January 2, 2012

What matters most

No one likes a new beginning as much as those of us with a ‘dieter’s mentality.’ And here we are at the grand slam of new beginnings – the first week of a new year. If misery loves company, we can take heart in the fact that almost everyone is getting on the scale right now, vowing to take off at least a couple pounds (“Welcome to our world, suckers!”).

But in actuality, none of us has to be miserable about it at all.

So often we think of dieting and losing weight as a punishment of sorts. When,really, it’s a choice. A choice that offers freedom, better health, more happiness and looking damned fine in our skinniest jeans. It’s all about changing that mental channel from ‘deprivation’ to ‘elation.’

Yeah, that’s right – elation.

In other words, I challenge you to be happy about your choice to take off a few (or a hundred +) pounds this year. Do it with pep. With zest. And with the knowledge that it’s really not about deprivation at all.

When it comes down to it, you can eat anything you’d like while working to take off excess weight. The key, of course, is portion control. And I know that can be a tough thing to wrestle with after allowing one’s self to drink a whole vat of eggnog during the previous week since we knew we’d be starting (or re-starting) diets after the first of the year. But that was then. This is now.

As for your favorite foods, you might know that you can’t eat a single cup of ice cream right now because you’d be too tempted to make it 8 or more cups. Same could be true for French Fries, potato chips or whatever your “trigger foods” might be. So in that case, you might choose to forego these foods for a little while. But this isn’t deprivation either. Again, this is choice.

I urge you to abandon the concept of “I can never have ice cream (or whatever) again.” That’s just simply not true. You can have your favorite foods at anytime. But you can also not have them for a while, in an effort to encourage a little self-control. Once again, with feeling: This isn’t punishment. This is choice.

And perhaps when you’re down a few pounds, breathing easier, sleeping better and putting on your pants without having to offer up several prayers to get the waist fastened, you can then choose to have some ice cream – in a supermodel portion size (because that’s what you are… A supermodel). After all, even those skinny folks choose to have ice cream (or whatever) from time to time, rather than every day – and in a reasonable portion size that couldn’t feed a small nation.

Remember, you’re what matters. Your health. Your looks (no false vanity here, kids). Your happiness. And the key to all this isn’t going to be found in angst, in guilt or in the concept of being punished. Last year was then. Those eating habits were then. The vats of eggnog were then. This is now. This moment. And this is what matters most.

Not totally convinced? Then take a look at the belt I used to wear (shown below)… A belt made for a 60-inch waist…. A belt that I was wearing out at the last buckle hole… A belt that I haven’t had the need for in over a decade – other than as a reminder of what I’ve accomplished. If I can do it, you can do it. No, wait… We can do it!

So take a deep breath and commit to the choice of being your true, amazing, fabulous self this New Year. The choice can happen right now, in this very moment. Let’s make this choice together – at the same time – and move forward with vitality, vivaciousness and an attitude that lets the world (and ourselves) know that this time we mean business!

Happy New Year – and an even happier new you!

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5 Responses to “What matters most”

  1. Sharon says:

    HI !!!!!!!!!!!!! Well here I am again! Hey at least I came back!! I was a good girl for some of my meals, and then other days…yeah..not so much!! I , for myself, know that I need to have the friendships with people going through the same struggles as me, to get my life style changed. My eating habits are just ridiculous!! They have definitely gotten better, and I feel so good eating the foods that I can actually pronounce!! See….”chicken…tomatoes….oranges…apples…” TA DAAA!!! I really crave these foods after I have been on your eating plan for at least a week. I look forward to eating more chicken. I have a love affair with balsamic vinegar!!

    As far as being around friends that dont want to lose weight, it is a struggle. I work in a bakery, for those of you that don’t know, and we are all overweight. We have an open trough(sp?) policy. So, it is a struggle to be at work when they (who are bigger than me), are eating. They tell me that I don’t need to lose weight, when I know damn good and well that I do. I want to run a marathon someday. I am shooting for Spring 2013!! Heck..maybe Fall 2012!! RICKEM RACKEM RACKEM ROO!!!…GOOOO SHARON!!!!…oops sorry. Hey every little bit helps….lol. Anyhoo, I think my “bigger” friends seem to try to sabatoge my getting on the right path to eating healthy and making this lifestyle change.

