Saturday, November 12, 2011

Do What it Takes

In my last post, I shared the lesson I take away from the Penn State scandal: don't do something, do what it takes. After days of anger and frustration, I turned to reflection and wanting to apply the lesson to be a better person. At some point something clicked and I realized that my commitment to losing weight, while better than nothing, hasn't been enough to get the job done. And that must be my objective. I'm forty and need to be serious about getting the pounds off.

My guiding principle will be to eliminate the foods and situations that put the pounds on in the first place. For the most part, this means eliminating the foods I cannot seem to eat in moderation. Each of us has our unique challenges. We all know smokers who can't kick the habit. I have close colleagues with serious food allergies. Somebody I know is unable to sleep normally. I have a friend who is deathly afraid of gnomes. The point is that most people can feel satiated with whatever they are eating. But for whatever reason, there are foods that I consistently overeat without feeling full. I didn't want to give them up, but when I read Lisa's post on giving up foods during the initial phase of weight loss, I knew I had to.

The following foods are BANNED until further notice...

Chips. Years ago, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Larry Bird filmed a commercial for Lay's potato chips claiming "You can't eat just one." But for me, it's not a laughing matter. I can't, so the chips must go.

Sweets. My best friend's mom used to keep a jar of chocolate chips and I had lots every visit. Not much has changed, except that I can buy my own now. Ice cream is especially dangerous.

Highly Processed Foods. Of course, chips and sweets generally fall in this category. But lots of other foods hit this catchall category. Crackers, for example. Yogurts with HFCS, too.

Pizza. Oh, this pains me. I love pizza. I'll be at the courthouse at midnight on the day it becomes legal to marry pizza. But five pieces has become the norm. Maybe someday I can start at one again.

Cereal. Theoretically, I should be OK sticking with healthy cereal. But that's the excuse I use to rationalize eating two bowls in a row. Same as with pizza, maybe someday I can go back to a single bowl. For now, none.

Soda. I don't have a lot anymore, but will get on streaks when I do. The real stuff is bad, of course, and diet just keeps me from drinking water, so they're both out.

Salt. OK, salt's not making me gain weight, but a couple of years ago I discovered the joy of granular sea salt and it's like a drug. Banned.

Sides. This applies to eating out. I'm going down to one item when eating out. In most situations, that's a reasonable caloric load. But add in an appetizer, soup, salad, bread, and/or dessert, and it's a recipe for weight gain.

So that's my plan. I'm keeping it in place until I've at least hit the 50 pound mark. Eventually, I may be able to reintroduce these items in smaller quantities. But for now, I need to do whatever it takes.


downsizers said...

It's good to come to this point. So many of us feel like if we do something we should be rewarded with big losses. We must do what it takes not just do something. Good post.

Ron said...

I am sure you will see great results with this plan... looking forward to hearing about your accomplishments!

Jo said...

I like that you have called the culprits out and made a plan to get them out of your life for awhile. So simple, but so hard.

Caron said...

I'm pretty sure we all have those foods that are just too tempting to have around. For me, the main culprits are peanut butter and ice cream. I keep trying though. Good luck with your plan. It's a good one. :)

Joy said...

I had to ban fast food. Have not had a fast food burger in almost 2 years. You know, I don't miss it!

Keep up the great work, stay focused and make this happen!!

You can do it!!!

Bruce said...

You've taken a hard step Alan, but it's a great one! It was this type of thinking that got me on the right road. I also stuck a physical goal or two along the way and the combination was a great one-two punch.

I have a feeling this will be a turning point for you. Go get it done!

Michele said...

That Nike slogan: Just do it is fitting here. Just do it, Alan. You can. I know you can.

It has been 18 months now for me. That is the longest time ever. I had to give up most of the foods I enjoyed too much to really get going on my healthy trip. Now I am used to eating them very sparingly. I will always have a sweet tooth. They just do not control me anymore.

Good moves. Now, just to it.

Christina @ Just Running said...

It's good to see this post, Alan! I'm two weeks into No-Sweets November, and I'm eating much better. I sometimes eat sweets when I'm really hungry (awful idea), and sometimes eating sweets triggers my binge eating. Cutting out sweets has stopped my binges and put me back in control.

Cutting out foods is tough, but it feels good not to be controlled by the food (I don't know about you, but I really feel like I lose control sometimes).

Good luck, Alan! Keep us posted.

Lisa said...

I'm glad you liked my post! I chose things that were triggers for me (ice cream and pizza) and I did eat other things like sweets and snacks, but in those 100 calorie packs so that I couldn't eat too much.

Sometimes going cold-turkey for awhile is exactly what our brain needs to break the HABIT of certain foods. This is not say that you can never eat them again, but maybe for awhile you don't. It worked for me. I eat pizza and ice cream now and I don't get crazy and overeat.

Jessica said...

This sounds like a great plan :)