Getting started...again

Went to the new gym on Tuesday. There are a few pluses and minuses compared to the gym in Brooklyn. The good? Less people, far less people. A steam room and sauna. Decent cardio machine selection. The low? Dated, weight machines although they still work well. 40 minute drive to and from. No personal TV's on cardio machines. Very few exercise classes.

We've broken our weight training into two sections for a twice a week visit. Workout A and B. Plus 45-60 minutes of cardio. Tomorrow is workout B. For the other days of the week cardio is at home.

And to what I've been wanting to blog about: balance. Does anyone else feel like weight loss is a constant state of on again, off, and then back on again? I want more balance in my weight loss efforts, to blur the lines between the days of trying to lose weight and the other more foggy days of stress, inconvenience and laziness.

I can see my own faults in other people: the diet game. I can't help but feel that true health and weight loss comes not when you start doing something new, but when you find a way to make what you currently do to work for your goals. I

What I mean is, there are principles of diet programs that I can really appreciate. However, every time I hear someone talk about the new diet they are on, or hear someone say they are trying the same diet that didn't work for them the first five times again I always wonder how successful they will be. I know that is negative, but I've been there and while I think there are isolated instances when diets do work, I always feel a pull in thinking "there must be a better way". Everything is so black and white with me and dieting, its this way or that way. I'm eating a lot or monitoring what I eat in a careful science. That is not balanced, and I feel like I've been using dieting and all that it entails as a crutch and its only keeping me fat longer.

The science of weight loss is very interesting to me. I found out recently that I could lose 3 lbs a week while eating 1,800 calories and with vigorous exercise for an hour a day. How cool is that? I know all about calorie counting, it is arduous and tedious at best. Sometimes when I'm not counting calories, I still find myself tallying them in my head at the end of the day.

It's not that I mind counting calories, I just don't see myself doing it for years and years. I agree eventually you get used to the amount of food you should eat. I think the calorie counting game gets especially tricky when it comes to maintenance, when you've gradually chipped away at your daily calorie allotment. I once heard Bob Greene say "I've never met anyone who should be eating less than 1,500 calories a day".

When I did weight watchers, I started out at about 34 points. And to be totally honest, part of me saw that number as a life raft that I desperately hung onto. Each 10 lbs. lost meant less food I could eat and I swear on some level I was fearful of how little I could eat when I reached my goal.

So where does that leave me? I want balance. I want weight loss. I want sanity. I want self-love. I want activity.

I've lost 60 lbs in the past two years and I'm still many miles away from where I want to be weight wise. How will I get there? There are principles of diet programs that I have learned a lot from, the day off diet has taught me that I don't need as much sugar as I seem to want, and the absence of it makes me want it less. Weight watchers taught me about moderation and goal setting. Can I unite my dieting self and not dieting self.

Dieting-self thinks about every meal, every calorie, every pound. She studies the scale: is it water weight?, why am i not losing?, ooh, lost 5 lbs! lets eat! It goes like that. She worries about losing control, she worries about food, she worries about it all constantly and feels guilty, she worries that it won't work. Not-dieting-self is more carefree, she enjoys her meals, loves finding new recipes to cook, she enjoys all foods: nutritional and not so much. She sometimes loses control, she sometimes bakes too much, but most of the time she isn't thinking about food at all. She eats when she is hungry and less when she feels bored.

I'm thinking about eating the foods I enjoy, but much less of them. Making efforts to eat the best possible foods. Planning ahead. Meal Planning. Enjoyment. Self-Love. Exercise. Losing weight.

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Blogger Lyn said...

I think closing the gap between dieting and non-dieting IS the key to losing weight and keeping it off. My gap is getting smaller but it's still there. I guess we just have to fake it til we make it, eh?

9:27 PM  
Blogger Fattie said...

You hit the nail on the head with that one. It is about finding balance...and making it a lifestyle, because let's face it...we don't want to be on a diet for the rest of our lives. However, I'm starting to learn that part of finding the balance is realizing that I will have to give up both extremes...eating whatever I want without thinking about what I eat...and letting dieting consume me until I'm so overwhelmed that I can't continue.

