Strong Start, Accountability, and Environmental Control

I’ve been dieting for two whole days already, why am I still fat??


Welcome to day three of my program. Three days is the common wisdom for how long most diets last. That’s because by day three the excitement and enthusiasm of starting something new has worn off and all the old temptations are still hanging around. This is the day when something else has to come to bear to keep things from falling apart. For me it’s a carefully constructed web of accountability and environmental control.

Accountability. Means something different to almost everyone. Or, rather, the things that make accountability work for you may not be the things that work for me. Take, for example, weekly weigh-ins. I need them, and I need to do them in front of somebody else. Not my partner either, he’s way too in love with me to care if I gain or lose a few (or a lot of) pounds. It has to be somebody impartial, somebody standing nearby with a clipboard and a pen. They don’t need to say a word, they just need to write down the number while I either cheer or offer lame excuses (this isn’t part of the program, it’s just what happens). I need to know that I’m going to be getting on that scale at the end of the week in front of somebody, it keeps me on track throughout the week.

I also know from years of experience that I can’t be accountable to me. In theory I should be the only person I am accountable to that matters, but in reality I don’t bring the necessary shame to the situation when I gain. I always have an excuse, and I always let it slide. When I have a gain and I’m weighing in at a program, my excuses always sound lame and I know it. Also, when there’s somebody weighing me in at a program, it’s because I’ve paid to be there. This really works on me – dammit I’m paying for this so I’m not going to waste my money! Like a weird hostage situation, I have to involve an outsider in my scheme to make it work. YMMV, as always.

Environmental Control. Means I create an environment in which screwing up is harder than following the program. I have a cabinet in the kitchen where my food lives, and it’s the only place I go. I’ve stocked up the fridge with fruits and veggies, the bowl on the kitchen counter is full of oranges, grapefruits, bananas, and other easy-open snacks.

And I don’t go into tempting situations hungry ever. Yesterday, for example, I went out to a medieval costume event, which could have been a challenging situation but I packed up all the food I thought I would need for a few hours, and made an agreement with my hubby to only visit for a short period of time. I ate lunch before I got on site, and I kept my fruit and other snacks handy. I told my husband before we headed out that I was packing enough food for the length of our planned visit, and once I ran out of food it would be time to go. This allowed me to ignore the many tasty treats sitting out on plates and tables, and also I quickly moved myself out of range of any foods that called to me. One thing I do religiously is ignore food that isn’t on my program. I don’t fixate, I don’t stare, and I certainly don’t longingly gaze. I just ignore it and move away. There’s no point in giving it the time of day, we aren’t destined to be together so I move on. There was one time yesterday when I walked into a space where somebody was eating french fries and the entire area smelled of fries. I turned right around and walked out. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Tomorrow evening is my next meeting. I started Thursday to avoid having a disastrous weekend of debauchery, but Monday evenings will be my regular class time (depending on how traffic shakes out – Thursday night traffic wasn’t bad so if Monday evening is bad I may consider just moving to Thursdays) I don’t expect much of a loss, since it will have only been three days since I started. I’m actually curious to see what happens in three days.

This afternoon we’re going for a bike ride. I’m a weak rider but it’s good for me. As always, with exercise you get points for trying!


4 Responses to “Strong Start, Accountability, and Environmental Control”

  1. Heather Says:

    You go girl! I love how you planned everything out AND told hubby the deal before leaving. What’s that old saying- without a plan you are planning to fail? Your attitude about the whole situation is fantastic and comical, I’m so glad I found this blog! I too dealt with some crazy temptation this weekend- we had a huge Italian family affair, open bar tab and delicious food…but I BROUGHT MY OWN FOOD and only ate salad and drank water while there!!! It sure was tough. My husband was in awe, he can’t say no to food.

  2. Donna Says:

    At Crown I made a point to NOT offer you a sample of the cheese I made that I was showing off to everyone. I know you didn’t need the temptation, so I skipped you. This was intended as a supportive act. I hope you take it as such 🙂

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