Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Diet and Other Four Letter Words

Do you know any of these people or programs? Yes? Then you'll experience the confusion right along with me.
Mark Hyman, M.D.
The Bigger Loser Club
Kim Lyons
Isabel De Los Rios
Mike Geary
Jon Dana Benson
Coach Josh
Joel Marion
Jayson Hunter
Coach Jesse Cannone
Rob Poulos
Biggest Loser
Kyle Leon
Dr. Kareem F. Samhouri
Dr. Oz
Dr. Travis Stork
The Pink Solution
Vince Del Monte

Are you as disillusioned as I am and feel that the start of the New Year sucks--I mean as far as making those resolutions to lose weight and get in shape. Year after year I make the same resolution. Get healthy. Lose weight. Look like a normal human. Believe it or not, I actually had a year like that. The only good year--2008. 2008 was great. (You can read about my weight loss journey from my earlier posts.)

What happened to me? I was eating healthy, thanks toWeight Watchers. I exercised for hours a day, thanks to Contours, a women's gym that has since hit the skids and gone away. I was doing everything right. Then I hit the Christmas wall. I hadn't learned how to handle Christmas. The worst thing though, I became the cooking culprit and undermined my own success. By the New Year 2009, I upped twenty pounds.

Then 2009 struck and sucked the life right out of me. I'm not going to elaborate the problems with 2009, there isn't enough space in this post. But 2009 was my cancer year. But the end, I'd gained back another twenty pounds by operation time and after laying in bed for months, I tacked on another twenty, by the end of 2009.

2010 wasn't the greatest year either. I quit Weight Watchers. (I hated watching the scales and my weight go up and up.) I was a weight watcher all right. Up, up and away. I couldn't keep paying to have my weight increase. 2011 wasn't much better. In April my dad passed away. The grief of his passing, my struggles with editing my first novel and my inability to lose weight added to personal financial woes and . . . boom, the scale continued to climb. Explode actually. Not only that, I broke out with a bad case of hives and they and the weight gain continued to plague my year.

Now I face a big empty New Year. What to do? Of course all my doctors are expecting me to shed those unwanted pounds. (Side bar: have you ever, and I mean ever, known anyone who had WANTED pounds? A rhetorical question.)

But my questions is HOW?

And that brings me to my current dilemma. How to choose a good program.

Have you ever had trouble finding the right diet or life style program that doesn't cost as much as a Lear jet or force you into the gym to pump iron for hours or run on a tread mill for mile after monotonous mile? Well if you're one of those people, I sympathize. I've been bombarded with email ads for this diet and that. Boy, you sign up for one to try and every exercise guru from California to New York City jumps on your case, touting that their program is designed to make you into a bikini babe in a couple of weeks.

What's worse is that they have a sharing system where one exercise guru tells another one about you until your email inbox looks like the Who's Who of the diet and exercise industry. I tell you, this is no easy decision deciding who has the best program that can be tailored to me and my physical restraints and needs.

Do I know the answers? Heck no. I want answers like the rest of you. I want a diet/life style change that isn't going to be too hard to follow. I don't want craziness. I don't want to forsake ice cream, candy, bread, crackers, chips, pancakes, potatoes or any other bad carbs. I want sensible. Or am I deluded myself into thinking a life style change can include junk?

Okay. At one time or another I've listened to all of the diet grurus. Somehow I got hooked up with Tony Hortonand his P90X. One look at the program and I shut it back up in the box. I'm fifty six years old, bad knees, way over weight. This thing's for young people.

So I ordered Jon Dana Bensen's Every Other Day Diet. I'm sure it's a wonderful program, but it was just a little too weird for me. Eating nothing but a grass and whey shake for breakfast and an apple and a handful of almonds for lunch. Then the next day, the shake and for lunch--BAM! you can go hog wild. I just didn't have the stamina to stay on the everyday bit. No offense Jon.I'm sure your program has served many well. Those people who are already a size two.

There must be an exercise guru co-op somewhere because each one of these gurus promote the others.With all their enthusiasm it all looks wonderful, exciting and the easiest thing you've ever done. What they say is so attractive I couldn't help but be sucked into their spiel. Right after they wow me with their examples of people who've shed thousands of pounds, you hit me with the bottom line. It's going to cost me and cost me plenty.

Their simple program with their fifteen thousand steps isn't enough. Books on diet, recipes, calculating daily intake, mind transformation, motivation, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah. That's enough reading for about three years.

