Another “Last Supper”.
THIS time it really will be the last one. Starting Monday, I will eat only lean protein and veggies and fruit, drink lots of water and exercise hard for an hour every day. And I will only drink alcohol on the weekends. One glass of wine on Friday and Saturday nights – that’s IT. I will be a weight loss paragon. I will finally do this.
But for now, for the next two days, I’m going to eat A LOT of all the things I’m giving up. As much as I can of whatever I want. I am going to get my fill, and I am going to relish every bite. Given my upcoming (potentially permanent) sacrifice, I deserve this!
Come Monday though, I will be primed to begin my new life. In no time, I will be thinner and more comfortable in my body. God, I can’t wait to go shopping for new jeans!!
How many times has some version of the above scenario played out in your life? Preparing for giving up your favorite foods and food rituals by eating yourself to the point of such bloat and nausea, you have to take your pants off and lie down. Monday comes, and full of resolve, you deprive yourself for 3 days max, before you crack and eat something on your “forbidden” list. Since you’ve already blown it, you binge on the “bad” stuff until eventually you’re so disgusted with yourself, you get back on the deprivation train. And the whole process repeats itself. Again and again.
It’s self-defeating, it inspires self-loathing, it most certainly doesn’t promote weight loss, and it is TERRIBLE for your body. I did it for decades.
In my younger days, my weight fluctuated with the binge/deprive cycle. As I got older, I didn’t recover as quickly, and my weight stopped fluctuating. It just continued to go up. And up. And up. And this despite a fairly rigorous workout schedule!
My One Small Thing strategy has changed my life. No more deprivation. No more desire to binge. And the result has been gradual, long lasting, dare I say “easy” weight loss.
Here’s how it works:
I choose ONE THING about the way that I eat that I think would have an impact on my weight. It has to be something do-able, something I can commit to consistently without feeling deprived or resentful. The goal is to develop that One Small Thing into a habit, into a way of eating that I actually come to prefer. Once I get there, I choose another Small Thing to work on, and so on.
Here are a couple of my own personal Small Things that have yielded great results:
1. Before: I was a big wine drinker. Nothing says relaxation like a velvety cab.
Now: When I go to a bar (I LOVE sitting at a bar to shoot the shit), I order vodka on the rocks with sliced lemons/limes/grapefruit and fresh mint. No sugary mixers. Distilled spirits have no sugar and no carbs. I save wine (full of sugar) for special occasions.
2. Before: Chocolate every night after dinner. I MUST have chocolate daily.
Now: My chocolate cravings are satisfied by chocolate sweetened with stevia (Lily’s makes a good one), or a cocoa drink sweetened with stevia I make myself (1 T unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 or 2 packets of stevia, boiling water, 1 T. heavy cream). It’s the sugar in the regular chocolate that became problematic for me, in terms of weight gain.
3. Before: A big bowl of cereal for breakfast. Lord, how I loved my cereal …
Now: A protein shake. My favorite is vanilla Vega Sport protein powder with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, and a splash of coffee. As much as I ADORED my cereal (my breakfast of choice for over 40 years!), I now actually prefer my protein shake. No lie. Between you and me, once I hit a certain age, the grains in the cereal started to affect my waistline (it’s that perimenopausal insulin sensitivity. Grrr). The protein shake works much better for me and I LURV it it!!!! I even pack my protein powder and blender with me when I travel (gotta be consistent, baby!)
4. My latest One Small Thing: I’m working on no snacking while I cook or while I put food away after dinner. If I’m starving, I’ll eat some cottage cheese and drink seltzer water with lime. That sounds obnoxious (very diet-y!), but I actually LIKE cottage cheese and seltzer water, so it isn’t as awful as it sounds). It works for ME, which is the whole point of this. You have to find Small Things that work for YOU.
It takes consistency and time to start seeing physical results from One Small Thing . I saw changes in my body in about 6 weeks, but everyone is different.
I am always looking for new Small Things to add. The ones I listed above work for my taste and preferences, but you’ll probably find different ones, and I’d love to know what they are!
Please tell me: What are your One Small Things??