Clicking onto Annie Lamott’s site, as I never heard of her, I must admit I was curious. In order to become a better writer and sometimes being on the obtuse side of things, I try to read the posts, blurbs, and articles that are in tandem with the daily assignment. The first Annie post I read was about the futileness of dieting. It was if she lassoed me in right from her page. As I’ve been fighting the same twenty pounds since I birthed my third child, this tug of war has beaten me; not that I can’t lose weight, it’s just that my body won’t surrender once, according to me, the war has been won. Slowly but surely, pound by pound, the scale betrays me. Suddenly, inexplicably, I’ve gain back 10 of the 20 pounds. How did that happen??? I don’t remember being that bad! it’s not fair. That’s it!
I throw myself back into the “diet” regimen, and by the way I’ve been on every program from Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, LA something or other, Weight Watchers, the 100, you name it I’ve been on it, and I run to the gym.
The scale is like a religious experience and I am devout in weighing myself every day but unlike a benevolent priest, the scale is unforgiving in its refusal to provide the grace I seek.
The devil made me do it would be a great excuse to downing that ice-cream sundae, if it were only true. I often wonder how is it that I could be stuffed to the gills and yet that carbohydrate, no matter what form it takes, can effortlessly and easily slide down my throat. On a bad day there is nothing more comforting and soothing than that first spoonful of vanilla ice-cream as it dances across your tongue, tickling those ever receptive taste buds standing at attention signaling those pleasure seeking brain cells that help has arrived. Scientists feel that increased levels of ghrelin in the brain may be the reason we keep eating pleasurable foods when we know we are full, broccoli, not so much! Ghrelin? I’ll buy that, at least that makes sense but it’s also a cop out because if I am being truthful with myself it’s just another great excuse.
I even bought an exercise monitor that I strapped around my left bicep and wore continuously. This was in synch with the diet flavor of the month. It is recommended to walk 10,000 steps a day and I’m proud to say, most days I did; only because I became addicted to Zumba, which counted for the majority of those steps. Soooooo, I’m dieting, I’m Zumbaing, and I’m not losing any consistent weight. Two pounds down, one pound up, zero next day, then one pound down, .5 up, oh brother! OK, I have to shake up my metabolism. Dr. Oz says it’s important to have a Faturday one day a week. That sounds good to me. Faturday it is. Three pounds up, say it isn’t so.
I began realizing how stupid all of this is. I’m letting numbers on a scale make me crazy. Am I really that shallow? No, it’s not just the number on a scale, well maybe a little bit, but in reality it’s about health, wellness and vitality. If I feel good, if my blood levels are within normal range, and I continue to exercise and remain physically fit, should I go nuts if I am 10 pounds heavier than in previous years? Yes and No. It is a fact that as we age our metabolism slows down but that should not become a license to incorporate bad eating habits into our lives and overeat. Diet may be the wrong word as the word diet, in today’s vernacular, is equal to deprivation, and the moment we feel deprived we want to act out on those feelings.
So hat’s off to good health, nutrition and some form of exercise each and every day. If we are mindful in making good choices, I believe the best is yet to come.