Welcome to "Same Old Sh*t" Saturday, where I'm not only too lazy to write a new blog post, but also too much of a slacker to even go cut-and-paste something from my archive. Luckily, I've got pals who are a little more industrious than myself, so I call on them to share their own favorite older posts. This week, I shook down Foodie McBody from FoodFoodBodyBody and made her provide one of her own personal favorites. Now I can get back out there and do my holiday shoplifting. Now where's my list...
least once a week I go someplace where I run into someone I haven’t
seen in a few months or more. Since Before. And very often they will
say, “HOW did you do this?!?” It’s hard to sum it up in a few words,
because it truly is a long story, but I think my “elevator pitch” (code
for how to pitch a book, or business proposal to an agent or funder in
the time it takes to ride an elevator) would be “By being mindful, and
I know, it’s very Buddhist, right? But truly I think this is what has
made All the Difference this time. I started attending a meditation
class very soon after my pre-diabetes diagnosis. And the idea of being
mindful- of paying attention – made a huge impact on my whole weight
loss journey. I decided to really pay attention to everything – to what
I truly wanted to eat, and if eating was what I wanted at all, and how
much to eat, and everything. It has been absolutely invaluable.
I loved that this week, in my WW mentoring session, the leader spoke a
LOT about “being mindful.” I don’t know if he’s a Buddhist or not, but
he did bring it up about 20 times during the meeting, and people were
nodding and really getting it. I loved that.
Another big concept in Buddhism is that of Suffering. I know that I
have suffered mightily because of my weight and food issues, throughout
my life. I suffered when I felt I was depriving myself of food I wanted,
but I also suffered when I ate things for the Wrong Reasons (ie for
comfort or distraction). I suffered from guilt and remorse, shame and
self hatred. There was a LOT of suffering going on.
It’s been shocking for me to notice that this New Way has involved
very little suffering, and I know that if I feel like I am suffering,
it’s going to come back and bite me BIG time. So it’s important for me
to never, ever sigh dramatically and say, “I guess I should eat THIS
(salad?) instead of THAT.”
Because if I feel deprived in ANY WAY, shape
or form, I’m going to overeat. Every single time. I have to find
something that makes me HAPPY and satisfied, as well as being a good
choice. Salad is a good example. Sometimes I really crave and love and
feel like eating salad. But often, if it’s a cold day or whatever, I
want HOT FOOD. Before, it would be a choice between two kinds of
suffering: I’d have a cold salad and feel all deprived, OR I’d have .. I
dunno, a huge plate of lasagne or fried chicken and THEN I’d suffer
because I’d feel overstuffed, guilty and remorseful. And fat.
So the key is to really be MINDFUL and say, OK, I don’t want salad.
(“Then don’t eat salad!”) I want hot food. OK, what kind of hot food
will satisfy and yet not make me feel remorseful? Often it is SOUP. I
have come to looooooooove soup very much. Because there are so many
delicious kinds of soup and EVEN soup that is a bit rich (some cream in
it, or meat) a cup of soup can go a very long way. There is a wonderful French food takeout place
near my work that has two kinds of amazing soup every day. Usually that
will be all I want for lunch, and it probably has WAY fewer calories
than a salad with blue cheese, nuts, dressing, avocadoes etc etc.
I have had to build up my repertoire of foods that I both love and
feel good about eating. This has taken some time and practice but now I
feel like I have wonderful choices.
I still always have half-and-half in my coffee, because I have tried
many alternatives (black coffee, skim milk in coffee, nonfat half and
half) and they ALL make me suffer. I want my half-and-half. But I have
made other changes that allow that to be okay. (more exercise, soup for
So that’s my short answer for How I Did It (and how I intend to keep Doing It): Be mindful and don’t suffer.
Over and out.