My Mother who originally started emailing her food diary, along with my friend and I, 7 months ago has finally gotten on board for real this time and has seen a 3 pound loss this past week because of it! Heretofore she had been intermittently sending out her food diaries and had lost a few pounds and then regained them over the last couple of months but she wasn't really committed she was just going through the motions. She didn't really change how she ate or what she ate, just how much (some of the time), and she didn't change her activity level. Now finding herself back where she started and facing a big trip to Japan in a few weeks she wanted to get back on board and lose 10 lbs. So this time I asked her if she would just do what I told her to do and try it for a month. She agreed. We've gone through this more than once so I was SHOCKED when she actually followed through.. okay she didn't the first week but she did the second week and lost three pounds.
My mom is a classic emotional eater.. uses food to self medicate really... and she is a binge eater so some of the things that I do we had to cut out of her plan in order to keep her from sabotaging. Typically I'm a big believer in treats, but my mom can't have a box of chocolates or a freezer full of cookie dough and have just one. I am fortunate that this isn't my eating MO! So here is what I told her. I wanted her to weigh everything and count calories whenever possible... even when she thinks she knows them double check. (In the past she has been big on telling me "I know how many calories are in ____" ...well that's great... I do too but I measure and weigh to be sure I'm accurate. Let's face it you are only going to lose weight if you know exactly how much you are eating... *thinking* you know is how you got where you are! I wanted her to eat a 300 calorie breakfast... not one freaking banana cause she's not really hungry... "but I guess you were hungry 2 hours later when you had to get lunch at Taco Bell... eat the damn breakfast!" (Yes this is really how we talk to each other) So she is essentially to follow my plan minus the dessert, she says she doesn't need it. So she's eating 300, 100, 300, 100, 400.. or there abouts and yes I know it is 1200 calories, she is 55 and her metabolism is shot! I also wanted her to workout for at least an hour a day preferably an hour and a half. Boy oh boy did she balk at that. But I said, as I have many times, "what you have been doing hasn't worked I really think you need to exercise a lot to pick up your metabolism."
She attempted to submit some dieting clauses... these may sound familiar:
#1 "I Can't Do That"
As for the longer exercise she gave every excuse imaginable... including that the dogs get too tired after 45 minutes... the dogs?!?! "Drop the damn dogs off at home and keep walking!"... "Oh" she said.... I'm serious about the exercise folks, 45 minutes is not enough, try kicking out 60 plus minutes of cardio 5 times a week and you will see HUGE results.
#2 "What About A Day Off"
"You don't think you deserve a weekend off after a good week" My mom asked. "What?! stop messing with me mom!" I shouted into the phone. "I'm not...I'm serious" she said sheepishly. "NO I don't!" I retorted... You see it is something as simple as thinking you deserve a reward for being good that is indicitive of a sabotager. Your reward for being good is not being fat! If you allow yourself to earn treats... you are going to earn your way to one thing... your old goddamn lifestyle. Weight loss will only work if you change the way think about your relationship with food.
#3 "I Can't Start Today..."
Then she told me she couldn't start right away because she had a whole bunch of food in the garden. "Throw it out" "I will not throw it out I can't throw out perfectly good food" "Mom when you are a financially stable overweight woman you are still throwing it out... you are just throwing it in your gut instead of the trash" (light bulb moment people... take it in) I then told her to give it to a food pantry which she agreed she could do.
In the end she took notes and agreed to try it my way for the next month. Okay so her first week she was still challenging me... what else is new? Then she came to my house and noticed how much thinner I am now and said "I want a piece of that" went home and sucked it up and tried it my way... and what do you know?... boom... three pounds lighter! Let me just say this, I am incredibly proud of my mom. She sabotages herself for a living... and it is deep rooted! She said after she weighed in (only once a week) she was so elated and felt so proud that when she went to play bridge (a temptation disaster waiting to happen) she stopped on the way and had a double hamburger (330 cal) so she wouldn't be hungry and she could be in control of her calorie intake. This was a huge victory for her, typically she would skip lunch and then figure she could have all the snacks to make up for it. This time she felt in control and didn't give into the snacky temptations and left there feeling better than ever. Once you get going it is an upward spiral... control begets control. Try it! If my mom can do it you can do it. Give it one week. You can do anything for one week. This is not starvation... this is not impossible.. this is accounting for what you eat and exercising... that is all.