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Monday, July 21, 2008

Something's Gotta Give--and It'll be Us Giving it Up

It was great to have Lyn back from vacation, posting with her usual gusto and insight. Her post yesterday is worth reading for a solid reality check that many of us need.

For those of us dealing with a lot of excess weight, something's gotta give if we're gonna lose it and keep it off. And it's us. We gotta give: Give up. Give up things that are delicious, delightful, mouth-watering, full of nostalgia. Give up immediate comfort, self-indulgence, instant happiness, and ease.

I don't believe a once-obese, especially a once-morbidly-obese person ever gets cut slack again in the diet game. If the weight is to come off and stay off, we will suffer. Period. End of story.

As Lyn says in her post, we've already had the cookies and pizzas and other indulgences. Too many. It shows in our bodies. We need to stop whining that we can't have them anymore in the quantities and frequency we wish.

We'll have to accept the fact that we just can't have our cake and eat it, at least, not very often at all. Maybe special occasions only. And when we do have it, we have to accept it will be a small, controllable serving, or we will flow back into a binge cycle.

At least, after a year plus of reading fatfighting blogs (and writing one), I've seen this in myself and many others (though not ALL). Slip-ups weaken resolve and strengthen the power of food over us. Give in and it's like starting from zero.


But something's gotta give.

We have to accept that lying around watching tv or reading engrossing novels all weekend is not gonna cut it. We have to move and move a lot, or we might lose weight, but odds are it'll come back, or if it' doesn't come back, we'll have lousy body tone and a lot of hanging flesh that isn't getting filled out a bit with muscle.

The days of sweet dessert wine and chocolate roses are pretty much over--if we mean it.

Sucks a dozen eggs.

But something's gotta give...

I'm still striving to get into the "I mean it" groove. Lots of days, I simply indulge in that extra helping of X or Y, or have more than one low-calorie sweet treat, or just order that pizza.

That's why I'm not making much progress. Some, but very slowly and quite bumpily. I don't really MEAN it yet. mean it the way I meant it when I said, "I do" to my beloved. Mean it for a lifetime and intensely and madly and irrevocably.

I partially mean it. Like a burning infatuation of mind and body that lacks the solid roots of commmitted love in the spirit and soul. It doesn't persist day in and day out, and it doesn't stand in the face of the greatest temptations.

And as we all know, when it comes to weight loss and health--and relationships of the heart--partially meaning doesn't cut it.

To succeed for a lifetime at weight loss, we have to marry the commitment the way one used to marry in the Church: dynamically, fervently, self-sacrificingly, consciously, indissolubly...and willing to put up with hardship and transient (or permanent) miseries for greater pay-off in the long-run. :)

I hear a particular term a lot--and use it, too--MODERATION.

Moderation is just another, pleasanter way of saying this: sacrifice; self-control.

Moderation is another way of saying this: I can't have that second cookie, and I can only have half of that restaurant square of lasagna

Moderation is another way of saying: Gee, I'd love to have a whole bowlful of pasta, but I can only have one and a half cups with a restrained sprinkling (not a half cup) of cheese. And forget the tiramisu, except for one lingering bite.

Moderation is another way of saying this: I have to do things in a different manner from how I've been doing it.

Moderation is another way of saying this: I have to change. I have to give up the whole of my desire and satisfy only part of my craving.

I don't believe in extremism. I think VLCDs are harmful to the metabolism--and to the psyche in some cases. It can lead to eating disorders. It can lead to thryoid issues. It can lead to binging.

I also think that the sort of free-for-all eating that has put us in the 50 to 100 to 200 to 300 excess pounds category is harmful. To the heart and pancreas. To the joints. To the psyche. To one's career. To one's love life. (I don't know about y'all, but I have known heavy women who "settle" for creeps because they fear that no one will love a Fat Gal. Or a woman who'll put up with emotional and physical abuse because she thinks if she doesn't put up with it, no one else will want her as a Fat Gal.)

I hate the fact that I can't just eat what I want, then lay around reading history and art books, studying theology texts, enjoying fantasy novels, and watching movies, and yet get fit in that manner.

What I have been doing for years doesn't work: ie, eating what I want and being a couch potato. Letting illness control me.

What many of you have been doing for years, maybe decades, hasn't worked. Giving in to Krispy Kreme donuts or Grand Slam breakfasts or Pizza Hut specials or the Colonel's fried offerings...doesn't help.

Reality Check: To win at losing, we can't and won't be perfect--yes, perfection IS a myth, not just because we won't be perfect, but because we don't NEED to be perfect, we just need to be pretty darn good.

We do need to accept deprivation of some things, ongoing deprivation of our triggers and things that we may be used to eating regularly. On the other hand, we need to get used to an abundance of other foods (notably vegetables, fresh fruit, lean protein, and water).

We have to learn how to order things in restaurants that might be our fifth or tenth choices, rather than our first or second. We have to accept that our PMS is screaming at us to eat those chips and chew that Milky Way, but we have to scream back: "It's not an option. How about a bite of sugar-free dark chocolate and an apple?"

There's a diet memoir where the writer admits that what clicked in her brain and allowed her to become a slender, fit woman was the phrase: "It's not an option." When she wanted NOT to exercise: "It's not an option." When she wanted junk food: "It's not an option."

Self-deprivation always sucks. It hurts. It makes us cranky. But one way or another, you and I will have to alter habits for a lifetime. A WHOLE LIFETIME.

Or it's curtains. The fat will stay. We'll never reach our goal. We'll regret it.

If you and I don't get a reality check, and hold up that mirror to reality daily, you and I can have gastric bypass and still regain. (See Carnie Wilson. see Randy Jackson.)

If you and I don't accept that we will have to give up to get, we can join Jenny Craig, we can join Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem, we can get a chef like Oprah--and it won't mean anything. We'll be part of the 98% gaining it all back...plus more.

Dieting isn't for wimps. Lifestyle change isn't for weaklings.

Looking at stark truths is not for wussies.

We have to let go of our past and of our devastating food habits and couch potato ways.

I hate it. I need it. I hate it. I want it. I hate it.

I have to face it.

Something's gotta give, and it's any expectation of this being doable without the utmost effort and sacrifice.

Are we up to it?

Do the reality check today.

Are you willing to give up all those fave junk items for 355 days of the year? (Lyn suggests a few special days in the year to indulge, but no more.)

Scary, ain't it?

I think so.

Reality bites.


Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Talk about being on the same page!! I just posted about a fellow blogger going through the same thing!! That's crazy. Must be something in the water today...or the crystal light =)!!!!

Heather said...

great points! I agree with everything that you said. its very true too about already having our share of certain foods. what I have learned is that food isnt going anywhere. its always going to be here. theres no point in eating like theres no tomrorow or its the last time that you will have a cookie or something, becasue it will always be there. I have had more cookies in my life than anyone ought to have and now that I realize that its not the last time I will taste a cookie, Im ok with holding off until I really want and will enjoy one.

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