Dieting Again

I’m feeling a little like Oprah Winfrey.   No, I’m not a bazillionaire with incredible influence in the entertainment industry.  I don’t grace every cover of OlderEyes Magazine with a maddening open-mouthed smile or make overnight successes of authors with Older Eyes’ Book Club.  I’m dieting again.  Finding over ten pairs of too-small jeans hidden away in my closet on Monday pushed me over the edge.   Just for the hell of it, I Googled Oprah Diet and found pages of articles.  Acai, the Oprah SuperfoodOprah’s 21 Day Detox.  Oprah’s quiz to help YOU choose the right dietAmerica’s Next Great Diet Craze … according to  Pardon me.  Isn’t going to Oprah for diet advice a little like coming to me for Hair Care Products?  Let me say this: DO NOT come here for diet advice.  

I’m a little sensitive about weight.   My Mom, who always had a weight problem, once told me, Don’t gain more weight than you can lose in a year.  If you do, you’ll never lose it.  This week, I signed up for WeightWatchers Online and one of their handy-dandy online tools helps me figure out how much I should lose.  Yikes!  Even at a respectable weight loss rate, I’m looking at over six months.  My Mom’s problems with weight eventually combined with her diabetes to take her life and I’ve inherited her attraction to food but fortunately not her diabetes.   The only time I was able to keep my weight under control is when I was doing marathons and triathlons, logging 50 miles running, 100 miles biking and 4 miles swimming … per week! Not gonna happen again. Now, all over Socal there are billboards advertising surgical weight loss procedures like O-Band and Lap-Band, also known as gastric binding. Yes, these gizmos are wrapped around your stomach to reduce your food intake. Inside. Yikes! I wonder if Oprah will try it? OK, I’ll stop picking on her … she has a good article about the issues with gastric binding, here, as does Livestrong, here. But excuse me, but I’d rather diet, even if I start to feel like Oprah.

The truth is, every diet I’ve tried … and stuck to … has worked, as long as I did two things: (1) actually tracked the calories, carbs, points … whatever I”m supposed to track.  I’m too good at kidding myself if it’s not on paper (or in this case, online); and (2) exercised.  I’m not fit enough to take off on five mile runs but I can take five mile bike rides and three mile walks.  Weight becomes increasingly stubborn with age (as do many things) so exercise is more important than ever.   I like Weightwatchers because their point tracking incorporates exercise and because it gives you freedom as to what to eat.   The online version of WeightWatchers gives me online tools for determining the points for many foods, coming up with low-point meals and tracking my progress for $17.95 a month.   I used to do that for free with their old point system using an Excel spreadsheet that someone posted online.  Weightwatchers zealously guards their new and patented formulas for converting carbs, fat, protein and fiber to points but any competent rocket scientist … or communications scientist … can reverse engineer them from the online tools, not that I would.  Other people already have (just Google WeightWatchers Points).  For what it’s worth, Weightwatchers Online tries to be a supportive experience similar to attendance at Weightwatchers meetings.   I’m not far enough along to know if that helps me.   But I’m off and running, if only figuratively.  I probably won’t meet Oprah out there on the bike trail but oddly enough, we seem to be on the same path, at least when it comes to diets.  Wish us luck.

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8 Comments on “Dieting Again”

  1. First, I have to thank you for NOT being the guy in the picture wearing a Speedo. Apart from that… all the best!

    • oldereyes Says:

      In those days, triathletes either wore Speedos or “triathlon shorts” which were similar to bike shorts. Even in my most fit days, I had huge thighs, so if I ran in a Speedo, I ended up chafed. So, in a way, you were saved from being traumatized by chunky thighs.

      Week 1 … five pounds. Yeah, I know, mostly water.

  2. granny1947 Says:

    Doesn’t it say somewhere that you should not use bad language on your posts?
    Diet is a four letter word…wash your mouth out with soap!

  3. Bob S Says:

    I’m with granny1947. “Diet” is one of those vulgar four-letter words that should be banned in all posts. ;>) I do like your mother’s advice though. She is so right; if you gain more than you can lose in a year you are in trouble. After gaining more than I should have over the years, I have moderated my eating habits to bypass those “seconds” on foods that I like so much and am very slowly seeing some weight loss.

    It really sucks. But, I have a new grand-baby that I want to be around to see grow up. So, I figure the struggle is worth it.

    Great post! It reminds me to keep on the path of enjoying a better life.

    • oldereyes Says:

      Yes, the grandkids make me want to stay healthy, that’s for sure. But my powers of rationalization can thwart me. Just as in “other areas” of our lives, I need a program.

  4. Cheryl P. Says:

    Hi Bud, I’m behind in my reading so just getting caught up with you.

    I,too, have been on the diet-go-round, on multiple occassions. It sounds like you have found what works for you (Weight Watchers) and just have to be patient and diligent.

    For me I am one of those people that have to keep a food diary and exercise. A LOT. The other component for me is I have a support group just for fitness. My Texas walking partner has been walking with me 5 miles every day for 12 years. (via cell phone now that I am in KS) AND I have a trainer that I meet with on Mondays so that I can replicate her “work out for the week” 3 times. All of that keeps me where I need to be.

    I often get tired of all this but I know that keeping my weight in check and my heart/bone/muscles strong makes me feel better and happier.

    Best of luck.

    • oldereyes Says:

      I’m way behind on my reading, too. It’s funny … I’m a big “support group” guy in other areas of my life (as you’ve likely noticed) but in exercise and diet, I’m a loner, which is why I need the discipline of recording points and miles. Once I get started, I usually lose at a good rate but his time I have a long way to go. Sigh.

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