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How I Know This Time Is Different

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How many times have I started a diet saying, “This time it’s going to be different. I’m going to lose the weight and THIS time I’m going to keep it off.” Well, I can honestly say that I’ve said that every time I’ve ever gone on a diet, including this time.

So why do I think this time really IS going to be different? Because, for the first time, I’m not on a diet just to lose weight. This time it’s not about the calories; it’s about being and feeling healthy.

On past diets, I followed the philosophy of “in order to lose weight, calories in must be less than calories burned.” Sounds pretty straightforward as far as a weight-loss strategy is concerned, but it allowed for too much wiggle room. I can be very dedicated and strong-willed to my diet-du-jour. In every case that I can remember I did eventually reach my goal weight (only to eventually put it all back on again and then some). However, willpower only works for so long when confronted regularly with circumstances requiring willpower. At some point the sadness or frustration or anxiety or boredom would overpower my dwindling willpower reserves and I’d rationalize that I could eat some [enter yummy calorie-laden food item here] as long as I exercised more to burn off the extra calories I consumed. I was even pretty good about following through with my plan, at least at first, but at some point calories in was not less than or even equal to calories out.

Since learning that my body cannot tolerate much sugar/concentrated fast-release carbohydrates, I have discovered that all the exercise in the world may burn off calories but won’t rid me of the negative physical and mental effects of too many carbs. I know now that if I eat a little bit too much I’ll probably start feeling agitated and possibly irritable and quite possibly a little acid stomach-y. I may or may not have cravings to contend with on the following day. However, if I give in to those cravings or really overindulge I begin to feel really lousy physically, mentally, and emotionally. In other words, I will start to feel as lousy as I used to feel for most of the years of my life. I now know what it feels like to have a body in balance. I like feeling this way. I don’t like feeling like a slave to carbohydrates (not all carbs, just sugar and dense carbs like potatoes, pasta, rice, and bread).

So that’s how I know this time really IS different. Since starting this diet, I’ve “gone off the wagon” twice (not including the occasional indulgence, but only the two really gung-ho carb-o-ramas). During those two episodes, I suffered intense cravings and binge-like behavior several days running (because of a string of “special occasions” and not, thankfully, depression or some other negative reason). But each time I recognized how lousy it all made me feel, so I recommitted to eating healthful foods that work with my body’s chemistry and not against it. Each time that I recommitted I’ve felt so much better Now, I generally try to choose foods for their nutritional content and not based solely on calorie count. I finally understand when people talk about food being fuel for the body. That doesn’t mean that food can’t also taste great and be very satisfying, but that it is nutritious first and foremost.

I finally feel in control of my food as opposed to how I used to feel for so many years of my life. I now appreciate the drug-like effects certain foods can have on me. Even so, I still have the occasional “treat,” but try to limit portions and frequency so as not to trigger cravings or other nasty side effects.

In the past, as many times as I said, “This time is different,” I’d been doing the same as before, but expecting different results stemming from optimism and new-found determination. But optimism and determination eventually disappeared as did my hard-fought weight loss. Now, my relationship with food is so very different from before. This time it’s not about optimism or determination or even willpower. It’s about taking care of me. My mind is no longer at war with my body. Body and mind have joined forces at last. That is how I KNOW this time really is different.

Me at 153 lbs on March 8, 2013.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Well I sure need this, and as another reply said my skull is thicker. I went to a naturopath in feb. who got me to go gluten free, dairy free ( which was no probl as hubby is super lactose intolerant so we don't use much dairy) and SUGAR free. That was the hardest. I did so great for the first 3 wks, then she said I could add in some fruit, well it got to be more fruit than I should have which started the sugar cravings and carb wants.... Needless to say the 27 lbs I lost are again found and I am eating all and anything, now cos of stress. I had to retain a lawyer to help me get long term disability as they denied my claim after the 2 year mark. Only have had this lawyer 2 wks nothing happened yet and I am a nervous wreck.... Soooooo can worry for 2 - 3 years or try to lose the wt and feel better. Anwyway love this blog...a nd someday hopefully sooner than later (I really dont want diabetes or other health issues as have muscoskeletal problems now) I will LEARN and RETAIN! LOL
    1599 days ago
  • LEASIM1231
    My super-model of an aunt!
    1820 days ago
    Wow,wow, wow! You look incredible. Only tummiless girls can wear hip huggers well and you can!
    I loved your blog. I am learning the same things, only my skull is thicker. When I bang it against the wall enough times, I will realize that what I think I want temporarily is not what I want for tomorrow or long term. I am really noticing the craving connection and am finding it is way better to stay away from foods that cause cravings, than try to fight through them. I usually don't win, which just re-enforces the negative cycle. But...I am improving and learning by my mistakes. I hope to catch up to you someday soon!
    1840 days ago
    Well put. I feel the same way. You look great in your picture.
    1855 days ago
    Thank you for sharing the details of the foods you eat and the body reactions. This information was very helpful. I am trying low Gl diet, too,, but still having trouble cutting out the other items. Your story gives me hope that a diet cleanup my be the ticket to sucess for me, too.
    1856 days ago
    I am on a Gluten free diet and it is working for me when nothing else did.
    I could not lose weight no matter how hard I tried, how far I walked, how
    many calories I cut. I have lost and I am just curious...have you had your
    Thyroid checked in depth? Several of your symptons are hypothyroidism I was curious.

    1856 days ago
  • SENIOR62
    You look great. Whatever you're doing it's working.

    1856 days ago
    How wonderful you look and how fantastic you must feel .
    Wll done for learning the secret ..
    We must listen to our bodies .It is never about the scales ,it is all about how we feel and how our body reacts ... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1856 days ago
  • LADYJAY714
    You look FABULOUS!!! emoticon
    1856 days ago
    Wow, nice blog...and you look fantastic!!!! and have come a long way!!!!! So inspiring...I'm doing the low GI you know :)
    1856 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/19/2013 4:45:28 PM
  • MKELLY72
    You look fantastic, and I love your new way of looking at weight management! I made a similar revelation (and I continue to work toward new ones) about this journey, and I believe that has given me the confidence to continue my success. I have work to do yet, as I still feel that I flirt with a dangerous attitude toward sweets myself--but most of the time it's under control, and when it's not--I reach out for help instead of accepting defeat and succumbing to it.
    Way to go!!
    1856 days ago
    You look absolutely beautiful! It's so nice to see such a big smile on your face! It makes my day!
    While reading your blog I was thinking about 'mindful eating' which I'm reading about at the moment: body and mind united is what it's all about.
    As I get older (and wiser!) I don't see food as I used to either. I'm putting my fork down between each bite and it's making me appreciate it much more. That way, I naturally eat less. Amazing what such a small change can do to my vision of things!
    Have a wonderful evening!
    1856 days ago
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