30 April 2005

Health Update: Starting Change One

This week I haven't done anything special to lose weight. I've pretty much abandoned eDiets, but I still enter my weigh-ins on their site because I've already paid through June. My water intake is still between 24 - 48 oz. a day. My lunch choices, which are a big problem, have been a bit better. I hit the salad bar once, and avoided the french fries three times. Unfortunately the cafe is really trying to get people to stick to their set menu: either you get the sandwich and fries OR the meat and two veg OR the salad bar. Having the burger and a small side salad, for instance, is healthier but it is not allowed.

Next week, one of my coworkers and I will be starting the Change One diet. We won't be doing the online option; we're both a little tired of paying for diet services (she used to do Weight Watchers). Change One is a 12-week program designed by Reader's Digest to jump-start you on a healthy, rational lifestyle. It has no crazy gimmicks, no revolutionary plan, and no magic bullet. Each week you change something different. For instance, the first week you work on eating a healthy breakfast then the second week you add in a healthy lunch. There is also an eight-week exercise plan that works on the same principle of slowly integrating more variety into your workout. It is so basic that you almost feel stupid buying the book, but I am hoping that it will work for me.

I've never dieted with a buddy before, other than ABM. That was not a good pairing at all. He tends to pick extreme eating plans. I remember when I was doing eDiets the first time and I pointed out to him how well I was sticking to it. His response: "Well, you aren't doing anything really different." Even though I lost 20 pounds, I got the feeling that to him it wasn't a real diet because I wasn't doing something crazy and I wasn't suffering for my weight loss. If you are living on nothing but egg whites, tuna, and chocolate-flavored breath mints, then that's a real diet to him. The funny thing is that he will always deny that he is suffering on these diets ("I'm not hungry at all") yet he never sticks to them for more than a week. I can't stick to these crazy things for more than 12 hours!

Exercising with ABM is also out of the question. This week I walked twice, for 10 minutes each time. ABM would spit on that; perhaps it hurts his male pride to take such a short walk. Despite the fact that he hasn't exercised regularly since high school (excluding a month-long stint two years' ago), ABM thinks that he can go out on his first day and exercise for 45 minutes. All that does is make him so sore that he doesn't attempt it again for months.

I understand now why it is more difficult to get back into the healthy-lifestyle groove once you have been out of it for a while. When I started eDiets the first time, I had never really done a diet so it was all shiny and new to me. I had all the commitment and enthusiasm of a new convert. I can't summon up that same enthusiasm the second time around. All the routines and meal plans are too familiar to excite me. As for exercise, I feel like I should be able to jump back in at the 30-minutes-a-day level but I am getting winded after 10 minutes. Perhaps this is why women try diet after diet. The new gimmick lights that spark. Unfortunately, a gimmick isn't enough to carry you through a lifetime of healthy eating.
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