And you thought the possum analogy was out there…..
I had a strange dream last night in which I was to demonstrate for an audience of Catholic school students (hunh?) how to make a milk-based soup using a microwave. I felt really stressed because I don’t use a microwave in real life for anything other than reheating food or melting butter, and I was horrified when I saw that milk had been poured directly into the microwave. No container. Just milk in the microwave with the door shut.
The recipe I was using called for heating the milk but not boiling it. That meant I would have to test it several times to make sure it was heating adequately. As the students filed into the classroom, I tried desperately to figure out how I was going to check the milk without it spilling out. Just before I woke up, I decided I’d lift the microwave over on its back every time I needed to open the door.
Still in that half awake dreamy state, I thought about other possible solutions to the microwave problem as I began to wake up fully this morning. If I’d been presented with a problem like that in real life (and it wasn’t a joke and I had to make the best of it), I’d have dumped what milk I could into a proper cooking container and proceeded with the demonstration from there rather than worrying about tipping over the microwave each time.
I read this article called The Top 10 Healthiest Diets in America and I thought about how the milk in the microwave is like a diet program. How many times have you chosen a program you think will work for you, only to find yourself bending and twisting to the diet’s needs rather than your own? A “diet” should be a lifestyle change, I know you hear that a million times, but it’s YOUR LIFE that your changing. So shouldn’t the lifestyle you choose work with you rather than against you?
When I started losing weight in 2005, I read Bob Greene’s book “Get With The Program.” While I eventually joined Weight Watchers, Greene’s ideas laid the groundwork for what would become a life-changing journey for me.
I bend the Weight Watchers rules all the time. While the basic foundations of the program are sound, I often go outside the box to find ideas that work best for me. For instance, I love Dr. Dean Ornish’s book “Eat More, Weigh Less” and Pamela Peeke’s “Body for Life for Women” and have implemented several of their philosophies and strategies into my eating, exercise and mindfulness program. Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s “Eat to Live” has some solid ideas, too, although his recipes are pretty dull and bland.
While I’ve not tried Alyson Mead’s “Write It Off Club,” mostly because I’m not losing weight anymore, I suspect it is something I’d have done if it was offered while I was losing weight (click here to read my review of her book, “Wake Up To Your Weight Loss.” I’d probably have liked using MaryLou’s Weigh, too (click here to read my review).
My point is, as you travel this road of lifestyle change and adjustment, remember that you’re the expert of you. Not the lady who weighs you at Jenny Craig or the words that come off the page in your South Beach Diet book. What feels right to you? What are you willing to change or not change?
Part of what made this last weight loss so successful for me is that I consulted my body and mind every step of the way. I didn’t rigidly follow a set of rules. People have written to me asking me to just tell them what I eat every day and how I exercise every day, thinking if they do exactly what I do, they’ll be successful, too. Sorry, I tell them. It doesn’t work that way. You have to do your own research, follow the program(s) that work best for you. It is the only way to achieve long-term success.
Dump the milk out of the microwave, folks! Make the program work for you, not the other way around.
And if any of you analyze dreams, can you tell me why the heck you think I dreamed about showing Catholic students how to make soup in a microwave?