Everybody thought I was dropping the ball. I side stepped Weight Watchers; ditched Jenny Craig like a bad prom date and after the *great tuna incident, I told my Nutritional Consultant to take a leap of the most uncomfortable kind. Move over Lean Cuisine! You and Michelina’s can take your mood depressing pastas and leave (although the Cannelloni WAS to die for). I cleared the cupboards of diet pills, appetite suppressants and wretched slimming teas and started over from scratch.
I was binging; purging; calorie restricted and starving all for the golden ring of weight loss. Worse yet I was depressed; losing my hair and gaining weight. I remember the day I stepped on the scale and with a digital groan it told me what I didn’t want to hear. Despite my best (and notably misguided) efforts, I had become obese.
For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why nothing was working. Other’s reported great success and there I was yo-yoing around the same 10 to 15 lbs or more; one step forward, two steps back. For me dieting was a most ungainly dance of deception. It had become apparent that a “one size fits all” approach wasn’t working for me.
Hindsight is always 20/20 and looking back I can see every mistake I had made.
- Binging and purging is an unhealthy (not to mention disgusting) practice. When it got to the point I could vomit on command, I knew I had a problem. When it began to happen as an involuntary response to food in general, I was in serious trouble.
- Calorie restrictions over extended periods of time are harmful. 1200 calories or less per day is unrealistic based upon the body’s actual requirement to maintain it’s normal functions. The fastest way to lose muscle mass is to drastically cut caloric intake; you are not losing actual ‘weight’ with this approach, you are in fact allowing your body to digest itself from the inside out in order to survive.
- The concept of dieting is a fallacy. No one should ever “go on a diet” as a temporary measure to achieve a goal. The first key to success (as it applies to weight loss, basic health and nutrition) is to change the diet and maintain that change. Temporary changes lead to temporary results which revert back to their original state once you do. In most cases people not only regain the lost poundage but gain a few more in the process…trust me, I’ve experienced this more than once over the past 20 years!
- Obesity and issues of weight are a symptomatic side affect. Where as I may gain a measure of flack for stating this, there are very few genetic disorders, biological conditions and psychosis that cause obesity and excessive weight gain. For the rest of us it is by and large a result of poor nutrition; lack of exercise or is pharmacologically induced through prescribed medication use such as antidepressants, antipsychotics and a host of prednisones.
I had to prioritize my health; moreover I had to change my relationship with food. I loved it and hated it all at the same time. I determined that if food could get me into this mess, food could get me out. There was just one problem, which foods were the ones that were going to work? With so many different opinions out there on what is and is not healthy, how was I to navigate my basic needs to regain my health?
This is where the real journey began for me, the day I walked away from everything I thought I knew and started over again.
* The Great Tuna Incident of 2012: So there I was, I had shelled out a lot of money to a local fitness centre to work with a personal trainer and have the benefit of a one on one nutritional consult to help me establish my ‘Strategy for Weight Loss Success’. After about an hour of in-depth, detailed questions and a complete analysis of my dietary requirements the results came back. I sat in breathless anticipation; I was so excited to be taking this first step in truly learning about nutrition. The possibilities were endless! Until I read the 7 day diet plan…tuna. 7 days of tuna. Tuna with oatmeal. Tuna with broccoli. Tuna with…well tuna. “How the hell is this supposed to help me?” I asked. I was told not to worry; that it would only be temporary and that the computer generated diet plan had also suggested 6 different supplements that I needed to take, all of which of course the sold right there on site. I walked out and never went back.