Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'll Be Fine in 2009

It was with no little trepidation that I made resolutions a year ago. I needed to shake things up and I also wanted to reduce my life to simpler things. So as you may or may not know I made two quite strange resolutions. I decided to ban TV, sugar and high fat foods--to differing levels of success. When I decided to blog about it I knew I ran the risk of seeming like this was all I cared about, especially the dieting part.

In fact a friend of mine emailed me soon after and made me think about what I was doing. She said some really thought provoking things. She told me not to define thin as success and that she liked who I was and part of that was because I had these inclinations. She wasn't telling me not to try to be healthy, but that I wasn't defined by my weight. It was much better written than how I summarized it--in fact it was one of the most meaningful letters I've ever received. Every time I blogged about diets I thought about her and her perspective. She was mostly right but I think last year I did want to define my life simply. Maybe make it about my weight for awhile. Life is so complicated, I wanted to make a little fun of myself--and maybe think about why I needed to do this. Well I'm still thinking and I'm not sure I am any wiser.

The Reckoning


We'll start with the second resolution. It was to watch no TV all year. I made that goal perfectly for about a month and then I had a sick day and enjoyed a TV extravaganza. I was able to swear off again and didn't watch anything but Battlestar Gallactica (not even sorry about that). Then about mid April I completely threw in the towel. I made it 4 months. Honestly I am happy with that! My husband may disagree with me, but I think I broke the back of that addiction. I watch plenty--but I don't find myself slaving over a certain show--or many shows like I was before.

This resolution had an unintended consequence--I started to read obsessively. I've always been an avid reader, but now it's like three books a week. This continued even when I started watching TV again. I would feel just dandy about this if most of the books were great art, alas I seem to have become addicted to pop mysteries, thrillers and double alas romance!


I made the resolution last year to give up sugar, refined carbs and eat low fat. I was also able to do this for a couple of months, but then I had sporadic success until July when I decided to again take the horse by the reigns. That is when I started a new diet each month! That was fun and surprisingly challenging.

It has been an up and down experience, but I am putting in the final statistics now. I've lost 20 pounds this year and about 20 inches. It won't make me the biggest loser, but I have to look at as a success (or go insane). Of course I wanted to do better, but I know if I hadn't made the resolution I would have been back to square one. It's nice to be on square two.

I was fine in 2009. Maybe not a shooting star--but fine--and after the things that happened this year fine is okay by me.

I'm not sure if I'm going to continue the different diet each month--I'm going to decide before January 1st 2010 though. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Shocker--Defeated by the Fad Diet

UpDayDownDayDiet goes down, downtown, all the way down, down into the garbage, down into the underground, down, down, down! Did I make that clear. The first week was fine, but the second week was impossible, I just couldn't do the 500 calorie days any more. It's as if my brain just screamed, "No!" Plus everyone kept telling me it sounded like an eating disorder so the support was LOW. I even had my college age daughter tell me it sounded, "Very unhealthy."

So I quit. 
Week 1:  Lost 4 pounds
Week 2:  Gained 4 pounds!
1st day of week three: Screamed and re-grouped.

I've only quit mid-month on 2 diets--Weight Watchers and UpDayDownDay. Each at 2 weeks and so I am giving myself permission to quit diets if I find myself resorting to old habits and gaining weight. These two diets have nothing in common. Weight Watchers is universally heralded as healthy, UpDayDownDay has yet to be heralded period.

So I've come up with a couple of theories about myself.

#1 There are two Edens.

(My husband will beg to differ he's known about 300 Edens but that's a story for another day)

There is Sugar Brained Eden and Non Sugar Brained Eden (herafter known as SBE and NSBE). I know I've blogged about the evils of sugar before, but until I get this right I have to blog about it again.

NSBE is serene, in control, thinks of others, can plan a healthy meal, waits until she's hungry to eat, likes herself, has pretty ankles that don't hurt and feels happy (maybe even a little self-righteous).

SBE is frantic, scattered, justifies bad behavior in eating and sometimes life, has a swollen face and ankles, has a cluttered mind, and mostly just feels out of control.

When a diet seems to allow sugar and refined carbohydrates NSBE jumps for joy and thus begins the spiraling descent that leads to a very bad place in sugarville.

So a diet that includes refined carbs is just not for me.

#2  I've learned that severe cutbacks are not for me. They trigger the "Rebellious Eden" (RE) and no one wants to see that. Especially me--who has time to be rebellious? Especially with the end of the year coming up and Judgement Day on the past year's resolutions.

So don't laugh at my rememdy but I had to get off sugar quick. I'm doing two weeks of Atkins just to get off the bad stuff and then I'll start a new more balanced diet.

Go away beautiful Sugar!