Monday, August 5, 2013

Waking Up

Today, I weigh 235.4 pounds.

And I know why.

Throughout this weight loss journey I began in October of 2012, I have wanted losing weight to be easy and effortless.

I figured if I ate the right food in appropriate quantities, exercised every couple of days, slept right and managed my stress, I'd lose weight. And so I did.

Until I didn't.

I used the whole30 as a weight loss diet--which it isn't--and it worked! Then, a few months later, I did it again and it didn't. (Yes, I lost weight. But then I gained it right back.) I became frustrated with the lack of texture in my diet--eating meat and vegetables constantly meant no creamy, no smooth and, what I missed most, no crunchy. Cheap cuts of meat are fatty cuts of meat and when I was told I had gall stones and realised that eating fatty meat probably triggered my attacks, I lost it.

I also wanted to see how much fat I could eat without triggering an attack. So, I dove head first into bags of family sized potato chips, large chocolate bars, peanut butter and jam sandwiches, grilled cheese, bags of M&M's.


I think eating Paleo, as laid out in the whole 30 protocol is a marvellous way to eat: but it is not sustainable for me. Nor is it necessary. Fortunately, other than tiny gallstones, I have no gastro-intestinal issues.

I like the Perfect Health Diet. In their chapter on weight loss, The Jaminets advise eating less fat, (trimming visible fat, not eating the chicken skin, using low-fat cooking methods) and eating to the calorie level you wish to sustain. There may be more recommendations, but these two I remember. (I got their book out of the library. Twice.)

They advocate eating "safe" starches such as white rice and potatoes. Dairy is allowed in it's "processed" forms, like cheese and yogurt, and as a fat, like cream. Milk, given its lactose, is not recommended.

I can live with this "diet."

But I cannot eat blindly. I cannot eat "as much as I want" even if it is "clean" and unprocessed, "natural" food.

I have to be conscious. I have to put in some effort. Exactly what I was hoping not to have to do. This blog post, by Erika Nicole Kendall has convicted me. In it, she writes:

Because… wait for it… auto-pilot doesn’t work for weight loss! That’s right – you can’t do it. Why? Because waking up one day and deciding that you’re going to go auto-pilot eating nothing but grapefruit for breakfast and lunch can’t change the fact that your auto-pilot used to lead you to McDonalds or Krispy Kreme for breakfast every morning. Auto-pilot, unfortunately, does equate to mindlessness. It’s operating without thinking. “Not thinking” before led us to being unhealthy in the first place. It certainly won’t lead us to “healthy,” and if it does, it certainly wouldn’t do it overnight… or in two-six weeks like other diets. Excerpted from The Anatomy of A Diet: Why They Work, and Why The Success Never Lasts | A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss
For me, the whole 30 was my "auto pilot." Truly. That's probably exactly why its creators don't want it to be used and viewed as a weight-loss diet. Using their diet protocol as a way to become lazy about what I put into my body is likely the very last thing the Hartwig's would have wanted.

So, I am left with the task of becoming conscious whether I like it or not, whether I want to be or not. Does that sound nuts? Honestly, I'd really rather be lazy. I'd rather it not take time and effort on my part. Sigh.

I am going to have to learn to count calories.
I am going to have to track my food.
I may even have to weigh and measure.

I really, really don't want to.
But I also really, really don't want to be 235 pounds. Or, even, 200 pounds.

me, at 235 and my new haircut!

So, time to put on my big girl panties.
You know, this could be good.

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