Because dieting and me? We don’t get along — a fact that is blatantly obvious, is it not?
Actually, I’m afraid she’ll delete my entry because when I think about dieting, my first thought is not anywhere near “Rah, rah, rah! GO team!”
Rather, it’s more like, “Well…gotta do something. Even though I’ll hate it. Bye-bye, sweet chocolate. I’ll miss you….”
I quite remind myself of Garfield, actually, when it comes to how I feel about dieting. Because my results have been about this stellar:
I know, I know, they say don’t use the word “diet.” Call it a healthy lifestyle change, a pursuit of fitness, a new way of eating! Something positive!
And I say, you can paint it paisley, glue roses around the edge and hang a smiley face over it, but at the end of the day, it’s still a litterbox.
Just like how counting points, eating prepackaged instant food or drinking Slim-Fast are all just various ways of limiting food intake. It’s all the same painful self-sacrifice no matter how you color it (at least, that has been my experience on the dozen or so weight loss programs I’ve tried in the past.)
Even a dolled-up litterbox serves a necessary purpose, and as much as I am loathe to admit it, so does eating less and exercising more in the life of a 40-something year-old who’s always been a big girl.
Especially a big girl with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). (I appreciate that this website mentions how PCOS’ers can gain weight even while dieting and exercising…I know I have relatives who do not believe that truth and honestly seem to think that I sit around gorging on bon-bons dipped in cheesecake all day.)
The scary thing about being big with PCOS is that it potentially puts me on a fast track to diabetes and heart disease. And because I also have an unspecified autoimmune disorder that comes with its own complications, seriously — it’s time to stop playing with my health. So, this week, I decided to do something about it.
Granted, I’ve “decided to do something about it” countless times in the past. But I think I might’ve figured out a way to make weight loss doable. I’m not joining Weight Watchers for the seventh or eighth time. Nutrisystem can keep their dehydrated scrambled “egg” cups. Basically, I’m counting calories strictly Monday through Friday, exercising 5 days a week, and on the weekends, eating whatever I want but with more of an intuitive eating approach.
Why the odd-sounding combination? Well…I’ve gone through the processes described on the above-linked intuitive eating website, but through different programs. It helped a lot — I rarely ever succumb to emotional eating anymore, and never binge like I did 25 years ago. But because of PCOS, it isn’t enough. And because of my hectic lifestyle, it isn’t enough. I don’t always take the time to check in with myself constantly as you basically need to for I.E. to be successful. I’ve definitely slowed my rate of weight gain through these principles, but my body works too hard against me for it alone to be enough.
Women with PCOS usually have to follow a much lower-calorie, lower glycemic-index diet than women without the disorder who have an equal amount of weight to lose (it has to do with the endocrine imbalances, insulin resistance, and other factors associated with the disease). I think that’s why Weight Watchers never worked for me; they simply allowed me too much food to lose weight. So I have to try calorie restriction until I find a magic number that allows me to lose at least 2 pounds a week.
But trying to stick to strict calorie counting for…well, for what feels like forever…doesn’t feel very doable. I need that little break each week to look forward to something different. Plus, I’ve heard that mixing things up is a good way to keep your metabolism burning, that eating a little more a day or two a week can help keep you going. So…that is why I’m adding the intuitive eating weekends.
We’ll see how it goes. It’s an approach I’ve not tried yet and I’m hoping it’ll be a best-of-both-worlds scenario. I won’t lie — the past two days I have been HUNGRY. My stomach thinks my throat has been cut. But it does feel good to take positive steps toward getting healthier. And that is where my focus lies.
Because barring some horrible, emaciating illness, I will never be thin. It’s just not in my gene pool, PCOS or not. And I don’t even care about being skinny, or fitting into a certain size. I’m not one of those miserable fat people you see on TV, who are so consumed with self-loathing that no one wants to be around them. I live my life. I enjoy my life. I do things I love, with people I love. I even think I’m beautiful despite the weight. I’m happy, even if the world doesn’t think anyone as fat as me has a right to happiness, or deserves to love themselves like I do.
God thinks I’m lovable, and that is good enough for me.
One last thought on my reluctance to join up with Weight Loss Wednesday: in the past, announcing to the world that I was starting a diet was the equivalent of writing my own diet death certificate. There’s just something about people checking up on me, expecting results, that makes me want to quit. (Yeah, I could use a good therapist, I know…) Especially when those people are skinny-minnies who think the world is ending if they gain two pounds.
But maybe that’s why I want to jump in with WLW now…I know that we’re all in the same boat. It’s that three-strand cord Alicia was talking about. I need to go through this with people who understand the struggle but won’t press me for more than I’m ready to share. Weight is such a personal issue, even for those of us who’ve healed from some of the emotional issues attached to it. If I want to share about it, let me…but don’t ask me about it. Does that make sense?
Well, I’ve rambled on enough and it’s time for my date with a cup of sugar-free Jello. So I’ll sign off for now. Blessings to everyone who is pursuing health, whatever that might look like for you!