That's a good question. What duration? The one thing that became sparklingly clear to me recently was that I was always thinking of this diet and that exercise as being temporary. If you do not think of permanently changing how you look at yourself and how you look at losing weight, then the merry-go-round will continue until you do. That has been hard for me. In fact, I am still working on that one. Are you?
What takes someone down this long crazy road to become someone who is much bigger than God made us? When I finally looked at myself in the mirror one day without my "rose-colored glasses" of youth, there was a fat, somewhat lonely female stranger staring back at me. There had been two children and a failing marriage to keep my eyes off the mirror for many years. Oh, I knew I had gained weight. You don't really miss that! My self esteem at that moment was below ground.
So, now that I have awakened to the situation, what do I do? First, change my attitude. I have to believe that any changes being made in diet, exercise and thought must be permanent. Second, set aside some time each day for those changes. In my case, I will take time to pray and study the scriptures. God has a lot to say and I want to know what He is telling me. Third, set aside the time to do the exercises. Fourth, start planning what I am eating for the day bearing in mind that I am only interested in weight loss and health, not in goodies and what I can cheat with.
One of the biggest failings to a good weight loss plan has to be the binge. Usually for me, it comes at a time when I felt that I failed at the diet. Actually, my husband and I were on the Atkins diet for about three months. In that time, I did not fail. I stayed with the plan the whole way....except for the exercise. Both my husband and I were truly losing weight on it although it wasn't as much as the advertising said it would be. Frankly, I'm certain that was because of my own lack of interest in exercise. My blood pressure was getting really low, lower than I had seen it in a multitude of years.
But.......there is always a but isn't there?......I failed on it too. Why? Because we decided to have a "blow day" every month. That in itself isn't a problem. Thanksgiving came and we did blow it by having anything we wanted. After that, we recovered quite nicely. Back to the Atkins the next day. Then came Christmas. I do not know what it is about that but we started a day early. Then it just snowballed into days and days. After that, we saw articles and newscasts on Atkins and how it could be a problem because of the high fat content. I had had some reservations because of that part myself from the beginning. So, Atkins went by the wayside.
My health care provider suggested we go on South Beach. That sounded great. I had heard good things about it. Despite our financial situation, we bought the book. It was right then that it hit me that almost every diet plan out there caters to the middle class income pocket and not to those of us who cannot afford such things as tuna steaks, salmon steaks, and other, what I call, exotic foods. I realize that they aren't really exotic but on our budget, they are.
For that reason and others, I decided to sort of fly by the seat of my abundant pants and start this site. My success is that I am not giving up. I have decided that I can't live like this anymore, running from diet to diet, trying each thing until I get so frustrated that it no longer matters.
What I want to see is what the books don't tell you, things like........what can be substituted for the foods in the plan such as South Beach. Did you ever notice that these plans do not give you alternatives that match up? What are they? Why should we eat this food at this time and not another?
Tips to keep going:
1) always try to keep a sense of humor. It's healthy.
2) put God into the day. If He is involved, you will succeed.
3) determine in your heart that you are not doing something temporary.
4) find support. don't try to go it alone. Been there, done that. It doesn't work.
Now it's time for you to share your successes and failures with us. We have a forum set up for this. It is searchable when the messages get to be too much. When we change over to another forum, we will archive what we have so that we do not lose anyone's tips and information. Happy losing!!