Happy birthday, America, and welcome to another installment of the Move More Eat Less Better Chronicles, brought to you by me, Cathy the chub-fightin', scrapbook-lovin' Zielske.
While many of us are celebrating our nation's independence today, quite possibly with various fried potato chip food substances, it's the perfect time to talk about the last month in my own battle with the fried potato chip food substances.
Rather than pass an all-encompassing judgement of, "Oh, it's been a good month," or "Oh, it's been a bad month," I'll suffice to say simply it's been a month.
I haven't lost or gained significant poundage. I haven't made significant changes to my workout regime. I haven't found the elusive magic bullet to effective and sustainable weight loss and instant body image confidence.
What I have been doing this past month, however, is seeking.
When I want to know more about a subject, I immerse myself in everything I can find on it to make sure I have the latest and greatest information in my little noggin, in the hopes that I can a) achieve my goals and b) achieve my goals.
I've been focusing on learning about nutrition, and specifically, why the concept of diet deprivation isn't sustainable.
At least it doesn't appear to be for me personally.
When I started Weight Watchers in January 2010, I was a very good little diet soldier. On the old plan, I was given 22 points a day to start out, and you better believe I hit that mark nearly without fail every single bloody day.
I did what I always do when I'm on a serious diet: I passed on nearly every social situation involving food; I made low-fat dinners of a very repetitive nature much to the chagrin of my family; I chewed gum like a banshee to push through the cravings; I squeezed in 2 or 3 point snacks without ever considering they had 35 ingredients in them that most people can't even pronounce; I measured, counted and weighed every morsel that passed over my lips. In short: I pledged allegiance to the Points.
Then after hitting a 140 low mark in mid-October of last year, I started making muffins. A few here, a few there. I was, afterall, running four days a week. How could a few muffins hurt my progress?
Well, they did.
They invited in more sugar and removed a block or two from my solid foundation. They invited a little bit of culinary pleasure back into my world and they said to the vigilant dieter: my God, what are YOU still doing here?
So after a solid 10 months of dieting and seeing exactly the weight loss I'd hoped for, my body started to rebel. I don't want 22 points of food a day. Are you kidding me?
Apparently, my human evolutionary DNA didn't do well with constant deprivation.
Of course, the next several months saw some seriously out of control junk binges, and some moping around on the part of yours truly. The only thing that didn't slide was the exercise. I just kept on running.
Now, there are a few things different this month. I started taking a BodyPump class to get into the weight lifting side of things. I changed my breakfast foods completely (from bran cereal to eggs and sprouted grain toast with real butter) and the difference in how my hunger cravings are up until lunch? Night and day.
So here I am, at the same weight more or less that I was one year ago. And one year ago? Being in the lower 150s was a HUGE victory.
Here's my page for the month:
JOURNALING READS: I feel like I’m in a transition mode again. Sometimes I think that translates into saying “I’m not losing weight and I’m struggling again,” or “I think I’ll try this approach now.” In the past month, I’ve let my militant Weight Watchers approach slide a little, and not just to each crap here and there, but to try and eat more to promote a healthier metabolism. I’ve been soaking up Dishing Up Nutrition podcasts, and I have to say these women make an awful lot of sense about dieting not really working. I have my own experience in losing 40 pounds with absolute diet vigilance, only to gain 15 back once I stopped living in that diet-minded deprivation mode. Food and what I do with food is kind of ruling my life right now. I need to be mindful because this is when I usually say, “I can’t live like this,” and throw in the towel. This is exactly why I am looking at different approaches to nutrition and health. I am finding that constant dieting and calorie counting lead to big binges and backfires. I’m tired of that pattern.
I’m also trying to wrap my head around the idea that maybe this is as good as it gets, that I’m not going to be thin like my sister-in-laws, or people who seem to not struggle with food and the like. I’m struggling with why that’s not okay for me. There is absolutely a psychological component to this process that occasionally throws me for a loop. I’m 45 years old and I have to wonder how much more precious time I’m going to lose obsessing over something that in the larger scheme of life, just shouldn’t matter this much. Again, a work in progress.
Suffice to say it's been a month. In July, I'm going to focus completely on balanced eating, and I'm going to keep on moving more. I'll check back with you in August to let you know how this particular approach goes.
How goes it with all of you who are striving for better fitness and health? By all means, share away!
RECOMMENDED LISTENING: I've been listening to an extremely information podcast for the past few weeks called "Dishing Up Nutrition." The show is produced here in Minnesota by the founders of Nutritional Weight and Wellness, Inc. You can subscribe to it through iTunes for free. It's definitely shaken up my notion of diets and deprivation as a means to successful weight loss. Thanks to my friend Angela for pointing me to the show!
Want to learn more about Move More Eat Less 2011? Click here to learn more about the concept.
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