Category Archives: Controlling Diet

Wednesday, I’m NOT a garbage can! (New Commitment: Day 1)

Just4Today, I’m not going to eat between meals and I’m not going to take seconds.  I’m also going to walk at least 3 miles, take my fiber supplement and drink 2 liters of water.  And I’m going to think about my Commitment . . . .

New Commitment, Day 1

The sweet thing about that list is that each of those elements translate into broader goals without making things complicated.   For example :

I happen to be very good at portion control with my meals.  I know what servings are and I’ve got serving spoons in 1-cup & 1/2-cup sizes that make it easy to stay in control as I serve my meals. But it’s sooo tempting to take another little bite from the leftovers on the stove after dinner.  Or (this is horrible) to rummage through the fridge and make a cheese sandwich in the mid-afternoon.

Those are my greatest weaknesses.

One of the great things about Eat4Today as a discussion group for Health Issues is that the discussion bursts out of the blog and into my real and virtual life all over the place.  These issues are important to all of us — not just struggling fatties (believe me – I AM a struggling fattie) like me.

Yesterday I was chatting with one of my friends and, of course, I HAD to tell her what I’ve been doing here.  And that brought up the topic of setting & keeping daily goals.  She mentioned that she got in trouble by finishing her children’s food — which TOTALLY is either taking seconds or eating between meals. And she reminded me of my great breakthrough — I’m not a garbage can.

You see, it’s easy to wrap up a leftover serving or two & store it in the refrigerator. But, (for some of us) it goes against every instinct to throw way the dribs & drabs in the bottom of a pot — something that’s just going to go to waste if you don’t eat it now.  And eating those last bites from a child’s plate is just as hard — just as tempting.  (And it doesn’t help that very often parents have to eat from a child’s plate BEFORE they’ll eat, just to prove it’s good.)

This world is a complicated place full of conflicting temptations. The trick is for us to develop methods that help us negotiate those traps.

What are the traps in your life and what simple goal might help keep you from falling into it?

Success Begins With a Dream

(This is the first of a series of posts on Controlling Diet)

Almost exactly two years ago, I took control of my diet. It happened in stages . . . .

Like many people, I’ve lost a lot of weight and gained it (and more) right back. So I wasn’t happy when those first (almost niggling) thoughts told me that I had to change my ways. After all, I’d done it before — again and again. I was determined that I’d do it differently this time, if I was going to do it at all.

So I spent July 2005 just dreaming of diets and changes. Remembering past successes and how they ultimately failed. As I retraced my steps, it seemed to me that there were two elements to my failures. The first was that I allowed exceptions (I could eat chocolate just once). The second was that I always promised myself that tomorrow I’d get back on track again. And tomorrow never came.

Even then, I was walking every day and I’d think about these things as I walked. Then I’d go out to lunch with friends at work. And eat my after work snack (we were eating dinner at about 10:30pm in those days.) And nibble on something most days from the machine in the break room.

Thinking through the Weightloss Process

I think that month I spent meditating on diet was one of the most important elements to the success I’ve had (and yes, I’m ready now to claim some success.) I faced-up to the inevitable loss of momentum and imagined how I’d handle it. I thought about the changes to my body and decided before I ever started that I wouldn’t keep any “fat clothes.” And I decided to talk about it. Openly. To Everyone.

In my dreams, I pictured myself walking into the kitchen for an evening snack and turning around without getting anything.  Sometimes, I’d get a glass of water.

I did thought-experiments on dieting for the whole month of July that year. Knowing that the day would come when a family crisis or a national disaster or an upset at work would distract me from obsessing about a diet, I was determined to find a way to control my weight without having to think about it all the time.

And don’t forget weekends — how many times have you lost momentum on a diet over a weekend filled with exceptions to your rules? I can’t even count the times weekends have thrown me off a successful routine.  That couldn’t happen to me again.  I couldn’t afford it.

Of course the reality was quite different than I imagined.   More on The Reality of Dieting next week.