Thursday, January 14, 2010

Doing Without

It’s difficult, cutting things you really like out of your diet.

Difficult, not impossible.

Be it sweets, salty snacks or sodas, sometimes it’s just better to go without than work it in, especially early on in your weight-loss journey.

“But I can’t do without!” I hear you wailing in a high falsetto voice. “I don’t want to feel deprived.”

I would say that you’re depriving yourself of the healthy future you deserve, but you don’t want to hear about that. You just want to tell me that it’s too, too hard. Poor, pitiful you.

I’m here to tell you that you’d be surprised at what you can do without temporarily. In order to illustrate my point (and at least attempt to make this post halfway interesting), I’m going to go for the rest of this entry without using the letter “e”.

A small amount of difficulty, indubitably, but nothing you can’t triumph with if you work at it and plan accordingly. Without a doubt, it’s an additional amount of work and you’d opt to carry on using it if you could (or having your fav food if you could).

You’ll find that planning is crucial in living without things you actually long for, things your brain is unmistakably craving. Find nourishing fill-ins and push that mad craving out of your mind. It’ll worry you for a bit at first, but soon your brain will start joining in on your mission.

It’s not all-important for you to go all of your days saying “No” to things you want, but it’s not until you turn old and gray, is it? I’m talking about a piddling span, just months possibly. Until you grasp that you can do without if that’s what this campaign insists from you.

And now and again, if you find that you can do without, you catch on that doing without isn’t such a big difficulty at all, you know?

Possibly you truly can’t do it. I don’t know you or just how much you think you want this. But I’m on this blog to say that it can occur if you’ll only try, if you’ll only stay striving to do an additional amount of work. It just might shock you what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it.

Is it hard? I don’t doubt that you’ll find a lot of tough, uphill motoring as you go, such as scouring a dictionary for fitting words in a post that you try to support a point using a ridiculous illustration.

But it is within your grasp. And it is worth it.

And if I can do this (and trust that it’s not as plain and straightforward as it looks), you can do that.


  1. Jack, very cool. And, by the way, I couldn't agree more. Its important to realize that you are not depriving yourself forever. You can have chinese if you want, just not for every meal. Everything in moderation is a true statement.

  2. Great post! In the early days of my own weight loss, I used a one-word mantra when I felt the deprivation-thinking moving in: "Later." I'm not sure why I, an otherwise intelligent person, didn't really get the concept of "later" before the age of 49, but there you have it. Thinking or whispering this one little word to myself when faced with too many splurge urges reminded me that I could indulge *a little* when I was bit farther down the path.

  3. Clever and true. And boy does the truth hurt.

  4. Well done!!!

    6 months until "later"..and who knows, maybe once "later" becomes "now" i won't feel like its soooo that important to have a bunch of bbq chips (baked or not, do i really need chips??) No. I don't.

    Thanks for the reminder!


  5. So excellent. I think you must have been directing this post to me, who just yesterday had a bit of a rant about deprivation and wishing I could have my cake and eat it too. (Don't worry, I'm not so egocentric to think it's really directed at me!)

    To show how muts I can be, I combed your email from the No E point just to make sure you didn't sneak one in under the radar. You didn't, so today I'm not going to sneak in a piece of cheese under it either.

  6. Thanks for this! This is definitely something I have trouble with.

  7. Bravo Jack! You wnt th xtra mil with this post. I can skip the lttr ' ' too!

    I don't vn miss it anymor!

  8. Ditto, ditto, ditto
    You said it all...
    I gave up things when I started to lose the weight...I knew it was not going to be out of my life forever, but then when I saw the bad it did I didnt want it back in my life in the end.

  9. Brilliant. I *love* that you illustrated your point by omitting one of the most frequently-used letters in the English language. And that's no small feat.

  10. Vry cool, Jack. Good illustration.

  11. Great post and very true. I totally agree that in the beginning we do need to sometimes stay away from certain things. I don't think I could live without my e's though lol.

  12. Wow! I'm impressed! I have to wonder how long it took you to write this but I think you've got the "knack" so I expect not long at all.
    You've hit the nail on the head. For me, it's definitely the breads and sugary things as I've said before. Do I miss them yet? No...not even a twinge of craving so long as I'm eating well. I will avoid them at all costs because I have to. Time will tell whether or not I add them back into my eating plan, but if I don't miss them is there any need to?

