the day off diet: Q & A

I've been getting a few emails lately regarding the new plan I've been following (for over a month now!) and while I answered them privately, I thought I would answer them here as well.

I will start with a small update on how I'm doing on the plan, and my answer is: really well! There are some days that are better than others, as with any plan. Some days I want to eat everything in sight, which in my world means: yellow light foods. I feel like I am less obsessed with food, and the scale and the correlation between the two of them. In the past weighing more or less triggered a response that was not conducive and it still has that effect on me. If I weigh more I get upset (even if I know logically its just water) and I will sabotage myself, if its low I will allow myself to slack off.
See how this is a no-win situation?

I do need the scale and a tape measure to make sure I am doing the right things to lose weight, but lately I've been focusing on goals and where I'd like to be at such and such time. Lately my weight has been floating around the low-mid 260's. I'd like to be in the 240's by Labor Day, which has been my goal for how long? Anyway, what I'm happy about is that I'm more laid back about the whole thing. Usually I feel like I'm in a race to get there now, tomorrow, next week. And now, I'm like "its going to happen, i'm getting there and I'm enjoying the journey".

The thing about weight watchers and calorie counting (I do still keep a food journal and occasionally count calories at the end of the day) is that I was not enjoying food or the journey. I was trying to sneak junk food in every nook of what was left for the day. I was eating a lot of sugar, which made me want more sugar. Now, I'm at peace with what I'm eating and what I'm not eating. I cook a lot and I love coming up with new recipes. Right now, I'm perfecting my chili recipe!

This is still the beginning and I will continue to update, and experiment and what not. Its not perfect, nor am I, but I'm slowly becoming at peace with where I'm at which is strangely allowing me to feel confident that I will not be fat forever.

I've been asked to blog more about the day off diet, and I agree I should. I'd really like to do a photo food posts a couple of days of week or talk more about exercise.

On with the question:

"Hi, I was reading your blog about the "Day off Diet" and I was just wondering, don't you think you're jumping the gun a little bit? I mean, from what I've read you've only been doing it for less than a month... and they've already got your testimonial on their site.
If you don't feel the same way about it after three months, or if you stop losing weight, will you write a new testimonial or tell them to take it down?

Plus., the program uses what most people would call "junk food" as a reward for making healthy choices and even says you can eat as much of the green light foods as you want, so you're never hungry. Is that really promoting permanent life long changes ? It seems like a very temporary solution that really defeats the purpose of a lifestyle change by making you feel like you're derpriving yourself and using the word "diet". (Hence the day off thing to eat junk food)
It just seems like you're giving people false hope. So PLEASE if you ever feel like you got it wrong with this 'Day Off Diet' please let people know. -Mary"

Token Fat Girl Response:

Hey Mary!
Thanks for taking the time to send me an email. I can defiantly understand your concern and actually take to heart what you have to say about the contents of my blog and the programs that I follow. Its been interested the emails I've gotten since declaring my love for the day off diet. I never received emails for weight watchers or even atkins. Possibly because they are well known and therefore "safe".

It is possible that in three months I could totally hate the program and never lose another pound. I have control over the testimonial and was glad to provide it. As with most programs I truly believe that they all can work, you just have to find the one that is right for you. You have to be consistent with your pursuit of any goal and if you can't at least be consistent with your efforts, how will you ever become healthy?

The thing about the day off diet is that I have changed my lifestyle, I no longer eat snacks or any junk food 6 days out of the week. When I was "dieting" before, I craved foods these foods and felt sad when I didn't have them. This is no longer the case. When I did weight watchers, it was all about eating crap food (ie: 100 calorie packets, pre-packaged low point junk food) and figuring out how to eat the same junk within my points range. I never changed and my cravings never went away. I just found ways to make it o-k to eat things that are not nutritionally sound. Given, most diets do not suggest doing that, but if I can eat crackers and sweets, I probably will.

I was hesitant to start the day of diet, because I am cynical in nature and it takes a lot to convince me. One of the questions I keep asking myself is "how do I eat when I'm not dieting or trying to lose weight?". I realized that I wanted freedom from counting calories and points that most diets would not give me. Counting calories, for me, is not a life style change. I cannot measure portions and count calories for the rest of my life. What I also know to be true is that weekends are the hardest for me to stay on track. For example, I had a wedding that I went to this weekend and I was able to enjoy the food without guilt or feeling like I was "getting off the wagon". I was able to eat cake, salad, fried chicken, rolls, and even enjoy a cookout later that evening. I can't tell you how nice it was to enjoy social events without the guilt that comes after "falling off the wagon".

