Why Wait?

07Jul08

What am I Waiting For?
So, a rather good question that I should go ahead and answer is, “Why am I waiting to start the actual diet?”

The answer’s a somewhat long and complicated one. Pull up a chair.

Some of these I’ve mentioned briefly in previous posts, but I’ll try and put them all in a single place for now.

Money
The cost. Many diets are restrictive (though not all) – meaning that a lot of the foods that currently line my shelves and fridge are going to be considered Very Bad Things when I start dieting. The recommendation that I’ve been seeing is to throw out or donate all the “Bad” foods, and replace them with a whirlwind shopping trip to get “Good” foods.

That’s a great idea. For someone who can afford it, that is.

Me, I’m a bit more pragmatic. I spent good money on that food. Some of it, yes, I will throw away. The things I don’t use very often, like dressings or sauces. I threw out a can of rich caramel/butterscotch ice cream topping last week because I know it’ll take me a long time to go through it, and I don’t need to be scarfing that in an attempt to get it out of the house. That was a dangerous one for me to have around the house, and certainly was going to do more harm than good if I tried to eat it.

But the canned soups, cereals, frozen pizzas, things like that – those I’m going to eat up rather than throw out.

When they’re gone, I will replace them with “Good” foods instead of with the same “Bad” foods.

I just can’t afford to do a full overhaul of my kitchen.

Taste
Let’s face it – I just don’t like the taste of a lot of the “Good” foods. I need time to try some recipes, have some fail and some succeed, and rebuild my collection of meals that I cook.

My husband and I tried a meatloaf recipe this past weekend and found out that we need to severely lower the amount of thyme we use in a recipe (we’re assuming it was the thyme – I don’t think the parsley added much flavor). But how disastrous if we’d tried the recipe while dieting? We’d have been frustrated and felt as though we were being punished.

I have to learn to like new foods before I go on a diet that says they’re all I can eat.

I want to WANT to eat them, and not feel as though I’m being forced.

Indecision
I still haven’t quite decided what diet I’m going to go on. I know, I know, I’ve got a link to a low-carb-ish diet in the sidebar (Neris and India’s Idiot-Proof Diet) – I highly recommend the book. Not necessarily for the diet inside, though it’s definitely an option I’m looking at, but more because it takes such a pragmatic view of dieting, and feels both conversational and supportive. It’s an uplifting diet book, and I feel better and more able to stick to a diet after reading it.

But I don’t know if I’m going to follow the diet.

I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do. Some things are obvious – such as the Water and Sugar posts that I’ve done.

But some things are less obvious. Corn and carrots are bad? Good? What about peas? What about (dare I say it) potatoes?

The ruling on this is all over the board. I don’t even want to get INTO wheat just now.

But since the internet seems confused on good vs bad for those foods, I don’t feel guilty about a little bit of indecision on my part. Whatever I do end up choosing will work for me.

Danger
There’s a danger in waiting. What if I keep putting it off, keep putting it off, keep putting it off, and then never do it? Just fall back into my old ways?

Personally, I think that’s only a danger if someone hasn’t truly committed to dieting. If you feel that you have to start NOW or you never will — you’re going to find dieting very difficult. Yes, you want to diet, I won’t deny that.

But it’s a rubber band effect. If you’re in a hurry, it’s because you know that your resolve will weaken, will fail.

For those people, hurrying and starting is great as long as they start losing right away and can see the obvious benefits. The weight loss itself becomes the motivator. “Look, I’m losing weight, I should stay on the diet.”

There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as they don’t reach their target weight, stop losing quite so much, stall out, and order a pizza.

Approach
Nobody knows you better than you. Your approach to dieting should suit your personality.

And I know me.

I love to research things and learn. I feel uplifted and accomplished by it. If I rush in without doing the research, I’ll feel unprepared and uncomfortable. If something tells me to avoid potatoes, I want to not only know why, I want to hear the reasons that other people think that’s an absurd notion.

I waited a year before getting my tattoo.

I’m in this diet thing for the long haul. I don’t need to rush it, because I mean it. I’m in this thing to get healthy, and losing weight is a part of it, but it’s a life change. It’s huge.

There will come a point where I hold my breath and dive into the water, but for now I want to make sure I’m prepared. Swimming lessons, that’s what I’m doing. If I’m going to spend the rest of my life in the pool, I ought to make sure I know what I’m doing in there.

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