Well, it’s the second month of the new year and for many of you that means you’re either still trying or desperately holding onto those resolutions you made, swearing that you’d take time and get yourself back in shape. It’s not easy, is it?
Last week I was at my radio show in Burbank. Did I mention I have a radio show? I have a radio show. I bring it up only because while I was waiting in the lobby for one of my musician guests to arrive, I became privy to a conversation between the receptionist and an office worker and it both inspired and saddened me.
With the new year just kicking off, everyone’s getting back on track or they are starting diets and these two ladies were no exception. The receptionist, a lovely young woman — let’s call her “Maggie” — is overweight and had been getting grilled by her co-worker because she had broken down and consumed some “fried rice” — apparently it’s not a part of her “diet.”
“You mustn’t ever eat fried rice! That’s terrible!” the co-worker admonished, wagging a finger in Maggie’s face. “You’ve ruined your diet!”
Maggie looked despondent. “I know, I know!”
“Why did you do that?” questioned the co-worker.
“I don’t know,” lamented Maggie.
And can you just guess what the co-worker looked like? If you guessed svelte and trim, you’d be correct. Now, a word to all svelte and trim ladies out there trying to be helpful to overweight folks (and I used to be one of them so I can speak freely here), standing over them, yelling at them and reprimanding them about their dieting techniques — give it a rest skinny gals, you’re not helping.
Of course Maggie’s eating fried rice. You can’t take away a person’s favorite foods, tell them they never get to eat them again and expect them to adhere to a diet. It’s completely unreasonable and why so many diets fail. It’s going to defeat folks before they even begin.
And of course, poor Maggie doesn’t even know why she ate the fried rice when she knew it wasn’t on her diet plan. But I know why. And there are a million reasons why she strayed from her diet, but I’m only going to talk about one reason right now and that reason has to do with fear. She’s scared. Scared of possibly never eating fried rice again, of never tasting one of her most favorite foods, scared of losing something in her life that has been and continues to be a comfort to her. Skinny co-worker, you may never get this but most obesity issues are psychological. We eat because we are bored, or scared, or nervous or lonely or whatever. Yelling at your co-worker and flaunting your skinny butt in her face is not going to make her see the error of her ways. It’s only going to foster her despondency.
This is why I love me my gym and their easy-as-pie (yes, the food analogy was intended here, folks) diet plan. Case in point. I am on a diet where I can eat whatever I want. Now, I have to work out extra hard to keep that weight off and I have to limit my portions, but hey, if I really want fried rice I can eat it.
So think about that. What if you were on a diet where you could eat whatever you wanted? This is why sticking to a plan works so well. I can eat whatever foods I want, provided I create the necessary daily calorie deficit. Being overweight is no fun and I want so badly to help women like Maggie. I want them to know that no matter where they are in their “diet” they haven’t failed because they had a cup of fried rice or even if they broke down and binged on ice cream; there’s still hope. They don’t have to throw away their diet because of one or two bad choices. I want them to know that what happened to me — changing my body for the better — could just as easily happen to them.
Think about this, what would happen if Maggie knew she could have fried rice if she wanted to, but that she’d simply have to make up for that added carbohydrate by limiting other calories during the week? She would then have a choice. And really that’s what healthy dieting comes down to — giving your body a daily choice.
What are you choosing to put into your body? Are you making the correct choices? Can you eat healthy and also enjoy your favorite foods? Take it from me. I have found the most creative ways to maintain my weight loss without forfeiting the pleasure of taste. Because let’s face it folks you wouldn’t be overweight if you didn’t love the taste of food and you won’t stay on a diet if you can’t eat what you love.
And guess what? Since the printing of my last column I just lost two more pounds. Sink your teeth into that.
Taylor can be reached at Tailfish@roadrunner.com
By the numbers
Starting Weight: 182
Pounds Lost: 34
Current Weight: 148
Goal Weight: 140
Pounds to Lose to Goal: 8