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Surprised

Chicken Makhani, murgh makhani, or "Butte...

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I did an unbelievable thing last night. Something I’m quite sure I’ve never done before. Even now, hours later, I’m still surprised by it.

I went to dinner at the home of some friends. I’d not said anything to them about being on any kind of diet. That was quite deliberate, because I don’t necessarily want people going out of their way to feed me food they think will be okay, and then having them stress that I can’t eat whatever it is they’ve been generous enough to serve me. Besides, I know these people are pretty conscious about eating healthy food, and they grow almost all their own vegetables, so I knew that even if the meal was outside my prescribed diet, it would be good for me and it would taste great. Seriously, that’s all anybody should hope for in a free meal, right? (more…)

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Diet Drinks May Help Make You Fat

Diet Coke Products

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Many years ago, before I made any serious attempt to lose weight, I opted to switch to sugar-free soft drinks and sodas because I didn’t like the sugary flavour of the normal ones, and didn’t particularly enjoy how drinking a glass of Coke left me with a furry coating on my teeth. I’ve stuck religiously to diet sodas ever since, but now it turns out that might well have been the worst thing I could do.
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Resistance Support

Grand Canyon, from South Rim near Visitor Center

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I’ve lost count the number of times when I’ve heard ‘weight loss experts’ wax on about how you just need a little willpower to resist temptation. I’ve got more willpower than I know what to do with. I’ve got myself down and up the Grand Canyon in a single day, I’ve hiked for 7 days straight in Nepal at altitude, while fighting off a chest infection and an undiagnosed and un-treated bout of Graves disease, the symptoms of which include exhaustion and muscle weakness, and I’ve written five full-length novels against all odds. I may as well legally change my middle names to Persistence, Determination and Willpower  for all the difference it makes. So I find it infinitely irritating that people think staying on a diet is all about willpower, when anybody who’s ever been on a diet knows that willpower has nothing to do with it after the first couple of days. (more…)

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Resisting Resistance

Quarter Pounder with Cheese Box (marketed in E...

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On Tuesday night I found myself sitting on the couch, eating MacDonalds for dinner, for the second night in a row. This was, I should point out, a strange and unwelcome experience for me. (more…)

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A Doctor Who Makes Sense

The Doctor, by Sir Luke Fildes (1891)

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One of the worst things about having a weight problem is not just society’s inability to understand or appreciate the reality of the problem – but also the medical profession’s general ignorance about how to treat it.

Doctors, for all that they’re well-meaning, can unfortunately, tend to see a series of symptoms, a pathology, rather than a human being with a problem that needs help. I’ve had doctors tell me just to do more exercise, or stop eating fat, or to “just go on a diet”.

Health professionals look at the results of the problem – your increasing girth – rather than the underlying causes. As a result, they usually miss the real triggers, the real causes, and therefore, miss treating the actual things that will make a difference. (more…)

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Being Precious

food sources of magnesium: bran muffins, pumpk...

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There is nothing in this world so easy as failing a diet. It takes no effort at all. Sometimes, no more than a thought will push you over to the Dark Side, and calories are instantly converted to pounds of unwilling, globulous fat. (more…)

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The Bottom Line

The Starry Night

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It was on one of many drives to Adelaide to visit my sister that I promised myself I would never go on another diet again. I’d been struggling with trying to lose weight for about 3 months, starting out with determination on Monday, over it by Wednesday, and by Thursday it was all lost so that between Friday lunch time and Sunday morning, food was not so much to be eaten, but to be binged on, as would a starving man.

Such is the nature of the diet/binge cycle that caught me in its grip as a teenager. Me and about 1 billion other women on this planet not living in a third world country in genuine danger of starving to death. (more…)

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Hardly a Diet

The original graph of body size versus metabol...

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When we think about a diet these days, we all have the same image of celery sticks, dry biscuits and lettuce leaves: tasteless food and an endless feeling of hunger. A constant feeling of being dissatisfied and wanting more. And the unending desperation to eat something solid and substantial. I’d like to say that these kinds of diets are well out of fashion but alas, there are some out there that still treat the body this badly.

The studies done into ‘deprivation dieting’ (which is what the above description… er, describes) have proven one fact above all else – when you deprive your body in such a way, you both decrease your metabolic rate (because your body thinks starvation time has come around again) and increase your subconscious need to binge eat. These are both unconscious, physiological body responses to a sudden and sustained lack of food. These responses are genetically built into us and were what helped our ancient ancestors to survive fammine. What they are not, is any help to losing weight. (more…)

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To Boldly Go

food sources of magnesium: bran muffins, pumpk...

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So, hard on the heels of my last post, I thought I’d set down a few details of exactly what I’m going to do to lose weight. Now don’t get all excited and start taking notes 🙂 – these are just the first few small steps. This plan will change and evolve as I go along, as I learn what works and what doesn’t. At the moment, that’s a key element – I want to avoid that whole ‘ repeating actions that don’t get me the results I want’ thing, by making changes as I go.

The basic plan for the first week is pretty simple. I am going to use the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet. I know I’ve spent plenty of words trashing all things diet, but there are a few that aren’t all evil. This is one of them. It’s a high-ish protein, controlled carbohydrate diet that has been scientifically proven to help people lose weight when they carry most of their weight around the middle. Which is me. (more…)

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What do you do when…

Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in ...

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What do you do when you want to lose weight but have absolutely no confidence that you can? Or that any effort, no matter how bold or determined will inevitably end up failing?

No, seriously, I’m asking the question because I hope somebody has a better answer than the two I’ve come up with – either give up, or try again.

The problem with trying again is that after a few attempts, you know it’s going to fail, even before you start. And the problem with that is that if you go in assuming you’ll fail, you will! It’s called a self-fullfilling prophecy. Either way, I end up not losing weight and facing the prospect of question number one all over again. (more…)

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