 230. I'd rather be hungry at 140, savouring my hunger, savouring my size six black levi jeans I bought off the sale rack yesterday . . . for $9!!
"Dieting is permanent. I am not naturally thin. I must be eternally vigilant and avoid the temptations I cannot resist."
That's one of my Beck cards.
Do I like it? No, I don't.
Sigh. Oh well.
Saturday, March 03, 2012
On March 3?
Just outside my back door, in a sheltered spot, on a mild day.
(I added the picture . . . from the Internet: but yeah, mine do look just like this).
And I'll be having coffee in my snowdrop mug to celebrate!
Thursday, March 01, 2012
That fatloser program is really an excellent free resource: www.fatloser.com
And today (day 11) I've picked up some new "scripts". I've got them on index cards and am adding them to my Beck stack.
Here they are:
1. Life isn't fair. Success isn't free. Don't get in my own way.
2. I have the ability to handle anything that life throws at me.
3. The universe is conspiring to help me get everything I want.
4. I can achieve anything I focus on with persistence.
Hmm. My life isn't "fair" in so far as I've (frankly) received advantages and benefits that weren't equally distributed on a global basis. Better make use of 'em. But still, success isn't free: I've gotta be 100% committed to it. And not make excuses, not permit myself to be my own worst enemy . . . by feeling sorry for myself.
Whatever goes wrong . . . and things will go wrong . . . I can handle it. Because I am tough.
Besides, if I pay attention I will see that the world IS a place of abundance and love: good things happen to me, and I can use those opportunities to move forward.
If I want to achieve my goals, gotta stay "on message". Compliance with my diet at 100% is the goal, recognizing that I am human, when I make a mistake it's "oh well" and start over. Right away. But not using that "advance forgiveness" as an excuse that I don't need to take responsibility for myself either. Because it's persistence that will get me where I want to go. As far as weight loss/maintenance goes, the scales have no choice: if I stick with the program, the scales HAVE TO COMPLY! No choice, scales!
But: clearly this is a mindset with far broader application than weight loss/maintenance.
The results? It's going to be glorious!!
Monday, February 27, 2012
Steve Siebold, on Day 5 of fatloser.com, says that right now 66% of people in the USA are overweight or obese. He says it's estimated that by 2020 75% will be overweight or obese: and by 2032, 90%.
I'm Canadian, not American. But I've started looking around the room wherever I am. And yeah. I'd say most of the time about two thirds of those present are overweight . . . generally speaking, verging more towards the obese end of the spectrum.
The stats seem to be bang on. At the grocery store. At the shopping mall. At a large gathering of professional types. And at a much smaller gathering. Even in the lobby at the Y: although not in the gym itself . . . where less than a third of those observed were even overweight. And apparently doing everything they could to exit that category soon.
Of the overweight/obese observed in the majority of situations, I'm betting many of them are not savouring life with all of five of their senses. But savouring mostly what's going in their mouths: focusing primarily on taste.
I'm going to keep right on savouring taste . . . but only giving taste its due. Enhancing my sense of taste by anticipating and fully experiencing hunger. And also savouring sight, smell, sound, touch. In all their no-calorie or calorie-burning variants!
I'm not savouring these statistics. But I'm committed to fully savouring life.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
DDORN comments that it's impossible to "overdo" savouring life: and yeah, that's right! But: he got me thinking (thanks, Don).
Because it's very possible to overdo savouring food. And it seems to me that when we overdo savouring food, we impede our ability to savour all the other aspects of life that our sense perceptions make available to us.
Sight, sound, scent, touch, taste: all huge potential sources of pleasure.
Given that excess indulgence in food causes fat, however, it's amazing to consider that taste itself appears to be one of the least developed of our senses. Really. We've got just five basic elements of taste: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and the most recently identified "umami" or "meatiness" or "savouriness" itself. We don't even crave sour or bitter all that much; in our course of human evolution, many sour or bitter reactions seem to have signalled that the "food" tried was not good for us . . . potentially poisonous. To be spat out.
So if taste is so relatively simple, even crude in comparison to our other sense capacities, why do food cravings cause us so much trouble? Maybe because pleasure in eating also involves all of the other four senses.
The sight of food: that cheesy "pull" in a pizza commercial, for example. Or how often do we have this kind of experience: I've decided not to have dessert, I'm not even hungry after the first course until I see the . . . . cupcakes with their swirls of icing and the cherry on top on the buffet. And then I put one in my mouth anyhow. Plus . . . yeah, the cheesecake looks good too, why not?? We are bombarded with actual food options and visual representations of a huge huge range of foods. All the time. And it's not trays of crudites or pictures of carrots and turnips which cause us problems.
