No matter how big the picture is, this meal or snack just does not work for me. Sprinking herbs on it doesn't fool me for a second. I have seen people with bigger toenails than that piece of cheese. And 1/4 of a slice of a tomato? Puh-leeeze. I would burn more calories watching tv than eating 1/4 of a slice of tomato. In fact my research shows that even a person weighing 200 pounds burns 45 calories when eating for 20 minutes. A 1/4 slice of tomato, depending on its size, is anywhere from 5 to 15 calores. I could give you all kinds of wacko math, but I am not counting anything anymore. No more dieting for me either. And I do know the idea is to burn more calories than one eats. Yes, I know it very well from years of experience dieting, counting, measuring, reading countless books on diets, food plans, and ways of eating. Let's not forget writing down how it made me feel. I call that period of time The Years of Failure.
The word "DIET" may evoke images of tiny morsels dressed up to trick us into thinking we are eating gourmet food. Or it may bring lettuce and black coffee to mind. All kinds of emotions churn around, emotions that make a person hungry. Very hungry. Because if we are going on a diet, we won't be able to eat the things we love, like the cake, the cookies, the mashed potatoes, and my all-time favorite, the ice cream.
I decided this is all coming to a stop. No more diets. No more counting every bite that goes into my mouth. No more food journals. No more diet book or exercise DVD of the week. Well what then? I've got to do something. I know the answer; at least it is the answer for me. It is not a secret or magic. It is, in a word,
Without change nothing new will ever happen. Without change, everything stays exactly as it is, everything including my hips. Without change, I will have very convenient excuses for eating all of those unhealthy things that will shorten my life.
"We went out; there was nothing healthy on the menu."
"It's the holidays; we have our family traditions. I just can't do anything between Halloween and Valentine's Day. Make it President's Day. I always make a cherry pie."
"I'm starting Tomorrow, Monday, after vacation, the day after President's Day."
"The kids had a candy sale."
"Mabel baked this for us; we can't throw it away."
"Just one taste, bite, spoonful, handful won't hurt."
I could go on with the excuses. On and on fooling myself. It is easier; it's comforting. I've made it this far. I feel safe when everything is the same. So far I have controlled my diabetes most of the time. I could delude myself with that. But that is not what I really want.
I know three things. One is that change is very very difficult; the second thing I know is that I can change. Finally I know this change will be better in inumerable ways.
Ironically, this all started with my beloved ice cream. I have always said that I could eat ice cream every day. It is my absolute favorite thing in the world to eat. One day last summer there was a sale at the super market. Buy One Get one! I could not resist. I would prove that I was in control; I would make that ice cream last for weeks, even months. Sure I would. One day it was my lunch. Another day I had 2 helpings. I will spare you the gruesome details. Oddly enough I have not really wanted ice cream since then. I have pretty much eradicated my desire for sweets. That is not to say that I won't go down Candy Lane or Cupcake Boulevard again. I probably will, but I truly believe that it will not trigger a monster sugar fest.
I did one thing differently. I decided to have 1 ounce of semi-sweet chocolate morsels at night while watching tv. The rich decadent morsels melting slowly and sweetly in my mouth have proved to be very satisfying. Now that dark chocolate is actually healthy, I swear it tastes even better.
So this is my plan: Baby steps. One small change at a time until it seems like something I have always done. It will take time, and there will be days when I struggle. I know that when I get to exercise, it will be extremely difficult. But right now, I am trying to stick to things that I believe I can accomplish.
If you have read this far, thank you for sticking it out. Please share your views. Tell me what works for you.
Marie, who is effortlessly drinking losts of water every day.