Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Oh, and that other resolution

Like seemingly every other person on the planet, I'm also resolving to lose weight. Sigh. I resolve this every year. Usually I do lose a bit of weight, exercise more, eat better/eat less, and then I get busy or it gets hot out (I wilt in the heat), and suddenly I notice it's been a fe3w months since I actually exercised, and oh, yeah, I've put those ten pounds back on.

Really, it's not good.

I don't "diet" - not what the nutritionists mean by diet anyway. I don't hold myself to a strictly limited calorie level or cut out whole categories of food or anything. I take the right steps, the reasonable, moderate, lifestyle-altering steps everyone talks about as the good and proper way to make long-term changes to your weight. I do, and then somehow I don't, and I'm back where I started. Or I keep them, and it doesn't matter any more. Ah, yes, I remember well the switch years ago to lower fat milk, or last summer when I stopped putting sugar on my oatmeal or in my coffee, or when I switched to lean, grass-fed beef. Those seemed like important steps at the time, and I lost weight each time. But now I'm as heavy as I ever was.

Also, losing weight? SO much harder than it used to be. Once upon a time, I could lose weight be deciding to, essentially. I would decide, and make a few changes to my eating patterns, move a little more, and off the weight would come. Now, every pound has to be hard-won, and then it's lost so easily. Or hard-lost and then won so easily.

When I happen to be home during the daytime and I'm feeling sick or down, I indulge in British makeover television. My favorite is How Clean Is Your House? You get a little gawking at the horror of how other people live, a few useful cleaning tips, then a very satisfying reveal that shows how much a space can be improved without buying anything new except some cleaning supplies (mostly natural, too - I love those gals).* The weight-loss version - You Are What You Eat - cuts a little too close to the bone to be entirely enjoyable. I don't think I could ever live in the grime-encrusted homes the HCIYH ladies fix up, but I fear I am entirely capable of falling into a depression so deep I eat myself huge. (I'm probably not, but I fear it, perhaps because I feel like I have less control over my weight than over my home.) Anyway, what I find terribly depressing about that show is that some of these people are not REALLY that much bigger than I am. They are bigger, some much bigger, but some not tremendously. And yet they eat so much worse than I do it isn't funny. They drink oceans of soda, feast several time a day on fish and chips, never touch a vegetable or a piece of fruit, down multiple chocolate bars every day. I drink water more than anything else; I love fruit and vegetables; I start every workday with a bowl of oatmeal with dried cranberries and non-fat milk. Sure, I use cream in my coffee, I have a sweet tooth - but I'm talking about a few M&Ms from the reception desk, not 1/2 pound of chocolate a day. If I ate like they do, I would be dead.

Of course, that might be why the people like me who eat like that aren't on TV. They're all dead.

At any rate, new year, time to renew the health objectives. Move more. Eat less. Here we go again. Sigh.

*Best HCIYH tip ever - meat tenderizer mixed into a paste with a little water and left overnight on your casserole dish will take off that nasty brown discoloration that never seems to come off Pyrex. I had to buy meat tenderizer to test this out, but it really works.

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