Friday, November 18, 2011

INO Not Really An Option For Me

I've had Secrets Of A Former Fat Girl by Lisa Delaney (a memoir / self help type book where she talks about how she went from plus size to a size 2... and you can too! ;-)  ) on my nightstand for awhile and finally got around to finishing it. Originally I picked up this book to maybe get some pointers on how to fit better in my wedding dress but my motivation to finish it fell by the wayside with the stress of wedding planning (much like my commitment to actually lose the weight lol). When I did finally delve in past the first few chapters, I realized it wouldn't have been much help to finish this book anyway.

Much of the book is Delaney drilling her INO (It's Not an Option) Philosophy into the reader. That was my first problem. I believe in moderation, not denial. Denial is partly what leads the winners / contestants of "Biggest Loser" to gain back all or at least a good part of all the weight they lost --- because unless you're looking at a food allergy (in which case, you wouldn't be eating it so that's not what made you fat anyway) it just doesn't seem realistic to me to say "I'm just never going to eat that ever again."

author Lisa Delaney before and after INO

Lisa Delaney

Delaney is very proud of the fact that she whittled herself down to a size 2, and she should be - she worked hard and she looks great - for her. I personally think I would look ridiculous as a size 2, not to mention I love having some curve to me anyway (as does my husband!). I would be devastated if I lost my boobs! The one happy point of gaining weight in life is hey, boobs got bigger, sweet! Once I star to see myself as looking a little too much like "People of Walmart" then I tone back on the happy - size portions.

Now Delaney doesn't say you HAVE to be a size 2 to look amazing, she means for you to take what she's learned and customize it to your life. And she DOES  offer some good pointers! She offers some web sites to refer to -- places to find support and tips on how to get started with your transformation. I think my favorite of the ones mentioned in the book is the National Weight Loss Control Registry, a forum for those who have lost 30 pounds or more and have kept it over for over a year. At the Registry, these people share their stories, tips and tricks and support for those working their way to that poing. Pretty motivational stuff! You can also go on, where they have forums set up in groups divided by how many pounds you want to lose (ie. 10-15 lb group, 25-50 lb group, etc). Delaney also mentions the difference between low density and high density foods, which I found particularly helpful.

It was the stuff in between these helpful pointers that made me scratch my head - first it started with what seemed like Delaney trying too hard to write that "quirky and funny" type self-help book. Then there were (what seemed like to me anyway) the somewhat bizarre anecdotes she shares in an attempt, I'm guessing, to make herself relatable:

~ talking about how in 1978 she went into Taco Bell and ordered not one but TWO items off the menu, to which I thought "yeah... so? I've walked out with a BAG of menu items from there before after a night of binge drinking" (this was back in the day ... I'm a respectable married lady now lol ;-) )

~ she exercises to R & B? Like Teddy Pendergrass / Marvin Gaye kind of R & B? Alicia Keys? I guess whatever works... just doesn't seem like it would keep you amped enough

~ she keeps herself from gorging on chips in Mexican restaurants by only eating the ones that are folded over .. that part I didn't have a problem with, it was the other part - she says she has no problem fingering all the chips to FIND the folded chips and if that's a problem with whoever she's eating with, they don't have to eat with her again... C'mon! SERIOUSLY?! Nobody wants to eat with that person at the table who flips through all the bread pieces before picking one or licking serving spoons and putting them back into communal dishes (I've been to dinner parties where this is done btw) - you can't honestly think the problem is the other person - it's a matter of hygiene!

~ Speaking of hygiene, in a way, she also mentions that if you have extra birthday / holiday party goodies, extra Halloween candy, that sort of thing then you should not just give it to someone at work (which is what I typically do) or just put it in the trash... oh no! Delaney says you run the risk of eating the stuff at work or, worse yet, you may dig the food out of the trash and eat it! Can't say I've ever been THAT desperate for a final piece of cake... THAT, readers, is why I don't like to deny myself and say I never ever again eat a food I'm particularly fond of. I'd rather just carry a few vanity pounds rather than have that moment where I look at myself saying "What THE HELL are you doing??"

