Monday, October 01, 2007

Food for Thought

Some of you may have noticed that I have adopted some better habits this year. But I am still a little heavier and a whole lot tireder than I was before I had my Little Dude and this is something that needs to be addressed.

For a start, this is the sixth day in a row that it has seemed like a good idea to try again for a second baby. And if there is a real possibility that I am going to be going through IVF, pregnancy and childbirth again, I need to be in the best possible health.

I hate dieting. It's not that I am not good at it. Actually, my mildly anal, compulsive side means that I am very good at dieting. I lose the weight okay. I'm usually one of the most successful "losers" in the group. But I don't seem to keep it off. As soon as I am off the diet, it all creeps back on. Also, I don't much like my mental state when I am dieting. It all starts off okay, but over time I get more and more compulsive about it until it becomes unhealthily obsessive.

So I am doing a program called Food for Thought at my local health centre. It's a non-diet approach to healthier eating. It promotes a lot of positive, self-nurturing things like:

*Freedom to listen to and nourish our bodies by eating when hungry, stopping when satisfied and choosing foods because we want to give our bodies the goodness they deserve

*Healthy attitudes to food and our bodies for long-term weight management

*Physical activity we enjoy

*Acknowledging that we are all individuals and that different things work for different people

*Making successful change and recognising that this is a process that takes time

*Taking the emphasis off weight as it is not the only measure of success

So, do you think this will work? Or is it all just dieting in disguise?


Blogger hasarder said...

I think it sounds like common sense. Good luck!
I'd highly recommend this blog for her entertaining and inspiring take on permanent lifestyle changes.

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It all sounds a bit to long-winded for me. When I was younger and needed to lose weight, I managed to drop and keep off 2.5 stone (33 pounds I think it translates to) over about a year or so. What worked for me was religiously exercising three times a week, and watching the calories except with one caveat...
I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted on weekends, but only weekends. That way I never felt I was missing on anything - if I wanted a fry up I could wait till Saturday and often I didn't want it then. I also think that spiking my calorie intake like this stopped my body going into starvation mode and conserving energy. Most importantly, I could keep this up for ages, which i did, and therefore succeeded.
Good Luck

12:57 AM  
Blogger Fusion said...

If it helps, who cares what it's called? Good luck Emily!

3:53 AM  
Blogger 2amsomewhere said...

I think it depends on what you define as a "diet". On a purely utilitarian level, one could say that a diet is just a regiment for nutritional habits that seeks to achieve a goal.

But because we are human beings, with emotions, the consumption of food has meaning attached to it. We feel hungry, we eat. We might eat to soothe against an undesired feeling. We might deny ourselves food out of self consciousness.

If you want to be in a different physical condition than what you are at now, then a change in nutritional habits is necessary.

The emotional and rational context in which that change takes place will have a big impact on the suffering you endure to meet the goal, or whether you stick with change.

I think the program you have embraced takes this into account. It's a diet at one level, but I think their approach tries to make sure that the changes you make for the better become an integral part of your lifestyle, so you don't have to repeatedly decide to go on a diet again later in life.


6:32 AM  
Blogger Sailor said...

I think anything that makes the mental attitude easier to sustain, is common sense- and didn't you say, one of their points is that everyone is different?

So if it works for you, then go with it.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with hasarder, I think it sounds like common sense. (Something novel in itself these days!) Best of luck in your endeavor, I'm doing the same right now, and it's difficult but it's also rewarding.

9:17 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

As others have said, the word "diet" itself implies doing something towards a goal, for a period of time, and then stopping.

Lifestyle change = regular exercise and eating healthy. Not for a period of time, but making a regular effort all the time. And most of it is fairly common sense. Count the calories you take in, and count what you burn off in exercise.

I like math. :-)

9:30 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

I don't really have much to add to what's already been said, but I will say that, last year, I lost 85 pounds (actually, I lost 90, and 'crept up' 5 over Christmas), and I've kept it off for a year now.

I always steadfastly refused to 'go on a diet' - ie, I wouldn't do some gung-ho temporary program which I do for a while, and then go back to what I was doing before. Speaking purely on my own behalf, I needed a more comprehensive lifestyle change - a way that I could just live, from this point forward, and sustain.

I won't get all tedious about what, exactly, I'm doing, but for me, the key point was - this is a lifestyle change, not a temporary program.

8:53 AM  
Blogger freebird said...

I suppose it depends how 'naughty' you are normally. I tend to more or less follow that way of eating anyway - preferring 'real' food to junk or processed food, and very little snacking - and my weight still creeps up. Very annoying!
OK, maybe I don't exercise enough. Too much time spent blogging!

3:17 AM  
Blogger freebird said...

...instead of jogging?

3:17 AM  
Blogger John said...

My 2 cents, as a loser that kept it off, is exercise is a must to get off the yo-yo routine. When we lose "weight" without major exercise, we are losing some fat but also some muscle. This reduces our resting metabolic rate (calories consumed while sitting around doing nothing). The weight we gain back is always fat (unless we exercise....hard, not jogging but with weights). So now we are the same weight, but with less muscle and a lower metabolic rate. So we diet, lose more fat and muscle, only to find we can eat even less than before without gaining weight. The cycle continues, unless we do something to repair our metabolism. This can all be done while eating "healthy" choices for food, stretching, and other holistic approaches. Good luck on achieving your goals!

4:39 AM  
Blogger Digger Jones said...

Well, you've been following me so you know it hasn't been always a big dramatic result, at least all at once. It has taken a lot of focus and work.

I'm not planning on stopping when I get to my goal, but I will be changing some things to make it more sustainable like doing something with weights.

For me, having a competition and keeping score has really made a big difference. For other people, it might be about a social aspect of going to a gym or club.

I can see how an overly anal person can easily go over the top. The drive, goal, ambition can all take over and pretty soon it just rules you! Yeah, I flirt with that a bit, myself. Maybe I find some consolation in that obsessing about being healthy is better than being obsessed with something UNhealthy.


8:01 PM  
Anonymous The Last Spartan said...


I like the approach. My own thoughts are these:

- exercise will be a must as we get older. We can't just "not eat" and expect to lose weight.

- eating smaller amounts more frequently minimizes the surge and drop of insulin which can lead to fatigue and overall feeling blah!

- watching caffeine and refined sugar intake is important for that same reason. Withdrawing from sugar or caffeine isn't pretty and it wreaks havoc on our hunger center (not to mention those headaches!)

Good luck

8:06 AM  

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