WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER GO ON A DIET


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Yep – you read that title correctly. Want to lose weight for good? Then don’t go on a diet.

Why?

I consider the word “diet” to be a four letter word – one of those bad words that people get uncomfortable when they hear it.

Nobody likes going on a diet. I mean honestly, when your doctor tells you that you’re overweight and need to shed some pounds, odds are you don’t run gleefully out of his or her office yelling, “Woo Hoo”! – I get to eat more kale!” Right?

Instead, the images that come to mind when someone tells me they are going to start such-and-such a diet this week are usually people who are depressed, stressed, angry, or sad, with a little trepidation about just how long they think they’re going to last, leaving their favorite foods behind.

Why do people generally fail at dieting? Because most people can’t stick to a diet for long. Most diets have some sort of restriction, or they wouldn’t be called a diet to begin with. No sweets. No Chips. No ice cream. No pasta. No breads. Name your favorite foods and they are likely on the forbidden food lists.

So in order to try convincing yourself that it won’t be “that bad,” your mind already starts thinking in terms of your upcoming diet as something that has a beginning and an end. Surely in a few months you’ll have dropped the weight and will be at a good place where you can stop dieting and return to your earlier eating habits.

And that’s why diet’s don’t work! You mistakenly thought that dieting has a beginning and an end. You did great and lost 35 pounds and feel wonderful in doing so, while denying yourself your favorite yummies for so long. Now you’re “off” the diet and guess what. If you’re like most people… odds are you go right back to eating like you used to – before the diet. And before you know it, those 35 pounds you lost have snuck back in and brought their friends to boot and suddenly you have 40 extra pounds! At which time many folks end up blaming the diet, or believing that diets don’t work! When in fact, it is a set-up to fail to begin with.

I was watching the Today show the other day when Megyn Kelly was putting a variety of diets under the gun, as to their effectiveness as well as longevity. Weight Watchers was getting many accolades but, Megan said, “But you can’t stay on Weight Watchers forever.”

And therein lies the problem … the great myth that takes me back to the word diet. In fact, if you want to shed those pounds and keep them off you need to make your food choices a “lifestyle”, as opposed to a diet. Meaning, even if you reach your goal weight, you’re aware every single day, of just how much food you  put in your mouth and your body to keep the weight on hold.

Yep. Every day.

Now that’s not as bad as it sounds. For example, for me to keep my weight at 142 pounds (I’m 5’7”), I allow myself about 1,600 – 1,800 calories per day. Might sound restrictive to you but what I didn’t tell you is that I don’t begrudge myself partaking in anything I want – whether it be a birthday party or Thanksgiving, or the office party picnic. I’ve been known to eat an entire box of Girl Scout thin mints in an evening (I don’t advise it!) and still not gain weight.

How, you ask? For two reasons … First, I stay fully aware of how many calories are in the items I’m gulping down. Yep, those thin mints might only be 160 calories per serving (4 cookies – not an entire box!) But the whole container was 1,280! That only left me 520 calories for the rest of the day. And if I’d already eaten half a day’s calories before I even hit the cookies, odds are I’m way already over my limit to begin with.

OK, NO GUILT. NO SHAME! That’s what I mean when I say “No Cheatin’, Just Eatin’.” It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle. I wasn’t cheating when I ate the box of cookies. I just chose to eat more of it than I needed. Which will definitely slow my weight loss plans, for sure.

So this is where the second part of how I do it comes in … the next couple of days I cut way back on everything. Tighten my calories back to 1,200 – 1,400. Make sure I get some exercise in and probably eat more salad, lean meat, and fruit than usual. And I eat that way until the number on the scale is more acceptable to me.

I can handle giving up my junk food every now and then, knowing I can have it back in just a couple of days. After your first week or so of counting calories you’ll know what the calorie counts are for your favorite foods in your head and can likely calculate your intake each day simply and easily.

And with all the apps out there these days, keeping track couldn’t be easier!

So don’t diet to lose weight. Make weight loss a lifestyle of something you can live with each and every day.

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My Dog the Magician


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Mary Jo Fay

Can your dog do magic? Perhaps…

Move over Harry Potter – my dog has apparently taken up magic! Perhaps I should enter her in America’s Got Talent! See if you can solve this because I haven’t figured it out yet …

I had been out shopping the other day and when I came home I opened the door, as usual, expecting my little, white Schnauzer Larkin, to greet me exuberantly as always. Nope. No excited pup visible anywhere, bouncing with joy that Mommy’s home!  Something was definitely wrong. She never disappears.

