Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dieting with Hubby Part 1: Cheating and Consequences

For the past week my hubby has been on his diet. It's some hospital diet for cardiac patients that some doctor gave him a few years ago. It's extremely low carb (but includes all the meat, cheese and butter you can eat) and involves grapefruit or grapefruit juice a couple times a day. Supposedly you're to stick to the plan for 12 days, take 2 days off to eat whatever you want, then another 12 days, etc. Eventually you can start adding some specific carbs back into your diet, so I guess it's a modified version of the Atk1ns/S0uth Be @ch plan.

I always love it when Hubby describes this diet to people. He raves about how successful this diet is, and how he once lost 40 pounds in 28 days (or was it 28 pounds in 40 days? I forget). Once in a while I can't bite my tongue and respond that it couldn't have been that successful, because he gained all the weight back, plus more. And in the two years I've known him he's done this diet at least three or four times; he does the first round of 12 days on, 2 off, maybe gets through the second round, but then quits. He may lose about 10 or 15 pounds, but gains it all right back. But he doesn't want to hear that.

In a way he's right; in theory this diet works. I think it was developed for cardiac patients who need to lose weight fast. But something tells me the hospital that designed it also knew it was a temporary fix, and that these patients then need to learn new, healthier habits that they can stick with permanently to maintain the weight loss.

At the beginning Hubby informed Mabel and I that we would need to get on his case if we caught him eating things that aren't on his diet. In theory I don't like this; I'm already my own Food Police, and I don't relish the thought of nagging him about sneaking cookies or candy bars, which is what usually happens when he's on this diet.

My daughter, however, has no problem with it. This past weekend, fresh from the hospital, Mabel caught Daddy eating from a sleeve of cookies. Wagging her finger at him, she crawled off my lap, snatched the sleeve away from him, and took off for the kitchen, where she promptly hid them! Hubby and I looked at each other in shock, and I couldn't help but burst out laughing.
Mabel wound up giving him the cookies back, but it definitely made him sit up and take notice.

Last night we once again caught him sneaking cookies from his stash (I know, some wives would throw them away for his own good, but I know how furious I would be if someone threw away my stash). Mabel turned to me and said, "He's a cheater!"

I looked back and forth between the two of them and shrugged my shoulders. "The only person he's cheating is himself," I replied.

I can't condemn the guy, because I've done my own share of "cheating." And again, the only person I was cheating was myself. I've learned over time that you pay the consequences for each decision you make, good or bad. You exercise religiously, you get the payoff of a more toned body, and if you're lucky, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. You skip the soda and the butter, stay away from the second helpings, and before long the scale starts going down. But... start sleeping in instead of doing your morning workout, slowly let the cookies and candy bars come creeping back in to your evening snacks, and lo and behold, you've gained 10 pounds.

So when he grumbled this morning that he hadn't lost any more weight since his 4 pound loss on Saturday, I didn't know what to tell him that he shouldn't already know. I know when I'm trying to lose weight, I can't expect to get the positive results unless I put forth the positive effort. If I'm "sneaking" cookies every night, I know I am not going to see the scale go down. The good news is, he announced that starting February 1 he's joining our local "guy" gym. I'm going to strongly encourage this, because for me it's easier to cheer him on to do positive things than to nag him about his negative actions. Again, you've got to produce positive energy to gain positive results.

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