I’ve been meaning to update on where my diet/fitness life has gone these days. I have been completely absorbed in getting activities and projects together for my young son. While I spend pretty much my whole day setting up play spaces or projects that doesn’t mean that I have given up exercise. I weighed in this week and have found that I have reached my goal weight – which is 20 pounds down from my post-pregnancy weight. I don’t really have more weight to lose, which leaves me reflecting on the whole thing and considering what exactly to write about the process.
It might be easiest to just break this down into thoughts:
Let go of the food scale when you need to
When I had reached the half way point of my weight loss I entered the most difficult period. It seemed as though the first 10 pounds came off without a whole lot of assistance from me, but the next 10 were not going to budge. I worked out a full 30 days with hardly any movement in the numbers – even the measurement numbers. It was demoralizing – but also made me consider calorie counting.
Was it a good move?
Yes and no (like most things). I did calorie counting on steroids as I also photographed every single thing I ate and posted it here in this blog. I thought that food accountability WITH calorie counting was going to blast away the last of the weight. Both worked: kind of. The good thing about calorie counting is that it is a really quick way to start to consider the size of your food intake. I was eating portions that were WAY too large. When I started weighing and measuring everything that went into my body I was…well…first off, I was starving. I was craving and starving. Then starving and craving. I wanted bread! I wanted pizza. I wanted a lot of cheese. I started looking online to see what I could eat that would ameliorate the cravings for specific items in order to put something in my mouth and quiet the beast. You could say that it “worked” but not really, more truthfully it just made me resigned to stuff my gorge with celery and peanut butter and brainwash my head into thinking that my craving for cheese should now be satisfied. That’s really my first tip:
Once I resigned myself to smaller sizes and certain foods I didn’t really need the scale after the first couple weeks. I knew when and what was too much or too often. I knew that if something tasted REALLY, VERY good – then I better just have a couple bites and set it aside in favour of eating 9 servings of vegetables, then return for a final bite. This is the kind of self-discipline I operate under. I love cake. Okay – eat a couple bites…and share the rest with someone. Pizza Hut pizza – yum. Alright, I’ll order the 6 slice small and split it between three people. I’m definitely not getting more than a slice or if I’m lucky a slice and a half. I made those hard decisions over and over because I operated under the sign of resignation. If I want to lose weight, I’m resigned to
crappy healthy food options for my largest portions. Which means that anything that came into the house that was snacky (chips and popcorn), sweet (muffins and chocolate covered almonds), or rich (bottles and bottles of red wine) I got downright irate about.
Get Really Angry About Food you Want to Eat and Can’t
If there is a muffin sitting on the counter, I’m going to get really irrationally angry about it and yell about throwing perfectly good food in the garbage as I nail the garbage with an irate fastball. Muffin-crumbs-everywhere on that one. Still it felt good.
Find the Food You Like; Eat it over and over
Two words: Grain bowls. In a pinch I’ll scarf down a grain bowl no problem, no guilt, no issue. I had my mother in my ear saying something like: if you eat it over and over you’ll get tired of it. Forget that. I’ve been eating cereal in the morning for something like 35 years…it’s still fine. If cereal is still good, a grain bowl can see me through lunch time. Plus…I operate on resignation over here, even if I am tired of it – i’m resigned to just eating it.
It was nothing ground-breaking. I did “Catching Fire” 30 day challenge – a workout routine that is 12 minutes long and easily found on YouTube. I found 12 minutes as the exercise program to begin with to work really well for me. It worked so well that I did it for 90 days and then switched to a 20 minute workout: Jillian Michael’s “The Shred”. I’m not as good at committing to the Shred, but I just keep chipping away at it. Which brings me to:
Just Chipping Away
I accept that I’m not going to be rock solid on commitment to either eating healthy 24/7 or working out 3-5 times a week. No worries, I’ll just keep chipping away. 5 days off – alright, nbd, back at it day 6. I just commit to chipping away days at a time and staying the course until I have completed something.
I may have reached my goal weight but just chipping away means that (just maybe!) I might have a lifestyle attitude developing. I’ll just keep going and finish the 30 days of the Shred and then chip away at something else, or maybe the shred again.
There’s my experience and thoughts for those who have been wondering!