“The unwanted pound which insidiously sneaks up on you when your attention is elsewhere is the most redoubtable enemy of many women. Every spring-time the fashion magazines and women’s pages invent new diets which, if they are followed to the letter, guarantee a slender figure, and consequently, elegance… According to the particular diet theory you happen to believe in, the Enemy may take the form of salt, liquids, sugar, fat, starches, fruit, vegetables, cheese, certain meats, sweets or alcohol… Slimming is practically a new religion… It use to be practiced very discreetly, almost clandestinely, and the early followers contented themselves with a moderate slenderness which still allowed for a few curves. But the sect has gained new converts every day until it now confidently decrees that salvation is impossible for the few remaining infidels who do not believe in the stringbean silhouette and the skinny look.”
- Genevieve Antoine Dariaux
I have begun to pull together my fall-early winter capsule wardrobe. In the process I consciously realized that my clothing size had slipped up into another dimension. This makes me feel neither chic nor elegant. To be honest this has become a biannual event. Over the years I have chosen to largely ignore this ritual with a very traditional Parisian shrug. Bof.
The other night the love of my life, LOML, and I saw a film called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I will admit it was motivational. And not much motivates my mid-century modern self.
My mid-century modern reasons for wanting to lose some of the pounds I have collected over the years is not so much about believing in a delusional fairytale focused on becoming a skinny stick figure as a catalyst to happily ever after. Rather I want to lose some pounds to be more comfortable in my skin and reduce those annoying, mute but annually pesky indicators that keep telling me I need some fine-tuning (blood pressure, cholesterol, uric acid and lipids).
Furthermore, the extra pounds, although good for increasing bone density and estrogen stores that will be useful when my body decides that I will no longer be able to reproduce, make it harder for me to enjoy physical play. This in turn has resulted in a negative feedback loop: less physical play = increased weight gain. Less fun. More pouty me. Not the best option.
Over the years I have dabbled in the cyclic weight loss and weight gain game enough to know the following:
- There are no magic bullets, and wishing it is so, does not make it so.
- Spending money on pound loss books, pound loss toys and pound loss motivational meetings just makes you poorer and cranky.
- Prescriptive diet recipes based on abstention and complex rules are not useful tools for anything but short-term experiments, the success of which will be largely ephemeral.
- The word “diet” is disagreeable and should only be used within historical contexts, for example: “the Diet of Worms“, or in biology, as in: “a herbivore is an animal with a plant-based diet.”
- Slow and steady wins the race – because it isn’t a race.
- It is necessary to set a reasonable goal, meet the goal, recalibrate, then set a new goal.
- Determine what exactly you want to fix and what tool set will accomplish the job.
- Most important is that whatever tools you choose to use they must become unconscious and preferable habits to the ones they are replacing.
- A livable tool kit to lose pounds must be bespoke, tailored to one’s own very specialness.
“Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care about you”.
- Karl Lagerfeld
Like myself, LOML has also increased the notch on his belt and his shirt neck size… we have decided to secretly reduce by a clothing size in time for Canadian Thanksgiving; although, we are not going to live solely on juices for a number of months. Even though you can apparently make a juice or smoothy out of almost anything.
Key to developing a bespoke pound loss toolkit is the psychology of habit change. One habit at a time.
Being gourmets and gourmands poses a unique set of considerations. In addition, the concept of denying something you like, in my case my morning triple expresso latte, big red wines and dark chocolate, seems like a recipe for failure.
Over the next few days I will develop a pounds recalibration plan.
“Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”