Thursday, May 21, 2009

From the Archive - No more weight loss woes

Warning: LONG POST. Following are my last four entries to "How NOT to Lose Weight on a Diet" - a joint project with Colette. Being so into Fat Acceptance and HAES, I am uncomfortable with some of these writings now, but want to keep them all together on this blog, so I am going to create this one, last weight loss blog post and move on.

It's DASH, but it's not quick 08/17/08

As I end my first day on the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet for people (me) with high blood pressure, I am reminded why so many of these diets are flops so quickly. They are too much work. I have to make a meal plan with the special guidelines. I have to go to the grocery story and buy the foods for the plan. And, since I have not been eating all this healthy, multi-grain, low-fat, good for me stuff, it takes over an hour in the damn store to find everything. Then I have to come home and put it all away. That’s exhausting.

Then, a couple hours later, I have to prepare dinner to include sensible protein, a starch, vegetables (frozen is easiest) and a salad. I didn’t plan very well, because after I got everything cleaned up and put away, I realized I had to pull it all back out to prep my lunch for tomorrow. Don’t think the Kraft mac and cheese wasn’t calling me, with its fifteen minute preparation time from putting the water on to boil to eating the artificial orange food yumminess.

I have to present the counterpoint, of course – Optifast, which can be done with zero food preparation time, has been a diet failure for me, too, but for different reasons, although missing real food was one of them. Where is the diet with the right balance of food preparation, which can definitely be an enjoyable experience and usually leads to healthier eating, and convenience, which every tired, stressed one of us needs?

Just stop eating! 08/24/08

There are a variety of starvation diets. I remember one from my childhood in the 70's where people would have their jaws wired shut so that they could only drink liquids. People were highlighted having their meals made into shakes - a Caesar salad frappe, anyone?

What a horrible idea - it reminds me of Inquisition-type tactics. Why not just manacle yourself into your bedroom for a week? You'll definitely lose weight - until you start eating again, which is where these programs always seem to fall down.

Of course, for me the prospect of not be able to TALK for months actually seemed like the hardship, but any sort of voluntary medical intervention seems like a really extreme measure to take, although I have to admit I've considered bariatic surgery more than once.

I got to do a mini-version of this diet last week when I cracked a tooth over the weekend. I couldn't chew anything hard at all and only soft things on the right side or I experienced excrutiating pain. It felt like I was chewing tinfoil. I couldn't drink anything, at any temperature, without wimpering or even yelling.

By the time the dentist got me fixed up Monday afternoon, I'd lost at least two pounds. Sorry, this is one diet plan I'm not willing to recreate for anything.

Starve a cold? 08/31/08

Sometimes, the only redeeming part of being sick is that you get to lose weight with no extra effort. It's something we brag about, "Yeah, I was so sick that I couldn't even get out of bed. I lost like five pounds!" This is not a good plan.

I have been dealing with a bad tooth (root canal coming next week, I'll probably lose a couple pounds not eating for a few days - lol) and some sort of stomach bug that my boss was nice enough to pass around last week. Consequently, I feel like crap and I don't want to eat, because there are bad consequences every time I do. So, I try not to eat, but then I get starving and eat whatever is around. Or I feel crummy and try to go for the comfort food and very few things on my comfort food list are good for me.

Fortunately for me, I had packed all healthy lunches last week (still doing the DASH diet, down about 5 pounds in about 2 weeks), so when I went to grab the nearest thing because I had to eat *something*, it always turned out to be my stupid health lunch and snacks. And, this long weekend I am home with my husband, who is actively dieting and exercising to avoid going on insulin, so I am not willing to make really bad food choices in front of him because I don't want to mess him up.

Turns out there could be something to the ideas of "plan ahead" and "get support."

Free food fandango 10/16/08

Why, as adults, can we still be bribed with food?

Our insurance agent came by today to check in, see how we are doing, answer any questions, just basically remind us that his company loves ours. He brought muffins. And not some skinny little muffins like your mom used to make in the 12-cup muffin tins, but huge, gooey, multi-thousand calorie muffins that are really small cakes. People were lining up in the breakroom to get some. Luckily, the things were so damn big we had to cut them in half, so there was plenty for everyone.

Why are we like that? None of us are starving. All of us could afford to go buy a similar treat for ourselves (or something healthier or more appropriate), but we all go crazy for free food brought in by a vendor. And we think well of them for bringing us this stuff that is really not good for any of us. Granted, we also like it when they bring us calendars and pens and other desk accessories, but nothing turns us into cavemen like food.

This is something I've had to make a deliberate effort to stay away from, so I think I'm a little resentful, too. I have an eating plan and big muffins aren't on it. I have to be one of those people who declines the original offer PLUS has to stiff-arm all the office people who want to encourage me to partake in the bounty. There is no polite way to say, "No, thanks, I'd rather those calories were on your thighs, not mine." The winter holidays are coming and this free food phenomenon is only going to get worse.

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