So, it’s probably not the usual usage of the word, but I will still say that it is pretty easy for me to diet. I find it engaging to measure and plan meals, to do calorie add ups at the end of a day, to make exercise plans, and to try out new foods. There are three times in my life where I have dieted away more than fifty pounds, including last year.
The problem I have is maintaining it. Once the excitement dies out, I start to forget to diet, or get bored with exercising, or whatever. Eventually, I end up just as bad as before, or maybe even worse. This, too, has happened, but only twice so far. So far I have kept the weight off, but with holidays bringing long end of year hours and endless supplies of candy and cookies, I am worrying about the waistline again. I think is pretty common – hence billboards for lapband surgery that blare DIETS DON’T WORK, CALL ABOUT THE LAPBAND TODAY!
Thing is, my blood pressure is below 140 these days, which is far from spectacular but not bad enough that voluntary surgery sounds particularly good. Besides, once I lost the weight I would have to keep it off, which is always the rub. Lifestyle change is the key, I think. Some of this is already happening – I have been surprised by the fact that old staples of my diet like McDonalds and Weinerschnitzel tend to lead to extended bathroom trips and restless sleeps when you go healthy during the week. This is something I have heard poeple say, but never experienced before last year.
My friend Niyaz is trying to change his life like that now, and has a blog chronicling the experience. I wish him much luck, and it has been working for him so far.
My problem, though, is that my lifestyle does not work with something like this. Today I got to work at 8:30, and worked until 9. Somewhere in there someone brought me something pretty healthy (chicken and rice), but I also ate a bag of pretzels when I got really hungry again towards dinnertime. When I got home, I had some canned soup, which is not so home cooked or whole foods as I think I would like, but at least had a full serving of vegetables.
Actually, when I think about it, this wasn’t too bad. I avoided stopping off at home and getting a burger or running our for a second lunch after the chicken and rice, which I definetely would have at one point. However, I was also given candy and cookies at various high-stress and low-food-access moments, which was most detrimental, I am sure. The holidays are, as always, death on a diet.
So baby steps, right? I think that would be the diet for me. Something where I can not feel deprived or weird people out (people really get defensive when you do not want to eat as much food as they are). Alton Brown has had success at his diet and says it does not feel like dieting, but it is a little wonky / technical for me. I think I just need to watch myself as best I can and make sure I ge tmy exercise in, but I am seriously considering going to a more whole grains / un-processed food route. I am pretty experienced with calorie counting these days, but at least Men’s Fitness can help me avoid surprises. ‘Eat This, Not That’ is a bit of a gimmick, but it’s good information to have, too.