Hint: You may want to skip this one - Everyone talks too much about diets, even (especially) me.
Much like my mother, I have spent a good portion of my life worrying about and trying to do something about my weight. I so love myself when I am at a weight where my clothes look good on me, or at least I think my clothes look good on me. Mother used to have a "fat" wardrobe and a "thinner" wardrobe, and when she reached a weight where she had only one dress left that fit, she would diet - again.
About three years ago I came to grips with a weight gain that I had tolerated and "encouraged" for almost fifteen years. At that time I lost just under 50 pounds on a laborious and inflexible diet program that cost me a small fortune and involved complicated meal planning, constant attention to eating and a bunch of expensive pills. I realized recently that my clothes were not fitting me well. Faced with the facts, I resolved that buying bigger clothes is not an option.
I have now set certain rules by which I hope I can live comfortably and lose or maintain a decent weight. These rules include certain idiosyncrasies of mine which establish parameters that are not usually recommended by the "diet programs" touted and for sale.
1 - I will never use artificial sweeteners. These neither satisfy my desire for sweetness, nor taste good enough to waste my money on. They usually leave a bad taste in my mouth, and I don't trust a lot of these formulas to be good for long term health. Who really understands these chemicals?
2 - I do not use nonfat salad dressings. They don't adhere to the lettuce and thus are useless for the purpose of making lettuce edible. Since lettuce is not one of my favorite foods, I need something on it to make it palatable. Controlling the amount and using Vinaigrette type dressings work well.
3 - I do not use margarine, or any variation of margarine or non dairy faux butters. I use less than 10 calories worth of butter to give my egg a little flavor, and when dieting, I do not add butter to any of the food I eat. A quarter pound of butter will last me over a month, even when I'm not dieting.
4 - I must have a dessert. In fact I consider having a dessert (of under 140 calories) after my evening meal to be essential for maintaining my diet program. When counting calories for the day, I include the dessert.
5 - I need a meal plan that does not require that I obsess all day on what to have for my meals. These may mean a monotonous program, but doesn't really have to. It's just that I'm not that uncomfortable with eating essentially the same breakfast and lunch on a daily basis, with minor variations.
6 - My meals must taste good. My discovery of the really good meals from Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice has been a boon to my program this time. Add a salad and vegetable or a couple vegetables, plus my dessert, and I'm set for the evening. Oh yes, and one of my regular "fruit" servings is wine.
7 - Soup for lunch and my morning yogurt with fruit plus an egg or cheese get me through the day safely. Snacks are not only permitted, but helpful in maintaining my metabolism and keeping hunger at bay.
8 - My diet must include cheese. My favorites are Jarlsberg, Swiss and fresh Mozzarella in servings of about an ounce two or three times a day. I don't get fat free or low fat cheeses. They don't have a decent texture. I will sacrifice quantity to have good quality.
9 - I drink lots of water, always, and exercise regularly.
10 - I allow myself a slight break in routine at least once or twice a week, keeping good nutrition and my basic calorie intake limits in mind.
I weigh myself every day. Some days are discouraging, but now that the pounds are coming off, it is very satisfying and starts my day on a positive note. It feels so good to be losing weight and feeling comfortable in my clothes again. It is also amazing how many little things one does each day become easier as the weight disappears.
To date I have lost about 12 pounds of the 20 pounds I had allowed myself to gain. I'm thinking by the end of September, I should be where I have been aiming to be for over three years, which will be ten pounds less than I weighed three years ago. It takes a long time to put this extra weight on, and it seems reasonable to take it off slowly as well.
So here's my toast to baggy size 14s - who knows, I may get down to an even lower size. One can only try.