This week it occurred to me that I might have made a mistake in my thinking. I made some assumptions about my eating and weight that probably were not accurate. Let me explain what I mean.
When I looked over my weight loss for the past 5 months of not blogging, I saw that I continued to lose weight (although slowly) even though I wasn't counting calories or carbs or doing organized exercise, and that I was truly eating what I wanted. I did notice that I wanted less, in both portion size and variety, and eating in a reasonable way seemed to have become second nature. Without the pressure of dieting, my weight went down even with little effort. I assumed that this pattern would just continue through the coming year and I'd easily lose 15 or 20 pounds by the end of the year just doing the same thing. And that if I added some walking and biking, that number would go up and I could even be back under 200 by year's end.
Well, I know it's only been a few weeks into the new year. This is my third weekly weigh-in, to be exact, and the third week weighing 229 pounds. Part of me just shrugs and says "eh, it's only 3 weeks, it'll pan out, maybe I will drop 2 pounds next week." But the other part of me got to thinking...
And that's when I realized a pretty obvious error in my thinking which I have been overlooking.
I thought I would keep losing at about the same rate if I just kept doing the same thing that got me the losses over the last 5 months. But my mistake was, I am *not* doing the "same thing" I was doing over the last 5 months! What changed? I reintroduced gluten. Now, I don't think gluten itself is a factor in my weight loss or lack thereof (I could be wrong, but let's assume I am not gluten intolerant). But the range of food I can eat has expanded dramatically by letting gluten back in! Here's a few examples:
before: driving around town running errands, I get hungry. There are very few foods I can grab at a drive-through so I either get a coffee, get a pear at the grocery store, or wait til I get home to eat.
now: driving around town running errands, I get hungry and pick up a turkey sub with chips and water.
before: I need a quick and easy breakfast in the morning and don't have time to cook, so I grab a low carb Greek yogurt.
now: I need a quick and easy breakfast in the morning and don't have time to cook, so I microwave a turkey, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich.
before: I am not sure of the gluten content of foods at the potluck, so I have salad, vegetables, and deviled eggs.
now: I don't care about the gluten content at the potluck, so I have some casserole, potato salad, and a cookie.
before: if I really, *really* wanted some bread or cookies, I drove to the store and bought gluten free varieties or baked them myself. I didn't keep them on hand all the time, though.
now: I have biscotti in the cupboard to have with my coffee, and I have English muffins on hand in case I want some toast
See how that has changed things? There is just so much more variety of food available to be without gluten restriction that I have been eating more... just because I can... and subbing carbs for meat/produce on more occasions. The net result has been that I'm eating more carbs than before. I think that is why the weight loss seems to have stalled. What do you think?
I have no reason to return to a gluten free diet, but I think there needs to be a change for weight loss to resume.
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.
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