A while ago I posted about the latest fad diet, The Alternate Day Diet, and I got lighthearted responses from most of you, but I thought I'd speak to this issue again today because a few comments/questions came up about my weight-loss mindset.
Plus the author of the diet/book, James Johnson, MD, emailed me.
Dr. Johnson offered to send me the book so that I could become better acquainted with the science behind the diet.
(Translated: "Lady, you don't know what you're talking about. Try reading the book before yapping your yammer.")
And I don't blame him for challenging me; after all, I did imply in that post that Dr. Johnson might have the metabolism of a mouse.
(Note to self: Stop being idiot on blog.)
But now, let's get back to talking about my weight.
First of all, I do not have an eating disorder, if you're talking about not eating much or binging and purging. The only disorder I might have falls under the realm of no discipline. (As I type this, I'm eating raspberry sherbet out of the carton.)
However, that was not always the case. I have to be careful with food, because just as with most issues in my life, I tend to go from one extreme to the other.
That is why, for instance, it was good for me to have a TV network-enforced season break from LOST. Otherwise, I would still be sitting on the sofa right now in front of the TV, eating Cajun-flavored trail mix and laughing at "that Sawyer."
When I exercise, I tend to go overboard as well. I've been jogging/walking for only a few weeks, and I have already pushed myself too far too fast. And by fast, I mean as in schedule, not as in literal speed.
In fact, I go so slowly that I think passersby wonder what I'm doing because it's the slowest jog in the world. I imagine the old man in the Cadillac cruising by me saying to his wife, "Martha, does Lipitor cause you to see people move in extreme slow motion?" or "Martha, is there a strobe light on?" or "Martha, I'm gonna enter the Senior Olympics. I think I can take the competition. They're gettin' slower every year."
I decided a better word for what I do is "slogging," and then I read Diane's post about "wogging" and almost wigged out over our "wogging" and "slogging." We're like Ying and Yang of woggers and sloggers.
But I increased my distance too quickly because as I said, I over-do things. And now I'm paying a small price. That's one example of my drivenness.
Several years ago, I lost about 30 lbs on Weight Watchers. However, at one point, my weight dropped too low--so low that they told me to leave that instant and go eat something.
I remember the number on the scale was 113. I was unhealthy, but I promise you, everywhere I went, I garnered boatloads of positive attention for being "skinny." On a daily basis, sometimes several times a day, complete strangers would stop me and ask me what I did to be so thin. They heaped compliment upon compliment. I'm telling you, it was bizarre. Of course, that attention reinforced my compulsiveness.
I spent hours in the gym and running and being disciplined about food. I even drank my coffee black. Now that's SERIOUS! That was not a healthy time.
It is at this point in the post that I was going to upload a pic of me in 1997 when I was very thin, but then I realized, thankfully, that the pic would be accessible for time and all eternity on the World Wide Internet Computer Web, so I thought better. If you'd like to see it, though, I'll email it to you if you promise to delete it and not laugh at the tan line. OK, you can smirk at the tan line, but then you must delete.
I can guarantee you that some people who would've seen it here would say, "What's the big deal? It's not like you were skeletal." But it was not healthy or good. I had pointy shoulders. I'm 5'8-ish", and I'm guessing about 118 lbs in the pic.
My husband is a great encourager. He "scolds" me when I compare myself to women half my age. He tells me how unfair that is, and I love him for that. I know that he loves me, period.
So, when I talk about losing weight, I'm not trying to look like my 30 year-old self, which was actually smaller than I was in my 20s. I just want to be my personal best, which is about 10-15 lbs lighter than I am right now. It's a lot easier to get control of 10-15 than 35, and that is always in the back of my mind.
And to be honest, I still believe WW is the best thing going out there. When I see Marie Osmond's and Valerie Bertinelli's commercials, I think, "So ... you're going to eat that special food for the rest of your life? Forever? Because if you go back to your old food and habits, you're going to look the way you did before." I just don't think pre-packaged food is a long-term answer. WW does provide a way that is long-term do-able. And what you get in attending their meetings doesn't come in a box, for sure.
Weight management is not the most important thing in my life, but I think about it every day, at least once, probably more than that. And I talk to God about it, because I pretty much talk to him about everything all day long. It's a topic I'll always be interested in because I love nutrition and fitness and weight loss. I loved encouraging others in the classroom when I was a WW Leader.
So that's why I'm always talking diets. It's interesting; it's relevant; it's historical for me, and it's a challenge. Keeps me on my toes. Keeps me slogging!