Monday, October 31, 2011

Same old story, but with a sweet(less) twist

Okay, I'm not fishing for compliments. I think I look fine (not fine as in "Oh, Mickey, you're so fine" but fine). I've looked better. I've looked worse. I'm not anywhere near crisis mode about my personal appearance. That being said, I like to be able to button my jeans and pants and still feel like I can breathe. If possible, I like to put some jeans on and not have excessive spillage of the muffin top variety.
If you find that a good three-fourths of the pants in your closet are feeling too snug for comfort, one solution is to purchase some new bottoms. And, yes, I did that.
But I was also considering another common solution to the breath-constricting-pants problem: lose a few pounds.
In an ideal world, I would combine good (or even just reasonable) food choices and some exercise and kiss those pounds goodbye. But whenever I think of weight loss, my mind does not head straight to "balance and moderation." I think: I need some rules. I need a program. I need a plan.
I have a legal document box full of diet books that could attest to how well this train of thinking has panned out for me. And yet.
And yet, a few weeks ago, I found myself reading this book.
Not too bad as diet books go. Indeed, the author's suggestion for transitioning back to normal-non-diet eating after weight loss made a lot of sense to me. I had the feeling that if I could stick with the program, I could lose five or ten pounds and maybe keep it off.
But here's the thing, even if I possibly could stick with the program, I don't freaking want to. I got about three-fourths of the way through the book, flipped through the recipes and menu suggestions in the back and thought, "MEP, who are you kidding, you are not going to make yourself a fancy French pancake out of egg whites, yogurt, and oat bran every day." No, just no. NO.
I don't want to make that galette every day. I don't want to give up my obvious carby friends or slowly introduce vegetables and fruits back into my life after a period of eating lean, almost-pure proteins. I really enjoy the varieties of Greek yogurt with fruit on the bottom, but I am unwilling to buy into a lifestyle that considers such yogurts to be treats. I'm not saying this diet couldn't work or that it's bad or crazy (I've definitely read and tried worse). I'm just saying, I'm not interested. And yet.
And yet I do need some rules. I do do best with a little structure. So I came up with one rule that I thought I could follow and that might make a difference.
Stop eating candy.
Yes, I'm thirty-six years old, and I am on a no-candy diet.
No reaching into the hiding spot thirty times a day for some peanut butter M&M's. No buying Reese's Pieces at the checkout at CVS or Jewel or Walgreens or Home Depot. No eating a miniature Snickers for dessert ... after breakfast. No eating whatever other candy crosses my path--even if it's just a dum dum here or a Skittle stuck in a car seat there--just because it's there. Not no candy forever because I really love candy. Just no candy for now.
And, guess what, three weeks now with no candy and I think it's helping. Our scale needs a new battery so I can't get that kind of progress check, but my pants are a bit looser, despite having had access to two birthday cakes and a container of extra homemade buttercream frosting. As it happens, when you make one good choice, you are kind of motivated to make others. Sure, I ate some cake and frosting, but it could have been worse.
I had plenty of opportunity to make poor choices or start a bender while passing out Halloween candy, but I didn't and it wasn't even that hard. So now I feel kind of strong and proud of myself, NTB.
So, there you have it, thirty-six years old and on a no-candy diet. For now.
Before you know it, I will even be exercising twenty minutes a day.
Baby steps, you know, steps the size of peanut butter M&Ms.

Any M&M-sized or King-Sized Reese's steps you're taking to achieve or maintain a healthy weight? Please share in the comments.

Notice the badge in my sidebar? I'm going to make my annual attempt to participate in NaBloPoMo, the nationwide movement of bloggers who pledge to post every day in November. Please check back and comment if you have the time. I'd love the encouragement, especially as I've had difficulty making time for blogging this Fall. Thanks!


Heather said...

I almost choked on my coffee when I saw you had posted today. And yes, it's been that long. I miss you!

Diets suck. As soon as I think about getting started on one, I'm hungrier than ever. Moderation and exercise is definitely the key, but this time of year finds me very unmotivated on both of those fronts. It's too chilly to exercise outside, and pumpkin crisp calls my name, along with all the other goodies I love to bake in the fall.

Best of luck on your no-candy way of eating (I refuse to say diet). Hope those pants fit even better a week from now! And I may just give this NaBloPoMo thing a try...

LAP said...

My friend just menitoned this weekend that she missed your blogs, so I will have to alert her that you are back! I'm proud of your candy restraint. I have witnessed your success with rules-based programs (sugarbusters comes to mind).

Funny that you mention the peanut butter M&M's...that's what I munched on while passing out candy.

I recently reintroduced exercise into my life after about a 6 year absence. I decided to run a mile a day and not guilt myself into trying to build up to a higher number. In reality, I run a mile a day about 3 days a week. Not all that impressive, but it is better than the nothing I was doing before.

Steph said...

MEP, you are such a great writer! And good job on your plan and actions to it!

CaraBee said...

Well, you know that my big diet plan is Weight Watchers. Turns out I need more than a little structure, I need a full on program. But I need a program that allows for some variety. I need to be able to cheat a little. Staying away from the halloween candy has been hard but I've had a few nibbles and it's kept me from binging.

Honestly, the thing that scares me is what to do when I finally reach my weight loss goal. Which hopefully will be soon! How do I live HEALTHFULLY after? How do I not gain the weight back. Anyways, I'm getting ahead of things, have to lose those last few pounds first.

I'm so so glad you're doing NaBloPoMo! I've missed you. I'm really looking forward to a whole month of MEP. And hoping it leads to more! :)

E... said...

Yay! NaBlogPoMo! I thought of it, but an ill-timed virus has gotten me behind already, so you know that's just the excuse I need not to do it...
I admire you on this sugar-less plan. Candy is not so much a weak spot for me, so I think I need to come up with some other rule for myself. I keep trying the "no eating after 8PM" one, but ultimately fail. Not buying potato chips would probably be a good start for me.

Stacia said...

Oh, MEP, no candy?? You have my whole-hearted admiration, for you know my weakness is M&Ms. For dessert. After breakfast. And lunch and dinner, too. However, if your pants start to fit rather quickly, I may have to reconsider ...

Spilled Milkshake said...

I don't know if I could do it. You are far stronger than me. I do agree that baby steps are the way to go. Every time I try a diet plan, I last about 3 weeks. But, small changes I can do.

I am currently kicking the Frosty habit. I love a good Frosty, but my medication and my inactivity combined with a daily Frosty are not doing anything for my weight. It's been 2 weeks...

Tricia said...

Yes, LAP informed me you were back, but I haven't had a minute to catch up yet. Hilarious that I waited until now. Because I just walked in the break room this morning and finally said NO to the Halloween candy people keep bringing in. I said, NO MORE CANDY. And then sat back down at my desk and read this! Timely. I try not to keep any in the house, or I will eat it. I have found that my love for chocolate is way too great. However, dark chocolate is more in moderation. So I've trained myself to only have 2 dark chocolate kisses for dessert. Because I just can't seem to break the habit of dessert. Too much of a sweet tooth. GOOD LUCK!

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