When Francesca signed up to write this blog, she stated specifically that this blog would not become the place “where dieting or exercise are encouraged or discouraged, as I believe that Manolo’s readers are intelligent enough to decide for themselves how to take care of their bodies and how much time or effort to invest in losing weight, and when or if to do so.”
Francesca sticks by this policy, and so before continuing she wishes to emphasize that this post is about a personal decision made at a particular time, and in no way suggests what Francesca thinks any of you, our dear readers, should do with your bodies. Francesca spends enough on therapy talking about her own body without worrying about yours!
A few years ago Francesca was under the care of a nutritionist, and it did not go well. Ms. Nutritionist was young and perky and smiled and said things like “We’ll make small changes, baby steps” and “there is no such thing as a food you can’t have; everything in moderation” and then proceeded to try to turn my life upside down with the new diet, which, as Garfield would remind us, is “die” with a “t” at the end.
Francesca suspected that Ms. Nutritionist had never been overweight, that she was one of those people who have always had perfect self control, and who, underneath the gentle words about moderation, harbored a secret revulsion for fat and for fat people, and she made Francesca wonder what sort of person becomes a nutritionist, anyway? I mean, who decides they want to spend their days telling others what to eat? Can we say “control issues”? Ech!
Fast forward to the last year or so, when Francesca has been so busy doing super-fantastic things like writing witty blog posts in cute bistros and reading good books and looking at beautiful art and playing Spider Solitaire at Level Two, that her weight crept upward and upward and the lumpy-squishies increased, and more importantly Francesca started to feel sluggish and tired and yucky. If it were just a matter of buying larger clothes, Francesca would gladly use any excuse to buy a new wardrobe. But sluggishness and Francesca do not mix! And there is also the matter that Francesca is in a high-risk group for diabetes, and although many diabetics are indeed superfantastic, diabetes itself is not superfantastic. Francesca decided the time had come to take action!
So Francesca made an appointment with the dietitian of a superfantastic friend (S.F. for short). SF had warned Francesca that said dietician is a “drill sergeant,” but that she is very talented and has helped many people to lose weight. Additionally, said dietitian specializes in helping people who have certain medical conditions, including a disorder which Francesca has which makes it difficult to lose weight. Francesca called and discovered there is a 3-month waiting list! Well! It would perhaps be worth the try, and anyway there would then be an excuse to eat whatever Francesca wants for the next 3 months! (Just kidding. Sort of.)
Two weeks ago, Francesca met with the Drill Sergeant Dietitian of Doom. This lady is neither young nor perky, and though it was obvious that she understands the nature of my medical needs and does not secretly think that being fat is my “fault,” she also does not sugarcoat a thing. When Francesca asked if she can ever have cake or cookies, did Drill Sergeant Lady speak of small portions and special occasions? No! She said “Francesca, it is poison for you. Poison.”
She also did not pretend we are making small steps. She said “I insist that you make changes X and Y and Z before our next meeting, because you really need to lose weight.”
On exercise: “Francesca, you have no excuses. You are young and mobile and there is no reason you should not be exercising. You. Have. No. Excuse.”
Not long ago, Francesca would have said “Pah! I do not need to listen to this! I am Francesca, and I will make changes at whatever rate I please, and I will have a real Coke sometimes, and cake, and you are a rude, impolite, unfeeling woman and I hate you!”
But as Francesca indicated at the beginning of this blog, sometimes the decision to lose weight is a matter of it being the right situation at the right time. The Sickly-Sweet Nutritionist of Moderation did not work for me, and I am tired of feeling sluggish, and so Francesca decided that since she is paying through the nose for Sergeant Dietitian to dispense advice, she may as well listen to it. It is true Francesca doesn’t have to listen to it, but she realized that the Drill Sergeant is not Francesca’s boss, she is Francesca’s employee, someone from whom Francesca has sought expertise.
At the moment Francesca has decided that she wants to follow this expertise, and that she finds the Straightforward Truth rather refreshing. At this point of Francesca’s life, she prefers the Sometimes Painful Truth to the Harbored Condescention of Saccharine.
So Francesca has been exercising more and eating better. So far she has not lost any weight but she has more energy and feels much better. And that is always superfantastic!