Sunday, January 03, 2010

A Diet I Will Totally Stick With Until At Least Later Today

As some of you may remember, I began this blog a whopping five years ago - nearly to the day - to track my weight loss.

I know, I know. Pretty funny. Please wipe the tears from your eyes.

But even aside from the fact that I wasn't actually losing weight, I stopped writing about weight-loss stuff because it got hard to fend off so many "helpful suggestions" that basically amounted to telling me I was doing it wrong.

Like, oh, I dunno, there was that one person who read that I'd gone to Starbucks in the morning and was all, "YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO LOSE WEIGHT DRINKING THOSE FRILLY DRINKS!!! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN THEM???"

And I don't have the emotional wherewithal to try and stay motivated to lose weight AND record it if feel like I have to defend myself while doing so. Because the truth is that YES. I do know how many calories are in those drinks. I have always known. I have been counting calories and fat content my whole life, ever since I got sent to a "weight loss center" when I was like 12 years old. I know. I know.

I drink my coffee black, by the way.

On the other hand, I'm feeling kind of strong and motivated right now. I don't know if this feeling (or weight-loss endeavor) will last, but so long as it's here, I figure I may as well write about it.

For starters, I weigh 80 million pounds. (I don't know that I will EVER be brave enough to put my actual weight on my blog. Pounds lost, yes. Pounds I weigh? Probably never.) This gives me a little leverage. By which I mean that just about ANYTHING I do will yield some results right off the bat.

(Uh, of course, the problem with that is that after I lose a few pounds, I tend to feel like that means I can celebrate by going a little easier on the diet, and gain it right back. This is stupid and illogical, but a very easy cycle for me to get into.)

So here is what I'm planning to do.

I'm planning to start off on a no/low-carb bonanza. Cutting sugar out of my diet is a good thing to do for the short-term. It also allows me to eat foods that are high in fat for a while, instead of going Healthy Cold Turkey. I know from experience that this allows my transition to be a lot easier. I don't feel hungry all the time, I can eat tons of stuff I love, and I can eat out without worry. (Eating low carb at a restaurant is way easier than eating low-fat and/or low-calorie.)

After a little while (at least two weeks, maybe longer), I'm going to modify that to be more accepted-healthy. Cut back on the high-fat foods, add some good grains.

Basically, this is the South Beach Diet except my Phase I won't be cutting out alcohol 100% and it won't be obsessive about lean dairy and proteins.

Eh, we'll see how it goes.

* * * * * * *
I haven't figured out exercise yet.

I kind of tapered off my swim classes, and now I feel so guilty for leaving that I don't want to return because I don't want to have to explain my absence. But it's more than that.

For all the reasons I think classes work for most people, I think classes DON'T work for me in the long-term. I feel resentful and confined by HAVING to go to the gym on prescribed days at prescribed times for prescribed lengths. I also HATE having to socialize.

The gym is the one place in the world where I prefer to keep to myself and to be anonymous.

It's hard for me to go to the gym. I don't like it. And it takes all the strength I can muster to do it, especially when I'm so grossly overweight and out of shape. I have a constant internal struggle with myself to go and to stay long enough to get in a real workout. So, while I'm focused and brooding and working on just getting through it, being social doesn't enter into the picture.

Going to the gym is very, very personal to me and I don't want to have to chat about it to strangers (even if they are awesome, singing strangers).

* * * * * * *

So that's it, I think.

I will ask outright that if you disapprove of my plans, please don't feel obligated to share your disapproval. I know all about why diets don't work. I know why Atkins-like anything is unhealthy. I know that I need to exercise. I know that finding a workout "buddy" can be a great motivator. I know how many calories are in a frappuccino.

I also know what has worked for me in the past and what hasn't. And ultimately, I think that being honest about what I'm doing (and not doing) is the only way I can make it this time. And I really hope I do.

I really think I will, but I always think that.

Still, as I said a few years ago: it doesn't matter how many times my attempts at weight-loss have failed: I only need to be successful once.


39 comments:

  1. I love your attitude. It's for you!

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  2. amen, sistah! i'm in the same boat as you and hoping 2010 is the year that i'll be able to find a routine that works for me.

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  3. Go you! do whatever works for you.

    Now if I can only get with my own weight/health related goals.

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  4. I totally get you on the gym. I want to be anonymous too.

    Something that works really well for my mom is walking on a treadmill while watching tv or dvds (gives you a prescribed time length and if you watch something you like ONLY on the tread mill it makes you want to do it. Requires owning a tread mill.) Also, when it's good weather she takes walks and bike rides with my dad. Maybe you and Eve and Ish could swing an evening walk sometimes and actually enjoy it? Of course, I don't know you in real life, nor am I a fitness guru, I think you're right to embrace your own self-knowledge and trying to find things that will work for YOU.

