Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It Ain't Me, Babe

Go 'way from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I'm not the one you want, babe
I'm not the one you need

I got one of those emails yesterday.

I'm fairly sure every successful dieter has gotten at least one. And it's not just the emails... it's being out in public and mentioning to someone that I've lost substantial amounts of weight. Or at a family gathering with people I've not seen in a few years...

"What's your secret? How did you DO it?"

"Weight watchers... and exercise."

"oh." Mutters something about how they should start dieting and wander away...

I get really tempted to say things like, "Oh, I just gave myself a ground glass and vinegar enema three times a day for a week."

Just to see what people say.

Losing weight is work. It's not easy, it's not always pleasant and it can be damned frustrating.
You say you're lookin' for someone
Never weak but always strong,
Losing weight isn't about what plan you follow. It's not about carbs, or fat or antioxidants. (Honestly, I don't even really know what an antioxidant is...) It's not about never or always. It's not about a special pill or a magic food or in just three minutes a day.

It's about portion control. It's about balance. Planning. Moderation. And mostly, it's about time.

Portion control: You can eat any food you want. The higher in calories, fat, and sugar a food is, the less of it you can eat. Know what a portion is. In the beginning, that means measuring, weighing, and generally annoying yourself. Until you know what a portion should look like. And sometimes it means continuing to measure. I know a lot of people who "know" what a cup of something should look like, and over time, their "cup" runneth over. I'd say even after you have a really good handle on what you're doing, every six months or so (or more often, if you find your weight drifting or stalling out) you should go back to measuring for a week or so. Just to make sure.

Balance: Yes, while Weight Watchers "points" can be spent on any sort of food, you should balance out your diet. (I am personally NOT in favor of any diet plan that restricts a certain type of food, no matter what type that is... ) Fruits, vegetables, protien, dairy, grains, even sweets. I know there are people out there who are gasping in horror at the idea that I believe you should eat sweets. I know, and I've heard all the arguments against sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc etc. And this is what I know; you don't get fat from eating too many tomatoes. And let's be realistic; if you are fat, you've probably been overindulging in high sugar, high fat foods. But I also believe that attempting to give these things up forever, for good, no more, never blacken my doorstop is not realistic. It is possible... and yet, it is possible that I will win the lottery. It is, however, not likely. And too many people throw up their hands in despair and quit when they can't get it 100% right. (That's a rant for another time, so I'll just bypass that today, shall I?) And in my opinion, even 57% right is good enough. Or certainly better than 100% wrong. Don't you?
Go lightly from the ledge, babe,
Go lightly on the ground.
I'm not the one you want, babe,
I will only let you down.
Planning: I believe planning is an essential part of any eating plan. I mean, it is an eating plan, isn't it? Thus, planning. Every week, I sit down and decide what dinners I'm going to cook; I don't necessarily decide I'm having tuna on Monday, chicken on Thursday and vegetable soup on Sunday, but I do plan out 6 or 7 "dinner meals". That way I know what to shop for. Planning means making allowances for days when you can't be 100% in control of what you eat and when. "Cookout at Dad's" means I need to do extra workouts, plan how much food I'm going to indulge in, practice what I'm going to say to food pushers.

Moderation: Take everything in moderation, even World of Warcraft.
You say you're lookin' for someone
Who will promise never to part,
Someone to close his eyes for you,
Someone to close his heart,
Someone who will die for you an' more,
But it ain't me, babe,
No, no, no, it ain't me, babe,
It ain't me you're lookin' for, babe.
- It Ain't Me Babe, Bob Dylan

I can't give people what they want. There is no magic pill, no special solution. It's hard work. It's learning yourself, learning your body. Learning what your triggers are. You have to make the decision to do it, and then do it.

And then keep doing it.

Even when you don't want to.

Especially when you don't want to.

(Had a good weigh in this week; I was down 1 pound. And I'm pretty certain that I've decided my goal weight is 131, which means I am only 2.4 pounds away from goal. Wooo!)


Anonymous said...

Yup...doing it even when you don't want to is KEY.

I ate at the in-laws tonight..sat at the table, waiting for dessert. Knowing that I would eat it, even though I shouldn't and would feel guilty about it later. Thank GOD it never came and I never ate it. The craving is gone now, and I have made it through without drastically killing my diet.

Hanlie said...

Yes, people really are hoping you'd say something NEW and EXCITING! But there are no quick fixes!

Mary :: A Merry Life said...

There is nothing new and exciting about getting it done, is there? You just have to do the things you know will work, even when you don't feel like it.

Rebeca said...


She-Fit said...

Great tips to losing weight. You summed it up very well... although a magic pill would be nice ;)

Courtney said...

hehe I loved that you borrowed Blizzard's tip for moderation. ;)