OK- it took a few days, but a little research has paid off. I did what any newly motivated new years resolutioner would do in preparation for lifestyle change- I drank a lot of alcohol and ate cake. Leave no calorie behind. Then I sobered up and spent hours googeling ‘fast, easy weight loss.’ I encourage everyone to do this- it’s hilarious. If only I had known about the magic of grapefruit eaten in the moonlight while setting fire to pictures of doughtnuts. Such a simple elegent solution 🙂
After sifting through the nonsense I found legitimate information that provided very ineresting reading. There are as many possible solutions to being overweight as there are Kardashian melodramas. Part of my struggle has been consistency, so this time my researched centered on plans that would help avoid prior pitfalls.
I was looking for: Something no too restrictive, low carb (but not NO carb- I’m looking at you Atkins), avoiding processed foods, no required purchased of science experiment packaged foods, a plan with helpful recipes, no inherent fear of gluten, something I had never tried before, and a plan created by someone who had never had their own reality TV show (and maybe even some medical training). And the winner was……..
Obviously the title struck a cord. I cannot recall a time when I have been in the presence of food and not felt a nearly uncontrollable desire to dive in face first. I feel nervous and twitchy until someone (not the chubby girl) takes the first piece and I can pretend to nonchanlantly also take some, “Oh what, these bagels? Well I guess I can take a small one, just to be polite (shy smile).” This book had my name all over it. The basic premise is that the fat we carry wants to grow, so it releases chemicals, hormones that communicate hunger to our brain. Then the brain demands that bagel. Cutting caloeries leads the fat cells to increase the secreation of these hunger chemicals. Instead of starving the fat we need to calm those cells by giving them what they desire: fat. Shock, gasp.
Growing up the ideal diet glowed from a laminated poster on the kindergarten wall in a triangle. The foundation was a large layer of delicious bread. It seems that this was not… um… researched.. cough. Oops. The tiny dot on top was fat- this was the evil stuff that was making me fat and it had to be avoided. And honestly it was. Breakfast before school- cereal. Lunch- sandwhich, pudding cup (low fat), and dinner- pasta with veggie sauce. Yep, see- healthy.
The more I have been reading I am learning that I/we/the whole world has had it wrong. All those carbs across my life- whole wheat and grainy as they were- has only left me with an insatiable hunger, cravings that are never satisfied. So reading this book has left me feeling excited about a whole new possible way to approach food.
The reality of making changes is far different than imagining change. I want to be realistic in my look ahead. It will take planning, cooking, self control, and patience with myself. I have also started to work with a counselor- whining to someone I am paying is very satisfying. I explained at my last session that I have to change my entire life overtnight or continue to feel like a total failure every moment that I am awake. She suggested that I make ‘not being hard on myself’ a new years resolution. <eyeroll> What does she know ?
Out of this conversation was born an idea about a slower way to approach lifestyle change. I have a big trip coming up in early March. Between now and then I have 9 weeks without holiday parties, birthdays, travel, or reasons to ‘celebrate’ with high calorie extravagance. I am setting a health goal for each of those 9 weeks. These will build, adding a new goal and continuing the one from last week. Here is the list:
- Drink 50oz of water daily.
- Start the Phase 1 of the Always Hungry plan
- Exercise for 30min 5 times per week
- Get to sleep by 9:45pm
- Add meditation to my daily routine 3 times per week
- Refocus on diet- reduce portion size, fat content
- Start short Yoga program early each morning before work
- Increase daily exercise to 45min 5 times per week
- To be decided- once I see the kind of progress I have made
This was week one. I am proud to say that water has been not too bad. I am far more aware of the exact size of my bladder and every restroom within 100ft, but I am glad to say that this goal has been very attainable. I have a 28oz water bottle that fits easily in my giant work bag and has become my constant companion. I fill and drain this twice daily. While not an official goal I am trying to reduce my diet soda intake as I understand that it has no health benefits and might be liquefying important internal organs. I have only had 1 soda this week! Side quest success!
Today I visited Whole foods (a long trek from my small town) to breathe in the scent of patchouli and feel superior to plebeians without their own reusable grocery bags. “Have you been to the new Sur La Table? It’s just across the street, next to Soul Cycle!” People really say these things! I have a few more things to pick up from the regular human grocery store- and then I will begin my prep day tomorrow and new eating plan Monday! This is the exciting part just like when you start dating, before you learn that their favorite movie is Mortaal Kombat- and not ironically. I am trying to prepare myself for the large plate of doughnuts in the conference room, the sweet cookies given as a kind thank-you, the lazy feeling one night after work and the electric glow of the Hot and Ready Pizza sign. That is where the rubber hits the road and the familiar anxiety, fear, regret rise up to meet me. What will I do differently?
Another concept that Always Hungry mentioned is the ‘Big Why’. There is a reason that I am trying to make lifestyle changes and connecting to this in moments of bagel-temptation will help me to stay on track. What is my Big Why? I have a memory of feeling free and unburdened. Of dancing without worrying that someone was staring, of wearing a bathing suit without shame or 5 layers of cover ups. I was never what anyone would call conventionally thin at any of these moments. But I was working hard to connect to my health. I want to feel like I can do anything I want at any moment. I don’t want to worry that I can’t keep up, that I won’t fit. That is my Big Why. I have a picture of myself at the bow of a small boat, smiling in the sunshine, wind blowing back my hair. This will be my reminder that I am not saying ‘no’ or depriving myself. I am giving myself the healthy body and freedom that fitness will give me.
I will be working on more types of posts, including some book reports on the health related books I am reading, Cross your fingers for me! I have sexy new work out pants- so success is pretty much guaranteed.