One of my best friends in the world, Beth, and I have spent many, many hours discussing the pros and cons of different diets and exercise programs, usually with a big hearty meal sitting right in front of us.
A few of the diets we have been on have been beyond ridiculous.
For example, we came up with the “remember the white sundress” diet. This diet consisted of eating not much of anything at all to fit in to a white sundress at the beach. If tempted to eat, we were to “remember the white sundress.”
Let’s just say that such a shallow goal does not lead to a lifestyle change that will last.
Another crazy scheme that I came up with was this rubber suit that attached to the vacuum cleaner. I kid you not, it was guaranteed to melt off at least 10 pounds without diet or exercise. I gained 10 pounds waiting for it to be delivered. Finally, the miracle suit arrived in the mail. I excitedly called Beth and told her that I would go first and then she could have a go at it.
I wiggled in to the rubber suit and attached it to the vacuum cleaner. I positioned myself in a comfortable chair for a 15-minute session in the weight loss suit that was to magically transform my body, just as the directions said to do. I turned on the vacuum and the suit suddenly sucked to my body so tight I could hardly move. However, the anticipation of my new figure was enough to motivate me to endure being sealed in to a giant human size baggy.
About 10 minutes in to my shrinking session, I heard my Mother ask my brother to vacuum the den and he replied, “Make Tara. She is wearing the vacuum.”
A minute later smoke was billowing from the vacuum and a strong burning smell emerged. I had burned up the motor to the vacuum instead of burning up calories. And guess what? I didn’t lose 10 pounds. Can you believe that?
And I will never forget the “pee” diet. We actually paid money to go to a place and pee on a stick. If the stick turned purple it meant that we had stayed on the diet and should be burning calories. Oh and I almost forgot, it was supposed to make you have bad breath as well. These factors proved that our bodies were in ketosis, which was to equate to weight loss. Can you still hear the people laughing about the gullible fat women peeing on a stick? The list goes on and on and on.
Fast forward, many years and many unsuccessful diets later.
Along comes Health Quest, something clicks in my brain. I start to exercise. I start eating better. The weight starts coming off sloooooooowly.
I receive encouragement from the staff at the YMCA. I receive encouragement from reading about and hearing about others that are having success through Health Quest. My husband, Jeff, cheers me on.
For the first time, in my life I start to care more about feeling better than fitting into a certain dress or for a certain event. (That is just a nice side perk!)
I still have many pounds to go. Some days I don’t eat or exercise as I should, but I go back to it as quickly as possible instead of saying, “Oh well, I blew it so I will eat for six more days and start again on Monday” … and never do.
It will always be a battle for me but, I think it has clicked in my brain. Eat a little less, move a little more, say a little prayer, feel a lot better!
That is what it is really all about.
Tara Nolan was in the top 3 in the last year’s Health Quest initiative. She and other alums are taking turns writing a column for Health Quest each week.