nodiets

I find weight loss as a topic to be incredibly boring. Food, now that’s fun.

But at the start of the year, when I suddenly jumped up ten pounds, and rather quickly, I said to myself that this year I was going to get rid of the weight. All of it.

I generally eat pretty well, and usually have very little luck with diets (I cheat, and also my body is slow to respond to minor changes). Diet or no diet, I’ve been 156lbs most of my life. Until I hit 168. Whoopsies.

I decided to try to make it fun, and I ordered the South Beach Diet meal deliveries. Remember that?

I still have ten salmon/dill dinners in my freezer because it was worse than cat food and I couldn’t choke it down. Maybe if there’s an apocalypse…I don’t know why I’m saving them.

Not only was the food disgusting, I also didn’t lose any weight.

It had me eating packages of fake food multiple times a day and it was gross and my weight didn’t budge. Total fail.

I gave up, but I didn’t give up on my promise to myself.

I had said to myself that I was going to work on it all year, and by 2020, wherever I ended up, there I’d be. By 2020 I wanted to feel some sense of mastery over my physical form.

I tried as much as possible to eat salads and some protein. Maybe a little fruit. And slowly, very slowly, the weight I’d gained started to come off.

I started lifting weights and taking longer and harder hikes.

I was already a natural intermittent faster, but I took on a few longer fasts and here’s what I found. When my weight won’t budge, a thirty-six hour water fast seems to jump start the weight loss. So every time I plateau from my usual very slow 1-2 pound a month weight loss, I fast.

Weight training is fun because you actually get to focus on gaining muscle. At this point in my life, the goal is bigger arms and legs, smaller belly.

It’s hilarious to see how quickly women of a certain age will lift up their shirts to compare bellies. We’re all in shock, frankly. What happened? We seem to be squishy in ways we never thought possible. And where’d our butt go?

The only way to combat this is to build more muscle. Otherwise losing weight is just a fast train to skinny fat.

I started to feel pretty proud of my biceps and thigh rope. Self-love and body positivity is the only way.

Then a month or so ago I managed to discover a secret for anyone who’s metabolism has ground down to a screeching halt. I now skip dinner.

It takes a little training, and for goodness sake if you get too hungry eat a bite or two, but basically, for me anyway, skipping dinner has been the easiest way to get rid of the weight.

I redicovered, for good, that the only way to be slim is to listen to your body. If you aren’t hungry, don’t eat. If you are starting to feel a little full, then stop eating. And take a break from food sometimes. We weren’t designed to be constantly eating.

Fat is there for us to use in case of famine. So if you have too much fat, you gotta do a little famine. It shouldn’t be a big deal, and no one should ever be ashamed of having fat on their bodies. Fat can be life-saving!

But if it isn’t working for you, and for me it wasn’t working (older knees and joints don’t appreciate beautiful curves and Rubenesque thickness), then the only secret is to use the fat for energy. It’s time!

Learning to be a little hungry is something everyone who has extra fat on their body can try and do. It’s respectful to say to your body – hey thanks for storing this fat for me, now it’s time to use up a bit of it.

And that’s why every diet on the planet needs to be tossed in the garbage.

Becoming more lean is a mindset and a process. You simply have to internalize the idea that you want more muscle and less fat on your body. Build muscle and let your body use the fat. Lift heavy things, move and let yourself be hungry sometimes.

I eat between 11-4. Usually. I eat mostly plants, some chicken or fish, maybe an egg. Occasional piece of cheese, some nuts and a little chocolate or candied ginger. I eat whatever I want when I go out but not very much of it or I get uncomfortably full, which I hate. I’ll cheat anytime if something looks delicious. But I don’t cheat with crap. Only the best samosa for me!

I don’t drink most days but I still drink sometimes.

And I know that I will never go on another diet, ever.

Diets make you eat things and ways that aren’t right for you, personally.

Instead, make a change that you know works for you, and stick with it.

I honestly think that if most of us chubs just quit the night-time heavy eating, that’s all it might take. I know it’s worked wonders for me.

So, that’s my boring diet post. I’m down sixteen pounds from January 1st and I’ve also put on some muscle…so it’s a big change. Skipping dinner, I don’t really have to think much. My body is just very slowly snapping back and getting strong.

Yesterday, someone brought a dozen donuts in for us as a gift. I cut little pieces off three of them and went for it! One was crack, but the other two didn’t appeal to me. I know myself so after a few bites I made sure that my staff hid/got rid of the rest. Donuts just don’t make any sense to me anymore. But I also know my compulsive sugar-seeking self and in a moment of stress, I’d definitely power a donut or three – so no, get them out of here.

That’s the most diety thing I’ll do, and it’s that I keep all foods that are inexplicably impossible to control out of my orbit. If you come bearing M and M’s or caramel popcorn or butter brickle ice cream I’m not opening the door. I’m too old for that bullshit.

But other than that, I’m just eating, or not eating, moving as much as I can and engaging in hobbies that keep me busy. I no longer allow myself to eat at night as a stress or boredom reliever.

Every diet I ever tried or heard of can take a hike and eff off. I’m going to eat whatever good, nourishing food I feel like eating, but I’m just going to do it in a way that honors my body and that makes sense. And because my body was designed to fast from time to time, I’m doing that. Hunger is now a daily thing for me, because it’s normal. (Cue the diets that say “make sure you don’t get hungry” and I’ll say – If you don’t let yourself get hungry, then how do you know when you’re full?)

2020, I’m ready for you!