I’m shopping for a new word. I hate the word “diet”, and wish there were a suitable replacement that wasn’t clumsy and yet conveyed true meaning in a compact, snappy package. I often use “healthy eating program” or “lifestyle change”. But the first is unnecessarily bulky and the second one sounds like a euphenism for menopause.
A quick search for synonyms was depressing and inaccurate in describing what yours truly is attempting to do: calorie counting, abstinence, dietary fast (not even!), nutritional therapy (brought to you , no doubt, by the same people who came up with “sanitation engineer), restriction, starvation (yikes, it gets worse and worse!), weight-reduction plan, regime, regimen.
Of all that were listed, the only two I found unobjectionable were “regime”, which is nothing more than a fancy French word for diet but sounds kind of elegant and hip; and “regimen”, which at least sounds disciplined and hard-working. Regimen sounds like something you do under the guidance of a drill sergeant. But it lacks ... snap.
Anyway, March represented both a battle and an education as far as my regimen goes. I lost five pounds, which is only a fraction of what I’ve lost in other months; and although I would have liked to have lost more, I’m not disappointed. In March, I discovered a lot about my cravings and some unexpected triggers, and how to handle them. I got a little bit off track, then got back on and now I am losing again.
And as of today, I am 17.5 pounds away from my first one hundred pound loss. My goal is to reach it by my birthday, June 7, which I intend to spend hiking with my husband and any friends who can be persuaded to join us on a challenging 8-mile jaunt I fondly refer to as The Death March. (Lest that sound unappealing, whoever survives will be rewarded with some of the best barbecue and margaritas in the country).
As of today, I am also starting a month-long Beck Boot Camp --- a refresher course, if you will. There are some techniques I’ve been letting slip, little things like sometimes popping food in my mouth while I’m preparing dinner (those extra calories add up) or making unnecessary substitutions to my food plan. I don’t always take time to give myself credit, or to read my response cards. Each of these may seem like a little thing, but in fact they add up to the success I’ve had so far. So, it’s time to renew and rededicate myself to this program.
One of the most useful tools in getting started on this journey is the response cards, sabotaging thoughts written down on cards or a notebook and answered logically. I bought a colorful little notepad the first day, and have been jotting thoughts in it ever since; it’s been my constant companion, and I have whipped it out anytime and anyplace I needed to remind myself why I didn’t really want or need to eat something tempting but off-plan. Over the last month I haven’t been reading it as often, and one of the reasons is that it’s practically memorized. So as one of my projects for Boot Camp, I bought a new notebook and will make a new set of cards. I hope that seeing them in a different order with a different look will help refresh their message and strengthen this valuable tool for me once again. Of course, the mere act of taking out the notebook and reading it before meals is a ritual that helps me stay on track.
An offshoot of that took are my reminder bracelets. My responses can be boiled down to a few key phrases: PERSEVERANCE. NO EXCUSES. FACE DECISIONS. CHOOSE HEALTH. Early on, I made myself two bracelets using alphabet beads I found at a local craft store. They didn’t look great, but they did their job. Now the finish has worn off them, and they look truly shabby; but I’ve been on the lookout for a more permanent, wearable solution. I want a real piece of jewelry that I can wear every day. So far, my efforts to find someone who could create a custom piece or modify an existing piece to my specifications have fallen short. But I did find a great online bead store that carries sterling silver alphabet beads. I ordered some of those, as well as some Swarovski crystals and supplies, and last night I sat down and made myself a new bracelet. It’s far from perfect but it will do for now. It certainly looks better, and now once again I have my reminders right there on the hand that reaches for the food!
Last but not least, I have a request for all you lovely people. I am so gratified to hear from people who are reading the blog --- many have written to say that they read it every day. Thank you! But here’s the request: comment every once in a while. Let other people know you’re out there, too. I’m working on building this blog and I need to expand the readership. I hope that soon I’ll be able to do some fun things like contests. But I need to get more traffic, first. So if you are reading because you, too, are trying to lose weight, tell us what you’re doing! If you’ve read something noteworthy elsewhere, or know about a product that might be of interest, point us to it. Send your friends this way.
Hey, I know, let’s start with a poll.
What’s your favorite alternative term for “diet”?
A. Diet. Say what you mean, mean what you say.
C. Nutritionally Correct Alternative Lifestyle Eating Plan
D. Healthy Inspiring Personal Plan for Intuitive Eating (HIPPIE)
E. Fat Molecule Reassignment Initiative
G. None of the above --- I prefer my own (please list).