When I went to college, I started noticing a lot of the girls got that Academic spread. I was determined it wouldn't happen to me. So I started riding my bike and I was really careful not to eat the junk. I thinned back out.
Seems like every time I've figured out what to do to keep my weight down, it would work for a while but then some lifestyle change would come along and yank the rug out from under me... and everything would start unraveling again.
I come into work early. 6 A.M I start. The call center doesn't start up until 7:30 so its usually just me in there until at least 7 and sometimes not until 8 because a lot of folks work from home.
Yesterday morning, a co-worker stopped by my cubicle. "Hi Judi." I smiled. I drown out the sounds of an empty room while I do my work with my earbuds and music from my computer. I get a little jumpy. I keep thinking I see things and I start concentrating more on what is not going on around me than what I'm doing. So I smiled and gestured and said "Good Morning," and went back to what I was doing.
But she stopped and came over and sat in the empty chair by me. She works in another department. "We started a Biggest Loser's program in our department," she began. "One of the women you used to work with said you'd lost quite a bit of weight."
"Yeah, half of me so far."
We talked about how hard it is to diet... to exercise when you're really heavy. She told me that our mutual co-worker told her I'd been doing this three years. Actually, it was 4. (http://rudysdailylife.blogspot.com/2011/04/making-some-changes.html)
She asked how I kept the weight off. I had to change everything. I stopped looking at a diet as a temporary fix that I was looking to get past. I told her that the only way she was going to be successful, was to change her whole way of thinking about food and eating and to change her family's eating habits along with hers.
I mentioned how I never eat anything like cheeseburgers and fries anymore. That its just not worth it to me.
She looked like I'd hit her. I know that feeling. The "diet" is just for now... I explained, to stay thin, (funny but I haven't actually gotten there yet), you have to quit looking at everything as temporary. It isn't. It can't be. The diet is the easy part. The really hard part is maintaining.
I explained about condensed calories... and this is my favorite example. A McDonalds Big Mac, large fries and a Soda, 1300 Calories. 18 Apples, 1300 Calories. What in the world would make you eat 18 Apples? If someone told you that you had to, you'd feel pretty desperate. I can't eat all that!! But I've most certainly eaten that meal.
I've learned to count calories. I've learned that I can eat a huge plate of vegetables or a huge bowl of Salad and consume very few calories if I leave off the butter and the cheese. I've learned to appreciate food as a way to stave off hunger instead of as a way to fill an unfillable hole or as reward or as a substitute. I've learned that I can add spice and heat and make my food delicious without making it calorie laden and that I reward myself with being able to bend over or squat down... because for a very long time, way too much time, I couldn't... I couldn't run... I couldn't stand for long periods of time. I couldn't control my eating... and now that I am master over my appetite instead of being enslaved, that too is a reward.
I found these things on various websites... because its important for me to remember that I can eat three pounds of celery for the same amount of calories as 1.5 ounces of a Snickers Bar. That I can change 2 whole apples for 2 slices of cheese or 7 little squares about the size of a dice. I wanted to keep it where I can go back and look at it or share it the next time someone wants to know how I keep it off.
Food can benefit my life or it can become an oppressive tormentor whose delicious favors appear rewarding but are, in reality, stealing away my life.