Monday, July 09, 2012

Begin Again

Oh dear.  I just returned home from vacation and found I packed on an extra five pounds.  Time to get back to serious business.  There are about as many different approaches to dieting and weight loss as there are people in the world, I am certain.  For years, I believed that I could make a few significant lifestyle changes and I would become lighter and fitter with no need to ever diet.  Changes like exercising daily, cutting out the fast food, eliminating dessert, drink less - all these would surely bring me back to my goal weight for sure.  In practice, that doesn't work for me.  If I actually fulfilled these changes it would improves things quite a bit.  However, I am someone that needs a more specific plan and a solid commitment, the kind of commitment that says, I am on a diet.  A specific food plan helps.  A food plan with daily menus, recipes and shopping lists helps a lot.  And to top it off, dieting with friends, an active support group, and workout buddies is the thing that will keep me on target. 

I have found all of that and more working on The Garden Diet (I know, I sound like a cheesy infomercial - I promise, they aren't paying me a dime) and I am fortunate to have a few friends that already eat raw vegan that provide me with plenty of nearby support.  I'm sure there are many other plans that work the same way only using different food.  I've tried Weight Watchers and did well at times and floundered miserably at times.  I remember a time when I could walk into a meeting a receive a specific menu for the week complete with shopping lists and recipes.  The last time I tried, there were so many choices that I was overwhelmed with putting together my own meal plan that I tripped right out of the gate.  Once I had purchased all their packaged meals and I lost a ton of weight.  That is, until I reached my goal and had to go back to preparing my own food and then I gained every single pound back.  I know their online programs are rich with community support; however, I was lost in the vastness of their web space.  In person today, it's just so hard to make that face to face appearance when juggling parenting, especially in the summer time when the kiddos are home.  Excuses, excuses, I know!  But if it's not convenient and easy for me, if it's not something that I can slip right into my routine without a hitch, it's not going to get done.

At one time I was a twelve step junkie (in a good way, like could the 12 steps be a bad thing, for anybody, really??), and of course there is a twelve step program for food as well.  I'd like to explore that further because it takes into account the emotional and addictive aspect of overeating.  While I shop for my meal plans, prepare recipes and set the stage for better eating, I believe the key to long term success is hidden deep under layers upon protective layers of emotional baggage.  I haven't yet delved into those murky waters - at least not since my twenties when my addictions were of a more extreme nature.  The twelve steps are also very God centered.  That worked for me at one time; however, today I am not a believer, at least in all that.  I know, they say you can pretend God means other things like "good, orderly direction", but at the end of the day, a meeting is peppered with people's stories of faith.  Good for them, indeed.  It just doesn't work for me.  Perhaps they have some secular groups that have been organized.

So today, being five pounds up, I'm jumping right into the middle of Jinjee's 28-day program.  After my morning walk I'm going straight to the grocery store.  Today's menu includes fruit salad, falafels and an almond carob smoothie.  I've made these falafels twice for family and guests and believe me, they are seriously the most delicious recipe on this program.  Everyone (except my kids, of course) loves them.  I'll put up some photos and recipes later.

When trying to follow a diet, one can make a fresh start at anytime.  Had a bad breakfast?  Make a better lunch.  Had a bad day?  Kiss yourself on the shoulder, have a tall glass of cool water, get a good night's sleep and begin again.  Any moment of the day is an opportunity to make a new beginning.



  1. I found your blog via Mara's and I've just added you to my reader - I can identify with SO much of what you are saying! I have been trying desperately to get back on the diet/exercise wagon after gaining a significant amount of weight, but for some reason (depression, probably; stress, for sure) I cannot get my head back in the game. I don't know anyone else who struggles with food/weight like I do, so it's absolutely refreshing to read your words.

    I am such an all-or-nothing type person when it comes to healthy eating and exercise: I'll eat perfectly clean and hit the gym 6x a week, with minimal "off" days. This means I am pretty successful at losing weight (even though the lack of flexibility I give myself seriously cuts into our social life), but once I get to my goal weight, maintaining is a different thing entirely. I have been an utter failure at finding a middle ground and maintaining my losses. I'm either eating steamed chicken and salads and working out 90 minutes a day or I'm bingeing on junk food and being completely sedentary. For me, it's truly an addiction.

    I've also been reading up on raw/vegan diets and am looking forward to hearing more about your experiences with the Garden Diet.

    Thanks for putting yourself out there like this. :)

    1. Thanks for your comment. I find that with the increased weight, I am more at risk for depression and stress - so I eat more. It is a terrible vicious circle. Exercise and good food is the best anecdote for both, but starting is hell.

      I admire your ability to lose - it is so challenging for me because I'm so quick to cheat, regularly. I really like the raw vegan diet because as I age, I've accumulated more and more food sensitivities. Eating raw vegan automatically cuts out problem foods for me like wheat, dairy and legumes. I've never felt bad eating meat, but I'm uncomfortable with the factory farming techniques and the poor conditions the animals live through. So it was easy to give up.

      Hang in there. You're not alone. I hope to hear from you again.

  2. Thanks Dominique! You are so right - it's a vicious cycle. I need to figure out a way to break it once and for all.

    Once I get the mindset where I'm truly committed and "in the zone", I rarely have a cheat until I've lost a decent amount of weight and feel strong enough to be able to have a cheat but still be able to get up the next morning and exercise and get back on the clean eating wagon.

    Eventually, the one-meal cheats turn into one-day cheats and then weekend-long cheats and then, well why not Monday, too, because I can't get my butt up and work out since I feel like crap from all the junk I've put into my body the past 2 days...and so on and so on.

    I agree with your views on eating meat, and I also truly think that our bodies don't need to eat nearly as much meat as we do, which has drastically cut my consumption. I also seriously need to make an effort and cut out dairy (it wrecks havoc on my skin and belly) but, omg, cheese! My favorite. I have to let it go.

    I have the Garden Diet website open as we speak and I'm thinking of doing the 21-day cleanse. I'll shoot you an e-mail if I do. :)