So the calorie counting has begun. It's nothing new; I lost most of my first 64 pounds counting calories on Sparkpeople. I also continued counting calories for 20 months after that, with no net loss. That was very frustrating, and is the reason I stopped counting and started trying other things. I think this fresh start, going back to counting calories, is going to be helpful. At the very least, it will give me information about what is/is not working.
Something interesting happened to me while I was on Medifast. It's the same mental change that happened to me when I was doing South Beach years ago. Because those plans (both of which I think are good plans) are restrictive about what is "on plan" and "off plan," I had some very black-and-white thinking that was hard to shake even after stopping the plans. For example, on Medifast, you do not get to eat stuff like bread or rice or pasta. Period. NONE. If you eat a serving of grains or a cupcake or whatever, you throw your body out of ketosis and it is like "oh my gosh I ruined everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!" because the cravings come back, the hunger returns, and there is often a sudden gain of 2 pounds or more just from water retention due to the carbs. Same for South Beach or Atkins or any other low carb plan. So if you 'mess up' it is, like, tragic. Well, it felt that way to me anyway. So if you can stay on plan 100% (which I did for many months) it is awesome and feels great and the weight comes off. But when you start screwing around, it is so so hard to get it back together. The mindset I developed was one of guilt about eating certain things. Like I did something 'wrong' if I ate a cracker. And in the past months as I tried to do other plans or stay low carb or stay off sugar and grains (because they hurt my joints), I'd feel BAD if I ate a bowl of cereal or even a banana sometimes. And I got this stressful attitude about food because of it. When you feel guilty for eating a bowl of strawberries, well... that wasn't working for me.
So this first week, I am not restricting any particular foods beyond sodas and fast food. I'm just logging. Just getting back into the habit of weighing, measuring, counting everything and staying within a reasonable calorie budget. Not sure what my calorie budget will be, exactly; I should have a better idea of that next week. Right now my calorie 'ceiling' is 1800. I am pretty sure going over that number would result in weight gain, especially since I am not able to exercise yet. But I will eat the foods I feel like eating, with an awareness of how they feel or what they do to my body. And any foods I choose to avoid will not be out of guilt or a sense of wrong-ness, but because I do or do not like how they affect my body and mind. I won't be eating candy bars even though I could fit them into my calorie budget, because I do not like the joint pain that results.
Heading to the Farmer's Market this afternoon and hoping to bring home free range eggs, fresh strawberries, and organic greens of some type. I will go to a larger Farmer's Market on Friday and get more produce. Maybe I will find something new to try!
Monday Babble and Dhammapada
6 hours ago