Some of the most useful tools to get you to Former Fat Girl status that Delaney mentions  :

* Pick a regime you can see yourself sticking with 
* Find workout clothes that you feel good and confident in
* Be selective about who you tell your diet plans to (at least until there is noticeable progress). Friends and   family who are use to seeing you a certain size can unintentionally sabotage your goals with comments, resistance to support you, etc
* Find a trainer you click with, one that will keep you motivated and exercising, can give you technique advice, diet/nutritional information, and overall help you get the most out of your workouts
* Find someone to talk to who has been where you are and is currently at the level you want to be at. Have them share their stories, tips, support to keep you motivated
* Keep a Food Journal where you track weight loss / gain (so you can see progress or what made you fall back from your goal), what you are eating on a typical day, your feelings during your weight loss process - it will inspire you to stick with it

And my favorite:

* Keep one of your "skinny outfits" out where you can see it - either something you wore in the past that you want to wear again OR something you bought that you look forward to fitting into.If you don't have a particular outfit, you can cut out a picture out of a magazine of what you would ideally like to look like (just make sure it's reasonable to your body size / height - If you're 5'9 or something you probably don't want to go for some 95 lb weight goal obviously). Delaney says seeing the physical representation of a goal is more motivational and effective than just having a general number in your head. 

She also mentions using a program such as Weight Watchers as a sort of method of accountability. Pay someone to MAKE you go to meetings where you either work to make progress or suffer the embarrassment of having to say "I fell behind a little this week". For me, this method doesn't work simply because I don't do well with having to answer to someone else -- but it is a good idea in general if you really need the help. I'm dealing with a few vanity pounds myself but not what I would call obese by any means so I'm not going to beat myself up about my weight at this point (at least not outside of my own internal Debbie Downer that whispers in my inner ear some days lol)

Most of the book seems to be geared more toward people who are looking to lose a significant amount of weight and who have little to no self-will when it comes to food. Maybe like having a AA sponsor I guess (it is addiction - just in a different form), this book may help if you're to the point where you need someone to stay on you and make you accountable for your actions.

The biggest thing that bothered me was a portion where Delaney suggests if you're not a cook then to look at low-cal tv dinners because many are "low cal AND tasty now". As a person that's battled hypertension my entire adult life - even when I was a size 6 - I can tell you this is a VERY bad idea... even the low cal options are often loaded to the max with sodium! Delaney mentions checking the fat content on food because of the risk of heart disease in women, but nowhere does she mention the importance of monitoring your sodium intake. If we're gonna talk about heart disease -- even if you're not hypertensive, you still want to monitor your levels so you don't stroll into pre-hypertensive and THEN hypertensive states. It's a bitch of an illness that leaves you tired, drained, in vayring degrees of pain every day, feeling like you have weights on your chest all the time, so PLEASE PLEASE monitor your sodium folks!!

low salt cartoons, low salt cartoon, low salt picture, low salt pictures, low salt image, low salt images, low salt illustration, low salt illustrations

While Delaney's method isn't a perfect fit for me, she did make some good points as well as offered some handy tips and resources that I was either unfamiliar with or had only barely heard of. One little factoid in particular struck a chord with me with my 30th birthday coming up:

"The fact is, every woman's body loses muscle beginning in the early to mid-thirties. That contributes to a drop in metabolism of as much as 5 percent per decade after age thirty, which means that by age 35, you're burning about 75 fewer calories per day than you did when you were 25.  That means you stand to gain an extra 8 lbs a year if you don't do anything to prevent it."

 Now I'm not a huge fan of Kate Moss, but she did have a point when she famously said, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." I do love good food, but I also love those days my waist feels tiny and my ass looks great.  I believe my Nirvana is somewhere between the two.

Take it away, Eddie :)