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  5. What a great plan... less denial, based in reality, willing to be honest, with built-in ways to succeed.

    How can it not?

    We're with ya, K. You go!

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  6. i totally feel ya on this. my 'un-diet' is so vague i've just resolved to eat less. adding too much stress to eating is never a winning situation.

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  7. Here's another "you go girl" to add to the mix. I know how you feel about the whole weight loss thing, gym and helpy-helperkins. I'm in that same mode of trying to figure out the best way to lose weight on my own terms. Here's to both of us becoming skinny bitches ;)

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  8. We are on the same diet.
    I've gained eleventy hundred pounds since I got married and I really want to lose it (and a little more, since, let's be honest, I had gained ten hundred pounds since we started dating.) Anyway, I CANNOT starve and I eat a lot, so I am starting out with eliminating carbs first and trying to eat a little less, but I'm not consumed with eating lean or losing weight. Starting a full-on *diet* is too much for my brain and my body. So, we'll see how it goes. If I can stick with this, I'll make some further modifications.
    And I *do* love the frilly Star.bucks drinks (sigh).

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  9. Oh man does this post sound familiar lol. I put myself on almost the exact same diet in an attempt to get in shape for my friends wedding. The no carb thing always gets TONS of criticism but I know my body and the second it gets a wiff of something delicious and carby...BAM no more weight loss. I've had good success with salads, chicken, meat, veggies, eggs, cheese, fruit and rice cakes. It's just enough carbs to not be unhealthy and not enough to prevent weight loss. However, the second I add in some healthy grain like brown rice or any type of healthy whole grain the pounds immediately stop coming off. Cheat just a little bit (slice of Carmel apple, taste of that cookie dough from the cookies I'm making...) and the weight loss stops. I've knocked off 20 so far but have stopped (read carmel apples and cookie dough lol). Hopefully your metabolism doesn't such as much as mine and you can be more flexible with your diet.

    For exercise, I hate hate hate people watching me work out, boobs swinging and thighs jiggling. We have a treadmill at home and I got an awesome 30 min work out from a magazine that I tweaked to make it a bit harder. It's not too long and not hard at all bc you're never going faster than 4 for more than a minute. It has the perfect balance of sweat but not exhaustion so you don't feel like you died when you're done. The longest interval of one speed and incline is 3 minutes, and between hard sections (speed 4 for 1 minute) there's a 3 minute 1.8 speed break. If you're interested I can post it on here for you.

    Good luck! You can do it!

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  10. Good Luck Kristy!
    One thing that helps me with the gym thing:
    I print out the month's calendar from outlook.
    I tape it right next to my desk, where I see it every morning.
    If I did ANY exercise, for at least 20 minutes, I put a BIG PURPLE STAR on that day.
    I find immense satisfaction in doing this.
    I try for an average of 3 stars per week.
    For some reason, being able to draw that star--or the thought of looking at its "blankness" the next day if I'm parked on the couch-- is way more motivating than anything else I've tried.
    Maybe it'd work for you too?

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  11. Yay YOU! This plan you have outlined is pretty much exactly how I lost 35 pounds last year, starting right after new year's. I was embarrased to tell anyone because they would all respond with how I was doing it all wrong, even as I stood there in my smaller-sized jeans as living proof.

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  12. I know that you really don't want more suggestions, but I have one for you nonetheless: yoga or pilates at the local community college.
    I took yoga cuz I had to for the measly 1 PE credit and thought it would be a total joke, but I ended up really liking it. Also the Wii fit is really a good and fun exercise tool. There is traditional stuff but also games that really make you work. It is possible to turn off that annoying voice that proclaims your weight too.

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  13. Go Kristy! You just motivated me. Tomorrow, the gym and I get back in touch.

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  14. i've missed reading you. i love how you write. you are a warm hug. ;) here's to any desire you're doing for u..that it feel the same way.:)

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  15. That sounded just like me! Hubby and I started a new plan on New Years Day. I hope we stick with it - this time. I wish you all the best with your goals too!

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  16. I wish you -- and everybody else in our shoes -- the very best. What you describe in your post is exactly what works for me. I managed to lose 1/2 what I need to (which is a lot) with that method and while I haven't lost weight in two years, I have only gained about 10 lbs in the interim. In days of yore, I'd have been right back up where I started, or higher so I see this as a victory, but it's time to get back on the horse and tackle Part Deux.

    As for exercise, I loathe public workouts and yes, it's my problem, not others'. Still. I was successful getting into the the workout groove with Leslie Sansone's "Walk Away the Pounds" 1, 2 and 3 mile workouts because I worked at home. They're kind of goofy. The NIA workouts on DVD are also great for a workout you can take at your own pace. Not a plug for either, just what worked for me.

