I have never taken the grapefruit challenge. Nor have I ever consumed lemon water laced with cayenne pepper for seven days straight. I haven’t taken the soup challenge or the subway diet. I don’t want a ‘cookie’ meal. Nor am I interested in drinking my dinner, breakfast and lunch. I don’t want to graze and I don’t want you selling me mega processors that turn chicken into juice (not broth).
I have, however, been a graduate of Nutri-System. I am also a Weight Watchers drop out. I’ve been on a hypoglycemic diet. And significantly reduced my carb intake in an effort to feel better and lose weight. I’ve dated Jenny Craig and submitted to monthly colonics. I have even drank tonics that were a combination of pure juice and green seaweed powder to ward off diabetes and a heart condition. I’ve been shaken and wrapped in cellophane. I’ve sweated until my tongue felt like sand paper. I once put magnets in my shoes to absorb unseen toxins and purify my systems. I have drank gallons of cod liver oil and existed on nothing more substantial than vegetable broth.
I have dieted in an effort to wear a particular pair of jeans one night for a special event. I have dieted because my grandmother called me a ‘big girl.’ I have dieted because I didn’t want to weigh myself before I lost 5 pounds. I have dieted because my favorite shirt wouldn’t close. I have dieted because I didn’t want to ask for an extension for my seatbelt on an airplane. I have dieted in an effort to continue my love affair with roller coasters (front seat only). I have dieted because I wanted someone from about a hundred yesterdays ago to look me over and wonder ‘what if.’ I have also dieted because I didn’t want my son to have the ‘fat’ mama on the playground. And I have dieted because my dog was not tired out after a one block walk though I was.
I have lost 25 pounds about 6 times in my lifetime. And each and every time I have lost those 25 pounds I have regained significantly more which is how I came to my high point of 243 pounds with an unspeakable blood pressure read, scary cholesterol and glucose I didn’t understand.
Fad diets lead you on. They make you believe that you can lose 50 pounds in just as many hours. They can give you hangovers, hang ups, heart palpitations, the sweats and nausea. And no they are not going to call you later.
Even though you cave in and take those quick weight loss schemes home with you, you know in your heart it’s not a winning situation. This is not your happily ever after, you realize even before you pull the thingy which-a-who out of its wrapper or shove that last bit of broccoli in the mixer. You regret given in and opening the door of your heart to their empty promises. You knew before you acquiesced that it was a lie. But you wanted the dream of skinny thighs so badly you were willing to listen and hope. It’s that willingness that they prey on. It’s the reason dieting is a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s the reason that even after the failure of the saran wrap fad and the ice baths and the feeding tube there will be a yellow food only meal plan. As a wise and insightful person, however, you have to put your health above your jean size.
Look past the sweet talk.
This is what I tell myself. It’s the main reason I didn’t take the weight loss surgery option. I knew that losing the weight was going to have to be done slow and steady if it was going to last. Even now as I sit here typing and editing this blog I second guess my choice. It would be easier to just do what someone else has done before me. Even if their meal plan doesn’t work with my body type. It would just be easier for a short while to just drink the damn lemon water and not think about calories or choices or why I don’t exercise.
The truth is I didn’t get this way over night. And over night is not how I’m going to get to the promise land of optimal health for me.
I don’t want to die young. That’s my motivation. I want to live a long and memorable life so I have to shed these pounds and never pick them up again. It’s the reason I can no longer buy into quick weight loss schemes or fad diets or paying people to remind me to do right by my body. And doing right by my body is the mission that I’m on right now. For too long I’ve taken it for granted and sacrificed it to the demi-gods of the breath diet and then a meditative fast. I have to teach myself how to treat myself and that means undoing decades of self-neglect. There is no fast track to for that.
This week I commit:
- Remind myself that I didn’t get this way over night and getting to a better, healthier me is going to take time.
- Live each day as well as I can and make the best choices that I can. This may mean that I eat a brownie for my afternoon snack (which I did and it was delicious) but then for my next meal I have to back down off that dinner roll and pump up the veggies.
- Remember that the scale staying stagnant is not a sign that I’m a failure. After all there have been weeks (read months, then years) when it continuously moved upwards. If I can commit with all my heart to making my oatmeal consistently smooth, I can commit with all my heart to not give up on me.
- Stick with the plan: 1. Rest authentically. 2. Drop the Carbs. 3. Tell the truth. 4. Slow weight loss is better than no weight loss.
So far I’ve watched my scale waiver. I weigh myself everyday and it’s been hell. I hate it passionately. But I do it anyway. I don’t understand how it can be 2 pounds down one day, 3 pounds up the next then 1/2 pound down and up 2. I feel like I’m doing the hustle and it makes me a little loopy. But I’m not going to quit. Not this time. This time I’m in it for the long haul.