I don't recommend going insane with food on the day off, and I don't believe that that is what the day off it for. This one is hard for me, but its really changed my view of food. At first I would eat foods I really love and crave or binged on before, and now I realize how horrible I feel after eating them.

It is incentive, if I have cravings for pizza, icecream etc. I can think "I don't have to eat that right now", whereas it seemed on weight watchers, atkins or counting calories a craving would turn into "gotta have it right now!" and then I would try to suffice with low calorie ice cream and then over eat that.

I guess what I'm saying is, just because a program is well known doesn't mean it is right for everyone. The "green light" foods, are very healthful foods. Things I normally avoid when "dieting", the best types of fruits vegetables and meats. I don't go hungry, but I don't stuff myself because there is only so much of it I want to eat. But, I love the food I eat. I love that I am finally able to live my life without counting calories, or feeling like a slave to the scale.

I feel good. I exercise and strength train. Whatever someone interprets from any program that I follow is up to them, my blog is simply my journey and my voice. I'm not an advocate for the masses of overweight people. If I mess up and gain weight, thats my journey, not the fault of a program. We all know the truth: all programs work, you just have to stick with it. And this is one program that I'm able to stick with for now.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the blog. While men and women tend to lose and gain differently, you've definitely had some positive influences on me and they way I'm going about my weight-loss regimen. Thanks and keep up the fight!


2:40 PM  
Blogger Marshmallow said...

Body for Life has a day off in their plan as well - initially I went all gung ho on the day off and felt absolutely rotten, and then after a few weeks of it, I realised that eating all of that food en masse didn't make me feel good. Instead, I was able to use the day to have a treat here and there, or if I was going out for dinner with someone, the day off would be used there - it's just a planned way of the "eating healthy 90% of the time" which often people struggle with, since they beat themselves up when they eat healthy 99% of the time as they were aiming for 100%.

I think it's a good strategy, and while maybe not practical in the long run (say, one year, two years down the line), it's much closer to intuitive eating than calorie counting.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Nicole D. said...

I agree the Day Off Diet sounds a lot like Body For Life...but maybe without the exercise program? Since you're answer questions, here are a few for you too!

1. What is your current exercise program? Have you stepped it up at all since you've started the Day-Off Diet?
2. How often are you weighing yourself? You said that you need the scale/tape measure to know that you're doing the right things...but I almost feel like, we all know what the "right" thing is...whether we do it or not, that's the choices we make.

I just started a new fitness plan where I have a daily challenge - Day One was give up the scale/tape measure, etc and trust that by doing your daily challenges and making better choices, the weight will come off. And it has. I cheated on day 7 and I had already lost 3 pounds (looking for a total loss of 20 eventually...)

Anyway, thank you for your blog - love it!

4:51 PM  
Blogger Elisa said...

Love reading your blog! I totally agree with you - weight loss is completely different with everyone. With the best diet, it's still possible to fail, it's a matter of sticking to something and trudging on. I've never been a fan of diets, it seems the more I tell myself I'm doing something differently for a while, the more I fight it. Instead, if I think of it as, "I'm giving up sodas because the caffeine is bothering me too much," then it's easier for me to rationalize it and keep up with it. That's what seems to work for me the best, though I haven't really succeeded in keeping off weight that I lose... Any ideas on what type of maintenance program may work best?

7:17 PM  
Anonymous MizFit said...

love your blog as we've previously established and WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE it's about finding what works for you and sticking with it.

Im a big body for life fan and intuitive eating believer and this is thisclose to that (that being what works for the Miz.)

happy wed ;)

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Flointhesun said...

I just discovered your blog and I'm already hooked up !

This post is very enlightening ! Thank you for taking the time to explain all this and how you're living through this plan.

I started my weight loss journey a few weeks ago, after years of yo yo dieting. I'm experimenting and looking for healthy ways to kick bad eating habits out...on the long term. So it's not about a few months of starving myself up, but really taking the time to change for the best.
I find your blog really inspiring !

10:32 AM  

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