Category Archives: Dieting

Sick of Being Sick

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Long, ugly, medical story made short: I had ankle surgery that went
bad and I was on too many meds for too long. Even after I got off the
opioids I was on anti-inflammatories for a long time. Two weeks ago I
landed in the emergency room with an attack of diverticulitis.
Apparently the meds had inflamed my gut in bad, and hard to
remediate way. My birthday is in two weeks, fortunately one ending in
a 7 not a 0 or a 5. In my social circle most people like to take the
birthday gal out to lunch. But right now food is sweet potatoes,
steamed vegetables, rice, broth, and applesauce, with an occasional
treat of oatmeal. I’m not eating gluten, sugar, dairy, salads, pizza,
alcohol, or a host of other delicious things. While it’s making me
healthier it is also very boring and unequivocally not very festive. As
people are asking about taking me out to celebrate, I sound like an old
wet blanket. Do you have an idea about how to enjoy being the center
of attention without destroying my tender tummy?

Sick of Being Sick

 
Dear Sick:

I have two ideas and suggest you employ them both. Idea number
one: Tell folks what you can and cannot eat and a safe set of
restaurants you can go to. Explain that what’s much for fun for you
now is doing and experiencing rather than eating. Suggest that your
friends invite you to a movie or a show, with a light bite or cup of tea
before or after. Say the pleasure of their company should not be
overshadowed by the after-effects.

Idea number two is to spread out the joy. Explain that your system
is on overload, both from the medical events and the number of folks
who want to express their love. Ask if you can take a rain check until
your gut is healed, and set a specific date on the calendar that feels safely
far off. Good friends would understand either option, and you can give
them a choice. Sound appreciative for whatever they say yes to and focus
on getting healthy. By next birthday I hope you are eating everything that
you enjoy and that’s good for you.

Desperate

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Yikes! The resolutions lasted but a few weeks and here I am, again
feeling fluffy and addicted to sugar. I tried to go cold turkey, then got
the flu and ended up back on jello, which let to one treat after
another, and down the rabbit hole. I need to take off not just the five
pounds of holiday fressing, but the twenty that they landed on top of.
Don’t tell me about diets and Weight Watchers. I need something that
threatens to cut off my hand at the wrist if I move it towards my
mouth with sweets in it.

Desperate

 
Dear Desperate:

Desperation isn’t always the best time to make decisions, especially
not a draconian one. Instead of a meat cleaver, you need a muzzle. Or
perhaps better, a cup for tea or a glass for water. Or perhaps a long
manifesto you are obligated to read aloud each time you want sugar.
The hard part is remembering to read it or drink it before the sugar is
already down your gullet. How to do that? Make sure there’s a longer
reach than your arm for the sugar you swear you don’t want to eat.
Don’t buy sugar. Don’t buy it in any form. Don’t stop at store, “just for
one thing” and then crack and have a treat to keep around “to prove
you are strong enough.” You’re not. You will eat it. Just don’t let sugar
in house. When you are driving part the market, tell yourself all the
reasons you want to NOT EAT SUGAR until you are safely home.
Practice just saying No until your habit is to say Yes to health instead
of treats. And don’t discount monitored weight-loss programs that hold
you accountable for what you eat. Once you are on track you may be
allowed desserts like fruit that are natural sugars. Carb counting is a
simple plan that shows you how “expensive” a choice sugar can be.
Work with your doc, not a machete.

Dilemma of Riches

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m a month into a new relationship. We are both of age and well-off.
Neither cares about marriage again, but we have lots of interests in
common including travel. We are just getting used to and learning
each other’s likes and dislikes. Our tastes in movies and books are
quite similar, but in food very different. He is a bigger guy than I have
been with before, but I don’t mind. I am a little zaftzig and trying to
reduce before surgery. I don’t want to go fanatic on him about calories
or carbs. I don’t even care if he decides to lose weight. But I care a lot
about not having to choose between a potentially very good
relationship with him and a healthy relationship with my own body. Do
you have any wisdom to navigate the next several months?

Dilemma of Riches

 
Dear Dilemma:

The reasons we eat and overeat are many and varied. As one of my
very zafzig friends once said to me: I genuinely LIKE food. Assuming
you are an adult about what you like and what you need to do for your
body, create a generalized set of rules to address your pre-surgical
needs. Try to set limits of calories or carbs that are at least a little
elastic within a given week. That might be an allowance for eating
meals out or a one-day- a-week of not counting, as well as giving
yourself some special occasion passes for weddings or other big
events. What I have learned the very hard way is that any plan that is
pure black/white yes/no day in/out is almost certainly doomed to
failure. You’re going to have to learn to trust yourself and to be able to
say both Yes and No as necessary.

