It’s been a while since I’ve written, but life has been a bit hectic. Before I get into the meat of the post, let me tell you what I’ve been up to because I know you’ve all been dying to know.
In my last post that I wrote forever ago, I told you about my 11-day challenge of not drinking alcohol before vacation. I’m pleased to report that Shane and I both successfully completed the challenge, with little difficulty! It’s getting much easier to limit the booze, and I’m currently on day four of a 16-day, no-booze challenge. With alcohol comes poor food choices and I find that these little challenges help keep me on track.
Shane and I went on vacation to Savannah and Tybee Island and had a great time. We didn’t take many pictures, but here’s one of us before we went on a date night.
A couple of days after we got back from vacation, we ran in the Peachtree Road race, which is the world’s largest 10K. This was my fourth year running it, and Shane’s 22nd! I ran it in 59:53. I would have loved to run it in 57 or better, but I haven’t done any speed work since training for the run with the mayor race and with the ridiculous heat, I was happy with my time. I would like to get back to doing some speed work one day a week.
On a side note, I purposely posted both of these pictures because I think I look good in them. Shane is pretty cute too, but this is my blog so I’m going to talk about me. It’s funny how when I was at my heaviest, I’d see a picture of myself and think, “That can’t be how I look”. When I’ve seen pictures of myself lately, I’ve had the same thought, but instead it’s been a pleasant surprise.
Ok, so now on to the reason for the title of this post. For probably the first time (that I remember anyway), I’m feeling much more at ease about my weight loss, my continued loss as I work to get off a few more pounds, and my eventual maintenance. There are many reasons for this, some of which are hard to put into words, but I’ll try, in bullet-point format:
- I got help from a professional. I started seeing a dietician who is more like a nutrition therapist and it’s been a very good experience. I have a few more sessions with her and I’m not sure I’ll continue, but what I’ve taken away has been invaluable. Many of the bullets below are conclusions I’ve drawn in large part because of her help.
- I stopped counting calories. I believe there are people who do very well with counting calories, points, carbs or whatever, but I’m not one of them. I have an “all or nothing” attitude so if I get off track for one day of counting calories, I throw in the towel for the day, or for several days, which then triggers binges.
- I’m paying more attention to my level of fullness. I think this is extremely challenging for anyone who struggles with weight. Since I’m not counting calories, my gauge is my level of fullness. This is where the dietician has been very helpful because years of eating issues have skewed my perception of what it’s like to be satisfied, but I’m working on it.
- I’m limiting, but not eliminating. If I like something, I just can’t cut it from my diet. I’m learning to limit it, but I refuse to give up the things I like or go on any kind of crazy diets to shed weight. It should be no surprise to my
hundredshandful of readers because I’ve mentioned it several times, but limiting alcohol has been a major contributing factor for my weight loss. I’ve also limited my sweets quite a bit, and tried to limit certain foods that add no value, or that don’t help fill me up. For example, if I get a sub sandwich, I’ll try and skip the chips. Notice how I typed “try”…..sometimes the Doritos are worth it.
- I’ve realized that whatever I do, it has to be sustainable. There’s a blog that I love, Runs for Cookies, where the author lost about half her body weight. She’s stated many times that when she decided to lose weight, she knew she had to do it in a way that she could sustain for the rest of her life. That approach really resonated with me. In the past, my weight loss approach has been to restrict until I get to the weight I want to be, but then I never get to a sustainable way of eating that will ultimately keep the weight off. I’m taking a long time to get where I ultimately want to be, but I don’t feel
toodeprived and I’m making small and meaningful changes that I hope will stick for the rest of my life.
- I seek inspiration. Blogs, podcasts, documentaries, books, TV shows-these are the mediums where I seek inspiration about other people’s struggles and successes with weight loss. I love hearing their stories and tips, and it’s incredibly motivating and reassuring.
- I’m slowly learning to separate food from emotion. This one is really hard. If you’ve ever struggled with eating, you’ve probably used food to cope with stress, boredom, happiness, sadness, you name it. I won’t even pretend that instead of emotional eating I’ve replaced it with reading, sewing, going for a walk, blah blah blah. The truth is that I’m getting better at just sitting with whatever emotion it is, being uncomfortable with it, and letting it pass without using food. My nutrition sessions have also been really helpful with this.
- I’ve accepted that I’m not normal, and this will always be hard. This is a lifelong struggle that I’ve had, and will always have regardless of how under control I think I have it at any given point. For example, before I left for vacation, I felt awesome, fit and confident. I was determined not to overdo it on my trip so that I’d continue feeling good. I did OK the first couple of days, but then I “fell off the wagon,” overate and enjoyed too many pina coladas. So of course I was convinced I gained 50 pounds in the five days I was gone. I always struggle on vacation, but since I’ve been feeling so much more under control lately, I thought this vacation would be different. Nope. But realistically, I also know that I didn’t gain 50 pounds, and I’m back on track now. I’ve learned and accepted that I will always have moments, which could last days or weeks, where I will “fall off the wagon,” and I will never think about food or eat like a “normal” person. I may come close, but this will always be an incredibly difficult challenge for me, and I’ve accepted that.