    Again, best of luck to us all!

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  17. Good luck!

    I second the suggestion about the stars on the calendar. I use stickers, but it's the same effect.

    Another thing I've found to be super effective is wearing a pedometer and trying to log 10,000 steps a day. I'm pretty competitive with myself, so having a goal like that is really good. Walking with Eve might be a good solution to not loving the gym, although I'll definitely miss your water aerobics stories!

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  18. Sounds like you have a good plan and a great attitude! Good luck!

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  19. I think you need to do what you need to do - and no one knows you better than . . . you. As you said, you know what's worked and what hasn't.

    I know that, before I quit smoking, there was NOTHING anyone could tell me about smoking (or quitting) that I hadn't already heard before, so just shut up about it.

    Then I did it, and I did it in the way that worked for me. Except for I gained about a million pounds, on top of the million or so baby pounds from . . . 17 years before.

    *sigh*

    And I don't like a bunch of strangers (or even my husband) watching my jiggly fat while I suck wind trying to do whatever it is I'm trying to do.

    I walk the dog at 4:30 in the morning now. *shrug* It's something, anyway.

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  20. O.M.G.

    I weigh 80 million pounds TOO!

    :) Good luck with your custom-designed plan. Gotta do what works for you!

    Cheers. ;)

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  21. We're getting an exercise bike to avoid the very socializing and jiggly fat-viewing problems you mentioned. You can watch movies in your own home while you do it, no one else has to be in the room, and you can do it for as long or short and easy or hard as works for you. Plus you don't have to worry about the weather, apologizing to the bike for not putting your ass on it in a while, whatever. I'm hoping to drop a bunch of weight this year, too. So more power to you, and do it however works for you!

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  22. Good for you!

    I recently went to the dr and accidentally saw how much I weigh (even when I am thin I don't know the actual mumber). I can't believe how much weight I have gained in 2 1/2 years, especially knowing how hard I worked to lose it. What a freaking waste. I relate to you with the diet and gym thing. What I found works for me is a spin class. You don't have to take to anyone! Well, you technically can't talk while spinning. Unless you are freakishly talented and in shape. It's so hard, but effective. I am starting again (along with healthier eating habits). Last time I was a spin addict, I dropped 30+ LBS in a little over 3 months while eating exactly as you described.

    Good luck! and Happy New Year!

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  23. Just do what you can. Exercise is really important for health, but a lot less important for weight loss than one's eating habits are.

    (It's generally less effort not to eat a 300-calorie something than it is to do all the exercise necessary to burn off those 300 calories.)

    You probably know that already, but I wanted to mention it anyway in case it helps take some of the pressure off at the moment. You can figure out the exercise stuff, but don't stress if it doesn't happen immediately. Focusing on what and how much you eat will serve you better right now.

    (I'm a huge exercise advocate and it is so important for health, so I don't mean to diminish that. But weight loss is important for health, too, and the food part will get you further with that for now. Ideally, one does both, but hopefully you get what I'm trying to say...which is -- don't worry yourself about, just do what you can!)

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  24. Everyone's style is different - - what is right for me, may not be right for you. You need to do what right for YOU, and you alone!

    I'm a person who needs the Gym setting, and the structure of the classes. I quit my Gym 4 years ago and started going to the Fitness Center here at the College where I work, and this setting just does not work for me. So I'm taking my Christmas money and rejoining my Gym. Because it's right for ME.

    Best of luck with your plan, Kristy! I am sure you will be successful! :-)

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  25. Race ya. 2010 is, once again, the year I try to lose weight. Bourbon was the first to go. I fear red wine is next. Nothing but empty calories, despite how fuzzy and warm they make the world feel.

    Then? 20 minutes a day of exercise, every day, in January so I set a pattern. It's going to be a very long month.

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  26. good lord, i wish more people would be so honest about telling others to SHUT UP and stop giving unsolicited advice! congrats on the resolution, good luck on the plan, and for heaven's sake, don't worry about what any of us idiots think!

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  27. I think your approach is totally reasonable. You have to do the things that work for you, and very positively, you sound like know what they are. Plus, life is short. If you aren't doing things that you find remotely enjoyable, how can you be expected to stick with them?

    I hate going to classes as well. I hate committing to a particular time, and then start to dread it and make excuses to get out of it - even if it's an activity I like.

