Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Back on track

I've given myself a swift kick up the arse over the past few days. On Monday I felt fat and sure enough the scales were edging mighty close to 162. That's not good enough. I know that it was all water, but the fact that I was retaining water was a decent indication that I wasn't being as good as I could be. Plus I just felt fat (yup, I managed to feel fat at this weight, somehow I suspect I'll never be quite thin enough all of the time).

I've noticed that I've started getting far too slack. No, I don't count calories, and I still don't think I have to. But that only works as long as I only eat when I'm hungry, don't nibble and do all the sensible things right. Simply running a lot doesn't give me carte blanche to stand in front of the flapjack cupboard pulling out slice after slice. And anyway, it's all very well having messed up emotional and boredom eating habits when I'm exercising, but what if I get injured or I take some time off running. If I don't sort out my eating habits now and make them a bit more related to how hungry I am rather than how bored I am, I won't be able to get through those times without the regain from hell.

So yesterday and today I've probably been the most on plan I've ever been. No unplanned treats, no excuses. Just going back to good, pre-prepared, homecooked goodies in sensible quantities and at sensible times. Ignoring that "oh, I've not eaten for an hour and a half, is it time to get something else to chew on" feeling that nags me at regular intervals, whether I'm hungry or not.

And it's been OK. What's more, it worked, the water has gone and the scales were reading 160 again this morning. I know that it wasn't fat, but one day, eating like that, it could be. Oh, it would be slow, but I was in serious danger of slipping a bit more each day until the slippage gained the sort of momentum that would be hard to stop.

If there's one thing that I'm disappointed with myself for, it's the fact that I've got this far without sorting out some of these food issues once and for all. It's all very well losing the weight, but it's a whole different battle keeping it off, and I know that I still have a lot of learning to do. I still need to sort out my inability to leave any food on my plate, for example, my meekness when someone suggests eating something really crap and I don't want to offend them, my tendency to eat things because they're there. I'm not as bad as I used to be, but I still do it. I know I'm doing it, and I sit there wishing I didn't, but I still do it.

In one way I've been lucky that I've been able to exercise off the weight. It's been my golden ticket in the weight loss lottery. My cardio system and my limbs are strong enough to take the pounding I give them, and my mind is dead enough not to complain about hours and hours of running on the treadmill. But on the other hand, maybe if I'd had to pay more attention to the quantity of what I eat, I'd have learned a lot more. All the stuff I'm nibbling on is nice healthy stuff, so quality (which I have been focussing on) isn't an issue, but anything in big enough quantities will put you right up on the wrong side of that calories in, calories out equation.

To put it bluntly, I don't want to have to count calories. I've lost 100lb not counting calories, and the thought of having to start now fills me with fear. I don't even know how many calories I should be aiming for! I want to be able to control this, Paul McKenna style by just eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full. But I worry that my control isn't strong enough yet, even after so long, to be able to reconcile the "I've made it to my original goal weight, I don't need to lose any more" thoughts with a relaxed approach to eating. I'm going to see how this back to basic approach goes for a while longer. I'm out all day tomorrow so I've done my normal Thursday food packing with two meals and snacks to get me through the day. Then it's the weekend, and we'll see how that goes. Basically I just want to feel like I'm in control (as I have done for the past two days), rather than still having this sneaking suspicion that food is controlling me.

And now it's nearly 9pm I might go and hide upstairs, with the alarm set downstairs to make the kitchen a no-go area. It's the nibbling and grazing that gets me every time, so sometimes physical distance is the only way to go.


Blogger duenneschen said...

Hi! This is my first post on your site and CONGRATS on 100 lbs!!!!! That's so amazing!!! The time and dedication you have committed to yourself is astounding.

I thought it great when you said "and now its nearly 9 pm I might go and hide upstairs". I hide upstairs every night for fear of the little voices coming out of the kitchen. The ones calling me to come in there and indulge myself. Once I'm upstairs in my bed, I'm too lazy to come back downstairs to eat!

Keep up the GREAT work!!!!

2:51 PM  
Blogger K said...

I'm in the process of tightening the slack too - partly because I've missed one run/gym session already this week though busyness, and I know I won't be able to make it up.

I wouldn't be able to count calories either (the only time I've ever done it was with the help of Fitday and a lot more spare time) so am hoping that simple application of comnmon sense will do the trick.

It is very difficult to divorce eating habits from everything else in life, but good luck with it!

4:59 PM  
Blogger lostinthecake said...

I was wondering how is your box of wine doing? I hope you don't mind my snooping around your blog, I got here through your 3FC post.
The title "Wine!" captured my attention because I also have a bit of a tendency to over-do it. So did that experiment work out for you?

7:48 PM  
Blogger YP said...

The wine hasn't been touched since Sunday, which I'm very proud of! I don't know how much is left, but exactly the same amount as was left on Sunday evening.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Spirophita said...

Congrats to you!!

I will say that counting calories is not fun, but I think it's a good exercise for about a month, just to get an idea of what you're consuming. It's a great exercise in what has more calories, and what you can substitute for something else. I watch my calories on an love that. If you are 160, I'd say somewhere in the neighborhood of 1800-1900 is fine for maintenance, but I think it's good to experiment with numbers and see how hungry you feel. You should be eating every two hours, but eating just little snacks, like a few shaved slices of turkey, four whole-wheat crackers, and reduced-fat or tofu cheese on those (1 oz.).

If you eat 5-6 meals a day, you will never be hungry. And it's fantastic for training for marathons!

10:01 PM  

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