" For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. " Song of Solomon

August 20, 2008

After Vacation Weigh In and "Why Weigh?"

I weighed in this morning and my vacation weight increase is 1.25 pounds. I'll take that! It's very good considering that I had so much fried seafood and so few fruits and veggies. My diet mainly consisted of protein, fat and bread---I'm not kidding! I thought it might be worse. But I did practice Intuitive Eating--allowing myself to eat what I desired but within the parameters of not surpassing "full" on the food scale---all the while giving myself permission to eat more should I really want to--which I didn't, mostly because I knew I could, i.e.--I had permission. Which works like reverse psychology! Tell me I can't have it--I want it! Tell me I can have all I want--meh..not so much...lol. Such is human nature...

Below is a post I wrote in explanation as to why I choose not to weigh sooner following vacation.
We got in late Saturday from vacation. I am in no hurry to weigh myself. Why?

Vacation is not over-- my husband won't return to work until later in the week---which means we'll be eating out more than usual and my routine won't be back to normal.

Because I'm not on a diet in the conventional sense, I am not off program or on. My food perspective is the same on vacation or off. But, being on vacation, I've allowed myself to eat foods that I don't normally eat and in larger quantities. Why?

Because they are foods not normally available or are foods I reserve for special occasions and I choose/chose to indulge myself. And doing so, I surely can't and don't expect that I will lose any weight. Quite possibly I may not have gained any either.

You see---because I'm willing to have periods of time in my eating life where I'm satisfied to maintain my weight or even see it increase slightly--even though my ultimate goal is to reduce my weight-- I am able to eat normally anywhere, anytime. It's all good, it's all my choice, and there is no guilt nor deprivation and no rebound effect...no urgency to get back on the wagon. The wagon is out of my life, for good! Thank God. (Sigh of relief)

Usually there are two reactions for those on conventional diets following vacation. Some want to face the music and get on the scale immediately. Others are afraid to see the number on the scale and put it off. Panic --all too often--sets in, and their response is a binge that lasts until they are sick of food. They purge--literally or figuratively---and then start over. It's a vicious cycle and of little or no benefit in the long run.

I'm in neither group of scale reactors. Prior to Intuitive Eating I would have been in the second group---putting it off, afraid of what it would show, eating and eating, feeling out of control and when I reached the end of my frenzy, worn out, I'd figuratively purge and start on my diet again, resolving to be successful this time.

But since I rejected typical dieting last January 2007, I operate on a different diet wave length. The scale has a small insignificant role in my life. It provides some input and helps me to assess some aspects of my journey. But changing my relationship with food is about more than decreasing my calorie intake to lose weight.

The scale may not move for a month, but that does not indicate that I'm failing in my endeavor.

So, getting on the scale today, or in a few days, is moot.

Because I suffer from IBS and travelling always gets me "out of sorts" the scale may not be a reliable informant as to whether or not I gained weight while I was gone.

I could get on, see an increase, and then when I got straightened out see the number go down. But it would not be due to fat gain nor loss. It would be an artificial gain and loss.

My thinking--why bother?

I find the scale of little value when it comes to weight loss. And in fact, I think it all too often does more harm than good. It is easy to become scale addicted. I've been there. The number on the scale determined if I'd have a good day or bad. What a waste of life! Infrequent weighing will yield the same information.

But that's me....you may not agree. No matter, though. I've been running up and down this road for a long time, and followed the conventional wisdom. I've found it sadly lacking.

The years I have wasted on diets---only to regain the weight, ignorant of the fact that I had to go much deeper and examine the "why" in order to make lasting changes--are years I will not get back. I'm kicking myself now for believing the hype and falling for the slick salesmanship, ruing that I actually spent money--lots of money---making the diet hucksters richer.

And it annoys me too that the medical establishment thinks it's as simple as handing you a sheet of paper with a list of do's and don'ts. Dear blog friends---our way of thinking determines our behavior. Until you go deeper and examine the "why"---why do you overeat?--- and address it appropriately, you are doomed to repeat your history.

You may ask "if I can lose weight following a diet, why does it matter if I know the reason I overeat?". Because---you will not follow that diet for the rest of your life. You may make some lifestyle changes that stick---but you will not "do" the diet forever. You will go "off" it. And...if it is a low calorie diet, your body metabolism will adjust to the low caloric intake and you will find you must continue that low intake or else gain weight when you increase it---unless you become a slave to exercise. Are you willing--are you able--to exercise an hour or an hour and a half every day? Most of us aren't. And those who are able can't always continue that for life. At some point, their life will change--they get married; have a baby; change jobs; move; get sick--whatever-- and they won't have the time or ability to maintain that level of exercise.

Bottom line? You can lose weight through diet and exercise, but only indefinitely. If you're after long term success, quit wasting your time with functional dieting. Examine the root of your problem with food, and change your relationship with food. I believe that is the best way to have lasting results and defy the odds.
Laugh a lot--burn more calories: According to Vanderbilt University laughing causes you to burn 20% more calories! (Click on laughing causes....to go to link.)
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."


I am not a doctor and all information, suggestions, etc are my personal opinion only.