Friday, November 11, 2011

This rest of my life business

While I haven't found the eating I've had to do extremely difficult, I've also been on a mission. I knew I had to get my health sorted out. I knew I needed to get more fit. I knew that I needed to drop this weight. So, I'm doing what I need to do to accomplish all that.

But it's one thing to pass up treats and goodies for a few months or a year, but it's quite another to say "the rest of my life". And that is basically is what I'm having to do. This past month also showed me how little I can go over calories or how few days I can skip exercising without seeing gains on the scale. Last month (actually last 6 weeks) were a complete standstill for me. I didn't gain I didn't lose. I wasn't exercising much and I was eating on average about 1580 calories a day. That isn't much! Is that my tipping point of gaining and maintaining? That few calories?

And to show how fast those calories add up, yesterday I ate 1480 calories and this is what I ate:

Morning: 1 slim jim and 2 pieces of string cheese: 220 calories
Lunch: one honeycrisp apples with cinnamon and 4 tablespoons of natural peanut butter: 470 calories
Dinner: 2 bowls corn chowder, 6 ounces turkey breast, 1/4 cup of candied sweet potatoes, 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce and 1.5 cups of kale: 790 calories.

No snacks, no desserts, no sweetened drinks. What was different yesterday was that I was in a hurry for breakfast, so it was my "grab something fast with lots of protein" breakfast. Lunch was late and I was so hungry that I ate an extra tablespoon of peanut butter, but dinner higher carb than usually, but not huge. I could eat more if I was eating a huge salad, but I'm not into salads in colder months.

I see that eating yesterday and I see how easy it would be to eat too much - just one slice of pie for dessert would take me over. Having a sandwich in addition to the apple with peanut butter would do it. An extra 100-300 calories a day could lead to 1-3 pounds a month.

Now, exercise is the key here. I didn't exercise yesterday (crashed early to bed instead). But, with adding in one hour of exercise affords those extra 300 calories a day and since exercising doesn't make me hungry, I would feel like I am eating more substantially too. I don't want to feel deprived for the rest of my life.

I mentioned this to my husband the other day and he said, "you know my grandmother always said 'You should never eat until you are full. You should stop when you still feel a bit of hunger.'" And there is truth in that, but not that long ago and most of human's existence and still true for much of the world, we stayed hungry because of the lack of available food. Our minds/bodies didn't deal with surplus very often and when it did, we ate more and then we stored it as fat to be used at times of less food so we wouldn't die. Now here in America and other prosperous nations we have too much food and we have to learn to stop before we are full, but try telling that to your head every single day - every day. It's hard.  And that is what worries me about maintenance.

Will I have the motivation to keep turning away food indefinitely? Will I be able to say no to all the little treats forever? At least I have that fear of high blood pressure and diabetes to keep me in check. Without that, I don't know if I would have the mental power to say "no". And who knows, maybe in 5-10 years I won't be able to control these things by diet alone and then what will keep me good?

I know myself - I can keep motivation for long periods of time. I can get excited about something and sustain it for awhile, but just like when you fall in love, you don't keep that 'in love' feeling forever. It fades. And I'm worried about what happens when I've hit my weight goal and I've gotten my health in check, how will keep that drive to keep doing it - daily. I'm stubborn and competitive too... maybe not wanting to be one of the statistics will help with that too! I want to be in that 1-2% who keep it off!!!

Stats for 11/11/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 180.6

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