But wait! There's more!

Their initial offering isn't enough, there's always one more thing to entice me into buying their COMPLETE program and only their program. And you have to have the rest. Training. Recipe specific books. Motivation books. Other manuals. How to train. Videos. Meal plans. Etc. Etc. Etc. By the time your basic $47 to $97 program is finished, you've spent close to $500.00 and the programs are so drastic, there is no way in this world a regular person like me can stay on them.

I can't squat, pushup, jump around or crunch. I'm old. Give me exercises I can do. I have sciatic nerve pain in one foot. I can hardly walk some days. I've got a compressed disk between four and five. Whatever that means. So I'm not doing your extreme workouts.

And when they're finished roping you in, they send you emails introducing yet another guru's program in the hopes that you'll to buy that as well. Each email to you is another offer. Flat abs. Burn belly fat. Washboard abs without crunches, etc. Instead of losing weight safely, with an exercise program I can follow, I'm spending money I can't afford to spend for a program or dozens of programs that aren't geared for me.

I took a test to see if I was sluggish and run down. Hello? You have the metabolism of a 200 year old woman. Mark Hyman, M.D. recommends his program at only $396.00 per month. It's called the UltraSimple Diet Enhanced program. Do I look like I'm made of money? Maybe that's how they get you to lose pounds. They lighten your wallet.

Even the TV Doctors, Stork
and Ozhave their own personal program. Just sign on the old bottom line, or enter your credit card numbers and you're as good as bikini ready. They're ripping my mind apart with their promises, their come-ons and declarations that promise a new you in six weeks.

Who wouldn't like to look like Ashley of the Biggest Loser or have her success?

Weight Watchers is great, but does it really teach me what to eat at any given time, how much and the right combinations? What about The Biggest Loser? Do I look like I could do those exercises in a gym 24/7?

I just don't know anymore. I wish there was a magic diet genie who could outline a modified lifestyle, that doesn't forbid a splurge once in awhile, that has exercises for my physical limitations, that says when to eat and what and how much. Can there be such a person or system or program or suggestions that don't require that I turn over my entire pay check to them every two weeks? Oh, stop the insanity. (Say, isn't that an exercise program?) Well, never mind, I'm not doing it.

Finding the right path for me will required some dedicated research. It may not happen right away. But the one thing I know, is that I don't want to die wearing enough weight to equal another person. My feet are getting really tired of dragging around that extra gal. It's time to let her find someone else to hang off of. So if you have a program you'd like me to evaluate--keep it to yourself.


Amy Pretl said...

I am with you. Nothing seems to work and you do great for a couple weeks and then wamo, it does not work. I have spent some time researching my self and I have come to the conclusion that I lack some good self discipline. i have found a couple programs that I like and put together. The first is the green smoothie diet and 12 steps to whole foods. That one has greaat recipes. And the next is The Belly Fat Cure. It talks abot the good and bad sugars. I have found that for me these two work for me and are as close to the Word of Wisdom that I have found. they have brought down my inflamation. So hopefully that helps and we can both be on our way to sexy bodies. Love Amy

The Wards said...

Hi Carol, this is Leah Ward (Florence) as you know alot of people in my family struggle with the same issues! I have recently made a lifestyle change, notice I didn't say "gone on a diet". I am being coached by a dietician, but she doesn't tell me very much, she is guiding me on my own self discovery. I am a great dieter, I just always gain it back, so I am attempting to learn to have a normal relationship with food. It soetimes goes to plan and sometimes doesn't, but the two main keys she has encouraged me to use are having a plan, as specific as you need it to be, really it will change depending on the time of year and your own motiviation. The second key is to keep an accurate food diary. This is trickier than it sounds and I don't always succeed with this one! But I have found that if you write things down just before or as you are eating them, and thats every single thing you put in your mouth and when, you can even write down how you are feeling as you eat it, you start to see patterns and problems and you can start to right them. I have three small children so exercising for hours a day is not possible, but I swim one night a week and do a few nights a week with my Wii personal fitness trainer, it mostly makes me giggle, but it really works for me. I have been doing this since August and without being on a diet, feeling hungry all the time, or exercising like a fiend, I have lost 35 lbs. Now I have a lot more to go, but I feel in control of my eating and I feel like I can maitain this forever. I am aware that I will have to change things more as I loose more weight to keep it coming off, but I am not interested in being a size 10, I want to be more healthy and pain free in my activity. That is the overall goal, but it does help to have some smaller goals within that larger goal as it will take years to achieve this way. I have set a mid-term goal of riding comfortably without a seatbelt extender in my airplane seat this coming July when I come to California to visit my parents! I think I am on track for that too. I took a week off at Christmas, and that was the plan, and have found the last few days challenging, and not totally to plan, but I am being honest with myself and accountable to myself. I also don't weigh myself all the time. I only weigh myself every two weeks. It helps with the slow weight loss, so you can see the progress. Its funny how that is the hardest thing for me. I am used to being on a diet where the pounds fly off, and this is a lifestyle change so things are slower! I hope this is helpful and good luck!!!

