Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Health Goals

Mrs Darling talks about protein requirements, and about how people tend to fall off weight loss plans.

Like her, I find that when I go too heavy on the carbs on one day, I wake up the next day sluggish, headachey, and too volatile in blood sugar. The solution is to go to mostly proteins, fruits and vegetables for a couple of days.

I have reached my weight goal! You can see the chart on the bottom of this blog. It took forever to lose those 15 pounds, but in some ways that was intentional. I wanted to try to really change how I operated; in some ways it's quite easy for me to lose weight, but then it heads up again as soon as I reach my goal.

Recently I read a book called Awakening the Diet Within. I probably wouldn't have sought it out, but it was on the library dime sale rack, and I like reading diet books, so I picked it up. Here's the author's blog. In some ways I hesitate to recommend the book because in one way it's really not my type of book. I have no goals to become a beauty queen, for example. And I don't care the word "diet" (or "awakening.... within", either, for that matter). But the method seemed very sensible to me. In spite of the title, she makes the point that there is no such thing as a diet, really. You start with yourself, and changing habits. She has this health pyramid(pdf) which to me seems quite sensible for someone who has a weight problem, or who struggles with blood sugar and energy issues like I do.

She proposes nine levels loosely based on the steps of her health pyramid. You start at the bottom and slowly work up, being patient with yourself. You start weeding out your biggest vices and replacing them with good habits.

My goal now that I've reached my weight goal is to stick with basically good habits, and keep them going through the winter and particularly through the holidays. That's hard for me -- so many tempting carbs during this season and when it's cold, it's hard not to crave the simple sugars just for a quick boost of warmth. When I'm cold, I'm trying to think in terms of some warm-up exercise, a warm bath or a cup of tea rather than loading up on Toll House cookies or brownies. When I bake, I try to bake things I can resist more easily, or the kind of things that disappear fast in this house before I get to eat very many of them. Fortunately, Kieron is at the baking age -- going on 13 -- so he bakes things and they disappear within a couple of hours among the seven other people in this house.

My other goal is to stay within 4-5 pounds of my target weight.

And my final goal, closer to the top of my goal pyramid, is to be more creative about getting healthy and inexpensive food into the house. See here.

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