I don’t like diets. I don’t do well with diets. “Being on a diet” implies deprivation of some sort, and I don’t do well with deprivation, either.
When we moved here six years ago, I was overweight and I figured I’d always be overweight. I had even stopped getting on a scale because there was no point. I knew I was overweight and I wasn’t motivated to do anything about it. But then I met my new neighbors who were “walkers.” I started walking with them every morning (4 miles…in one hour)…and losing weight! I didn’t even realize I was losing weight until they pointed it out. And even then, I didn’t believe them. I thought they were just being nice. But then Shari told me in no uncertain terms, “Your clothes are hanging on you. You NEED new clothes!” (I honestly hadn’t noticed…I’m one of those strange women who doesn’t enjoy clothing shopping much more than I enjoy “being on a diet.”) What a shock to discover I was down FOUR pants sizes from where I was the last time I’d bought clothes (which, I have to admit, made the shopping a little more fun than usual)! During the first year we lived here, I managed to get my weight down where it belonged…JUST BY WALKING! No dieting.
But somehow, over this past year, I managed to gain ten pounds back. I think I know how it happened…I started eating more last summer when my husband and I were biking so much. And I never cut back after the weather turned cold and we stopped biking for the season.
I really wanted to take those ten pounds off, but I didn’t want to “diet.” So I’m not officially ON a diet. I’m just…being aware of what I’m eating and how many calories I’m burning…and making better choices. Really, losing weight is just simple math — you need to burn more calories than you take in. For every extra 3500 calories you use, you lose one pound (or for every extra 3500 calories you consume, you GAIN a pound). Simply being aware of the math has made a huge difference for me.
I’m not depriving myself of anything…two weeks ago, I decided I wanted a huge chicken burrito with everything on it from Panchero AND the chips and queso. (You don’t want to know how many calories all that is.) But I planned for it by making healthier food choices that week and getting some extra exercise (I still lost 3 1/2 pounds that week). Just like I also chose to do away with our 450-calorie Sunday night chocolate, caramel, M & M and ice cream desserts (much to my boys’ dismay) until I’m back down where I want to be. My boys are laughing at me (when they’re not grumbling about the lack of dessert around here) because I refuse to admit I’m on a diet (the minute I say “I’m on a diet” I’ll quit in defeat), but I don’t care. Now that I’ve lost six of the ten pounds (more than halfway there), I think I can safely say this is working.