Thursday, February 3, 2011

Weight Loss and a New Strategy

I have to get back into it somehow. The weight loss thing. I need to take it seriously. I need to get going with this.

It can't be about eating less or rationing. Every time I try that shit I end up revolting against it with some kind of misguided rage that stems from hating being told what to do. It's kind of schizophrenic. Part of me wants to lose weight and part doesn't want to be told how to do it.

One of the things I know I have to achieve here, and it's the most important thing, is to set good habits that will last me for the rest of my life. I don't want to be overweight anymore.

I've got to the stage where I'm overweight but really fit. I do enough exercise, in fact I do more than what my doctor recommends for weight loss. Getting off my fat ass to exercise so I can burn calories isn't my problem.

My problem isn't that I love food.

My problem isn't that I eat the wrong things and that I can't put a good, healthy, low-cal meal together or count calories to set up a meal plan for the day.

My problem is self sabotage. It's like I have to eff up the whole thing by stuffing a bag of lollies or a whole packet or Oreo cookies (and I don't even like them but they're like friggin crack those things!) in my gob just to make sure that it's all fail again.

I've decided to tackle this the same way I tackled addiction to cigarettes. I, like most smokers, had tried to quit smoking many times with varying results but always with the same end result. It was always that same piss poor excuse that got me back on the cigarettes. Stress. I will just this cigarette and finish the packet because right now I need my cigarettes because I'm stressed. Meh! It's been almost 12 years since I quit smoking and I can't say I ever regretted quitting for good.

But how did I end up quitting? I decided, after many attempts using more "conventional" methods to not quit smoking. Yep. You read that right. I decided that I would keep smoking but I would add another element to that little favorite past time of mine, I would begin to really take notice of all the negative things I could possibly think of that was related to me smoking.

I would grumble about having to pay so much for cigarettes.

I would feel irritated about having to go out during work hours to have a cigarette because my addiction demanded it.

I would get angry about having to light a cigarette first thing when I got off a bus.

I would hate having to sit in the smoking section in a restaurant smelling other people's smoke while I was trying to enjoy a meal.

I would smell my own fingers and notice how awful they smelled, and I would do the same with my clothes. (Smell is actually how the idea was born. My boss at the time turned around to me one day and said "You're a lovely lady but you stink!". He was always honest to a fault and we were friends so I knew he was right.)

I would check my fingers for nicotine stains because it looks so off.

On and on the list went until I after about a month started to feel like I really didn't want to smoke anymore. All I had left to deal with then was the actual physical addiction to nicotine which is hard to deal with for sure but not so hard to deal with when you have begun to loathe everything else associated with having to get your fix. With the aid of Nicotine chewing gum I got through it and after about a month my sense of smell begun to really recover and I ended up with a serious fetish for sniffing apples (but that's a whole others story and although weird it was a hell of a lot healthier than smoking).

My thinking is that I will do something similar with food. I will not tell myself that I can't eat this or that. If I fall off the wagon I will take note of if I really like the taste of what I'm eating and how I feel afterward. For me that is a serious difference in how I feel after eating salad compared chocolate cake and the chocolate cake isn't winning in the field good stakes if you know what I mean.

I've already started playing this little psychological game with myself. O baked the chocolate cake from hell for my birthday. It was so bad  he called it "the Black Maria". I simply referred to it as "the Whore". With eight layers of chocolate and orange cake, held together with jelly and whipped chocolate cream, covered in a layer of dark chocolate and white chocolate drizzled on top it was stunning. Oh yeah, and strawberries. On top. It weighed a tonne!

Let's be honest here. I love cake and if I was prone to having wet dreams about cake this is the kind of cake those dreams would be made of. So I let myself eat it. I had a slice the first day. We had it for breakfast the next morning (which is the clever thing to do if you really want to turn yourself off cake). I had more pieces over the next couple of days (it's beginning to sound insane, isn't it?) but they got smaller and smaller, and then I wasn't even interested in finishing them. That's a big step for someone who's been brought up not to waste and to clean their plate, and from whom sugar is like crack.

I've not actually had the urge to eat anything sweet since. The opportunity has been there, believe me, but instead I find myself craving natural yogurt and muesli (but you've got to be careful with that muesli - I don't know what the hell they put in there but it carries a lot of calories). Perhaps I'm onto something. Perhaps I'm kidding myself. I'll keep you posted.

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