There is a difference between nutrition and dieting, as the word is used today. Don’t just cut corners and go the easy way by eating empty calories, or none at all. Choose appropriate foods, in appropriate amounts, that you enjoy. Couple those with exercise, and your body will thank you. Enjoy the taste of real food, and make your calories count. That’s more important than actually counting your calories. The hard way may be a challenge, but it is the way that actually works. Do the work.

I have been half-heartedly working through WeightWatchers online, and I’ve come to a conclusion: half-hearted leaves you full-bottomed. Growing up, I was a beanpole through no effort of my own. I am one of those crazies who love salads, and often don’t even add dressing to it at all. My kids love veggies too (I know, right?!). WW was working for me when I did it incorrectly by “making up” for overeating by working a little harder at the gym each day. Enter a long move, and little (ok, NO) gym time, and HELLO LOVE HANDLES! Logging everything I eat is sad because it holds me responsible for my choices, but really, shouldn’t it make me proud when I actually do it right?! Monkey diets are just that, for monkeys. If you try one of these goofy so-called miracles, you get what you give. You may lose the weight, but you also may become a human fat yo-yo bouncing between slim and chunky while feeling slimy throughout.

At the pool yesterday, I saw many moms who were ROCKING the two-piece, even after having as many as four kiddos. After talking to a few of them, each told me, “yeah, working out is my release”. Working out AND eating right?! Geez. Now you’re asking me to be, like, RESPONSIBLE FOR MY OWN BODY! I’ve read the posts about people dropping weight, and the best ones are honest. They say, “There is no trick. I did the hard work”. There is no magic. There is just hard work, and good choices. It’s the same as any other part of living a simplified and transactional life: You get what you give. It’s just that hard, and it’s just that simple.

So, here goes nothing. By the time I visit my family in NH this August, I’m gonna be rocking a different body shape. Until then, I am NOT going on a diet. I’m going to work the WeightWatchers plan as it was intended. I’m going to make better choices in nutrition, with better portion sizes. I’m also going to head back to the gym. It’s over 100 degrees outside here, but the gym has a great a/c system, and I have the videos/light weights at home if I don’t even want to leave the house. There is no excuse. Operation Muffintop is back in business, and this time, I’m going to do the hard work. Who is with me?!

For the record: I actually took these photographs of the monkey while I was at Woodland Park Zoo with friends a little ways back. When I saw the images, I knew they needed to be part of a post like this. So, I did not steal anyone else’s images. Just sayin’.