Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Breaking Rules ...

I got a very thoughtful comment from the lovely Princess Dieter and wanted to answer her question and explain my reasons behind breaking some of the Slimmer this Summer Challenge rules.

Princess Dieter wrote:

As one of the coordinators, I figure as long as you update weekly, keep in touch with our peops, and meet some self-decided goals, sure, why not, stay, its fine. :)

I just never understand why someone who hates rules would even wanna join a challenge with a bunch of rules. How come? I'm just curious.

My perspective, for any who might care: I like the structure challenge rules provide to CHALLENGE my lazy tendencies. My life tends to be UNSTRUCTURED, so challenge rules are actually a beneficial change for my undisciplined self. :D Left to my own devices, entropy takes over.

I think one of y'all Brandoesque rebels should start the next series of challenges: We Ain't Got Not Stinkin' Rules Diet Challenge, Leather Jackets and Tattoos optional (of course, cause ain't no rules). hahaha I'd like to see how to set that one up!

Anyway, happy to have a maverick on board for the check ins. Happy week to us all...

Honestly, I really didn't set out to break any rules. When I first read Debbi's post about the challenge I mistakenly thought the goals she listed were her goals, not the rules for all of us to follow. I know how important counting calories and journaling can be for some weight loss warriors but I've tried it many times over the years and it just doesn't work for me.

If I've learned anything over 30 years of riding the dieting roller coaster it's that all diets will work but the weight will come right back if you don't find a way to make healthy living a part of your lifestyle. Losing weight is really hard but it's even harder to keep it off.

I lost over 60 pounds on a very popular commercial weight loss plan but couldn't deal with eating out of a cardboard box so I gained it all back plus more. I then lost over 60+ pounds on a modified Atkins plan but couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life not eating bread or pasta so as soon as I ate a crouton I blew back up again. Not sure what I was thinking because my better half is Italian and it's just not natural for us to live without bread or pasta. My poor Grandma must have been doing flips in her grave that year. I've tried all sorts of diets and different weight loss plans and would always lose weight but it always came back quicker than it came off.

I know this time is different. I've been making my own rules and not trying to fit in and conform to someone else's weight loss plan. This time I've been focusing on getting healthy and fit and not so much about losing "x" number of pounds in "x" number of days. Sure, I love seeing the numbers on the scale go down but I've been more focused on getting to the gym and getting my heart rate up, lifting weights and seeing my muscles become more defined, getting my ass kicked at TaeBox and feeling like I could take on the world and win.

I've been learning how to feel my emotions instead of trying to stuff them down with food. I haven't had a real binge in over a year although I have, on occasion, eaten more than I should have just because it tasted good and I wanted it. The difference now is I'm not beating myself up about it anymore. I ate it, I enjoyed it, I'll work it off, move on.

I'm learning that food is not love. Food does not change how people treat us. Food does not make life any less stressful. Food is just fuel and some fuel makes our engines run smoother and some fuel clogs everything up and makes us run like crap.

I think we all need to find the rules we can live with and make them work for us. We need to stop trying to fit into the mold society wants to put us in and just focus on feeling good in our own skin and working with what we have. What has worked for me may not work for you or anyone else. The weight hasn't come off quickly but it is coming off slow and steady and I'm ok with that. I believe if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it. So thanks for letting me continue with the challenge and letting me be me, it's all I know how to do.

I've lost over 90+ pounds without counting a single calorie or tracking my food and I'm going to continue to do what works for me. What's working for you?

Maverick out!


  1. Here are the rules for the Crash the Conventions No Diet Dieting challenge:
    - No food journaling
    - Meal planning is helpful but not necessary
    - Drink water as much as possible
    - No food is considered off-limits, no quantity is too much
    - Dieter sets broad eating guideline tailored to dieter (for me: eat three balanced meals a day with reasonable portion sizes and three healthy snacks in between meals; and indulge in occasional unhealthier food choice)
    - Choose the healthier food option as much as possible
    - Choose smaller portions when possible
    - Tackle cravings using the distract and delay technique
    - Dieter sets exercise guidelines tailored to dieter (for me: train and complete 5K run for August 2011 race)
    - Blog on a weekly basis

    Although it seems impossible that you must go on a structured diet, count every calorie or point, the fact is that everyone needs to do what works for them. I found out this year from a psychologist that two decades of dieting was fueling my eating disorder and in the process, getting me to the place where I am now: in need of losing 100+ pounds.

    I’m now a no diet dieter. What works for me is no journaling, no counting calories or points; and breaking all the traditional dieting rules.

  2. I LOVE this!!! And your attitude is amazing, clearly why you are making such progress. I'm a believer that in the aspect of losing weight or living healthy, we each need to find what works for us and it may not be what works for the next person. Kudos to you for figuring this out and for standing up for yourself. AND for focusing on more than the scale:)

  3. I am in total agreement with everything you said here. One approach does not work for everyone, and lets face it, nutritional science is a fairly new one, and the "rules" are changing all the time. You have found what works for you, both mentally and physically. I know for me, counting calories or WW points-makes me obsessed with food, and that is all I think about. Other people do really well with those kind of programs. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your journey, it has been very inspirational to me.

  4. loved this! So happy you've found what works for YOU

  5. I'm not a rule follower or a challenger. I've done one challenge, and that was just to support the friend running the challenge. (I am, however, in a group that might be labeled a challenge, to do that Firm 90 Day rotation.)

    I've always said: Do what works for you. What works for me doesn't work for the next guy/gal. You think that way too, and that's why you're having great success!

    Kudos to you for being a rule breaker and doing your own thing!

  6. Your success speaks for itself, MB. :) Let's hear it for the mavericks of the world.


No Sugar Coating Allowed