Am I done yet?

Never.  This is a “lifestyle”, not a “diet”.  I’m 3-5 pounds from my original goal (lowest I’ve weighed as an adult), and 5-7 from where I’ll officially not be overweight.  Maybe I’ll celebrate by buying myself some health insurance.  I’d like to still keep losing, I’ve still got plenty of chubby left.  I’m certainly not going to go back to bingeing, and I kind of like the health effects of eating a mostly unprocessed diet, lots of fruits and veggies and beans.  Not so fond of the grains, though I eat some, usually in the form of whole grain bread, or brown rice, or whole grain pasta.   This is how I deal with the reality that carbs are easy to overeat, most are so whole-grainy that I just don’t want to overeat them, I hardly want to eat them at all.  Being fairly active, though, I have to eat something, and I don’t like red meat or chicken (bacon being the exception) , anything with sour cream, parmagian, Swiss  or feta cheese, so not only am I health conscious, I’m really picky too.  Thus I have to make myself eat things that I consider healthy even if I don’t love them, because otherwise I won’t eat enough (the fast path to bingehood)

I wonder if weight loss/maintenance is different for people who got fat from bingeing vs people who just have poor diets and eat/drink way too much.  Seems to me that the binger (me, for example) has more psychological work to do, wheras the overeater would be more doing work on the food side, i.e. learning reasonable portion control, to eat less fried, more veggies and salads, etc.  Probably there’s a lot of overlap, both bingers and overeaters need a new relationship with food, and there’s always emotional work to be done to make real lasting life changes.

Anyway, my point here is that when I officially switch from weight loss to maintenance, nothing is really going to change.  Psychologically, things may be different, but I am comfortable with my eating and exercise, and will not change that.  I’ve been thinking about this for a few days, decided to write a blog post after reading a post by Fitcetera last night.  I’ve been sort of reading her blog for a while, but it often made me uncomfortable with the food lists and frustration, that she has decided not to blog about anymore, because she is switching from dieting to intuitive eating.  I love it when this happens, and I am cheering her on.   It’s actually a scary leap of faith, but personally, I think it’s the best way to go (yes I’m biased).  Intuitive eating is just more comfortable, dieting made me neurotic.  There’s often some intense emotional work that needs to be done before it starts working smoothly, but from what I remember reading,  she’s been on it for a while.

Unlike her (and many others), I’m still attached to my scale, but I don’t let it faze me, I’ve been watching it long enough to know it bounces all over the place, and it’s not decimal, so I can only see if it moves more than 3 pounds or so.  Given how long it took once I started doing intuitive eating to start losing pounds, I probably could have skipped the scale at first.  I think they used to, or maybe still do, tell people they may gain weight at first, but I didn’t allow that.  I stayed stable for about three month, then it dropped ever so slowly, and continued dropping, but long story short, I’m down almost 45 pounds and hardly overweight anymore.   But the best part is, I’m not scared of food, I crave and enjoy my exercise (even the weight training), I have no rigid rules to adhere to, I don’t have to count things or write them down, can eat anywhere, don’t have to stress about it.  If the scale is stagnant for too long, I look for non-intrusive ways to cut back (usually the scale stops because I’ve been drinking too much, which I do socially but really wouldn’t miss).  Or I vary the exercise a bit.  Nothing that will throw me off balance.

Just a note on my last post:  I don’t go randomly up to people in parks and tell them how to lose weight.  People who knew me fat now see that I’m not, and want to know the hows and whys.  Unfortunately, I don’t really have any miracles, and most don’t really like the portion control/healthier less processed food/exercise route.  I don’t know why this happens, but they become apologists, want to tell me how they’ve tried everything but for some reason nothing has worked long term, but what I am doing is too weird and completely out of the question.  OK, whatever.  Usually I say nothing, but if they want to jump on me for living a radical lifestyle (ya know-eating veggies that aren’t fried, snacking on fruit instead of chips, and exercising at least an hour daily), I may tell them what I think of their “radical lifestyle”.  I am always surprised to see adults drinking soda, and am stunned that in this day and age people eat processed meat and white bread and  for every meal, rarely a veggie in sight (unless the sandwich has lettuce/tomato).  Why is Atkins so reasonable, but eating one less slice or two of pizza in lieu of a salad so irrational?  I’m not telling anyone to become a raw food vegan, and don’t make a point of commenting on food (my mom did this all my life, very infuriating), just people want to know and then tell me why it’s not doable.

Anyway, point being that I love when dieters come around to intuitive eating.  I still think I’m looser with the food than most, but I exercise a LOT.  After being raised in a non-fat household (skim milk, no butter, no salad dressing, no sugar-but lots of hidden junk like chips, cookies, etc) I now skip the junk, but use real butter, real cheese, real eggs.   I usually drink 1% milk, but this week I spent the money to buy raw, full fat milk, which I will force myself to finish before it goes bad (pricey stuff).  Seems if it’s higher fat, I eat less but enjoy it more.  I think it’s my love of produce that lets me do this so painlessly, I hear WW doesn’t even assign points to most of the food I eat.  Anyway, this post is long enough, and my coffee is kicking in, must go pack and move, figure out something to eat for breakfast, don’t want to bother, but am getting hungry, and my hunger doesn’t fancy being ignored.


6 Responses to “Am I done yet?”

  1. August 5, 2009 at 9:25 am

    because otherwise I won’t eat enough (the fast path to bingehood)
    Man, I am figuring this out the hard way. 😉

    I wonder if weight loss/maintenance is different for people who got fat from bingeing vs people who just have poor diets and eat/drink way too much.
    I’ve wondered this same thing. Because honestly, up until after dinner, my menus are really super-healthy and well-portioned. It’s after that when I get in trouble. *wrinkles nose*

  2. August 5, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Health insurance has to be the best reward for reaching a goal!

    Try experimenting with different kinds of healthy foods, and with new recipes- you’re bound to find something you love so that you really enjoy what you eat while being healthy.

  3. August 6, 2009 at 10:55 am

    congrats on all that you’ve accomplished!!

  4. August 8, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    This is really, really good. And I’m not just saying that! :)) I think that examining what maintenance looks like is sooo important. Especially since the statistics aren’t good for long term maintenance.

    BUT, by really thinking through it now you will be able to “never go back” to your old lifestyle, because you have truly made a change.

    I do think that people who “binge” eat have a harder time than those who just get overweight by doing other types of eating. I think I had a bit of both in me, and I think that’s why it took me so long to be successful.

    You are doing a great job – keep it up!

  5. August 10, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Ah yes, we can never be done! Because doing it means taking care of ourselves. Why would we want to stop doing that? Great job, Julie!

  6. August 10, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Nice going, Julie!! For me, when I lost weight, I didn’t find maintenance that difficult because, I just kept doing what helped me lose the weight in the first place, ie smarter eating and plenty of activity.

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