Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Winning, little by little

I freely admit, even though I'm vastly overweight, I will NEVER go on a diet again.  I've tried all the fad stuff in the 1970's, even used those diet pills.  I was clearly on speed and I acted like it but I did lose the weight, faster and easier than I thought possible.  But those nasty little pills screwed up my head and changed my personality so when I re-gained the weight after I stopped the pills and began eating again, I found I couldn't stand what they did to me when I tried them yet again. 

In the 1980's I went on the Nutrisystem diet.  I hated every single m minute of it but, again, I stuck with the program and lost 60 pounds in three months.  What? you say.  Didn't you know that you wouldn't keep the weight off losing like that? 

Here's the thing, though -- fat people, at least this fat person, deeply believes in all the diet hype and that suffering is the only way to actually lose weight.  I was miserable the entire three months I stayed on Nutrisystem and felt more and more deprived with every passing day.  Seeing the pounds fall off did not alleviate the misery. 

Nutrisystem gives you prepared meals that you eat three times a day and twice you are allowed snacks (a sliced cucumber in the afternoon and one of their own snacks like a brownie after dinner).  The meals were so tiny that I always felt starved.  I can remember licking the box I had nuked the meal in to make sure I had gotten every last morsel.  Also, the food tasted really bad.  You ate it only because you were so very hungry. 

The Nutrisystem food plies your system with lots of preservatives but no starch or fat.  For me, all this weird eating eventually caused my gall bladder to belly-up (now this is a known problem with the diet -- but then I had no idea the problems I was causing myself -- after all, slimmer people are healthier, right?). 

Just as you suspected, the minute I stopped eating Nutrisystem food I regained all the weight and a few pounds more just for good measure.  That was when I announced to the family and Hubby that I was no longer going to diet.  If the weight caused me to drop dead five years earlier than expected, that was just five years of dollars that I wouldn't need for my retirement benefits. 

I tell all my doctors that I'm not going to diet.  The woman physician I saw when I was teaching was aghast and kept telling me all the horrors that awaited me as I aged at this weight.  I never bothered to explain to her that I'd had misery after misery on diets and always, eventually failed, so her litany of problems just washed over me.  My current GP, Dr. Patel, has patiently tried to introduce better habits a little at a time.  He champions the water aerobics and he's pleased that I walk the dogs once a day while he tries to persuade me that a walk with the boys after every meal would increase all our happiness, both the boys and me. 

At the Interpretive Center I've been clear that I am not going to diet.  However, I did agree to add in some of the fresh veggies and fruits every day, even if what I was really eating for a meal was Fritos (it's not sweets that call me -- it's the crunchy, salty stuff).  I'm also gun-ho for the seafood portion of the meals, like shrimp -- except I put a lovely cream sauce on mine.  I'm just not telling the doc about that. 
Today's lunch was a scoop of cottage cheese, a stalk of fresh broccoli, a cucumber sliced and marinated in my grandmother's sweet / sour dressing (onions, vinegar, sugar), a scoop of Hubby's apple / orange / honeydew fruit salad, and a small plate of Spanish rice made with some hamburger (from Hubby's diabetic cookbook).  I enjoyed every mouthful and at the end, I was actually fully satisfied.  I didn't even need a cheese cracker or a Frito (all of which I do have in the house -- because, like Scarlett O'Hara, as God is my witness I am never going to go hungry again!).

I picked up the pills from the script for the vitamin D (10 drams) today and the vitamin B complex and melatonin have arrived in the mail.  Tomorrow I will begin adding in the new meds into my daily regime.  We did water aerobics this morning and the water felt fine.  I'm having a lot more pain because I'm off nearly all the pain meds but my mood has not suffered accordingly and I'm withstanding my bum knees pretty well (though at water aerobics the instructor asked what was wrong when I tried to pull my knee behind me and grab my ankle -- good gravy it hurt!). 

For the moment -- and I know this is all new so therefore exciting -- all systems are "go!"  I'm not counting the days or the calories or the pounds; everything is based on improving my mood and feeling more positive about life -- and finally getting a good night's sleep. 

In case I need some dessert


Margaret said...

I don't blame you about the diets, and applaud you for adding in the healthy stuff. I too have a weakness for the salty and crunchy. I don't keep it in the house because Patt is no longer here to help me eat it. My saving grace is that I hate the sensation of being full and I love fruits and veggies, whereas I'm not crazy about meat or bread.

Donna said...

I won't "diet" either. We eat real food around here. I do have some low-cal and low-fat dishes that we like, and I use them. We are never hungry, except maybe 30 to 60 minutes before meal time. We will NOT buy low-fat salad dressings or ice cream or crackers (or whatever). We decided long ago that when we DO eat certain things, we want the real thing and not a tasteless imitation. We are still keeping our weight off after 18 months on this journey.