Thursday, February 22, 2007

Do or Diet?

I’ve been on diets since I was in high school when a tough, little firecracker body gave way to a pudgy, squarely-built teen with bulging saddle bag thighs.

In the intervening years I may not have tried every diet that slithered out of the closet of poor self-esteem, but surely most of them: Dr. Atkins, Pritkin, Cabbage, Hollywood, Grapefruit, South Beach, Sugar Busters, Blood Types and that stand-by classic Reach for Your Mate and Not for Your Plate. They all worked. For a while. Then it was time to try out a new one.

As a fatty, you really have only two choices in life when it comes to your weight. On the one hand, you can eat the way you always have for four or six months out of the year, until your body swells up like Mylar balloon, and you become wracked with remorse and guilt, endlessly boring your friends and family with whiney, empty promises of: “starting next week I’ve just got to go back on my diet.”

And maybe, a month later, you actually pull out your copy of the The South Beach Diet and start back on phase one, 10 pounds later moving into phase II, and on until you’ve lost a goodly totally of maybe 15 pounds. But by then you know on the one hand you still haven’t reached your goal, and you also know that you simply cannot face another single day of pretending pureed cauliflower tastes as good as mashed potatoes. And you fudge (often with fudge) and crash and burn…again…and…resume eating the way you always have.

On the other hand, if you choose the path I have taken, you don’t even get to eat naughty stuff ever, let alone for four or six months out of the year. You undergo a lifestyle transformation called, “eating right.” I liken it to a religious conversion.

As a convert, you get to endlessly bore your family and friends with holier-than-thou, cautionary advice like, “You shouldn’t be eating that; it’s not good for you.”

Unlike saints, however, I usually gain a few pounds either through holiday overindulgence or not walking when it’s cold weather (or both). I try to get rid of them before going beyond five pounds, because after that it becomes a major production that takes over my life. And I don’t want losing weight to be a major project. I just want it to be an ordinary task that I may have to do on occasion like Spring Cleaning, or going through the closets, or taking the dog to the vet. Just something that needs to be done.

I don’t do much aerobic exercise when I go on a diet (I don’t change my morning routine – I still do yoga and lift weights) but I don’t join a gym or visit the swimming pool. I don’t deny that it’s possible to lose weight faster when you both diet and exercise, but it’s also possible not to.

Exercise makes me hungry. If I go out and walk at a nice brisk clip for about a half hour I usually come home feeling a little peckish. Good person that I am, I eat an apple and small handful of walnuts. Guess what? I burned 150 calories walking and then consummed 220 from the snack.

Exercise is a whole exciting topic. Stay tuned.

Want logical, practical, step-by-step motivational diet advice? Check out John Walker's, "Hacker's Diet," It's an excellent, no nonsense blueprint with great advice.

Many thanks to Jamell O'Toole whose charming painting "Rose in Crystal Vase "(inspired by my Capricornian heritage) graces this post.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rose,
    So good to hear from you again.
    My excerise plan is biking. I have been biking in cold weather here in NE, but today was a great day to be out!
    Myself, I need to start over from the begaining. Just not loosing any weight!
    Pat C.