    I will be opening my own bakery in a few years, and maybe I can create new recipes to be a little healthier, …. it’s possible :o)

    Have a great new year everyone, and remember we only get one life…and the clock is ticking. I know for myself, I want to be able to do and wear anything that I want to….for myself.

    I really shouldn’t have waited for the new year to restart my diet..cuz I think thats kinda cliche, so I am not treating this like a new years resolution, but just the first day towards a much needed change for my health.

  2. Gregg says:

    Sharon, your posts, reflections and insights always make me smile. If not bust out laughing (“Open trough policy,” indeed! LOL!) Life is a journey, right? And there are going to be meals, days or weeks (months?) that we don’t hit our mark quite like we’d intended. But to live in the past is pointless. Today is the day. And I’m with you – no resolutions necessary. Just a commitment, some new ideas, some comradery and a sense of humor. You have all of those things (and then some), my dear. And you also have ME and the Just Stop! Blog community. We are behind you. And I promise – we’re not snickering. We’re applauding! As stated in my latest blog post, we’re all in this together. and together, WE CAN DO IT! <3

  3. Michelle says:

    Kudos, Sharon!! One thing I learned when I began my journey was not to call myself “good” or “bad” when I made not so great decisions. I did own the fact that I made “good” choices or not so great ones on any given day. Believe me I do realize, it’s a day to day, hour to hour conscious decision about what I ingest. Keeping a food journal REALLY helped me; I know it’s daunting at first because we are so busy–who has time for that, right? But I managed a very small one that I kept handy no matter where I was and as most things, had to get used to the habit of doing it. Gregg is absolutely on the money about his ice cream illustration. I gave up some of my favorite pitfall type foods for about a year until I hit very close to my goal, then I indulged in only a taste or two and SAVORED every small bite. But what I quickly realized then was that I was in control and that I didn’t “need” those foods, they were simply there for my occasional enjoyment!! I applaud your resolve to begin to make great decisions for yourself…but remember you are “good” no matter!!! And you are worth it!!!

  4. Sharon says:

    Gregg and Michelle~ Thank you soooo much for your support!!! I wish we could all just meet someday!! I am really struggling lately…I don’t know why. I started this diet in October or November…cant remember exactly. AND I did great on it!! I fell hard around Christmas time!! I used to hiss at people at work when they would offer me food…and they would laugh…Yes…hiss like a kitteh…lol. But now, I have been taking it. I need to start getting serious with this again. My daughter has Juvenile Rhuematory Arthritis, and I have Rhuematory Arthritis and Lupus. So needless to say, we need to stay active. I was athletic in school, as is my daughter. I really need to have exercise be my new vice. Not the wrong foods. So with that, I need to check in here, post my smart ass comments, read everyone elses. Everything helps. I look at myself in the mirror and do not like my body. I am embarrassed. I am embarrassed that I am trying to show my daughter different things in basketball, and we are out in our driveway, and I am actually probably embarrassing her, cuz my arms keep flapping in the wind…long after I have stopped moving them. LOL….ok, not really, but they are pretty bad. UGH. Obviously, I am having a boo hoo kind of day, but I need to get off my butt and do something about it. It’s like waiting around to win the lottery without buying a ticket.
    Thank you guys for responding to my comments~~ I really need that. :o)

  5. Gregg says:

    It’s great that you realize that you’re not alone in your struggles, Sharon. I know that Michelle has struggled with her weight from time to time — and the same is true for me (and surely anyone reading these words). But this is good news: We’re all in this together. And TOGETHER we can succeed. Try your best to stay focused on WHY you want to drop those excess pounds as opposed to what you have to ‘give up’ in order to succeed. Remember that the old saying is really true: Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels. So try not to think of it as depriving yourself and get back to HISSING like a kitten when people offer you anything that’s not on your plan. I love your sense of humor. It inspires me. Keep at it. And keep us posted. And keep remembering: WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE! 😀

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