Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Week 2 of the No Diet Diet begins

Early one morning just as the rain was bowing

One week on the No Diet Diet and I'm 3 lbs lighter and more importantly feeling fantastic!

I'm finding it quite staggering that a "diet" which doesn't prescribe or proscribe specific foods or exercises can have this benefit.

Here is my dieting history, just since 2000:

In 2000 I lost a couple of stone (around 30 pounds) in the summer before Jim and I got married in December. I easily kept this weight off for a year until the summer of 2001.

For most of 2001 I was seeing a Jungian psychotherapist and it completely knocked me off balance. I put back on the 2 stone, plus more, in about three weeks during a particularly gruelling time. (This was around the time of 9/11; I do realise that my "gruelling time" was of much less moment than that of many others.)

In 2002, free from the therapist and feeling in control once more, I put myself back on the diet that had worked so well only two years before. Not a pound would budge.

I also tried Atkins over 6 weeks that May/June and again not a pound did I lose.

In 2004 I did manage to lose some weight but only when I skipped whole meals and it didn't stay off. Incidentally this wasn't a "diet" just changes in my appetite at the time.

And since then I've had sporadic attempts but the only result overall had been a gradual increase. I had already worked out for myself that diet's weren't working for me, I just wasn't sure what to do instead...

This year I've not had sugary foods since January and until starting the No Diet Diet I'd lost nothing. Or rather I had an immediate 7 pound loss that went back on again just as quickly. After that my weight has been very steady. I'd been considering this a mini-triumph - at least it wasn't still going up. (I'm keeping off the sugar anyway there are good health reasons for avoiding it, and as I've pretty much lost my sweet tooth now so I'm not missing sugar or feeling in the least bit deprived - in fact anything sugary is now sickly sweet to me!)

Some of you know that in the past (1992 and again in 1996 since when I've not worked) I've been diagnosed as having M.E. or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Quite a lot of people with it do end up with a weight problem.

When one has so little energy it is natural to eat since it is from food that we derive our physical energy. Another problem is that when feeling very tired, it can be extremely difficult to bother to feed oneself in a healthy way. Also when too tired for most pleasures, food is an obvious last resort. And without the option of working it off with some extreme exercise... If you don't know much about this here is a quote from a website on it:
The fatigue is often made worse by activity. This is called 'post-exertional malaise'. However, the post-exertional malaise may not develop for several hours or more following the activity. It may even develop on the following day.
This means I can look healthy, be seen to be being active and pronounced fit by people who know no better and then a day later be entirely knocked out by what I've done. And it is really hard for me to predict when an activity will have this effect.

So given all of that isn't it amazing that after a week I'm feeling so much happier, and have actually lost 3 pounds!

This week the No Diet Diet is focusing on habits around interacting with people.

The tasks for this week are:
  1. Be more or less assertive than usual
  2. Be more group-centred or more individual-centred whilst in a group
  3. Be more calm or more driven than usual.
  4. Be more adaptable or more decisive than usual.
  5. Be more spontaneous or more more systematic than usual.
  6. Be more introvert or extrovert than usual.
  7. Be more or less conventional than usual.
Today is assertive/unassertive day.

The idea is to decide whether one is habitually assertive or not and then to experiment with a different behaviour. The book becomes more of a guide at this point since they cannot tell you exactly what to do but they do make useful suggestions that act as examples.

In true Caroline-fashion I've diagnosed myself as both. So my tasks today are to assertively return something to a shop (not something I'm looking forward to, though I'm feeling buoyed up by the last week and therefore do feel up to it) and to be gentler in other ways.


Ellen said...

Good for you on feeling great. I'm coincidently (synchronously?) doing the same sort of thing, a program of cognitive behaviour modification on little day to day stuff, for the same reason (weight loss). It's pretty interesting, (and surprisingly fun).

I love Jungian ideas, in a storybook kind of way. Although, I can see how unpractical it would be as a therapy.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on such a wonderful beginning, Caro!
May the No Diet Diet continue to go well for you~xo

Caroline said...

Ellen - its even more synchronous than you might expect!

At the time of my going to see the Jungian, I went via a consultant psychiatrist who was assessing whether some form of cognitive behaviour therapy would help me.

He said CBT would bore me and that I'd get on better with the Jungian.... I now put this down to him preferring to send me to one of his most expensive friends, as this was all at the expense of the company I was then employed by...

I also think the Jungian I saw wasn't actually a very good therapist of any type. I felt his only motivation was money... and that he wasn't himself as aware of this as he ought to have been. He is not how I would judge all Jungians.

I wish I'd actually got CBT at the time!

Tink - thanks - I'm down another pound today and that's despite having chosen to have chips yesterday!

Leah said...

the no diet diet sounds right up my alley. very cool. i like reading about your experience with it!

Krimo said...

I've given up worrying about the few extra pounds I carry but this No diet diet could be the answer. Can't wait for further reports.
Love the photo.