Of course we all know that what worked for one person may not work for another, but this is why there are so many weight-loss plans, books and websites out there. One size does not fit all when it comes to a diet. But, much like starting a new knitting pattern, you have to trust the directions and commit 100%. And sometimes, even though you do the work, the diet ends up not being The One. Maybe you don't lose weight, or lose it fast enough, or the meal plan is too labor-intensive to keep up with, or it's too restrictive. There is no perfect diet, but there ARE some that are better for you than others, and just like with knitting, it might take several tries to find the one that works for you.
Here are some more examples of how knitting is like dieting:
- Hope. We all know how much promise a new diet holds. This one is different! I get to eat "X, Y, and Z"! It fits easily into my lifestyle! By following the diet, I will lose weight! Much like dieting, a new ball of yarn holds a lot of promise, too. Look at the new color/new texture! I can knit so many things with it! Surely this one will be my best project yet!
- Mistakes. I'll be knitting along when suddenly something doesn't look right. Usually a quick count of my stitches confirms my suspicion - I'm missing one...aka the dreaded dropped stitch. Now, when I was first starting out with knitting, I'd just unravel the entire project and start over. Yep. There was no fixing it - I had to undo all of my hard work and start at the beginning again. How many times did I do that while dieting? I'd have one slip - could be a meal, could be an entire day of eating off plan, and I'd throw the entire diet away. All that work? It meant nothing. I'd blown it. There was no salvaging the diet.
- Repair. Now I know that many mistakes in knitting can be repaired if I catch them in time. Dropped stitch? Isolate it, knit to that spot, and I can weave it back up through the piece like nothing ever happened. Or if it's really wonky, I can tink back (unknit, stitch by stitch) to the bad spot and fix it. Same goes for diet flubs - they can be fixed. I can get right back on track. I can eat a little less the day after a huge indulgence. I can exercise a little more. I can accept that one flub does not need to undo everything - sure, it might add an extra week to the time it takes me to lose weight, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not a huge deal. Everything is salvageable, one way or another.
- Practice. The more I work at knitting, the better my stitches look. Same goes for dieting - the more I work at it, the better I look.
- Progress. Some projects feel like I'm slogging through them with very little progress to show (diagonal baby blanket comes to mind), and then all of a sudden, BAM! I can see results and realize that the end is near. Losing weight was like that for me - I'd do what I was supposed to, day after day and week after week with seemingly no results. Then one morning I'd go to get dressed and my pants were falling off. BAM! Changes ARE happening!
- The purple hat that I made, but wasn't thrilled with. Why waste that pretty yarn on something that I didn't like and probably wouldn't end up wearing? In that case, it was easy enough to unravel it and set the yarn aside for another project. Yes, I undid several hours' worth of work that was done over several weeks, off and on, so you could say that I had invested quite a bit of time in that project. But it wasn't making me feel satisfied. I could berate myself for not stopping sooner, but I kept thinking that maybe it would grow on me.
- The dud sock. I did learn something from that project, even though I didn't end up with what I thought I would (i.e. a pair of socks that fit me).
- My most recent realization was the yarn that I used for the Mystery Knit Along - I loved the colorway, but the yarn had some irregularities in it that really showed in the delicate project that I was knitting. In another project, it wouldn't have been as noticeable, but it really bothered me with this one.
I could go on and on, but I wanted to finish with this: It may seem like I learned how to knit just a year ago and have had nothing but forward progression ever since. Not true. I tried to learn how to knit several times over the last 10 years or so but it didn't click with me. I'd pick up the yarn and needles and give it a try, get frustrated by my lack of progress, and pretty quickly quit again. And then one day, knitting appealed enough to me that I kept working at it...yes, it was hard at times and I made mistakes along the way, but I wanted to complete a project so much that I didn't stop. That's how I felt when I started my last diet - I wanted the end result so much that I kept at it, over the days, weeks, months and years. Both knitting and dieting taught me patience and perseverance - and that if I kept working at them, I'd be pleased with the final product.