I recently overheard something in a clothing store that got me thinking. A woman in the cubicle next to me was complaining loudly to her friend that she hadn’t eaten bread for two years because she was on a diet. As I was leaving I caught sight of this poor
person and was not surprised to discover that she looked dreadful. Now, I’m not talking about physical beauty here. No, I’m referring to countenance, bearing, and charisma, in short, the subtle signals we emit that tell the world who we are and this woman was not a happy
I don’t have a perfect body. I’m middle-aged and have a figure that, if one was being generous, could be described as rubenesque. But you can bet your last dime that I would rather be fat and happy than thin and miserable. Perhaps, my mystery lady was just having a bad day, it happens. But she got me thinking about my own struggles with weight loss.
I should tell you that I have always grappled with my body image. It started when I was a teenager and my mother told me I should lose a few pounds. When I think back I realise that I was not large at all, in fact I was slim. But it was an era when Twiggy was still famous and thin was in. And so, I began to believe that to be happy I
would have to maintain a size two. By the time I was fifteen I was secretly hiding food the way other teenagers hide alcohol or drugs.
Because of this I have been on almost every fad diet out there. The
Grapefruit Diet, The Slim fast Diet, The South Beach Diet etc. It’s a long boring list and I’m sure you don’t need all the details. But you do need to know that none of them worked, not surprising really when you think about it. I mean the grape fruit diet. Seriously? Who in their right mind can live off grapefruit? How did I ever imagine that was going to work? But, you see, I wasn’t thinking, I was reacting.
Most of us feel social pressure at some time or other. Personally, I blame the media. There are companies out there that make money by encouraging feelings of inadequacy. Just think of all the commercials. Do you have bad breath? Are your teeth white enough? Do you have cellulite? Is your hair frizzy? Is your hair flat? Would you like to shed your unwanted belly fat? Until one day you look in the mirror and see a fat, lumpy
woman with flat, frizzy hair, bad breath, and yellow teeth. That’s what these companies want you to see, because they want you to buy their products.
But I digress, back to the dieting. For most of us even the good diets like Weightwatchers are hard to do because they’re based on eating healthy. Sounds good right? And they are, but the trouble is that for many of us it’s all too much at once. You have to eat healthy, start exercising and watch your portion size all at the same time.
For the first few months we can handle it, but at around the three-month mark it all becomes too much and we start climbing the walls praying for our next chocolate fix.
If you are planning to make a New Year’s resolution to shed a few pounds start by eating healthy. Don’t worry about losing weight. Just make sure that the food you eat is beneficial. Give it about three months before you try and shed some pounds.
I have a few simple rules I follow. Don’t eat too much, fat, salt or sugar. (This is particularly hard for me because I’m a sugar-freak) I’m not saying you should cut these out altogether. I’m a great believer in treats. One treat a day should be enough. And don’t eat white foods. What are white foods? White bread, white rice, white pasta, and white sugar. They just don’t have the fibre your body needs. Once
you’re used to eating healthy foods then you can worry about portion control but that’s another blog for another day.
And just so you know. I finally lost weight through Weightwatchers and have managed to maintain a healthy B.M.I. for the past two
Lastly, I want to leave you with these words from diet expert and comedian John Pinette about the Irish diet. It’s a short video lasting one minute and fifty