Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How to make a fresh start count.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where I went wrong lately. I started off the year with a great deal of momentum and it all just fizzled away. I think part of it was that I became overconfident of my success. When I started doing well, I allowed that nasty little demon in my ear to tell me that it was okay if I cheated just a little. Then one little cheat led to bigger cheats….

I justified it, saying that I was too stressed to worry about one more thing. I had enough important things causing me anxiety, why should I worry about what I’m eating? Something has to give and it might as well be my diet… I thought.

My extended circle of friends and family didn’t fully support or understand my decision to follow a low carb lifestyle. I had well meaning folks suggest diet killers like allowing myself one day a week to have whatever I wanted or pushing me to have that glass of wine and not count it… I know that eating too many carbs while on a low carb diet is the kiss of death. Yet somehow I always manage to let someone convince me that this time it will be okay.

So how can I make 2011 better? I need to set some rules.

1. I know that low carb is the easy, craving free, happy path to weight loss. So I am no longer going to even entertain other suggestions or criticisms. This is my plan. It doesn’t have to be your plan. I don’t care what other people think about it anymore.

2. There is no such thing as a “Free Lunch”. That means that if I am choosing to do low carb, then I must commit myself to being low-carb ALL THE TIME. Calorie counters can occasionally have a “treat” meal of higher fat/calories for a special occasion and make up for it later. Low-Carbers cannot do this. You can’t “save” carbs for a splurge. Even if I eat nothing but chicken breasts and bacon for a week solid I cannot suddenly have a bowl of pasta without bringing back all the cravings I worked so hard at eliminating.

3. I will not worry and stress about my diet, food is just food after all. If I am hungry, I will eat. I will make a conscious choice to always have food in my house that I can grab and eat that are okay on my plan. I will stock up on Jerky and make Deviled Eggs and snack on pork rinds, cheese and olives. I will learn how to make sugar-free sweets to keep on hand. I will do the work ahead of time so when a munchies crisis strikes I can easily address it without having a meltdown because I have nothing I can eat in the house.

4. I will greet my successes with renewed commitment to my plan and not reward my work with a self sabotaging food treat.

5. I will have a realistic expectation of how much weight I should lose in a year. Yes I recognize that there are people in the blogosphere who have lost well over a hundred pounds in a year. I applaud their efforts and wish them all the best. However, I also recognize now that the rate of loss they are enjoying is not healthy or maintainable for me. I will not try to be like anyone else or become jealous when others put up big weight loss numbers each week, I will simply do the best that I can do and be proud of my own effort.

I have other resolutions too. I want to focus on my personal and professional growth this year. I want to find a work/life balance that I can live with. I want to get a handle on my family’s finances for once and for all.

How about everyone else? What are you focusing on in 2011?


  1. Hi Xina.

    I am struggling with being low carb too. I am fairly strict about it because there are so many fabulous foods I can eat freely. Like you, the biggest problem are friends and family who don't get how addictive starches and sugars can be. They wouldn't press a drink on an alcoholic but consider us to be faddy eaters when we eliminate bread.

    Finally I can say with all honesty it's a matter of recovering my health. People with allergies, celiac disease, diabetes, stomach/duadenal ulcers, gall bladder disease, liver disease and more, all have to follow prescribed diets to stay healthy. Nobody querries their decisions so why pick on us?

    I am too easily de-railed by the well meaning but ill-informed opinions of others.

    This has to stop. I want desperately to be healthy. One day public opinion will swing in our favour.In the meantime we swim against the current growing stronger every day.

    All the best as you, (and me), learn to live a more healthy way.

  2. My biggest downfall w/low carbing is 1. NOT preparing and 2. Having crap in my house. I have to limit what I give my 5yr old...I can't buy things "for him" if I know it's going to create problems for me...I just can't. I have had to alter the way my whole family eats.

    Sometimes I have to play the "what's better" game: a snickers bar (approx 32 carbs) or a bologna sandwich on low carb bread (8g)? I try to limit my l.carb bread consumption but it's better to do the low carb bread than hit mcdonalds!!

    Xina-you've come a long way baby! You're going to reach your destination and you are going to be an example of what perseverance can accomplish! Hold your head up high - you are strong and you are able! And to hell with anyone who says differently!!