Saturday, January 13, 2007

Information Overload

Over the past month or so I've been spending a lot of time on a health and fitness message board. I like to read all the questions people have, all the secret ways others have to eating and living healthier and ask a few questions of my own occasionally.

What I've found is that everybody has their own way of going about things (and some think that their way is the right way and the ONLY way and have even gone to extremes such as name calling to try to get their point across!). Every trainer has a different philosophy unique to them. Every dieter has a different way of dieting. Every runner has their favorite type of shoe and personal routine that works for them.

For instance eating unhealthy food "occasionally" ,I've found, means something different for every person. "Occasionally" for me is once a month, maybe it happens once in 3 weeks then not again for 2 months, but generally it's about once a month. I don't have a calendar or anything that I check a box every time I'm unhealthy or anything.

To others eating something on the not-quite-so-healthy side of the scale "occasionally" means twice a week sometimes even 3 times. So when I say here that I occasionally have a cheeseburger a Mcdonalds when I have a craving I really mean roughly once a month. The point is...don't look at what I'm doing with a different definition of "occasionally" in your mind and say "well Sarah does it!".

But if you want "occasionally" to mean 3 times a week for you then that's fine. Don't let my blog get in your way. I am following my plan and that's what I'm sticking to and that's something I recommend for everybody.

Since spending more time on this message board I have read tons of different opinions, diets, philosophies, facts, studies... pretty much everything and anything you can think of that is weight loss and exercise related. And although there is an old saying of "knowledge is power" I believe that too much knowledge, too much information can be overload causing "power failure".

I've also noticed that I've gotten caught up in it. I've started thinking about things like "eating clean", counting points like Weight Watchers do, my heart rate and how it effects what kind of calories I'm burning (if in fact there are different kinds of calories and according to my trainer there are)...all this new and different information out there. I slowly and unknowingly started slipping back into some of my old habits of feeling anxious about losing weight. I've been feeling frantic about if I'm losing it quick enough. I've began obsessing about the best way to lose and which way works the quickest. I've been stressing my self out unnecessarily over food and exercise when I really just need to continue on the path I've chosen.

So that's what I'm going to get back to and that's what I suggest to anybody out there who is also trying a life style change or even a diet. Pick a source and stick to it. You don't even have to pick the source I am using (Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Solutions) just as long as you pick something that is working for you.

If you chose to count points with Weight Watchers then don't bog yourself down with people's advice who are trying to "eat clean" or using the "reverse diet".

If you have a personal trainer at the gym who wants you to lift light weights with more reps rather than heavy weights with less reps and you trust your trainer then follow his or her advice.

If you're doing the Adkins low-carb diet then don't get on www.sparkpeople.com and count your calories too. If you want to go on the tuna, pineapple, string cheese and water diet then do it but don't get your mind twisted by a person who chose the chicken, apple peel, corn (cooked several different ways) and diet soda diet!

If you're anything like me reading about all these different ways to lose weight and different ways of eating and exercising you will get overwhelmed especially when it comes to meal time.

I want ______, but it has carbs, but it's low in calories, but it has fiber, but the ____ in it is good for you, but the ____ is bad if you're doing ____. You'll get pulled like taffy and you'll end up not eating anything because you just have too much conflicting information. (or you'll end up eating everything because you just can't be bothered to sort the whole mess out!)

So my advice is to pick a source, stick with it. If it works for you then stay with it. If it doesn't work for you then try something new but push what you've done in the past aside.

1 comment:

kimberly said...

You know, that makes a lot of sense. The whole fruit is good/fruit is bad/a sandwich has 7 points/a sandwich has evil evil carbs thing can really confuse me and send me running straight to a bag of something that EVERYONE says is unhealthy (Doritos!).

Anyway, you are doing such a good job and I am so impressed with how far you've come - and I also think it is interesting (and helpful, at least, to me) that you can still get slightly off track:)