Sunday, April 21, 2013

Day 42 The tenacity of diet mind

While I wouldn't call myself a yo-yo dieter (I never lost and gained the same 20 over and over; I mostly just gained and every 5-6 years I'd lose and get it back), I certainly have done my share of diets. When I was about 30 and weighed 155, a good weight for my frame, my partner at the time wanted me to be thinner. He liked very slim women and I wasn't. So I exercised a lot and ate very little for a few months and got myself down to a bony 134. It was impossible to sustain, of course. I was starving all the time and beginning to really drink and I put the weight back on. But that was, I think, the start of body image issues and weight manipulation for me.

Over the next 13 years of drinking, I got up to about 170. I dieted some (Slim fast, lean cuisine). All my friends dieted except the two or three who were struggling to keep their weight up. It was one of those inevitable conversations with friends. In early sobriety I lost some weight, gained a little, and then gave up for a while and gained a lot. About 12 years ago, I gave up sugar and over 6 months, I lost about 40 pounds and kept it off for two years. And I started eating sugar again and gained it all back and then some.

This isn't an unusual story. I include it just to show that I have had plenty of opportunities to develop diet mind and make it second nature. And I have seen diet mind show up in the last few weeks. Meat is limited on my plan, but my diet mind says to eat a lot of lean animal protein, that carbs are the enemy. So I have felt deprived without more meat and I was concerned about eating rice and beans when they got added to the plan in Week 3. I would find myself taking very small portions of rice or beans and no meat and then suffer from hunger. When I told my coach, she laughed and said "Old thinking." She told me to eat 1-1/2 cups of rice and 1-1/2 cups of beans every day. You will feel full and you will still lose weight, she said.

It's hard to give up the old beliefs, the old indoctrination, especially with so much conflicting "science" available. But the addition of the rice and beans has made a huge difference in diminishing the cravings I was having. A good lesson in trusting my coach.

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