Weigh ins, Strategies and Other Observations.

Since it’s Monday it is time for me to report my weekly weigh in. Today’s official number: 286. This is a four pound loss for the week and a nine pound loss total for the two weeks I’ve been on this journey*.

(*It’s not a diet. This is not a temporary thing. It’s a new, focused way to live by using deliberate eating.)

I previously set myself a weekly weight loss goal of 2.5lbs, so this means I’m ahead of my goal of 290. This is good news and extremely important to keep in mind when those weeks come where I don’t meet my goals. Realistically there will be weeks when I won’t lose the 2.5lbs. As my body changes, and especially after I start exercising again, the scale won’t always accurately reflect the positive improvements my body is undergoing. Muscle weighs more than fat, for instance. You can gain muscle while losing the fat and the scale may show either a 0 pound weight loss or even a weight gain. This doesn’t mean my hard work is for nothing, especially when I see all the weeks where the weight *did* come off… even more than expected.

Like a sign I saw in a store recently:

“Don’t be sad for what you have not, but grateful instead for what you have. For what you have now are the things you only had hoped for yesterday.”

This is the key element in my strategy: Perspective.

You need this while you’re in the lion’s cage, learning how to tame the beast without getting your head ripped off in the process. And it’s going to be even more necessary as the weeks and months march on and my body decides it isn’t a mathematical formula. Eventually the scale will cease being my friend.

I know this, because I’ve been down this road many, many times.

1- I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I’m lost….I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
2- I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
It isn’t my fault. It still takes along time to get out.
3- I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in…..It’s a habit.
My eyes are open. I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.
4- I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
5- I walk down a different street.

In this scenario, I would like to think I’m at least at step #4 or 5. I said earlier that I’m not on a diet. I’m just eating deliberately. Food is not my enemy, but it’s not my friend either. It’s simply food, and by taking away all the stigma of what’s “bad,” “evil” or “forbidden,” I hope to at least make peace with the fact my obesity is not the fault of my food… but of how I have chosen to use it.

This means I can have pretty much whatever I want, I just have to train myself to deal with emotional issues emotionally. As long as I can fit my plan within my daily goals, I will see ultimate progress and undo the damage I’ve done.

Per Sparkpeople.com, which – if you haven’t joined it you totally should because they. are. AWESOME. – my daily intake to meet that 2.5lb loss is:

Calories: 1200-1550
Carbohydrates: 163-236 grams
Fat: 32-56 grams
Protein: 60-127 grams

Other goals include 8 glasses of water a day, 5 servings of fruits and veggies and 25 grams of fiber. To do all this means I have to be very meticulous about which foods I choose to eat in order to successfully meet all these goals. So every morning before I start my day I plan out my menu. This keeps me from all the unconscious eating I was doing before, when I just grabbed something and ate it – THEN wrote it down. (You’d be surprised how much food you actually eat when you do this.)

This way, theoretically, I can take my mind off the food. I have a menu and all I have to do is just spread it out every several hours so I don’t let any blood sugar crashes lead to binge eating.

The problem is I’m still pretty focused on the food, which is why those with compulsive eating disorders fail so much when they diet. Whether good food or bad food, you’re going to think about food to the point of obsession, which can lead to overeating and ultimately diet setbacks.

Last night was particularly rough. I had already eaten everything on my food journal, but I was hit with the nearly overwhelming urge to eat… something… anything. I thought about caving and grabbing some cucumber slices but I ultimately decided against it. Even though I still would have been within my calorie/nutritional guidelines, the idea was to simply overcome the impulse.

It wasn’t easy. I bought some gum for just such an emergency in the future.

I’ll have to research the connection between chewing and eating disorders. Because there’s a definite psychological need for me to actually chew something when I have this impulse. (i.e. water doesn’t cut it.) It’s not just about taste, and it’s certainly not about hunger. It reminds me of those who smoke who just want to have the cigarette in their hand or mouth as part of a compulsive habit.

Might be an oral thing… I’ll have to see. I will report back on this later.

As happy as I should be that I’ve dropped 9 pounds, my mood is more optimistically pensive. I’m pleased, but I also need to be ever mindful that the numbers alone can never be my only measuring stick for success. The initial drastic weight loss I’m enjoying comes from being so heavy and employing a pretty significant calorie reduction. In other words, it doesn’t take much for an obese person to shed 10 pounds in the first month. It’s the grueling months afterward that have me a little nervous.

I realize that eventually the weight loss is going to level off once my body becomes accustomed to these new eating habits. Though I have up to 1550 calories to eat every day, I’m trying to keep it between 1200 and 1300 for optimum results. There’s no lower place to go from that and still be healthy, and I’m not trying to trade one eating disorder in for another. To stay healthy I am keenly aware exercise is going to have to be included in the routine, but I’m going to have to ease into that with the ongoing episodes with my back. This is a hard thing for me to wrap my head around. The more results I see the more results I want to see, so I want to go full throttle into a regimen that will accomplish this. I started on Saturday with a lap around the mall, which was slow going and extremely painful… which frustrated me to no end. Walking minutes a day to get my body prepared for the exercise that comes later is like having your car stalled in the mud.

So, like the eating, I just have to be deliberate. Next time I’m going to take my Ibuprofen *before* the exercise, rather than wait until I’m already in pain. The healthier I feel when I’m doing these things, the more in control of my own body and my own health.

This will be a good thing for my emotional well being, which in turn is a great thing for overcoming my emotional eating compulsion.

So I may give it one more week to stretch out my muscles and use DT back massage to limber me up, but if I’m feeling better I may start doing at least 10 minutes of exercise a day by the end of the week. This way I can aim for a resuming mile a day within a few weeks.

Fingers crossed. (But still optimistically pensive.)

I’m still in the lion’s cage and it’s not tamed no matter what the scale says. I can’t control how much weight I lose, not really. All I can do is build a healthier foundation that will bring my body back under my control, and I do that one day at a time.

For today, and for the past two weeks, I have accomplished much. More than the 9 pound weight loss, simply count me as 14 Days Healthy.

My food intake journal, courtesy of Sparkpeople.com.


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