Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Brass Tacks of It

So my new attitude of toughness seems to be working.  I lost two pounds last week, and I've been pretty consistent with the daily exercise and smart food choices.  I am expecting another loss this Thursday.  It's hard to get excited though, since I've taken these first steps so many times before.  But, I can't dwell on the past; it's only today that matters, right?   If I truly want to change my body and my life, I can't get hung up on my failures and ... hang ups!   Keep it simple:  develop a plan, and stay focused on it.   Laying out some kind of tangible parameters or schedule has always been good for me.  I like structure, since without it I tend to lose orbit and just float off in all sorts of directions.  Also, if the guidelines aren't too "restrictive" and just seem like common sense living, I probably won't pout and rebel too much.

Here's what I've learned after years of dieting and learning about weight and nutrition:  I do best with several small meals spaced throughout the day, with the majority of calories coming early on.  Very low carb diets
 don't work well for me, as they make me feel queasy, headachey, and weak.  I seem to need a decent amount of  "good fats" too, like those from nuts, olive oil, and avocados, and even butter on occasion is okay.  The answer, therefore, is to avoid simple carbs like white flour, sugar, and starchy veggies, while allowing a modicum of whole grains and all the fruits/vegetables I want.   One plan I tried and had some success with said to have four meals per day, not sooner than 2-1/2 hours apart, and each meal should have at least some lean protein in it.  I found it helpful to think about only eating "meals."  That prevented me from the mindless grazing that can be so insidious to weight loss efforts.   If I have to have a meal, I know I'll wait until I'm actually hungry, too.  When I do eat, the meal should be about the size of my fist.  Using smaller plates helps with portion control.   Drinking water throughout the day is crucial, which fortunately I already do.   So ... no snacking, avoid "white foods," always have lean protein, lots of water, and watch portions.  Oh yeah - and time to knock off the daily glass of wine.  (Dang.)  Maybe once a week, or every other week, I can have a day where I don't have to adhere quite so faithfully to all of those guidelines.  I used to do that when I was on Weight Watchers, and it worked.  I can't/won't be a monk, afterall.

If I can just do those things and manage to exercise for 30 minutes, five days per week, I can become fit and healthy.  Sounds simple enough, don't you think?  That's what I need to do, consistently.  So there it is. 


Corwin8or said...

The problem with brass tacks is they tend to get stuck in the wall, and you need hard flat fingernails to pry them out again. I prefer push pins. I'll tell you something about push pins, though. If you try to hammer them into the wall, the little plastic heads shatter. Think about it.

Stephanie Frieze said...

I hate push pins! Tacks and a table knife, please. We have denomonational differences on this point (ha, ha) in our house.

You are right, Irene, in everything you say here. Don't give up the daily glass of wine. It is actually good for you, especially if it is red with a little square of dark chocolate to go with. Consider it medicine.

Irene said...

That's true, Stephanie. It is very good medicine. The trick is to be sure to stop at one! lol And Corwin - I am thoughtfully mulling over your thoughts about tacks vs. pushpins. Maybe I'll get some wine .....