On Sunday, we were at a friend’s house for a “Big Game” party. One of my friends there was one I haven’t seen in way too long, as our kids no longer attend the same school. After chatting with her for a few minutes, I complimented her on how amazing she looks. It was obvious that she’d lost a ton of weight, and who isn’t proud of that?
She smiled and accepted my compliment gracefully. Always curious to see how she accomplished her weight loss to see if there’s something I can glean for myself – whether it be motivation or tips or tricks – I asked her what she’s been doing.
My friend happily explained her diet to me. Needless to say, she wasn’t following it at all that night, but she following my theory of needing to indulge every now and again so you don’t crave and overdo it cheating. I can’t recall the name of the diet, but it’s strict. It’s essentially all based on eating protein, but it isn’t Atkins. She has no carbs and no sugars, not even fruit.
I blinked, taking this in. Wow, I’m really impressed by how hard you work to stick to that. I’d have a really hard time following a diet like that, but it definitely is working for you, I told her.
She shook her head. No, your body only craves what you feed it. When I eat no carbs or cheese or fruit, I don’t miss them at all.
And I get that logic. On an intellectual basis. Kind of. When I don’t eat certain foods (hello, sugar), I don’t desire them, and I don’t miss them. That’s a small grouping, however, not the huge lists of foods and food groups my friend had been avoiding since August. That’s not a sustainable diet for me.
The other side is that all her weight loss came from diet. She didn’t lose a pound from increased activity or any exercise, which is for me where being fit is more important than my weight. For me, the health comes from fitness rather than just cutting calories. I wouldn’t do well with such a restrictive diet, but my friend isn’t interested in exercise.
The good news is that we’ve each found what works for ourselves, and we don’t feel the need to preach at each other. We are able to understand that we’re coming from a completely different perspective and we may not understand each other and the choices we make, but we respect them nonetheless.
What we do won’t always meet with everyone’s approval. What I do makes me happy (or it had better, at least!), but may draw your disdain or confusion. As long as we can respect what we’re doing, we can remain friends and – perhaps – more importantly, learn from each other.
This post was inspired by the book “A Well-Tempered Heart” by Jan-Philipp Sendker and was a part of the From Left to Write book club where we receive books to read then write posts inspired by the books rather than traditional book reviews. And no, this book has nothing to do with diets or weight loss.