The Good, the Bad… and the rest of the week
So… it was an interesting week – week one on the Game On! diet. I’ll admit up front that I’ve never thought of myself as someone who could stick to a diet. I don’t do well with lots of restrictive rules… does anyone? If you tell me I can’t do something… well… is that a challenge?
The week actually started off pretty well… I was following all the guidelines… 5 smeals, 3 liters of water, 30 minutes of exercise and 7 hours of sleep. Smeals, by the way, are the name I’ve given to the food that is eaten every few hours 5x/day on this plan. It’s not a usual snack – I tend to think of snacks as one food – like an apple… or Doritos! It’s also not the typical meal… which is usually much bigger and much more processed than anything that qualifies in this plan. A small amount of complex carb, lean protein and healthy fat = a smeal. Anyway, I had started off pretty well. Then Friday rolled around. You get one day off with this diet – and Friday was my day. I found myself wanting to go out and splurge. I maintained pretty well, but I definitely noticed the defiant part of me that wanted to just go off the deep end.
I had girlfriends over on Friday night and ended up having more wine than is allowed… even on your day off. SO… I had to take some negative points for that. But over the weekend I put in some extra long exercise sessions and felt pretty good about the whole thing.
Then… duh… duh… duh… I got on the scale yesterday morning. The deal is that you can weigh yourself once per day… but if you weigh yourself more than that, you have to take penalty points. The idea being, that if you become obsessed with the scale, well, that’s not good. The reality for me is that I don’t weigh myself regularly, and I hadn’t weighed myself during the week. Then, on Monday morning when I woke up, I forgot to weigh myself first thing. I had my smeal and then remembered to weigh. It was still pretty much morning and I really didn’t think my one piece of toast with cottage cheese and banana was going to make much of a difference. I got on the scale and I hadn’t lost a pound.
Now… my rationale mind was going on about the fact that it wasn’t first thing in the morning, but there was another side of me… and a not-so-very-nice-side, I might add… that was very upset. I was at once frustrated, humiliated and angry. WOW. I’m embarrassed to say that it effected my whole day. I had big plans for Monday, including writing this blog!!, and at the end of the day, I’m sad to say, most of it didn’t happen. I cleaned… I know I’m not the only one who finds solace in sponges and rags… and cleaning the crap out of something when you need to release some energy!
So, here’s what my conscious mind is finding fascinating. As much as I can intellectually talk about what’s going on and why I might be having certain reactions, I’m still having those reactions! Where does logical thinking coincide with action? Why am I so concerned about following the rules of this game, when it’s really my health that should be the greatest motivator of all, right? Regardless of whether or not I lost weight, I made a ton of really healthy decisions last week, and I should be really proud of those actions. But… I wasn’t. Well… I was… but I really cared about the weight. And the extra points I lost because I didn’t lose 1% of my weight that week.
This whole scenario got me thinking… I work in healthcare and I generally tell people not to go on diets. (I know… ironic!) The thing is, when we just tell people to eat healthy carbs, lean protein and good fats… well, it’s boring! Exercise 30 minutes most days of the week… yeah – it’s rare to find a person who hasn’t heard that health advice before… but few who are actually doing it. Maybe we need to start looking at the factors that make this game intriguing to people… and that make people engage in the challenge. When we look at healthcare, maybe it’s a little bit about what to do… but even more importantly how we engage people in making those choices every day.
By the way… I decided to weigh myself this morning very first thing… and I was down 3 pounds!! Was it the smeal? Or maybe it just took time to kick in? Either way, I guess what matters is the everyday choices and the work … and if you’re patient… the results will follow.