So, it looks like we are both looking for that middle ground...an eating lifestyle (not a diet) that is healthy for us that we can live with for the rest of our lives. On some days my desire for that balance is comparable to desiring "world peace" ...everyone wants it but it seems so out of reach.

We'll get there!

11:52 PM  
Blogger Shalisha Alston said...

Hi. I read your post and I totally feel your pain. The only way I could stop the horrific cycle of up and down mass weight gain and bingeing, was to cut out sugar and flour and weigh and measure 3 meals a day with nothing in between. You'd be amazed! I lost 90 pounds in six months and it's been 10 years off! From size 22 to size 2. The sugar and flour are the absolute killers. I could not "just eat one", or "modify". My body is addicted to sugar and carbs. I love my food today and my body. I love the gym. It is truly a lifestyle change - not something you can jump on and off. There is hope. Also, there are free food programs (12 step programs) out there that don't advocate dieting.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Keep on working on it. My family and I have decided to make the journey together. We have just started, but want to stay encouraged and stick together. Its easy to fail ... You can look at our blog to see how we support eachother. Stay on it! Good luck.

1:08 PM  
Blogger LissaLee said...

"I can't help but feel that true health and weight loss comes not when you start doing something new, but when you find a way to make what you currently do to work for your goals"
I love this! It makes so much sense to me. I am on my way, although I haven't lost anything yet:)

4:19 PM  
Blogger sallyb said...

I totally agree. Not only is it better to balance your diet with your protein, carbs and fat...balancing your schedule helps as well. Making sure you do not have 'too much on your plate' ( not talking about food ) helps with your stress level and maintaining good health.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

The key for me was NOT dieting but choosing a new lifestyle. Adopting a relationship with food that was healthy and that was one I could do for rest of my life. The minute I ever thought about restriction and " I can't have.....diets" I obsessed about food and ate and ate.

I have managed to keep the 60 lbs I lost off my frame for nearly 12 years but it is not about DIETING EVER. I choose this lifestyle because I am happier, healthier and have more energy and generally better self esteem.

And I know, I can have any type of food I want but most days, I choose not to. It helps me mentally.

3:08 PM  
Blogger ilove2talk said...

Balance...I have been in therapy for 15 yrs. trying to acheive more balance in my life and it eludes me! My last weight loss attempt was several years ago and I dedicated every fiber of my being to losing weight. I counted every carb and I lived in the gym... working out sometimes twice or more a day. I was successful: I lost 80lbs. I even got plastic surgery to tighten my abs and lift my boobs.I was really pleased with the way I looked but I FELT miserable because of my lack of balance.
Now, the pendulum has swung in the other direction. I have gained all the weight back...the boobs everything! My daughter is now 11 and weighs over 200lbs. I have been such a poor example to her and I am so ashamed. I want desperately to help myself so that I can help her get healthy but I am so STUCK! It's that stinkin' thinkin'...that all or nothing frame of mind that I just can't shake that keeps me from taking those first steps.
I don't know...maybe because I have lost the weight before and wasn't any happier it is harder this time to get motivated. Why is it so scary?? Why do some of us have this problem with food and others don't? How does one "find" balance? I wish you could just order it up at the drive-thru. "Yes, I'll have a supersize order of balance with a side of serenity and well-being...to go!"

9:30 AM  
Anonymous M said...

The very concept of counting calories is difficult to adapt to...but I can admit it's very effective. Once I got over it, you start doing it automatically.

Also it does not have to be forever. Since losing weight is different from maintaining weight than you can use calorie counting to lose then switch to something like HAES (health at every size) to maintain.

But If you want to lose another large chunk I suspect it is the only way. My advice is to start out with foods where the calorie amount is clearly written and there is no guestimation involved-- then later you can memorize certain food's calories.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous noel said...

I believe the truth remains, weight losseng is really about dieting, it is the key one really need to remain fit, but you see some folks like me love to eat what ever thy see and at any time how will they loss single pound

7:07 PM  

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