On Dieting

I would like to lose some weight.  It seems impossible.  I don’t know what the problem is, so I thought I’d dump some of my frustrations and thoughts here.

I am, in general, a pretty disciplined person.  Growing up, I did my schoolwork and practiced piano because I should.  In college, in grad school, classmates would say they didn’t “feel like” practicing or writing a paper and I would wonder what on earth their feelings had to do with anything.  It’s so simple.  Just do the work.  Put in the time.  And now, as a mom and wife, I generally do what I’m supposed to do regardless of feelings.  I educate the children, cook the food, wash the dishes, run the vacuum, do what needs doin’ regardless of whether or not I want to.  (I’d rather read, mostly.)

But for some reason this does not translate to food for me.  I know I should eat oatmeal for breakfast.  Instead I carefully slather a large amount of butter on my toast, followed by a generous amount of cinnamon sugar.  (I love toast so much, I gave it up for Lent.)  I know I should eat more salads, more vegetables, less sugar, but I do none of these things.  I have almost no food discipline at all.  I don’t binge or anything, but I eat what I want when I want it, scale be damned.

When I was younger, these poor eating habits of mine did not show up physically.  I was skinny as a rail for years and years.  In the last 15 years or so, it’s started showing up.  And I’ve been “trying” to lose the weight for about that long.  Instead, I keep gaining.

I’ve tried a lot of things.  I’m very familiar with the whole bodybuilding diet thing, but I don’t want to look like that, per se, and I’m not into hard core lifting, so I don’t think I need that much protein.

I spent the better part of two years doing Atkins, or some form thereof.  I was hardcore low-carb, as some of you remember.  (Sorry.  I drank the Kool-aid, so to speak.)  I ended the low-carb years heavier than I started.  I have no doubt that a diet like that works for some people, but I was not one of them.

I tried various forms of intermittent fasting, which I hated.

The Paleo stuff went along with the low-carb stuff, so I’ve been there, too.

Trim Healthy Mama was crazy complicated and oh my word those girls needed an editor.  That book rambled on and on and on…

I had my thyroid checked, given a strong family history and some other factors.  It was totally fine.

I have, in the past year or so, just tried to be reasonable.  I decided that I couldn’t face a major diet plan that restricted certain foods, so I would just make better choices in a small but consistent way and be amazed at how those changes added up.  Yeah, that didn’t work either.  With no plan, I found myself rationalizing everything I shouldn’t eat but wanted to.  No results with the no plan plan.

My 20-year college reunion is this fall.  I want to look good – I want to feel good.  And I have no idea anymore how to accomplish that.

(I have friends who sell things so…please…I’m not at all interested in any magic drinks that cost insane amounts of money.)

My disciplined nature is telling me to buck up, choose a diet and stick to it no matter what my feelings might be.  The same way I make my bed every day and cook for my family and wash the dishes and the clothes.  Just do it.

But I have failed at that time and time again; at this point it’s hard to think about gearing up for another diet.  I lack enthusiasm and faith that it will work.  And yet I want it to.  Whatever “it” might be.

Have you successfully lost weight?  How did you do it?  How did you stick to it?

About waymel

Navy wife. Homeschooling mom. Adoptive parent. Pianist. Introvert. One who loves quiet and beauty.
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11 Responses to On Dieting

  1. jenhamrick says:

    Calories in, calories out! It’s always worked for me. I have an account on myfitnesspal.com and friends on there who keep me accountable. I’ve actually been really bad about getting on there lately, but it always works for me.
    I must also add: I think you are thin and beautiful!

  2. redkeeney says:

    You already know what I do, so I don’t know that I can be much help. I just wanted to comment so you know that I read it. 🙂

  3. Jennifer says:

    I can totally relate to your weight loss struggles. I also have been trying and my weight has been somewhat like that of a yo yo. Very frustrating. I have tried to give up carbs too, but love them too much to live without them. I wish I had the metabolism I had as a teenager. Now, I manage my weight by eating less carbs (not no carbs) but still eat the good kind. I’m down a few pounds but it is a daily battle. If you find a new strategy, please pass it along!

  4. I wish I had something meaningful to offer in the way of encouragement. I can only say: I am right there with you. I am currently approaching it from a spiritual standpoint–perhaps my weight is more a symptom of unresolved issues. Hang in there, Mel. You are beautiful inside and out. I get the struggle.

  5. shirley wilmoth says:

    I don’t know how to help but wanted you to know I’m here….

  6. Dar Matrone says:

    My motto is, “everything in moderation”. If I say I’m not allowed to eat something, I rebel against my own self!!! I honestly don’t have any no-no’s. But I try to choose wisely most of the time. I never skip a meal and I try and have a snack in the middle of the day so I’m not ravished by dinner time. If I eat in the evening after dinner time I try to stick to a lower calorie microwave popcorn. It’s filling and satisfying. A cup of hot tea is nice, too. I love to run, so I do that several times a week if I’m not up to my ears with everything in my life. I try not to beat myself up if I don’t live up to “my standards” every single moment of every day. It’s just not fun. I really think that good choices over time is the key. =)

  7. Joy says:

    Here’s my two cents from one slowed metabolism to another… none of them the “magic pill”…. I try to drink water in between meals when feeling hungry before grabbing an extra snack; portion out snack bags ahead of time so that I can grab 1 and not the box or bag; cut up fruit and veggies soon after coming home from the store so I don’t have to do that once I’m hungry, because then a higher calorie snack seems way faster and easier; dish up my plate at the stove rather than at the table so I don’t exceed a good portion; eat dark chocolate which satisfies a sweet craving for me because I could eat milk chocolate all day and still want more. I try to remember that it’s easier to not put the calories in than it is to try to get them off; and then realistically, I’m not a teenager anymore – I have a healthy, body of a woman. When all else fails, brush your teeth! Food tastes terrible after that! 🙂

  8. You’ve known me my whole life, so you know I have successfully (& repeatedly) lost weight, & done so without trying.

    I tell all my friends (relatives, too) that if they want to lose weight, just call their doctor or send me a contact online & see if we can schedule a transplant. (As I type, I note my veins are sticking-out on both arms. It’s still cold in Ohio, & I have appointments to make later this week, so the sooner the better!)

  9. Angela says:

    I did the low carb thing with the same results. Initial great loss followed by regaining 20 lbs faster than I have ever gained weight before, even when pregnant. The only good thing that came of that was that I discovered gluten and sugar made me feel really bad. So I’ve been avoiding them since. I gained 60 lbs with my last pregnancy and have lost it all plus about 5 lbs, but it’s taken me about 9 months to do that last 5 lbs. I still have 15 lbs to go to get back to where I was at the bottom of my low carb weight loss. My problems — and I have more problems than just weight — I seem to have narrowed down to gut flora issues (having had an enormous amount of antibiotics in my past.) Anyway, I’m reading a book called The Microbiome Diet right now that talks about the influence that gut flora has on weight. I was trying autoimmune paleo and my allergies were out of control and my weight was not really moving very much (probably only because I felt half-starved most of the time). Then I started reading about how a lack of certain kinds of fiber starves your gut flora and can lead to weight gain. Like maybe we actually should eat legumes and gluten-free grains, including brown rice? So it was nice to find an excuse to actually eat the same food as my family again. As a bonus I’ve dropped a couple of pounds in the past two weeks.

    Anyway, I have no idea how this will all pan out in the long run but I am *really* not good at too many restrictions. The only reason I can do gluten-free is because I figured out how to make bread that actually tastes like bread and not like a chewy hockey puck.

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