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Honest Dieting

You don't have to stop eating yummy foods.

\When you are told by your doctor that you are overweight, it means it is time to lose a few pounds. I didn’t think it was that noticeable, but of course, once you tell people what the doctor said, they instantly agree and act like they have noticed all along. My thought was, “Why didn’t anyone say anything?” They did, in their own way. I just wasn’t very receptive, I didn’t want to listen.

Finally I got sick of it. I went through many summers embarrassed about my body at the beach, or parks, or anywhere. I decided it was time to lose some weight and get in shape. It isn’t an easy thing to do though.

At first I tried exercise, but I don't really have any friends to exercise with who are at my own pace, so that just kind of floundered.

THAT IS A LIE!!! A LIE WE TELL OURSELVES TO GET OUT OF THINGS WE DON’T WANT TO DO!!!

In truth I didn’t exercise because I didn’t feel like it.

Maybe it was because I couldn’t afford a gym membership? LIE!!!

There are tons of ways to exercise at home without a gym membership. A little research on Google goes a long way. Try searching google for EASY AT HOME EXERCISE IDEAS. Or things of a similar nature.

Maybe it was because I am a single father, juggling homeschooling my daughter, finances and all the other things that come attached? LIE!

Just an excuse. Parents are the rulers of the home, and adults make their own decisions. Make time for what's important.

In the end, the truth is that I don’t exercise because I am lazy. I also have depression and anxiety, and believe me, they don’t make things any easier. But in truth, I am lazy. I’ve taken a long hard look at myself and come to that understanding.

Which reminds me, GIVE YOURSELF A GOOD HARD LOOK. Really look at yourself for who you are. Be honest to yourself. Don’t make plans and commitments that you can’t live up to because it will just lead to you failing and feeling bad about yourself and binge eating. So be honest with yourself about what you are capable of.

Which brings me to GOALS. Obviously you are reading this because you think you need to lose weight. While looking at yourself, I hope you figured out if you really need to lose weight or if you have some kind of body image issues. I can’t help with that really, except maybe try talking to a counselor or something. It is a serious issue that you shouldn’t just dismiss.

So the goals that we make need to be achievable. Mine weren't at first. I wanted to put on muscle, look awesome and have the ladies swooning at the sight of me. All while being lazy and not wanting to exercise. Yeah right. Not going to happen. That is a goal I can not achieve. I would make a goal to exercise every day. Even that was not achievable for me. Why? I didn’t set any times, places, regiment or anything. Nothing. Just exercise. Seems simple. But I failed.

So I decided maybe exercise wasn’t my thing. Maybe there was a way to lose weight without exercise. Enter dieting. If an exercise goal wasn’t achievable, maybe an eating goal could be.

Well holy hell is it ever hard to find the right diet. There are hundreds, thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of diet plans. And pills. And supplements. Most of it is just garbage. Some will hurt you if you're not careful or if you're not already in good shape.

Anyways, I did a lot of searching and trying and nothing seemed to work. Some diets say to fast in the morning. But that wasn't working. Hungry all morning and tired all day, and in the end I didn't lose any weight. So I tried more. They all recommended fasting at some point for the day, eating ridiculous foods that are hard to afford and take forever to prepare, or you eat things that taste like crap because it’s not necessarily bad for you, but there isn’t anything good in it either.

I did this off and on for two or three years, nothing changed. At all. It gets kind of depressing when you feel like you are failing every diet you try.

Then I spoke to an ex-army guy I know, and he explained a few things to me that changed my weight for the better.

First, FASTING. We do it every night while we sleep. That is why breakfast is called that. We are breaking our fast. Breakfast. Okay great. But after fasting all night, what about the whole day leading up to that?

SMALL FREAKING MEALS FULL OF NUTRITION WITH NO FAT AND NO SUGAR.

Or at least as little fat and sugar as possible in the beginning.

My ex-army friend says he drinks a cup of water and eats a banana first thing in the morning. I couldn’t remember if he ate anything else. He said the banana and the water jump start his digestive system, waking it up to do its job for the day.