 
Once you know what you’re doing, take your new honey out for dinner
to discuss it. Be very clear about saying, I do not want my food habits
to harm this emerging us. I want you to decide what works for you
and I am not making any judgments about what you decide to do or
not. But I want you to know what I am going to try, in the hope that
when we are together, you will be more supportive rather than
tempting me to go off program. I promise to make it up to you in
kisses, if that’s any motivation. My guess is that your honey will say
yes and you will both reap the benefits.

Trimming

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m in a wonderful new relationship. It has been three months and I
don’t think I could be happier. He is sweet, funny, charming,
intelligent, and kind. We share similar values, hobbies, and politics. So
far my friends all like him, though his are far away (he just moved
here). The problem is that I have very strict orders from my doctor to
lose twenty pounds before an impending knee surgery this winter. I
am working with a dietician and changing how I eat. My new beau is a
foodie and we go to great restaurants. I am pretty good about what I
order for a main course, but he is always suggesting that we have
drinks, bread, appetizers, and desserts, and acts hurt when I demur or
don’t show the same enthusiasm about them. He is a big guy and
could lose some weight himself, but that’s between him and his
body/doc. I just need to stay on my program. How can I explain this
without ruining what could be a great thing?

Trimming

 
Dear Trimming:

Virtually every new relationship looks great in the first three months,
even six if you are lucky. Then the true issues begin to emerge. That’s
not to say they are fatal, just that they need to be addressed, and the
more difficult issue of how you communicate when things are less rosy
can quickly become the focus of how you relate, not just the kissing
and hugging and being happy.
You can start by reminding him when he wants you to order more than
you want to eat that you are trying very hard to follow your doctor’s
orders. You can try to allocate your calories/carbs/etc to allow a little
extra splurge for the times when you two are out, but he should be
willing to hear a No thanks when you order the same way you have
the right to respond Not tonight, dear. You get to decide what to do
with your body, and you should not be pressured (actively or
passively) into doing something else. There are legitimate health
reasons for your decisions, and if he is a keeper for the long run, he
will respect and support them. If not, you will have had a delightful
interlude, and have new criteria to add to your list when you start your
next relationship. I hope he is a mensch, and can be supportive and
encouraging, or at least not subversive to your efforts to get healthy.
Because if he’s not helping now, he probably won’t be a reliable person
post-surgery. Speak simply and clearly, and be consistent in your
behavior. Then hope he steps up. If not, think about new boundaries
for the relationship.

Twenty Pounds Over the Line

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m trying to get ready for knee surgery later this year. It’s very hard
sticking to a food and exercise program when you are dating and have
friends who celebrate life. There are too many occasions for eating
out, catching a drink, going to BBQs and graduation parties. I know
you have heard this a thousand times before, but what’s a polite way
to be social and engage with people without compromising my
principles and priorities. To be clear, this is not about vanity. It is
about medical necessity.

Twenty Pounds Over the Line

 
Dear Twenty Pounds:

Unless your friends are unusual, the person who raises a fork or glass
to her mouth and decides what goes in is you. And only you. So all the
advice in the world is no substitute for self-control, commitment, and
focus. Each meal, even each mouthful, is a choice. You may see a
warm fresh challah, inhale its aroma, imagine its pillowy goodness,
and yearn for its sweetness. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat it.
Or if you do, to have more than one appreciative bite. Or slice, or two,
or..….It is a slippery slope. Only you decide what is enjoyed by your
eyes and nose but not by your mouth.

 
Make a list of your food principles. There’s the obvious about low
sugar, low fat, maybe even low gluten. But there’s also the idea of
portion control within whatever food program you choose. If you are
going to a party, ask the hostess what’s going to be served. Don’t be
shy about saying That sounds lovely but my doctor has me eating
veggies. I hope you don’t mind if I bring a platter of fresh veggies and
low-cal dip to add to the offerings. When you dine out, order a salad
and an appetizer, not a full meal. Control your alcohol consumption.
Talk your diet plan over with your doc and get a sign off and set goals
together.

 

 

Don’t neglect the exercise part of the equation. Find a low-impact class
that you can tolerate, or learn to love water aerobics. Again, your
docwill have ideas. But once you have a plan, stick to it like glue until
after the surgery. You will be very happy later when you are light and
svelte and can embrace life more fully in your newly bionic body.

