Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A rambling, disjointed, but hopeful message

This article mentions a book I might add to my Christmas list, although I might be better off borrowing it from the library. [I moved many volumes yesterday to make room for a flat-screen television in our floor-to-ceiling book shelves, all the while thinking, 'now just why did I buy this book, and when will I ever need it again?']

The book is called Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, and is based on Dr. Brian Wansink's research on the "psychology of overindulgence." He's put into a book what we professional dieters have read in bits and pieces all our lives. You can read some of the suggestions in the article; I know you've heard them before.

I'm certainly guilty of mindless eating now and again, especially when peanuts are involved. One way mindless eating is accomplished is when we eat from the original, full-sized package, which is why many eDiets meals and snacks specify '8 dry-roasted peanuts' or '16 whole almonds.' It's also why I've started buying large boxes of small bags of peanuts from Sam's Club. I keep the box in the freezer, which is in our unattached garage. Lots of time to think about whether I really need peanuts getting from here to there.

And sometimes I do.

So it looks like the pep squad is, ahem, shaping up. Knowing I'm not alone in my current state of mind and body is helpful. There's strength in numbers. The more of us there are, watching our individual numbers get smaller, the more successful we'll be. One of these days we'll all be writing maintenance blogs, just like Jonathan. Yes! We will!

I started reading weight-loss blogs before I started the Shrinking Knitter. One I found particularly appealing, initially, was called The Bloggest Loser. It turned out to be an example of what I didn't want my blog to be. After only a very few weeks, the posts were filled with excuses and rationalizations, no one was losing weight and eventually they all stopped competing. Or at least I assume they did; the last message is from July, 2006.

I went to my AA meeting at the prison last night, and one of the other volunteers looked at me and declared I could 'stop losing weight now.' I thanked her, but thought to myself that her statement really wasn't all that helpful. She was being kind – this woman would never say an unkind thing to anyone – but she's also never had a weight problem and doesn't know that when you still have more than a few pounds to lose, the suggestion to 'stop now' is the last thing you need to hear.

So to all you cheerleaders out there, here's my message du jour: We know what works. We've come this far and, while the road looks steeper than it has up to now, we can and will make it to the end.

In this case, the end is really the beginning.


PastaQueen said...

That was a good article. It's funny how much of dieting has absolutely nothing to do with what you're eating. I think that's why people who say "Just eat less and move more" sound so naive to me. That general statement ignores all the tricks you have to learn so you know *how* to do that.

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog (and I'm another who came to your site via our beloved CAP) has certainly helped firm up my resolution to get out there and walk for 30 minutes a day. Now I just need to keep at it until the rest of me is firmed up.

Dieting is a tricky business. Eating right and exercising is not the problem in my life. I self-medicate with food and those who are not overweight say they understand, but they don't really. Then, there is the crowd who knows exactly what I mean, but they hem and haw and then cry into their bag of chips. Fortunately, I've found some positive walkers at work and they are helping me with the "getting out there."

Thanks for your site -- it's hard, and I know it. But we're all working to get through it.

Andrea K said...

I've gotten the "you can stop now" comments, too, even though I still have a lot more weight to lose. In my opinion, we are beginning to not look like the fat person the other person is used to, and we all know the fear of change. We're given the suggestion to stop before we change our identity from "fat person" to "thin/average person."