Giving Myself a Break #dieting

Dieting Again: Day 6

Here’s the good news. This morning — Day 6 of my new diet — I was down 3 lbs from where I started out on Day 1. Yay for me. Nothing is more motivating than success, right?

Yeah, but…here’s the rest of the story. I can’t really be down 3 lbs because I haven’t been that good. On Day 2, I ate an almond croissant at C’est La Vie. This is a place that doesn’t bother to post calorie info because they have an actual French guy in the back making pastries. If you’re watching calories, you’ve got no business walking in the door. The pastries are to die for, though, and the almond croissant is among my favorites. I like mine with a friendly visit and a cup of tea, and that’s exactly how I had it this week.

That’s not so bad, you say? Just one croissant? Yeah, but…the garden vegetables are coming in, and I am a real Southerner. I’m the fifth generation of my family to be born in Mississippi on the side that actually kept track. I am a product of generations of genetic programming that says you’re supposed to fry that squash. Honestly, I like my veggies just fine when they aren’t fried, but there is a ritual here that must be honored. In the past few days I’ve had fried potatoes, fried okra, and fried squash all straight from the garden.

Next week I’ll think about boiling and baking. This week I had the family honor to defend.

So how can I be that bad and still down 3 lbs? I, for one, would love to know. I’d love to be able to claim that almond croissants and fried okra are the secret to success and write a book that would sell a few million copies on the subject. That would be nice. In the real world, I suspect that I’m just down some water weight because I’ve been working in the yard and sweating.

That said, I do believe there is something to the idea of giving yourself a break. An almond croissant thrown into the middle of a good strict diet shocks the system and revs up the metabolism. I would think it also goes a fair piece toward combating the stress hormones that contribute to weight gain.

I’ve decided that on this diet I’m going to give myself at least one day off a week. I hope I don’t use that day to absolutely gorge myself, but I do plan to let myself eat whatever I want. If I want cake, I’ll have cake. If I want deep fried macaroni and cheese, I probably won’t have that. Too much time to prepare. I might have some cheese fries, though, which sounds a lot more normal than deep fried mac & cheese but is in reality no less fatty and no less carby.

My theory is that I’ll last longer on the diet and feel better if I don’t perpetually deprive myself. I got depressed on the last diet and had a hard time bouncing back. I don’t want to do that again. If my efforts to improve my health lead to taking pills just to function, I can’t possibly have done it right.

This time I’m all about giving myself a break. I know I have to keep up with calories and be more mindful of my food choices, but I also know that I have to live my life, and I just don’t see how anyone is meant to live a life all the way through without some fried potatoes in it. As long as I can restrain myself to one day a week on that, I think I’ll be okay.

And I know what I’m talking about. I’ve already lost 3 lbs this way.

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