Dieting: No, I’m not starving myself.

There are some things in life that are more frustrating than they should be.  For instance, when the toilet paper is the wrong way on the holder (proper technique can be found here) or when people don’t turn their turn signal on before they start slowing down to turn.  Actually, that’s justifiably infuriating.  Point being, there are just some things in life that bother us.  Not a serious bother.  Like a needing to pop your ears kind of bother.

“I’m actually dieting right now.  I’ve lost (insert number here) pounds.”

“Well yeah, that’s because you’re not eating.” (The previous underlined phrase can be substituted with “starving yourself”.)

Sweet mercy.  We’ve transcended past popping your ears.  This is like plucking eyebrows. For whatever reason, a common response to your newfound pride and sense of accomplishment after shedding that pesky five or ten pounds with the aid of carefully calculated food intake is the assumption that you are simply not eating or not eating enough.  I have no idea why.  As a matter of fact, I’ve found the opposite to be the case.  I eat heartily (think, viking dinner) when I’m dieting.  I generally find myself without hanger for most of the day, minus the times when it’s time to eat (duh).  The only difference is that when it is time to eat, I abstain from foods that will contribute to my unsightly love handles.  Currently, that means no breads, pasta, potatoes, sugar, other carbs.  And although I nearly surpass the ketogenic threshold with my morning coffee alone (Coldstone sweet cream creamer is, in fact, not low carb), I generally do pretty well.  So, instead of “starving myself”, here is how I manage to cut some weight.

BeFunky Collage

Motivation is key.  Most people will make the comment that they “can’t” diet or lose weight.  That’s simply false.  The biggest part of losing weight is the mentality you have to adopt.  What is more important to you, being able to eat cookies or having a smaller waist?  Drinking soda or having a six pack?  You will generally find that there is no middle ground here.  It’s either one or the other.

To that end, preparing food is of paramount importance.  Above is an example of that. To the left are eggs that I prepared just last night in anticipation of a long shift at the hospital, and to the right is a meal of low carb barbecue chicken with broccoli and cheddar.  Realize that most of the time, you can’t just go and pick up whatever is available.  Food in America is generally pretty unhealthy.  We drink tons of sugar, eat tons of fast food, and partake in tons of sweets, all of which are generally no-no’s when it comes to getting that beach bod ready.  Personally, I’ve found that I have to sprint through Walmart to avoid the temptation of Krispy Kreme, frozen White Castles, pizza, potatoes, or really any of the delicious things that I’ve resolved to abstain from, at least temporarily.

An equally important part of weight loss is exercise.  Getting my butt off the couch and in the gym (or if I’m feeling saucy, onto the sidewalk for a little cardio) not only makes me feel great but contributes to burning calories, and having a calorie deficit is generally what makes you lose weight.  Too much energy = weight gain.  Too little energy = weight loss.  Diet and exercise cooperate to make this happen.

Yes, I have lost weight.  I’ve lost a significant amount actually.  I’m super stoked to go to the beach.  I’m smaller than I was in high school.  Yes, I will probably put it back on if I go off of my diet or decide to shift my focus.  I’ll be okay with that too.  But for the love of God, do not assume that I’m starving because I’m losing weight.  It undermines the work I’ve put in and the personal satisfaction I get from being healthier.  Plus, it sort of makes you worse than the turn signal guy.


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