Stuck

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I am feeling very stuck. I had been doing really well on my food
program (staying off sugar) but along the way I seem to have become
a complete carb junky. I can avoid sweet foods and still; find lots of
ways to keep myself sated with bread and butter. My clothes are
getting tight on me again and the holiday season is looming. I cannot
fall into the giant abyss of mindless eating or I will need more diabetes
meds. I wish fear were a sufficient incentive but it doesn’t seem to
work. What can I do?

Stuck

 
Dear Stuck:

Fear is not a good motivator. It may work for a little while but not for
the long run. Most people change by being pulled towards something
(e.g. health) or by being pushed from it (e.g. death). In your case a
lot more information would be a great cure. Because what works on
most diet plans may or may not right for a diabetic. Virtually every
health plan and Medicare will pay for a diabetic education plan. Sign
up now and treat it like your life depends on it. Then develop a cue
word or behavior, a mantra you have to say or an act or pre-contrition
to perform before you put anything in your mouth. The weeks between
Thanksgiving and New Year’s add five pounds to most people’s waistlines.
You don’t have the room, even if you have elastic waists. A little more
consciousness can save a lifetime of tsoris.

Hit the Brink

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I am starting a very stringent food program. I’ll spare you the medical
details but assume they include long-tern chronic debilitating
conditions, mild obesity, and a sincere but wavering desire in the past
to “get healthy” and kick the medical issues through nutrition. I have
my doctor’s sign-off to do a three-month experiment that I have been
working my way into. The punch line on the NO foods are: no gluten
(and little non-whole grain), no sugar, no dairy, no caffeine, no
legumes. I’m not vegetarian but consume animal protein only
modestly. I can still imbibe small amounts of alcohol, assuming my
blood sugars are within certain limits. Here’s the problem: Look at the
calendar! I’m social and there’s no “Just wait until January” in this
experiment. In addition to Hanukah, office, Xmas, Ney Year’s and
other December events, there are birthdays, parties, Valentine’s, and
regular weekend socializing, all of which occur based on the Standard
American Diet, plus dessert. I don’t want to miss all the fun. I know I
can resist some temptations but I am not sure if I’ll cave or not. My
doctor is eloquent about what happens if I do.

Hit the Brink

 
Dear Brink:

It’s always tempting to say, I’ll just wait another week, month, or
season. But the reality is that there’ll just be a different set of reasons
not to begin, and your doctor’s eloquence is nothing compared to what
your pancreas and other organs are screaming at you. So you’ll need
to decide how committed you are, what’s fungible and what’s not, and
how you’re going to get through this well. You need to be clear, as in
100% clear, about what you’re not going to cheat on. If it’s wheat,
then no wheat means no wheat, as in zero none. If it’s sugar, then
none. The minute you give yourself permission to eat the target food,
especially “just this once,” you’ve put one foot on the slippery slope to
failure. The slide is exponential. I can testify. If your list is fixed, write
it down. Put it on the bathroom mirror and recite affirmations every
time you brush your teeth: I don’t eat……

 

 

Prepare yourself for social situations. Since you’re clearly going to be
eating something for this duration, you’ll be acclimating to substitute
foods. Bring a piece of fruit or whatever dessert you’re allowed. Ditto if
you can do special kinds of bread or other carbs. Develop simple
explanations for a hostess (I don’t expect special treatment) and other
guests (It’s a temporary but rigid approach to address a medical
condition). Mostly you&'ll need to develop a strength of personality
that’s unusual for most people. But if you’re truly motivated you can
get through this and get healthy. And if you don’t you’ll be asking for
very different accommodations.

All Puffed Up

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Helllppp!! I’m back on the carb train. I was doing pretty well with my
food and exercise program until Passover. Then I got addicted to
matzo. I’m not blaming Judaism for my lack of will power. But matzo is
what I call a carrier food. It’s the perfect vehicle for butter, butter, and
more butter, as well as cream cheese and lox, and other delicacies.
I’ve put it away but I still hear the white flour (and its friends
potatoes, sugar, rice, etc) calling to me. Can you give me a plan to get
back on the right track?

