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What have you learned?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Here's a question for everyone.... What have you learned from your previous dieting experiences? I know that yo-yo dieting is bad because each time you diet you lose muscle and fat. That is why exercise is so important. However, there isn't much I can do about the past except learn from it.

I grew up with a Mom who was always watching her weight. So, when ever she dieted so did the rest of the family. At that time dieting meant salads, skim milk and cottage cheese. I was OK with some of the salads (a little plain though). It was certainly not something I ever wanted to do.

In my senior year of high school she turned her dieting attention to me. She told me I was fat and needed to start a diet immediately! The reality is that for my 5 ft 2 body I was not over weight. Yes, at the top of where I should be, but definitely not fat. In fact, what I weighed in high school is my current goal weight and at the top of my healthy BMI range. I wasn't fat, but I definitely felt fat and humiliated too. I did learn portion control from her, but she also taught me to skip meals.

My next experience, was with my boyfriend (he's now my DH) when we were 20 yrs old. He went to the doctor and discovered he had high cholesterol. I bought a Low-cholesterol cookbook and we learned to cook with olive & canola oil instead of butter. We began eating boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of fried chicken. These are the habits that stuck.

I've tried Weight Watchers and lost forty pounds while being hungry the entire time. I learned that eating a diet high in carbohydrates makes me very hungry. I also learned I have will power and determination. I also learned I have PCOS (hereditary condition), this interferes with insulin. It also makes weight loss & maintenance difficult. I have a corn & soy sensitivity too.

A few years later, I read in a magazine about a new diet called, "South Beach". Here for the first time I found a diet that allowed me to eat the food that I wasn't allergic too. I discovered that meat & veggies are my "safe" foods. If I go out to eat, these are the low-fat, healthy foods I look for. The foods that I can eat without getting sick. I learned that if I limit my carbs, and eat protein for breakfast I have more energy during the day.

At age 38 my husband, had a heart attack and they placed a stent in his heart. It was difficult for anyone to believe (even a doctor!) that someone who wasn't very overweight and so young could have a heart attack. From this experience, we learned that we really DID have time to exercise and became the proud owners of a stationary bike. We learned about a low-sodium diet and to read labels. Red meat became a thing of the past. It really changed our priorities very quickly. It became a necessity to put everyone in the family on a Low-fat/ Low-sodium diet.

I am learning to take weight loss at a slower pace and to enjoy the process. I give myself permission to change my mind at any point about what I eat. I do so hate being told (even by myself) what to do. I am doing my planned workouts 30 min, MWF. I would like to increase this to 4-5 days/ week. I enjoy the strength training exercises on SP. They're quick and easy. I am adding more fruit and yogurt to my diet than I have in the past. I've lost 6 pounds so far and haven't felt so hungry that I though I would injure some one. I've also felt in control. Now there's a good feeling.

There are so many amazing and wonderful people on this website. So, many possibilities to explore. Some of you have cool rewards for attaining goals. Love the idea of a mani-pedi as a reward. So many people seem to be running marathons. From my perspective today, I don't know how you get from over weight to running a marathon. But Wow! If you can do it, I think maybe I can too.

So, tell me, what have you learned?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD11419325
    It s really about lifestyle changes than dieting, at least thats the way I prefer to think of it. These are things we learn that we have to do for the rest of our lives.
    I have learned a lot of the same lessons as you over the years. Its been years since I ate red meats. I do not use any oils and pour oil off my salad dressings so I just have the flavored vinegar ( I dont use low calorie dressings because they always increase sodium or use fake sugars)
    I dont use light products or fake sugars at all, I dont believe they are good for you. The keys are love yourself, and anything in moderation.
    Low carb/no carb is the best way for me. With the slow elimination of starch carbs from my diet I have been able to throw away the insulin needle. I eat more fruits than I was ever able to when I was on insulin.
    Insulin is not the answer for everyone that is diabetic. I gained a lot of weight using insulin.
    You are doing a good job in taking control of your life and the lives of your family! Keep it up ! emoticon
    3486 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11476072
    I've learned so much!

    I know, I know, I'm only 24, right? But I got my first stretch marks when I was 14! on my thighs! So, it's been a roller coaster.

    I started out eating really healthy. My mom always made tons of greens for dinner (my sister and I used to fight over who got the last portion of spinach and my brother begged for my mom to make more broccoli!) Her only regret was that the food was so carb heavy because she was trying to feed a family of five on 5K a year. We never drank soda (I still don't!), and candy was a rare treat. I was long and lean (I mean really long and lean: I was 5'3" in 5th grade and 96 pounds! Also very athletic)

    But then we moved. And I got depressed. I had a lot of reasons, but I won't go into that. I tried to kill myself. It was a dark period in my life. I got myself out of it, and turned instead to food. I eat when I'm sad, I eat when I'm happy, I eat when I'm stressed (you know the deal).

    My mom tried to help me when my weight starting getting higher (150 in 7th grade--from 115 in 6th!) I'd also stopped gaining height. She helped teach me which foods I should be eating and bought me nutritional books that showed portion sizes and balance (I have the sizes stick in my head! Meat=deck of cards, pasta= a baseball, etc) She also taught my how working out was important. We did it together.

    Well, the working out stuck. But I didn't realize how addicted to emotional eating I was. Nor did she. I worked out a LOT. I did everything. In college I swam 4 hours a day and walked 4+ miles. And I never went below 182lbs! I'm addicted to starches and pastas. oh, and pork chops. god, how I love pork chops.

    I was all muscle! I could leg press 280lbs! Then, o n the way to an exam I tripped on some stairs and tore a muscle in my calf. fortunately, it wasn't big enough to need surgery, but I wasn't allowed to use it AT ALL for 6 months while it healed. Wheelchair not use it. My muscle deteriorated and I gained another 20lbs (once again, eating not curbed).

    So, I learned that working out isn't enough if you're diet isn't under control. I had all the resources I needed to do it better, but I've battled depression half my life, and until now wasn't owning up to that. Without the will to do what you know is right, you'll get nowhere.

    Now, I'm watching everything that goes into my mouth. Everything. And I'm working out again (after a 5 year hiatus). I want to be fit again! I want to be ABLE to swim for 4 hours a day again. The only way to succeed in this is all or nothing. I'm choosing all.

    Didn't mean to write an essay here, but your story really got me thinking :).

    Good luck on your journey to a better you!


    3486 days ago
  • 7356WILMA
    emoticon Sounds like your getting it!! Way to go!
    3486 days ago
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