Put Your Mind To It, Go For It

Refreshed but Not Re-Programed

Posted on: July 26, 2010

I am slightly embarrassed to admit, that the McKenna program is not going to be my weight loss solution. I was hopeful that his common sense rules were the answer to my food issues, but unfortunately my relationship with food cannot be reprogrammed so easily.

I think Paul McKenna is a smart guy who definitely makes some incredibly valid points. The problem is that just saying “eat when hungry; stop when full” is so much easier than doing it. If it were really so simple as listening to my body, I would have conquered this life-long struggle with weight, food, and body-image a long time ago. For me, my eating habits go much deeper than any four rules can reach. So, sadly, I have not been reprogrammed by trying Mr. McKenna’s program. In fact, I’m a few pounds heavier than I was when I started.

But, trying his approach was not a total loss. I have become much more aware of my eating speed. I’ve slowed down my eating and have started being a much more conscious eater. A few weeks ago, I was on a work trip and eating out a lot. By thinking only about tasting and enjoying the food and stopping when full, I was able to get through a week of uncontrolled food situations without doing any real damage. I think that his four rules might be a perfect go-to for vacations or work travel. When I’m on the move, and not feeling overly snack-y and when I don’t have the ability to pack or plan as much as I’d like, simply eating more slowy and really focusing on stopping when full could save me some serious food anxiety. But, unfortunately I am not controlled enough to practice it daily.

So, as I noted at the start of this post, I am a bit ashamed that I am not disciplined or strong-willed enough to just stop eating when I’m full. But leaving a few bites of something delicious behind just because I’m not hungry any more is so much more challenging than it sounds.

What now?

Clearly I know myself better than any book does. When I posted a few weeks ago that I was trying the Paul McKenna plan, I noted that “Part of me thinks that two months from now, I’ll be blogging and telling you that I’m going to go back to Weight Watchers. I wouldn’t be all that surprised.” Well, I didn’t even make it two months. I made it just about a month. So one month later, 5 pound heavier, and only a little more self-aware, I’m back to my trusty point counting. I do get lethargic with the Weight Watchers program but I know that I can live a healthy lifestyle and lose weight when I follow the program. It is the only thing that has worked for me in the long term. And I always feel best about myself when I’m on track with the double-W.

At the beginning of the month, when I was starting with the McKenna approach I also said: “…for now, I want to try to learn something about myself. I want to see if I can teach myself to be comfortable around food. If this works, it may be my escape from some serious food-anxiety… I’ll share my experiences here and be open about how I am feeling. It’s worth a shot.” I did learn something about myself and I am being open about what I’ve learned. For those reasons, I am OK with getting slightly off-track. Life is a learning process. And weight loss is a journey. I guess I just took a detour. So, while I haven’t been re-programed, I am coming back to Weight Watchers with a new attitude and feeling refreshed.

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Hot Sundae

Fictional girl singing group, Hot Sundae, sang "Put your mind to it, go for it, get down and break a sweat!"

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