How’s the secret diet?” asks Stepdaughter with a naughty laugh in her voice. I don’t even think, as I reply that I’ve lapsed a bit during this hard winter of lingering colds and low energy. Only afterwards the word registers: “diet”.
People just won’t get it.
IT. IS. NOT. ABOUT. FOOD.
Even the woman I think of as my best friend in these parts snorts testily when I tell her for the umpteenth time that it’s not a diet. “Oh well, whatever you call it then. Eating plan, whatever.” She looks so scornful - despite seeing me scoff the chocolate biscuits - that I give up and refrain from insisting that it isn’t an eating plan either.
We have been so conditioned to believing that weight IS about what you eat. And certainly I have proven that over and over again myself – Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers, successful graduate of Jenny Craig, and so forth. Eating to slim does work … for a while.
Well, why should you believe me? I keep not telling you what we ARE doing. And then I say that we are not sweating off the weight with a harsh exercise régime either.
OK, let me tell you some things I can say. Over the winter Debbie, my massage therapist – who is trained in Swedish, Shiatsu, Reiki, Deep Tissue, Reflexology, Lymphatic Drainage, Advanced Aromatherapy and Cranio-Sacral, and knows how to read a body – thought my thyroid was out of balance. She suggested alkaloid foods. I was worried; if I started a special diet, would it interfere with the credibility of the weight loss program? Would people say afterwards, “Oh she only lost weight because of the thyroid diet?” I said as much to Letitia, the originator of our program. She just gave me a kinda fish-eyed look and said, “When have I ever spoken to you about food? It’s not about that.” So I relaxed and was careful for a little while, and when the doctor had my thyroid function tested it was perfectly in balance. So I stopped worrying about what I was eating.
Then Debbie picked up that my pancreas was a bit out. This was a worry; once before I had been told I had a pre-diabetic condition. I took my blood sugar for a little while, while cutting down on sweets, and requested that my doctor order a blood test. My naturopath and doctor both pronounced that I was not diabetic.
Meanwhile I became concerned about my osteopenia (precursor of osteoporosis) which I know I do have. I found out that the medication prescribed carried its own problems. My chiropractor recommended weight training as the only really efficient way to address the problem. So I started a gentle régime under the guidance of a trainer. I’m afraid I am not very disciplined and it’s been in abeyance a little while, but I do intend to resume.
And I have continued with my Tai Chi classes which I was already doing before going on the weight loss program.
Here is the interesting thing – while I was dieting for my thyroid and pancreas, while I was gung-ho with the weight training, I was not losing weight. I was in my “lapse” from the program and I could tell from my shape and the fit of my clothes that I actually put on a little. Now that I have revived the program, I’m starting to see slimming happening again.
The same happened to us all. It felt like a long, hard winter. Several of the team got sick this winter, sponsorship funding ran out, people at a film conference Letitia attended loved her idea but told her that her approach to the filming could use some changes…. We all either put back a bit of the weight we’d taken off, or stayed the same.
And yet we know the program works. We didn’t lose all the weight we wanted to as fast as we wanted to, but my goodness we did have some dramatic results. And the hiatus has been useful too, making us look deeper at what makes us fat and what makes us fit.
We had a meeting the other day, to hear Letitia unfold her new plans – not for the program, that’s unchanged, but for the way we present it to the world. Exciting stuff! And our enthusiasm is rekindled. We have put our lapses behind us and got back into the swing of it. And guess what, my face is suddenly looking slimmer in the mirror, and I’m doing up my bra on the tightest row of hooks again.
And no, I’m not divulging the details just yet. I don’t care if you think it really MUST be some revolutionary new way of managing food. Mind you, I always have eaten in a fairly healthy way – well, except for the chocolates – but that never stopped me getting fat, and since being on this program I haven’t made any drastic changes to what I eat, when I eat or how much I eat.
I had a lot to lose and I still have more than half of it left, so don’t expect to see me become stick-thin overnight (or at all; I’m not mad on the skin-and-bone look). I don’t know how long it will take. However we now have a digital camera, and almost know how to use it. I intend to post pictures from time to time, of the Incredible Shrinking Woman.
Today I walked into the Neighbourhood Centre and one of the staff – who sees me often – did a double-take and said, “Are you losing weight?” Yeah!