I’ve noticed a trend over the past decade. Perhaps it’s been going on for a long time, it’s just that I’ve only noticed it in the past ten years or so – “diet” is a dirty word. You go to Weight Watchers and what do they tell you? “You are NOT on a diet! We don’t do that here!” Most of the “diet books” out there claim that they are not, in fact, diet books! No one wants to be associated with the word “diet”. And it has little to do with the word itself, but instead, what’s been done with that word.
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight and dealt with one of these… I don’t know what you’d call them… “non-dieters”? Well, if you’ve dealt with them, you’ve probably heard them say “Diets don’t work!”. So you call it something else? That makes it all better, does it?
Really, they’re just trying to stand out from those who put out ineffective diets and promise results that you really shouldn’t expect. And when you’re in the business of making honest money off of another person’s problems, I guess you need to distinguish yourself from the shady side of the business as much as you can.
Still, a diet’s a diet. Actually, a diet is the food you eat, whether you want to lose weight or not. A diet plan is really what they’re all talking about – a specific set of foods and manner of eating them, with the purpose of achieving a goal. I don’t know if that’s how Webster would put it, but that seems to be the best definition, to me. Using that definition, we could make the argument that a person that wants to gain weight, and does so by changing the foods he eats, is on a diet – that’s true. One might also suggest that all vegans are on diets… I suppose when they first make the choice to try veganism, then yes, they are on a diet. If they choose to accept it as their way of life, then it’s no longer a diet, it’s their diet – their Normal diet.
That’s where some of the diet people get their validity: if you want to lose a lot of weight, and not gain it back, “you have to make a lifestyle change!” Unfortunately, many people hear that and try to jump right into one. I think a very effective way to do it is to identify key points in the life of the average healthy person. How do they eat, how do they exercise, how do they live their life in general? Choose what elements one would like in their own life, eventually. Then sit down and figure out how we’re going to get there.
I can’t tell you the answers to most of those, but I can give you an idea of how to get there, and only because I’m finally starting to figure it out for myself – SMALL changes. How small? AS SMALL AS YOU NEED.
My folks have asked a few times why, suddenly, I’m losing weight now, and all these years before, I’ve been able to do nothing but gain weight, and at best, maintain the weight I had. I blame it on Dr. Eeks. That doesn’t satisfy their curiosity.
So, after thinking about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that her approach is what made the big difference. I don’t like to think like that. I’d rather take responsibility for my own failures. Up until I worked with Erin, I thought there was actually something wrong with me – I just couldn’t manage to lose weight. There were things wrong with me – my metabolism, which was just about non-existent, for example. The problem was that I couldn’t get past them.
I had worked with a number of people. Nutitionists, gym trainers, doctors, etc… I’d been to Weight Watchers, I’d tried Nutrisystem, tried Slim Fast… I’ve read a small library of diet books, all to no avail. Hell, one of the trainers I’d worked with was a Mr. USA, or Universe, or World, or whatever the hell he’d won. Basically, the guy was a walking muscle, who wanted to help people lose weight.
The thing is, each person I’d worked with was a lot like the books I read – from my perspective, they gave me their plan, told me to use it, and if I found something that wasn’t working for me, I felt like I might as well have tried talking to one of the diet books. The only difference is a book won’t give you that disappointed look-and-sigh. I got a lot of “I can’t make you do anything you don’t want to” and things along those lines.
Now, don’t get me wrong – Dr. Eeks always let me know that the ball is in my court, and that it’s up to me, but I didn’t hear that when I came to her with a change I wanted to make. In fact, I mostly heard it from her when I was doing good – it was said as encouragement! Instead, when I would call her to tell her I wanted to make a change, which I DREADED at first, because of my prior experiences, she would be totally open. She’d want to know about the problem I was having, and sometimes she’d make suggestions, sometimes she’d just want to know what kind of change I’d like to make. And she was usually good with that change. I left those phone conversations feeling wonderful and hopeful about the change I was going to make.
Now, when I’d worked with other people, they usually still “let” me make the change, but they also let me know how unhappy they were about it. Even at Weight Watcher’s – “Fine, we can’t make you do anything you don’t want to, but THIS is how the program works… THIS is how you get success. Good luck with the change you’re making.” What a bunch of cheerleaders.
So, what’s all this leading up to, besides potential transference? Specifically – my eating habits.
I’ve been beating myself up over the way I’ve eaten lately. Forget the fact that I can’t log the food I eat to save my life. When I started working with Erin, it was her intention to get me to eat regularly – 3 meals a day, with a few small snacks thrown in. If I was going to skip any meals, it HAD to be lunch or dinner – NEVER breakfast.
Well, I’ve been pretty successful at eating breakfast for some time, now. But I’ve really been riding myself because I’ve skipped lunch on a regular basis, and sometimes not really eating dinner, either. Instead, I eat here and there. I sat down last night to work out a plan to remedy this and realized that there may not be any good reason to do so.
After all, isn’t eating many times, in small amounts, considered to be healthy, and good for ones metabolism? Isn’t it something that is commonly lauded by amateurs and professionals alike as a major key to weight loss? I’ve finally hit the stage, I think, where I can do this; I’ve been doing it, without even realizing it!
So, this is the direction I’m heading toward now, and I’ll be letting you know how it goes, as time goes on.
JOKE OF THE DAY
I recently was contacted by the police, who wanted to know if I could help the with the whereabouts of my good friend Tim. I wasn’t of much help. The last time I heard from Tim he’d missed his wife’s birthday and was really in the doghouse. In fact, his wife had told him that he had 24 hours to put something in their driveway for her, that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds, or he was done.
I was a little surprised at the look on the cop’s face. I asked him what was wrong – while the couldn’t find Tim anywhere, they did notice a brand new scale at his house…
Basically a walking day. I actually tried jumping jacks. Um… no. Definitely not a healthy option right now. In any case, I walked around the house for over ten minutes, then decided to take my walk outside. Didn’t take the dogs with me. That simplified things. I could simplify things more if I ever get my music onto my phone, but I can’t find the right cable for that at this time, and I’m having difficulties pairing my phone with my PC. I have to get to work on that.
Anyway, I did some 5 laps up and down the driveway, and felt pretty good. I don’t feel so good now. My back is threatening to go on strike, but I’m just going to have to work through this, to keep losing weight, and get ready for that 5k this October.
The Better Man Project shares his thoughts for old friends of time past.
Fooodimentary reports that we recently passed National Oatmeal Cookie Day.
SOME THINGS BEAUTIFUL
Two more from Photobotos. The first is… how I describe this… it’s not just beautiful, it looks magical!
Here’s a great picture of some monkeys just chillin’.