For about a year now I have boasted to myself that I am happy with how I look, and content to be functional at any weight. And it’s worked. I am. But, there also has to be a way to lose weight without hating yourself, without playing the game.
So, I am attempting to uncover it.
I don’t want to poison my heart by reading books about weight loss that start with the premise that your current lifestyle is disgusting, needs to be purified, or that you need to purge all of your current happiness to create the pristine, perfect, thin version of you.
The one book series that qualifies, I read many years ago. They were recommended by a nutritionist whose name I forget, but whose unashamed love of Kellogg’s Pop-tarts was unforgettably comforting. It was written by a woman who was tired of female dieters destroying their metabolisms to get ahead. She also wrote a book on how mothers’ relationships with food influence their daughters. And then, a follow up book about how women store fat and lose weight differently after pregnancy. Here are their little pictures, so feel free to read them on your own, but just know they are the influence behind my current pursuit: The One Little Thing Un-diet.
So, here’s my idea. We all hear about crazy things that people do to radically change their lifestyle and become super-fit. But, I’m not interested in radically changing anything. But, I have gained maybe 10 pounds (just guessing, because I haven’t weighed myself in months) since starting the adoption journey. So, I am going to try to play a little game of Kerplunk and pull the right stick to make the marbles fall.
Maybe I’ll fail miserably, but I have nothing to lose, as my plan in the meantime is to continue doing nothing in pursuit of losing weight in a way that I wouldn’t worry about my daughters doing some day.
Here’s how it works. First things first: the second I decided to do the idea, I started. I didn’t wait until Monday, because if it was something I would have to work myself up to, I would not still be pursuing it on Tuesday. I pick One Little Thing that I think has been making me gain weight. I am a scientist. I was trained that you need to only change one variable at a time and see what works. What if I cut out all dessert only to find out that I could have kept my unadulterated, good metabolism going by only cutting out dessert twice a week or moving my dessert to before dinner? Completely purging “bad” habits from an eating lifestyle is irrational, and punitive to me.
I am going to change that One Little Thing, and only that One Little Thing, until I don’t feel like I struggle with it anymore. I will keep doing only that One Little Thing differently until I stop losing weight/fitting into my clothes better, or whatever benchmark you use. I will not be using a scale. Well, maybe once a month on the Wii. Nope, maybe not even there. I think I am going to mess with the whole system and just go with how my jeans fit right out of the dryer (right now: snug). Yeah, that’s better. No scales. I want to see if I am faithful to this system, if it might work.
So, here’s my first Little Thing. I am cutting out all beverages but water, calorie-free tea, and black coffee. No Crystal Light, no diet Coke. No milk in the coffee. The goal is to cut off the “flavored beverages make everything taste better” effect. That means no milk with my cookies. I do think milk is a really nutritious food, but I am trying to kill the little fizzy release of feel good chemicals that happen when I eat a bite of cake and drink half my glass of milk. I am only going to eat milk in my cereal with a spoon. I am not adding it to my coffee because coffee becomes my vehicle to down three gulps of French Vanilla goodness in between bites of my buttered bagel. I am not having watered-down, freezing cold apple juice with my macaroni and cheese (don’t you judge me), because it balances the cheesy goodness so very well. I really, really love the way flavored drinks pair with food. So, let’s take a break from that. Maybe forever. I don’t know.
And when I feel so sad about this One Little Thing (which I have been doing since Sunday afternoon with Andy), I will console myself like I always do when the food release I had longed for wasn’t there. I will eat a buttered bagel with a glass of water. I will eat three cookies with a cup of black (or, as I call it, blech) coffee. I will do whatever I want while I mourn this loss, because I don’t have to stress about the other things. Just this One Little Thing.
Last night, I only ate one of my insanely delicious Pampered Chef Avocado Lime Fish taco. Ten minutes later I was almost uncomfortably full. With a Dr. Pepper in hand, I would have eaten three of them. So, there it is.
I have to just try one little thing, because what if this One Little Thing is the ONLY thing holding me back from being the size I want to be?
Don’t be fooled, One Little Thing doesn’t make it painless. I just makes it manageable, focused pain. It alters one variable to see if that’s the culprit. I think it makes sense. I don’t think shakes and 1,200 calories a day do.
And in case you’re wondering, here are my next little steps:
1) Cut out beverages with calories.
2) Move 90 minutes more every week, at least 30 minutes at a time. (Yes, exercise.)
3) Stop eating after dinner.
4) Only eat one dessert food a day (hehe, suck it all you haters–I eat dessert like 3 times a day now! I told you I had a great metabolism considering how much I eat!)
5) I can’t decide yet, there’s so much stuff I eat that people whould gasp at, I just can’t even think of what to do next!)
What I won’t be doing:
1) Removing food groups from my diet, cutting out fat or carbs
2) Calorie Restriction of any kind
3) Powders, shakes, meal replacers, pills
I’ll probably come up with more, but that will do for now. I also have to say that I really don’t expect any adulation for these barely-noticeable changes. Nor do I expect extreme, impressive results. I am not even doing this to be healthier. I think my body is pretty good at filtering out the garbage I generally put in it. I just want to fit into a slightly smaller size of double-digit pants. I want to establish the “rules” that work for my body without speculating on the the rules that work for yours.
And for today, and if it works, then for forever, I am doing that One Little Thing at a time.