Saturday, April 24, 2010

#8: The secret to good health's a diet alright...

I'm going to plagiarize John Lennon ever so briefly and say that about 6 years ago, I went through my "fat Elvis" period. I know, of all of the things to quote from John Lennon, that's what I choose. But it's appropriate.

You see, around that time, I had gone through pursuing my Masters in Library and Information Science. Not a lot of calisthenics involved, but 3- hour classes where you kind of just...sat there. To stay. uh, alert, I would wander over to the student center and get various types of mochas. With whipped cream. Then I'd go home and make something like Ramen or Kraft Mac & Cheese, because my fat Elvis period was also my "Holy crap I'm poor" period. Guess I could have saved some money by not buying those mochas, but I digress.

One day, I looked in a mirror and thought, "Man, my pants are really MC Hammer poofy." Then I realized it was actually me that was poofy. I instantaneously felt worried, ashamed, embarrassed, and otherwise just plain bad.

Since that time, I've been working hard to lose all of those mochas. I've done a lot of different things, including Yoga, Pilates, biking, and most recently, my Wii EA Sports Active game (awesome!). And of course, I've changed my diet drastically to the point where I'm now about 75% vegetarian (I only eat meat on occasion when I go out or visit someone...haven't purchased meat to cook for about 3 months now).

It occurred to me today though that being healthy, losing weight, and all of that jazz is really all about one thing. Lying to yourself.

Dr. Phil, Jillian Michaels, and Oprah will never say this or condone this, but it's really true. Here are some examples.

You have to tell yourself on a regular basis that really, with the limited free time that you have, you'd much rather work up a sweat and get sore and stinky. Watching TV with a glass of wine or a cup of tea is just way too sedentary for you.

You have to tell yourself that a veggie patty with low-fat mayo and some baked chips is just as satisfying as a Wendy's burger, fries, and a Frosty.

You have to tell yourself that if you count that walk to get the mail as your daily exercise you'll just feel bad about yourself when you go to bed that night (this is a wammy of a lie).

I was thinking of this diet of lies this morning when I went to the grocery store. There was a LOT of ice cream on sale, and I do like to have a tiny bowl of ice cream as the weather starts to get warm. Some of my faves were on sale too. Mint Chocolate Chip. Moose Tracks. I'm drooling here as I type.

I did not buy any ice cream.

No, instead I left the freezer aisle and went to the dairy aisle. I got 2 containers of Yoplait Whips key lime pie, 2 containers of Yoplait Whips Lemon Burst, and 2 containers of Yoplait Whips Chocolate Mousse. And I told myself that these would taste just as cool as ice cream. I told myself they would taste just as good as that Starbucks coffee ice cream with almonds or as good as my Rocky Road.

Is any of this true? I have to type here that it is, or will be, because this is one of the carefully constructed lies that will help me take my health one more notch up the ladder. Cuz while I've made an awful lot of progress and while I'm almost to that goal weight, I'm just not quite there, and ice cream won't push me along.

Everyone knows that lying is really the key to health, because everyone who makes this decision in life ends up becoming an evangelist about it. Don't be offended. It's not about making you feel bad for eating that fantastic looking Chik-Filet sandwich. It's really because that person REALLY REALLY wants one of those, errr, no they don't because they told themselves that breaded tofu will taste just as crunchy.

Try it out. Tell yourself just one white lie. It's a real domino effect. And hey, no one will be able to call you a "big fat" liar. Just an obnoxious one.

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