All Puffed Up

 
Dear Puffed Up:

One of my favorite cartoon is a Gary Larson image of the woman
sitting in her armchair while the sound balloon coming from the pie in
the kitchen is calling “Edna…Edna…Edna….” That’s how things like
cocaine and nicotine as well as sugar and carbs work. They are
addictive, and once they have us hooked it is oh so very hard to break
free of their alluring and beguiling calls.

 
Read my lips: The only way to stop is to s.t.o.p. As in STOP! You can
spend a lifetime researching different diet plans, and look for food
alternatives akin to a nicotine patch, as in tapering your intake slowly.
But ultimately all roads lead to one conclusion: If you don’t want the
impacts of what you eat to impact you negatively, then just stop
eating it. I’m rarely accused of quoting Nancy Reagan, but the “Just
say No” motto is applicable here. If you don’t put it in your mouth,
you’ll be one choice closer to being free of it.

 
Make a list for this week that you can stick to. Say, no sugar. Or no
white flour. Or no potatoes or rice. Think about white foods and refined
foods as being bad. Go one week without one of them. Then week two
add in a second. Begin to prove to yourself that you can just say no
and soon you will be able to do it consistently and more widely.

No More Fudge!!

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Every year my brother sends everyone in the family the same gift: a
box of bourbon-flavored fudge. It started when he moved to Kentucky.
The first year I thought it was a Southern food joke. But it’s become
annoying. I don’t like or eat the fudge. All my friends have had it re-
gifted to them. I’ve been forbidden to bring it to potlucks and gift
exchanges. It’s not that I need a different or better gift. But I hate
wasted money. If he really did want to send me some food there’s a
long list of things I would prefer, from fruit and cheese baskets to
something more esoteric. I’ve also taken up food preserving and
making everything from homebrew to kim chi, and would rather trade
specialty items than subsidize stores. Do I keep quiet or speak up?

No More Fudge!!

 
Dear No More:

Nothing beats honesty. People want their gifts appreciated, not
dreaded. Google to find out what he’s paying and then send him a
simple email. In it explain that you love him and love exchanging gifts.
But you’ve decided to be clear about what you do and don’t want to
share. Tell him that for the next few years you are proposing a
different gift exchange: everything from home-canned beer or
preserves to something re-gifted. Explain that you’d considered re-
gifting his last batch of fudge back to him, but that it seemed
unappreciative.

 
You can say that your family has changed its values around gifting,
given the life of plenty that you are living. Say you love him and want
to honor him so your gift to him is from your hands and heart, and
comes with only one condition: no more bourbon fudge. Say that if he
wants to gift you, you’re happy to have him donate to any of a list of
named charities, or send food from a similar list. But say you are
fudged out and ask him to respect that. The rest of the family can say
the same or eat fudge.

Not Even Hungry

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I tried to do everything right this year to prepare for the holiday eating
frenzy. And I don’t just mean Thanksgivvikah. Latke parties are past,
but I am facing endless trays of goodies and tidbits at office
celebrations, art shows, and in the homes of Christian friends and
football buddies. All December and early January eating. I have a
health coach who’s given me lots of useful tips but when I walk into a
room filled with yummy carbs, my hand has put sweets in my mouth
before my brain can muster up even a small No, let alone the NO NO
NO! I need to hear. Can you give me advice that’ll stick to my brain?

Not Even Hungry

 
Dear Not Even Hungry:

General wisdom says most people who do not make any attempt to
quell their participation in the holiday eating frenzy will put on five
pounds without even trying. Holding your own – as in just not gaining
weight – is a good goal. Losing weight this time of year seems
impossible. But yes, having some way to apply the brakes, even if
you’re slowing from fifth gear chomping down to second, will have the
effect you want.

 
The best tip I’ve heard in a while is this one, from a Weight Watcher’s
buddy. It’s based on the principle of absolutes, not a sliding scale of
“just one,” “just two,” and “what the hell?!?!,” a system I can assure
you will never work. Divide the world of things you might put into your
mouth into two categories. In the “Good Food” category put all
vegetables, protein, cheese, soups, sides, and things like hummus and
dips. Everything else (the things your hand reaches for automatically,
like bread, cookies, cakes, pies, tea breads, toffee, yeah the list goes
one) goes into a category you’re about to call Not Food. Say it with
me, Not Food. When you walk into a room, allow yourself to eat all the
Good Food you want. But when you look at the Not Food, assume it is
as indigestible as wrapping paper or car parts, and train yourself to
pass it by. Who know, you might get good at it.

