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When it comes to losing weight, I’ve been a yo-yo most of my life. I’ve tried all the fad diets and taken all the pills that claimed to miraculously melt the fat away. I’ve lost and gained back the same 10 pounds too many times to count. I’ve counted calories, carbs, fat grams, portions, and bites that I’ve put in my mouth. I’ve been there, done that, and have the t-shirts to prove it.
Hello, my name is Pookie Ryan, and I am a serial dieter.
(you all are supposed to respond here with, “Hi Pookie!”)
Does any of this ring true for you? Have you always struggled with your weight? Did your mom make you clean your plate at mealtime? Did your mom then remind you about all the starving children in Africa that would have loved to have the food you just left on said plate? When you look in the mirror or at a photo of yourself, do you cringe? If so, you too, might be a serial dieter.
Being a serial dieter is not something you can ever be rid of. Advertising won’t allow that. But you can reinstall your dieter brain. As I age, I’ve had a few “aha” revelations about my past weight loss behaviors and what is really important as far as obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight. It all boils down to this one truth:
Truth: If you are willing to change your lifestyle, you will never have to diet again.
My mindset was so screwed up in my younger days. I thought that obtaining a certain weight was the goal of every diet. Jumping on the scales and seeing the coveted number was everything, sort of like becoming the Queen of the Prom and thus winning at the board game of Barbie.
It wasn’t until I realized that dieting cannot be grouped into segments of time, but rather, requires a whole new attitude about food and exercise. Here are the basic don’s and don’ts I live by nowadays:
• Don’t eat processed food. Period.
• Don’t drink diet drinks, and drink sodas only occasionally.
• Stay away from white sugar.
• Do some sort of exercise every day. Make sure it makes you sweat.
• Don’t drink alcohol. (I do have a drink occasionally, like twice a month.)
• Do eat slowly, until you are full. Then eat again when you are hungry. Again, stop eating when you are full, no matter how much is still left on your plate.
•Don’t eat anything after 7 pm.
• Do drink a lot of water.
• Instead of counting calories, count steps, miles, and minutes on exercise machines, and do a lot of them.
That’s about it.
If you grew up in a food-obsessed family (like me) or if you know for sure you are a serial dieter (like I was) then nothing can be more freeing than learning to listen to your body and eating and moving instinctually when it tells you to. It takes a little practice, especially mindful eating, but, if I can do it, you can too.
En Garde Fat! Prepare to die!
Friends follow and forward Wimpy Girl.. (Hint, hint)
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This work by Anel “Pookie” Ryan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Loved your post. About 2 years ago, when I was getting ready for knee replacement surgery, my doctor told me I was no longer pre-diabetic…I had gone full-blown T2D. I was at 225 lbs and had been trying, unsuccessfully, for years just get to Overweight on the BMI Scale (@5’6″, 225# is Obese). The Doc wanted to put me on Metformin and the ADA diet. I’ve seen that diet…if the food doesn’t kill you, the Metformin will…and all long before the Diabetes would untreated. Much to my doctor’s surprise, I opted for self-management.
Long story cutting short…everything you stated is basically what I’ve done. The only lifestyle change I needed was complete overhaul. I do have to watch carbs because of the diabetes, but otherwise, I eat more now because I’m not dieting…I’m eating foods I love. Fresh fruits and veggies, almost nothing from a can or box, and plant-based sugar subs. I try to walk at least 10k steps per day and Home Depot allows for a LOT of weight bearing exercise. Much to my surprise, there is no real struggle involved, and, in the process I have lost 70+ pounds, 6″ off my waist, and am working hard at rebuilding muscle to take the place of all that fat.
Wow! I’m so happy and proud of you! Feels good, doesn’t it? Xoxo