So I figured that perhaps I hadn’t closed the bathroom door and she’d gotten in there and then accidentally locked herself in, which happens occasionally. But no. Bathroom door had remained tightly shut and when I opened it the room was just as I had left it. (If I do forget and leave the door opened, she considers it fair game to spew the contents of the bathroom wastebasket everywhere. Needless to say, it’s a rare day that I forget to close the bathroom door!)

All this time I continued to call her, but no sound of an excited fuzzy canine could be heard! I was starting to worry just a bit by then, as she never disappears. Was she hurt and unable to communicate? Had she keeled over dead while I was out?

My mind was racing by then. Perhaps someone had broken in and stolen my dog? Or something else? I glanced over to my dining room table where I do most of my work and saw the computer, (my most valuable possession as it holds all my works) was still where I had left it. Whew!

Then, I glanced over to the flat screen TV. Not a huge one, mind you. Several years old by now. But the only TV I had. Thankfully, it was still perched on the shelf above the fireplace. Apparently untouched. By this time I was beginning to panic.I live in a very small house and my possibilities were quickly running out. Where the hell was my dog? Did aliens “beam her up, Scotty?”

For a while when I first moved into my 100-year-old house, I thought it might be haunted, based upon some odd things that had happened. (I’d come home to find broken photo frames and shattered glass that had no explanation.Things like that.) And the dog hadn’t even been home to be labeled a suspect. But I hadn’t even experienced those for a while. Did my ghost suddenly return and decide to haunt poor Little Larkin to death?

Then, to my surprise, as I turn towards the next room to search, I find a pint of Halo Top low cal ice cream on the living room floor. (In the spot where Larkin usually lays to consumer bones and other precious commodities.) Aha! The first clue appeared.

The pint of Peanut Butter Cup flavor didn’t appear to be opened despite several dents I assumed to be bite marks and there wasn’t even a dribble of my sweet addictive food on the floor! (Thank God for small favors.) Yet, still no sign of the suspect.

As I studied the unopened container it struck me that it didn’t feel as heavy as usual. So, the next step was to open it. I pried the lid off and then- the aluminum foil layer after that; tightly sealed, although a bit soggy. It had apparently been out of the freezer for some time. However, the amount of ice cream in the container indeed seemed to be less than usual. Where did the rest of it go since the container was obviously still sealed? It was about half melted but even as such I didn’t see how it would take up substantially less space in its liquid state, would it?

Which begs me to ask the question – how the hell did my little Houdini get it out of the freezer in the first place?

Which takes me to investigate the freezer – firmly shut, as I know I had left it. It’s one of those doors that automatically closes itself! But how on Earth did she get it open? Sure, it’s a side-by-side fridge/freezer but she’s only about 17 pounds and I certainly have to pull pretty firmly on it to get it to open, myself.

My curiosity was growing by leaps and bounds. What had happened here with my dog at the helm?

And all this time, I have been calling and calling her as I had made all of these discoveries. Still no sight of her.

Finally, as a very last resort, I said the magic words: “Larkin, want a COOKIE?,” and slowly but surely Little Larkin showed up in the kitchen, looking VERY sheepish. And very guilty. I just wasn’t sure what laws she had broken or what to charge her with! Yet!

She hung her head for about ten seconds as I was scolding her (only with my words used cautiously, as she’s such a sensitive soul) and she went right back into the bedroom, where I watched her slide herself under the bed – much like a badly behaving child has to sit in the corner for punishment. To add to everything, the space under the bed has only about an inch of extra headroom. I said my prayers and hoped that she didn’t get herself stuck which would have only complicated the situation further. I wouldn’t have been able to lift the bed by myself, should I need to and as it was the middle of the day, there weren’t many neighbors nearby who could help either.

I guess the low-cal Halo Top ice cream had been calling her. She sees me eat it all the time and of course, I let her lick the spoon for all the drippings. So, apparently my addiction had apparently become her addiction!

In fact, I bet she’s had this plan in the works for some time! Just waiting for the right moment.
But, still, I ask you –
How did my little Magic Girl pull all this off? Should I sign her up for America’s Got Talent? Stay tuned for future mysteries. And if you have a dog in your house and you’re a Halo Top Ice cream addict like I am, you might just want to buy a lock for your freezer!