Monday, September 26, 2005

The future

I don't know how many times I've started to write this and failed to finish. It keeps on coming out wrong, or incoherent.

I think the problem is that I'm trying to sort out in my own head what I want out of this whole process, and it's taking a while.

I'm not talking about what I want my body to look like. Of course I have ideas on that, but that's only a secondary issue. I'm not going to push for a body that doesn't fit with the number one concern, which is how, exactly, do I want to live the rest of my life.

I don't want to be someone who lets food rule their lives. When I was fat I didn't think about food. I ate it if the occasion demanded, I didn't stress and I went with the flow. I was never a binger and I never had a wholly unhealthy diet, I just ate a bit too much, a bit too often a bit too consistently, and over time it just kept on adding up to those extra pounds. Well, I had a vaguely unhealthy relationship with 200g bars of chocolate, but apart from that it was just constantly eating maybe 2-300 calories a day too much.

I suppose that I had some dream that I could re-train my eating, lose the weight but still have the same carefree attitude to food that I had before. I didn't want to go back to the way I used to eat, but eating slighly healthier food in much the same way (and not having the weekend chocolate fests). But I'm not sure that it will ever happen.

I'm trying to work out exactly where the balance lies, and at what point I'd be happy with the balance between living my life how I want to live it and having my body how I want it to be. In an ideal world I'd be able to eat whatever I want but still have the body of my dreams, but this isn't an ideal world and for those of us not blessed with a stunning metabolism there's always going to be a trade off. Work incredibly hard to get and keep a fantastic body or work slightly less hard to get a body that's far better than what I had but possibly not the best that it can be. I'm realistic, and I know that unless I'm amazingly lucky (which may still happen, but I won't count on it) I just can't have it all.

I think this is where the "break" idea came from, although I didn't know where it was coming from on Saturday when I wrote about that. Now I'm within 30lb of my original goal, and well under the weight I'd need to be to be classified as obese, I'm starting to think about the long term a bit more. When I talk about a "break" I'm not talking about going back to how I used to live - I can now give myself free rein to eat what I want and it’s still pretty healthy. What I want to do though is to find a level that I think I can comfortably maintain and see where it takes me. And if I can't maintain at this weight (or lose, although that's not the main aim) by living like that, I need to think again about what it would really take to get down to 160 or beyond.

To be honest, I'm pleasantly surprised in that I've done very little differently over the past couple of days compared to when I'm trying to lose. What I'm currently eating and doing in the gym is the new "normal", and that bodes well. But I appreciate that I've had an easy six months or so in terms of pressures on me, and that I need to be able to cope with disruptions as well as those days and weeks when I can do exactly what I want. So even though I'm not really changing so much at all it's a "break" from a mental point of view in that I've told myself I don't need to lose (but I'll happily accept it if I do). It will be interesting to see if anything does change with that way of thinking or whether I've got everything so wonderfully ingrained that I do almost exactly the same stuff anyway.

I'd rather find out now if I'm not going to keep it off than after struggling down to an unrealistically low weight. And part of me wants to start living like I'm maintaining now, and letting myself lose slowly until my weight stabilises at a healthy level. I think of it like jumping out of a plane and freefalling, then floating gently down to earth on a parachute, slowly but surely. And then I realise, maybe there's no difference anyway, and maybe this is just a lot of drama about nothing.


Blogger B said...

I think it's utterly fantastic that you already (or still) seem to have such a healthy relationship with food. I believe it will make your maintenance and/or slower losing attempts much more successful in the long run. So many people (myself included) would not be able to look at this new lifestyle with any semblance of a carefree attitude. Or maybe we don't choose to, I dunno, but what ever works, right? At any rate, I applaud you for having enough insight into yourself that you can come to these decisions with a full and healthy understanding of precisely who you are and where you want to go with this. I too, would give anything to live as a "normal" person with nary a thought of fat or calories, and the implications they may have on my body. But alas, I am not wired that way, so I will continue to do the best with what I have, which is really all any of us can do, right?


8:18 PM  

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