Category Archives: Dieting

Sunday – Thinking about “Diets”

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

Eat4Today isn’t really focused on any formal weight-loss “Diet” but since so many of (my) health issues are related to my semi-chronic weight problems I do talk about Diet Books every so often. I already know from the comments that in addition to my interest in The Hacker’s Diet, we have readers following the Flat-Belly Diet, The Mediterranean Diet and I’m sure there are other references that I’m overlooking.

I love to read diet books

Mostly I don’t care about the actual diets — it’s those inspirational chapters at the beginning that I like.  I love to read about how other people get themselves wound up to (finally) focus on their health.  Even if the actual diet is crap, the trip is always new & interesting and there’s always something new to think about.

It turns out for me that’s one of the fun things about Eat4Today.  The comments here inspire me in the exact same way as the diet books.  But, with even more power — our conversations weave a thread of inspiration throughout the day.

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?

Looking Back/Looking Forward

grumble… Man, look at all the dust. And cobwebs. At least the management kept the spammer-droppings swept up. I know KB has had some serious things going on in her life, so I’m not criticizing… I’ve had posting privileges all along and could have stepped in at any time.

Okay, while I start dusting, I’ll start talking about what I have in mind. My daily commitment has definitely slipped here; I’ve gained back 20 of the 25 pounds that I managed to lose. I need to get back on track… but that’s what I’ve been telling myself for a while now.

The daily commitment is important — I think all the long-time readers agree with that. Our primary focus should be on the day ahead of us. After all, it’s pretty difficult to see in advance what’s going to be possible in the day ahead of us; how can we expect to plan for weeks or months ahead? But not all daily commitments, obviously, get fulfilled.

Again, the daily commitment is important — it’s really the baseline of how we roll here. But just like weighing yourself each morning (“oh cool, I lost a pound” … “oh rats, I gained a pound”) looking at each data point doesn’t tell us anything about the trends. As KB often points out in the Hacker’s Diet, it’s the trend line, those weigh-ins plotted over weeks or months, that matters.

So last week, I wanted to get a walk (or some other kind of exercise) at least four times. I managed two. Not good, but infinitely better than the week before that, in which I got no exercise at all. Doubleplusungood when peak Eating Season is closing in fast.

So what went wrong? Well, regular readers of my own blog, Tales from FAR Manor, know I have a new grandson spending a lot of time with us. Taking care of a baby can be time-consuming, and cut into exercise time, but at the same time the warmest November I can remember has given me the opportunity to drop him in a stroller and get my walk in while not leaving the kid unattended. We didn’t have the usual crazy-running-everywhere kind of October we usually have, but now we’re doing it in November. We’ve been eating out far too often. I’ve been pounding hard on a new story (also being posted on the blog).

I’ve managed above to identify several things that get in the way of my daily commitment, and one thing that actually helps with it. Now the question is, what am I going to do about it? You might know that too much sodium can run up your blood pressure, but if you keep unscrewing the salt shaker and dumping it on your meatloaf, what good has it done you?

I know that I can work taking care of Mason into my exercise routine; he likes getting outside. I know that even if I can’t stop the eating out madness, I can exercise portion control. I know that if I’m pressed for time, I can walk away from the computer for a little while and jump on the Evil Exerbike.

What has gotten in the way of your daily commitments over the last week? What has helped? How can you use this information to improve your commitment score this week?

I’ll do this Sunday mornings from now on, unless KB tells me to quit. Maybe I’ll get a chance to post through the week until she can get back into the swing.

Sunday: Powered by Dreams; Grounded in Facts

New scene.

Elaine and Puddy on the plane.

Elaine: I can’t believe we broke up like that.

Elaine starts reading, Puddy stares off into space.

Elaine: Do you want something to read?

Puddy: Nah.

Elaine: Well, are you going to take a nap or —

Puddy: Nah.

Elaine: You’re just going to sit there staring at the back of a seat?

Puddy: Yeah.

Elaine tries to read but cannot concentrate.

Elaine: That’s it! I cannot take this!

– Seinfeld Scripts, The Butter Shave

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Oh, go HACK yourself!

I don’t remember anymore how I discovered it but, my favorite diet is The Hacker’s Diet. Invented by John Walker, The Hacker’s Diet is an on-line (free) book that includes both a realistic weight loss plan, guidelines for keeping it off forever AND tools to help you do all this.

John Walker, like me, spent most of his life fat. An engineer, he could debug computer programs with ease but, he couldn’t get a grip on his own body’s system:

The absurdity of my situation finally struck home in 1987. “Look,” I said to myself, “you founded one of the five biggest software companies in the world, Autodesk. You wrote large pieces of AutoCAD, the world standard for computer aided design. You’ve made in excess of fifty million dollars without dropping dead, going crazy, or winding up in jail. You’ve succeeded at some pretty difficult things, and you can’t control your flippin’ weight?” Continue reading »