Every Day its a New Battle in the Ongoing Struggle

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I’m on a hiatus from dancing due the studio being closed for a couple of days around the 4th and I couldn’t leave the site vacant for so long.  So you now get something completely different.

Do you know the type of person who can basically eat whatever they want and not gain any weight?  Yeah, I ain’t one of em.  I’ve always been overweight but a couple of years ago, I got serious about it and made some major changes and dropped over 100 pounds.  Some of that has come back on but at my lowest weight, half the people I ran into said I looked too thin so I guess this might be a slightly better weight for me.

Why do I bring this up now?  Well, I was just able to renew my driver’s license by mail so I was able to avoid the horror that is our BMV.  It does mean that my old face will be staring back at me for the next couple of years but that’s also motivation to never go back there.

I’ve read some stats that roughly 2/3rds of people who experience a significant weight loss will rebound within three years.  It will be three years for me in December and I’m determined to beat those odds.

So why do so many people fail?  I’m guessing in part because a diet has to be sustainable.  I went with a modified Atkins approach and used their bars for breakfast and lunch and then modified my dinner.  It worked and I know that if I went back on it, I could get back to where I was.  But those things are highly processed and contain a lot of sugar alcohols which can do bad things to your digestive system so a lifetime of eating those things is really not a viable option.

I do believe the science that suggests carbs (especially sugars) are bad and fat is not as bad as science used to think.  The real evil for me though is sugar and specifically chocolate.  I was really good after hitting my goal weight until Easter rolled around and those cursed Cadbury Eggs came out.  Yes, that is a special weakness of mine and I do think trying to completely stay off is not something I can do but the trick for me has been finding the right balance.  It is so hard because there is temptation everywhere.  I hit my Starbucks at night and there are all these wonderful Frappucinos and bakery treats that are just calling me name.  Sometimes, I can lash myself to the mast and walk out with just an iced espresso but I just had to try the S’mores Frappucino just once, didn’t I??

But I’ve made wholesale other changes in my lifestyle.  I don’t buy potato chips of any type so there is nothing in the house to tempt me.  I’ve cut way back on break and we use Spaghetti squash for Pasta as much as possible.  In the summer, we can go to a farmer’s market here and I can do 2-3 meals a week that are just protein and vegetables with no starch.  I do have to balance that with my wife who believes in a more balanced diet but we’ve cut way back on that stuff.  I used to eat cereals and I’ve replaced that with steel cut oatmeal for breakfast with some peanut butter powder mixed in for protein.  The fiber in the oatmeal is supposed to make them better than the empty carbs in most breakfast cereals.

And then there are the lunch meetings. I refuse to eat lunch at these meetings.  I do count calories and I can’t even guess what some of the lunches are so why bother.  There are two options that show up all the time that are particularly problem.  First, there is the sandwich/wrap with a bunch of different meat and cheese options either on bread or in a wrap.  Yes, the wrap gives the illusion of health as it is usually colored green or something to make you think it is like a vegetable and not just an empty bunch of refined flour carbs that don’t taste that good.  Then, there is always some type of salad – usually potato or macaroni with a mayonnaise based dressing.  And bags of chips.  Again, they go for the “healthy” kind which are baked and not fried but it is still nothing but salt and empty carbs.  And, since they’ve made you suffer through that, there is always some giant cookie thrown in for good measure.  And if they don’t have time, they’ll just bring in pizza which is just the worst.  The carbs in the crust get in the way of your body using the fat from the toppings so it spikes your blood sugar and then makes you fat.  I love pizza and now I may have it 2-3 times a year.  I’m not going to waste it on a lunch cardboard crust pizza because I know I could probably just eat half of one before the realization of what I’ve done hits me.

The problem is that when I refuse to eat, there are always one or two smart asses who have to comment on it.  Look, I’m an adult who is trying to make responsible life choices that work for me.  It is bad enough that a lunch meeting forces you to sit on your butt discussing someone pointless issue but you get a “lunch” loaded with nothing but carbs and sugar and no way to work it off.  No thanks.  Been there, done that, don’t want to go back.  I know I’ve lost a lot of weight but this is how I keep it off!  Don’t really know why people don’t make that connection.

Oh and even more awkward than that is the birthday lunch.  I have no problem going out with my group but then my boss wants to take her staff out to celebrate our various birthdays.  More often than not, the choice is hardly healthy.  A lot of people like some little dive Chinese restaurant that is close to work where soup and an eggroll comes with lunch.  Such a bargin!  You get a deep fried carb wrapped thing that would just add five pounds to me right away for free!!  Yeah, where do I sign up for that.  I tend to skip out on a lot of these lunches based on the choice.  If they have something vaguely healthy, I’ll go but otherwise, not so much.

I’ve also found that nobody asks how you keep the weight off.  When you are losing weight, everyone wants to know your secret.  But once you get down to a smaller size and stay that way for awhile, people just assume that is the new normal and you can maintain it without a lot of effort.  Oh how wrong they are!  This is a battle every day.  In this country, we are assaulted by unhealthy choices.  If you’ve got a modest commute, I’m sure you drive by multitudes of fast food places every day.  Work in a typical office park and I’m sure there are many of these places just a short drive away that would make it so easy to go there for lunch or even to stop by on the way home or on the way to work.  I’ve already talked about the grocery store which is no better.  Even the farmer’s market we go to has booths that sell cookies or fudge or other such things.

I will also admit to being lazy.  I don’t want to use the refrigerators at work and I don’t want to go out to lunch so I need something packaged but not overly processed that I can keep at my desk to eat during the day.  Not to many choices in that department that are lower in carbs and sugars so I’m constantly experimenting.  Most of the stuff I pick up in the store never makes it to my cart once I read the ingredients.  It is all part of the myth of selling things like granola bars that appear healthy but really aren’t.  Like the Nature Valley commercials which always show thin people enjoying the outdoors and eating their granola bars.  But I digress.  That’s a choice of mine and part of the balancing act that I do on a daily basis.

OK, I know this is a good problem to have.  I’d rather be at this weight and fighting to keep it off than at my old weight and eating bad stuff.  I did enjoy the food more but I didn’t like how it made me feel.  So, that means every day I will continue to fight this battle.  Like I said, I went here because I just got my driver’s license renewed and also because I was in another awful lunch meeting last week and those comments about not eating really do irritate me.

One comment

  1. I’ve kept 65 lbs. off for 3.5 years, Wall, and agree with every word you wrote. With the exception of my children, NOTHING is as important to me as my new body. I love looking good in my cloths. I love feeling attractive…finally. I still weigh myself daily, and record everything I eat – and the calorie counts – in my food diary. I pack lunch.

    I know I”ll be back in fat city in no time if I relax my vigilance. I earn my body everyday, and so do you. I feel very gratified because a couple of people have written me and said the first chapter of Thinner, Fitter, Happier, in which I go into defail about how I lost the weight, changed their lives because it Inspired them to break their food addictions. If even one person got out of fat jail because of that book, all the work that went into it was worth it.

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