Sunday, November 18, 2007

A New Diet (trying to get control)

When I was 23, I weighed 192lbs, with a BMI of %10.5. I was in the best shape of my life. For the last ten years however, I've hovered between 204 and 220lbs. These past few weeks I've grown tired of carrying the extra weight around and I've longed to get rid of it, but I've developed some bad habits through the years. My biggest difficulty is portion control. I still tend to put heaping mounds of food on my plate. Now, with a sister who is a personal trainer, and having trained some others myself, I am completely aware of the fact that smaller portions and more meals means a higher metabolic rate. Our body burns it quicker. Most of the time however, it doesn't matter for me. Too often however, I still stuff my face with great quantities of food, wasting all the good effort I put in at the gym.

So I've decided to try a new diet, well, not a diet so much as a portion control plan. I call it the Bowl Diet. Whatever i can put into a regular bowl, I can eat. And that's it for at least two and a half hours. I know it doesn't sound like much (if you're eating a heavy beef-slop you can fit a lot into a single bowl) but for me it will be a marked improvement.
The issue for me, as much as I'd like to lose weight, is about both control and temperance. In our society, we tend not to think of food or managing our diet as being spiritual, but it is. Not in the sense where women try to look like the stick, air brushed pictures on the cover of magazines (gross, unreal, and dangerous) but in the sense of being under control. I can feel it when I'm at the table or out for dinner, and I want more even though I'm not hungry. Sometimes you just want to spoil yourself. But too often, for me at least, I CAN'T stop myself. That implies something else entirely.

I have great encouragement around me to give this a try. Two of my housemates, Keti and Syzmon, 20 and 26 years old respectively, have started running and getting in shape these past two months. Keti, who, it should be known, looked great before, has dropped to 50 Kilograms (from 56) by running and working out and not eating late. Szymon started running, and now runs 5-6 times a week, has controlled his portions, and doesn't eat before bed. He's dropped ten pounds in six weeks.

Granted, my friends are younger. (When I was twenty I could eat styrofoam and it didn't matter) But after three days, I can tell you I feel the difference. I don't feel so heavy. Even more, I feel like I'm in control. I'll be posting a column on the side of my blog with my weight, which currently stands at 210lbs, and updating it weekly. My goal is 199lbs. (I haven't been there in ten years) I'm doing this as a public check on myself, and hopefully for some encouragement along the way. If anyone would like to join me, I'd be happy to add your name to the roll so we can do it together.

IMPORTANT: Our society places far too much emphasis on how we look. I am not only aware of that, but frankly, it disgusts me. This diet is about control and feel and health. If we set our diet goals to be ONLY about a measurable number (such as our weight or BMI) we're missing the point, and it can affect our spirituality in a negative way (all about me). But if we're looking to get healthy and take control of what we put in our mouths, I believe this can be a good thing. If you think I'm wrong, feel free to comment, I'd love to hear from you. Especially the women, the ones in our society who have to face this super ridiculous ideal of how they're "supposed" to look every day.


P.S. This isn't a particularly deep post, I know. On Thursday this past week the stress reached an all-time high for me. I stayed in bed the entire day. At night, I ended up flat on my face before God. I was done. And then, something happened...

I will be writing about this when I have more time to process it later in the week.