Diet Truth: To lose weight you need to eat fewer calories than your body burns.
You and I need to EAT less than the body actually needs to function within a span (of a day, a week) in order to burn fat and lose weight.
I get really frustrated with myself when I make excuses for my own sloth and gluttony--so feel free to slap me a bit, with love, when I do. So, you can imagine that I also get frustrated when fellow bloggers do the same.
We all reach our place of readiness to change differently in different ways and times. It's often a MYSTERY! Why? Why now?
I"m 50. Took me a friggen long time to actually FEEL like I COULD DO IT. Previously, it was small attempts that showed quick regains. Depression continually harrassed my efforts. I have a multitude of excuses--menopause, anxiety disorder, depression, hypothyroidism, two medications that open up appetite. All true.
But the fact remains that even for someone as metabolically messed up as me, if I eat less than my body burns, I lose weight. I may lose slower than some other stellar bloggers, but I do lose. Slowly, in my way, I lose if I eat low-calorically.
One thing gastric bypass and other WL surgeries proved is that ANYONE can lose weight with lower caloric intake. Even people who claimed they could not....could.
Studies show people underestimate what they eat. We forget the spoonful of this, the sip of that. We forget the forkful from hubby's plate. The nibble of cheese. We eat 3/4 cup of rice and say it was 1/3 cup. We eat 8 ounces of meat and think it was 4 ounces.
We fool ourselves.
And we say we're dieting or on a plan, and then eat what we want.
We do all sorts of self-sabotaging things because:
1. we're not really ready
2. we want to be ready
3. we keep thinking it will happen with less effort
Well, all those described ME. Do they describe you?
I totally understand--I personally went through and KNOW--that it takes a while for switches to flip in some of us. Some of us decide to lose weight and just do it (like my sis). Some of us just can't seem to get over the food thing. We start each day with the best intentions and then go downhill as the hours pass.
But all the blogging desire in the world won't make the fat go. Only eating less.
Well, I could add move a lot more, but I know you can lose weight with just eating less more easily than becoming a marathoner. I've never seen a fat committed marathoner (people running lots of miles a day). But I don't move anywhere near that much and don't plan to. It's easier to cut out dessert and eat half or a third of what I used to than exercising 4 hours a day.
If you're blogging to get that flip switched: Yes, do that. Keep in the game. Persevere. Sometimes, just staying IN THE DESIRE, IN THE MINDSET, finally gets the mojo going.
For me, 3 years of mostly dithering in a diet blog (http://onceuponadiet.blogspot.com) is what kept me from going back to 300 pounds. It got me down to the 260's (20 pounds and change loss in 3 years...how slow can one get?) while my brain and spirit got to the point of becoming serious about change.
Why so long? Yes, partly the depression. Partly the health issues. Mostly the commitment.
To a foodie, to a chronic overeater, to a binger, knowing that you have much less food to run to daily is scary. It is. Admit it already.
Self-sacrifice is scary. And giving up our calming, cheering, comforting food is terrifying.
But you have to let it go. Let the desire for health (or beauty or flexibility or better sex or more fashionable clothes or all of them) be greater than the desire for the pizzas, burgers, enchiladas, cakes, cookies, ice cream, mac n cheese, etc. Let the desire for virtue (gluttony is a sin, folks, if you're a religious person) be greater than the sin of food avarice. Of obssession with eating.
I fear every day that the binge-monster will rear its head. Every day I wake up and tell myself I'm in a war and I want to win.
I'm in a fight for my life, and I want to win.
I'm in a fight for my food sanity, and I want to win.
2011. Is this the year we win?
Let's make it the year gluttony bites the dust.
If you're blogging and in a rut and can't seem to move beyond the food, can't stop the scale from climbing, do what it takes to stop the climb or inertia: Read a lot of books on self-control, change, diets, for the inspiration factor. Read blogs of successful dieters. Do not make a habit of visiting the ones that ARE NOT MAKING PROGRESS except to drop a quick encouragement and move on. Seriously. If weight loss bloggers are not losing weight or grappling in a way that is beneficial (everyone goes through bad spells, but some bloggers teach us great things in those bad spells), don't linger. They may make you feel good about your own lack of progress, but they do nothing to spur you on.
Seek the motivating. Put up motivational posters and saying. Get motivational computer wallpapers. Sign up for motivational emails.
Ask people to keep you accountable, even if it means verbally slapping you, rather than just patting your back when you gorge on trigger foods. People who JUST pat your self-destructive behavior ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS. Sorry. Commisseration is fine, but then it should be followed by a: "Do better. Pick yourself up and DO BETTER." Don't wallow. People who allow you to wallow are NOT helping you.
I love you guys who come here and remind me that I can do the hard work, that food is not stronger than me. Who will tell me if I slip up to get back on the fricken diet horse and kick caloric ass. The one who doesn't care if I wallow in my fat is an enemy. The one who helps me out of my fat pit is a friend. See Proverbs 27:6 for the encapsulation of my philosophy.
If someone speaks less than tactfully to me, but ultimately helps me with that tactlessness, they are more of a friend than the sweet-worded person who does nothing to aid me in my quest for health. Which would you prefer: The loud and gruff general who makes sure you survive the war and win for your allies, or the gentle and kind general who gives you no vigor and does nothing to arm you and prepare you and push you to the front lines to win?
Don't tell me it's okay when I overeat. Tell me I'm human, and humans can learn and do better.
As the year closes, here are books you should read if you are in a rut, stuck, can't make the leap above food. They helped me more than any other books this year:
THE END OF OVEREATING: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler
SWITCH: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
If they help you, too, then drop me a note. I'll feel good knowing it.
Because one of the reviewers said the treatment of GLUTTONY (the vice/sin) is well done, this is the next book I want to get:
Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies
Until then, I'll reread Frederica Mathewes-Green (She's an Orthodox believer and one of my fave "faith" writers): To Hell on a Cream Puff :
But gluttony is not about pleasing plumpness; our inclination to associate it with external effects alone shows how reluctant we are to confront the sin-in-the-heart. The impulse to gluttony is a sign of being out of harmony with God’s provision and creation, and can disrupt the spiritual lives of people of every size. External dimensions are no predictor of internal rebellion.
Previous generations of Christians knew this. Overindulgence in food didn’t just lead to thickened waistlines and arteries; it led to spiritual disaster.
And here's a book someone recommended I just got by "royal mail" today--yes, I ordered it from England, cause I'm serious about losing this fat, people: EATING LESS: Say Goodbye to Overeating. It's by Gillian Riley. Whether it will help me or not, dunno. But someone I like quite a lot and whom I respect for her amazing loss this year recommended it on her blog, and that's enough for me.
And if you have hypothyroidism (I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, have had it for 20 years) and are on Synthroid or Levoxyl, strongly suggest you research and ask your endo about Cytomel in conjunction. It's made a huuuuge difference for me mood-wise and in terms of energy. I suspected I was not converting properly. Since a few weeks after taking it, I felt the difference. Ask your doc! Research it! Google it! Don't ask me for the research. Find it. :D
Happy New Year, to the fat and to the thin and to the in-betweeners. Let's all be well!