Tuesday, 5 October 2010

To diet or not to diet?

For almost as long as I can remember I have been on some sort of diet. After my first child was born I found I needed to lose weight which was hardly surprising considering my daily afternoon visit to the cake shop whilst I was pregnant. I worked hard on a diet I found in a magazine and lost the weight I needed to and more - magic! I now had absolute power! Until the next pregnancy and then I was back to square one but I lost it again.......and again, after the third baby was born.

From then on my size varied between size 10 and size 14 but it was always a struggle to maintain a sensible weight...and it still is. And then, of course, there is the wardrobe full of three different sizes.

I have never succumbed to particular types of diets eg Cambridge, Atkins, food combining etc., just concentrated on low fat and low calorie and, of course, the dreaded exercise. There have been periods when I have been to the gym five times a week or swam a mile a day at the local pool, been running, walking, cycling...all of these things work well if you can keep them up. And that's really the crux of the matter. It's easier when one has a goal to focus on, a certain date to lose the weight by or a holiday to look good on but when it's a weight maintenance goal...not good as this is for ever and nothing at the end of it to look forward to.

Anyway, these last couple of years I have accepted that I am unlikely to ever be a size 10 again, I could be a size 12 if I tried really hard but I can't muster up the enthusiasm or put myself through that torture any more. Not eating enough food to maintain my weight makes me grumpy and bad tempered so why should I make myself (and my family) suffer needlessly. I still don't eat everything I would like to, so I suppose I am still "on a diet" albeit a weight gain minimising diet. I do eat healthily - lots of salads, vegetables, fruit, no crisps, no cakes, no chocolate (rarely) but I do have a tendency to eat too many sweets (I've always had a very sweet tooth) and that is my downfall.

So what if I do have a spare tyre (not just in the car) and my chin is starting to sag (hereditary?) - that's life, and my age. I just wish I could bring myself to get rid of all the clothes that will never fit me again....perhaps I'll keep some of them....just in case. :-)


Vivianne said...

I've accepted the getting rid of clothes bit - but can't work out how: eBay seems too much hassle :-)

Lori Green said...

Hi, I have sold a few things (only worn once) on eBay but it's not really worth it money-wise. How about charity shops, clothes banks? The trouble with me is that every now and then I delve into my wardrobe and find something I haven't worn for years and start wearing it again.

Inner Whispers said...

It's been scientifically shown that every time you diet, it becomes harder to lose weight the next time because your body defends its resources. Also, that your body's equilibrium point weight goes up as you get older.

It sounds like you already eat pretty healthily. What stands out for me is what you say about goal-setting. I wonder, could you set yourself a non-weight goal that might motivate you? For example, do some kind of sporting/charity event that you'd need to train regularly for, or join some club/forum where you share exercise achievements. If the achievements aren't weight oriented, you don't need to stress about just maintaining, but you still get to see progress. Just a thought...

Lori Green said...

Hi Chloe,
You are SO right about it getting harder to lose weight each time. I forgot to mention in the blogpost that I haven't actually weighed myself for years now - I decided the scales were running my life so I gave them up. I did start an exercise programme a couple of years ago - I went swimming 5 days a week - made no difference. I started walking regularly and I got a painful cyst in my knee joint. Having said that I have done a lot of walking these past couple of weeks delivering leaflets so I might think about doing more of that.
I understand what you're saying about training for something or joining with others but I find it difficult to get motivated for that - I'd rather do my own thing. Thanks for your thoughts, it's been interesting reading.

Barbara Moore said...

As someone who has had weight issues all her life, I relate very well to this.

What seems to be the biggest problem is lack of exercise...or time to exercise. When it is a natural part of life, it seems so easy! When I lived in Italy for 5 weeks, I ate like a queen and sometimes had gelato twice a day. But I walked everywhere! I came home weighing less than when I left.

And finding a livable weight is so important. In my house right now we are all on Weight Watchers, a program that works well for us all, even with our varied lifestyles and tastes. I know I won't get to a very thin "goal" weight. But I know what is manageable, pretty healthy and not too bad visually.

And you are all right about having a target or goal to shoot for. I've a few right now, so it helps with the motivation.