Today is day 6 back on Medifast, and I've gone from 209 back down to 203 as of this morning. I have to admit that while I am proud of myself for getting back in control, it is also disheartening to see those relatively big numbers and know they represent a *loss.* It is one thing to be eating too much and see 203 and be distraught and use it to fuel yourself into a change; it is a whole 'nother ballgame to see 203 and know you are "supposed" to feel happy you lost weight, when in reality you feel really bad about being in the 200's again. Ah well, part of the journey I guess. Hopefully I will be back out of those 200's next week never to return. I know there will probably be regains again in my future, but I need to get a lot farther down the scale before that happens to that even if I gain ten pounds I am still under 180. Or 170. Or something.
Yesterday was interesting because I forgot to eat a meal. I had to make it up later in the day, but you know, I am not one to forget to eat! I know I must be in mild ketosis now with my carbs staying under 100g/day for 5 days in a row. That's what helps get rid of the hunger and the food obsession. It works. And I will say that days 1-3 were hell. I feel like I have finally dragged myself out of that hellhole I was in with the sugar cravings, the food thoughts, the constant headaches with nausea and have come out the other side. It was painful to get here and I never, ever want to go through it again. No cookie or cake or candy bar is worth that. Now I find my mind freeing up to think about other things. My energy is back. I am out of the sugar fog. It feels great.
Now that sugar looks like poison to me (and I hope it stays that way!), the "issue" I have low carbing is making myself stick with the allowed portions of any given food. I normally weigh out my 5 ounces of beef or 6 ounces of chicken or 7 ounces of fish, I measure my olive oil and my vegetables and my condiments. But on days that I am hungrier or just FEEL like eating, in the past the problem has been mainly one food: cheese. I think, "oh, cheese has little to no carbs. It has protein. It won't throw me out of ketosis. It's allowed on Atkins! I can have that and be okay!" I cut a slice of cheddar or grab a piece of American and eat it. And then I want more. I have always loved cheese and it is hard for me to quit. The problem is, on Medifast full-fat cheese is not allowed. I *can* have low fat cheese (a measured portion) for my Lean, and sometimes I do. And I am okay with that. It's when I start giving myself permission with excuses to eat EXTRA cheese or full-fat cheese that I get into trouble. Because while it is true that even an extra 5 ounces of cheese won't throw me out of ketosis, it still has a lot of fat and calories and I will not lose weight eating like that. Plus, it seems that cheese is a "gateway drug" for me. If I let myself have one slice, I want more. But I also want something to go with it, or after it, like green olives, or slices of ham, summer sausage, turkey pepperoni, etc etc. And again I can rationalize eating those non-carby things because I won't go over my carb limit for the day, but calories also count. And once I indulge in the cheese and meats and olives and suddenly realize I have eaten 2000 calories for the day, I get frustrated and annoyed and go buy a bag of potato chips.
So my next step in building healthy habits it to just say no to cheese. Silly, yes. Serious, also yes. My new rule is, if I want cheese I can have it, but ONLY as my Lean portion, low fat and measured. I can have my cauliflower pizza or my cauliflower mac and cheese for dinner. Fine. But I CANNOT just grab a slice and call it an optional snack, because it isn't. I can't just have a slice when I get hungry. No longer an option. I have learned to know my triggers, and if I can get this under control it will go a long way in helping me stay on plan for the long haul.
What about you? Do you have a 'gateway drug' food?
2 hours ago