Why, oh why, did Dianne Barker call it "Fat Free Forever"? As a diet plan, it works perfectly. I'm now doing it for the third time. (There's an irony there.) Just over a year ago, on this very blog, I boasted that I was mere kilograms from my goal weight again. I was ecstatic! But, inevitably, Christmas rolled around - with all the parties, farewells, celebrations, retirements, and those lazy days of sitting around the house, playing on the Internet and watching DVDs - and I spent all of January too scared to hop on the scales, at least until I thought I'd gotten back to within reach of that goal weight. I also joked, based on my first dieting endeavours with the book from the 90s, that I could writing my own book called "Fat Free For Five Years". Mmmmm. "Fat Free For Five Months", perhaps.
Unfortunately, that day never came. I surprised myself that I could fit into the Andorian costume I won on eBay, and I think I may have relaxed too much (stupid, really, because the costume's made of stretch lycra, and it's designed to hide all the flabby bits!) Very soon after that, I was straining and breathless to tie my shoelaces again. Deja vu! I suddenly had an awful feeling that I'd crept right back up to my mass of about two years ago. (So, out came the scales, and you know, I had put back almost everything I'd so recently lost! Heartbreaking!)
Two Sundays ago, after a particularly unsatisfying takeaway pizza feast, I started all over again. You see, there's nothing wrong with Dianne's diet plan; if you stop putting fat in your mouth, and do lots of walking, then you won't add fat to your body. Easy! (Yeah, easy. Ha!)
Without a doubt, the hardest bit is being disciplined about how, and what, and when, you eat. "Fat Free Forever" urges you to keep your body running as you'd keep a car engine running: use the best fuel; keep the car topped up all the time (including morning and afternoon snacks); and don't let the car engine run dry. Makes perfect sense. And the body's metabolism definitely starts to run faster. (I definitely remember the day that my metabolism first slowed down. I reckon it was the day I turned 30, and so does my waistline. I also figure it slowed down again, quite noticeably, at age 40.)
Dianne recommends that, if you want to eat the five starchy carbohydrates (bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, cereals) then do it before the mid afternoon so your body is not tempted to store up the goodness for later on, when you'll just be sleeping anyway. (Wow, that's weird; there is an "expert" discussing carbohydrates on the radio as I type! Essentially, the speaker agrees with Dianne about their value, and busted some of the myths, suggesting that a dry sponge and a wet sponge look exactly the same, but one will have more mass. Similarly, your body needs to have a store of carbohydrates for the day, and you'll weigh more on the scales, but it doesn't mean that the body is carrying new fat. Cool!)
"Fat Free Forever" also recommends celebrating with a "Junk Food Day" meal. It's certainly something to strive towards! Once a week, with your metabolism running fast, having a meal of junk food sends your system into overdrive, and it actually works harder to process the greasy stuff. The problem with having junk food every day is that it slows down the metabolism. And eating fat regularly makes you crave fat. Of that I don't think anyone would disagree.
Regular exercise is certainly not a problem for me. I don't own a car, and I walk a lot. (And the dog has ways of making me feel guilty if I don't take him with me.) But... I often wonder how big I'd be if I did have a car. Obviously I don't walk enough for the food intake when not on the diet. Well, it's a diet plan for forever, of course, but I am constantly amazed by how much walking is supposedly needed to walk off a bag of hot french fries. I can promise myself to "walk it off" before eating the chips all I like, but the reality is that I probably won't end up doing it, and there lies the problem. If I don't put fat in my mouth, then I won't be adding fat to my body. Sigh.
Without a doubt, my problem is discipline. Self-discipline. If I was more disciplined about my diet routines, I'd still be at my goal weight from the 90s. If I was more disciplined about my writing routines, I'd be a published novelist by now. If I was more disciplined about housework... (Ooooh, let's not go there.)
Well, this blog is doing it's bit. I hope. I'm doing a fairly good job of making myself write something every day, and certainly some anecdotes in this blog have given me great ideas for stories. It's funny looking back over a year of these little anecdotes from daily life; there are some gems in here, that would probably have been forgotten had I not written about them as they happened.
A surprising number of hits that show up on my site meter are from people Googling Dianne and her diet. There's certainly a lot of curiosity about it, and it does work! I'm very grateful to have heard her speak that day in the 90s, and for all the encouragement that book gives me every day I'm back on the plan. As I said, all I need is the discipline to stick with it. Forever this time.
Sunday's (no longer) mystery number: 94.6, yay!