Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How Many Wrong Ways Are There?

There is no single right way to eat, lose weight or keep the pounds off. What is working for me may not work for you and what has given you your success may not be successful for me. No problems there. We are all different and even though there is no one right way for everyone, there is more than one way that works and people can maintain long term weight loss without starving, surgery or pills.

There is no single right way, but there are wrong ways; lots of wrong ways. If doing it the wrong way was a religion, I would be their Pope. Let's list three of the wrong ways I have used in my history and see where it takes us:

Just today - this day only - I will eat everything until I pop and I will not eat that way on any other day this year.

Sounds possible - but I know it never worked for me. Has it worked for you? Was the last day you overindulged 365 days ago? I tried it on two different Christmas'. I failed miserably. One day a week never worked (it always negated any progress from the previous week). One day a month never worked (I have a past post on that subject). One small treat a day once worked for two months and then became a full on binge, which means eventually it didn't work. A dribble of food has the same effect on weight loss as the Colorado river did on the land in the Grand Canyon. Eventually it's gonna make something BIG.

I can eat whatever I want as long as my weight does not go above X number of pounds. 
Who does this work for? Not me.  If I was that person I would have never reached 385 pounds. I did not have the power then, it has not magically been bestowed upon me now. Let's say we try it. I can eat whatever I want as long as my weight does not go about X lbs. I eat that way for a few days or weeks and the weight stays below. Then one Friday I get on the scale and see I have just edged out the high number by a pounds. Oh no! Saturday is the day I have been planning to go to the best cheesecake shop on five continents with my best-est friends and la-di-da I will cut back on Sunday, after the cheesecake party. On Sunday I get on the scale and it is up another two pounds but then I remember that Wednesday is my daughter's birthday and we promised her the kitchen sink Sundae, so I have to cut back and starve myself to get back under the weight limit by Wednesday and I do it, but then on Thursday I am back over again by 3 pounds (since I dropped the weight in 2 days we all know it was really water weight just aching to come back home to mama). Well, maybe I need to raise my bottom line and make the weight I will not go over just 5 pounds higher. . . . Sounds familiar. Oh God, I once gained 80 pounds with this 'method ' of poundage bookkeeping, putting them on in 'approved' increments. I have also tried the "as long as I do not need to go up a size" and the "as long as I can still exercise the way I do now."
TRUE STORY: I went from 125 pounds to 210 pounds when I was 18 and I could still do full splits, sit lotus and do backward somersaults while in the lotus position. Until the day I could not split any longer, I thought I was okay.

If you try to look inside I
will beat you with a sugar cane!
I can eat anything that is organic and healthy. 
"Well of course, certainly, without a doubt, eating healthy must be the right thing to do.  After all, aren't all thin people simply healthy eaters? Who wouldn't change the way they eat if cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugars, liver function and the appearance of  hair and complexion are hurting. Certainly it is enough to know that I cannot eat whatever to change my behavior so I will not reach for whatever", she wrote with so much sarcasm it was melting the keyboard. I have a friend who lost over 100 pounds eating vegan, raw and organic. I tried the organic and healthy plan and discovered that healthy is a relative term and organic calories pack the same punch as junk food calories. It does not matter who grew your chocolate and nursed it to maturity. It did not matter who hand-kneaded the bread or where the bees got the pollen to make their honey. And my friend who was doing so well?  She started was feasting on junk in between her raw meals and the pounds came back on after several years. Now she is trying to figure out what went wrong.

Oh there are lots of wrong ways. I think I have tried them all. How about you? Your turn: share with us a way of eating you tried that was a wrong way for you.



A said...

Sometimes the danger I fall into is not that I pick a wrong is that I pick a "right way for ME" that is not a right way for others. So I start to feel bad that I am not more natural or more carb friendly or more organic. That I am too processed, too limited, etc.

Reading this reminds me that wrong for you might just be right for someone else. Weight watchers didn't work for me...but that does not mean it doesn't work.

It is OK that I do what works FOR ME. If it is different than what others do...that is ok. My way is only better FOR ME. I am not saying what is best for everyone.

Rebecca said...

Great post Jane. Some things that did not work for ME :

1. Eating pre portioned, processed packets of powder or bars as "meal" totaling 800 calories a day.

2. Promising myself one "eat what I want" day a week if I stuck to my guns the rest of the week.

3. Promising myself one "treat" a day if I could be good the rest of the day.

I'm sure there have been more...

Unknown said...

Hi Jane! Yes, I tried all of Becca's examples too. None of them worked.

The only thing that has worked is truly changing my viewpoint about eating, such as the stark realization that I used to eat far too many calories, and concretely understanding that this is a lifetime project, so I shouldn't waste too much energy on the high points or the low points.<--If any of that makes sense to anyone else, I don't know. :D

:-) Marion

Vickie said...

I don't actually think that most of us are very different in what actually works, in the end, for long term success. The percentages that we need to watch might vary slightly between people. The way our mind and body handle things might vary slightly. But ultimately, I see more similarities than differences. Sometimes people are just starting their process and just don't know yet. Sometimes people are in deep, defensive, denial. We don't start on day one with what will actually work in the end. But in the end, as I said, I see more similarities than differences in the people who get the weight all the way off and then keep it off, long term.

Janis said...

There's a vegan restaurant in my area that sells vegan nachos, vegan chocolate chip cookie dough brownies, vegan whatever ... Junk is junk, and a lot of times the vegan junk is hyperprocessed even worse than the non-vegan junk, because well, how ELSE are you going to make vegetable oil look like "cheeze" sauce?"

There is no diet in the world that can't feature junk food if you are determined to fit it in there. There is no one kind of food you can cut out that will allow you to still have junk food. There is no fakery you can engage in that will make junk food anything other than junk.