For a while now I've been looking around at different "diet" recommendations, both online and offline. One of the main things I've noticed is that they all claim to be the best way to lose weight, they all claim to have a high success rate, and they all have different recommendations for what you should and shouldn't be eating. The only thing they have in common is that they do all agree that you need plenty of fruit and veg (though I did find one that said even that should be limited). Some I've tried, and others I've dismissed as not being worth even considering trying. As I mentioned not long ago on here though - I think a couple of weeks back - diets don't work for me. I'm the kind of person who, if you tell me the paint is wet, I'll touch it to check, and - more imporrtantly for this topic - I'm the kind of person who, if you tell me I shouldn't be eating something, will go out of my way to eat it to spite you. Not because I want to be mean, but because I have a tendancy to be defiant and do what I can to show people that I'm perfectly capable of making my own choices, and if I want to eat something I really like - even if I know it's bad for me - then, damn it, I'm going to eat it! Why? Because I can, and nobody can stop me!
So, here's the thing... However you look at it, I do need to get some weight off. Not because the Gynaecologist wants me to. Not because my Mam wants me to. No... Because I want to. Some people think that isn't the case... In fact, one person actually told me that if I could see then I'd see how "big" I was, and actually want to do something about my weight (which is actually the most hurtful comment I've had directed at me on the subject). It's like people look at a heavier person and make up their minds that they choose to be that weight. But they don't... We don't... I don't! If it was up to me I'd be much lighter than I am! If only people would think before making such hurtful comments...
Anyway, since diets don't work for me, what I'm doing is attempting to figure out what I eat, then fiddling with it to make changes where needed. I did get offered to go and see a dietitian, but I refused. I have two reasons for this. The first is that I saw one a few years back and was told I was eating as I should be, so I know it's the bad habbits I've picked up again - too much chocolate, for example - that are my problem. The other is that a dietitian will start telling me what I should and shouldn't be eating, so I will start rebelling against it, where as if it's my decission then I know I can have the chocolate - or whatever it is I'm wanting - if I want it. The ffunny thing is that knowing I have the option, the chances are that most times I probably wont bother... Purely because I'm free to make my own decission on the matter. It might sound strange to you, but that's how it works with me. Tell me I can't do something, and - if it's something I would normally do - I will still go ahead and do it. But, tell me it's up to me, though I'd be better off not doing it, and the chances are I wont do it. What can I say? I'm an extremely stubbourn cow!
After spending some time evaluating my eating habbits, this is what I've come up with:
Snacks - I eat too many of them, and usually the wrong kinds. I mentioned recently that I would be exchanging them for healthier options and drinks, which I've done - for the most part - but I still have some work to do with this. This past week I've done really well though. I've not snacked all that much (especially not compared to how I normally would) and about 90% of my snacks have been fresh fruit or other healthier snack choices (mainly fresh fruit, but with the dried fruit snacks I brought thrown in from time to time). The key is to keep it around that average. If the other 10% is chocolates, cakes, or whatever, then it's not a huge deal... As long as most of the snacks are healthy snacks (like fruit) and only some are unhealthy snacks (like chocolate).
Meals - My meals were always as and when, with snacks being eaten almost constantly in between. I've seriously cut down the amount of snack times now though, and have rough times for my meals to happen. I don't eat at exact times, but having the rough guidelines will - I think - stop some of the snacking. For example, if I'm feeling a bit hungry and I know dinner is going to be started soon, then I know I'd be better not to snack, but if I don't know when dinner will be started, I'm likely to grab a snack.
Drinks - Grabbing the small cartons, cans and bottles was a great idea to stop the snacking when I'm really thirsty, "just because I can't be bothered to try and pour some drink," thing, but my drink choices aren't always the wisest. Fruit juices and flavoured waters aren't bad ideas, but the stacks of pop (soda) aren't really the best things to be drinking when trying to eat and drink healthier. Not to mention the fact I have this really nasty habbit of adding sugar to all my fruity teas and herbal teas (even when they don't need it). So the plan with this one is more juices and waters, less pop. Plus, I've been working on the sugar in the tea thing... I've actually been working on it for a few months, and have gotten it down to no sugars at all in the fruity teas, and only 1 level teaspoon (or a very small amount of honey) in the herbal ones (the more bitter ones - like pure nettle - that really do need something to sweeten them).
