So I learned this week that I cannot intuitively eat and expect to lose weight. This week I thought I did a really good job of stopping eating when I was feeling like I was done eating instead of stuffing myself silly. I made sure not to eat much in the way of sweets, and I felt good all week. At some point in the week, I think it was Wednesday morning, I weighed 184 and was super psyched, I thought it was going to work after all. But this morning I weighed in and I was 187.4. Poo
So as much as I wish it might be so, I just can't lose weight unless I either count my calories or cut certain foods out of my diet. I've been thinking a lot about what I did to lose all the weight the first time around. Most of the weight I lost was on Weight Watchers. What is different about weight watchers? I figure it must be that they have restriction, but they allow a certain amount of weekly points you can spend. So for the next week I'm going to set my calories at 1900 and allow myself 500 weekly calories I can spend how I would like and see how that affects things. I figure I have plenty of time to mess around and see what might work as I've been trying unsuccessfully to lose weight for over a year now, so a few more weeks isn't going to make a difference. Might as well find something that could possibly work for the long term.
Now I know the calorie allotment seems high but, I know I have to be careful because I know me. If I restrict too much it will backfire and I will be binging all my hard work away. Also, I don't want to make any changes too dramatic that will be too hard to sustain. If I can't eat only 1900 calories a day, there is no chance I will be able to eat 1700 calories a day. Start smaller. It will take longer, but I'm not too worried about that right now because I think I have finally accepted that I need to start where I am.
Speaking of acceptance, I had an interesting thought today. I'm the chorister in my church, meaning I conduct the music and as I was looking out over the congregation I was noticing how many different types of people there are. We have a lot of children in our church too, and I looked at one family where the child was clinging to his mother. It didn't matter to that child how much his mom weighed, or what her hair color was, or if her makeup was done. He loved her regardless of all that. And it really hit me: I don't have to be thin to be loved by my family. Which begs the question "Do I need to lose weight to be happy?" As I was pondering this and looking out over the various couples older than me, some thin, some heavy I wondered if in 20 years I will be in the same place I am now, and wondering if that would be ok. I ultimately decided that no, it would not be ok with me. I would be unhappy if I stayed between 180-190 for the rest of my life, but not because I wanted to be "beautiful" or have better "body image". It was because at 186 I cannot do many of the things my family likes to do. I can't go skiing at this weight, I can't go hiking very well, I can't run, I can't mountain bike, I can't chase my kids around the backyard very well. I have been exercising and some people are saying that I'm looking better, so I'm sure there are some internal changes happening that are not reflecting on the scale. But my quality of life, and the things that I long to do are kept from me at this weight. I can do some of those things to an extent. I can jog slowly, but it stinks and isn't all that enjoyable at the moment. I remember being purely elated when trail running for the triathlon a few years ago. I really can't go skiing. If you have ever tried to go skiing while fat, I don't recommend it. It's pure misery: legs burning, uncomfortable everywhere, getting tired just standing in the line to go up the mountain. Nothing like the thrill I used to experience as the wind rushed past me as I raced down the mountain when I was 140 pounds. Things that enriched my life and brought me joy, I simply cannot do at this higher weight. Even things like chasing my kids around, wrestling with them, and playing with them are significantly harder. I tire faster, and it's harder to force myself to do it at this weight whereas before I regained all the weight, it was easier because I was in better shape, had more energy and could move easier.
So I will try again, and hopefully before the year is out I will find something I can really stick to. Something healthy, personalized to just me, that doesn't cause me to binge. Something to help me enrich my life instead of restrict my life.