When I started getting serious about turning my health around, I started hitting the books, and more specifically, the blogs, like crazy. I read and read and read and collected tips and made lists of foods to get and routines to start. I gradually filtered my way down to what I follow on a regular basis. Out went a lot of larger, less targeted places, like AOL Health, and even Shape Magazine, and now I always get a little bummed out on weekends because Emily and Angela take the weekends off. I also love Matt over at NoMeatAthlete.
Though there are individual differences, overall these three sites provide me with relatively similar overall health schemes. Something I've started to figure out over the past few months is, I really shouldn't delve any deeper than that right now. As you start delving deeper, you start getting more and more contradictory evidence. How much protein do you really need? Are grains and beans superfoods, or are they slowly killing you? Fruit- yes or no? Everyone has scientific evidence up the wahzoo about why their set-up is best. Everyone has anecdotes and the very compelling story of their own personal enlightenment.
I know of two quick-loss diets with very similar concepts. Stick with veggies and protein most of the time, and occasionally splurge on what you want. In one plan, it's at dinner, in the other, it's one day a week. Both forbid fruit except during the splurges. However, one expressly forbids beans but highly encourages dairy. The other expressly forbids dairy but insists it will never work without beans. At one point early in the summer, I literally wandered around my kitchen starving for three hours because I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to be eating. I don't actually remember what I ended up having, but I'm fairly certain it was in violation of both.
Even though I haven't properly stuck to either- one of my favorite No-Starchy-Grains Diet meals is beans and cheese, which has a strike against it in either column- I have felt a little guilty for months every time I have a grain. There is the little voice somewhere wondering if I shouldn't be having it, because it will slow down my weight loss.
Yes, I would love for the pounds to just fall off. There was a brief glorious period in the summer of 2009 when I dropped about 25 pounds practically without thinking about it. Every single morning, I would excitedly rush to the scale and see at least 1, often 2 or 3 pounds off the previous day. I've isolated everything I can think of about that month, and tried to recreate it, and so far, nada. Can't repeat it. I've just come to realize in the past day or so that that drop in 2009 brought me to a state of equilibrium. At the amount I eat, the quality of what I eat, and the amount of exercise I get, this is where I stay pretty darn consistently. It oscillates by about 5-8 pounds depending on how good or bad I am being month to month, but it has not strayed from the same 10-pound range (think 0-10, 10-20, 20-30, 130-140) in two years, save for a few precious days when it dipped down into the 9.5s of the next 10-range, on a few occasions.
To be accurate, I actually realized the equilibrium factor over a year ago. Where I am really going with this is that in the past day I have realized that quick change probably isn't really an option right now. I need to work with what I have to get what I want. One of the things I have right now is a fondness for whole grains and beans, and a distaste for most fruits and vegetables. I am working steadily to improve my palate for the fruits and veggies, but I'm not going to turn up my nose at nutrient-dense grains and beans that have been sustaining highly active and healthy populations for millenia if I know I'm not going to be replacing it with produce.
I'm going to stop delving deeper, and just enjoy my two blogs that I know and love. A few years down the road, when it is a lifestyle and not a goal/transition, I would love to start looking into raw veganism and the "fruitarian" 80-10-10 thing discussed on NoMeatAthlete today. But if I do it now, I either won't eat, or I'll end up self-destructing, figuring that I can't win in any case, so might as well eat junk that I know is junk. I'm going to read NoMeatAthlete a little more carefully for right now, since he discusses and sometimes espouses a lot of the more intense options. I need to stop confusing myself. I need to get to the point where I'm addicted to how good I feel physically (and emotionally) when I treat my body right. Right now, I love how that feels, but I'm addicted to the emotional feeling I get from stuffing my face with things I know are bad for me. So I'm not going to worry about what The Ultimate Best Way to treat my body is. I'm just going to focus on treating it a lot better.