Hey! Do remember back in the day? When I had a blog? That I updated regularly? Yeah, me too. Man, those were the days, right? Good times, I tell ya. I can FEEL the nostalgia.
. . .
Huh? Sorry, I was marinating in the nostalgia. Where was I?
OH, RIGHT. That BLOG I USED TO UPDATE. Back before Florida New Year’s Christmas. Yeeeeeeah.
I think that I think too much. (Yes, I’m aware of the irony. Be quiet.) I came to this conclusion (again – I’ve come to this conclusion before) while standing in the bookstore, leafing through some of Jillian Michaels’ books. (With a copy of a Williams-Sonoma cookbook tucked under my arm. Three guesses what book I left the store with, and the first 2 don’t count.) I was sort of bizarrely fascinated by the fact that she has 3 books out – AND THEY’RE ALL THE SAME DAMN BOOK. I kept flipping back and forth between them. Seriously – they’re ALL THE SAME.
After I got done marveling at the fact that anyone could write 3 books that all contained the EXACT SAME INFORMATION (don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t just The Jillian who had multiple copies of a book with different titles – she just was displayed the most prominently), something else occurred to me. Do you know why it’s possible to write multiple books like that? Because people don’t listen the first time. Honestly, all the books pretty much say the same things and after you’ve read a few, you start to know the words by heart. Stop eating so much crap (although “crap” is defined differently in different books), and get some exercise. The best books don’t even promise weight-loss, just that you’ll be healthier. Eat less crap, exercise more. Bottom line.
And I started thinking about that: about how they all say the same things, with MINOR variations and about how there’s this huge market for all these books that say the same thing. Now make no mistake: I’m no different than the other bazillion people who buy the same book over and over. I flip through them, sort of hoping that I’ll stumble on the Magic Secret That Will Allow Me to Lose Weight Without! Even! Trying! Yeah, I’ll own it. I know better, but I kind of hope I’m wrong about the knowing better.
And THAT got me thinking. (Always dangerous, you know.) Honestly, if I spent half the time eating well and exercising that I spend rationalizing why it’s ok “just this once” or rationalizing why “that” plan won’t work, I swear to God I’d have lost all my weight 10 years ago. If I spent as much time working out as I spend tracking calories, fat, Points, carbs, protein, whatever, I’d be in the gym a LOT, ok?
And I have a million reasons (or “reasons”) why I haven’t lost weight: I’m afraid of failure, I’m afraid I won’t have anything to blame my unhappiness on, I’m afraid that there ISN’T a thin person inside me, I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid. But I think I’m most afraid of losing my hiding place. I overeat and I drink because I’m hiding.
And (I have GOT to stop starting every paragraph with that word. Eventually.) I was thinking back to college, before I lived on Tootsie Pops (over 100 licks, by the way, is the answer) and Diet Coke. You know what? Even accounting for the Crazy, even BEFORE the Tootsie Pop and Diet Coke Diet started to seem like a good idea, I was losing weight. I was losing it consistently, and pretty quickly, too (just not quickly ENOUGH, hence the advent of the Crazy Diet). It was actually the only time in my life that I lost a fair amount of weight in a healthy manner.
Nowadays I count calories, track my intake, measure my heart rate to account for calories burned, fret about not lifting enough weights, wonder if I’m eating too much fat/protein/carbs. But in college, pre-crazy, I didn’t do any of those things. I got some cardio and did some light weights every day, but I didn’t stress about it (in retrospect I could have stood to lift heavier weights, but at the time the conventional wisdom was “light weights, 5,000 reps”). I didn’t count calories; instead I left mayo off of everything, skipped cheese, didn’t eat a lot of pasta. Instead I ate whole grains, smoothies for lunch (even those sherbet monstrosities from Jamba Juice), single portions at dinner of whatever was being served (and it was NOT low-cal). I wasn’t a big snacker, although I had a steady stream of coffee and/or water in my system. I never got on a scale, instead relying on a tape measure and the fit of some jeans I wanted to fit back into. I didn’t journal my food, I didn’t track my exercise, I didn’t do any of that. And I lost weight. And I haven’t lost more than about 10 pounds successfully since then, with all the counting and calculating and obssessing.
So I stopped counting calories the other day. I’m still keeping a journal of WHAT I ate because *part* of the reason I didn’t overeat during that pre-crazy time was because I lived with other people and I was embarrassed to keep eating just for the taste. Now I live alone, so I don’t have that impediment anymore. So I keep a journal so that I know how many servings I’ve had.
I’m going to make a return to pre-crazy eating and see what happens. I’m going to keep reading the Beck book and working on that, and I’ll keep a “what I ate” sort of food journal (instead of a “tracking” journal), but other than that, I’m going to try and eat more like I did in the early days of my college weight-loss. If I find myself going off the deep end, I’ll dial it back, but you know . . . I don’t think I will go off the deep end. I can’t help feeling pre-emptively RELIEVED, actually. It would be nice not to have to spend an hour or two every night figuring out how many calories I’ve burned/eaten, and how many I’ll burn/eat tomorrow. It would be nice to not think about what I can and can’t eat. It would be nice not to freak out about fat or carbs or protein. It would be nice not to think about ANY of it SO FREAKIN’ MUCH.
You know. Like it used to be. Back before it wasn’t like that anymore.