Five months ago when I quit blogging, I was in the middle of a successful "plan" to eat 1200-1300 calories a day, exercise more and track it on my Fitbit, and eat more protein and less carbs. I was weighing and measuring every morsel I ate, counting calories, carbs, and protein grams, and exercising five days a week. I'd been sticking to that plan for three weeks and had lost 2.5 pounds. But suddenly, it seemed, I just didn't have it in me anymore to keep going. It wasn't the 21 days of effort that seemed oppressive; it was the years and years and years of dieting, of trying to MAKE my body listen to me, of forcing myself to adopt a "new normal" that, no matter how hard I tried or how long it went on, just never really did feel normal to me. I threw it all down and walked away.
I didn't go off and binge, didn't stop moving or eating vegetables or focusing on protein, but I did stop all the counting, weighing, measuring, and tracking. I relaxed and let myself just be, and let the food slide into the background of life. Again, I just didn't have it in me anymore to put so much time and energy and focus on what I was eating and how I was moving.
But you know, something interesting happened when I let go of the reins and admitted that I am really *not* strong enough to wrestle my body and mind into submission on these issues. When I gave up and relaxed about it... truly relaxed (NOT weighing all the time, NOT panicking because I was not losing weight, NOT getting into a tizzy trying to figure out my "next plan" or picking a date when I'd get back to dieting), my body relaxed too, and so did my mind. Obsessions faded. Cravings became less and less frequent. If I felt like having ice cream, I didn't have to rationalize it. I just ate it. I didn't shovel in pint after pint because OMG I am eating something I shouldn't and I need to stop this and I need to go on a diet. I just had the ice cream and went on about life. And if I felt like going for a walk, I went. If I felt like riding my bike, I got on it. I didn't drive myself to go X number of miles or Y number of minutes so many days a week. I just did what I felt like doing. And after doing this for five months, I feel a lot differently about the whole situation. (Note: I would not ever recommend this approach to someone who is struggling with Binge Eating Disorder. "Letting myself" eat what I wanted when I was actively engulfed in BED was a recipe for rapid, out of control weight gain, depression, and a decline in health.)
And I have it in me now... *not* to go back to counting calories and carbs and protein... because that would put me back in the place I was when I left... but to turn around and take a look at my weight and my health. I have it in me now to turn a bit more attention to the nutrition and amounts I am eating and how much movement I want in my life. I hope, at this point, that I will *never* count calories again. I never plan to deprive myself of a food, a meal, a serving of something I would like to eat. I don't feel like I have trigger foods anymore, isn't that strange? It's almost like... the freedom to eat those old "trigger" foods as I wish, has allowed me the freedom to say yes or no to them and not have an emotional reaction. Hey, I've been at this awhile and part of me thinks I will eat my words later when some food *does* trigger me. I realize that's possible and I may be wrong about some of this stuff. I am just writing how I feel about it *right now.* And how I feel is good.
I want the freedom to have my bacon, eggs, and toast if I want it for breakfast, because that freedom gives me the choice and desire to also make healthier choices most days, like eating an egg and some fruit or a bowl of Greek yogurt for breakfast. The freedom to have a cookie and a latte in the afternoon also gives me the choice and desire, yes the WANT to instead just have a cup of black coffee or a banana. The choice to walk 2 miles or not, with no pressure, makes me feel it is a pleasure and not a chore.
So now I have it in me and later this week, when the holiday stuff is over and my son's birthday is celebrated, I'm going to take a look at where I am on the scale, and make a conscious effort to simply turn my attention to making healthy choices more often and moving in a way I enjoy more frequently. Yes, that's very unstructured. I want to stay free. And I want to have a body that supports that freedom. Can't wait to see what the new year holds!
I am 38 years old, female, a degree-holding stay-at-home-mom, and I weigh 278 pounds. I have been obese for ten years now. Time to get out of this fat prison I have made for myself.
--This is the original introduction I wrote when I first started this blog in 2007. I leave it as a reminder to myself of where I came from. Currently, I am 46 years old and weigh significantly less...see the blog for details. I lost 103 pounds, then had a partial regain, and am once again working at weight loss and better health.
Escape from Obesity by Lyn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
All material contained in this blog, including written posts and photographs, is protected by U.S. copyright law. If you would like to reproduce a post or part of a post online, you may do so on a non-commercial site as long as you attribute the material to myself, "Lyn of Escape from Obesity," and include a link to my blog. Any commercial use of these materials is prohibited. If you have questions, please contact me via email.
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Which basically means, if you shop through my amazon links, I earn a small commission. Thanks!