Monday, September 1, 2014

Finding balance, discovering what is right for you

I am a big believer in the saying "there is a time and place for everything".  When I first started I was so overwhelmed with the prospect of losing weight, I really didn't know where to start.  I am not sure I would have been able to really make hunger directed eating work for me.  I remember thinking, "I don't know what to eat let alone how much to eat.  I don't know about exercising except that I don't want to do it.  I don't know where to start."  So I followed a path that was familiar and I thought would be a good fit for me: I signed up for weight watchers online for the third time because their plan is the most flexible.  You do not have any forbidden foods, and you also get weekly points and you can swap out activity points too.  Of course I so desperately wanted to lose weight that I would often not use the weekly points only to splurge on the weekends.  But it seemed that I was making enough progress to be moving forward despite this.  Applying what I now know, this really is a great system if you take it to heart and adapt it and mold it to work for you as an individual.  By not forbidding any foods you effectively eliminate gasping for food.  You still get to eat the foods you like as long as you control yourself and moderate your eating.  In addition you get weekly points that you can spend when you feel hungrier, or if you are eating out, or at a party.  This allows some wiggle room so you are not feeling so rigid.  I think now if I were to sign up for weight watchers again, I would be acting a lot different than I had previously.

Anyway, the point of this post isn't to talk about weight watchers.  It's to talk about how I have changed over the past year and a half.  I started out not knowing what to do but slowly I made changes, and over time those changes stacked and compounded and helped me on this journey.  After I felt like I had a better grip on quantity of food, I was ready to look into quality of food.  My mom introduced me to eating clean and I spent the next six months learning about eating healthier.  It wasn't an overnight process and to be honest, it is still an ongoing process.  I started making healthier breakfast choices, finally ridding myself of cereal for breakfast (a lifelong goal that I had never before been able to accomplish).  I used to be really good at making the main dish for dinner and that was it.  Now I am really good at making the main dish and one side of vegetables :-)  It's the little things that count.  I am working on adding a second side to our dinners but haven't quite gotten that far yet.  Some days it gets done but most of the time it doesn't.  But at least we have vegetables to eat with dinner now!

Once I felt more confident that I knew what to make and I could easily peruse my cookbooks for healthier recipes that would be satisfying and taste good I started looking into making healthier desserts and cooking with healthier ingredients.  I started using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.  I am still in the process of exploring desserts and baking with honey, agave, applesauce, coconut oil, date sugar, whole flour, and other ingredients instead of white flour and cane sugar.  I am by no means perfect but I am still working, changing, progressing.  If you find something isn't working for you then change.  Seek out something that resonates with you.  So now I am changing again and hopefully learning and growing (in character, not in size haha) by trying to reconnect with my body.  I don't think this path would have been right for me in the beginning, or even 6 months ago.  And it might not even be right for me now, maybe when I really need this is for maintenance, but I am trying it now because if it works now then that is great, if it doesn't work now then I know what has worked for me in the past and I can always return to the tried and true methods that I know work for me.  Everyone's path is different, everyone's journey looks different.

So now I have made a decision.  Basically this last week I have been in a week long phase of pretty out of controlled eating.  But that has happened before, and often longer than a week.  I can't ditch the mentality yet of being "on plan" and "off plan" although I would love to.  Whenever I try to ditch that mentality it just turns into one big "off plan" phase.  So I am going to revise my three month challenge by adding in many of the hunger directed eating steps.  I am going to allow myself to eat when I feel hungry, even if it is something small.  I am going to start focusing on how food makes me feel more.  In that light I currently feel bloated, tired, and in a brain fog.  When I am eating more healthily I feel clear headed, energetic, and motivated.  Right now all I've wanted to do for a week is crawl in bed and shut the world out.  I think I need to gradually make the switch to hunger directed eating and hopefully by the time I hit maintenance I will have it mastered.  So I am not going to have any forbidden foods, but I am going to keep tabs on what I am eating to make sure I'm not going crazy.  Also I haven't been exercising much this last week which hasn't helped matters leaving me feeling lethargic and lazy.  So starting Tuesday I am going to be getting back on track.  Hopefully some day I will be able to rule out that phrase from my vocabulary, but right now is just not the time.



  1. Hey I have a question? I want to know did you lose weight doing your exercise and calorie challenge that you were doing? I am asking because I have wondered to if I am eating a 1230 calorie and I eat all of that and burn 400 calories exercising do you eat them or let that go under your target? Will you email me your answer I can not alway remember to come back and check responds. My email is

  2. Thank You so MUCH! I feel exactly the same way, I have made so many changes, and I don't think I couldn’t have made those changes if I wouldn't have had a place to start. Maybe by maintenance you'll be a professional.