Warning! Photographing fruits and vegetables may be beneficial to your heath but being creative is the real hashtag #greatesteverdiettip. Ok, wait. It's the second greatest ever diet tip. Having a Sense of Humor is first. Numero Uno. Why? Really, you have to ask? This blog may not be for you.
I was an educational psychologist in a previous life and am a writer/photographer in this current one. I create customized multi-media for small businesses to project their personality as well as industry on social media channels.
But, as I've been translating personal brands into visuals, words and campaigns, I've personally been playing hide and seek for the past 7+ years. Here's how the game is played.
I hide. 60 lost pounds seek.
I write and photograph daily, meet and greet, succeed, delight, dismay, and flop like a fish on a dock and carry on a regular life as they circle the parking lot, hover like a drone, sit in the trees ready to pounce…choose your analogy, I know they are out there and, also, that the odds are against me.
But, creativity is on my side. I'm Agatha Christie with a lifelong roller-coaster weight problem that Hallelujah (cue Leonard Cohen) I have successfully solved for the past 7+ years and for the first time evah (I'm from Boston) I have only one size of clothes in my closet. A human accordion no more.
How did I do it? Honestly, this is what this blog hopes to discover. I know one very serious, not-a- joke thing: it's a lonesome road struggling to do this day after day. People really don't want to talk about that part and eyes glaze over or sudden emergencies happen in their family if mentioned. Personally, I think it's the loneliness that anyone who battles an addiction would recognize. I'll let others duke it out as to whether their eating issues are in the addictive category or not, but mine are definitely the direct result of life-long addictive behaviors.
So, every day, I now throw my creativity at these behaviors, as I do my clients' work and my own personal artwork. My goal is to mess with them, to re-route them, to create this mad, manic GPS system that simply directs them to Boise, Idaho when they were intent on marching to my suburb near Boston. My “recalculate” voice is taking images, writing words, and spending time creating. It is the one good habit I have. Despite knowing that 7+ years of maintaining my weight is an achievement, and, against the odds, I also know it is a fragile one. Those life-long addictive behaviors are a “default” skill set. There is mounting biological and neurobiological evidence that my body wants those pounds back for its own sense of well-being. I have to continually reroute these impulses or else.
Science tells me I'm not exaggerating or paranoid: those lost pounds really, really want to come back. There is a reason why no known or unknown weight loss program brags about success with helping members keep off the weight they lost: their statistics are grim.
No one popular program or medical treatment or hospital based treatment or therapy has been able to do the long term weight loss dynamics very well. I even read an article recently in an Obesity journal that said the deep dark secret of all obesity research is that no one really knows how to help folks keep the weight off so they think they should focus, rediect their efforts on helping folks not put on the weight in the first place. Too late for me, but promising for the younger generations.
For me, today–biology and addictive behaviors are not on my side and this is a mystery Agatha and I will be solving every day until firmly planted.
But, and here's the “hope” part, even though biology and addictive behavior are not on my side, creativity is.
It has become my best health plan and this daily blog in 2015 was my deductible on achieving my 6th year anniversary on Feb 17th, 2016. I posted something every day during that year and halfway through in August of 2015, I started the weekly podcast, “Podsnacks/Art of the Diet”.
In 2017, I'm going to post a new podcast episode every two weeks and rebroadcast an archive one on the off week. I find myself combing through my archives to check on what I was doing a year ago, two years ago, looking for inspiration to get back on track. Why? Because I am always going to go off track and shall need to adjust.
I hope this archived material and new episodes in 2017 will reveal to me and anyone else out there struggling to manage these issues, that what helps us succeed is accepting that it is a daily challenge, listening to the strategies of how others do it, and to accept that our own natural circuitry may not be working on our behalf when it comes to weight maintenance.
Others know much, much more about “diet” plans, healthy food choices, relationship of fats to carbs, and what paleo people ate. That knowledge has a shelf life of only about 12 hours of motivation for me. I have to reinvent my motivation mojo E.D.D. Means “every damn day” and it's my mantra if I was a yogi, which I'm not, cuz if I sit on the floor with my legs crossed? I need a bucket truck to get me back up.
Yes, I did join a well-known national program but I don't think that's the reason why I'm successful now, just as I don't think it was their fault when I failed on previous attempts.
My longer term success now is not tied to it, either.
In my not so humble opinion, how you go about losing the weight in the first place (national program, surgery, on your own) is not the reason you'll succeed keeping the lost pounds from finding you again, nor, will any program or scheme be the reason you maintain the weight loss.
There's a whole different set of challenges that greet me today than eight years ago when I lost the weight and the national programs and every diet out there are focused primarily on losing weight not maintaining it.
For that reason, I won't be endorsing any programs, products, or commercially driven diet-world stuff. Besides, I love websites that don't blink, dive bomb me with sales pitches or hold me hostage as their logos march across my screen. That, & I love white space. The only way I'll try to support this daily blog and weekly podcast for now is by being an Amazon affiliate. Any purchase you may make through Amazon through my link, I'll receive a few pennies, nickels and quarters as a commission. PS. Your price is the exact same on Amazon for all their products and any product qualifies, not just products I might review or mention in this blog. So, if you are planning a shopping spree for your holiday gifts? Or, if you simply want to buy a book or a wireless scale? Click here and Amazon takes care of the rest! I appreciate it, truly.
OK! Here's why photographing fruits and veggies may be beneficial to your health.
Over the past five years a daily habit of creativity developed: I photograph the fruits and vegetables I buy in the supermarket in hopes I would simply eat more of them. I drew the photo-then-consume boundary line at these creepy fiddleheads but by and large this strategy has worked.Although I may have quadrupled my imaging devices and run out of wall space to display these garden delights, I have decreased my dress size by half, feel like I have new knees, all without a super-galactic colonic or surgery and I actually look forward to Mac n' Cheese made from Cauliflower and not pasta. Yes, Dorothy, there really is a place called “Oz”.
I'll share my menu of “hits and misses” on my behavioral, creative, and terrestrial scales and how I muddle through this in hopes you create your own creativity recipe.
I hope you'll join me as I curate all news, latest research, fiction, non-fiction stories that help me to go to the reality ballpark every damn day and find my seat.
This is a lonely struggle and humor helps me realize that many others have experienced the same thing. Some of my strategies–humility and honesty–for example, I have to structure into my day as they (ahem) do not come naturally. But, humor? My Irish DNA delivers that just about on a daily (with some memorable exceptions) basis.
I am hoping that this combination of serious and ridiculous may help you feel less alone, too and you'll be tempted to share this blog with anyone you know struggling with this same devil. Because, can we agree on one thing? The devil really does make us do stuff.
You can sign up on the home page to subscribe to my posts as well as to subscribe to the podcast.
I am also on the following social media channels:
Instagram @artofthediet and @thephotogardener
PODSNACKS/Art of the Diet, Art of the Diet's weekly podcast on ITUNES
My other website is about what I learn while experimenting with new photo techniques or other creative ventures. www.patcoakley.com
This website below focuses on my still life photographs:
My shop on ThePhotoGardener is here.
My Etsy shop ThePhotoGardener is here.