I think just *being* morbidly obese did something to my brain. Sure, my thinking... cravings, food obsession, growing awareness of calories and carbs and food measurements... changed my eating and my weight. But my thinking has never gone back to where it was pre-100-pounds-overweight.
There have been times I have felt a lot more normal in my relationship with food, but even then it has taken a concentrated effort to keep the weight off or to lose it. Like now. I am not obsessing about food much at all anymore. I am not craving like I used to on a daily basis. I attribute those changes to eating cleaner and lower carbs. Eating junk triggers desire for more junk, so being off it really helps. But I can't help but think how nice it would be to just not think about food and be a normal weight. You know, like it used to be. In my early 20's I'd get up and fix the kids breakfast... whatever we had on hand. We'd have oatmeal or eggs and toast or chocolate chip pancakes or cereal with milk, and it was fine. I'd just have whatever I made for them. Never a thought about carbs or calories and there was no measuring involved. I'd go along in the morning, doing my chores and caring for the babies and the farm animals and if I got hungry before lunch I'd just grab some crackers or whatever. I'd make the kids sandwiches or pasta or something like that for lunch and just eat what they were having. Maybe a snack in the afternoon after school, whether it was peanut butter apple slices or homemade cookies and milk, and then a hearty dinner for my farmer husband... usually some kind of meat like a pot roast or a chicken or pork chops with mashed potatoes and gravy or buttered noodles, a vegetable, and homemade bread. I'd often bake a pie or cake for dessert. I remember "how much I eat" being such a NON issue. It was just, you know, meals.
Can it ever be like that again?
I kind of think not. Maybe it can, within some kind of framework. I think that is really what I am striving for: food being a non issue again. Do you think if I stick by the rules... no grains, no nightshades, no junk... I could somehow get back to that point again? Where I just make whatever is on hand for everyone, eat some of it, and go forward? And not be obese?
I feel myself easing into a less stressed food state, and that's good. I think about food less now than I did a couple months ago. But I still put more effort and mental energy into it than I'd like. When I batch cook and have things on hand, it does reduce the amount of time per day I am thinking of food. You know, that's what I loved about Medifast when I was right in the middle of it. No thinking about food except one meal a day. Just tear open your packet, drink, and go on. I go back and read parts of my blog and realize how much more free time I had just by doing that! I am not going back to packets again, so I wonder if I can do that with pre-portioned meat and veggie meals somehow. Just batch cook some meat and produce, portion out the breakfast and lunches, and just have dinner for the family to deal with. I've gotten kind of close on this but I do get tired of eating the same thing day after day.
I have also thought about creating index cards with 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 5 snacks on them and only choosing from those. Sounds boring, but it can't be any more boring than packets! I dunno, maybe I am overthinking again. I just wish I had never gotten obese in the first place. Please, people. If you're reading here and overweight and on the verge of obesity, stop it now. Don't let it get to that point. You do not want to be me at 45.
Something else I have been thinking about. I know this has not been a real productive year for me weight-loss wise. I have been focused on other, "more important" (it seems in the moment) things and letting myself be put on the back burner. I am still kind of half assing my weight loss, because I had so little motivation over the winter and am just now waking up and wanting to work on it again. I've been sliding along without a ton of effort, eating my AIP and walking a few days a week, and losing a pound a week or so. Maybe it is time to ramp it up a bit and try harder. Maybe I should actually start working at it, instead of just getting by doing my program and doing just enough to drop a couple pounds a month. Maybe it is time to get out of my comfort zone a little more and work harder at this. My body is crying out for more. I just need to make the time for more working on ME. And I don't mean more focus on what I eat, although beginning tracking was a great first step in working harder at weight loss. I know I need to move more. Just being "active" is not enough. Yeah, I am on my feet most of the day and busy, but I am not getting my heart rate up that often and am not doing any heavy lifting either. I could work on those things and probably speed up my rate of loss while improving my overall health.
This is nothing new. I've done all this stuff before. But this is a lifelong journey, a story of obesity and weight loss, of regain and re-losing... a battle so many, many people struggle with. I am not going to give up and stay fat. I finally feel like I am able to put in the effort, so I think... yes... it is time.