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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Willpower (and the lack thereof)

I hate dieting. Not that I'm exactly "on a diet" so much as trying to make some permanent lifestyle changes to lose weight and to get healthier. And I hate it. Hate it. I'm trying to cut out excess sugar and junk food carbs, and it's harder than I thought. I smelled cookies baking in our caf√© at work yesterday and could have wept. Today an author who did a book signing with us on Saturday brought in a dozen doughnuts as a thank you gift and I wanted one so bad. There were chocolate doughnuts with creamy chocolate icing, and caramel iced doughnuts with tiny sugar heart-shaped sprinkles on top, and custard filled doughnuts....I didn't eat one, but instead of feeling proud of myself for abstaining, I just felt....resentful. Because for all the sacrifices I've made over the last couple of weeks, no sweets or soda or buttery croissants, drinking loads of water, and eating salads and baked sweet potatoes and lean protein, I haven't lost any weight yet. None. Nada.  And then I came home from work today and wanted nothing more after a hard day than to have a glass (or three) of wine, but that's off limits, too. I did finally decide to treat myself to a single beer, and I'm drinking it as I type this, and it's so delicious. I know I'll want a second one, but I need to stick to the one. But a tiny part of me keeps thinking "what's the point?" because I lose weight sooooo slowly and gain it so easily unless I police every bite that goes in my mouth. It's just not fair!

Somebody call the waaaambulance! Jennifer's feeling sorry for herself today!

But in all seriousness....how do you keep your willpower strong in the face of mediocre results and lots of temptations?

In a desperate effort to motivate myself to keep on going, I bought a giant pack of multi-colored star stickers yesterday for adding to my wall calendar each day to track my accomplishments. On a day when I eat healthy, wholesome foods all day I get a gold star. When I drink enough water, a blue star. When I surpass my 10,000 step per day target, a red one. Etc. etc. I thought adding all those stars for this week would make me feel good, but honestly, I just feel kind of silly. What normal adult uses star stickers for a reward? A caramel iced doughnut with heart sprinkles might make me happier. At least for a few minutes, before the guilt sets in. Sigh.

Image may contain: food
With all that being said, this lunch WAS actually yummy as well as healthy!

26 comments:

  1. Classic sensible eating mistake, totally depriving yourself of anything pleasurable to eat or drink. At least allow yourself to be sociable and have one doughnut and do have the occasional treat, and do have one or two nights where you have wine. Life is not meant to made miserable by totally abstaining.

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    1. I hate to waste a treat on cheap doughnuts and stuff like that. I did have a beer tonight, and I had two drinks over the weekend at a friend's house. So I'm having a treat every now and then, but trying really hard to control how often and the quality of the treat. :)

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  2. It's hard to break entrenched habits. You have to believe 100% in your goal and if that belief is strong and unwavering you will find a way to continue. How about buying an exercise bike and clocking up the miles as you listen to music? (sorry - perhaps you already have one - I don't know).

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Stamina-Airgometer-Upright-Exercise-Bike/17463912

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    1. I don't have room in my house for an exercise bike, but I've considered buying the real thing once I have several hundred dollars to spare for a good one.

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  3. Your lunch does look extremely delicious, I like the look of that sweet potato. I hope that's butter on it! But I would be hankering for a nice piece of steak to go with that salad. Believe me, I empathise. I seem to have spent most of my adult life on a diet. It never gets any easier!

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    1. That's funny that you should mention steak...I had that same meal with a NY strip the night before! This was just my lunch the next day!

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  4. Usually weight falls off very quickly when you START a diet, it's after the first few weeks that it becomes more difficult. Maybe your body it telling you that it feels just fine as it is!

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    1. Thank you Cro, but I can assure you that I do, indeed, need to lose weight. However, I forgot to mention that I was taking antibiotics for a week after oral surgery and I also had to eat some stuff during that week that wasn't very diet friendly (due to the stitches in my mouth). I think both those things have slowed down my initial progress.

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  5. I love the star stickers idea! I used to make a weight-chart (used to because now I should go on fattening diet!) with days of the month on the top and kilograms on the left side of the chart - weigh myself every day then dot it on the chart and join the dots. The first months the line zig-sagged, then it slowly went down.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. I will post a photo of my star studded calendar for you, Maria! :) Thank you!