Then there's the sound of food. We can experience such a huge range of sounds. How many irresistible snacks are all about crunchiness? Potato chips, pretzels . . . Or slurpiness? Gravy on chips, hot fudge sauce on a sundae . . . . All those sounds heard intimately inside our heads. With every bite and every smack and every slurp. (Listening to other people eat? Not so pleasurable, somehow!! So maybe I'll crawl off and eat all of this stuff by myself. In secret. No one will ever know, right?)
And the scent of food: deeply linked to memory and to emotion. When you're selling a house, you're advised to have just had bread baking in the oven prior to "show time" because the smell of fresh bread means "home". Proust knew how important scent was to the enjoyment of food; his famous madeleines! We have some 368 olfactory sensors, apparently . . . many fewer than our dogs of course!. People who have lost their ability to smell generally lose a lot of their ability to taste as well. But I have not. My nose works just great. Bet yours does too. And so the smell of chocolate cookies; the smell of BBQ wings: yeah. Gotta avoid these. (Interesting, however, that no one has developed a perfume based on BBQ wings or even baking bread!! Not yet!)
And then there's the touch of food, and this one is really complex. So complex that it's almost impossible to articulate.
Most obviously there is the texture of food: smoothness, or crispness, an infinite array of textures, all picked up by the pressure sensors in your mouth and throat.
There's the temperature of food: icy cold icecream, hot comforting stew. And the other kind of temperature: namely, food's relative spiciness (cayenne) or coolness (mint).
We experience through touch the "gulp" or acceleration of food down the gullet: that glug glug glug of an extra large Coke. We continue to experience food's touch through the "kinesthetic sense" of where the food is located in your body after you've decided to eat it: the mouth, throat, stomach (that craving to be "full", even "overfull"),
And yeah . . . . down the rest of the path. Not generally contemplated while in the moment of eating, actually!! Not contemplated either: the kinesthetic experience of overeating several hours later, even tomorrow. When there will be all the internal body sensations relating, I suppose, to "balance" -- not so much the teetering on one foot kind of balance but chemical balance. Or imbalance. We know when we ate too much salt yesterday and feel totally bloated from water retention. Or too much sugar so our teeth are still aching . . . Or too much fat, so that our guts are clenching. Food hangovers.
And after weeks and months and years of excessive indulgence in food, we know all too well the gross bodily discomfort -- touch again -- of the obesity which inevitably results. Of bellies hanging over waistbands, red-ridged at the end of the day. Of too-tight collars.
With obesity triggered by excess indulgence of taste, urged on by all the other senses (sight, sound, scent, touch) we're right back to integrated sense experience again. And not in a good way.
No need to glance in the mirror to know that overweight doesn't look good. And even if you manage to avoid the mirror, there's no avoiding the condemnatory gaze all around a fat person. Yup, the snide glances of loved ones and even strangers confirm it. . . Undisciplined indulgence of taste has visually unappealing results.
Obesity is not very appealing to the ears either. Thighs chafing together: we can hear 'em, can everyone else hear 'em too? Buttons popping. Seams splitting.
Obesity is not very appealing to the nose. We apply the deodorant, whoosh on the after-bath powders, spray the perfumes: and still worry excess weight might not smell good. We fear offending others with those whiffs from those body folds . . . .
Above all, obesity is not appealing to the touch. Since our bodies don't feel good to us, we're pretty sure our bodies won't feel good if someone else wants to touch 'em either . . . and of course resign ourselves to the reality that this is increasingly unlikely to occur anyhow.
So I'm thinking that for me, the best method of savouring life is to savour hunger. Some hunger. The hunger that signals I'm really going to enjoy my next meal, and that I'm not overeating.
When I savour hunger I put food in its place. I isolate taste, giving taste its fair due. Enjoy every bite when it's time to eat. But taste will get no more than its fair due. I won't eat too much because it looks good, sounds good, smells good and feels good. I will stop when it's time to stop.
And instead, I will savour sight, sound, scent and touch in all their non-food contexts. Of which life offers infinite possibilities.
Sight. Light on snow. No calories.
Sound. Chickadees in the cedars. No calories.
Scent. The perfume of my white freesias. No calories.
Touch. Touching. Being touched. The kinesthetic pleasure of a fit body in motion.
Hey, motion. That would actually be burning calories. Right??
Life is to be savoured. And I'm going to overdo the savouring of all life's savourable moments. All of 'em. As much as possible!
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