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  28. Hey Kristy. Just want to say, "to hell with it." Be happy. Be healthier. That's it. I've been here for a while.. three or four years. And you've had this talk dozens of time - as have I. I've kinda turned over a new leaf - and I don't know where the hell it came from - but, I'm happier than I have been in a long time. I'm also (always) at the heaviest I've ever been. But, my new outlook is one of feeling better physically.. and not necessarily looking better (though, I know they come hand-in-hand, so maybe that makes it easier.) Do what it takes to make you FEEL better. And you will look better to yourself. You're a beautiful person. I'm proud of you for taking charge of this. But, remember that it's not all about the #s on the scale. Good luck and happy 2010.

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  29. You will do awesome! You have the perfect attitude.

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  30. I also went on my own version (Atkins) on the 2nd. My life sucks now. I love food that is bad for me. Sweet, salty, fatty - bring it on. However, I'm down to one pair of pants that fit and refuse to buy more. That's frequent laundry while I run around without pants on. Not a pretty sight since I've put on 35 pounds in a little over a year. Good luck girl. 2 days so far and I haven't cheated a bit. But I didn't have a giant cheesecake in my refrigerator. I would have caved too.

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  31. Wow, I could have written the same experience/feelings that you just shared. I say, Go For It. It's exactly as you so perfectly stated...It only takes once.

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  32. I like what Anonymous said about watching what you eat being relatively more important for weight loss than the perfect exercise routine, for now.. thanks Anon, that was a good reminder for me. I go to the gym every day and then eat the wrong things. Oh, and I just wanted to say to the self-conscious and jiggly: the best people at the gym are NOT staring at you and are probably giving you props for being at the gym and working on your weight. One time this gal on the elliptical in front of me had a popsicle stick stuck to her sweatpanted ass the whole time and I totally still gave her credit for being there.

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  33. I've never been one to jump on the diet bandwagon...but I was kinda forced onto it a couple months ago. My Dr. put me on the South Beach diet, not for weight reasons (though trust me, I could stand to lose a few elbees) but rather for fertility reasons. Basically a "be on this diet or you can't have anymore kids" kind of thing. Anyways, it hasn't been too bad. My hubby started on Phase one with me (and that punk had the nerve to lose more weight than I did!!) and we stuck to it hardcore for 2 weeks...then the holidays rolled around. We didn't backslide too badly, but we're using this week and next to get back on track. For the two weeks I was on it, I realized that it wasn't too bad. I could eat AS MUCH as I wanted, I just had to be smarter about WHAT I ate. I lost a pound a day!! I realized the other day that my double chin no longer has it's own double chin-heck yes!!! It's gotten to the point that people have started to notice how much weight we've each lost...which is always nice :)
    Good for you for battling the weight loss demons, it's a hard fight, but it is so worth it. And phoey to anyone who says it's bad for you! Just take a multivitamin while you're doing the super strict part of the diet and you're good.

    Good luck!!! :) Oh, and get some sugar free treats to "splurge" on when you're feeling like you need a sweet treat. They make the whole process much easier to bear!

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  34. I think when it comes to major lifestyle changes like this - quitting smoking, losing weight, etc - you really have to be ready to totally overhaul your way of thinking in order for it to be successful. If you aren't 100% ready then all your efforts will be half-hearted and as such, unsuccessful. As you know, to lose a significant amount of weight in a healthy way and keep it off long-term takes a complete lifestyle change, not a simple diet. I bet Eve would love to go for long walks in her stroller with her mama every day!

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  35. i loved your last line. so true!

    anyway, since we last saw one another, i've probably lost only 5 or so more pounds. I've maintained the same weight since mid-October and it is clearly due to my diet.

    once the holidays started (kicked off by jennafoo's 40th bday at Gary Danko) my diet went from awesomely disciplined to full of excuses. never shitty but certainly not on plan.

    all the while however, I kept up with the exercise program. i have even developed what i dare call a "yoga practice." i swim or bike or sweat bullets on a mat on an average of 4 days a week.

    in other words, i'm in full agreement with Anonymous above. luckily, you know what you need to eat (or not eat, or not drink) to lose weight.

    and maybe, if you're like me, momentum will make all the difference in the world. one small success on the scale leads to another, eventually leading to the next smaller size, necessitating a bit of celebratory shopping, and by then you don't want to stop the downward progress.

    exercise should be fun. do what you love.

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  36. Numerous people have already commented what I wanted to say (and thought was so original, sigh). Apparently all that's left to say is: ditto.

    I've been bugging my husband for us to invest in a treadmill. Yeah, I hate working out in front of people, blah blah, but I also HATE driving to the gym. I commute 45 miles to work every day, and the last thing I want to do is go back out after getting home from work, and the ABSOLUTE last thing I want to do is go straight to the gym without dinner. Not sure if the logistics of getting to the gym ever factor in for you, but still: seems like an at-home treadmill or other piece of workout equipment is probably the answer.

    Kate C

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