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  6. I am with Cro. may be you are wonderful and beautiful as you are Jennifer, and your body knows it.

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    1. You are so sweet, Yael. Thank you for the kind words!

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  7. Star stickers are brilliant! So is cycling. I have never been able to lose weight by healthy eating alone but as soon as I get out and about on my bike the pounds fall off. It is the only exercise I can do that doesn't hurt my hips, less weight is good for the joints. And it's fun!

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    1. I really want to start cycling, but a decent bike will be quite expensive, and I don't have the extra cash for it right now. Maybe for my birthday in March, though!

      Once the weather warms back up, I'd also like to take advantage of my friend's pool and do some swimming.

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  8. We have tried to lose weight by giving up bread and potatoes for a year on doctors instructions for P. P lost 3 lbs in the year and I have not noticed any difference in my own weight. We have given it up and gone back to bread and potatoes, in moderation. And I agree with what Andrew and Yael said.

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    1. Thanks, Rachel. I think there are a few reasons why I haven't lost any weight yet. Antibiotics last week....my fingers got so swollen with excess fluid I couldn't wear my wedding ring for a few days. And then this week, it's time for my period to start. I'm hoping once that's over with I'll see some results on the scale! :)

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  9. Winter always seems to me to be the wrong time of the year to start a diet, and try to keep to it. This is the time of year when our bodies crave comfort food and we should eat what we enjoy in moderation. I'd wait until Spring and warmer days, if I were you !

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    1. I agree that winter is a time for comfort food! The problem is, we've hardly had a winter here. With the exception of a handful of nights, it's been like perpetual spring with abnormally high temperatures.

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  10. Those star stickers are a great idea. It's frustrating. Some healthy meals are unbelievably delicious. And I feel so much better when I eat healthy. But, oh, cookies!!!

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    1. Yes! The chocolate chip cookies baking made my mouth water. I wanted to go grab one while it was still warm and wash it down with a cold glass of milk. Resisting was hard!

      But you're right...I feel so much better when I eat right.

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  11. Have you tried the fitness site My Fitness Pal? I know it may seem like a lot of "work" but I think you can tailor it/use it anyway you want. I used it religiously in the beginning just to see where I was falling short (I'm vegetarian and have a thyroid disorder). In that sense, it really helped me; now that I have an idea of what I'm eating (which honestly doesn't change that much), I really use it to just track my weight but at least I know, for example, that I was actually eating way, way more carbohydrates than I ever thought...

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    1. That's a great idea! Thank you! I shall check on that today.

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  12. I have also had good luck with the My Fitness Pal site. It kind of makes a game out of it. Don't give in to that "What's the point" voice inside your head. The point is that you want to feel good about yourself, to feel like you can reach a goal you have set. After a couple of weeks you won't crave sugar anymore. Good luck!

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    1. My star stickers are my method of countering that old "what's the point?" voice in my head....even if I mess up, I can look back at all the days I did well and remember that I'm seeking progress, not perfection!

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  13. I so feel your pain. That salad looks good and it also looks healthy but oh ...... the temptations out there. Good luck. I do hope you succeed in your endeavour to become more healthy.

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  14. Well, when asked for advice, I always warn friends about making too radical a change in their diets, as they usually do not manage to stick to it very long. It seems to work much better if they make smaller, sustainable adjustments, not cutting out something completely (except for maybe alcohol, which has in itself no fat at all but has enormous "fattening" power once it is in your body).
    Instead of one doughnut, cut one in half and leave the other half on the plate for someone else who would like a treat but feels one is too much.
    Instead of sugary drinks, use the diet variety most soft drinks come in. Instead of two slices of bread, have one. At the same time, eat as much salad and fruit and vegetables as you like - as long as they are fresh and not drenched in butter (vegetables) or sweet or oily dressings (fruit and aslads). From the looks of your lunch, you are on the right path there :-)

    And I absolutely agree with some of what the others here have said, you are such a beautiful woman, a few extra pounds do not make you less attractive. But of course it is also true that it is all about how you feel about yourself, and how healthy you are.

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