Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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Have You Noticed Ads for Weight Loss Programs Lately?

Woman on a treadmillIt’s only January 2nd and I’m already sick of the constant ads and TV programs on weight loss, exercise and diets.  They do this every year so I don’t know why I’m always surprised and turned off.  Oh, I know why they run:  it’s the start of the new year, people make resolutions to eat healthy, lose weight and exercise – so the media blanket the airwaves with ads for Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, bariatric surgery, an assortment of weight-loss pills, exercise equipment, gyms, etc.  Bravo ran a marathon of The Biggest Loser on New Years Day as an alternative to watching football.

Don’t get me wrong.  I understand that people are motivated and it’s the perfect time to grab their attention.  But with so many different products and plans all pushing the same points, it’s hard to keep track of the options in a reasoned way.  Which is entirely the point, I suspect.  Get the watcher to jump off the chair and sign up on the spot.

But all plans are not equal and neither are gyms and exercise programs.   If you’re just getting started on your resolutions, don’t jump for the flashiest ad or cheapest price.  Research the contents and figure out what will work best for you in your lifestyle.  Are you looking for a quick loss or long term change?  Do you want to count calories, carbs, fat grams, points?   Do you like and have time to cook or do you want easy pre-packaged foods?    If you’re looking at exercise programs, do you want to take classes, use weight and strength training equipment, or dip into a pool?  Do you want a personal trainer?  How does pricing work?  What about fitness tapes you can do in your own home?

The bottom line solution is to eat less food, eat healthier options (more protein and less processed foods), and move more.   There are many ways to do that but you don’t need to pick something flashy.  Write down what you eat every day so you know what you’re doing.  Identify things you can cut or swap out.  Start taking short walks and build up.  What matters is starting.

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No Resolutions for 2009

New Years CelebrationI don’t make New Years resolutions anymore.  The things that always were on the list – lose weight, exercise regularly, eat healthy, save money – were almost always unattainable because I made them too specific, trying to stretch myself to be a Good Person and making myself miserable.

The fact is that I’m a Good Person without the resolutions.  And I already know that losing weight, exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, and managing money better are things that should be part of my life, and I’m working to improve them.   I know what to do, it’s really a matter of setting small achievable steps and then building on that.

I noticed on my Texas trip that I wasn’t eating low-fat healthy food all the time – and also wasn’t snacking between meals the way I often do at home.   I was just more satisfied with the flavors and textures, and didn’t want more.  Nothing was off limits or hidden away – so there was no need to sneak. We had good protein, complex carbs, veggies (even sweet and sour red cabbage for Christmas dinner), desserts of all kinds – plus fresh fruit sitting around all the time.  We ate out and had Chinese take out.  It just felt normal.  I didn’t gain any weight and didn’t feel deprived.  I liked it.

My niece gave me a copy of Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food for Christmas and I look forward to reading, learning, and expanding the things I eat in 2009. Of course, right now I’m hampered by a fractured clavicle and my right arm is in a sling.  Somehow I think this is going to be a hindrance in the kitchen for the next few weeks, not to mention facing snow piles outside that need to be shoveled.  How can I cut up apples for applesauce, or onions for roasting or all sorts of other things using only my left hand?  I think a fair amount of processed foods are in my near future.

Happy New Year – without resolutions – from me and the kitty.