I have a secret; one that I’ve only shared with a handful of people. In fact, I wrote this post at the beginning of the year, and saved it as an incentive. As the clock ticked down on 2005, I joined a lot of people in making a new year’s resolution. And not just any resolution, but probably one of the most common: lose weight.
I’d was in denial for longer than a year, and it was getting to be a stretch. I’d started buying my pants slightly larger in the waist, one or two pairs at a time, whenever we happened to be shopping. Then, around the end of last year, I bought a pair of larger belts, because the final notches on the ones I’d worn for the last four years were no longer comfortable.
The clincher was when I saw the proofs of our family portrait this year (which I have not and will not post anywhere online). As I’ve heard said many times, the camera only takes what it sees, and the camera saw what it saw. It showed in my face that I’d put on weight, especially compared with pictures even a year old. (I also knew that when my family got the picture with their holiday cards, they’d notice it and mention it. They did not disappoint.)
I resovled as soon as I saw that picture to something I haven’t done in years: go on a diet. I also resolved not to post anything about it until (and unless) I achieved some degree of success at my specific goal: lose ten pounds.
Today, I can happily report that for several days now my scale indicates that I’m actually a little more than then pounds lighter. (And, no, I’m not giving up any numbers to anybody I’m not married to.) In addition, the pants I mentioned earlier are now a few inches bigger in the waist than they used to be and I’ve returned to wearin the my old belts. (And using the next to last notch, at that.) The process has yielded a number of realizations on my part.
First, I had to figure out what diet I wanted to follow. Being a vegetarian kind of means that most diets — like the Atkins diet or the South Beath Diet — are going to pose a particular challenge for me when it comes to adapting them. Besides, any diet that requires buying special foods or making special recipes isn’t something I’m going to be able to maintain.
To be honest, I didn’t take the “Hackers’ Diet” seriously when I first came across the link and added it to my del.icio.us feed. But as December ran out, and I hadn’t come up with a gameplan for what I needed to do, I started reading it and decided it’s basic premise was simple enough: figure out how many calories I burn, and then eat fewer calories. So I decided to give it a try. (Disclaimer: I consulted a physician; the one I’m married to. If you’re not married to one, find another to consult before trying this or any other diet. And take a multi-vitamin)
Ten pounds later, it appears to have worked. I made a few changes, but not many. I started bringing my lunch to work a lot more often, and I started looking at labels on foods. I figured out about how many calories I burned in day, and discovered I could eat fewer calories and not get terribly hungry if I made the right food choices. And I didn’t have to give up all the foods I enjoyed. I just budgeted them into my allotted calories for the day. I was a little paranoid about eating out at first, until I figured out that if I ate sensibly for two meals I could afford to relax a little for the third. (And I learned that I don’t have to eat everything on my plate, if I’m not the one who put it there.)
I also learned to pay attention to calorie count and serving count. I learned a few other things too.
- I eat when I’m bored. Or even when I’m not bored, just to have something to do wth my hands. (Maybe it’s an ADD thing.)
- I’m not longer a teenager who can eat anything I want and not gain weight.
- If I want to maintain a certain weight, I’ll have to pay attention to my weight, pay attention to what I eat, and adjust accordingly.
So now what? When I started, I decided that when I reached my initial goal, I’d reassess and make some adjustments. Either I’d adujst my eating to maintain, or I’d keep going for another five. The “And Counting?” means I’ve chosen the latter.
The other thing is that I haven’t really included a exercise program in my diet plan. (And I lost weight anyway.) But I know I’d benefit from exercise. So, I’ve unpacked my old yoga tapes from before Parker was born. I figure — since I’m usually the last to turn in — I can clear a spot on the floor in the familyroom and get in a half hour or so of yoga before I go to bed.
But the important thing is I feel better, and I’m happier than I was before with where I am physically.
Just wanted to share.