Best Life Diet
Before I start documenting my experiences with BLD, I want to note that I’m at a point where I’m pretty torn about dieting and weight loss. On the one hand, hot damn do I want to dump these extra pounds and get back my formerly fit self. On the other hand, I am a big believer in Health at Every Size.I know and respect that a lot of people in the size acceptance movement (rightfully) argue that dieting has no place in the movement; I also know that everyone moves along the path to self-acceptance differently. I think that there is room for people like me in the movement, if not as full-fledged ‘members’, then as allies.
I do believe that it is possible to be fit, no matter your size and there are some kickass examples of that on my blogroll. I have a very, very hard time believing that my current weight is in my natural setpoint range because when I lived the lifestyle I want to return to (very active, with a mostly healthy diet), I weighed 40lbs less than I do know. My weight gain began when I started eating shit in residence in first year, coupled with becoming a lazy-butt at the same time. I just want to make it clear that I am a big advocate of HAES, and that I hope the movement will continue to accept me as an ally, if nothing else. So – the point of this is – as I go through this, I will not be allowing any comments that disparage fat people, nor will I allow comments that put a moral component onto food. I’m done with that BS.
So, why did I decide to do Best Life? Well, after doing other diets (South Beach, calorie counting, a half-assed at home attempt at Weight Watchers), I decided that this was all bullshit. Calorie counting worked, and dropped me 11lbs in early 2007, but made me a complete head case; I will not lose weight at the expense of my mental health, so that got cut. South Beach worked great when I was living at home, with my mum cooking everything and doing it with me; I lost 20lbs, and then gained it all back once I moved back to Vancouver and started cooking for myself again. Weight Watchers was short-lived, because I was using materials someone had given me and didn’t really have a clue what I was doing.
Since I stopped calorie counting in… March? I’ve been working on eating more intuitively – listening to my body’s cues about hunger and thirst carefully, and treating my body accordingly. This has worked well as a maintenance strategy – I haven’t regained any of the weight I lost, though I have been fluctuating. This makes me confident that once I dropped the weight, I can keep it off without making myself crazy.
But, as well as intuitive eating was working, it also wasn’t addressing a serious factor for me – emotional eating. Bad day? Stop at Cupcakes on the way home for a treat! Bored? Have a snack. And so on… Not. Good. If my blood sugar were low, maybe that cupcake would have some use, but I’ve been realising lately that they’re really not that great unless I really, truly want a cupcake and nothing else… they’re no good when I’m just glum or bored or excited or whatever.
The cupcake revelation got me thinking about how I want to fuel my body physically and emotionally. Cupcakes ain’t it, folks.
Then I spent a day at home, sick, a few weeks ago, and saw Bob Greene on Oprah. And then I googled the Best Life Diet. And then on my way home one day, I randomly hopped off the bus, ran into Chapters, and bought the book. I spent a weekend morning reading it, going “yes, yes, this is right for me” and “yes, this guy gets it” and “yes I can make this work.”
So that brings me to this week, which has me slowly settling into Phase 1. Although he suggests 4 weeks minimum on it, I’ll likely stick with it for 6-8weeks, just to really take the time to make the habits stick and do the mental work thoroughly.
What does Phase 1 look like? Pretty straight forward! For 4 weeks (or longer), I have six goals:
- Eat 3 meals plus one snack every day
- Eat breakfast every day
- Increase activity level
- Eliminate alcohol
- Take a multivitamin, an omega-3 supplement and a calcium supplement if you’re not getting enough from your diet.
- Stop eating at least two hours before you go to bed.
So far I’m doing well on most of them. The alcohol part, which I thought would be easiest because I don’t drink much, has actually proven the hardest. We’ve had wine in the house lately for date night and to celebrate the end of school, and it’s been taaasty. With Christmas and New Year’s coming up, I doubt that I will eliminate it totally, but I will be conscious of it, certainly.
There have been two things I’m struggling with, though, this first week. Bob suggests that you don’t weigh yourself for the first 4 weeks so as not to get discouraged, because not all people will see a loss during this phase, but it sets everything else up. Um, yeah, that’s not going to happen. I’ll just keep on weighing myself and not think too much about what it says.
The other struggle is coming up with answers to “the big three questions” which are:
- Why am I overweight?
- Why do I want to lose weight?
- Why have I been unable to maintain weight loss in the past?
The book really pushes you to go deeper than the obvious answers. For example, instead of “I’m overweight because I’m lazy and eat a shit diet,” I need to think more deeply about WHY I’m lazy and eat a shit diet. Some of the things I’m realising are HARD, including one night that I went and had a good cry in the shower (best place to cry!) because the things I was thinking were surprising, hard, and intensely emotional. I’m so amazed, though, because as raw as this all is, it makes so much freaking sense. And it makes sense to me in other areas of my life that having nothing to do with what goes in my mouth or how much I move my butt, too, which is just stunning.
I think this is going to work for me. Even Phase 2 is so in line with how I think I should be eating, that I am stoked to get there.
(P.S.: It’s snowing right now. The biggest, fattest snowflakes I have ever seen before are just coming DOWN. Nothing much is sticking because it rained all morning, but wow!)
Filed under: dieting, fitness, goals, motivation, nutrition | 5 Comments