I read somewhere (I think it was in an old Reader’s Digest and I don’t recall who originally said it) “The hardest thing about being on a diet is shutting up about it.” Boy, is that ever true! (Although, personally I prefer to call being on a diet “Counting Calories” because the word “diet” is a four-letter word.) I read somewhere else (I know it was in a Nora Robert’s book, to give credit where credit is due) where the main female character was implementing a lifestyle change instead of dieting. Which is true, too. So, though I might really want to sit here and tell you, my dear readers, all about my diet, I won’t. I will, however, share a few thoughts on this experience.
Let me just say that really, a diet IS a lifestyle change. I’ve dieted before, and even had a modicum of success, but I never thought of it as a lifestyle change and I believe that’s why I always failed. I’m not succeeding now, exactly, but I’m doing a heck of a lot better than I have before and I believe it’s because I changed how I thought about dieting, rather than just concerning myself with what I eat or how much I exercise.
Also, I know myself a little bit better now. For example:
- I know that I am not a breakfast eater and never really have been. I know that if I eat breakfast, I’m hungrier earlier than I might be if I just skipped breakfast all together. (And to all those people who have chastised me for not eating breakfast saying it’s the most important meal of the day I say, “quitchabitchin’ at me!”)
- I know that if there is bread or crackers or biscuits or toast or English muffins or bagels or muffins or anything of that nature hanging around, easily accessible, that I will eat it. I can’t help myself. (And yes, I know it seems like that goes against the whole I don’t eat breakfast thing I mentioned above, but I promise it doesn’t.)
- I know that I feel much better if I don’t eat sugary things.
- I know that red meat is hard for me to digest and makes me feel somewhat ill.
- I know that I am not a huge fan of “rabbit food” and therefore, even though I’m trying very hard to be good, sometimes a salad will just not cut it and I must eat something more substantial.
- I know that I like to snack.
- I know that I’m always hungry around midnight.
- I know that if I tell myself I can’t have something, then that’s all I’m going to want. So if I tell myself it’s OK to have it – just a little bit – then I can satisfy the craving and still be successful.
- I know that I will always eat pizza.
- I know that I must not love chocolate as much as I thought I did because I can easily resist it.
- I know that black coffee does not count and I can have as much as I want. (DO NOT shatter that illusion with any facts and figures. Coffee + Jen = Human.)
Now that I’ve really thought about these things, and I understand myself a bit better, I have more keys to success. I also have a new, fun tool that I didn't have before called an iPhone and a nifty little app called Lose It! It’s got all kinds of helpful features and has really focused me more on my long-term goal than on the immediate what-I-can’t -have-today.
I’m walking more. I like walking. It doesn’t hurt me. I really wish I had a treadmill so I didn’t have an excuse not to walk when the weather isn’t cooperating (too hot, too cold, too wet…). I don’t like elliptical machines. I am unable to run without serious protesting from both knees and lungs. (Hey – asthmatic here! Give a girl a break!)
But really – I guess I have implemented a lifestyle change. I’m 17 hard-won pounds down now. I have 27 more pounds to kill in order to reach my goal. Hey – actually – that’s the first time I’ve really seen that in writing. 27 pounds doesn’t seem like such a major undertaking anymore! How cool is that?