I think cutting out many of my snack times, replacing most of my snacks with healthier options, and removing the sugars from those teas that don't need them is at least a step in the right direction. So, now we can move on to my other issue... Exercise!
Walking - A couple of years ago, before I lost my sight completely, and before we moved here, we lived by a nice park which was - and still is - right near a river, and right near a nice riverside walk. Every day I would do that walk. If it was wet the dogs and I (since for part of the time we lived there we had more than one dog) would get dressed up in our rain gear, trudge across the muddy field, and walk along the riverside walk until we reached the bridge. Then we would turn around and head home. If it was dry then we would cross that bridge, walk along the pass on the other side of the river, walk through the park (following the park's path around so that it looped back to where we started) cross the bridge at that end of the riverside walk, and walk back to where it was easy to cross the field (there was a path that had been created by so many other people taking the same route... It got really muddy when it was wet, but it was pretty easy to use even then). If we had someone with us then we would usually go the road way (wich only added maybe about 2 minutes on to the walk, but which I avoided when I could so as to keep the dogs away from the road). Anyway, then we moved here and things changed. For one thing, I spent a lot of time not walking much around the time of my operations, for another thing, the walk we have by the river here is only as long as the part of the walk we used to do when it was really wet before. On top of that, I used to do the walk at least twice a day, but I got in the habbit of only doing this much shorter walk once a day, and often making excuses not to do it at all... "It's too wet," "it's too cold," "I'm too tired,"... You get the idea! I mentioned recently that I know I need to stop this, and I've been trying to do so. Most days I've been taking Kero out twice a day - despite needing to get Kelly to take me to the gate because of the scaffolding. Kelly does come on some of the walks, but I can't persuade him to join us for more than one a day. I also accepted my Mam's offer of picking Kero and myself up and taking us to do the riverside walk by the park we used to live by, since she lives within walking distance of it. We're hoping to make that a weekly thing, but we'll see how that goes, since my Mam has a lot going on at the moment, so can't guarantee much free time.
Other exercise - I tried the gym... It didn't work for me, because of a combination of the machines not being accessable (touch screen controls are all well and good... If you can see) and the fact I refuse to pay to be made to feel I'm performing for the others in the gym. I tried borrowing some of Mam's gym equipment, but the novalty wore off quickly, because I found it boring from the start, and when you aren't interested in doing something, you're not going to stick with it. I had fun playing some of the games on the Wii with my Mam, but the Wii isn't accessable to me on my own because of reading the menus. However, one of the things I was enjoying from the Wii were the yoga exercises. The idea of a more relaxed approach to exercising, with none of that jumping about like an idiot to do jumping jacks, etc, appealed to me. Do you remember me mentioning the course I was doing called "Yoga Explained"? Well, this is why I have been doing that course. I've also got another one I've started recieving called "Yoga: An Introduction", which takes you to the next stage, teaching you bits and pieces from the different types of yoga. I don't like the idea of going to a proper class full of people to do it, so I figure these courses are the next best thing... Basic yoga lessons, with tips for how I can practice in the privacy of my own home. And, it's something I liked when I tried it when Mam was helping me play on the Wii, so being enthusiastic about doing it makes me more likely to stick with it.
My hope is that these small-ish changes will give big results. We shall soon see! The point is though... It's not a diet, and I'm doing it my way, not everyone else's!
If, say in a month's time, I find these changes are making no difference to my weight, then I'll evaluate things again and see what else might need tweaking. For now, this is what I'm trying, and we'll see how it goes. I mean, though I want to lose the weight, I don't want to be stopping myself from eating and drinking the things I enjoy or anything, and I don't want to be doing exercises I'm not enjoying if I can help it either. After all - as I've already mentioned - if I'm not enjoying it, I'm not going to stick with it.
One other thing I meant to mention is portion sizes. Somehow - probably around the time I started eating so many snacks - I got off track with portion sizes. I had them down nicely, but then I started eating more... Partly for comfort, partly out of boredom, and partly because I wasn't listening to my body when it told me it had actually had enough food so ended up thinking I needed more than I actually do need. Now I need to teach myself again to listen to my body and what it really needs, and how the huge portion sizes served up for people these days are actually much larger than people need to be eating.