Friday, April 1, 2011

HUGE aha!

Something deep within me clicked this week, and for the first time in my life, I know I am going to reach my goal weight. I've said this before, but when I did, I felt like a fraud.

Not today.

And the reason is simple, actually something I began to think about when I started this blog. The name -- Diet? Not Again! -- says it all. I had decided then that I really did not want to diet. Since then, the list of diets I have tried numbers seven. I told you I felt like a fraud.

So why -- and how -- now? It started a week ago Wednesday, when my Weight Watchers' leader, Annmarie, suggested I eat a piece of my daughter's birthday cake, but to put a PointsPlus value to that piece of strawberry shortcake. I had never before ever put a PP value on anything that is loaded with sugar. When I told her I had no idea what the value would be, she suggested I go online and do some research to find out. Long story short: I gave it a value of 15 -- half the amount of PointsPus I am allowed in a day. But I also have an extra 49 PointsPlus a week -- so I started counting. And guess what: I didn't even use all my 49 PointsPlus.

In the past, if I had eaten the piece of cake, it would have set me up for a night of eating. To me, my diet would be blown, so why not eat everything in sight? I would tell myself it would be just for a night, but that night would have stretched to another day, and perhaps the next week.

It wasn't until I weighed in Wednesday at Weight Watchers that reality smacked me in the face: I lost 3.4 pounds. In the back of my mind, I thought I had been "bad" last week, because I ate that cake. It was what consumed my thoughts all last week. Once I found out I lost weight, I checked my food diary for the week, and discovered that I had eaten within my PointsPlus every day, even the cake day when I used my extra PP. Somehow I had blocked out the great choices I made, instead choosing to focus on the one piece of cake. That's really sad.

Weight Watchers has evolved over the years. The empahsis now is on portion control, healthy eating and exercise. The fact that it is not a diet but a way of eating is stressed each week. In the past, I have internally laughed at the concept, calling it a diet by another name. Today, I embrace it. The reason is simple:
* I can't get away from food.
* I love food.
* I love to cook.
* I love to eat.

And here is the key:
No matter the week, there is always some event I will have that could stop a diet plan dead. But there is nothing that can ever stop me from making healthy food choices.

If I am somewhere and there really is nothing to eat except fried chicken and ambrosia salad, I will eat lightly, but more importantly, affix a numerical PointsPlus value to the food. Thin people all over the world make choices daily.

Plus, by not affixing a PP value to some foods, I was not holding myself accountable for eating the food. Instead, I was giving myself license to keep eating. I was running away from facing a big problem in my life; running away from problems never solves anything.

I know I am on the right track, and that I will stop yo-yo dieting forever.

And no, this is not an April Fool's joke. I have never EVER been more serious and determined.

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