Friday, April 3, 2009
Cold Turkey Or Giving the Bird "The Bird"
As I get older, I'm learning a few things about myself. I hate change. Traffic makes me insanely cranky. I need more than 4 hours a sleep to function properly. I can no longer drink as much as I used to. I actually kind of like the color pink (who knew?). You know, important things. I have also learned that food and I will probably forever be locked in a winless battle. See, I love food, and it loves me, probably a bit too much. Sugar in particular.
The success that I had last year with the Zone was the first actual success I have had in losing any sort of weight. It felt great and I was so glad that it worked. But, as Melissa (Byers Gets Diesel) said in one of her food posts, creating a cycle of punishable behaviors is not going to yield the results (ie eating behaviors) that you want. She is right. It I go cold turkey today, and start Zoning and dropping out things that I've been eating it's going to drive me insane. I'm more likely to cheat out of my frustration that I can't have things, and create this cycle of eating and them ultimately punishing myself for it. This is not healthy. So today, I'm giving the bird, "the bird" so to speak.
What I'm learning about myself as I get older, is that unlike many people, I can't do things, "cold turkey". There needs to be a period of gradual reduction to get used to the changes that are occurring before the complete change over takes place. I HATE change. For whatever reason it makes me uncomfortable. Other people thrive on uprooting their lives and doing new things, but I thrive on routine. Even in something as simple as food, and changing the routine or the bad habits I have gotten into lately is not going to be easy. Changing habits, bad or good, takes time, and that's something that I think everyone going into any kind of eating change needs to remember. It's going to be a fight to change these things because you've been doing them, in most cases, for a long time. I tried to go cold turkey back into the Zone this week, and had only limited success. I did NOT drink ANY coffee over the last four days, which is a major feat in and of itself. I have seriously upped my water intake, and I've only slipped and had one soda (at lunch with teammmates yesterday and it was DIET) which is another serious feat, ESPECIALLY considering that I work in a restaurant where I get to drink all the soda I want..... I did not touch a drop on Thursday. To me, this is a serious step in the right direction. I bet some people are thinking that this is no big deal. Well, again, remembering that everyone is an individual is a big help here, because what you need to understand about me, is that I was drinking a Venti White Mocha (800 cals+) each morning to get me going, AND at least 2-3 cans/bottles of soda a day (another 800-1000 cals+). This is an INSANE amount of extra calories. Eliminating these two things will go a VERY long way towards helping me maintain a healthy weight. A simple solution some would say would be to go to the light coffee drinks and Diet soda. My rebuttal? Light coffee tastes like ca ca, and diet sodas still produce insulin responses in your body because your body thinks it's getting sugar. Even though it's not really sugar, your body has been duped and you're left holding the extra insulin that your body prepared to deal with the "sugar" it thought was coming. This is why people who diet and drink a ton of diet colas don't very often see dramatic results they were looking for. So truthfully, it's no better than drinking regular.
Although I was good about the coffee and soda, I did slip and eat a cookie that one of the kids brought in for Easter (Thursday), and on Wednesday I had a (very small) brownie. Now, the old me would have pummeled myself unmercifully for eating something not Zoned. But, I have to give myself credit. My meals for the most part over the last few days were completely Zoned, and even the meals that weren't because I ate out, were, although not perfect, more Zone friendly than the choices I've been making recently. No more processed pasta (which had again become a go to because it's so quick and easy to make) no more tons of bread or fried foods. I really have been making an effort. And no, it's not perfect. It's not 100% Zoned. But IMHO, Zoning 85% is better than not Zoning at all. I have to give myself credit for taking the initiative, taking the steps, and making some progress. Maybe not the best progress, but progress nonetheless. If I don't cheat for 3 meals, but slip for 2, that's better than cheating all 5 right? It's progress. And after all, in CF isn't that what we're looking for? Measurable gains? This is definitely something that is a measureable gain. It might be a baby step, but it's a baby step in the RIGHT direction. Maybe next week I aim for 4 out of 5. It's progress we're looking for.
As the weeks go by, I think I'll dial down even more, and the sugary stuff won't pose such a problem for me, but right now I need to be careful. My body is still going through sugar detox and it wants what it wants based on my past poor choices. As I step down into the Zone, I think I will start to see results, and I will not be as angry with myself as I would have been if I had gone "cold turkey". I just need to remember to keep making good choices, and try as hard as I can. Now, I know others may disagree with me and say no, no, no. For the first two weeks you need to be completely in the Zone and you can't cheat and blah blah blah. But here's the thing. We need to remember that each person is an individual and therefore, so is their diet. Some people may do well with the 2 week crash course into the Zone. I don't. I become very anxious about what I'm eating, if it's not 100% perfect, if I have a slip. It's too much negative reinforcement to something that is supposed to be helpful. Over the next three weeks I hope to step completely in the Zone, but for now, the first big step, is getting over the coffee and soda addiction and going from there. Here's to hoping I can do it.