How did I get here in the first place? How did I get to be so heavy, when I wasn’t always heavy, I didn’t struggle with weight when I was younger.
Well, first thing was I quit being as active as I had been, if you quit moving around, your body takes that as a sign that you don’t mind not moving around, if you stay sedentary long enough you will find it more difficult to get back into moving. I also stopped paying attention to what I was eating, I had never been a calorie counter, but I really stopped paying attention. A 6 inch sub or a foot long, well if you get the foot long then you will have some for later, but then you are sitting there with a foot long sub in front of you and you figure you might as well eat it and one day you don’t even consider the 6 inch anymore because you have gotten used to the foot long. This is just one example, like the cookie that you share with someone,then you decide to each have your own, and then you are eating a couple of cookies even when you are alone. I could go on, but I think it makes sense. Did you plan on that? No, but it happened and now you are overeating and you don’t even realize it. I think one of my biggest problems, and I am sure a lot of people can relate, is that I didn’t plan on what I was going to eat and I didn’t keep track of my food intake. It is much harder to over eat when you are aware of your intake. When you wake up with a plan, not so rigid that there isn’t room for spontaneity, but a plan that you will be careful about what you put into your body today. If I am going to splurge at dinner, then I am not going to splurge at lunch or breakfast and I might even need to skip that snack I usually have in the afternoon. If we spend just a few minutes a day thinking about what we have eaten, what we are going to eat and how we feel about those choices, I believe we can make better choices. The big thing is that we have to be communicating with ourselves.
The problem with most diet plans is that they tell you what to do, eat this and not this, but don’t teach you to listen to your own body. You can count carbs or fats or whatever, but if you don’t start listening to your own body, if you don’t figure out what you need to do without that strict list, then you may never really take control. That was my problem, yeah if I cut all carbs out of my diet I lose weight, but I didn’t learn how to control my life, a body needs some carbs and cutting them all out doesn’t teach me how to listen to my body. I can cut fat from my diet and lose weight, but my body needs fat and at some point I am going to have to figure out how to do this without a book in my hand, because I also need to be out there walking or whatever activity I am doing to get and stay fit.
The other problem with a diet is we go “on” a diet with the thought that one day we will be thin enough to go “off” the diet. Look at any diet plan, there are phases, phase one is always the hardest and you give up so much, but that is okay because if you look ahead in the book, phase two lets you add some stuff back into your diet and phase three is even more liberal and so it goes. Why not just decide what life long changes you want to make and do it, and stop dropping me off a cliff with a rope tied around me only to lift me back up over time. I have given up certain things that I have no plan to ever pick back up again, just because I met a weight loss goal. I have started habits that I want and plan to continue for the rest of my life, because I know what can happen if I stop being vigilant.
I do not want to become one of those people who “tsk” or shame other people because of their bad habits, as if once you lose weight you are now the expert in all things fitness and you have any right to judge people who are where you were. I am sure I still have some bad habits and will continue to have some bad habits in my life and I don’t want people to tell me how I could be better if I just did things their way. That is the other big issue with most diet plans, they tell you what to eat, how to prepare your food, when to eat and why to eat, but they don’t address all those bad habits you had, that until you commit to giving up are still there, lying dormant waiting for the day when you let down your guard.
When I used to drink a lot of diet cola, and I mean a lot, a number of people over the years felt the need to tell me how bad that was for me. Yeah, I get it, I knew how bad it was for me, almost as bad for me as giving unwanted dieting advice to a person pumped up on caffeine and artificial sweetener. I was polite, mostly, but I wasn’t hearing anything I didn’t already know, I knew that my diet cola habit was bad for me, I knew that it wasn’t going to help me lose weight, I could see that on the scale. I knew that my habits were negative and I even knew that I was setting a bad example for my kids by drinking so much of it, but someone telling me all that, or implying that my letting my kids drink soda was akin to child abuse, I didn’t need that. There are choices I made that protected my kids as well, and I told them that soda was our enemy even as I drank it, and I told them that grown-ups often make poor choices about things, because they are human too. I don’t want to become the kind of person who judges others for their weaknesses, or what I see as weaknesses, I want to be the kind of person who works on my own issues and supports others if and when they ask for it. Now, if you have a habit that you are trying to kick and we are friends and you ask me to nag you,then I will, with all my heart nag and pester you to stick to your guns, until you tell me to stop, but I will do it in a loving and compassionate way, because I know how hard it is to not smack someone who is a know-it-all, when all they know is something you already knew.