I've been absent lately. At first, it was a bad thing. But if morphed into something very interesting.
A few weeks ago, I went hog-wild. I'm talkin' pizza, Dairy Queen, kraft mac n' cheese wild. I weighed myself one day and it told me I was 221 lbs. The nerve! But it stuck with me. Something in me clicked. A lot of the weight came off fast, because it was water weight. But it's been hard. Last week. I was down to 208 bs. This week, 206 lbs. I've been rigid in my eating. Lots of salads; lots of veggies. I joined a gym and I've been GOING.
Today, I learned the difference between "I can't" and "I don't want to." Have you ever really struggled with this line? I have. I tend to give up when the going gets tough. But today, I was at the gym. I climbed onto the elliptical and started a program for 25 minutes. I am seriously out of shape. I haven't done more than 10 minutes at a time since I joined 2 weeks ago; but I was thinking big. At around the 10 minute mark, I felt this insane need to quit. Normally, I would have. I was breathing heavy. My legs burned. I was bored. But I told myself that I didn't NEED to quit. I just wanted to.
An odd thing happened. Around the 20 minute mark, my muscles loosened up. I felt relaxed. I found a rhythm and went steady. At 25 minutes, I stopped because that's what I had planned on; but I could have kept on going.
How often have I quit because things got hard? I think back to the weekend I spent at Sleeping Bear Dunes last month. Husband and I got to the dunes in the morning, and began climbing. At the top of the first big hill, I gave up. It was hot. My legs were killing me. But mostly, the BODY was willing but the SPIRIT was weak. I cried. A lot. I told Husband to keep going. Being a gentleman, he said no way - he'd hang out with me until I was ready. But I didn't want to go. I didn't want people to see me struggling so much. I didn't want to continue asking him to slow down. I didn't want to take it slow. So I didn't do it at all. I sat down in a heap on the sand and dug a hole while he explored. When he returned, I put on a cheery face and we ran down the hill.
I could have done it. It would have been so gratifying to get to the end. But I'm afraid, and so I give up.
I know some people will disagree with me on this, but I've stopped having the obligatory 3 meals + 2 snacks. I've spent every evening going through every diet book I own. The Superfoods Diet, South Beach, Atkins, French Women Don't Get Fat, Skinny Bitch, you name it. And it is mind boggling. How can I possibly eat oatmeal every day, eat eggs, eat yogurt, eat the required protein, eat protein with my fruit at snacks, etc. etc. etc. It's OBSESSIVE. All I do is think about food.
So I've taken a break. I don't need all of that food. People always say "the secret is to eat before you get hungry". I'm sorry... but there is a reason people feel hunger. It makes no sense to me that I would lose weight, and never be hungry. That means I ALWAYS have to eat the right things, at exactly the right time, in order to lose. I think that idea is meant to keep people from binging. If you are never hungry, then it's easier to say no to temptations. But I don't want to have to manipulate myself into not failing. I need to become a person who, when she actually feels a hunger pang, turns to fresh fruit or veggies; who can truly believe that when she is hungry, an entree salad CAN be enough.
I've stuck to the same plan for the past couple weeks. Oatmeal for breakfast, a light lunch (veggies and a protein), dinner of either a big salad with a protein, or a protein+veggie+whole grain combo. I have dessert of some sort to end my day on; a sugar free fudgecicle, some greek yogurt with fresh fruit, or some chocolate milk.
I've been finding little things to find joy in, food-wise. Hubby and I found a small asian noodle restaurant in town. It's a total dive. My bowl of noodle soup had some unexpected tripe in it! But you know what? I had a fabulous time. This place SMELLED of China. The dishes looked the same. The feel was amazing. At the end of the meal, they brought a small dish of some coconut/rice dessert. There was probably only 2 tablespoons in it, but I savored it. I walked away from that meal fulfilled. I only ate about 1/5 of my noodle bowl, so I went home and made myself a salad; but I was so completely satisfied and didn't have a single craving in the world that night.
I bought red bean popcicles at the asian market. I came to ADORE red bean flavored stuff in China. Have you ever tried it? It can take a few tastes to really appreciate it; but it's amazing. The popcicles are not only yummy, but they have beans in them, so they are filling.
I know things will probably change; and I'll have to adapt. But for now, I'm LOVING being able to just live. To not think about food every 2 hours of my life. I feel like a normal person again. I get caught up in things; when I feel hungry, I eat. I start college again on monday. I'm terrified. But I'm prepared for the changes. Bring it on!