Need It Tender

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I have problems as a guest. I’m a widower who enjoys eating a home-
cooked meal with friends. I enjoy the companionship as well as the
cooking – if I can eat the cooking. I don&'t ever eat poultry. My friends
and family know that, and are generally willing to plan the menu
around me. When they invite me to dinner, especially for the holidays,
they usually make brisket. This is good, even fine, when they know
how to cook it. But many make it so tough that I cannot chew it, even
with my dentures. So there’s the problem of not being able to swallow,
and not wanting to spit it out. What can I say to my eager hostesses,
because I think they really do want to invite me?

Need It Tender

 
Dear Need It Tender:

The best time to communicate is when you get the invitation. Talk to
each hostess as you are called. Assume, btw, that they may speak
with one another. But that’s okay because you’re going to be giving
the same message to each of them. In those convos, your goal is to
communicate appreciation for their hospitality and for their continued
sensitivity to your food needs.

 
Explain that, as you are aging you have, in addition to food
sensitivities like chicken, increasing problems with chewing. You can
say that even your dentist despairs about getting you comfortable. Say
how much you enjoy dining with them and hope this new information
won’t make them less interested in sharing food and companionship
with you. Say you have experimented with brisket recipes and have
found one that always turns out tender as a baby’s bottom (not that
you’d eat a baby!). (Note: I can send you a friend’s mother’s recipe if
you want, that I have to admit is more fall-apart delicious even than
my own mother’s.) Offer to share the recipe with them, and then say
gently, Please when I come, just give me a tiny taste of the meat. If I
cannot chew it, I don’t want to embarrass either of us. At worst, you’ll
have all the fun parts of being social, and a lot of vegetarian meals
made of a collection of side dishes and dessert.

Serious This Time

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I did what you said but it is not working. I asked a friend of mine if she
wanted to be my exercise buddy. We are both mid-sixties, too
sedentary, and want to lose 20-25 pounds. Previously we took a class
together at the university so I know she is a hard worker when she
puts her mind to something. Also, she is one of the bluntest and most
honest people I know, so when she says she is going to commit to
something I take her at her word. It has been two weeks since we
agreed to meet Tuesday and Friday mornings at 10 for an hour for
hand weights, tai chi, stretching, and balance ball exercises. I have all
the equipment we need and the space. She has been late twice,
cancelled once, and seems much more interested in talking than
moving. In addition she brings over kugel, blintzes, etc, all of which
are delicious but are not on my diet. How can I tell her this is not what
I had in mind?

Serious This Time

 
Dear Serious This Time:

Nothing works as well as the truth when you’re talking to a friend. And
if she’s not a good enough friend for you to feel comfortable talking to
honestly, you should look for someone else to see twice a week.
Retired or not, time is too valuable to spend waiting for someone who
is not as committed as you are or who you don’t feel close enough to
to speak honestly.

 
The next time you get together, work out as hard as you want. Then
talk to her Ask how the agreement is working for her, whether she
feels on track with her goals, and whether she feels she is following
through on your agreement. Listen to her answer. Then tell her the
contradictions you have observed. Tell her you plan to start promptly
at 10:00 from now on when you have scheduled to meet, whether she
is on time or not, and that you are going to stop at 11:00. Say you are
in it for your health and are treating these tow hours like doctors’
appointments. Tell her you want to make this work, and hope she does
too. Only time will tell if she steps up.

Bigger Than Chubby

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I can’t even look at myself in the mirror. I have no idea how many
times I have said, I’m never eating sugar again. I’m going to exercise
30 minutes each day. I am off carbs. No more burgers and fries. Etc
etc etc with everything my mother told me for years: Eat less and
move more! I’ve paid more to Weight Watchers than my synagogue.
And here I am, fat again. Fatter than most of the clothes in my closet.
Fatter than I should be with spring looming. Hellllpppppp….

Bigger Than Chubby

 
Dear Bigger Than Chubby:

Any time this side of the grave is not too late to get healthier and
lighter. Your question suggests you know what to do, but lack the
motivation to actually do it consistently. Assuming you don’t want to
invest in a new wardrobe one size larger, try this motivating tool, an
exercise is best done when no one else is home. Pull everything in
your wardrobe out of the closet. Turn all the lights in your room on
bright. They won’t be as bad as a department store dress-on room,
but you’ll get the same ugh! effect. Divide your closet into three parts:
fits now; would fit if I lost 10-15 pounds; and maybe it&'s time to
donate this. One by one, try on every piece of clothing you own, from
jeans to party wear. (Note: Allow yourself a glass of wine along the
way. It’ll help you laugh and complete the exercise.)

