Chrissie Field's blog
My mother is a bit of a "Mary Sunshine". She generally has a sunny disposition and raised her two daugthers to be shiny happy people. Overall, I have no complaints with that. But one of the consequences of that, or shall I say, one of the lessons that has been firmly entrenched, is to say "yes" to everything.
"Can you stay late tonight and finish the budget?" "Yes."
"As Jack's auntie, will you help me with the 30 kids we invited to Jack's third birthday party?" "Yes."
"I'm really in the mood for something sweet. How about dessert tonight?" "Yes."
And, there lies the problem. I'm agreeable. I'm a pleaser. I go along to be easy, to be sociable, to make others happy. I've realized that most of my bad eating happens when I'm trying to go along with the crowd.
A few weeks back - I told you how I finally got control of my eating by looking at rationing my points the way I'd ration my $$ in Vegas. Just decide how much of your "wealth" or "point allocation" you're going to spend on enjoying yourself - do it - enjoy it - and then walk away.
Well, I'm a much better money manager than I am a dieter - so I've started to look for other ways to apply the lessons of saving/preserving money that I have easily adopted for my finances - to my dieting. If you've ever read those tips that appear on MSN or in women's magazines about how to save money - they always tell you to never go to the grocery store hungry or without a list. If you commit either of those two sins, you're much more likely to buy things that you don't need, aren't good for you or will rot in your fridge. True enough.
The scale has finally moved! I have lost more weight than can be explained away by taking off my belt, having my haircut or leaving my jewerly on the nightstand on the mornings of weigh-in. I have really lost a pound or two - and the momentum feels great. After all my blabbering about cutting back, giving up and self-control - all of which produced nothing - what, you ask, finally made the difference? Exercise. Or, to be more specific, walking 3 miles everyday. I've been walking 3 miles a day, 4-5 times a week for about 2 weeks now - and I'm finally making some progress!
It's ok to eat candy, as long as you control the candy - the candy doesn't control you. That was the theme of this week's Weight Watchers' meeting. Weight Watchers is a weight control program for real people. It takes into account the fact that food is one of the best parts of life - and the fact that most of us are born to like sweet things and, let's face it - yes, that we're all very flawed.
The program doesn't make you give up the things that make life worth living, like the flambe'd bananas over vanilla ice cream I had at my reunion this weekend. It simply teaches that you need to be in control when you indulge. You need to anticipate the indulgence, plan for it, decide how much you're going to eat in advance, account for the points and stop when you've hit your point limit.
Here's a change of pace for today - instead of blabbing on about all the excuses I have for eating chocolate in the middle of the day and not losing any weight - let me share with you five dieting truths that I've discovered over the past 5 weeks. Given my very, very limited weight loss - I may not be the most credible source - but I'll leave that to you to decide for yourself.
Truth #1: Dieting is easier when there's an imovable event in your future. I have an important 10-year reunion this weekend. I have to wear a tight, clingy dress. Makes turning down that Starbucks Frapuccino a bit easier.
So - how do you come back after eating 1/2 a pint of Haggen Das Chocolate Chocolate Chip? Yes - in a moment of "why me" weakness I pulled the ice cream out of the freezer and ate half the pint. I won't bore you with the "why" - we all know why - long week, hormonal craving, feeling like I deserved it and that it would make me feel better - if only for a minute - the list goes on. But - what do you do just moments afterwards? What do you do when you have that sense of regret - with that feeling that you've lost control? Well, first I layed down on the couch to wallow in the disappointment. I dozed for an hour and promised myself that I wouldn't eat anything but vegetables for the rest of the day, and that it would never happen again.
Nothing yet, dear readers. There has been no official weight loss - but there has been some positive trends. While I'm not yet so good about counting points - I am making better food choices, usually opting for a salad or sushi whenever I eat out (which more often than I'd like and far more often than my bank account should tolerate), avoiding the bread, passing on the alcohol (or at least cutting down), skipping my afternoon Starbucks Frappacino, etc. So, I'm a bit healthier, if not any thinner. The diet (or lack thereof) has also made me examine my values and my priorities a bit more carefully. It's not that being thinner and looking better isn't a priority - it is. But so is spending relaxed time with friends - and in this city, one of the great gourmet capitals of the world, spending time with friends usually involves gastronomic delights.
Dallas is no place for a diet! It's not that the food is so good that I couldn't help myself - it's that it was so bad there were no healthy food choices. I tried, I really tried. Breakfast was easy as that was either a bowl of fruit or a yogurt in my friend's refrigerator. But after that - there was nothing but a long line of fast food and casual dining chains to choose from. I tried a taco salad - but after you take away the cheese, sour cream, guacamole and chips - there wasn't anything left to eat. Dinner at the Italian restaurant with 10 friends was a parade of cheesy, garlicky, gooey appetizers.
So, for all of you dieter's out there - here's my advice. Tell your friends you're dieting. Don't keep it a secret or simply neglect to say anything because you don't want to be a downer at the dinner table. I met a friend for Vietnamese food last night - not the worst of the Asian cuisines for dieters, but not the best either. Most everything is sauteed in lots of oil. But, to make a long story short, we decided to order two entrees and an appetizer of fresh, soft spring rolls. I suggested the Papaya salad as my choice and she picked a curried beef for hers. And we were going to order two beers.
I can’t say that I’ve been good this week, but I have kept some of the promises that I’ve made to myself. For starters, I did go to my 3rd Weight Watchers meeting last week. And begrudgingly, I even weighed-in even though I was sure I was going to hate the results. The good news – I lost the 2 lbs. that I had gained the week earlier. I don’t really think I lost anything but water – or maybe it was the fact that I wore jeans the week before (which the counselor assured me are particularly heavy) and cords this week – but regardless, the scale said I was down .2 lbs from my start – which feels a whole lot better than being up.