Not big on Star Wars as a philosophy of life, however Yoda’s words ring true when it comes to our relationship with food: “You must unlearn what you have learned”.
South Beach, Atkins, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Quick Weight Loss, etc. All thriving profit-generating corporations. (Profit-generating corporations are a good thing in my book, but…).
We are inundated with images of super-models and amazing too-good-to-be-true success stories, but very few of the marketing that goes with it really helps identify some of the traps. Partly, I think, because they depend on the self-esteem traps that people readily fall into in order for their products and services to be successful. Now, as a tool for doing what is necessary, and for those folks that really need the help to get into a successful routine, they can make some sense. For me, I tried Nutrisystem for a while and it did not work for me. I tried doing P90X (made it through the 90 days 7 years ago), but I didn’t really do the food part correctly. When my wife and I tried to follow the food recommendations, we were quickly priced out of it.
There are many amazing real success stories, especially here on MFP, that do not come from anything other than cleaning up what goes in and adjusting what goes out. Those tools can help, but those tools are just tools.
In February, my wife decided to purchase the Beachbody On-demand package. Since P90X was the only program I ever stuck to in terms of exercise, I was happy she did (mostly because I could not even come close to doing the routines now – well I’m getting closer now after about a month a P90 – without the X). This time, however, I had begun to look into MFP and voraciously read the forums – I’m a geek that way. Anyhow, I’m getting to my main point, really I am….
After unlearning what I had always thought were truths, I am now convinced that we will win this battle in the kitchen. And the only real way to do that is to create a calorie deficit we can live with. If that means 1 pound/week, 1.5 or 2 or whatever, then that’s what it will have to be. But the only way to create that deficit is to know what goes in and what goes out – or at least get close (I know – the body is complicated). I have learned that tracking is everything.
Other things to unlearn: my self-esteem does not come from what I look like. [Skip this part if religion offends]. My self-esteem does not come from anything external – other people can let you down. For me, my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. My “why” for doing this is that. Whatever I’m called to do, whoever I am called to help – I need to be in position to do that. [End religious section].
I have a fair amount of weight to lose. I’m 5’11”, and was 240 at the beginning of February. Down to 226 late last week. I know this stuff works. My initial goal is to get to 190, but I’m thinking I may want to go further than that. We’ll see.
Back to the point. I unlearned that I need to be miserable and always hungry in order to do this. I have relearned that you can eat quite a bit and not be hungry if you eat the right things.
I have unlearned that you can’t eat carbs. Or that you can’t eat something sweet. (I know there are differing schools of thought out there). But I have learned that, as near as I can tell, reasonable caloric deficit trumps all else. And, within reason, your macros are those that work for you, because we’re not all the same.
I have unlearned that people are judging me about how I look and that it matters. I have learned that some people probably do judge me for how I look (and those people don’t matter to me at this point), and I have learned that less people judge me for that than I ever thought.
I have unlearned that how I look and what I weigh will cause my self-esteem to get better. I have learned that I can make those choices myself and that how I look and what I weigh will be more of an effect of my self-esteem than a cause of it.
I love new knowledge. This is a great site, and if you’ve read this far, you must either be really bored, or a glutton for punishment, but thanks just the same.
March 6, 2017 4:02PM
edited March 2017