If we miss breakfast, our body thinks it isn’t going to eat and goes into starvation mode, storing fat cells for later. This adds to the fat in our body, making us look fatter. So if we aren’t going to do any exercising right now, fasting isn’t very good.

So, I took his idea, and turned it into a smoothie. I'm not a big fan of eating plain bananas. So I bought some frozen fruit and no fat, no sugar no flavor yogurt. Banana, frozen fruit, yogurt and milk(skim milk). Blended until no chunks. Two cups worth (I was fat don’t forget). I drank that, and I felt good. I had more energy during the day. Yes I felt hungry around 10 AM, but it wasn’t the normal hunger. It was like my body was saying, “Your stomach is empty, but we still have lots of vitamins and nutrients to work with, so no worries. Just don’t skip lunch.”

Lunch time, a simple sandwich or other small meal. Dinner, don’t overstuff yourself. Our goal in the beginning is to shrink your stomach. We are so used to eating tons of food all the time that our stomachs have stretched. And even though we will feel hungry a lot, it doesn’t mean we need to eat.

You need to balance out the energy with less food. In other words, make sure you are eating good food with good nutrients, so your body still has fuel even when you are hungry.

So anyways, this is what I tried.

Smoothie for breakfast (or just a banana if in a hurry).

Something decent for lunch. Remember not to pig out.

Dinner is a good meal to enjoy. Don’t overdo it. One helping. No more. If you want dessert go right ahead. Nothing too big. Don't deprive yourself of the junk food. Just learn to moderate your intake. The personal sized bag of chips is better than the family sized bag. You might feel like you are wasting money, but remember that your impulse control is bad. That's why you are in this mess.

I'm still struggling with this. I love chips, and ice cream, and pop and chocolate. It freaking sucks that those are what made me fat. But it's true. Even cheese isn't good for you if you are eating lots. I know people that think a big snack of cheese and crackers after work is okay, then eat a huge dinner two hours later. And they complain about their weight. They just don't know why they can't lose the weight. If you lie to yourself about your bad habits, then it will be difficult to succeed. You have to be brutally honest with yourself about your bad habits.

Finishing that chicken strip or piece of pizza off your kids plate? Don’t. Just making it worse. I was just over 250 pounds when I decided to go on my diet. I am now at 215 pounds and still going down. Slowly. You might think 250 isn’t that bad. Especially considering that I am 6’2” tall. But I was about 180 to begin with. And when I gained all the weight, it went to my stomach, ass, thighs and hips. I kind of turned pear-shaped now that I think about it. It reminds me of Dr. Henry Blake on MASH. But I was way fatter.

Anyways. I started noticing the weight loss just after a week. That was it.

If you do find you need a snack, eat something healthy like carrot sticks or celery sticks. Fighting off the snacking urge is very hard to do. So you need something to do. During the week, if you work, that is great. Try not to snack at work unless it’s healthy snacks. If your job is boring and that’s why your snacking, either find a way to make it so you don't snack or get a different job that isn’t boring.

If you don’t work, then I strongly suggest you find a hobby or two... Something you can do every day to keep your mind, body, and especially your hands busy.

I like gardening. Now before you say, “But I live in an apartment and I don't have a garden,” I live in an apartment. You can buy grow tents and all the equipment online to make your own indoor garden. But that is my next article/story.

The point is, find a hobby.

My full list of hobbies, just in case you need any ideas, are:

  • Writing
  • Playing Video Games
  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Shopping online if I have extra cash
  • And last but not least, LEARNING NEW THINGS.

Never stop learning. It’s the only real freedom we have.

So, to recap.

Don’t fast during the day.

Eat a nice, Small, healthy breakfast (i.e: smoothie)

Eat a small but healthy lunch.

Snack lightly on healthy food.

Keep dinners to one portion. Keep desserts modest.

Again, light healthy snacking.

DON’T EVER PIG OUT.

KEEP YOURSELF BUSY.

YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DIE IF YOU GO TO BED A LITTLE HUNGRY.

Drink some water or milk to settle your stomach before bed.

REMEMBER this is just dieting. Dieting is a good way to lose some weight, but without exercise you just end up getting skinny.

In another article/story, exercising. I don’t do it yet.

Photos by freestocks.org on Unsplash

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