 
Once you see how far you’ve drifted from where you were and where
you want to be, set up a program for yourself to start ASAP, as in
today. Find 30 minutes each day to walk. Wake up earlier; walk at
lunchtime or before or after dinner. Consistency matters but most
important is doing something every day. Studies show that folks who
move from sedentary to active get a bigger impact for their time than
already athletes who add 30 minutes to their existing routines. Set
some food absolutes, like no fries ever, and sugar only once a week.
Eat more veggies and less fat. Fruit not chocolate. If Weight Watchers
is your program, read the rules like you’ve never seen them before,
including all the tips and community posts. Or go to meetings. Get on
the scale at least once a week. Avoiding and fearing your scale is one
of the surest tip-offs that your clothing exercise will slowly but
inexorably shift towards the Eeek doesn’t fit! side of the closet. Many
of us will be doing the same things as days get longer and clothing
tighter. See you on the walking paths.

Latkes are Calling

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I feel like a loser. Or maybe I should say a gainer. I was doing really
well on my diet program until I hurt my knee (trying to keep my dog
from running after a squirrel). First I couldn’t exercise. Then I started
to eat less well. Then I started to eat much less well. Did I mention I
wasn’t exercising at all during this period? Things were going badly, so
I went into freefall and started eating chips, popcorn, brownies, and
pretty much anything I wanted, which was mostly carbs, sugar, and
salt and almost never salads or veggies. On Thanksgiving I lay
groaning on the sofa after pigging out on stuffing and pie. I cannot
imagine being good for the next month. But my pants are already tight
and I know I don’t want to feel like I did on Thanksgiving during the
whole holiday season. But the:

Latkes are Calling

 
Dear Latkes are Calling:

You cannot afford to write off another month. Or even another week.
The truth is you shouldn’t write off even any more meals. Instead, you
need to put yourself on a pretty tight leash and try and get a firm grip
not just between now and January but well into the new year. But
that’s my mother talking. The latkes call me too, and it is nigh onto
impossible to make it from now until 2013 without having any treats.
The trick, and the imperative, is to pace yourself, to make rational
rather than impulsive choices, and to make them just that: choices.

 

You need to approach life one meal at a time. Do not write off a whole
day just because you blew it at breakfast. If you have waffles at 7:00,
then compensate with a salad at 12:00. Each meal is a new decision
and new chance to get things right. Do the math: three meals a day
for a month plus snacks is well over a hundred chances to eat well
instead of poorly. As we heard in the recent election, this is arithmetic.
Fewer calories in means fewer pounds gained and more pounds lost.
Try counting to ten before you put anything into your mouth and see if
you can tell a difference in your pants, your mood, and your habits.

Ready to Downsize

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Please help me with a problem that involves friends and food. I have
needed to lose weight for most of my life. I ballooned out in my
twenties in a very bad relationship and have been trying to slim down
for more than twenty years. I lose, I gain; I lose, I gain. You know the
yo-yo. But I have managed to keep off 50+ pounds and am finally
ready to tackle the last 25.

 

The problem is that my friends have heard me say this same thing about
ten thousand times and simply shut their ears and keep inviting me for
drinks, meals and desserts. This time, instead of picking a program where
I have too many choices I am doing one (endorsed by my medical doctor)
where I follow the meal plans. Real live food, with lots of protein and veggies,
that I prepare. But strictly on program. How can I get them to respect and
support what I am doing?

Ready to Downsize

 
Dear Ready to Downsize:

Don’t give any credence to their negativity and skepticism. Virtually
anyone who has been a yo-yo dieter knows that it almost always takes
more than one try to get to goal. Many medical folks believe that the
body needs to recalibrate in set points, and that when you gain more
than you lost and then settle in you set a new, lower, set point that
brings you down in steps. Admittedly trying to go the last third of the
way in one giant step is a big goal. So you’ll have to work as hard on
your maintenance lifestyle as you do on the losing.

 
As for your fiends, you’re going to have to prove it to them by your
demonstrations of self-control. Sparkling water with two limes, hold
the gin and tonic water. Salad not corn or potatoes. Decaf for dessert.
There’s lots of ways to eat out and still be able to be social during the
next many months it will take to lose your weight. I’m betting that as
your friends begin to see you slim down they will become more
supportive. And when you do go down your first size, treat yourself to
some spiffy new clothes to celebrate and validate your victory.