One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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House Plants and Dieters – More in Common then you Think?

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I wrote this yesterday while taking a break from all my Sensational Sunday activities. I hope it makes some sense. ;~P

plants

I’ve never been a gardener (not until recently—stop laughing mom) so I can’t believe I’m about to make this correlation. This morning I received an email from a reader…

I am just so frustrated because I keep trying different weight loss programs…i guess that’s my problem…and i just need to stick with one. what makes any of them different? I go between Weight Watchers, Richard Simmons, and the Biggest Loser…I guess it’a all so OVERwhelming because i need to stick to just one, but I think one is easier than the other then I switch.

I’ve received many emails from her, I can feel the pain, frustration, and overall hopelessness through here words…

I’ve just been so frustrated. I just keep going from one weight loss program to another because i think it will work better…sigh! I just need to lose this weight. any tips…I know i have asked this before tons of times.

I’ve been there, I really have and that’s why I feel her pain. All day I’ve been thinking how I can respond. What is it that I can say to easy here pain? To show here that it IS possible to over come this unhealthy cycle?

A few hours later, I found myself replanting some houseplants. All three of my plants are out growing there homes and they are starting to suffer in their little pots. So I pulled out the potting soil and plant food and got to work.

While making a mess on my kitchen floor, it hit me. Houseplants are not very different then dieters (I hate the word but bear with me).

On one hand, if we keep a plant in one pot forever it grows and it survives but it never lives to it’s full potential. We need to respond to the plant, move it to larger pot, change it’s soil or it starts to become drab.  On the other hand we can’t continually move the plant. By changing it’s pot and soil every week the plant is never given a change to grow it’s roots and learn how to survive. In essence we stunt it’s growth while trying to meet it’s needs too rapidly.  The plant needs time to grow, flourish and learn.

For those of use who struggle with weight, who don’t necessarily know inherently how to eat healthy, those of us that have bad habits and are ready to change, we are not that different from my houseplants.

We need time to grow and learn. We need a plan. That plan may be Weight Watchers, it may be South Beach, Jenny Craig, Biggest Loser, or our own healthy approach to eating but whatever it is we need a plan. We need to find the plan that works for us much like the plant needs to find it’s ideal pot. Then we have to follow that plan, learn it, and give ourselves time to grow roots. Once we do that, we may out grow it and move to a larger pot but we have to START somewhere.

So the moral of my very convoluted story is simple. Switching pots –oops I mean plans– too early on your weight loss journey may not give you the foundation you need. Remember it’s not a quick fix. You need to stick to a plan and give it a chance to not only work but to teach you good habits. Once you grow those roots you may find yourself moving to a new pot as I have.




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Discussion

There are 15 comments so far.

    Kathy

    April 21, 2008

    What a great analogy! It makes perfect sense and definitely reflects how my journey has evolved.

    Melissa

    April 21, 2008

    Excellent analogy!! Great post, Roni. :-)

    Red

    April 21, 2008

    The problem is, when you’re an alcoholic, you can just stop drinking.

    If you’re overweight, you don’t have that option. Food will always be there and it will always be a constant temptation. You just have to fight it meal by meal.

    For what it’s worth, I find the simplest diet is the “easiest”.

    Anything that requires me to count calories/points/or a journal is something I’m bound to start ignoring. When I last lost weight, the diet I was on was most similar to the “No S Diet”.

    Scrumpy's Baker

    April 21, 2008

    That is a great way of looking at it. Now can you somehow work my constant over-watering of the plants in there somewhere? :)

    RunningNan

    April 21, 2008

    Great post. I think so many people want instant gratification and give up too early!

    MizFit

    April 21, 2008

    you are SO RIGHT.

    I really do believe that ANY plan can work if given enough time.

    (and such a true thing about the drinking and being about–though exceedingly hard—to cease that. I have a friend say that to me all the time about her food addiction)

    M.

    Anonymous

    April 21, 2008

    Ok Scrumpybaker…I will bite. As an avid gardener, I think overwatering is analogous to not really paying attention to what our bodies need.

    When we over water our plants, we are not looking at the soil and seeing what our plants truly need. We are going on assumptions and perhaps other peoples reccomendations. When we diet, we can also do this.

    I know some days, I plan out what I am going to eat and if I do not pay attention to what my body is telling me, I will eat something that I do not want OR after I am full. Sometimes I am full before I reach my points range. When I pay attention to my body, those are often days that I have not done a lot of activity.

    Anyway…there ya go…overwatering and not paying attention to what our bodies tell us are on par with eachother.

    Vickie

    April 21, 2008

    I used to take a good hard look at what I was doing and how things were going – about once a quarter.

    My food stays very stable now – year round.

    My exercise changes (slightly) about three times a year – summer – fall into early winter – late winter into spring.

    I don’t change things up very much NOW – because I do much better if things stay EVEN. But in the beginning – I think it is very important to
    a. look to see if you are doing what you said you would do/try,
    and
    b. if you are doing it, is it producing the results you want.

    Loved this post.

    Kim

    April 21, 2008

    Roni, just found your site. Good job! You are an inspiration. Funny how I too, was comparing plants with humans not too long ago. I had to break off some dead flowers, and realized at that moment how we are the same. That we have to die sometimes, even in this life, to live with new color in an even greater next season.

    weelittleme

    April 22, 2008

    Great analogy.

    Christy

    April 22, 2008

    I love the question and answers you have been doing lately. And today’s post really made sense to me, an amazing analogy that I can actually picture and relate to (me too, I’ve just gotten into gardening). Gets me excited for weight loss and my garden!

    Thak you!

    Kelly McCue

    April 22, 2008

    Hi Roni, great analogy, I think it’s time for me to change my pot excuse me my plan, I’m in search of a fun dance exercise workout I came across one called DanceX via youtube has anyone heard of it yet? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRaS10x-uUk

    Dreamie

    April 23, 2008

    I love love love love LOVE this post! I am going through this right now and your words really touched me!

    Thank you!

    Maureen

    April 23, 2008

    Hi Roni,
    This is so interesting to me. I too feel that woman’s pain. I was where she is one year ago, running around looking for an answer, spending time and money, so desperate and unhappy. I finally made myself a promise, Weight Watcher’s, which had never worked for me in the past. I promised myself I would go to meetings NO MATTER WHAT! Whether I lost or gained, or even if nothing happened I would continue, if it worked for so many others I just had to really focus. May 7th will be a year I’ve religiously gone to meetings and I’ve gotten so much out of it. Understanding of myself and my habits and to top it all off I’ve lost 40lbs!!!! I can’t believe I did it, but I just kept plugging away, no matter what. Every day trying, adding a little more veggies, fruits, water and exercise. The biggest thing I learned and your writer needs to know in her heart is that “I can do it!” You have to believe it, because it’s true. Even though it may not feel like it now, you have the power, it’s time to take it back! We’re all pulling for you. Thanks Roni, for all you do to help so many of us.

    Maureen

    Sick of Being Fat

    April 24, 2008

    Hi Roni,

    This is a great analogy and great advice.

    I’m going off topic a little here but gardening is an excellent past time to get into when you are trying to lose weight. Especially if you grow your own vegies. I don’t know why but when I eat salad that I have taken from my garden I’m think about how satisfying it is to grow what you eat, rather than “I’d much rather be eating a family size lasagne right now!”.