Saturday, May 15, 2010

Daughters and Diets

Tonight my daughter asked me to go on the Jenny Craig diet with her. She's tried this plan four or five times already and has a heck of a time sticking to it. There is no doubt we both need to do something about our figures. I just really have to say I don't like that particular plan because I don't enjoy their food. If I don't like the food, how will I stick to that plan? It's all so regimented. Augh. And I love to cook. Microwaving doesn't count.

I want her to have success. I want to have dieting success myself. Actually, I have had sucess this year, having now lost about 25 lbs, most of which I fear my daugher has FOUND. So much for Jenny Craig. Doesn't help if between Jenny meals there are Micky D's stops, you know? We are under a deadline this time. My son is getting marriend in 11 weeks and we both want to look good in our dresses (and without undergarments with enough inward g-forces to suck the breath out of us.) At any rate, it is true I haven't lost even a fraction of what I had hoped to lose in the last year since their engagement. And any diet works if you stick to it. Hence the problem.

Dieting in highly personal. Controlling what we put into our bodies is a matter of self-denial, forethought and focus. You can't take your eye off the ball when seriously dieting, and where is the fun in that? Honestly, sometimes gluttony is easier, at least for a few moments. I am not, however, a crazy binge-type eater. I've gained weight over the years, a few pounds a year, and probably mostly due to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. In fact, as soon as I begin regularly exercising it seems as if the pounds drop off easily without having to crazily limit food intake. So that is what I choose to do - exercise in the form of a daily walking program. It's easy for me - I have a new puppy. He's got to go out anyway. I'm seeing results from the walking, so why should I go on an eating program I really can't stand?

Should I do it because of mother-daughter solidarity? To show her I am in it with her? Because I'm really not. She needs to come to some personal decisions about her body, as I have. She is only 21. It breaks my heart to see her gaining and gaining. I worry about her health, both physical and mental as relates to the weight too. Both are suffering, I can see. But how in the world can I help her while not doing what she wants? Why, for instance, do we have to spend LOTS of money (she is good at that) on a program when we just need to learn to prepare healthy food and engage in daily exercise? I'm frustrated with her belief that this Jenny Craig stuff is the only way she can lose weight. Why can't she believe otherwise? Her father lost nearly 80 lbs this past year, and not by going on Jenny Craig or any other packaged plan.

Self-denial type plans NEVER work. If I want ice cream, then I'm going to have ice cream. Just not a huge trough of it. I can live with a smaller dish and still have the satisfaction of having had the treat I wanted. (Actually I just "discovered" Edy's frozen yogurt blends. YUM!!) And because I'm walking every day, I don't have to have the guilt either. I just don't understand how to get this through to her. A plan is good if you like it and you can stick with it.

There has to be a better idea than tandem dieting. I want to help her. She's mad at me because when she asked me tonight to go on that plan with her, I didn't respond. I couldn't find the words to say no or yes. I'm not saying I don't want to lose weight, eat healthy or watch what I put in my body. I'm doing all those things. She's going to have to decide for herself what will work and what she can live with. Dieting is too personal. The bottom line is I cannot do it for her. Motivation has to come from within. I sense it's going to be a long 11 weeks to come.

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