No Magic Bullet


Surprise! I don’t live a charmed life, waking up and deciding to eat whatever I want and somehow step on the scale to find that I haven’t gained a pound. Actually, as of today, I am at 130. I WAS at 123. Now, let it be said that 123 was too low, according to my family, who thought I was too skinny. I took that as a compliment at first, but I did notice my face becoming too gaunt.

However, I was happy with 125-126. I am not too far off. My pants are a little more snug, but still fit. Not a big deal, but I don’t want to just keep creeping up.

I know why this has occurred. I’ve been lazy about counting carbs. My rough estimates are a joke. I’ve decided to eat a few Doritos, and I’ve bought into the lie that Dreamfield’s Pasta has ‘protected’ carbs that are not digested. If this were the case, like other non-digestible foods we ingest; sugar alcohols, large amounts of fiber, and cardboard….I’d feel the results of that in my digestive system. Later I’d SEE the results as well, but I don’t wish to be grotesque.

No, turns out I’ve been dipping into the sweet sauce at the Chinese place, eating more than I really need. ( two Atkin’s bars instead of one) and so on. Doing these things over time has yielded results that one could expect.

Another thing that happened is that I have worked out less in the past two weeks. I will blame extra hours at work and taking care of our sick cat, but the bottom line is always the same.

We get out of everything just exactly what we put into it. Yes, sometimes there is grace. You  eat cake on your birthday and don’t gain. Yay! Again, it’s the habits and patterns that change things, not the sporadic splurges every month or couple of months.

I know people who have an internal sense of balance, rarely swaying in weight, and they do eat whatever they want. I know others who eat a lot, all the time, who stay rail thin. Could be  worms, but I am more likely to believe that we ARE all different.

I am tempted to believe that gastric bypass surgery’s success stories can teach all of us who diet a few things.

First of all, you are restricted in the amount of food you can eat- drastically. Next, what you do get to eat is very protein and nutrient-dense.

Meanwhile, your body has no choice but to begin to metabolize your fat to survive. I’ve seen it with my cat. Chubby 23-pound cat goes to skinny 9-pound cat from…wait for it…barely eating.

Those of us in the land of plenty, with our first world problems, don’t need to wonder where our next meal is coming from, except for “Hmmn, seafood at Captain Moby’s tonight or Chicken Parmesan at Antonio’s?”

How silly we must seem to cultures who do not base their lives on the epicurean experience. From either lack, or focus on other aspects of life, obesity is rarely an issue. Imagine struggling to afford regular meals, find the food, hope like hell that it’s safe to eat, and then making sure everyone in the household has their share. Imagine growing your own food, and having to work at farming just to eat. This included animal husbandry and the slaughtering that comes after.

Thinking about that lifestyle, VS ours, is pretty sobering. 

Most of us would die if we had to raise our own food. ( Lee leaves the laptop and grabs an Atkin’s bar to start the day and guzzles French Market coffee while coalescing her thoughts)

I’m not going to lie. I’d probably be pretty damned skinny as I tried, over many months, to study “How to raise and farm livestock” books, and then get up the courage to kill a cow. I’d probably learn that beans and rice were pretty good, too- and that fish was mighty fine.

But, no. That’s not my life, nor the life of most of us who blog here.

As wise people before me have said, ” Any diet will work if you actually stick to it. ” I think you can even have success if you mostly stick to it. ( great point by LCC)

What I don’t believe in is expecting to eat whatever you want, all the time, and expect to lose weight, unless you have a medical condition, or …there really is some magic bullet out there.

Could it be that all we need is to rewire our minds? What if we were programmed through hypnosis to only want nutritious foods 96% of the time, and to only eat when hungry, and to stop when we were full? What if we asked our hypnotist to leave that 4% Crazy Town wild card? That means, 4% of our eating times could be the pizza- and- ice- cream- until we’re- stuffed kind of eating? Would that work? There are many hypnotists our there who will promise you they can program your mind, with your full cooperation, to cause you to behave just like that.

Why? Why can’t we just diet? Because what I keep hearing is that most people have no self-control and very little will power. I hear that a sensible diet and regular exercise is just too hard for most people to pull off. The food calls out, and we are slaves to obey. We want to eat what we want, when we want, most of the time and still lose weight. Well, there are diets, or eating plans, like low-carb, that go a long way toward helping us crave poor food choices less, but it’s no magic bullet. My mind can tell me, “No, forget this, you WILL eat that molten lava sundae three times this week”, and of course, being a complete slave to my desires, I will do that. But, if you combine a little determination with a really good, scientifically based diet, and do get some cardio activity in, if for no other reason than heart and muscle conditioning, you are bound to see results.

The other choices involve having our choices artificially restricted for us. Hypnosis rewires our subconscious minds, and gastric bypass makes it impossible for us to overeat.

I think I prefer making better choices, and then – most of the time , though certainly not always, sticking with them.

All of a successful life involves a whole lot of balancing and juggling.” -Lee M.

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One thought on “No Magic Bullet

  1. PS- Ran my 2 miles and did squats, core work, and arms. Not a lot of reps, just to keep moving after I thought I would die on the treadmill. Yay to those of you who can run 6-10 miles, or more, and do it at 8 mph. That’s not me right now. 🙂

    Cut the carbs back down today, and already back to 128. But 2-5 lbs either way isn’t too significant, I know.

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