A bit of a different blog this evening. I just finished q real quick read of “Secrets of a Former Fat Girl, how to drop two, four (or more) dress sizes–and find yourself along the way” by, Lisa Delaney. Of course the title of the book caught my eye among the many, many, many books on diet and nutrition in our county library.
That’s me, Former Fat Girl. I was curious, did this Lisa Delaney know what I know? Does she know something I don’t? So, I brought it home.
It was a quick read. I skimmed parts, probably the last few chapters. The book is laid out in chapters that are each a “secret” she’s giving us. The first was: forget dieting. Yes, we’ve been hearing this over and over, especially if you’re part of the clean eating movement. Forget dieting, its not about dieting, its a life style change, blah, blah…..yes, THEY are right, its not a quick fix diet you should focus on, but a Life Style change. BUT, Delaney’s twist on this sage advice, is don’t even think about dieting. Don’t. Just go about your days eating the way you always have, what she wants you to change is your activity level. Not sure that’s the best advice, BUT its what worked for her and that’s what the book is about. You know what else? If I think about it, that’s kind of how I started too. I started my journey by training to walk a marathon. Delaney started by going to jazzersize. I did gradually change my eating too. I began to think of food as fuel for my long training walks. I can still, to this day, remember the very day I walked seven miles. I felt invincible. Delaney eventually added jogging. She has memories of what it felt like to run a mile for the first time, the confidence that built up in her was the driving force to keep going, to keep pushing. (she lost nearly 40 pounds just by running–she eventually gave up jazzersize and increased her running to 5 miles a night–over a year or so. She went from a size 16 to an 8, and continued to eat what she wanted.) As a note, she is 5ft 4in.
The next chapter was one of the biggest things in my own journey. In fact I couldn’t believe I was reading someone else’s experience that so matched mine. She said to keep it a secret. Keep your plan to lose, your plan to increase workouts etc, secret. That’s exactly what I did. I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing, except for my husband. I secretly headed out on my journey to freedom from weight each day without the recommended walking/workout buddy. This is a benefit for many reasons. You don’t have to worry about matching your pace, speeding up, slowing down to accommodate a partner. You don’t have the added stress of wondering if they are in better shape than you and therefor can’t keep up a running conversation as easily as your buddy and then they must know just how sorry of shape you are in because you huff and puff up that hill, while they just breeze on up. You can put your tunes in your ears and just go. Keeping it a secret that you are heading into uncharted waters for your self and your health also means you won’t have all those helpful people offering advice, asked for or not. You know. This flies in the face of the “experts” advice too. One of the first things you are told is get a support system set up. This probably does work for most, but not me. Then you run the risk of disappointing them–not just yourself, but others. Other people add a lot of stress with real or imagined super high unrealistic expectations. It also keeps the focus on me. I am doing this for me, not for my support system. For me. I am accountable to no one but me. So there! I did delight in seeing people’s reactions to my dwindling size, and more so that I did it by myself. No “plan” no points, no pills, no surgeries. I did it.
Delaney’s third chapter is about INO. Its Not an Option. This is to be your mantra when you need it: when you’re tempted by foods, to skip a workout etc. You just get this mindset that its not an option. My personal one was, “I am worth it.” I was worth the time the long walks were taking. Lets face it, a 3 hour walk is hard to fit into your schedule regularly for training, as a mother of three home schoolers, seasonal caterer etc. I was worth the “special” foods in the shopping cart, the ones that were just for Mama, and no I was not sharing. I was/am worth it. So are you!
The next chapter was a bit of “fluff” for me. It didn’t pertain to me, nor mirror my story. She wants you to “see yourself thin.” Bah. I have a mirror, I go clothes shopping, I know where I am. More importantly, I know where I am going! I felt such pride, such joy when I drove across “the Long Bridge” into town, which is about a mile long and there are always people running, walking, biking across it, I was becoming one of them. I wanted to roll down my window and shout that I too am taking control of my health! I too was doing something good for my body! I too was actually taking responsibility for my actions and getting healthy and strong! I am one of you!!!
The next secret is “You are not like other people.” This one is still something I struggle with. I want to eat what others eat and look like them. How come “Shelly” can eat burritos for dinner and have a slice of pie and still be a size 6? How come “Jenny” can have spaghetti and garlic bread and still rock a little black dress? Grrr! How come I am not like them? Because my Creator saw fit to make me unique. I am not like them. My body needs pure, whole foods, with less saturated fat, less empty calories etc, etc, to be running smooth and strong. My body is different than theirs, than yours. A favorite quote I read along my journey is “Losing weight is an experiment if one.” What works for someone is not guaranteed to work for me. There are basics that we have in common, obviously, but the variables are so great. DNA, lifestyle, family history, body chemistry on and on. The whole point is, even if you don’t see some dramatic change in the first couple of weeks, you must know in your head, in your heart, that no matter what the outside looks like, you KNOW that inside your blood is pumping, your digestion tract is thanking you, your cells are running more efficient than ever before. You are doing good for your body. It will eventually all fall into place, I promise.
Finally, Delaney wants you to protect yourself from the “pushers” and her last chapter is about being comfortable in the uncomfortable zone. Personally, I didn’t have much to deal with when it comes to the “pushers.” She became a vegetarian and her family couldn’t understand it and they “pushed” her to just have a little bit, just a bite etc. By keeping the whole thing secret to begin with you avoid the “pushers.” In my case, the “pushers” were simply not a part of my life. Guess I lucked out there. Now, the business about being comfortable while in an uncomfortable zone….the gym was my hurdle. I baby-stepped my way there. I started with my half marathon training, eventually added Curves to my weeks and once I fulfilled my year’s contractual obligation, and having lost 100 pounds, I found the confidence to join a “real” gym. I bet the first 2 months I did the same thing: elliptical and treadmills. I was too chicken to try the weight machines, although they were my ultimate goal. (I didn’t want to look dumb trying to figure them out) I began buying magazines and devouring them and eventually started lifting with the free weights, then finally, I started the machines. I’ve never looked back. Weightlifting is my favorite thing to do. I really don’t like cardio much, unless its a rocking dance aerobic class! Or being on my mountain bike and making it up hills that 10 years ago I thought you would be insane to think I could make it up! I thrive off of challenges like that.
So, in a nutshell, that was the book. If you’re ready for some, “been there, done that” kind of inspiration give it a look see.