    Thanks for the morning boost!


  13. Genious... once again!

    I NEVER thought I could give up diet soda, but I did! And now that I will "allow" myself to have some if I want it, I find that I don't even want it anymore. I'm over it!

  14. I lost a *little* respect at "fav" ;-) But pretty impressive....

    Seriously though. This might be one of my favorite posts yet. You're awesome!

  15. Love the post. It's honest. It makes me think of a post that I think Fat Daddy wrote a while back, about the people who say not to use the word 'diet' because (very loose paraphrasing here) it implies deprivation.

    But isn't that what it is? And why is it such a bad thing, depriving yourself of something small instead of something huge - like a healthy future.

    Something like that.

    Anyway. Another great post.

  16. I find too that I did without for a while and after a while, I didn't really want/need the stuff anymore. The stuff is not on my mind all the time anymore.

  17. Okay, no e's? Seriously..that was amazing.

    And it's also a very good point. When I started losing weight in April I decided that I wouldn't drink soda for a while. And it drove me crazy a little at first, but a couple of months later I didn't want it anymore.

    I haven't had a soda since March of last year, and I don't feel like I'm missing anything. Water became my refreshing friend when I decided that feeling good, looking good and being healthy were better options that Dr. Pepper.

    Maybe someday I'll drink one again? But the thought of that syrup filled, carbonated crap just makes me want to gag we'll see...

    The benefits of making behavioral changes have certainly tasted sweeter than any Dr. P ever could.

  18. Sometimes the things you give up that you really thought you could never do without (in my case, potatoes) you don't miss that much after all...

    We are all FAR too self-indulgant! ;o)

  19. I am quite impressed. Thanks for another great post and insight. So many of your entries are making to my refrigerator door, right at eye level.

  20. Impressive.

    It is a whole lot easier to do with out when you view it as a life and death situation....says the diabetic

  21. This is amazing!
    Think of all the new connections you made in your brain!
    Think of all the new people you inspired!
    Think of all the old people you inspire!
    Like me!
    Thanks for that!

  22. I think to succeed you need to make changes and get rid of the BAD stuff in our lives. I'm sure you didn't lose 92 pounds from eating Big Macs am I right? lol I broke off my relationship with a lot of foods that were loves of my life- sad how in love we once were- but man do I feel better! :) Good post Jack!

  23. You're right. I'm going to do without octopus. I'm totally giving it up. I won't give in to any cravings.

  24. Passing up the donut box in the Break Room makes me feel powerful. I used to think, "If they're there, I gotta eat one." It all goes back to my core-diet-this-is-what-it's-all-about: You can't change the environment. You can just change your reaction to it.

  25. but how am I supposed to spell my own name without the letter "E"?
    Clever Jack, had to read it twice, one to figure out if you slipped up the second to actually absorb the content! LOL
    And yep, amazing what you can train your brain and body to do, this weightloss thing is often as much mind as it is body!

  26. Wow! The things you come up with to prove a point to us is great. You are always on top of it!! *Something for u on my blog*

  27. Hey, you totally cheated with "fav!" Ha ha. Cool, though.

  28. You know, this time around I don't focus on what I am giving up but rather I focus on what I am gaining.

    For me, it's not a tragedy to skip by McDonald's. And I LURV McDonald's. But, I see it as an adventure of sorts. It gives me a chance to get my body hooked on stuff that will LURV me back.

    Excellent post!


  29. You are an absolute genius!

  30. First time on your blog. Great!

    I've been using the 90-10 rule. 90% of the time I try to do the best I can and make the best food choices. But in those 10% moments, where I just need a small bowl of chips with dip, or if I'm going to a BD party and have a piece of cake, I'm not going to freak out over it. It's about enjoying life!

  31. I think it is possible to give up on all the foods you crave. I know that the anti-jared has done it. And for some people, it may be necessary to lose weight. But in my personal experience, completely giving up on certain foods,just causes the cravings to become stronger. It is possible to lose weight and still eat what you want as long as you implement some form of moderation.

    good post.

  32. Sweet Tea has not passed these lips since Day 1! And I dont miss it! Dove Chocolate on the other

  33. Sweet post! I no longer buy tortilla chips to munch and so those baby carrots are able to find their way onto my plate a little easier.

  34. I'm impressed with the post, but I'm just as impressed with the deletion of the letter "e" in the post. You brainiac, you.