Ben and Rachel said...

The book 'The Diet Cure' by Julia Ross transformed my life and helped me overcome my lifelong issues with various eating disorders. Before I read her book I thought I might very well be going crazy...then I realized that my hormones were just waaaay out of whack. One of my sisters had great success after reading Julia's book 'The Mood Cure' as well.

Trina said...

I've learned something over the last couple years.

1. It depends on what I want most, a skinny body or that bowl of ice cream....I usually want the skinny body when I'm full and the food when I'm hungry. It's a constant battle.

2. The cheapest way to lose weight and keep it off is self-control. Something I don't have.

I'd like to tell you a little story. 2 1/2 years ago a young man moved into our home who is developmentally 18 months - 3 years old. He was 210 lbs. which caused me a lot of problems considering that when a two year old doesn't want to move they sit. With Tim it didn't matter where we were; in the middle of the road, a parkinglot, the entry way of Walmart. With a two year old you can just pick them up and be on your way. Not with a 19 year old over 200 lbs. It became very necessary for my back that he lose 60 lbs.

Tim had what all of us would like, his own cook (me), his regulator (me), a personal trainer (me)- well that one is a very loose term considering I could only get him to move for a minute or two if I was lucky and certainly not doing much more than walking from the living room to the kitchen. I think that is important to know though.

I put Tim on a special diet, it was quite simple. We had salad or vegetable with every dinner. Everything else stayed the same when it comes to our menu. We ate tacos, lasagna, chicken enchiladas, homemade breads etc. My big thing with Tim was this, he could have seconds of the veggie or salad but not the heavy main course. I had already tried to limit my family to dessert two times a week. Sundays or Saturdays and Monday nights. (FHE treats are a must!) Again I limited Tim to one serving but never wanted him to go without the dessert. That would just be rude for him to have to watch us eat the yummy stuff.

Let me tell you how Tim did now. Just by not eating what I've come to realize is another meal, but filling up on the salads and veggies he lost 54 lbs. in the first year. I want to reemphasize that this is with virtually no exercise too. His kind of exercise is so much less than what we do just cleaning the house or going grocery shopping etc.
Let me tell you something else interesting. He comes from a very large family. His mom is over 400 lbs. and thought it was impossible for him to lose weight because "it's hereditary". Really it was about choices...the choices I made for him. I call this the Timothy diet now. I haven't been able to manage the diet myself. I know it's because of my own self control too- which is frustrating. I just have such a hard time eating one piece of pizza or piece of lasagna. The thing is though, if I'd stop this insanity my grocery bill would be much less, I'd be healthy and definitely happier.
I've renewed my desire to do good at this. I won't be on a special diet just the Timothy diet, which really is just mastering self control. I know I can eat what I want- just not as much as I want of the fattening stuff. But I can fill up on salad and veggies. I'm really hoping I can keep this up. I have no doubt that if I add exercise to this I'll lose even more than Tim did.

One other thing, a friend told me that really struck a chord with me. The thought of having to do the life style change is overwhelming to me...forever is a long long time. However, I can do anything just today, and I can wake-up and say the same thing tomorrow. If I fail one day it won't be a reason to give up. I can get up the next day and say, "I can do it today." I really think this will help.

Good luck! You really inspired me a couple years ago and I ended up losing 35 lbs. You know what you do have? The knowledge you have done it before. It can be done. Just take the knowledge you do have and be realistic and I have no doubt you'll do it.

Trina said...

One last thing- you mentioned you don't want to die carrying around an extra person. When my mom passed away she was about 260. My husband was a pall bearer and said it was very difficult for the guys to lift her casket. I was horrified for her. I know how bad this would have embarrassed her as she was conscious of her weight. I too refuse to let myself die carrying around an extra person. My pall bearers will be able to lift my casket without any problems.

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