January

I love the feeling of January 1.  A new month in a new year and it feels like a new beginning.  The symbol of Janus with two faces–one looking back and the other looking forward–is so appropriate.  It is a time of reflecting on what the old year taught but, more importantly I think, what the new year will be.

For most of us, it is also a time to make resolutions.  No matter how many times I have made them and perhaps broken them, I always want to try again and actually I have stuck to quite a few over the years.  I know my life is much the better for it. For me, the resolutions begin with food and drink and exercise.

First on the list is eating.  Last September I went in for my annual check-up and got my weight and height taken:  gained 20 pounds, lost 2 inches in height the last twenty years.  Yikes!  What to do?  I have tried every diet known to man in my lifetime.  So I decided to go back to the one that really worked:  The Cruise Diet

I have been on two Caribbean cruises in my life and I lost weight on both of them.  No, the food wasn’t awful and I wasn’t seasick.  I discovered that when there was food everywhere and every time you turned around, that I was able to eat a small amount of everything and stop.  The psychology was–eat only when hungry, eat what you want, stop when you’re pleasantly satisfied–want more?  Right around the corner is another course, another food bar, another midnight buffet.  I never overate because I didn’t think, “Well, this is delicious and I might not have this again, so eat up now while you have the chance”.  It didn’t hurt that we walked a lot in port and swam, played sports and games onboard and generally had fun dancing and being active.  But the food thing was the key.  Deprivation causes me to binge.

Low carbs or low fat?  Low sugar and carnivore?  All of the diets that call for exclusion of a whole food group work in the short order (I know, I’ve lost weight on low-carb) but don’t last in the long run.  Many of my friends and family have lost great amounts of weight, only to re-gain it and then some when the diet is finished.  Why?  Because food is about many things–a great deal of them psychological–and you must find a way to eat that becomes a sustainable life-style.

To sum this up–It is what you think about food that determines your success or failure at dieting.

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