  35. *giggles* And I looked through the entire post for a slip of the "e". Nope. You're good! :) Point well given. When I run out of soda at home, I CAN go without until I go to the store. The problem is to tell myself I don't need it. I'll work on it though!

  36. mind boggling blogging as usual!

    (i can do it too!)

  37. In all seriousness, this is a GREAT point. Cutting out foods permanently may not be sustainable. But CHOOSING (and it is a CHOICE we all have for ourselves) to avoid something for a period of time, until you realize your life won't end without it, is entirely doable and, for many, beneficial.

    Thanks for the reminder, and for the clever way of making your point!

  38. Once again, you blow me away :)

  39. Very true. It's not about doing without the stuff you REALLY care about, it's about doing without all the crap you shove in your cake-hole that doesn't really matter. I started by focusing on the food I really liked that happened to be healthy, eating that more often, and eliminating the junk food that I wasn't so attached to. After a while, you have a few vices you can enjoy in moderation, and mostly healthy stuff. Or at least in theory, right? :)

  40. Haha! NICE. I couldn't have written a post like this. I'm too lazy...

  41. Love it! That must have been a LOT of work!

  42. Impressive! It's true, if you can do that, then people can go without eating a box of Oreos.

  43. Great post! This is the thought that works for me - if I think I can't live without something, imagine having that and nothing else for breakfast lunch and dinner and see how quickly I don't want it anymore.

  44. Thanks for the inspiration...and slight kick in the butt. I haven't given anything up so far and I'm fearing that (my weakness) artificial sweeteners won't and CAN't stand in the place of sugar forever.

  45. Great post as always Jack, I love your straight talking!

  46. That's fricken amazing! And you're so right... ice cream has always been in my life and still is because I feel like I'll be deprived if it's not! But if you can do this, I'm gonna try and cut it out. Thanks!

  47. GREAT VISUAL!!!! And yes, you can do it if you really want it that bad, if your health means that much to you!

    In the beginning, I stayed away from anything "treat like". It took me a few years to get the hang of being able to eat a treat or two & realize it will not deter me & I can just get back to it & not be tempted to eat more. Some can do this early on, some it takes time. BUT, you can do without the crap & excess eating if you really put your mind & soul to it!

  48. You are hillarious! I think there are so many choices we have to make....but they are choices and all possible! Christina aka

  49. Excuse me, sir? I think you dropped these. . . .


  50. If I had written this post,
    someone would have called it "NOISE!"
    (No E's)

  51. okay...someone above me is very funny...
    so, I used to drink a pot of coffee a day.
    Noone would see me without a cup of coffee either in my hand or in the picture.
    If you look closely at my fattiest fat pic of me in build a will find me clutching a coffee.
    I am down to two cups a day.
    Today I made the decision to do without the sugar in my coffee.
    I have been doing coffee iwth sugar since I was 12 years old.
    I have to do this, or I won't be able to scale back on the calories to reach my fatmaggedon goal.
    It's only for six months.
    Then I came over here and read your post
    And since I am not a wordsmith.
    wll said Jack sh*t.

  52. Ahh, that was fantastic, sir!
    And what you said in the first bit - made a lot of sense to me and has been only put into practice with me for the past two days!

    Like I know I could have a few things in my house and still be in my calorie range, blah blah blah and there is a lot of talk in my head about - I should have it so I dont crave it, feel restricted, blah blah - but then part of me says - resist for just one more day - so maybe, just maybe, I won't be hanging each day on the side of the cliff by my fingernails desperately wanting to dive into a bed of sugar.
    And dare I say... I think it's working... so I think you're right - in the beginning, temporarily letting go of some things is for the best. I will keep it in mind!
    Tomorrow Im meeting my bff of many years and she wants "eat naughty" for "just one night" because "We deserve it" - and to be honest, I want nothing like. Sure, I want delish food, but I'm scared of the way it will spike not only my desires, but also my body and behavior!

    I will keep your clever words in mind - especially tomorrow night!

  53. I had this mindset when I denied myself my mind's sugar cravings for 3 months. I felt so liberated and happy. I eventually ate sweets again but not as crazy as before. I can do without them and I know well to remember that.

  54. Thanks I needed this!! I'm having a hard time right now with chocolate and sweets!! I think I do need to give them up for awhile b/c whenever I do eat them I go crazy!!



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