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Do Or Don't Do

Saturday, March 02, 2013

We all have to give up something.

Sometimes I get Sparkmail from people telling me that they are inspired by my story. In particular, my bicycle story seems to generate the most mail for me.

A quick recap. Back when I was obese, I bought a bicycle so I could get fit. I rode it for one hour every day. There was a particular hill that I could not peddle up. It was impossible for me; I had to get off my bike and walk it up. I kept at it, though. After many weeks (forever?), one day I peddled all the way to the top without stopping. It was a crowning achievement for me. It was the turn point where I knew that a life of being overweight and out of shape wasn't inexorable. I could change it.

I rode that bike every day. EVERY day. I rode it when I was 'too tired.' I rode it when 'I didn't want to.' I rode it in the rain. I lived in Seattle at the time. If I didn't ride in the rain, then I'd never ride at all.

People ask me, "I really need to lose weight. I know that you lost weight with low carb, but I can never give up x, y, or z. How did you do it?"

This bothers me because I wonder if what they want me to say is, "You don't have to give anything up!" I can't say it. Because I don't believe it to be true. We all have to give up something.

Here are foods/drinks that I never thought I could give up, and I did:

- Snickers bars
- Full sugar soda
- Potato chips
- Cheesecake
- Cheerios
- Processed 'luncheon' meats
- Fast food
- Chili's margaritas
- Fruit juices
- "Convenience" foods

Here are things I eat/drink less of (after I went into maintenance):

- Potatoes
- Rice
- Breads
- Pasta
- Desserts (reserved for special occasions)
- Diet sodas

Even eating in 'moderation' is giving up frequency or portion size.

When I had a lot of weight to lose, I dropped everything I thought I could 'never give up.' I used to love Snickers bar. I haven't had a Snickers in over 7 years. And I don't miss it. It represents a time period when I used to hate myself. Whenever I see a Snickers at the grocery store, I look at it and remember a time when I stayed inside because I didn't want to be seen. When I couldn't carry my groceries up the stairs to my apartment without feeling like I just ran the Boston marathon.

When I gave up Snickers and all, I also gave up:

- Constant fatigue and tiredness.
- Fear of walking up stairs.
- Fear of carrying groceries across the parking lot.
- Jealousy of watching other people run, bike, and hike without being out of breath.
- Self loathing: clothes didn't make me look fat; fat made me look fat.

If I say I'm going to 'try', I'm not fully committed. I am someone that is either "Do or don't do; there is no try."

How long have you been trying? "Do" or "Try". Which is going to get you where you want to be?

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    PS- I have shared your log (just wanted you to know)
    1836 days ago
  • _BABE_
    Good blog. You can't portion out snickers and pop and have them in moderation...somethings just have to go if you want to lose the pounds.
    1836 days ago
    what a great blog. I hate to say but I do feel scared to give up bread but yes I have given up a lot of stuff in this journey.
    Im at a standstilland its time for tweaking things I know.

    Anyways Proud of your dedication. No snicker bars in 7 years...wohoo.
    1836 days ago
    You are great! I agree with you and Yoda. I gave up lots too. Snickers just happens to be one of the things as well. I have had maybe one or two in the past three years but it doesn't have a hold on me like before thankfully. There was a time when I could eat several in a day!

    I even had the very same situation with running up a hill that seemed impossible for the LONGEST time. I just kept at it...I would see others do it...I would have others pass me as I stood there panting but I just kept at it and the day I finally got all the way up that hill was one of the best days ever!

    We are people...we have a will...we will have days of weakness but take the obstacles away and we can succeed!

    Fantastic blog!
    1840 days ago
    Never in a million years could I have put these thoughts into such picture perfect words like you just did ... but I agree with all the points that you made. Every single one of them.
    Best blog ever!
    1841 days ago
    You nailed it!
    1841 days ago
    Very good, very very good.
    1841 days ago
    One thing that people who haven't really given low carb a serious try do not believe is that, once you "give up" some of those things it kinda doesn't feel like all that much of a sacrifice.

    You get nearly instant positive feedback. You start to lose weight right away. Your cravings drop dramatically. The Snickers bar quickly loses its power over you, at least on a physiological level. (If you're an extreme emotional eater, then you still have a lot of baggage to sort through, of course.) You'll have more energy without doing another single thing and activity starts to become more doable and less of a burden.

    When food pushers shove brownies in my face they don't understand that now, if I take a bite of one it's my CHOICE, it's not the physiological imperative that it used to be. And if I say no it's because I'm not particularly interested in it at the moment.

    I take exception to the "Just Do It" mantra, because if you just do something that didn't work for you in the past it will continue to not work for you in the present. "Just Find It" is more my style.

    1841 days ago
    Well said, Jedi Master!

    I used to love making bread with my 2 boys. We'd spend hours on the weekend kneading dough, watching it rise, shaping it, baking it. We drooled over the King Arthur catalog. Never thought we could cut out bread.

    But like you said, once you make the decision, once you make health a priority....it all lines up!
    1841 days ago
  • 1935MARY
    This is awesome and very inspiring. You are so correct if someone says they are going to try, I think you are setting yourself up for failure. By say I am is positive and therefore you will come out a winner, not a maybe. Awesome. Thank you for sharing. Have a great week-end.
    1841 days ago
    congrats on your journey. You are an inspiration.
    1841 days ago
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